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Having a love of music, particularly live music has been key to our work in the entertainment and performing industry. There’s nothing more exciting than playing to an audience and sharing in the experience together.

My training has been a combination of the discipline of learning, practicing and mastering of instruments, proved by the highest grade qualifications. This added to the experience and enjoyment that I receive from playing in addition to my business sense which directs me on how to operate in this particular industry and market.

My favourite part of performing in the events industry is working with other like-minded people, musicians and non-musicians alike. There are those on the inside of the industry working hard to make memorable and exciting events with a high level of professionalism. There are also a lot of guests there seeking to have the best time. It’s great to be a part of the event service that provides and creates unforgettable experiences.

If I had to advise anyone wanting to enter my line of work, I would recommend doing your homework beforehand. Focus your energy on what you’re best at and receive the most pleasure from. Do not be afraid of diversity and taking chances, manage the risks you have to take instead, and give it your all.

My best event for Contraband was when we worked at a great event in February this year, “A Night of Sparkle”, it was hosted by 15 mentees from the Fast Forward 15 programme. Fay Sharpe, the founder of FF15 had set the task to the mentees and they did a first class job of creating the event from scratch. It was an absolute pleasure for Brand New Groove to be there providing live music. We met the existing and new talent of the events industry, the future’s certainly bright (and sparkly!)

The inspiration actually came from playing in other bands. These were smaller outfits, with fewer musicians than Brand New Groove and catered for a slightly different market. Brand New Groove was formed to provide a bigger sound, to bigger venues for bigger events.

It is so hard to pick just one entertainer I admire the most. Over the years we have all worked, either together, or on other projects where we have met fantastic people and acts. Being with Contraband is a great way for that to continue, meeting only the best, across the board. We always like meeting friendly and professional people, able to have fun and to deliver. Those are the people we admire the most!

Many of the musicians with Brand New Groove also work as teachers, passing on their skills, knowledge and experience to others – sharing the love! A lot of events work is at evenings and weekends; sometimes it can feel like we’re working 24/7 but then with teachers having good long holidays, that’s the time to make more space for ourselves and some relaxation. There are many types of work that fall outside of working full time with a nine to five routine, which is a good thing we are happy to be a part of.

Sometimes, it can take a long time to travel a short distance! You just never know what’s going to happen on the roads. If we are at an event which is a long way from home, it would be ideal if we were able to teleport to the gig and home again (with our instruments, of course) to avoid some of the time spent sitting on motorways. Hey, c’est le vie.

My plans for the future are to keep on, keepin’ on! Playing at great events is our raison d’etre and we want more and more of that. We’re always learning new numbers to play, both from the archives and new material, fresh from best-selling artists. We are continuing to listen to our colleagues and our audiences, making sure we are delivering what is required each time.