From my early years in France I would create drum kits out of pots and pans and everything I could lay my hands on. We had modest means at home, so, it wasn’t until age 17 that we could afford to buy a real drum kit.
School was never my thing. I was a dreamer, I was a drummer. My head in the clouds, imagining a different and better life than the one school had planned for me.
I was determined to make a career in music. So, aged 21 I left my French village and moved to London. The only few words of English I knew were those I could remember from the record sleeves I had.
London in 1979 was grey and seemed unwelcoming but it was alive with music. The music scene was buoyant, it was a dream come true. I auditioned, joined bands and turned professional by the mid 80s, working with different artists in the UK, then in Europe. I also started teaching and discovered a gift and a passion for sharing knowledge and helping others reach their goals.
I was amazed that the UK, the home of rock music, had no proper facility where you could study rock music. Just stuffy old classical and jazz establishments which looked down on rock music and musicians. I had a serious grudge to bear against those who refused to give others a fair chance. Probably fuelled by my difficult early years in French schools.
So, to redress what I saw as a great injustice, undeterred by the prejudice I encountered, I set up what became the first rock music college.
Based in West London, its aim was to serve the music community and provide access to quality music education for deserving and talented musicians.
I developed a unique curriculum and methodology and with the help of my team, we partnered with universities, established the first degree in rock music, and led the way in contemporary music education for the next 27 years.
By 2000, Tech Music Schools was the largest and most prestigious rock music college in Europe. Listed in the top 5 schools in the world, we employed over 130 staff and taught 1000s of students from 50 different countries, many of whom became international artists in their own right.
By 2010 though, the industry had changed beyond recognition and red tape was stifling creativity and innovation. I felt we could no longer fulfill our mission. It was time to move on. And so, after 27 years of leading this amazing and successful venture, I sold Tech Music Schools to Sovereign Capital, a private equity group who incorporated it into the recently acquired BIMM Group.
The time that followed was very difficult and I was faced with what seemed a huge challenge. What would I do and where would I go next?
I wanted and needed to find a new purpose and mission in my life. One that would be fulfilling and which would let me carry on contributing to society. My strengths were in entrepreneurship, in understanding the creative industries, in sharing my expertise and enabling others to succeed, and of course, in music.
It was while working for University College London, where I was mentoring entrepreneurs and businesses, that I became fully aware of the added value I could bring to the field of entrepreneurship and more specifically to the creative industries.
Helping entrepreneurs go further, transform their businesses and careers, push them to dream bigger and achieve new goals became my mission.
To this day, enabling others to succeed remains my passion.
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