Graduate Benjamin's living his passion for music

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Date: 24th Apr 2018

“Working on the frontline of music publishing with brilliant creators of music is a privilege,” says Benjamin Akpojaro, A&R Manager at independent music publisher Reservoir.

Benjamin graduated in BA (Hons) Music Management Branding & Promotion from Bucks New University in 2013 and his job involves everything from signing writers, artists and producers, to pitching songs from its catalogue to labels for artists’ projects.Benjamin Akpojaro

He said: “I grew up writing and producing and love music creation and absolutely love my job. The industry can be very testing but the rewards and my passion for music make it worthwhile.”

Reservoir is based in New York City and has offices in Los Angeles, Toronto, and London, with writers based everywhere from Hollywood to Hamburg who have penned well-known tracks including Human by Rag'n'Bone Man and Havana by Camila Cabello.

Benjamin has worked at Reservoir in London for five years and returned to Bucks when he joined other graduates who work in the music industry to speak to current students on the annual Music Department alumni panel.

He added: “I really enjoyed my entire university experience and loved the course so having found my path in the business I always thought I’d love to share as much of my knowledge and experience as I could with aspiring young music minds.

“I try to do this as much as possible generally but returning to Bucks was special for me. The opportunity for those students to see and speak to real people who have been where they are now is priceless.

“There are things even a university education can’t prepare you for and I hope that if just a few of my words can stick with them and help in the long run it’s worth it.”

Speaking about studying at Bucks New University, he added: “Bucks’ music management courses give you a great spread of applicable music industry knowledge and the fantastic lecturers give real insight into the nature of the business.

“Another key element of studying music management at Bucks is that the student body has a great mix of future managers, artists, producers, and musicians, creating a little micro-representation of the business.

“Relationships are key in this business and it is a great environment to practise managing and manoeuvring relationships relating to music.”

Looking to the future, Benjamin has aspirations to work on the recorded music side of the music business, as well as going on later in his career to manage artists.

He continued: “I eventually want to have a multi-faceted company of my own where myself and a team of like-minded individuals can work with artists in different capacities, be it publishing, records or management.

“Right now though my focus is on expanding my network and reach to provide the best opportunities for the talent I already work with. I take their success personally and feel that we either win or lose together, so I’m trying to make us win.”

Music Department alumni panel

Benjamin joined Bucks graduates Agnes Köpberg, Office and Communications Manager at Believe Distribution Services; Natasha Middlecote, Day Manager at Red Light Management; and Veronica Webb, Project Executive at licensing and royalties organisation PRS for Music, before an audience of current students in the annual Music Department alumni panel.

Benjamin Akpojaro, Natasga Middlecote, Paul Fields, Veronica Webb, and Agnes Köpberg.They discussed their experiences at the University, what they’ve been doing since and how they ended up in their current jobs, as well as offering advice to students. Following a 45-minute panel discussion the four answered questions and spoke one-on-one with students for another two hours.

Head of Careers, Kath Dunn, said: “The event brought together alumni from the music industry with current students. Our alumni provided encouragement and advice on getting into the industry and building resilience as you develop your career. They also placed an emphasis on the value of the work experiences you can gain whilst still at university, which was really useful to hear.”

Paul Fields, Lecturer in Music Management, coordinated the event and said: “It is exceptionally rewarding seeing Ben, Agnes, Natasha, and Veronica making their way in the music industry so soon after graduating.

“We are very fortunate that these busy individuals gave up their evening to come and talk to students.

“As a lecturer it is also gratifying to see so many skills being applied out in industry that were developed here, from the ability to network and balance academic work with work experience, to organisational and time-management skills.”

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