Henry Bateman

"You have so much time to spend on developing your musical approach that it progresses very quickly."

Henry Bateman

Henry Bateman - BA (Hons) Music (Popular)

Henry is a musician and songwriter from Gloucestershire, currently in his third year on the BA (Hons) Music (Popular) degree at LCoM.

Henry’s style has been influenced by a range of original guitarists/singer/songwriters – ranging from Michael Hedges to Peter Gabriel, Randy Newman and James Taylor.

His second album Throwing and Catching, developed during his time at LCoM, will be released on November 21st.

Has your music / approach / technique changed at all since your first year?

Massively, I think. As a songwriter, I think you carry around a sort of box of tools. When I came to the conservatoire, there were a few things rattling around in it - and now, through feedback from tutors and peers, collaboration, and being exposed to new music, my box is filling up quite a bit. I think you're naturally influenced by everything you're exposed to, and being part of LCoM you're exposed to so much - you inevitably find yourself being pulled in all sorts of directions.

The other thing is that you have so much time to spend on developing your musical approach that it progresses very quickly. I've found myself experimenting with genres and sounds that I don't think I would have got round to for a long time had I not come here.

What has been the most interesting project you have worked on so far?             

Putting a band together for my own material has been a dream really. I spent first year working out who would be suited best to the material - just seeing what sounds people were making, and what kinds of things I was writing. Spending my second year building a six-piece band to the point of now gigging regularly, was an incredibly rewarding experience. It's very humbling to have such phenomenal musicians playing on your songs.

I've also been to two International Songwriting Camps during my time at LCOM - one to Copenhagen and have just come back from the International Writer's Camp in Haarlem. They're two of the best things I have ever done. This latest one consisted of nearly 70 songwriting students from all over the world coming together in Haarlem. We were put in groups of three and were given a list of real-life pitches from labels and publishers - we had to choose one to work on, and had three days before we had to deliver a finished track.

The publisher was really interested in the track and we're waiting for it to be pitched to the artist.

The track aside though - these collaborative songwriting camps provide such a unique and immeasurably important experience. Being able to collaborate with other students from all over the world, on real-life pitches. I've learnt so much from them. I hope they go on way beyond my time at LCoM.

Henry Bateman

Is there anything that has really made you push yourself as a musician or anything new that you've not tried before?

It sounds obvious but I think a lot of the time it's just been through collaboration. Find people who you admire musically and collaborate with them. Sometimes they'll be doing something similar to you, and that can inspire you to be the best that you can be at that thing. Sometimes they'll be doing something a bit different and you can sort of cross-reference your specialities and techniques.

I think that's one of the best thing you can do as a creative musician - through collaboration you become exposed to other peoples' approaches and ways of thinking, which, when applied to your own practice, can push you to all sorts of places.

What sort of accommodation are you living in? What advice would you give to new students about accommodation?            

I lived in Joe Stones in my first year, and this year I'm in a house in Burley. Next year I'll be somewhere in between. Joe Stones is great for socialising, and for being able to roll out of bed and be in a lecture within 5 minutes. However, I did find it to get quite claustrophobic. I've been a lot happier living further out and having a walk everyday.

What do you get up to outside of LCoM?             

I think it pretty much all ties into LCoM in some way; just working on stuff really! And of course, in terms of going out and socialising, Leeds has endless options. It's also great how close you are to the countryside in Leeds - if you're like me and need to get out of the city every now and again!

Henry Bateman

What is the best thing about living and studying in Leeds?          

The community inside and around LCoM. You could be working with someone in their third year whilst you're in your first, and then continue to work together after they've left because a lot of people to tend to stay in the city. The options for collaboration in Leeds are endless.

What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking of applying to your course?

Be as open to collaboration as you can! And don't be alarmed by not knowing where you want to go, or what you want to do in first year. I felt like I was coming to LCoM with quite a strong feeling of who I wanted to be musically. Then I got here, found so many people doing other things and it took me a while to find my balance again. It's okay to feel insecure about that - I think it's natural when you're suddenly put in a place with some of the best musicians our age in the UK.

How would you describe your experience at LCoM so far in three words?            

Fulfilling, Exciting, Experimental

Henry Bateman | www.henrybateman.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | YouTube | Instagram

Henry's second album Throwing & Catching will be released on 21st November, find more information here.

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