In a world where there are 124 million premium subscribers on Spotify, daily popular radio shows and unique art found in every street corner of London, why is there such a huge fear of taking part in it? Is it the percentages of bands that make it to the big time, or the worry that your art won’t be featured in a famous museum one day? Or could it be the unspoken academic strain circulating around schools that prevent many young people from trying out the possibility of careers under the media umbrella, due to the risk of professional failure or not earning a high paying job?
After interviewing Charlie Jones, a 19-year-old singer/songwriter, it became clear that the fear of pursuing a media-related career rooted from the academic advice given to him within higher education:
Were you always encouraged by your high school to pursue your chosen degree or course?
“No. My school encouraged everyone to go to university and mostly to carry out more academic subjects. For me, it felt like I wasn’t being taken as seriously as the students who wanted to do medicine or law etc. Initially, I felt pressured to take upon the course of Sociology just to comply with my educational system but was extremely unhappy… until I last minute decided to switch to a songwriting course through UCAS extra.”
Similarly, 18-year-old art foundation student Mominah Aslam felt that her economical and educational background disheartened her choices of applying to certain universities:
Do you have any worries about your degree choice?
“Definitely, I purposefully chose the course which I saw as having the most career opportunities even though my true passion is in fine art; I think subjects like those are for richer people who have less to lose if they don’t get a good job, but as someone from a working-class background I didn’t have that luxury and had to choose between my own desires and employability. Even with what I chose, I fear I might not be able to get a job that pays as well as a science subject would, since the field is so saturated.”
However, it’s evident that it is more than possible to strive in the media and art business as a young person. Harry Diffey, an 18-year-old sound design and production apprentice working for Europe’s largest radio company Global in Leicester square, expresses how:
“I formerly went to a grammar school that didn’t give me the opportunity to explore the productional side of music, as art subjects in schools tend to solely teach the traditional side of it. The industry I eventually got into, despite being incredibly competitive, is not always about talent. It’s all about personality, perseverance and creativity that make you stand out from the rest.”
That being said, it is highly attainable to overcome the struggle of your media-related passions being oppressed and overlooked. Both Mominah Aslam and Charlie Jones have also obtained fantastic achievements and opportunities since starting their degrees; with Mominah being able to travel abroad to diverse cities such as Amsterdam to develop her talented artistic eye, as well as Charlie now having two widely hit songs on Spotify, which you can check out by searching ‘Charles AL Jones’.
So, if you’re an aspiring artist yourself, what’s stopping you from putting all your creative and original thoughts out into the world? There’s no better way to connect with millions of others whilst expressing yourself through music, art and radio nowadays. If you’re inspired and passionate enough, fear should drive you forward, not hold you back.