Colin Barlow Managing Director of RCA Records (Sony) - Music Business & Entrepreneurship

Colin Barlow "I started out my career as a talent scout and A&R man and that is what I remain to this day - supporting my artists in making the best possible record by knowing which songwriters, producers and creatives to involve in each project" says Colin Barlow, Managing Director of RCA Records at Sony Music.  

Barlow was just 17 years old when he took his first job as a talent scout for CBS records scoring his first ever hit single with Owen Paul's "You're my favourite waste of time". He was swiftly poached by Warner Music where his A&R skills took Aztec Camera's "Love" album platinum. In 1990 he set up Wildcard Records signing The Lighthouse Family, while also working for Polygram music publishing providing A&R for Dinah Carrol and East 17. He joined Polydor in 1992 where he continued to work with the Lighthouse Family while plotting the meteoric rise of pop sensations Boyzone and Girls Aloud. In 1997 he was promoted to Joint Managing Director of Polydor, leading the company through the most successful period in its history, working with The Kaiser Chiefs, The Scissor Sisters, Snow Patrol, James Morrison, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Klaxons, Elbow, Kate Nash, Daniel Bedingfield, Ms Dynamite, Ronan Keating,  Take That, Eminem, Pussy Cat Dolls, Dr Drake and Queens of the Stone Age. In 2009 Barlow moved to Geffen signing The Wanted, 5 Dangerfield, The Saturdays and Shirley Bassey.

Colin Barlow joined Sony Music as Managing Director of RCA Records in 2012. Since then RCA has released David Bowie's first no 1 album in 10 years, as well as growing the careers of a swathe of new talent such as Paloma Faith, Kodaline and 2013 Mercury prize nominee, Laura Mvula.

Alastair Moore UCL - Technology & Innovation

Alastair Moore Alastair supports start-up activity and SME engagement across UCL with particular focus on mobile and digital enterprise. He is an entrepreneur and research scientist with an interest in vision, optimization, mobile and innovation.

Currently a co-founder &/or board member of several companies including We Are Pop Up and UCL spinout Satalia Inc. Alastair sits on the Special Group for Entrepreneurship for the British Computer Society, the Operations Board of IDEALondon.

He mentors at the Wayra Academy and Springboard (now Techstars London). He is programme director of UCL DECIDE and founder of The Mobile Academy – a joint programme delivered with Mobile Monday London.

At MET Music Academy events, UCL DECIDE will host workshops with a focus on emerging digital markets and particularly on music and collaborative creation content models - with discussions about emerging ways to create and share music.  Attendees need no previous knowledge of business modelling and the workshop will be based on practical examples. 

Chris Cooke Co-founder of CMU - Music Business & Entrepreneurship

Chris Cooke Chris Cooke is the trainer of the music industry, co-founder and Business Editor of CMU The daily news letter for the music industry.

A leading expert on the sector, Chris has written about the music business daily for over ten years, most notably for the BBC.

Chris runs a series of in-depth courses for music business professionals, as well as providing bespoke training and consultancy for music companies, and companies working with music. Through CMU Insights, Chris also programmes the conference side of The Great Escape, Europe’s leading festival for new music and the UK’s premiere music business event.

He heads up the UnLimited Creative media services agency which has provided content and publishing expertise to brands like Orange, Sony VAIO, Sony PlayStation, Tiger Beer, the Virgin Group, Clear Channel Radio, the Evening Standard, the Mail On Sunday and numerous innovative start-ups and leading SMEs.

Ash Soan Drums - Musical Excellence

Ash Soan Ash has many credits both live and recording. Some Recording credits include: Adele, Seal, Cee Lo Green, Cher, Robbie Williams, Celine Dion, James Morrison, Will Young, Nelly Furtado, Enrique Iglesias, Birdy, Leona Lewis, Ronan Keating, Mark Owen, Olly Murs, Eliza Doolittle, The Wanted and Billy Idol.

