Popular Music Graduate Paul Asbridge is Entertaining the Nation!

What did you study and how has your course benefitted you ?

I joined the University studying BA Hons Popular Music. I’ve had a passion for music for as long as I can remember. I learned to play drums and piano at a young age, and by the time I was a teenager, I knew that the musician’s life was the one for me. While working as a professional musician, I realised that there were skills I needed to progress that could only be acquired through study under experienced academics at a university with the requisite facilities – Wolverhampton was the ideal place to do just that. 

Having investigated various universities, I was especially impressed by Wolverhampton. The course was perfect and I was impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm of the course leaders I spoke to. I was able to continue working as a performing musician in my local area alongside studies.

The degree didn’t just further my skills as a performing musician, but also rounded me as a person, teaching me a number of skills that have helped me get to where I am today. In the group projects and band situations I encountered on the course, I found myself taking on the role of leader, which has helped with management skills and leading staff members in my current position.

 

What did you enjoy most while at University ?

The lecturers and support staff, along with my fellow students, made my time at Wolverhampton a pleasure; they were helpful and friendly, as well as being informative and supportive all the way. 

I had access to some great facilities such as the recording facilities and mac suites. The buildings and technology have been improved further since I graduated and I’ve recently visited and taken a tour and am amazed by the new developments and buildings. The equipment and space is incredible!

I gained a great deal of confidence as a musician and realised I had the talent and skills to pursue my musical ambitions. I also became a more rounded individual, developing the foundation of skills that would serve as a platform for my future career: skills such as web development, music production, live sound and written English (through essay writing). 

During my time at the university, the opportunity to work on Cruise Ships arose (and was supported by my lecturer at the time). My time at sea was a formative experience for me. Long hours spent entertaining holidaymakers enabled me to put the skills I was being taught at Wolverhampton into practice in real life situations. There’s no better way to learn than being thrown in at the deep end (excuse the watery pun!).

 

Can you tell us a bit more of what you are doing now?

I now run Entertainment Nation (www.entertainment-nation.co.uk), as well as continuing to work as a professional musician.

Entertainment Nation is an agency supplying bands, artists and performers for any occasion. We provide entertainment and bands For Weddings, parties and corporate events across the UK and around the world. Our wedding bands and corporate performers have performed as far afield as Dubai!

I’d been performing in my own band and things were going very well. Working with a range of agents, my band had a packed schedule performing at weddings and private corporate events, but things weren’t quite right. I felt that there were a number of things that could be done better and that is where Entertainment Nation started.

Entertainment Nation now employs a number of staff, has offices in Stratford Upon Avon and turns over a nice sum of money every year. 

I’ve definitely benefited from a growth in my organisation skills and attention to detail. When you are arranging for a host of bands, artists and performers to play at countless events, everything has to be perfect. I have to pay close attention to finances and all of the back end systems that enable the Entertainment Website to function.

Being a business owner, every day is different. I’ve had to become adept at a whole range of tasks I’d never even considered before: running financial accounts, creating new act profiles, writing blogs for the Entertainment Nation blog site, posting to social media, filming band promo videos and selling bands to customers… and that’s just Monday!

Having built the business from nothing to where we are today, I’ve put in some long hours and faced some significant challenges, but Entertainment Nation has come through it all and continues to go from strength to strength. 

I’ve had to be adaptable and learn about things I’ve never experienced before – hiring staff and employment law, limited company rules, VAT, laws, contract creation and disputes, financial management, people skills and people management. Every day throws up something new.

All this and I get to continue performing with my own band!

 

What do you have planned for the future?

I’ve just realised a new high end band for the worldwide wedding and large corporate market, Jam Hot (www.jamhot.band). This coupled with the continual growth and development of Entertainment Nation, as well as playing live shows up and down the country every weekend, keeps me busy enough for now.

 

Do you have any advise for our students?

Work really hard. It sounds crazy, but I never thought in a million years I’d be doing what I am today. I feel lucky to be doing not one, but two jobs that I love and it’s hard work and dedication that have got me here. The skills I’ve learned and the hours I’ve put in have set me well on the way to creating a secure and happy future for my family. At Wolverhampton University I met fantastic friends and musicians, had tons of fun and built the foundations for my future.

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