March 9, 2016

In the wake of International Women’s Day, we spoke with BBC Radio 1 & 1xtra DJ, Monki about making it in music. A notoriously difficult industry to break into, especially as a woman, we wanted advice from someone who’s been there. From throwing yourself in at the deep end to never turning down an opportunity, Monki shares her experiences.

Meet People

It’s an obvious one, but meeting people is really important; when you don’t know anyone it can be hard to get your foot in the door but once you do, lots of different opportunities can arise. Making friends early and growing together into an industry you love is really satisfying. Also, you never know who you may meet and how you may cross paths in the future.

Be Memorable

There’s going to be a lot of other people that want to do the exact same thing as you. So when something arises that you may fit the bill for (a work experience place or radio cover etc) you want to make sure that they think of you first. Let people know what you’ve been up to, but try not to pester them. There’s a fine line to ride, but if you get it right it can really help.

Take it all in

Wherever you intern or do work experience, take everything in and learn from the people around you. Some of those internships are invaluable in making the next step and learning. I learnt more just hanging out at a radio station, making tea and doing errands than I did on any course. Listen to what people have to say and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand what’s going on.

Throw yourself in at the deep end

I’ve felt out of my depth a load of times, but sometimes it can be the best and quickest way to learn. I guarantee that at some point someone will ask you to do something you may not be 100% confident in doing, but that’s not a bad thing, so don’t worry, you can do it!

Enjoy It

Make sure it’s something you really enjoy and that you’re not doing it for the wrong reasons. When I first started, the graft was enjoyable and it never really felt like work, even though you don’t get paid much and the hours can be long, it was a blast! If you really love what you’re trying to do, you’ll figure out a way of doing it. There is no set way of doing anything. Everyone in my experience has done it differently.

Catch Monki on the Red Bull Studios Monki & Friends EP tour, hitting Manchester, Bristol, London and Sheffield. More info here.