Some Live credits include: Will Young, Robbie Williams, James Morrison, Mark Owen, Belinda Carlisle, Marianne Faithfull, Sinead O'Connor, Del Amitri, Squeeze, Faithless, Natasha Bedingfield, Lisa Stansfield, Rick Wakeman and Mike Oldfield (Olympic Opening show).

Ash will be the house drummer on the upcoming 2014 BBC series of The Voice.

Kipper Producer - Musical Excellence

KipperKipper is a Grammy and Emmy winning producer and musician, best known for producing and performing on Sting’s biggest selling solo album Brand New Day as well as the platinum albums All This Time and Sacred Love. His passion for music was fired by being given a guitar at the age of seven and within a week was playing Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”.

The albums he has produced have sold more than 15 million copies, and Kipper has gone on to work with Stevie Wonder, James Morrison, Mary J Blige, James Taylor, Richard Marx, Clay Aiken and Chris Botti.

Fred Bolza Vice President Creative Group (Sony) - Technology & Innovation

Fred BolzaFred is responsible for the development of Sony Music’s strategy in the UK and runs an in-house marketing agency which helps labels connect artists with the widest possible audiences by offering planning, insight, partnership, digital and creative services.

He’s also responsible for running a small incubator that creates strategic partnerships with selected start-ups. Previously, Fred worked as a strategist at PRS For Music and as a management consultant advising ISPs, mobile operators and media companies. He currently DJs a monthly jazz night, writes about obscure records and used to be in Canadian garage punk “sensations” The Cryptics.

Francis Seriau, Hon DPhil, FRSA, Founder, Educator, Musician - Music Business & Entrepreneurship

Francis SeriauAcclaimed Educator, Music Entrepreneur and Musician, Francis Seriau is an authority in his field.

Francis has pioneered and led work in music education since 1983 and helped provide the crucial bridge between vocational music training, academia and the music industry. He founded the first contemporary music school in the UK, the world-renowned Tech Music Schools, starting with Drumtech in 1983 followed later by Basstech, Vocaltech, Keyboardtech and Guitar-X.

David Housden Composer - Technology & Innovation

David Housden David Housden is an award winning, BAFTA nominated composer from Suffolk, creating immersive and memorable music for visual media. Since graduating from university with a BA in Music Production and a 1st in Composition, he has gone on to work on a multitude of titles including Mike Bithell's BAFTA award winning Thomas Was Alone, for which he has been the recipient of countless plaudits and award nominations, including the 2013 BAFTA for Best Original Score. In addition to this he's worked on titles for powerhouse studios such as Sony and Microsoft, as well as scoring Jonathan Ross' first foray into the games industry 'Catcha Catcha Aliens', narrated by Stephen Fry. He also worked as composer and audio lead on the BAFTA winning Facebook game 'Monstermind', developed by Bossa studios. This was but the first of many projects between the two parties.

Housden is currently working on his first feature film and the highly anticipated follow up to Thomas Was Alone - 'Volume', which will be released for PS4 in late 2014/early 2015. He's also signed to New York based publishers 'Search The Music' and 'Mibe Music', and European library 'Track & Fields'. In between projects he writes bespoke cues for their vast list of clientele including Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, Paramount, Fox, MTV, HBO, ABC and VH1.

Delivering sophisticated scores with exceptional production value, Housden is widely renowned as one of the industry’s most promising young talents.

Deewaan Producer - Musical Excellence

Deewaan Musician and entrepreneur Deewaan is songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. Deewaan’s credits include Lady Gaga, Sly & Robbie, Bounty Killer & Vybz Kartel. He has recently finished his own debut single, which is co-produced with legendary production duo, Sly & Robbie.

Deewaan graduated in Computer Science & Business from the University of Birmingham and has served as a business strategist with Accenture Consulting Services. He combines his passions for music and technology with a solid understanding of the business when producing projects.

