Get To Know Midem Ticket Winner, Kate!
You may have seen that we went to Midem and that we took one lucky person with us. That person? Kate Thomas! We caught up with her after Midem to get to know her a bit better, see what she got up to at the event and her experience winning the competition for a free ticket.
Tell us a bit about you? How did you get into music and what is your role in the Music Industry?
I am a London based singer-songwriter with influences from Jazz, Latin and Gypsy music. My first job was as a singer actually I used to sing Italian opera, on a chair, in a restaurant, in Basildon, in a place called “Bas Vegas”. So you can safely say I have always been very eclectic! Since then I have performed in many different genres and languages over the years including Folk, Gypsy, Latin, Blues and Jazz; taking me, among other places to France, Glastonbury and Ronnie Scott’s.
My current work consists of; working regularly as a jazz singer and a session singer, I now write, record and perform my own music, I am also collaborating with other songwriters and producers on sync projects. Then on top of all of this I also love supporting fellow artists: Back in 2018 in support of Sadiq Khan’s new scheme to support grassroots artists and venues “Sounds Like London” I pulled together grassroots artists from all over London and we created a “Sounds Like London” Spotify playlist that received support from the man himself.
I also present an online music & art show called Flat50 TV, where, with my co-host Paul M Jones from Flat50 management we interview and jam with various London based artists. And then most recently I set up the official 1st timers Midem Facebook Group which I will speak about in more detail later on!
How did you feel when you found out you won?
Excited, validated, strong, supported.
Why did you want to go to Midem? What was your goal?
I really wanted to go back to Midem as I knew how fantastic it would be for me. I attended in 2018 not really understanding what I was getting into and really wanted the opportunity to go again because I knew I could do Midem better this time around. Also, I felt more ready this year and had a better idea of what I was looking for when I got there.
I specifically wanted to meet other songwriters and producers as I want to work on sync projects. I also wanted to meet with people that could potentially offer me performance opportunities such as booking agents, venues and promoters. As well as these networking opportunities I really wanted to attend the panel sessions. They are a fantastic way to build on your knowledge and are always forward thinking so you get to understand what changes to expect to happen in this ever-changing new music business.
Did you achieve your goal?
Yes I met with all the people that I wanted to meet with and there were some other great surprises on top of that too! I also learnt a lot from all the panel sessions that I am looking forward to putting into practice.
What did your week look like?
My week was varied but definitely more balanced this year so I really feel I got a lot out of it. The days were full of panel sessions, meetings, some networking. I was also working with the social media team from Midem this year interviewing delegates. My evenings were spent networking at parties, dinners and there is lots of live music on offer so it was great to check that out too.
Who did you meet whilst at the event?
I met with many songwriters, producers and studios that specialise in writing for sync for TV/FILM. They were particularly looking for singers and songwriters that work in my genre. As well as that, I met with booking agents, venues and promoters. I was also introduced to a few potential management companies which was a great bonus! Finally, I also met with lots of singer-songwriters like myself. It was great to have that peer to peer contact with people that are focused like myself.
What Panels did you go to and which was your favourite?
I spent a lot of time at the panels hosted in the Artist Hub this year as all these panels were directed at DIY musicians. As my main focus this year was on sync the session I enjoyed the most “Learn How to Get Your Music Placed in TV, Movies & More” it was incredibly insightful.
Overall, what was your number one takeaway from your week at Midem?
It has given me new business contacts, knowledge and fuel to take on the rest of this year.
You met some of the Music Gateway team whilst at Midem! What was that like?
Absolutely fantastic! You guys are all so approachable! It was great getting some time to chat with you all individually. I felt very supported this year and you introduced me to some great people.
You are admin of the official 1st timers Midem Facebook Group. Tell us a bit more about how that happened and what it’s meant for you.
Before I attended Midem last year I was also a 1st timer and although I knew a few delegates that were going from London I was essentially going on my own. I searched for a Midem facebook group before the conference to try and find people like me and couldn’t find anything. Then once the conference finished I also felt that it would be great to continue networking and building on this community that we all built. So I decided to set up the group myself.
Midem discovered the group and thought it was a great idea and this year they officially supported the group. This meant that in the run-up to the event people that were just like me, the year before, had somewhere to go to ask questions, organise drinks, dinners etc and find out what was going on. It has now become a great community that I am really proud of and hopefully, we will keep building on!
You’ve also been working closely with Midem. What has that been like?
Absolutely fantastic! Not only did Midem officialise my 1st timers facebook group they also asked me to work with their social media team getting soundbites from delegates throughout the week. It was so great chatting to people and gave me free rein to talk to whoever – no intros needed! And obviously, after talking to people I directed everyone to the facebook group!
What do you think about Music Gateway and what is your favourite part of the platform?
There are so many great aspects to the platform: music news that is relevant to myself and helps me keep my finger on the pulse, music industry jobs, as well as it being a platform for collaboration which is particularly great for artists, songwriters and producers. For someone like me who is very keen on collaborating on projects I have found it hard at times to find people that are focused and professional and I feel that the Music Gateway platform only puts me in touch with professional people. I would say that my favourite part of the platform are the endless sync opportunities!
What would your 3 main pieces of advice be for anyone wanting to go to a similar conference/event? How they can make the most of it?
Preparation in advance! It can feel so hectic when you are there pulled from one place to another. So it’s great to have an idea of who you want to meet and what sessions you want to go to before you get there. However, saying all that, you also need to remain flexible and go with the flow of the conference. Because that can also take you to places that you never expected. Finally, I would say remember you are human you can’t be everywhere at the same time so don’t stress! Just do what you can do, learn what you can learn, meet who you can meet. We are a work in progress and there is always next year!
Finally, what does the future hold for you?
I am very excited about following up on all my contacts. My Midem this year was much more focused. I really feel that the people I spoke to could potentially be my future business partners.
Want to keep in touch with opportunities to go to events like Midem for free? Sign up to our newsletter, or keep an eye on our blog. Want to read more about what some of our competition winners have got up to? Nabsora went to Midem last year, Roberta came with us to the BRIT awards and Amber won a spot on our Great Escape stage.
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