TWO YEARS ON

It’s been exactly two years since I spent the best part of a summer working as an intern at the infamous Ministry of Sound. Here’s a recap and an update…

img048.jpgBack in 2014 I was lucky enough to be chosen as the second successful applicant of the ‘Josh Edmonds Memorial Scheme’, giving me (a farmers son from the Cotswolds, with a passion for music) the unlikely opportunity of being able to work inside one of the biggest independent record labels in the world at their London HQ.

I got to learn, observe and rub shoulders with some of the best DJ’s, digital marketers, video makers, HR, lawyers, A&R heads, web designers, radio producers, photographers and journalists in the industry, as well contribute my own content to their highly demanding website using my own skills as a music producer and videographer. It was a jump in the deep end but I fully embraced the challenge and threw my all into every task I was given, every day I was there.

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During my internship I was lucky enough to make acquaintances and relationships with some great people and I’m very happy to say that I still keep in contact with some of my colleagues, both socially and professionally.

In fact a few months after I finished, as fate would have it, I bumped into Toby who worked in the A&R department at a local pub back in the Cotswolds (The Prince Albert for any Stroudies out there!) who after a few pints quickly set me on the task of providing him with 5 new tracks for him to listen to within a week. He liked what he heard and one year later started formally managing me as a musical artist / producer / DJ, known now as ‘Barny B’. This was and is a big step for my career and one that can only have ever happened with the leap of faith that Jane and Jimmy took by giving me the opportunity to be part of Josh’s memorial scheme.

Old Jumper Blue BlockI’ve been back several times over the past few years, sitting in on radio shows and going to the club nights with my good mate Sam who sat opposite me in the office and took me clubbing every weekend of July ’14! I’ve also kept in frequent contact with Matt who works in the digital team, recently providing him with some music for Ministry’s new tongue in cheek video series called ‘Dancefloor Dilemmas’.

Perhaps most notably though, through keeping my contacts and relationships from the internship alive, I was asked a few months ago to provide Ministry of Sound with a 1 hour DJ mix to feature on their website and official Soundcloud music page; a milestone moment for me. The mix has racked up almost 20 thousand plays so far and has helped me gain invaluable exposure. (Please have a listen below if you’re planning on going raving tonight!)

Looking back, I can’t really describe how fortunate I was to get real experience in the UK’s dance music epicentre, hit factory and clubbing mecca. The Josh Edmonds Memorial Scheme was undoubtedly one of the most important and informative experiences of my life so far and I’m sure It will have a positive, lasting impact on my musical path for years to come.

 

Barny x

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What I Learnt At MoS

 

A few months have passed since the end of my internship at MoS and I’m still reflecting and trying to absorb everything I was taught.

Screen shot 2014-10-14 at 14.36.09People often assume that an internship entails mundane jobs that frankly anyone could do and everything you’re given to work on is spoon-fed in small, bite size chunks. My experience was thankfully somewhat different to that.

By the end of day one I’d met James and Marco’s brief and created a DJ/club promo video from a pool of footage I was given into something of a good standard. I think this perhaps put some confidence in the team around me and I was straight away working on bigger and better projects, creating predominantly video and creative content for the online platforms. Seven videos, five soundbeds, two interviews and thirty-odd GIFs later, I felt more part of the team than I did an intern. (Below is the last piece of work I did; A radio advert for MoS Radio announcing the brand new app).

 

 

I was often left to my own devices to produce work and create concepts, independently problem solving and learning through mistakes, which became one of the most challenging elements of the internship but also one of the most rewarding. The great thing about working at MoS is that If I ever needed advice or input from others, I was surrounded by professionals who are all keen to make the brand the best it could be and so were always happy to divulge their thoughts and extensive knowledge with me.

One of my favourite things about working there was the teamwork involved, collaborating and throwing ideas around, refining and critiquing them until strong concepts, campaigns and content were finally decided on. Then there’s the incredibly efficient pace that everyone seemed to work at, meaning that goals were achieved within days, if not hours; something which I was (and still am) constantly enthused by. I enjoyed the indirect motivation you got for finishing tasks because it drove me to deliver, whereas before I was there, one of my weakest attributes was making executive decisions and closing a project. One of the main lessons I will take from the experience is that in order to be productive you must be confident in the work you are creating and give it your complete attention until you’ve come to some kind of conclusion.

