Working with The Mentors has been incredibly affirmative. It’s basically having a chat with people you respect who are deeply rooted in the music industry and who want to support you, enable you and give you confidence to move forwards and continue to grow as an artist.
The mentor sessions have been super useful for me to further progress my career looking at the business side of things from organising gigs and tours to planning and structuring my career. Terry is great to chat to and she has a wealth of experience and knowledge that is really valuable. Thank you so much! It is great to have someone in the industry there to guide and listen.
The 6 sessions I have had the pleasure of undertaking with Terry O'Brien have opened my mind to significant opportunities and taught me new techniques that I am certain will assist the furthering of my career with Ollie West & The Wildflowers. Whilst applications are still open, I couldn't recommend it enough to emerging artists of any genre who are looking to increase their knowledge base working within the industry and getting your music heard.
The mentorship sessions I had with Terry gave me a much-needed objective look at my career. My initial call was like a lightning bolt — painful yet illuminating! It allowed me to properly assess where my weaknesses were in my career and where I had plateaued. From there we worked out a concrete project for the next two years of my career. It feels like the first time in a long time that I know where I’m headed.
The Mentoring Process with Terry completely surpassed my expectations in every way. I have been informed, challenged, inspired and had my questions answered in a thorough, professional, friendly manner. Terry helped me find answers to questions I didn't know how to phrase, problems I wasn't sure how to address or even in some cases areas for improvement that I had glossed over. Terry maintained a positive, encouraging atmosphere and the meetings were exciting and informative to attend in equal measure. I would recommend the process to anyone.
Jack Wilkinson, The People Versus
Terry’s help has been absolutely invaluable to us. She spotted what was holding us back quickly, gave us some insight and set us tasks to help us think about focussed points and get on track with moving forward. For every question she asked us, we not only worked on those but felt inspired to ask many more so, without her, we feel we’d be much further behind. A lot of progress has been made in a very short time! We now have goals and focus and we’ve been inspired to really work hard during this quiet period on areas that we actually can improve whilst we have no gigs, in the hope we can come out the other side a little stronger. Thank you Terry!
Polly Keyton and David Owen, False Colours
Being mentored on the scheme was an excellent opportunity to get specific advice on working in the music industry. I'm an artist and I tend to think like one, so Terry's advice really opened my eyes to a more effective way of dealing with the business side of things. She showed me very clearly what I should be doing to come across more professionally when approaching potential bookers and helped me focus on how my band's plans should be advancing our career.
We are incredibly thankful for The Mentors initiative, as the guidance that we have received has been invaluable for our band. It feels so empowering to start the new year with a clear, well-formulated album release plan, and a professional biography and ‘tech spec’ to aid us with promotion and tour booking at a grass-route level. After the 5 sessions that we had with Craig Wylie and Terry O’Brien, we now feel more confident with approaching people within the music industry; armed with what to expect of ourselves and those we wish to work with. These are things which we could not have achieved without the guidance of our mentors. We have unending gratitude to Terry O’Brien for pioneering this programme, and for the hard work that her team has put in to aid bands like ours through what has been a very tough year for everyone. Long live The Mentors!
Long For The Coast
Having mentoring sessions with Terry really helped us regain our focus and motivation which was extremely useful during a time when it's easy to feel uninspired and pessimistic. She brought an experienced and knowledgeable outside perspective when looking at many aspects of the band and our way of working. Having not had much formal guidance before, it was invaluable to have direct feedback and ideas from an industry professional. It was so useful to be told what we could be doing better, and what we could be aiming for, but also encouraging to be told what we've been doing right too! Having guidance on a 2-year plan has also given us longer-term targets and goals to work towards. We're going into 2021 feeling much more positive and well-equipped to deal with whatever might come up, and are immensely grateful to The Mentors and Arts Council England for this great opportunity.
It was a genuine pleasure to connect with The Mentors. They have a warm everyday approach, much like talking to a family member who is a true listener & has empathy for what you are trying to convey. Couple that with a firm but authentic evaluation of your current career trajectory & mistakes you are potentially creating, either in something as general as an email introduction to promoters and venues or fine-tuning what you are trying to convey as an artist. I’m the first to admit that as an artist I tend to be rather florid and pay way too much attention to a range of subjects. The Mentors go direct to the source of your challenges and, if you are prepared for the truth, in their particular translation, then you’ll not be disappointed.
Shaun Hunter, Captain Of The Lost Waves
Our sessions with Craig have been so, so useful. Totally transformed the way we’d been thinking about our UK return and 2021/2022. We learnt loads, and really valued Craig really going into such helpful detail.
The Mentors programme has helped me better understand myself and my industry to such an extent that my plans as an artist have now completely changed; I have a new-found focus, direction and confidence in my future and the beginnings of a release schedule and tour plan for the next 1-2 years. Over the course of five in-depth sessions my mentors and I analysed key opportunities and threats to my career and my personal strengths and weaknesses as an artist/entrepreneur. We collated my information into useful documents ready to send to industry and venues. I’m excited for the future for the first time in a long time and feel more certain about my place in the industry. Thank you Terry and Craig for your help!
Being included in The Mentors’ scheme was one of the absolute highlights of my 2020. In the midst of a lot of stress and heart and wallet ache getting the first email from Terry and talking to her every week for a few weeks cheered me up so much. I’d been working hard for many years on my solo song writing career and, having focussed a lot on live gigs, losing all that work and income in March 2020 was a devastating blow. Following that I was ill with Covid for nearly two months and by the middle of the summer I’d become disconnected with my career and was scrambling to make up the lost money from gigs so much I felt I didn’t have time or mental energy to work on my music or on moving my career forwards. Terry’s knowledgeable advice and encouragement was incredibly helpful to me. Having self-managed for a long time the opportunity to actually talk to someone who knows about managing an artist was amazing. Her ideas and guidance I feel have redirected me in a very useful way. Feeling listened to and acknowledged was of great benefit to my mental well-being as it was a very difficult time to feel positive as an artist. It was lovely to have the experience of some forward momentum while it all seemed a bit pointless. I am very grateful to have been included on this scheme and to everyone involved in bringing it to life. I can’t speak highly enough of The Mentors.
As a young musician about to leave university, I have found my mentoring sessions invaluable. There is a deluge of low-quality information about the music industry online, a lot of which can be misleading or just totally wrong! Having honest, frank and helpful conversations about my career has given me more confidence and helped me to form a plan for the upcoming year.
Jamie Stewart, Quiet Houses
Being mentored was an intense and exciting process. Terry covered a lot of gaps in my knowledge and gave me loads of clarification over how to launch an album and position a tour to promote it and how to add in the release of singles to the timeline to build interest in the album, before it is released.
The Mentors scheme is a brilliant concept. It was totally liberating to have the opportunity to ask honest questions in a supportive, constructive environment and receive honest answers; the kind of feedback and input that can really lead to meaningful, transformative career development. I feel much better prepared to maximise the potential of my next album release and am looking forward to it with a sense of purpose that had no doubt taken a knock during the pandemic. Can’t recommend this enough!
Working with Terry as part of The Mentors scheme has been an exciting and extremely productive journey for our project. Thanks to the input we’ve received, we are now in the process of applying for our first Arts Council England grant, talking to national level organisations about partnerships and having conversations that go deep into the heart of our artistic vision. I would thoroughly recommend the scheme to anyone working in the folk world whether you feel as though you could do with advice or not - the conversations we’ve had have been invaluable and will shape our career for years to come.
Alex Garden, The Drystones
What can I say? I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have worked with my mentors over this time and had the benefit of all their experience and professional advice. It’s been a truly beneficial and enjoyable experience. Thank you.