BMC 2018

11 ways to succeed in electronic music

We were at the Brighton Music Conference to learn the top tips from some of electronic music’s leading females on succeeding in clubland…

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 15 Apr 2016
  • min read
The Brighton Music Conference (BMC), now in its third year, is rapidly becoming the UK's go-to event for the electronic music industry to discover the latest trends and topics impacting the sector.

Taking place 14 - 15 April, the event’s focus was split between new technologies and discussion with more than 60 panel debates, workshops and live Q&A’s.

We were on hand at the Woman In Music Q&A to find out from some of the industry’s leading females on how to succeed in the world of dance music.

Led by Lucy Blair (director, Motive Unknown), the panel featured Ayah Marar (singer), Charlotte Cijffers (DJ Mag, Digital and news editor), Katy Ellis (manager, Norman Cook), Lauren Lo Sung and Sarah Cole (Supercharged Events Ltd & AEI Live). Check out their top tips below…

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself

Charlotte Cijffers (CC) - You need to be able to promote yourself. Don’t be afraid of it as no one else is going to do it for you. It’s not about fire hosing people with everything you do. But it is about being able to stand up and shout about your work. If it’s great, then you should let people know about it.

Surround yourself with creative people

Ayah Marar (AM) - It’s important to have a team around you. I started out on my own but have built a team around me. I wasn’t aware of the business side of things to beg with. It’s now important to know about this - so the best thing for me has been finding the best team.

Get experience wherever you can…

Katy Ellis (KE) - It’s always good to get knowledge of different areas of the music industry. Until you get into it you won’t have experience or know where you want to end up working. I now work in management but learning different areas was the right progression for me to become an effective manager. Realising this can only come with time.

Be passionate

KE - If you’ve got an idea that you really believe in, then other people will believe in it too.

Work out what’s right for you

Sarah Cole (SC) - Music and how we deliver it is constantly changing. I’ve learned that I know where my strengths and best relationships are. I surround myself with a good network and make sure I make connections with the right people in the industry. Trust your instinct. Go with your gut. You make mistakes, then you learn.

Be nice to people

Lauren Lo Sung (LLS) - Always be nice to people and if you come across people who aren’t so nice, then you block them on Facebook! Facebook has been great for me. You don’t want to bombard people but social media has played a massive part in networking. You do need the talent to back that up and have a bit of flair on social media too. Make yourself be different to everyone else. Let your tastes guide you and you’ll do well.

Keep music (and business) fun

KE - Everything you’re doing has to be enjoyable and fun. Business comes later. If you have a vibe at the beginning, then everything else follows.

At the same time, remember to push yourself

SC - Sometimes you can get comfortable. Don’t have too much fun – keep pushing harder as you can get caught up in the social side of it. It is a career – you need to remember to work hard and play hard.

Give yourself time to reflect and grow

AM - Whatever you’re doing, know what is going around you. Step back sometimes from what you’re doing and reflect on what’s going on in the wider industry. That’s what I would have done differently if I could do it again.

Start doing what you want to do whether you’re being paid or not

KE - If you’re not doing what you want to do, start doing it. I looked through 200 CVs for a position. We invited six people to interview and one guy just because he was already loosely doing what we wanted him to do for us. Any basic knowledge level and passion can show. Keep pestering the companies that you want to be part of. Most of the time these companies don’t know what they want, when they want.

Use social media wisely

LLS - As an artist, post music and mixes up on SoundCloud and Mixcloud and build your followers up. I went to Ibiza for a year and did a season, used to play in bars for the first hour of a night. Put everything you do online, post mixes, make USBs and CDs and give them out to clubs who play your music.

You should try and do as much as possible. Everything you do will get you noticed and help propel you forward.

Please visit for more information on the event and look out for more BMC news on M.