I have also learnt to voice my opinion. After many discussions and meetings with various different people in the office, I progressively became more and more confident in speaking out about my ideas and opinions and the best thing was that they were being openly accepted and talked about, sometimes even becoming the basis for new concepts. My aim now is to harness everything that MoS has taught me and establish an incredibly strong work ethic outside of the MoS walls. I have always been driven to do the best I can but after working at MoS, I feel more motivated and ambitious than ever before.

Becoming candidate two of the Josh Edmonds Memorial Scheme has been a huge honour and a brilliant opportunity and I’m very glad to say that I think I made the most of my time working and learning there this Summer. Being an intern at MoS has been one of the most valuable experiences that I’ve ever had and will resonate in the things that I do for years to come. 

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Thank you Jane, Jimmy and Ministry of Sound.

 

LAST DAY OF THE INTERNSHIP

It feels strange not waking up at 7.15am, getting the sweaty tube into Elephant and Castle and then spending the working day at the infamous, epicentre of dance music, Ministry of Sound.

Ministry of Sound London

I’ve learnt a huge amount in such a short space of time and met so many interesting, knowledgable and inspiring people; it truly has been an incredible experience. The sun was shining on my final day at the office and after clearing up a surprisingly full folder of projects and documents on my computer, I met the Davina from HR to have a chat about my time here as an intern.

As a little last day treat, Marco (Video) and Lloyd (Radio) took me to Borough Market for a long lunch – and now I’m thoroughly annoyed that nobody ever told me about this place!

IMG_8878 IMG_8884 IMG_8866 IMG_8862 IMG_8868 IMG_8883 IMG_8881 IMG_8880 Screen shot 2014-08-09 at 23.03.08

 

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Marco overwhelmed by his surroundings!

Marco overwhelmed by his surroundings!

My manager James has been really supportive and helpful throughout my internship and has also become a good friend as well. As a another cheeky surprise, he’d secretly organised goodbye drinks for me after work at the launch of a new venue just round the corner as a final send off. He then proceeded to tell me (as a joke) that it’d been cancelled just to break my heart, thanks mate! Nonetheless, it went ahead and was a really nice evening – Here’s a little clip I took there of MoS’s next signing…

A post shared by Barny Wilson (@barnywilson) on

I have to thank James and everyone else at MoS for individually giving up there time for me over the past five weeks and teaching so much. Thank you also to everyone who’s been reading this blog and keeping up to date, I really appreciate all the support and work that went into creating this opportunity in the first place – I’ve had an incredible time!

Me and James

Me and James

ONE DAY TO GO

My fifth and final week as an intern at Ministry of Sound has come around so quickly, my last day is tomorrow… where has the time gone?!

Even with one day to go I’m still being given new tasks and making content for the online platforms, the work never stops. I keep meaning to upload content here but every day is as busy as the last, inside and out of work; getting the bus yesterday evening to see my housemate’s headline gig at Concrete in Shoreditch straight after I got home, having dinner the night before for another housemate that’s leaving to run his show at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and then coming in to Elephant and Castle every morning, often to a platter of new tasks and deadlines that require all my concentration; It’s fair to say It has been pretty full on but I’ve loved being here all the same.

The Erick Morillo interview video that myself and Marco have been working on got uploaded to the ‘socials’ last weekend and has had a lot of love online, with Erick himself sharing it to his half a million fans on Facebook. I interviewed him minutes before the marathon 8 hour set in the main room and then helped Marco shoot footage until 4 or 5am that night, climbing the infamous speaker stacks to get a better view of the crowd.

Whilst Marco edited the majority of the video, I created the sound bed with my audio knowledge and in particular, put a lot of attention in to the rise at 2 minutes 30 seconds. Enjoy the finished product below!

Helena who runs the Hedkandi online socials (Hedkandi Helena) has been involved with quite a lot of the content I’ve made so far and yesterday she asked If I could bring a 30 minute YouTube DJ mix to life, rather than just having a static piece of artwork. My answer was clouds.

One of my favourite editing techniques, that I use in most of my videos, is the use of ‘overlays’ and my simple solution for animating such a long clip was to layer footage of clouds over the official artwork. She really liked the idea which was great as it only took about 15 minutes to make! Already uploaded to the Hedkandi website, watch the relaxing and cloudy video I made below.

