1. In your view, what is the current state of the region’s “Independent Music Industry?”

I think a lot of people are out there making moves and looking for ways to do what they do and avenues to progress. It’s happening in clusters, niches and apparently “underground” There doesn’t appear to be many linkages in the regions Independent Music Industry and limited advice and support.

2. What do you think are it’s immediate needs with reference to the areas that you are most familiar with?

Immediate needs for the the regions Independent Music Industry are

•    Consolidation/better links with each other
•    Advisory support
•    Practical initiatives

3. As far as the region’s “Independent Music Industry” is concerned, what do you think shows the greatest potential for the next few years?

Greatest potential is the people who are in the industry and continuing to follow the passion, music and buzz inside of us to create the outcomes we want. Anything is possible, it just takes time, commitment and the willingness to work with each other to do so. Having access to knowledge, expertise, resources and finances makes it a whole lot easier.

4. In recent years, there has been a range of initiatives and projects designed to support the development of music in Birmingham. Can you list 5 projects or initiatives that you think have proved beneficial to the “Independent Music Industry?”

I wish I knew what they were! I know of Gigbeth… oh and of course THE BIRMINGHAM MUSIC NETWORK, oh and Barry Tomes Music Business classes

5. Can you list any projects or initiatives that you think have proved “of little use or benefit” to the “Independent Music Industry?”

Hmmm, not sure. It’s a difficult question with various factors. i.e. Barry Tome’s music businesses classes were ok but not very fluid and I didn’t benefit immensely, but it gave me a brief overview. If I had been at a further stage in my music, I might have benefited more.

6. With regard to your answers to questions 4 and 5, do you think Birmingham should continue to pursue the idea of more initiatives and projects designed to support the development of music in Birmingham?


7. If you could make any changes to, or include any new ideas for, any “strategy for supporting the development of music in Birmingham” what would your top priorities be?

•    Developing personal music strategies for artists (guidelines and possible options for musical pursuits (Coaching/mentor support)
•    Regular informative events targeting specific groups within music. E.g. in the same way that Creative Networks has monthly speakers, having a similar project or series of courses where artists/bands can learn a particular music processes. E.g. 2 “Creating your own CD” on a weekly/fortnightly basis over a period of 2/3 months – introducing experts on each stage per week. This could be followed by other relative courses.
•    Trips to national/international seminars and events (subsidised)

8. If you were given the task of evaluating whether a project or initiative had been successful, what would you suggest as the best indicators of success, failure, benefit or disaster for the “Independent Music Industry?”

•    What positive and progressive changes have been made as a result
•    Is there any tangible evidence?
•    Have the people involved got out of it what they intended and expected to.
•    Really and truly the outcomes need to be set in the first instance and evaluated according to the aims and outcomes of the projects/initiatives

9. As far as your knowledge or understanding of the region’s “Independent Music Industry” is concerned, what are it’s greatest strengths, and what are it’s greatest weaknesses?


•    Committed and Passionate people
•    Good foundations and expertise within the region
•    Lots and various talents/skills


•    Fragmented
•    Need collective and collaborative support
•    No central venue/organisation
10. If you could do anything to “support the development of music in Birmingham” what would you do and why would you choose to do that?

I will continue to create musically and collaborate with a variety of artistic, technical and management and promotional expertise in efforts to keep the positivity and creativity thriving in this city holding much potential. My reason for doing this is to use my strengths to contribute in the development of Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry.

Thank you, Keisha Thompson.

The Music Network was contacted in January 2010 by a group drawn from Birmingham City Council and the Arts Council England to begin to determine an overview of the current state, needs and potential of the “Independent Music Industry” in Birmingham.

The Music Network invites people with an interest or active role within Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry to answer 10 questions.

If you wish to get involved read 10 Questions for Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry and send your completed responses by email to: info at birminghammusicnetwork.com – Thank You.

Simon Howes has also created an easy to use google survey for these questions here too.

All completed questions will be published here unless you state otherwise. Please be sure to include your full Name and any links to your website or blog so you can be credited in full as the author of the response. Views from all sides are sought so don’t be afraid to speak your mind. We all may learn something.