10 Minutes With: IAmMusic.TV Founder, Carly Wilford
Self-made music mogul, Carly Wilford, is the inaugural interviewee to sit in our hotseat.
30 Second CV
Name: Carly Wilford
Current Title/Company: Presenter, DJ & Creator of IAmMusic.TV & IAmMusic Artists
Educational Background: A levels and life lessons!
The Real Deal
Brief overview of what you do:
My heart is in the music industry. I started out as a presenter at a music competition for unsigned musicians. After interviewing them I could see so many opportunities so started to offer my advice. I linked them with managers, labels and A&Rs and helped to brand their projects, alongside creating a buzz on blogs and social media. Fast forward years of hard word and belief in the bigger picture and I now run a tastemaker music blog called IAmMusic.TV. We run a very successful live music night called ‘Play It Forward’, and have recently created an artist management wing too. Presenting and DJ-ing is my dream and I am involved in some really exciting projects. I want to play my part in restructuring the music industry, and having a voice and an opinion really helps that.
Can you describe your job in 3-5 words?
Incredible lifestyle driven by passion
Do you have a weekday morning routine?
Every single day is different. Late nights, early mornings, sunrises and sunsets that sometimes seem to merge into one. Breakfast and music are always constant no matter what.
What does a typical day at your desk look like?
What’s a desk?
What’s been the best moment of your career so far?
Standing on stage with Rudimental at Bestival as they played to almost sixty thousand people. I got sent ‘Feel The Love’ when I had a small radio show on Shoreditch Radio. I felt in my heart it was a game changing track and knew that these four guys dressed up as white rabbits were going to do something special. They had just under three thousand followers on Twitter at the time. I backed their journey, wrote about it and shouted about them on air. When their album ‘Home’ went Platinum they sent me my first ever Platinum Disk.
Your job – the good, the bad, the ugly:
The Good – I travel the world, see places I never dreamed of, play music that I love and surround myself with creative innovative minds. I love getting up every day because the industry is so dynamic and ever changing. Being able to help break artists before the world knows who they are is really rewarding, especially when they go on to do incredible things.
The Bad – You crave sleep. When I was doing the Breakfast Show on Rinse FM I used to have to be up at 5.30am. That meant two things: either going to bed early and missing gigs, your mates and a social life, or getting used to sleeping less than most of your friends and family. I got used to going to my show with just a couple of hours sleep and sometimes I would go straight from an event or DJ gig and jump on air. It was really hardcore but I loved it.
The Ugly – It’s a really competitive and tough industry. There aren’t many jobs and you can end up working a lot for free. You have to be bold, strong minded and resilient to last the long haul and brave enough to push to be paid your worth early on.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
To see everything that you could perceive as ‘bad’ as an opportunity to learn and grow. I believe that we have the ability to create anything in our lives and some of my most difficult times have resulted in the greatest growth, even if at the time I couldn’t see it.
How do you relax and recharge?
Running a deep bath with loads of bubbles, candles and a chilled out playlist. I love going home to visit my family too. The more busy and successful you become the more you value the people closest to you. I still have all of my grandparents and spending time with them makes me realise how special the people who have walked this path before us are.
What are you listening to at the moment?
My playlist changes every day and it is really diverse. There is a new artist called Raury, his Indigo Child mixtape is always on repeat. An Australian artist called George Maple, too; she has a track with What So Not called ‘Gemini’ which is awesome. Then I love listening to Hip Hop & Grime to hype me up. I also have so much love for the dance scene as it is where the roots of my presenting career started. I am playing loads of music from OWSLA (Skrillex’s label) and Stripes Records in my sets right now and their music is awesome for hitting the gym too.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Travelling. I love going away whenever I can. I just got back from SXSW in Texas and WMC in Miami. Visiting other parts of the world, especially foreign music festivals, always makes me come back to the UK with a clear vision and fresh perspective. I spent New Years Eve in New York this year with some of my closest mates and came home thinking I could achieve anything. The first few months of this year have been pretty special.
Complete this statement: I feel most powerful when wearing____ My DJ headphones.
What social or political issues matter most to you?
I think that gender balance is a really important thing right now. The delicate balance of male and female energy in the world is being overlooked. I recently wrote a feature for the Huffington Post about how male dominated the music industry is and how, as women, we need to be brave enough to stand up and help to change it. If there were more women in power, I believe the world would be a much more peaceful place to live. This isn’t down to the guys either; it’s down to us. There is an incredible movement in the dance scene called Nap Girls that I am lucky enough to be part of. It’s mainly in America at the moment but it is a brilliant support network of women who believe that things can be different.