Another member of the office that’s I’ve done work for is Ollie from the ‘Club’ team. Along with being in a lot of the club promotions meetings with him and throwing ideas around for new campaigns and promo ideas, he has given me a couple of video briefs over the last month with the latest one shown below. Highly renowned record label ‘Defected’ have a long standing relationship with MoS and host one of the most in demand bimonthly events at the club, with the next one being ‘Defected In The House: Masters At Work’ featuring house head Kenny Dope.

The brief was simple but Defected being the perfectionists that they are, repeatedly sent the video back for amendments after approval, which got slightly frustrating for everyone. The video below wasn’t even the finished product in the end after they decided they wanted different artwork at the end (again!) but It’s pretty close to it anyway.

On Tuesday I was in for a surprise when a familiar face popped into the office. While immersed in a very time consuming video edit, I noticed out of the corner of my eye someone looking around and asking for an intern, me! Turns out it was none other than candidate number one of the Josh Edmonds Memorial Scheme, Louis Murphy, who had come in on radio business and had a little time to spare before the show. It took a couple of seconds to realise it was him due to the new addition of a fearsome beard, apparently inspired by an awkward moment recently when some girls asked him what school he was from (sorry Louis, couldn’t resist mate!).

We had a nice little chat about how I was getting on and what he was up to and it was a strong reminder of how I got here in the first place, after all Louis inspired me to apply for the scheme after such a brilliant presentation in November last year and was of course one of four people who interviewed me back in the Spring. Hopefully we’ll meet again soon and I can give him the full round up of my time here after such an amazing five weeks. I called Jane Edmonds when I got back from work that evening to tell her about Louis’s appearance and after telling her how I’d been finding it, she was incredibly kind to say that she thought I was making the most my time here, “as Josh did when he was there”.

Thank you again Jane, Jimmy, Louis and Andy for such a brilliant opportunity which I will never forget. 24 days down and one more to go.

Louis, candidate one Louis and myself, candiad

Louis, candidate 1 of the Josh Edmonds Memorial Scheme and myself

Arabian Nights

My manager James, aka 'Jimmy Poolside', in the mix

My manager James, aka ‘Jimmy Poolside’, in the mix

After three consecutive late nights, seeing one of my favourite DJs Toddla T at XOYO, filming Erick Morillo’s headline gig at MoS until 5am and entering the Arabian Nights themed staff party two days before, I was in need of some deep sleep by Sunday. Needless to say that’s all I did. The staff party was a particularly merry event, with Persian rugs, low tables, a free bar and shisha pipes transforming the club courtyard on such a nice summer evening. It was also a great opportunity to talk to members of the team that I hadn’t yet spoken to and my manager James (aka DJ Jimmy Poolside) definitely made the most of the night!

The Arabian Nights themed staff summer party

The Arabian Nights themed staff summer party

Persian rugs and shisha pipes

Persian rugs and shisha pipes

First thing on Monday morning I went and saw Sam from A&R to ask if there was anything I could do for them as Marco wasn’t getting in until lunch time, therefore the Erick Morillo video was on hold for a couple of hours. He gave me the task of finding 10 new tracks that I thought could have the potential to be signed to the label and perhaps be the next big thing. As an obsessive music fan and consumer of old and new exciting music, I’ve been ‘tune hunting’ across internet platforms since my early teens, even more so since I started DJing 4 years ago and so this task came quite naturally to me.

I found that many of the tracks I found were already signed but I was told this wasn’t an issue so long as the labels involved were relatively small, so licensing wouldn’t be an issue. I ended up scouting 20 tracks that I thought could make the cut, 8 of which were signed and 12 that were unsigned and I wrote a little description underneath each of them as to why I thought they could suit the label, including factors such as current internet engagement and commercial crossover potential. Although finding new tracks wasn’t overly difficult, the biggest hurdle was detaching my own music tastes and thinking about what would be best and most fitting for MoS as a label. Hopefully there’s one or two in there that might get some consideration!

The next random task I was given was back with at the Digital department and involved making a 10 second video for the MoS website, to be looped as a carousel that integrates into the radio page. This was for a collaboration with the mighty Tomorrowland that’s currently holding it’s fortnight long, 10th anniversary festival in the town of Boom, Belgium. MoS Radio have been broadcasting the biggest sets live from Belgium across the course of the festival and so this website carousel was used in conjunction with the online service.