John Broomhall Independent Music and Audio Creative - Technology & Innovation

John BroomhallJohn Broomhall is a multi-faceted independent music and audio creative with many years' experience in both the music and videogames industries, a number of senior in-house and outsourced management roles under his belt and dozens of published titles to his credit. He is a composer/producer, audio director/consultant, sound effects designer and voice director as well as a highly accomplished live and studio session keyboard player, bass & drums programmer, composer, producer and songwriter (published by Allied Songwriters/Notting Hill Music).

His prolific career, which also includes working as a game development manager, encompasses contributions to global hits such as the original X-COM series (composer); Chris Sawyer's Transport Tycoon series (composer); Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series; MechWarrior 3; B17 Flying Fortress 1 & 2; Superman, American Idol/Pop Idol, Football Manager, Wallace & Gromit (DVD game), New International Track & Field, Heavenly Sword, Guitar Hero DLC, and Forza 4 (Jeremy Clarkson speech recording).

Laurence Cottle Bass - Musical Excellence

Laurence CottleLaurence Cottle is remarkable musician with an International reputation whos stunning technique is featured on innumerable recording sessions. He has recorded 3 albums under his own name and continues to tour with his Big Band. The bass player with Bill Bruford's "Earthworks" and Pee Wee Ellis's "Funk Assembly" and a regular part of Ronnie Scott's "All stars" his jazz credentials are impeccable.

In the classical world Laurence has performed and recorded with James Galway, Karl Jenkins, Marc Anthony Turnage and Django Bates. Playing concerts as featured soloist with LSO, RPO, Rundfunkchor Berlin, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, Ensemble Moderne, etc.

In a remarkable and varied career defined by his innate versatility Laurence Cottle has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in entertainment across a myriad of musical styles. The bassist of choice for many, Laurence has played with Seal, Eric Clapton, Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, Brian Eno, The Bee Gees, Mike Oldfield and Procul Harem.

He has appeared on film soundtracks to Cavatina, Lethal Weapon, Crossroads and contributed original music to television including Friends, Kavanagh QC, Matlock, All My Children, Big Brother, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Entertainment Tonight, Cybil and Emmerdale.

Jo Thompson Vocals - Musical Excellence

Jo Thompson

Jo Thompson is a leading international singing and voice coach with over 25 years’ experience in the music industry. She has also worked extensively in TV and film.  

Some of Jo's star students include James Morrison, John Newman, Craig David, Paloma Faith, Elly Goulding, Elly Jackson (La Roux) The Overtones.  

Jo works closely with artists, preparing them for recording, for the rigours of live work and touring and for a successful career. She wants artists to be confident and able to completely rely on their voices at all times.   She helps develop young artists and believes in achieving the highest possible standards both in singing and performance.  

Jo is the author of Find Your Voice, a best-selling, self-help vocal tutor.

Jon Shone Musical Director - Musical Excellence

Jon ShoneAfter leaving University, Jon began his career as a Piano Teacher in North London. In 2008, Jon decided he wanted to move on and within 5 years has built his career to become known as one of the major Musical Directors in the industry. Currently, he is looking after all aspects of live music for the world’s biggest boy band, One Direction.

To date Jon has worked with Katy Perry, Marina and the Diamonds, TaioCruz, X-Factor, Bryan Adams, JessicaMauboy, Olly Murs, Ndubz, Pixie Lott andTulisa, to name a few. His Arranging, performances and recordings can be seen and heard on iTunes, concert DVD's and on the last 4 years of Radio 1’s Best of Live Lounge albums.

Spending the last 2 years with One Direction, 2013 saw Jon's biggest project to date. Musically Directing and playing Keyboards for a huge 9 month world tour, visiting 134 arenas over 5 continents. Along side this, filming and arranging music for the 1D 3D Movie which was released in August. 2014 is set to challenge Jon again, with a 10 month world stadium tour.

