February 23, 2015 / 0 Comments

Industry Guest: Michelle Escoffery

Ex Music Business Apprenticeship Tutor at DV8 and incredible singer/songwriter Michelle Escoffery visited our Recording Artist and Development class for an industry lecture about how to gain income from the music industry. During the discussion, Michelle spoke about her own successes and the journey she took to get to where she wanted to be. Michelle was head hunted when she was younger to join R&B girl group “Truce” and helped write the famous hit “The Finest”. Her style of writing while in the group attracted industry attention, which led her to write songs for Fierce and Hinda. One of her most famous successes was the number 1 hit “Just a little” by Liberty X released in 2002; which led her to win an Ivor Novello award, she explained how she was able to make money from this song and how even to this day, she still receives income each time the song is played on the television or radio.

February 19, 2015 / 0 Comments

“Northern Soul” at Film Club


On a cold Thursday evening, our common room was transformed into our very own in-house cinema with the help of “Stow film lounge”, complete with popcorn and drinks for a showing of indie film “Northern Soul”. The film depicts how two young men who discovered and fell in love with Black, American Soul music turned around youth culture in Northern England catapulting the dance scene from bland and lifeless to an upbeat, expressive movement. So, what does Northern Soul actually mean?

“Northern soul is associated with particular dance styles and fashions that grew out of the underground rhythm & soul scene of the late 1960’s. As the favoured beat became more upbeat and frantic, by the early 1970s, northern soul dancing became more athletic, somewhat resembling the later dance styles of disco and break dancing. Featuring spins, flips, karate kicks and backdrops, club dancing styles were often inspired by the stage performances of touring American soul acts.”

Nothern Soul was chosen for it’s cultural commentary of the soul movement in the seventies – the first taste the UK had of rave culture. The film probes the topics of discovery, formative relationships and what it means to be a young person at the cutting edge of what is popular whilst simultaneously figuring out the world.”- Alex Pinkerton, FTV Support Tutor
February 6, 2015 / 0 Comments

Dance Workshop with Kristina and Sadé

Our level 1 Urban and Contemporary Dance students took part in a two day workshop led by Kristina and Sadé, a teaching sibling duo who between them,  carry a vast amount of dance experience under their belts including tours with Akram Khan Dance company, Boy Blue and Dance2Xcess. Kristina and Sadé teach as a duo using their different experiences and dance styles to fuse together to ensure a successful and knowledgeable teaching experience.

The workshop covered a range of skills needed to develop techniques as a dancer from basic foundation steps, building stamina and strength to learning and performing complex choreography. Over the two days, learners were challenged physically and pushed beyond their comfort zones in order to access their potential. Learners were given an insight as to what they would expect in a real life professional class which also tested their management skills for example; receiving and applying feedback, appropriate clothing, overcoming challenges in regards to material demonstrated etc.

February 2, 2015 / 0 Comments

Meet The Team: Richy Pitch (Music Technology Tutor)

What do you do at DV8?

I’m a teacher and tutor in BTEC Level 3 Music Technology.

Why do you work at DV8?

I work at DV8 because I’ve always enjoyed teaching and I particularly love this job because I can talk about all the things I have a passion for such as D’ing & Music Production. It’s great that I can teach something that I can talk for hours about !

What do you do outside of DV8?

I also teach for Camden Music and I continue to DJ, produce music and help run and promote nights in London, something that I’ve been doing for more than 20 years.

What were you doing before DV8?

Before I worked at DV8 I was releasing music and DJ’ing. My first LP was a Hip Hop project recorded in Manhattan, NYC called ‘Live at Home’ my second LP ‘Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitch’ was recorded during a 2 year stay in Ghana and was a mixture of Hip Hop and Afrobeat music. This led to production work with Gorillaz Sound System where I was also tour DJ. I’ve also written a book on using Digital Audio Workstations such as Logic, Cubase and Reason. The book was called ‘Making Beats’ and was released by US publisher Cengage Learning. I work part time at DV8 so I’m still working on future based music projects and collaborations. For more info you can also check my website www.richypitch.com

Why should people come to DV8 to study?

People should come to DV8 if they are interested in the creative industries, here you will work with teachers who have plenty of experience in their chosen industries and can therefore give students their excellent first hand experiences. The equipment here is also very good as are all members of the staff. It’s a great place to work with like minded people where teaches are enthusiastic about what they teach and students are keen to learn more.

Favourite moment from DV8?

I’ve not been here long but probably the induction week when teachers first meet the students and the Christmas show when the students get to perform some of their work to the public, other students and their families. It makes you proud when you see the students perform well in front of an audience.

January 30, 2015 / 0 Comments

Gordon Flynn Fashion Workshop

Creative Director for runway shows, model and International Branding Specialist Gordon Flynn visited our level 2 fashion students for an industry lecture last week to critique their own designs as well as provide a catwalk/runway masterclass. The session kicked off with our learners displaying their own garments to Gordon who advised them on their pieces delivering valuable advice on their chosen fabrics and designs. Students were asked to bring in two items of clothing; one of their most favoured pieces as well as their least treasured item highlighting what they love and hate about both pieces of clothing. During the catwalk workshop, Gordon explained how to hold the perfect posture and walk emphasising that it is the product in which the model is wearing that has to sell, not the model itself, so, walk in a way which flaunts the item of clothing you are modelling.

