Nicola Hogg Busking at Wembley Park. Photo by Gary W Smith.

From Gigs to Glastonbury

16 May 2017

Gigs helped me carve out a career in music

We’re catching up with some of Gigs’ past winners. Nicola Hogg won the Gigs song-writing award sponsored by PRS for music in 2016. She explains how it’s helped her become a full-time musician…

Why did you decide to give Gigs a go?

Because it's a great opportunity! I entered Gigs last year at the age of 25. I had been working on my music and been involved with gigs on the managerial side for a few years this was my last year to enter, I did and I won the songwriting award!

What does the competition give to people who enter?

I believe Gigs is a great way to grow and develop as a musician. Just like the 10,000 hours theory, the more you practise, consciously… the better you get. Performance is a great way to build confidence as a person, so Gigs isn’t just for hard focused musicians who see this as a career route but something the young people of London should be involved in. It’s fun, exciting and you’ll learn loads about YOU.

Can you tell us about your work with Gigs?

As I’ve been working with Gigs as an event manager for the last three years, I’ve had the chance to watch others develop. It’s also helped me meet lots of interesting people. Gigs can open the door to so many opportunities; it has done for me and many other talented musicians.

This platform helps build confidence and skills in the most amazing art in the world. Remember even in the heart of the concrete jungle there’s song!

What are you doing now?

I’m now a full time musician. I’ve gone from leaving university, to working random part-time jobs to doing music full time. It’s hard as an independent, unsigned and unfunded musician to get on to the next level. It’s not talent and drive that separates the levels; its connections & money. Gigs transcend these barriers and opens doors, Gigs helps level out the playing field in the music industry and that’s something London, The Mayor and the Gigs team should be proud of!

What did Gigs do for you?

As I said I’m a full time musician. Gigs is a platform that provides opportunities to enable development for up and coming musicians. Through Gigs I also got a licence to busk on London Underground, this has massively helped me hone my craft, build my stamina and become more confident.

I’m now releasing my music and I’m playing at Glastonbury this year through winning the Gigs songwriting prize.

I also had the pleasure of joining the other Gigs song- writing finalists for a day with three multi-million selling songwriters. It was great day and I learned a lot. We spent the day at the Umbrella Rooms in the heart of London- great place! It was awesome to spend the time and gain the knowledge. Normally you have to pay for that stuff. This was free. Take advantage

This competition is about learning & developing.  It’s not just about the prize. It’s about what you get from the whole process. It becomes a lifestyle. People are living and breathing their music… awesome!

Can you tell us about the Busk in London Gigs Academy day at Wembley Park?

I can guarantee it will be a great event for anyone starting out in music. You’ll have lots of fun, learn essential first hand industry knowledge and you will leave inspired.  These types of opportunities don’t come around often and certainly not at this price- It is in fact priceless! So sign up!

Busk in London Sessions - Nicola Hogg

Here's Nicola playing on the Gibson bus at the 2016 Busk in London Festival Track: Swim Deep by Nicola Hogg