University of Surrey 

For Alumni and Supporters

Charlie Andrew

Charlie Andrew, 32, was named as 'Breakthrough Producer of the Year' in the Music Producers' Guild awards this year, in part for producing An Awesome Wave by Alt-J, which won the 2012 British Mercury prize.

Charlie is also drummer in The Laurel Collective, which released their album Heartbreak Underground last year, and who also run the In the Woods festival, which has become a watershed show for new talent.

Why did you choose the Tonmeister course?

I heard about the course when I was doing my GCSEs. The course was perfect for me as a keen musician with an interest in science. That was my target and I chose the right A levels for the course.

What did you learn at Surrey that has helped with your career?

The Tonmeister course gives a really strong background knowledge in all things recording. It teaches you independent working, adapting that knowledge to use in whichever studio you're in with whichever artist.

What did you feel when you won Breakthrough Producer of the Year?

It was a big surprise and an amazing feeling to be voted for by my peers, people I've looked up to, and I was up against some incredible producers.

Do you prefer producing or playing?

Producing gives me a lot of satisfaction as I do more of it, but I do enjoy playing tracks. However, playing in the band is a lot of hard work as we have to put in the hours rehearsing, but when we do a gig it's an amazing and exciting experience.

Who have you been working with?

I've produced Sivu's new single Bodies and I am also working with Marika Hackman. I'm really proud of what I've achieved with each of them, as I think the arrangements we've done in the studio have enhanced their singer-songwriter talent and bring something new to the listener.

What would you like to be doing in 10 years' time?

I just hope to be able to keep making music and paying for my living. I'd love to move to the country and have a house with a studio.

What advice would you give to today's Tonmeister students?

It sounds clichéd but to follow their dreams. You should pursue what you are most passionate about, even if you have to start off as an assistant in a studio. I was an assistant at Abbey Road Studios for a couple of years, and then became a drum teacher to pay the bills while working towards my dream.

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