One of Dan Suett’s many achievements since leaving Leeds College of Music was winning composer Hans Zimmer’s Bleeding Fingers competition, which let to him gaining a position as Staff Composer at the Bleeding Fingers studios in Santa Monica, USA. Since then, Dan has furthered his Film Music career, specialising in soundtrack music covering various genres for TV documentaries, talk shows, game shows, live news and film, as well as producing alongside LCoM Curriculum Co-ordinator Brian Morrell.
Dan was introduced to music at the age of 7. After undertaking music theory, classical and jazz training, he experimented with electronic music, commercial pop and contemporary soundtrack music throughout his teens. He attended Leeds College of Music in 2010-13 and achieved a first in his BA (Hons) in Music Production degree, having focused on song production and composition for film and television. At Graduation, Daniel also received The FOLCOM Prize for Music Production, and was soon selected in the Bleeding Fingers competition from almost 7,000 entries. Bleeding Fingers is a global composition contest to find the next composer to join Zimmer's Remote Control Productions campus, judged by a panel including Lorne Balfe, Junkie XL and Jacob Shea, and Hans Zimmer himself. “Dan’s piece was what I was really looking for” said Zimmer of the winning composition.
Companies Dan has produced for since achieving such a prestigious role include, National Geographic, CBS, Animal Planet, MTV, Toyko UK, and Red Bull where he created their ‘Bullish’ and recognisable brand. Outside of TV, Dan has worked on some eclectic passion projects, including feature length movies, and co-writing and producing a concept album for a stage musical with a group of vocalists currently working on Broadway.
“It's great being in a place with so many creative people that specialize in different genres. I've learnt so much from being around them” said Dan about his Amercian adventure “I’m also now considering going back to my roots and planning an album to self-publish. Doing my own album would mean me working on music that I want to create, instead of an external client, even though I love ALL my work, but its work!”
We asked him if he had any tips for LCoM students on career development:
“If you’re not ready, and you don’t know when the next opportunity is going to come up, it means you’re going to miss out. If you end up getting a job after you graduate, you'll find you suddenly have no time to work on your music.”
What are the most important things to focus on to secure those opportunities?
”Make the most of your spare time at college while you have it, and use it in a way that means you’re ready to hit the ground running after graduation. I think the thing that helped me was that, in my down time at Leeds College of Music, I was working on developing myself as a producer. For example – one day I finished one of my composition assignments for Brian Morrell, and, instead of having a break, the very next day I started something new for my website.”
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