What do you do in the Scottish Music Scene?

I run my own events and marketing agency New Found Sound. We manage press and social media for the likes of Scottish Music CentreUn-Convention festival, youth music projects Hit The Road, Musicplus+ and sometimes create PR campaigns for musicians too. Over the years we’ve been involved with hundreds of gigs, festivals and conferences. I also co-write an Artist of the Week feature in Scotland on Sunday and coordinate tour dates and festival slots for UK gig swapping network Off Axis

What made you want to get involved?

I started out writing songs and playing in bands from a young age, so really I’m your typical musician that tried to make it my career. I always seemed to be nominated as the manager, booking agent, PR etc for all the bands I performed in, so founding New Found Sound came quite naturally to me, I already had a lot of the skills I needed. I basically created the kind of company I would’ve loved to have worked with when I was still playing; artist-friendly, professional, competent and fair. 

What’s the best thing about the Scottish Music Scene?

It’s really vibrant and consistently produces amazing artists / music. Our column in The Scotsman used to run on a monthly basis so when we were asked to go weekly (in 2015), we honestly thought we’d quickly run out of deserving, high quality artists to feature. It’s safe to say, we had nothing to worry about, in fact it’s a struggle to simply reply to everyone, let alone feature them, 52 slots a year isn’t anywhere near enough (that’s why we’ve re-started features in NewFoundSound).

Did anybody help you get started in the Scottish Music Scene?

Lots and lots of people have helped me, people in music are usually really friendly. Three people in particular supercharged my career. Keren McKean gave me loads of work and help early on, her CV is absolutely outstanding, from managing bands like Snow Patrol to running King Tuts or putting festivals on cruise ships and managing multi-million pound music projects like The Mill. Meeting Olaf Furniss (we still co-write Scotland on Sunday together) and eventually running Born To Be Wide and co-founding Wide Days with him was crucial too. At one point, all you had to do was pop down to Born To Be Wide and you’d meet everyone in the Scottish scene. Most recently, Gill Maxwell at Scottish Music Centre, without the help and guidance I received from these good people I wouldn’t be where I am today. 

Who inspires you in the Scottish Music Scene?

Definitely Keren, she’s a genuine inspiration. Progressing in the music industry is hard enough, but must have been extra challenging for Keren, particularly when started out, there were no quotas or attempts to address the gender imbalance. Despite the obstacles that have stood in her way, she’s achieved amazing things, she’s an incredible businesswoman. 

Who’s your favourite Scottish Artist?

I love lots of different genres of music, that’s way too difficult to choose, and my favourites change every week. Some artists that have stood out for me recently include; Rachel Jack, Katherine Aly, Conscious Route, Kapil Seshasayee, James Mackenzie, Katie Mackie, Calum Jones, MC Salum, ONR and Galileo’s Fan (and that’s just the Scottish-based ones)!

What advice would you give to somebody wanting to get involved?

Start actually doing stuff and go out and meet people. Absolutely seek out and accept help and advice where it’s offered, but actually go to events and meet people and say yes to any kind of hands on experience, it’s by far the best way to learn and progress. This won’t only offer you some valuable knowledge and skills, it will improve your chances considerably of being hired when some work comes along. Also take full advantage of all the amazing opportunities out there, Musicplus+ and Hit The Road for example.

Things to avoid doing when starting out in the music industry?

Just be polite and honest and you’ll be grand.

The best bit of advice you’ve received? 

If you are going to do something – do it right. 

Derick Mackinnon runs New Found Sound, writes about new music in Scotland on Sunday and manages UK touring network Off Axis

New Found Sound – 

Scotland On Sunday – 

Off Axis –