Harry Edwards

What is your name and what is your job title? 
My name is Harry Edwards and I’m a Customer Service Assistant at Tesco Aylsham.  I’m also in the process of signing to Believe Digital as an artist.

When and where did you go to high school & what were your GCSE Results?
I graduated from Aylsham High School in 2007. I got 5 C’s, 4 B’s and an A in Music. 

What were you’re A-Level results at Paston?
English Language & Literature C
Film Studies B 
Music Technology A

Where did you go to University and what mark did you leave with?
I briefly studied at the University of East Anglia, however I felt it wasn’t for me.

Who do you work for, and what projects have you been involved in? 
For the last 8 months I’ve been writing music under my own name and recently been involved in projects with Paul Epworth and Ellie Goulding and the upcoming Radio 1 Big Weekend in Norwich.  I’ve also been working part-time at Tesco for just under 3 years. 

What is a ‘typical’ day at work like? – 
The last 4 or 5 months have been far from typical. In my spare time I’ve been writing music just as a hobby which seems to have snowballed into something that I could never have imagined happening. I’ve been to visit numerous major labels including Universal, Polydor, Wolftone (Paul Epworth) and Believe Digital. I’ve remixed a couple of artists from Wolftone and Believe, one of which was chosen by Paul to feature on the single’s official release and then played on Radio 1 on the Huw Stephens show. The other is awaiting release by Believe. I recently did some assistant production on a track for Ellie Goulding. Currently though my typical day is accruing music equipment, programming a live show and rehearsing for the up and coming BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend in Norwich.

What did you study at Paston? How did that course help you progress
upon your career path?
I studied English Language & Literature, Film Studies, Music Technology and Electronics.
I chose Electronics because I really love delving into the details of things to see how they work or are constructed - although I wouldn’t say it’s my forte, I’m fascinated by science.
That’s also why I chose English language & Literature. It deconstructs English and lays it out in a ‘nuts and bolts’ kind of way. I have a passion for film and I loved the film department at Paston. All the teachers were fantastic and the subject modules were very interesting. It forces you to take an objective approach to art and can fundamentally change the way you view media. The music department felt like my home. I would often spend lunch or break times in there doing things, whether it was working for myself or with other people. Both the teachers were incredibly encouraging and knowledgably and gave me a great insight into creating music from a computer - something I hadn’t previously considered.

What are the important skills you have had to develop and hone to
be successful in your job? 

You have to be passionate about what you do to enjoy it. Enjoying something makes it far easier to become successful in it. I don't feel I’ve been ‘successful’ yet, but I believe I understand what it takes to do so. You must be disciplined in any art because most of the learning is accomplished auto didactically and fundamentally, I don't think I’ve changed my approach to achieving my goals, since I understood that music is what I want to do. I guess knowing that you what to do something 100% and being really stubborn about it becomes even more important the further along you get. Having goals gives you a focus. 

Did you ever envisage doing this while you were at Paston? 
I couldn’t have envisaged what I’m doing now even last year. 

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating? 
Once I left education, I got a part time job and focused on making music in my own time.

I’ve been playing music since I was about 6 years old, any instrument I could really get my hands on. I had a couple of drum lessons but everything else is self-taught recently. Drums and Bass were my main instruments, but I had some trouble with a hand injury recently which has forced me to take a different path. I bought a piano about 2 years ago and have gradually started teaching myself. I have also moved to making music on a laptop. It is only really in the last 7-8 months that I decided I’m going to write music I enjoy and that’s where all this started happening. For the future I hope to be able to sustain this productivity and energy and maybe even stop looking at it as just a hobby. 

For anyone hoping to get into the same sort of thing as me, be it music or any other subject for that matter, I can say with certainty that you need to be 100% behind wanting to do it. I’ve known from a young age that I wanted to be involved in music because I really enjoy it and this makes practicing, self-educating, discovering and listening not feel like you’re learning at all. I always want to improve what I do, not to impress anyone else, but out of self-fulfilment and pushing myself to see how far I can go. However, 'what you know' can only get you so far before ‘who you know’ needs to kick in. I could still be making music in my bedroom which no-one else would get to hear, if I hadn’t started showing people and getting it heard. You have to lose any self-consciousness in art and try and express yourself honestly. Meeting the right people who can support or aid you in any way is also important.

See Harry's performance at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Norwich - View here 

"For the future I hope to be able to sustain this productivity and energy and maybe even stop looking at it as just a hobby. "