Liina at Mystic Sons - part 1

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Time flies when you’re having fun and I am already half way through with my internship in the music communication agency Mystic Sons in London. I’ve always liked London and I have been here a few times before so I felt excited to get to know this city and its music scene better.
When I arrived in the end of September I was prepared rather well – I had three Oyster cards (one is enough, to be honest or you can just swipe your bank card when travelling) and two UK electric plugs, I also remembered not to take the very visibly marketed and expensive Gatwick Express train from the airport to the city centre and used alternative options instead. I spent first four nights in an Airbnb and first three days looking for a place to stay for three months. I did some viewings during those days but stuck with the very first place I went to – mainly because it is within a walking distance from Mystic Sons office but also because the landlord Louise is a fan of Arvo Pärt. She didn’t know much more about Estonia but that was enough for me to make the decision.

This little friend greets me on my way to work.

As mentioned before, Mystic Sons is a music communication agency and serves as a link between the artists and media and therefore the audience. Interviews, album reviews, features, music/video premieres etc usually don’t just happen but are the result of hard work and effort by the PR people. The goal of a music communication agency is to make music heard by as many people as possible - to connect the artist with the audience by getting exposure in different media channels.

I started off with browsing the music media websites and magazines and got to write my first press release too. At first I struggled a bit with expressing my thoughts in a way that wouldn’t sound too simple or boring in English but the more I wrote, spoke and thought in English the more confident I got. By now I’ve written quite a few of them, sent them out to the journalists and you can only imagine my excitement when I got my first YES from a journalist who actually picked up the song I was pitching and published an article about it. Kind of reminded me of the time back when I started out in this field over 10 years ago and sent my very first press release to Estonian media, hands shaking and heart racing.

My goal regarding this internship was (and still is) to understand the British music media better and see how a music communication agency works on a daily basis. By now I have realised I will definitely not comprehend the music media here fully simply because of the amount of publications – magazines, blogs, websites, newspapers culture sections – and the lack of time. Three months is perfect to get the idea of how things work but not enough to become an expert. I do feel I’m getting a lot of new knowledge and learning tips and tricks I can later adapt in my work back home.

Speaking of live music, we go out to see some bands few times a week. Some of them the agency works or has worked with before, some of them are potential clients. I’ve realised that in a way the local bands are really lucky to have so many places to perform at on any day of the week – you can easily catch some great live music on a Monday evening for example. But on another hand, the competition is super tough. There are so many live events every single day with 3-4 bands playing and it’s really not that easy to stand out. Still I find this scouting part very interesting – we browse through the events coming up at different venues, check out the bands and artists from playlists, social media and Spotify and then approach those who fit the agency’s profile with a proposal for co-operation. I have found many cool acts for myself that way so it’s actually not a bad way to spend your time even if you have no business interest involved and just love discovering new music.

William Morris Gallery right next to my London home.

Some more random and not so random notes:
-   we have BBC6 playing in the office every day and a band called SUNN O))) played in London recently (they actually played in Tallinn in October too!). The hosts went to see the show and compared the bands backline to Stonehenge. I haven’t seen them live but I have seen Stonehenge so – wow. 

- as a Harry Potter fan I have to say I’m always happy to visit King’s Cross station and also very excited about the Harry Potter Studio Tour in December!
  
- I made a little playlist on Spotify, mainly so that in a few years I could listen to those songs again and think back of this time spent in London. There are some good old “classics”, some new stuff from well known artists and also some fresh music I’ve discovered when scouting for bands. If anyone’s interested, feel free to have a listen, I will try to update it constantly. 

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