We spoke to Year 1 Performance student Bea Lacey about her music career so far, the Riverside journey and plans for the future…

Tell us about your past experiences relating to music and the music industry…

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I remember when I was little, my mom would take me to these really cool house concerts where Trad Folk musicians like Mairi Campbell and The Outside Track would play. Going to those concerts made me fall in love with all things folk and country. I feel like my music now sits somewhere in between those two genres.

I don’t have much experience in the industry yet, but I’ve always been making music in some form or other. I took violin and piano lessons as a kid, before picking up guitar and singing at age 12. After learning about three chords on the guitar, I started writing my own stuff. I loved the feeling of channelling my thoughts and feelings into melodies and lyrics. Song writing is my favourite art form, my chosen practice.

During my teenage years, I participated in youth theatres at The Dundee Rep and The Byre Theatre where I got to write and perform songs for our shows. I also took to open mic nights across Dundee, playing when and where I could. I’ve focused a lot of my energy on song writing, taking part in the Music Plus mentoring programme, The Glasgow Song Writing Festival, and a singer-songwriter short course at the Academy of Music and Sound here in Glasgow. In 2019 I studied an NC in Music at Perth College, which set me forth on the path to studying at Riverside.

Why did you want to study at Riverside Music College?

Continuing from my time at Perth College last year, I knew I wanted to study music at a higher level. Riverside seemed like the perfect fit for me. The modules on offer sounded great, and the emphasis on practical learning seemed particularly appealing. I was eager to meet other musicians passionate about music as well, especially living in the music capital of Scotland!

How has the HND Music Performance course helped you – which skills, knowledge/ or which modules have been the most useful for you?

My time at Riverside has been massively beneficial for me. Despite Covid-19 putting a dampner on college activities, the tutors have done an amazing job of ensuring we still receive the best education we can get.

I’ve learnt so much from every module this year. Through my 1st Instrument Study and Live Performance modules, I’ve been able to gain experience playing in genres outside my comfort zone which is helpful in furthering my technical abilities. I’ve loved being able to work with other like-minded musicians, and I’ve gained invaluable experience through playing in several bands at the college.

Another great thing about my studies at Riverside is I’m able to make use of DAW and production techniques now, which is extremely useful as I usually record my own music at home. Through the song writing and music theory modules, my playing, writing and compositional skills have improved immensely, as they have provided me with a solid grounding in reading sheet music, and understanding chord construction, key and time signatures, and various song writing techniques and tricks.

All those practical skills aside, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge about the business side of the industry. The Music Business module has taught me about UK copyright law, different types of contracts, and key collection societies – all crucial information for a singer-songwriter (or any musician for that matter!)

What projects are you currently working on?

Just recently, I released my debut single ‘Don’t Wait’ across major streaming platforms. The song is a truly personal one, which I wrote about leaving home for the first time, and all the friends and family who are left behind in the wake of that. I wrote, recorded, and produced the song myself, all from my DIY studio set up in my flat. It has been really exciting to see the response I’ve received for my single. Don’t Wait has received airplay on various local Glasgow stations, as well as the Iain Anderson Show on BBC Radio Scotland.
Over the coming months, I’m going to make a music video for the single, which will be released by the end of August.

What are your future plans?

Since releasing ‘Don’t Wait’, I’ve been working hard on generating new material for an EP. I’m planning on recording this in the next few months, so a release sometime during the summer if highly likely!
Aside from releasing new music, I’m wanting to focus my energy and time on my musical career. This year I’m wanting to collaborate with other musicians and song writers, so I’ve got some cool things lined up down the line. On top of that, I’m planning on playing shows and open mic nights as much as I can once live events are back in action, so keep an eye out for future gigs!
I’m also eagerly awaiting the start of my second year doing the HND Music Performance course here at Riverside College!!

Learn more and support Bea on the following links!