Gordon’s top tips for stylists and designers:
Always know the fabrics that you’re working with
Be confident in your designs
Do research on your designs
Your sewing skills must be on point
January 27, 2015 / 0 Comments

Contemporary Dance Workshop with Joseph Toonga


Our Urban & Contemporary dance students took part in a Contemporary Dance workshop hosted by Artistic Director of “Just Dance Theatre” Joseph Toonga. Joseph began dancing professionally when he was invited to join East London Dance Youth Company at the age of 15 where he gained an exceptional set of contemporary dance skills before starting his very own company “Just Us Dance Theatre” in 2007 where his main role is that of a Choreographer.

The session mainly covered the learners being able to engage in contemporary dance in a fun and dynamic way through using Joseph’s unique style of fusing popping (contraction of the muscles) with the use of relaxation and flow that contemporary dance lends itself too. They were tested through various mediums via travelling sequences, elevation, use of breath and control, extension through the body and performance. We managed to grab some of Joseph’s top tips for aspiring dancers after the session which you can watch in the video above!

January 23, 2015 / 0 Comments

Meet The Team: Bwoy Wonder

What do you do at DV8?
What I’m told to do! (Support Tutor for Fashion & Styling level 2)
Why do you work at DV8?
I work at DV8 because I want to inspire young people so their potential can be realised.
What do you do outside of DV8?
I run a clothing company and make custom lego art pieces for clients and avid lego lovers.
Why should people come to DV8 to study?
DV8 has the best staff to learner relationship I’ve seen! Every tutor has strong connections with the industry they teach in.
Favourite moment from DV8?
The staff Xmas party!


January 20, 2015 / 0 Comments

Industry Lecture & Advice with Ben Anderson

Our learners attended an industry lecture at our campus with Social Media Consultant Ben Anderson, hosted by Fusion (Founder of Industry In The streets). During the session Ben spoke about strategies to engage people online using social sites to explore and share media. Ben emphasised how to gain brand exposure using sites such as twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and BlogSpot to maximise any business or company. Ben stressed the importance of having active followers as these are more important than thousands of inactive followers when promoting a business/company. We asked Ben for some of his top tips for those looking to break into a career in the social media industry:

1: “ The first thing I would say, is that social media is so young in terms of an industry that if you study and read up on it and put your learning into action it’s very easy right now to pursue a career as it’s a growing industry. Find some one who you can champion whether it’s yourself or someone else. Just start doing it, be very strategic with it and set it up as if you’re at college doing a project. If you’re doing a good job and finding your own way it’s quite easy to get into once you’ve proved yourself.”
2: “Be authentic. I think its important not to spam people and not to post things that you aren’t passionate about. There needs to be a personality and a voice and there needs to be something that identifies you in your post so, sit down and make sure everything you’re doing is real and authentic.”
 3: “Be consistent, a lot of the time I think a great example for this is Big Narstie. When he first started doing his “uncle pain” series not many people were watching but he didn’t get disheartened and so carried on doing it so that now people are waiting for the next episode. I think that once you have something where people expect something from you they will keep coming back and checking for it but you need to be consistent with it because the day they don’t get what they want is the day they will stop coming. I think that’s the same with a lot of web series when a lot of people start things up but don’t follow them through. Be consistent with it, don’t worry about who’s watching or listening but consistency is key.”

Fusion & Ben Anderson

January 20, 2015 / 0 Comments

Industry Lecture and Tutorial with Flava D


One of grimes biggest female producers known as “Flava D” visited our campus for an industry lecture with our Music Production students which proved to be an enriching experience and a great chance to gain further knowledge about work in the creative industries. Music Production tutor Rowntree kicked off the lecture with a Q&A session where students had the opportunity to ask Flava D questions surrounding the music industry including how she gained recognition for her music and how she managed to work alongside some of grimes finest artists such as Skepta, Wiley and JME.

Flava D is best known for her distinct bass lines which is what first catapulted her music into the Rave scene in Northern England when she was only 16. She regularly sent off bassline mixes to DJs in the hope that they would be played; which they did and went down very well with the urban music industry which is when she discovered her love for producing grime tracks. Once her grime productions grew, she used social network website Myspace to network with many other artists which is how she messaged Wiley asking for a collaboration. Once he heard what Flava D had to offer they began to work together and are still collaborating to this day.Once Flava D gained recognition from the music scene, she began to receive offers to DJ at events, she admittedly never performed as a DJ before but quickly familiarised herself with CDJs before being invited to perform a set for “Boileroom” which was her first gig. When playing at “Boileroom” she explained she still didn’t quite perfect the craft of DJ-ing but as she got more bookings, she used them as a great opportunity to brush up her skills and gain more practice, which she stresses, really helped her build confidence.

Part of the session included an intimate production tutorial where our learners had the chance to see how flava D produces her tracks; including how to create her unique hi-hat and basslines. She projected the screen of her personal laptop onto a projector so the students could see how she builds up a song, track by track as well as having a sneak peak at some future releases.