Ben Matravers

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Production)

Year of Graduation: 2012

Top Career Highlights:

  • Approximately 300 million streams of music I've either written, produced or engineered so far
  • Charted with various artists, including a few number 1’s in the Far East
  • Being able to do what I love for a living!

Upon completion of his degree in Music Production, Ben Matravers was readily able to establish himself in the wider industry. A versatile producer, musician, songwriter and studio engineer, Ben set up Song Mason Studios and has worked with a diverse portfolio of artists to date, most notably Hannah Trigwell and Easy Life (the latter of which have recently been included in the BBC Music Sound of 2020 longlist).

Here, Ben discusses his experiences as a versatile industry professional and provides some thoughts on Leeds’ thriving music scene.

Could you briefly tell us a little bit about your career to date?

I started making music that people were interested in during the later stages of my degree course. Through this work I made a number of connections with A&Rs, publishers, labels etc. and this gave me a lot of opportunities to write and produce with some great people. A number of these people have gone on to do really impressive things, most notably Hannah Trigwell's crazy streaming stats and the attention that Easy Life are getting at the moment, amongst many others. I've managed to make a full-time job out of developing and producing artists at different stages of their careers for the past 6 years. Doing what I love as my day job is my biggest career achievement.

What was your earliest musical experience?

It’s hard to pinpoint my first musical experience because my memory is really really bad and music has always been such a big part of my life.

Growing up, there was always a piano in my parents’ house and, even when I was young and couldn't play anything, I always felt a connection with making a noise on it.

What attracted you to studying in Leeds and what do you think of the musical community here?

Leeds is a great city. It's big enough that it's on the map and small enough that it has a real sense of community, especially amongst the music scene. The music community is super supportive, there's no real sense of competitiveness - just a shared desire to make good music.

How did studying for a degree in Music at Leeds Conservatoire prepare you for your current career?

For me, getting a degree was about more than just what was taught in the classroom. As well as three years of studying both the technical and academic sides to the industry, it gave me the time and confidence to start a business and connect with other musicians and like-minded people. When I left my degree course, I had spent three year’s learning my craft. I had a phonebook full of incredible musicians. I had (through a part-time job, student loan and the luxury of time) set up a recording studio business and went out to work in the industry immediately.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their 'foot in the door' in the industry you're in?

If I had to give one piece of advice it would be 'do it now'. Don't find excuses to put things off, don't leave songs unfinished and don't save that email in your drafts.

More broadly - attitude and desire is everything. From my experience, the music industry is a ‘last man standing’ game and it's this enduring self-belief and drive that is key. The stories of overnight success are either just stories or very rare exceptions.

If you're not researching the latest techniques and sounds, honing your craft, reaching out to people, making connections in the industry AS WELL AS doing your day job as a writer/ producer/ songwriter/ musician etc., then somebody else is! There’s no short cut I'm afraid - it’s all about putting in the hours.

This shouldn't be seen as daunting though. Enjoy the process, reach out to people and make the connections. Most people in the industry are really friendly and are up for helping out if they can.

What's coming up next for you in terms of projects, releases or tours?

My next release is the 'Junk Food' mixtape by Easy Life. It’s out on Island Records in January. I've been working with these guys for a long time. It’s really exciting to watch them progress and get the attention they deserve.

I've got loads of music out next year - keep an eye on my socials for updates!!

Follow Ben on Instagram or Twitter

Alternatively learn more about our BA (Hons) in Music Production

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