Viral Careers: Jules Arthur
13 March 2019
In this series of interviews we’re talking to people about how they got to where they are. Find out about the key moments, and people, in the lives and careers of some of the creative people we most admire.
Name: Jules Arthur
Job/occupation: Musician/artist, venue director, label boss
Tell us about the work you do.
Lots of different things at the same time – it’s a tricky balancing act! I co-run The Rose Hill venue and studios. This entails everything from back-end business (accounts, companies house, website etc) to co-programming the events, to repairs and improvements to the building to engineering recording sessions in the studios. I also write and perform in various ensembles and groups and sometimes work as a session player. I compose music for TV and film in a duo called Nimzo Studio. I also run an artist collective and record label called Beatabet. With Beatabet we have run numerous extended artistic residency programmes, have created large-scale multi-disciplinary performances, received decent arts funding, curated regular happenings and released a whole series of albums on our label.
What did you want to do when you were 16?
I had a longing to do music but didn’t think it was a viable career option really, possibly put off by my family and my education environment. At the time it felt like a hobby, and anything more would have been an indulgence and not doing my education justice. But I didn’t really have a clear vision for any other careers..!!
Was there a moment that opened up new possibilities and brought you to where you are today?
When I left university I started an Arts Collective called Beatabet through running a 6 month residency programme in an old farmhouse in rural France. I was out there for a month on my own before the participants arrived and I nearly lost the plot. It was such a leap in the dark, and we’d opened up the residency to applications via the Arts Council Jobs list so were expecting artists who we had never even met. I was basically bricking it and felt under-prepared and young. But I had to work through it as the wheels were already in motion. By the end of the 6 months, with 60-odd artists from all disciplines having passed through, we had core group of 12 artists dedicated to working together in the longer term, had decided to start a label to release some of the new material and were firmly on track.
Who has influenced your career?
Various people really, but mostly that core group that came out of the first Beatabet residency. And Bunty (Kassia Zermon) of course – best friend, partner in crime and collaborator. I feel like everyone I create work with is in some way a mentor – being an artist and musician is a constant learning process..!!
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Have faith that if you focus on something there is time to master it. And that you can create your own career opportunities out of whatever makes you happy, as long as you work hard at it. And maybe to develop a core skill that you can fall back on, both in terms of money or work and in terms of mental stability. Sometimes I feel I’ve spread myself too thin and never reached the level I’d have liked to on anything. Focus and practice is the key!!
Be as bold as possible and go for it. Whenever I’ve taken a really bold step, within 6 months everything in my life has really shifted forwards positively!
Opportunities in the creative industries can be difficult to identify and aren’t always accessible, or visible, to young people from all backgrounds – something that our Viral project aims to change.
Viral is a collaborative learning programme that provides production training, business development, mentoring, showcasing opportunities and peer-to-peer support for a diverse group of 16-25 year olds from Brighton and the surrounding areas.
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