Masterclass with Wyndham Wallace

23 February, 2016

Wyndham Wallace is what you’d call an ‘all rounder’ in the music industry. He’s been a music journalist, publicist, magazine editor, manager, music consultant for film and festivals, author, photographer, lyricist and graphic designer, and here at BIMM Berlin, we were thrilled to have him visit us to talk about his vast range of experience in the music business and offer advice to our students.

Born in Britain, but living in Berlin since 2004, Wyndham began the Masterclass by discussing his fascination with music from a very early age – he had musical parents and as a child he loved to play the recorder, while also wanting to be a soprano singer until puberty dissolved this dream.

He started writing about music at boarding school, when he interviewed Loudon Wainwright III, and as an older student was the editor of a publication which won the ‘Student Magazine of the Year’ award. It was after this that he made the decision to become a music journalist, and later a music publicist.

Both of these jobs taught him the importance of networking and he offered BIMM students some very practical advice about cultivating business relationships in music:

“One vital thing is to keep a record of who you meet, and maybe make a note of how you met, and what you’ve bonded over.”

He also talked about the importance of respecting all people you meet along your journey in the industry – no matter what their professional and personal background or views, as you never know when they will appear again in your life:

“Cultivate the network and be nice to people.”

Wyndham spoke about his time at the record label City Slang in both Berlin and the UK, flying around the world looking for bands to sign, and how in 1999 he landed his dream job – being hired as a publicist for Lee Hazlewood, the US country and pop singer-songwriter and record producer known largely for his work with Duane Eddy in the 1950s and Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s. The pair got along really well, and Wyndham organised a ‘comeback’ concert for Lee, enabling him to come out of retirement, as well as securing a record deal for him a few years later. The time he spent with Lee, and the subsequent friendship that developed, also led to Wyndham writing his first book, ‘Lee, Myself & I’ which was published last year.

Wyndham Wallace drawing on a board at BIMM Institute masterclassWyndham Wallace sitting down at masterclass

Wyndham discussed how competitive he feels the music industry currently is, with programmes like ‘The X Factor’ turning stardom into a competition, but he warns that life is not always about being competitive and trying to be on top – instead, it’s the little experiences that make us who we are. He advised students to never do something they’re not passionate about, because it won’t lead to them being happy, and also mentioned the importance of waiting until they’re 100% ready and have lots of material to showcase before they fully announce themselves to the world.

Wyndham’s Masterclass session was very well received by the BIMM Berlin audience, with one student commenting: “The things I heard really impressed me. Wyndham’s story; how it goes up and down in life – it was really interesting to see how it did this for him. What really impressed me was the advice about ‘don’t publish anything until you’re ready.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Wyndham Wallace for coming to visit us at BIMM Berlin and telling us all about his incredibly interesting life in music. Our students were very grateful for the guidance they received from someone who has experienced so much!

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