On Sunday 9 October the Hockley Hustle blessed Nottingham with some of the best musical talent the city has to offer, so it was only fair we provided the best talent we have at Confetti to open our stage at GameCity. We caught up with Guy Ellerton, winner of the Confetti Competition which gave him the opportunity to perform at the Hustle, after the festival…
So Guy, tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve just completed my first year here at Confetti studying Music Performance and Songwriting. I got the chance to perform at the Hockley Hustle through a competition set up by Confetti at the National Videogame Arcade, where we had to play a set to the best of our ability. After performing I found out I’d won and the feeling was amazing because I knew the prize was performing at the festival – an opportunity like that doesn’t come round often.
What sparked your interest for music and more importantly performing?
I’ve always been interested in music however, I only first started playing guitar four years ago after seeing my dad, uncle and cousin play guitar together. Not only did I want to join in, but I wanted to perform at the level they were at. Luckily for me playing the guitar seemed to just click, and I found it easy to pick up, quickly perfecting new and different techniques. I’m a very competitive person so I was motivated by wanting to become better and better.
Performing however was a different matter. I was very shy in this area and would often just sing to myself, until my uncle convinced me to sing in front of him. He was engaged at the time and my performance to him led to me performing at his wedding. After constant practice I could feel myself becoming more confident, with my performances improved dramatically. Playing at the wedding was amazing – the crowd’s response after singing was incredible and I received a lot of helpful feedback. After that day everything seemed to just flow – I was performing at more gigs, constantly improving to the level I’m at today.
How has Confetti helped with your career?
Studying here has definitely developed my skills, helping me learn a lot about my music, mainly with my guitar and various playing styles through the different performance levels! Receiving constant constructive criticism from tutors has aided the development of my temperament within music, something I struggled with before. This has improved my ability to sing and play, taking me to new heights I didn’t think I’d reach in such a short amount of time.
Tell us about your experience being at Hockley Hustle?
It was a great experience and one I’d recommend to anyone who’s given the chance. A fair few people attended my opening set, such as people from the NTSU Music Society, which made it very enjoyable for me. I received a lot of positive feedback afterwards, making the whole event a positive learning curve and I hope to get many more opportunities like this in the future.
What was the best thing about performing there?
It’s hard to single out one thing, but if I had to choose one then it has to be the atmosphere around Hockley. It was so different to how Hockley usually is and it made the whole performance that extra bit better – playing in front of a crowd with such a good vibe made it hard to stop when my set was over.
Have you got any advice for any students wanting to get into performing and songwriting?
For me, the key to songwriting follows two rules. The first is to practice as much as possible – when you run a dirty tap, water is going to flow out dirty, but the longer you run it for, the more the tap will clean, and the cleaner the water will get. When you start writing songs, you’ll write some awful songs, I wrote some terrible songs, but with practice you’ll get so much better.
The second thing is to make sure you write your own thing – make it real to what’s happening in your life and write what you want to listen too. This lets you develop your own musical style, adding emotion and feeling people can relate to. With performance, it’s kind of the same thing, it’s all about practicing and being confident in what you’re doing because if you look like your enjoying yourself, so will everyone else! The final key aspect of performing is to engage with the crowd as much as possible, making them feel as involved as you are in the performance.