Julien Brown Drums - Musical Excellence

Julien Brown Julien Brown has established himself as one of the UK’s most talented and sought after drummers. His eclectic style, ranging from R&B to Jazz, from Rock to Gospel is inspiring, evocative and bursting energy. His feel can be described in a variety of ways: Powerful, accurate and groove-based. Always in demand, Julien is often first point of call for some of the most successful MD’s and Tour/Production managers in the country, who rely on his versatility to play alongside the biggest names in popular music today. Julien CV boasts an enviable list of some of the UK’s finest, as well as some US mega stars including Lady Gaga, Massive Attack, Westlife, Alfie Boe, Laura Mvula and Kylie Minogue.

Paul Turner Bass - Musical Excellence

Paul TurnerPaul has been the bassist and co-writer in Jamiroquai since early 2005. He has toured extensively with Annie Lennox including performances at Live 8 and recording for the Olympics.

Other recording and touring credits include Bryan Ferry, Tom Jones, Tina Turner, George Michael, Omar, Mica Paris, Lamont Dozier, Jeff Lorber and many other soul, jazz and pop artistes. Paul side projects ‘Shuffler’ and ‘The Dark Sinantra's’.

Louise Clare Marshall Vocals - Musical Excellence

Louise Clare Marshall Louise began her accomplished session singing career prior to joining The National Youth Choir of Great Britain in 1990, where she wrote several Gospel arrangements, many of which remain in circulation worldwide.

In 1992, Louise won a scholarship to The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and studied Piano with Joan Havill whilst learning her trade singing with function bands and session work.

Louise has worked with Beverley Knight, Michael Ball, Marti Pellow, Chris Difford, Robbie Williams, Bryan Ferry, Ronnie Wood, Van Morrison, Eric Stewart, Madeline Bell, Sheila Ferguson, Sam Brown, Russell Watson, Steve Winwood, Paul Young, Don Blackman, Solomon Burke, Karl Jenkins and John Rutter, to name but a few.

Michelle John Vocals - Musical Excellence

Michelle JohnMichelle John is a UK based vocalist who embarked on her career at the age of four. As a youngster, she was a member of the London Community Gospel Choir. In 2002, she was a finalist for Gospel Singer of the Year.

Michelle, as part of the group State of Mind, experienced chart success in 1998. Her list of studio credits are lengthy, working with on sessions for Michael McDonald, Nick Carter, Lulu, The Lighthouse Family, Richard Ashcroft, Ms. Dynamite and Samantha Mumba. She toured with David Gilmour in 2001 and Bryan Ferry / Roxy Music in 2003. Michelle has also worked extensively with Annie Lennox.

Michelle joined Eric Clapton’s band in 2004, and along with Sharon White, has become an integral part of Eric's recording and touring bands. Michelle has been along for all post-2004 tours.  She was also part of the Clapton / Winwood tours in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, once again went on the road as part of Eric Claptons band.

James Nisbett Musical Director - Musical Excellence

James NisbetJames is a guitarists, producer, musical director, composer and songwriter of notable worth. In constant demand as a session guitarist, both in the studio and on the road he has worked with artists including Kylie Minogue, Gary Barlow, Lily Allen, Rod Stewart and Joss Stone.

James has worked on commercials for some huge names including Mars, Citroen, Sainsburys, Nike and Santander.

Richard Cardwell Musical Director - Musical Excellence

Richard CardwellRichard Cardwell is an MD / Producer / Keyboard player who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry including Gary Barlow, Annie Lennox, James Morrison, Rob Stewart, Joe Cocker, Will Young and The Eurythmics.

Richard has a wealth of experience across many different platforms who can offer invaluable advice to budding musicians, producers, song writers and entrepreneurs.

Matthew Rock Founding Editor of Real Business - Music Business & Entrepreneurship

Matthew RockMatthew Rock is an entrepreneurial journalist, who was a founding editor of Real Business, the UK's first magazine for entrepreneurs. He reckons he's interviewed and met more entrepreneurs, over a 23-year career, than any other UK journalist. These include Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar, as well as many of the new generation of digital entrepreneurs. He runs an annual editorial project to identify the "Future 50" most disruptive new businesses in the UK. Aside from journalism, Matthew was a co-founder of Caspian Media, the business publishing and events company. He writes a regular column for the City AM newspaper about the changing world of business and work; and blogs at He is an ambassador for the British Library's Business & IP Centre, which provides free information and advice to anyone starting their own business. 

