Interview: Sean Arkless

We catch up with the winner of the Ace Accelerator to learn more about his exciting new business...


ICMP student Sean Arkless was the recent recipient of the Ace Accelerator initiative and is now benefitting from the use of the Bureau office space in London's Design District.

This area is dedicated to businesses in the creative industries to help them work alongside each other, collaborate, network and expand their opportunities.

With Sean's SJARK venture, run alongside fellow alumnus Lasse Corus, taking on a growing number of clients, we caught up with him to find out more and how winning access to this space has helped him...

How did you start at ICMP? 

I was sat on a beach in the Philippines with about £400 in my bank account and decided I was going to London to busk for a living. My whole life had just turned upside down. I’d just broken up with my fiancee of the time and had no idea what I wanted to do other than move to the UK and eventually study either acting or music.

I was reading an article about busking and it turned out this was written by ICMP. At the bottom, it mentioned there were still spaces to study so I clicked on the link and the course looked really cool.

This turned into this opportunity to pursue education in the arts. I auditioned for BA Songwriting and BA in Creative Musicianship and ended up with offers for each. I ended up choosing the songwriting course after doing Creative Musicianship in the first year, and then took my second/third year in songwriting as it was a better fit (though I absolutely loved my first year and was really glad I did it like this). 


How did the business begin? 

When I started, I had all of these ideas and dreams and nothing to lose. I made this plan to be a singer-songwriter or solo artist. 

The first year was all music focused and nothing really happened apart from pursuing music. In the second year, a switch flipped and all of these skills I had learned started being applicable. I formed a band and learned how to sound engineer our rehearsals. I got this sound engineering job in South London which was an hour and 20 minutes away from where I lived. It was poorly paid but helped me develop my skills and gave me some professional credibility outside the band. 

Was there a breakthrough moment for you?

During the December 2020 lockdown, my friend John asked me if I could do a live stream for him. I didn't have the technical skills but thought I could make it happen via my contacts. 

So I got in contact with Lasse on Instagram to see if he could help. I’d seen him running events at ICMP and thought he'd be great to support with the technical side. There was never much of a budget for it so I made sure the others got paid and I did it for free. 

We sourced a videographer and put a team together and did the work in December. It just felt right, went really well and I was delighted that we'd found the right people for the job."

I said we should start a business in the taxi home and my eyes and ideas lit up. I thought we could do this and put together a professional operation. After that, I started putting our plans together, built a website during second year, and made some plans with contacts.

I’ve always been sociable and good at finding the right people for the right job. This seemed like a the perfect opportunity to apply these skills. 

So what's the business all about? 

We are a project management company that specialises in bringing creative visions to life by building bespoke teams of passionate individuals. The goal is to create and experience something meaningful! 

It sounds quite broad because we are very diverse in what we do and the business model succeeds because of the network of exceptional freelance professionals we have built. This enables us to manage a large variety of projects. Since moving into the office we have acquired corporate clients as well as built a partnership with a very well established AV/staging company,  which enables us to say yes to essentially any client requests going forward, no matter how big the goal. 


What's keeping you busy? 

Our current projects include mapping out, planning and preparing the SJARK networking event for the end of the academic year.  We recently partnered with a big AV company called Centre Stage and are in the early stages of developing some one day festivals in London for 2022 with them. 

What's your advice for anyone wanting to launch their own venture?

This is just what has worked for me as I think it's important to acknowledge that we're all different. 

Firstly, I'd say you need to find a way to do the thing you’re scared of but make sure you’re comfortable enough to pull it off. It’s important to pursue things which are scary and fun - so they should be in the middle of this. 

People often dive into things which are too much, then they give up and never realise how they could have achieved them. You need to make this more manageable by looking at today's walk rather than the whole of the mountain you have to climb."

Don’t beat yourself up about the fact that you need to rest. You don’t want to risk burning out. You can spend a weekend sitting on the sofa eating pizza. In August or September, I took my first day off in months and it was only then that I realised how much I’d pushed myself.

Finally, I think you need to get out there and do things. Think about it, write it down and your unconscious will drive you towards whatever it is you want to achieve. 

Visit for more information. 

Equally focused on Music Business & Entrepreneurship

The music business is an incredibly competitive environment – and over the last 30 years, ICMP has developed and refined a cutting-edge degree that now focuses equally on entrepreneurship. We’re the first music school in the UK to recognise that you need to understand not just marketing, management, finance, digital, creativity and all the structures and quirks that make the industry unique, but also how to forge your own path, create your own job, and change the future for the better. With access to ICMP’s fully equipped music facilities, exclusive industry events, masterclasses and a peerless contact network, we have it all covered.

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, email our friendly Admissions Team at or call them on 020 7328 0222.

School of Music Business
by Jim Ottewill
February 16, 2022
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