It didn’t take long at all to put together but the guys were very happy with how it turned out and below you can see a video that includes a screenshot of how it looked when it was live from the website, followed by the video looped 3 times as an example of the always looping carousel that it was. The music is just for reference and wasn’t actually included as the website page was silent.

Last week I had been working with Paul from the club team, creating a short promo video for the Bob Sinclar night happening this Saturday. Paul used to be a dance music producer and professional touring DJ, securing a residency at the infamous Pacha in Ibiza, so we had a constructive couple of hours in the small studio making an eclectic soundbed for the video, featuring tracks from throughout Bob’s career. Paul then made the first edit of the video, with text intros and outros which I then refined and added a lot more footage to make the final edit that got upoaded to MoS Club Facebook yesterday (smarturl.it/bobsinclarvid) and can be viewed below.

MIDWAY REFLECTION & ERICK MORILLO

The first thing I felt as I walked in the door at Ministry of Sound was a sense of relief. I instantly realised that I wouldn’t be spending the next five weeks of my life in a small and mundane building with low ceilings and long corridors; which would, over time, become suffocating. No, instead I walked in to a bright and lively open-plan work environment, with high ceilings and big ideas but also a space that promoted communication and collaboration.

Reception at MoS

Reception at the Ministry of Sound office

It’s refreshing to see an incredible work ethos that can be found in everyone and despite the almost constant backdrop of pounding house music, the level of professionalism here is outstanding and a perfect reflection of the quality of the brand. In the three weeks that I have spent here, I’ve enjoyed every day tackling new tasks and working amongst some of the most inspiring people that I’ve ever met.

Cafe meeting area

Cafe meeting area, radio studios (through windows) and board room (top left)

In full honesty, it’s an honour to work here and I’m extremely privileged to be gaining work experience for a company offering so much to dance music on a global scale. This incredible internship awarded to me by Josh’s parents and MoS is such a rare opportunity that I’m putting my absolute all in every day, which is why I’ve been a little quiet on this blog lately!

Since starting my internship on the June 30th, I’ve been part of the digital department, creating video content for MoS, DJ Mag and Hedkandi social media platforms, as well as helping the club promotions team with new campaign and promo ideas. Despite already having experience with video production and editing, I have learnt more technical tricks and skills than I could really put into words and I’m fairly sure not many people would understand these procedures even if I did!

Fixing some faulty audio in Soundtrack Pro (the faults are the orange bits..!)

Analysing some faulty audio in Soundtrack Pro (fixing the orange bits…)

Here’s my latest video that I’ve made for the MoS radio which will be uploaded to the relevant social platforms, featuring Ricky who presents ‘The Sound Of Deep House Radio’. I made this project completely independently, filming, editing and creating the sound design/mixing the music on my own.

I have also learnt the importance of time management on a daily basis, the usefulness of taking notes and the value of everyone’s opinion in a work place. Speaking up in meetings and creative discussions has helped me harness my confidence and convey my best ideas and I think that I’ve learnt many communication skills along the way.

While speaking up is essential, I have also learnt to listen very carefully to instructions and requests in order to avoid alienating people with repeated questions. In only 15 working days I think I have become incredibly more independent, not only from living on my own for the first time but also from having to work things out and complete tasks completely alone. I think you are a lot more valued in MoS if you have the ability to get on with tasks, without asking too many questions and still produce top quality work.

Dance music legend, Erick Morillo headlining the club

Myself and dance music legend Erick Morillo / Erick headlining MoS / Marco filming

I had Friday off as I had to work last night at the club filming and interviewing dance music DJ legend ‘Erick Morillo’, who was headlining the night with a modest seven hour set! Myself and Marco set up all the kit ready for filming as Erick was only going to have minutes before he needed to start his set after arriving late.

I sat opposite Erick and asked him the all important questions, which to my relief, went very smoothly and Marco was very pleased with the result. We then filmed him in action and with the club going wild, using our VIP passes to access every corner of MoS for the best angles and vantage points. I think we will start work on the post production of this video straight away, so look out for the finished film soon.

Interviewing Erick Morillo minutes before his 7 hour set at MoS

Interviewing Erick Morillo minutes before his 7 hour set at MoS

After filming last night, I didn’t get home this morning until 7am and so have been trying to catch up on some much deserved sleep to recuperate for my final two weeks; hopefully the weather will cool down a bit and turn my sauna back into a bedroom. My ‘Live From The Club’ promo video got posted to the official MoS club Facebook during the week (smarturl.it/livefromtheclub) and they’re planning on uploading it to official MoS page too, which has around 870,000 fans. I’m really glad the team are supporting my work and using it as real content for the club, it’s very rewarding after all the hard work.

