Students from the ICMP go on to do great things after they graduate, creating successful careers in music, and we love celebrating their achievements. This is the latest installment of our series of ‘Alumni Spotlights’, in which we talk to one of our alumni about what they’ve been up to since graduation.
In the spotlight this month is guitarist Pablo Tato. A graduate of our BMus programme, Pablo has been making quite a name for himself as a session musician. Check out his acoustic session with singer-songwriter A*M*E, and find out what he’s been up to since he left us:
Q: What have you been up to since you left the ICMP?
A: In the years since I left the ICMP, I have been building up my profile as a session musician as much as I can, trying to get as much work as possible both on the studio and the live front. I have been lucky enough to work with incredible producers and artists which I really admire, such as producer/writer Paul Epworth, who I recorded the song Black Beauty for Lana del Rey on 2014 and worked together again this year for Adele. I also have done quite a lot of live work (and some studio bits) with the wonderful Sophie Ellis-Bextor over the past couple of years, playing many of the big UK festivals. Other artists I have worked with are A*M*E, Orla Gartland, Elsie and Freddie Dickson, with whom I recorded two EPs and toured extensively in the UK. I also MD the band and play guitar for the incredible Australian singer songwriter Lucy Mason. A bit away from the pop scene, I have worked with composer (and ICMP tutor) Maurizio Malagnini, recording guitars for a BBC movie soundtrack and for a couple of episodes of Call the Midwife.
Q: What has been the highlight so far?
A: Obviously recording guitars on Adele's song Sweetest Devotion has been the most significant moment in my career, and the whole experience of spending a few days with her and the (incredible) band jamming arrangements and ideas in the studio was a dream come true.
Q: Have you put what you learned at the ICMP to good use?
A: Definitely. The years I spent at the ICMP made me a fuller and better musician (the teachers I will be eternally grateful to!). Not only technically as a player, but also from the personal side of things, spending a few years with aspiring professionals and great teachers gives you lots of clues on how to survive tricky studio sessions, or how to sight-read for a last minute job, or how to be cool and nice with fellow mates on a long tour. These are the kind of things you actually have to face every now and then when you are out working on a regular basis.
Pablo onstage with Freddie Dickson at the Shepherd's Bush Empire
Q: What's next for you?
A: Next year is looking quite promising with Lucy Mason, so I'll will be busy playing and recording with her. And obviously, I'll keep waiting for the phone to ring to get involved in as many different projects as possible.
Q: What would you say to anyone just starting out at the ICMP?
A: Enjoy your time there as much as possible because it does pass very quickly, and the uni years are amazing. Have as much fun as possible (which I did) and practice as much as possible (which I probably did not). Knowing people is a key thing in this industry, so get involved in as many projects as possible. Be always nice, easy going and clean and the most important thing: don't be late!
You can find out more about Pablo here on his website.