From that moment, I knew I had to make music.
Fast forward to the present, and I am a freelance composer and music producer writing for TV, Film and Ads.
I’ve been commissioned to write music for Film 4, BBC, Channel 4, Sky1 and have been a musical director at the National Theatre and in London’s West End whilst working with Oscar winning composer Stephen Warbeck.
I’ve written music for companies including Universal, EMI, WestOne, NinjaTune & ASX and have enjoyed placements with Apple, BOSCH and NBC Sports
I also run a writers circle of orchestral producers known as the Red Collective for Audiosocket | ASX. Together we produce high end music for theatrical promotion and advertising.
If you need music for a creative project feel free to get in touch for a chat
Have a question about your project?
How I got started
I started playing the clarinet so that I too could play the Wombles of Wimbledon. I hit fourteen and clarinet was no longer “cool”, so encouraged by friends and family, I switched to sax with the promise that “the sax player gets all the girls” (not true).
I was also enamoured with Guns & Roses and in a bid to be able to play Paradise City, purchased an electric guitar. Over the years I taught myself acoustic and electric guitar which became my principal compositional tools. I’d always had a strong sense of rhythm and much to the dismay of my housemates at uni bought a drum kit and taught myself drums too.
Whilst music was ever present in my life, it was a long time before I understood that it could be a profession as well as a passion.
I tried having a ‘proper job’ and worked in an investment bank. After a few years I transitioned to marketing and helped get the Crazy Frog to number 1 in the UK charts in 2005. I often joke that I’m now making reparations for crimes against music. Although we did prevent Coldplay getting to number one so many would consider us heroes.
Eventually I took a leap of faith and quit everything to make music full time.
How I got started
My musical journey started as the artist (formerly known as) Acoustic Jim who in 2011, off the back of two EPs and an album, won the People’s Music Award for ‘Best Male Solo Artist.’
Following busking on the South Bank I was invited to play at the National Theatre as part of their pre show entertainment. That was the catalyst for a series of meetings which led to me becoming musical director of the play This House and working alongside Stephen Warbeck.
Years of live performance with my band and vocal training stood me in good stead as my band and I were an integral part of the show performing live on stage each night. This was my first introduction to working with a company of actors on solo and ensemble musical numbers. The role of musical director is to oversee rehearsals and direct musical cues in each evening’s live shows.
But for me music was always about the creative process rather than the spotlight. So after two sell-out runs at the National Theatre, I decided to hang up my performing boots in favour of working in the studio.
Why I love the studio – and what I make there
Being in the engine room, composing and producing, is my happy place. It’s where I find my flow.
I love crafting a piece of music, building it, fine tuning it and moulding it into something that connects with people.
My musical taste has always been eclectic. From Rage Against the Machine to Jamiroquai, 70’s Blaxploitation Funk to film score, I try to draw on all of these influences whenever I make a piece of music. Hoping to create something a little bit unique and always infusing it with a piece of my soul. Music is a way for me to explore the far reaches of my imagination.
My eclectic tastes are reflected in the range of musical styles I have mastered, and the different fields I work in:
I write and produce music to Move, Motivate, and Inspire
I believe music is about connection
John Williams and Max Richter have made me cry. I’ve never met them but they have profoundly affected me on an emotional level. They’ve done that through music.
I’m addicted to the creative process
I love crafting a piece of music, building it, fine tuning it and moulding it into something that affects people emotionally. I lose myself in it.
Your creative vision is the priority of the project
Understanding this happens before any music is composed and if you’re not sure what you’re looking for we work together to define it. To exceed your expectations (which I always want to do) understanding your vision is essential.
And my music should enhance it
And take it to another level. That’s what I aim to do. Collaborating with other musicians, masters of their own craft, is a critical part of that for me and something I rarely compromise on. Music is inherently social and I believe the process should be too.
And read on for the rest of the story
Having spent my 20s working for Investment Banks (sorry) and as a Marketing Consultant for those responsible for the Crazy Frog (really sorry), a multi-track recorder, borrowed from my good friend Chris Price of the “Unthanks” rekindled a love for composing that I’d left behind with my music GCSE.
Along comes Bob
I had recorded a couple of songs which had been inspired by the love of my life (who would later become my wife) and played them to Bob.
Bob is hard to impress. He’s one of those people who rarely offers praise.
So, when I played him my first ever recorded track in 2008 and he liked it, a career in music was suddenly more than just a dream.
Bob then dared me to do an open mic night – very funny Bob – but I did.
It was terrible.
But it lit a fire inside me and I was determined to forge a career in music.
Fast forward three years, two EPs and an album as Acoustic Jim, 300+ gigs at some top venues including Ronnie Scots and The O2, and a “People’s Music Award for Best Male Solo Act” everything was great…but something wasn’t right.
The part that I loved was writing and recording yet I spent most of my time performing. It was time to shift the focus.
A Leap of Faith
Aaron Wheeler recorded my first EP and has since become a very close friend and business partner. Aaron showed me the world of the music producer, a world where you write lots of music and never have to perform!
I did a 12-day course in music production and with some cash in the bank, I plucked up the courage to quit my job and dedicate a year to the craft.
Worst case scenario: I go back to marketing.
Best case scenario: I make it in music.
“I believe that if you are passionate about something and determind then you can be truly successful at it.”
So, while working in a pub to make ends meet Aaron took me under his wing and mentored me into the music industry. In February 2012, I had my first couple of tracks published by EMI and was commissioned to score Strictly Baby Disco for Channel 4.
By this point, I’d fallen hard for the creative process. Understanding what people want and translating that vision into music is a challenging, enthralling and privileged experience.
Still performing as Acoustic Jim and busking on the south bank, we wangled our way into playing as part of the National Theatres pre-show foyer performances.
In June 2012, we played the outdoor stage and were seen by the National Theatre’s Director of Music, Matthew Scott. He later invited me in to have a chat about a show called ‘This House’, for which they needed a band.
The chat went well and suddenly my first job as Musical Director was at the National Theatre for a show which enjoyed two sell-out runs before being rebooted in 2016 in Chichester and the West End. The dream had become a reality.
Playing Park Life with Phil Daniels who was in This House is a highlight of my career to date.
Since then I’ve had the joy of working with the Almeida Theatre, RADA and the National Youth Theatre, helping compose and adapt music for the stage.
- “This House” National Theatre & The Garrick Theatre (Musical Director)
- “Filmic Folk Album” Universal Production Music (Composer/Producer/Mixer,)
- “Lucky Chicken” – Short Film- Gulliver Moore Productions (Composer/Producer/Mixer,)
- “Yonderland 3” – Big Talk for Sky 1 (additional music) (Composer/Producer/Mixer,)
- BOSCH TV Campaign “Just Add You”, (Composer/Producer/Mixer)
- “Unsafe Sex In The City 2” – Dragonfly for BBC3 (Composer/Producer/Mixer,)
- “Strictly Baby Disco,” Boundless for Channel 4 (Composer/Producer/Mixer,)
- “Merchant of Venice” Almeida Theatre (Musical Director)
- One Born: “Twins and Triplets” Dragonfly for Channel 4, (Composer/Producer/Mixer)
- One Born: “Plus Size” and Pregnant (Composer/Producer/Mixer)
Work with me
I write and produce music to move, motivate, and inspire. To bring your next project to life, contact me here.