I’m over half way through my internship now and It’s scary to think how quick it’s gone by but keep and eye out for all the new projects I get up to over the course of my final two weeks at MoS, hopefully they’ll be my best yet.

STROBES, SAND & THE SOUND OF DEEP HOUSE

The past 14 days have shot by and it’s scary to think I’m almost half way through my internship already. I have however, done so much in the last fortnight! Last week, whilst carrying on with video content, I got to be part of various meetings with members of the club, events, legal and finance departments.

After throwing promo ideas around the table for the fast approaching ‘MoS 23rd Birthday Event’ with the club team for quite a while, I came up with a pretty good one when I got home. No one had yet realised that there are 23 characters in ‘Ministry of Sound Birthday’, so with that in mind I thought up a simple poster/installation campaign that could be spread all around London and have the potential to go viral…

MoS 23rd birthday letter campaign

MoS 23rd birthday ‘letter campaign’ idea

Essentially, the idea would be to produce one large poster, installation or wall art for each letter of ‘Ministry of Sound birthday and dot these around the city, perhaps in places beginning with the relevant letter, as part of a MoS competition. Each letter would fill the poster to really stand out and then a short description underneath would inform passers by of the competition and how to get involved. The description could be something along the lines of, “Photograph yourself with all 23 letters of MINISTRY OF SOUND BIRTHDAY for a chance to win a holiday in Ibiza”, with the number 23 in bold to hint towards the fact it’s their 23rd birthday.

I emailed this around the digital team first thing the next morning and it was really well received with Club Promotions team leader ‘Paul’ saying he thought it was “awesome!” and that he loved the “outside the box thinking”, so it was a great start to day!

Club Promotion Meeting

Club Promotions Meeting Agenda

Among a few heavily creative driven meetings, I also got to learn some really interesting facts regarding the legal and financial side of MoS , something which I had little to no clue about. I didn’t realise but the legal department touch every part of the business, from dubstep compilations to social media campaigns and any music coming in or out of the brand requires a legal contract; absolutely nothing is left to chance.

Marcel who runs the legal department was kind enough to schedule in a meeting with me later this week so I can get some extra advice, which I’m sure will benefit me no end in the future. The finance meeting was then taken by Raju, who again opened my eyes to a whole new side of the music industry that I’d barely even thought about and aside from being a very interesting and intellectual man with ‘mild tourettes’, I later found out he used to manage one of my (and half the world’s) all time favourite DJs, Fatboy Slim! 

New promo video task: The Sound Of Deep House radio show

New promo video task: The Sound Of Deep House radio show

I then stayed late last Thursday after work to interview and film Ricky who presents ‘The Sound Of Deep House Radio’ for MoS radio, a similar project to the Hedkandi promo video which has now gone live and been shared to over 300,000 of their Facebook fans (www.facebook.com/HedKandi). The next morning I was straight into editing the new footage but quickly set a new deadline to complete a promo video for ‘Live From The Club’, MoS’s web streaming platform that broadcasts the headline shows every weekend.

I had to scan through over three hours of footage from the DJ Mag Sessions which took place the weekend prior and find as much juice as possible to squeeze all the way down into a 2 minute video! I also took it upon myself to mashup a few tracks into the soundtrack and bring my mixing skills to the table, seeing as it was in collaboration with DJ Mag. I gave the video it’s final touch this morning with a modest thirty layers of sound (mainly for the first 6 seconds) to really bring it to life and it was worth all the effort as the guys seem to really like the end result. In fact, what started out as just a piece of content for DJ Mag online, might also now be used by the official MoS platforms which is pretty exciting. Watch the finished video below:

Really happy with this video, an intense period of strobe watching via my computer paid off in the end. The video hasn’t been signed off by people higher up the chain yet but If and when it does, I will post a link to the platforms it gets uploaded too.

During the weekend I traipsed all over London trying to find myself a lift to my friend’s 21st in Bournemouth and eventually got there at 9pm after many hours of lift sharing. Still, it was nice getting some fresh air and sandy shoes and once I got home after another mega journey back, all I could do was collapse into my bed and prepare for week 3 with maximum sleep!

Quick escape from London

Quick escape from London