Useful links:

Owen Parker Song Writer & Composer - Musical Excellence

Owen Parker After nearly 20 years in the music industry Owen Parker has had number 1 records in the UK (and Croatia), played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury (with Billy Bragg) and been Grammy nominated (Pet Shop Boys)  His recording, writing and production credits include Girls Aloud, Gossip, Annie Lennox, James Morrison, Pet Shop Boys, and Robbie Williams. He co-wrote Simple Minds' recent Radio 2 A list track Broken Glass Park with Jim Kerr, and scored a number 2 hit with Amelia Lily's debut single in 2012. This year he's completed a 2 month jaunt around the States with Bragg, and performed Bohemian Rhapsody, in its entirety at the Albert Hall, with a gospel choir and Orchestra, on guitar. He has been Amy Macdonald's Hammond, lap steel and mandolin player, and is currently playing keyboards live for Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) and working on future releases for Robbie Williams and Simple Minds.

Stephen O’Reilly CMO at - Media & Branding

Stephen O’Reilly Stephen O'Reilly is currently CMO at - internet radio powered by the webs leading tastemakers. Stephen was previously the UK  head of the leading direct to fan platform Topspin Media and Head of Music and Sports at Mobile Roadie, the worlds leading mobile engagement platform. Stephen is also an artist manager working with London based rock band Red House Glory.

Carlos Hercules Drums - Musical Excellence

Carlos Hercules Carlos has been at the top of his game for more than 20 years now. He has been Beverley Knight’s drummer of choice for 12 years, which speaks volumes about him both as a musician and a man.

Carlos has worked with some of the most influential and iconic artists, from Jimmy Cliffe, The Eurythmics and George Michael to Kelly Clarkson and Westlife.

Carlos performed at the Olympic closing ceremony with George Michael and is currently on tour with Grammy Award winning Italian artist Laura Pausini.

Steve Jones multi instrumentalist, Tech & App developer - Musical Excellence, Technology & Innovation

Steve Jones Steve started his career as a guitarist with ex-Dead Can Dance vocalist Brendan Perry back in 1999. His use of technology to produce evolving textured sounds became something of a signature in the years to come, leading to work with artists including uber-producer Brian Eno and renowned French band AIR, with whom he toured extensively in 2007-8.

On moving to London in 2000, Steve joined Ronan Keating’s band for multiple world tours, but also spent much of his spare time developing web applications to fuel his love of technology. He was involved with the development of Native Instruments “Guitar Rig” software, introducing the concept of modifiers and the Live View. Steve is also a beta tester for software company “Sonic Charge”, having contributed to the development of their acclaimed Microtonic plugin.

While taking a break from touring after the birth of his son in 2005, Steve set up a web design company, developing sites for many multi-national companies and artists, including AIR, Brendan Perry and Leo Abrahams. He continues to develop both web and iOS apps alongside music, being mainly interested in how all the pieces fit together in the current climate of social media and web technology being important for the music industry.

In 2010 Steve went back to a more rootsy style for a tour with Tim Robbins and the Rogues Gallery Band before settling back into the role as soundscape-maker with film composers Craig Armstrong and David Holmes, with whom he has recently been working on “71”, due for release in 2014.

Steve’s current music project, Ramshackle Crow sees his web, iOS programming and team-building skills all brought together for the first time - having built a fully featured website, designed an iPad feature to accompany the album release and bringing in various experts across the fields of music and design to fill in the knowledge gaps.

Leon Miller Locke Lord Legal - Music Business & Entrepreneurship (raising finance)

Leon Miller Leon Miller is an associate in the London office of Locke Lord LLP where he concentrates his practice in corporate finance. Leon has considerable experience in UK and cross-border corporate finance, including public and private M&A, strategic investments and primary and secondary equity issues, as well as regularly advising on corporate joint venture arrangements. He regularly advises quoted companies and financial intermediaries on the UKLA Listing Rules and Disclosure Rules, the Prospectus Rules, the AIM Rules, the Takeover Code and general company law.

