Last week we were back at Saint Luke’s & The Winged Ox where 70 of our Glasgow students attended an educational music event hosted by YouTube and Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA).

Singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt, who originally hails from Livingston, spoke to over 120 people from Glasgow’s thriving music scene, including 70 students from our very own Glasgow centre about how YouTube helped to bolster her career in music when she was just starting out.

Speaking to The Evening Times Nina said, “I started my YouTube channel when I was 15, and I think it made a massive difference to starting off my career.”

“Myself and musicians like Gabrielle Aplin, Lewis Watson and Orla Gartland are just a few that I used to listen to who all started in the same way, and I think they will agree that using YouTube in the way that we did was life-changing.”

She also commented on how social media helped her make connections in the industry; “I was from a small village in Scotland and there wasn’t much in the way of a music scene, or even any connection to the industry. Using social media and YouTube was my only form of connection to that world. The site has obviously changed since then, but I want to help teach other aspiring musicians the ways they can use it to help them nowadays. Visuals are so important.”

Commenting on Instagram, Nina said, “Hopefully my story can remind you even if you aren’t from a musical family, rich background or have the connections around you there is still a chance to get where you want to be.”

David Mogendorff, YouTube Music’s Head of Artist Relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa hosted the event. David, who hails from Aberdeen said, “Having grown up in Aberdeen and always been a huge fan of the brilliant music scene in Glasgow, it was fantastic to come back to the city today with YouTube.”

Throughout the evening there were performances from Nina Nesbitt and Free Love, and YouTube Music’s Head of Artist Relations for Europe spoke at the event.

Want to know more? Why not check out our blog on the importance of social media for aspiring young creatives.

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today I’m celebrating 10 years since I started my career on youtube. I remember the first video I ever uploaded was a cover of kelly clarkson’s ‘already gone’ on my £20 guitar from argos, covered in sharpie drawings of anchors, rainbows and cats. I was 15, still in school at the time and didn’t yet realise the power of youtube/social media as it was pretty new but soon I started to grow a small loyal fanbase of people who would comment on my videos & give me encouragement to continue. This meant so much to me at the time because I knew a lot of people around me were saying negative things lol I probs wasn’t great but your comments kept me motivated to keep progressing. I come from a small village in scotland where there were no industry contacts, no mentors & we started to struggle to pay for train fares & travel. I even auditioned for the X factor and got rejected (thank fuck lol). Without youtube as a platform it’s unlikely I would have been heard or had the confidence to continue pursuing a career in music. Overtime I started to get more views / subscribers and eventually an artist I was and still am a huge fan of, @example, seen my video of me covering his song stay awake. He offered me my first full tour, academys and then arenas (terrifying) and from then on it escalated quickly. I released an EP and my incredible youtube fanbase, having heard the songs in these videos went to buy it on iTunes and got it to #6 in the charts. I’m forever grateful for that day because it fully changed my life! I then got playlisted on radio 1 & signed my first record deal. This meant I could move to London to work i studios there every day. Without starting my youtube channel, having the fanbase that I have & a bit of luck on the way, none of this would have ever happened. Today I’m in Glasgow with youtube speaking to young artists to try encourage them and perhaps even you, to give it a go. Hopefully my story can remind you even if you aren’t from a musical family, rich background or have the connections around you there is still a chance to get where you want to be. I honestly pinch myself on a daily basis that this is my career and I have all of you to thank for that 🥰

A post shared by NINA NESBITT (@ninanesbitt) on

Parts of this article were originally published on The Evening Times.

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