Head of Music Entrepreneurship, Tim Ferrone took some time out to answer a few questions about his experiences in the music industry.
• What is your role with DIME & DIME ONLINE?
I am head of ME, which essentially means I oversee the business element of the online degree course. I don’t necessarily write all of the modules, but I comment on the weekly task feedback, offer tutorial support and mark assessments. My aim is to engage with students on a regular basis in order to add value, improve their experience of online learning, and help prepare them for a potential career in the business.
• Who were some of your influences as you progressed as a musician?
I was a pretty hairy rock guitarist back in the day; thank goodness before the age of social media so I’ve managed to destroy most of the offending images. With my flowing locks, I had an uncanny resemblance to my friend’s mum. Anyway I digress… I dipped in and out of numerous genres over the years, from hip hop to rock, dance etc etc but it was as a rock guitarist that I truly fell for music, so my main influences were the likes of Clapton (who my mum used to go out with back in the day; but no, he isn’t my dad!) and Knopfler, but also as far over as Dave Mustaine.
• How did you establish yourself as a teacher?
Well I’ve worked in the music business for over fifteen years, and continue to do so; the time comes when you reflect and realise that you have accrued a great deal of experience, which could prove of benefit to others. It’s a pleasure to relay… so I’ve guest lectured at lots of places throughout the UK, before being asked to get more involved with the online Dime degree. I get a lot of out the interaction; its certainly not just a one way street.
• What was the first record you ever bought?
Gosh, do I lie in order to make myself look better… I’m not sure I remember my actual first, but one of the first was a Salt N Pepa single… it wasn’t very cool, but I loved it. I still head for the dance floor when it gets played even now.. there, I’ve no shame!
• Best experience in music – (recording or live etc?)
Well, there have been lots of big moments from my time in artist management or at record companies, from artists selling out large venues and arenas, big chart or sales successes, award nominations etc but actually the one that really sticks with me was selling out a venue in Camden with one of the first artists I managed – it was only about a 350 capacity or so, but to look around that room, and realise that everyone had spent the time, effort and money to be there at that particular moment… well, that was a special moment. Even though the artist went onto much bigger things, I knew just how hard it was to achieve that, and never forgot the sense of achievement.
• What gear and equipment are you using (or any studio tips or favourite gear)?
My trusty iPhone! When I started, email was quite new, and no-one could even dream of smart phones, so when you left the office, you stopped working, apart from the occasional urgent call. Now your office lives with you in your back pocket. Which is a wonderful, and a terrible thing in equal measure!
• What’s your top tip for being a professional musician in the modern age?
Everyone has talent. The differentiator between the successful and the not quite successful is nearly always hard work and belief.
• Any last words?
I choose the words of Joseph Murphy; ‘The truth is you can acquire any quality you want by acting as though you already have it.’ Food for thought eh…