previous page

An Interview With...A Freelance Musician - Michaela Wylde

Earlier this month i-studentglobal spoke to professional freelance musician Michaela Wylde about her music career, university education and aspirations. Michaela studied a BMus in Music at Bangor University, Wales.

Did you always want to work as a musician?

I have always loved music and performing. It was always my dream to be a singer, but I never imagined that it would be actual job!

Did you feel that your degree helped to prepare you for working freelance?

I think parts of my degree helped me to prepare for freelance music. Taking part in rehearsals and performances prepared me for the expectations of live performance and the reality of the hard work that goes into a polished performance. I also took a module in instrumental teaching, which gave me an insight into managing a business and the financial side of being self-employed.

What did you learn about yourself at university?

University is a life changer in many ways. Learning to manage your time, money, assignments and social life really does teach some life lessons. I made some lifelong friends at university and some of them have worked with me musically on further projects since leaving university.

What was your favourite module at university?

I really enjoyed ensemble performance at university. It was a challenge working in difficult 3-part harmony with two other performers. This prepared me for performing in a group, which has been beneficial now that I have a band and also developed my ear. Alongside my solo/ band performances, I have provided backing vocals for other performers and featured on recordings, something that I doubt I would have done without the development of ensemble performance.

Since finishing university, how did you get your current position as a regular performer at events, restaurants and pubs?

When I finished my music degree I started a PGCE and trained to be a Music Teacher. It was the need to accompany my students in school which encouraged me to take up the piano (without this I wouldn’t be gigging the way I am). Once qualified I taught for 2 years and during this time I learnt my craft and performed at lots of open mic nights to build my confidence, develop my style and my skills. After a while venues started asking me to perform my own gigs at their venues…and the rest is history.

What was the best and worst thing about recording your own album?

Recording my album was the greatest thing I’ve done so far. The best thing about the experience was hearing my music come to life beyond just me and a piano. The worst thing is only really the financial commitment, recording an album and having CDs made costs a fair amount of money and, if I’m honest, I’d have liked to have invested more money to make the finished product even better.

michaela wylde

Painted Smile - Michaela's debut album is out now


If you were to start your music degree again knowing that you were going to be working as a freelance musician afterwards, is there anything that you would do differently?

I personally feel that everything happens for a reason and if I went back and changed the path I took that I wouldn’t be working the way that I am now.

What has been your favourite gig that you’ve performed at?

My favourite performance so far has been my album launch. The atmosphere, the amazing venue, the brilliant audience and my superb band made it such a fantastic experience.

What advice would you offer to somebody aspiring to be a singer and about to study at university?

Studying music at university won’t make you a performer, but the experiences, the modules you pick and the opportunities you make the most of will shape you as a performer and will help you further down the line. 

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

If I am still performing as my job in 5 years then I would be over the moon, I love what I do and when you love your job you will never feel like you work.

If you could play on the same line-up as anybody, who would it be?

Newton Faulkner is my idol, I would absolutely love the perform on the same line up as him!

What are your plans for 2016? What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on new material and have some small festivals lined up for 2016. I am hoping to get into the studio to record my next album towards the end of the year.  

You can listen to Michaela's music on

Find out more about studying Music at Bangor University