Youth blogger, Vidisha Bansal, shares her experience of the Roundhouse Young Creatives programme, and meets other young creatives who’ve also used the facilities.
Who have I seen live at the Roundhouse? Kodaline, Ella Eyre, Ellie Goulding, Django Django, Ben Howard, Take That, Carrie Underwood, the iTunes / Apple Music Festival three years in a row… and a lot more.
But more importantly, what have I learnt at the Roundhouse? Radio broadcasting, blogging, producing, recording, technology, filmmaking, photography, carnival performance, DJ-ing, festival production, photoshop, business and event production – I’ve even tried spoken word!
And the latter is what makes the Roundhouse, the Roundhouse; the fact that it can give one person so much in such a short space of time. I’ve been in and around the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios for a year and a half now and I’ve noticed that people come for different reasons; some look at it as a place to build a career and for others, it’s a good alternative to the school or home environment.
The Studios celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016, and it’s overwhelming to think how many young lives have been transformed. I asked some people how the Roundhouse had changed their paths – not only career wise, but also personally:
“The Roundhouse really opened the door for me, allowing me to tap in to the incredible network of talented young creatives. It also helped boost my confidence and get me into a productive and supportive creative space. I had just dropped out of University, and was just messing around, but by the time I finished the Wax Lyrical course I felt like a whole new person! It made me feel better about my life choices, making it clear that I was not the only person struggling to find a direction” – Jethro Jenkins, Emerging Artist Member, part of Wax Lyrical 2014
“Roundhouse has laid the perfect foundation to help me excel in my craft and earn a living doing what I love. The staff have been really helpful in providing me with excellent opportunities that have helped me grow as an engineer. If Roundhouse had not been in my life, I would have been doing a job not fully aligned with my vision.” – AJ Patil, EMI Studio Sound Engineer
“The Roundhouse Studios have given me a place to be myself, a place to express and do what I love. It has been a journey of support, happiness and, of course, music. Roundhouse Studios will always have a place in my heart and be a massive part of my journey as an artist” – Sophie Lonsdale Ross, Emerging Artist Member, part of OnTrack 2015
“The Studios provide so many fantastic opportunities in the professional arts industries to young people from all backgrounds and it’s definitely helped my career progression. Doing the first Young Festival Producers course at the Roundhouse allowed me to be mentored by some amazing teams I had admired and followed for years. I got the opportunity to work in a production team at Glastonbury without having a huge amount of relevant experience, but I did have a whole lot of passion! It’s this passion that is recognised by the studios and the wonderful staff there, who give you the right stepping stones to the professional arts world. I now have my dream job!” – Heather-Kate Garrett, Creative Production Assistant, was on Bestival – Festival Production course 2014
For me personally, I started at the Roundhouse when I was 17 after having to leave school early due to illness. But in the last year and a half, I have started my own live music company, blog, radio show, and digital media platform, and even finished my A-levels with the Roundhouse’s support. Not only does Roundhouse talent always perform at my events, but the Roundhouse staff always come down to each event too, and that’s what makes the Roundhouse special. And now at 19 I am in the process or organising my own gig at the Roundhouse!
It’s a safe place to grow, to experiment, to make mistakes, to fix yourself – or in better words, to realise you aren’t as broken as you thought your were before you came here.
Once you start at the Roundhouse, you never really leave and you never run out of things to do, you just move on to the next level!