Passion plays a large part in success. It is very rare to make waves without passion churning up the water. Passion is the driver of success – and without it you are fighting a losing battle. Soundsphere Magazine was founded on a passion for writing and incredible music (and the lifestyle that goes with the two). Editor and founder Dom Smith explains to Kloodle how he followed his passion and is living the life he loves.
They say the best jobs are the hardest. When (one of) your jobs involves running (or hobbling at speed) around festivals in Europe, while also dealing with Cerebral Palsy (and walking with two sticks), I guess you could say that my job as a journalist and editor of Soundsphere magazine is challenging.
This passion is what has driven me forward. I wasn’t really that great in school, in fact, I was pretty terrible. I just happened to be good at English, and that’s pretty much it! I always wanted to be a writer, and as such my other subjects suffered. I’m still just as passionate about writing as I was when I was a seven-year-old writing silly stories about giants. Like I said, it’s passion – pure and simple, that has allowed me to get to where I am. I’ve had the opportunity to work with such a diverse range of people, from successful rock stars like Metallica and The Prodigy to up-and-coming Yorkshire bands like La Petite Mort, A Joker’s Rage, Officers and The Holy Orders. I love this job! How did it happen for me? Well, I’ll try and give you the condensed version of events.
After I left school, I went to Wyke College in Hull to do Media, Drama and English Language and Literature (it was actually here where I first discovered my great passion for magazines). Once I’d finished three years, I went on to a degree in Theatre, Film and Television at York St John University – this was a lot of fun, I still love acting to this day, and I even got to do a semester abroad in the US at Keene State to expand my skill-set as a performer. The thing was, that I kept getting typecast as an old man (probably something to do with the sticks, right?), and I wanted something else – something exciting and challenging that would push me far beyond the realms of anything I’d ever done before. So, when I finished my degree I started looking at ways to break into a career in magazine journalism. First, I did an internship with Stuff, the gadget magazine (I stayed with family and slept on floors down in London to do this), and once I’d finished that, I went to do an MA in Magazine Journalism – did one year there, and it gave me the training and skills I needed to take my career further. More internships and freelance work followed for the likes of NME.com, Rock Sound and Metal Hammer in London, and then I received a grant from York St John University, to come back up north and start a magazine!
Soundsphere magazine has grown over the last six years – now we’re internationally recognised and we get to cover festivals around the world – as a bonus we get loads of cool stuff for free. For that, and the work I have done with my other projects Disabled Entrepreneurs and The Creative Condition, I’ve won a National Diversity Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence (2012), and I was one of 100 Happiest people in the UK according to the Independent on Sunday’s Happy List last year! How awesome is that?
It’s simple really, it’s down to connections I made during my earliest placements and internships, and hard work. In my industry (music and entertainment), it’s all about who you know, and the friends that you make, as well as how hard you are willing to work. If I can do it, anybody can. Work damn hard, be good at what you do, and just keep going no matter what – of course you’ll get knocked down and rejected at times, but when that happens don’t be disheartened, because if you’re good to people you work with, and you do good work then good stuff will happen. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. That sounds cheesy as all hell, but it’s the truth in my mind. Work as hard as you can in school, it doesn’t matter if you’re not great at everything though. Work as hard as you can in college and university because your grades will help you in the future, and you’ll feel so proud.
Honestly though, and this goes for most industries, experience is number one. Do internships wherever your main industry is. Get a work placement at your dream job and impress them – make good cups of tea and do all the rubbish jobs to start with, because that’s how you’ll get your break. Obviously, there are loads of paths you can take, but whichever one you do choose, just give it your best shot.
Thanks so much for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch! For more information visit: www.soundspheremag.com