Interview with ICMP alumnus Vic Jamieson

We learn how our guitar alumnus has landed top pop gigs with Sigala, The Vamps, MNEK and more…
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Our guitar alumnus Vic Jamieson is one of the most in demand live session players in the business. 

While studying with us, Vic won an audition for a BBC Three Show, which led to him performing on the stage of London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall. He's never looked back since, becoming a key member of bands for the likes of Sigala and MNEK as well as playing with the award winning pop champs, The Vamps. 

We caught up with Vic to find out how he broke into the higher echelons of the music industry and, more importantly, managed to stay there... 

How did you start out in music?

I began taking basic lessons when I was too young to remember. However, listening to my own music and working it out by ear is what got me playing for fun! 

What drew you to the guitar? 

Guns'n'Roses, Lenny Kravitz, Fleetwood Mac. Also the fact that it was always there ready to play, rain or shine. You don’t rely on any factors apart from yourself! 

What led you to study at ICMP - and how did your studies help you launch your career? 

Funnily enough, I used to see adverts in Total Guitar magazine. I knew it was a fantastic place. I checked out the faculty and I had to try out to get there. In fact, it was the only place that told me I wasn’t quite good enough yet, back when I was assessed at 17. I practised my face off for two years and came back guns blazing. I got in! 

You've worked with some huge names including The Vamps and MNEK - what was your big break? How do you secure such high profile work and keep it? 

It was through the uni notice board!

I saw an ad for an audition for a BBC Three music show. I went for it, got through, and ended up getting a massive rock solo at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra." 

My mum recorded it on TV, and I sent that video around to everyone I knew. Eventually after a year or so I got called for an audition for MNEK, which I also got!

I secured the high profile work through five years of very hard graft and 10 years of solid practice. Every time I turn up I do the absolute best I can. I’m never late. I’m always willing to learn. I think eventually people realise that you’re a professional guy and call you! 

Sometimes the window will come to you and sometimes you have to search for it. Just make sure that when you do get an opportunity, that you’re ready to absolutely nail it. That means includes playing the parts, looking the part, being professional and being a nice guy. 

What have you learned from these experiences? 

Consistency and perseverance are rewarded! (Eventually!) 

Who would be your dream artist to work with? 

Sigur Ros or Bonobo. 

How can a musician sustain themselves in 2018 - have you any advice? 

Live music performance is where the immediate money is. Studio-based stuff is more long-term. Go in with an open mind. You might think you’re a perfect session drummer and you end up being a killer producer for library music. It doesn’t mean you have to stop drumming. But take opportunities that you encounter. Back yourself and don’t be afraid to wing it a bit! 

What's the most essential tip you've received about the music industry? 

I honestly have no idea. Most of my knowledge about the industry has been self taught through experience. I’d say, appreciate that it’s very hard to get anywhere without tonnes of work and graft.

Almost all of my muso mates are complete workaholics. I don’t think that’s a coincidence, I think you need an element of that to get to a sustainable level." 

What does the future have in store for you and your music? 

Again, I have no idea. I’m going in with an open mind. I might venture to more studio based work, with remote sessions or song writing. Or I might try and teach way more, or gig way more. I haven’t decided to be honest. I’m quite happy with my balance at the moment...   

Visit vicjamieson.co.uk for more and watch Vic play with Sigala at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball 2016. 

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Contact the team on 020 7328 0222 or via email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk and start your music career today.

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by Jim Ottewill
August 24, 2018
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