Leon’s clients include companies listed on the Official List and AIM, private companies, sponsors, nominated advisers, brokers and other financial intermediaries and public and private fund investors, particularly in the financial services and natural resources sectors. Much of his work involves an international or multi-jurisdictional angle.

Rob Harris Guitar - Musical Excellence

Rob Harris Rob has been guitarist/ composer with the band Jamiroquai since 2000. He has also toured, recorded with artists including Gary Numan, Mark Owen, Kylie Minogue, Beverly Knight, Gabrielle Aplin, Don Airey ( Keys Deep Purple), Mika, PNAU.

In 2010 he co wrote/ co produced the album Stitch Me Up for British artist Julian Perretta.

Rob has his own group called Shuffler alongside bass player Paul Turner,drummer Derrick Mckenzie and singer Daniel Pearce.

Jack Horner FRUKT. Founder & Executive Creative Director – Media & Branding

Jack Horner Jack is a co-founder of FRUKT and works with clients overseeing idea generation, planning and creative direction. Prior to founding FRUKT Jack began his involvement in music as a dance music producer. He joined Warner Music UK initially in International Marketing and then as their first Head of New Media.

From there Jack moved to establish a music division for pioneering digital design agency AMX under the chairmanship of Malcolm Garrett. He then worked with Accenture on a global music venture for Heineken.

Brittney Bean Songdrop – Music Business and Entrepreneurship

Brittney Bean Brittney is the co-founder and CEO of London based music startup Songdrop, a multi source music technology company. Previously she co-founded Green House Group, a digital marketing and web development agency, whose clients include Universal Music, Mercury Records, Warners, Geffen and Various Artists Management. She is also the co-founder of the fried chicken brand Mother Clucker and has a masters degree in Art History from the University of St Andrews.

Milton McDonald Guitar – Musical Excellence

Milton McDonald Milton has been a professional guitar-player since the mid-1980s and his long list of credits features many of the biggest and most respected names in music, from multi-million selling UK pop acts (The Wanted, Spice Girls, Westlife, Sugababes) to the rock aristocracy of Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Yes, Robert Palmer and Ray Davies.

He has performed as guitarist and backing vocalist on every Take That tour since 1993 and since 2009 has also been a member of the BBC's Children In Need Rocks house-band, performing in a series of televised concerts featuring artists from every part of the pop/rock spectrum including Jeff Lynne (ELO), Rizzle Kicks, James Morrison, Annie Lennox, Dizzee Rascal, Shirley Bassey and Barry Manilow.

Tom Kristensen Investment Director – Music Business & Entrepreneurship

Tom Kristensen With over 15 years’ experience in raising investment for technology businesses Tom is an associate of E-Synergy Ltd. He is responsible for delivering investment readiness and support training for early stage high growth businesses.

Phil Simmonds Bass – Musical Excellence

Phil Simmonds Phil is a Musical Director, Bassist, Producer. After touring with Jessie J for two and a half years he then went onto become Musical Director for US Rapper Angel Haze. Founder of Bassment Project, the london based soul band. Director of Grand Tone Records. Founder of the W3 Jam Sessions at Ronnie Scott's.

He's also worked with Devlin, Rae Morris, Leona Lewis, Christophe Willem. Produced tracks with Angel Haze, Roxanne Emery, Bassment Project including tracks with Betty Wright and Rizzle Kicks.

Joe Porn Music Glue – Music Business and Entrepreneurship

Joe Porn Joe has been working at Music Glue for the past six years focusing on artists, venues, promoters and festivals, helping them get the most out of the Music Glue platform. Previously he played drums for Sufjan Stevens in New York City, ran a youth crime prevention program in London and promoted a guilty pleasures club night for four years.