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Hidden Gems: Meet Kirsten Evans of UGLiCAT & Soothing Music

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kirsten Evans.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I grew up on the south coast of England and had a pretty normal childhood: ballet lessons, colouring, baking, but it wasn’t until later that I had the confidence to declare, to the world and myself, that I wanted to be a musician. I dabbled with steel pans and choir in school around the age of ten (and yes, you read that right… steel pans, one of which I dropped and it’s not extremely out of tune 14 years later, sorry everyone!) and I was never really able to play the recorder as was expected of most ten years old across the UK at the time. Instead, as I got older I repeatedly began and concluded a series of piano lessons until the age of 14 and from then on devoted myself to becoming an opera singer. I was set on singing classically up until I embarked on an academic music degree that simply wasn’t for me. It was this experience that shifted me to where I am now; a media composer and session vocalist. I made the snap decision to apply for a degree in composition and creative music technology at the conservatoire across the road from my current university, just four weeks into my new course. I didn’t really have any knowledge of composition or what it was to be a composer, so much so that I had been predicted to fail all of my previous composition exams. However, I stayed up night and day for around two weeks straight in order to boost the quality of my submission portfolio and I was in! Since then, I have been offered many wonderful opportunities that have taken me across Europe and expanded my career to where I am now!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I would say that most of the challenges that I have faced have definitely been self-inflicted! Ever since my snap decision to take on a four years composition degree, I have made it a habit to say yes to EVERYTHING, especially the projects where I wasn’t even sure if I had the skills to complete the tasks ahead of me. I was not really sure what I wanted to do specifically other than ‘be a musician’, so I challenged myself to try as many things as I could throughout the time of my degree in order to rule out the career paths that were not for me. One of my earlier testing experiences was the opportunity to work as co-composer and vocalist on Wales’s national entry to the Venice Biennale in 2017, alongside Turner Prize nominated artist James Turner and fellow composer Sam Williams, at just age 19. I was offered the opportunity on my first day of my new composition degree and was really unsure of what an opportunity like that really meant. When being invited to introduce myself to my fellow classmates and upon announcing that I was a singer, my new head of composition, John hardy, gave me a knowing look and offered me the opportunity. It was all that simple. This project was my opportunity to develop my skills within the workplace alongside my compositional skills, of which I was still pretty thin on the ground, all in one, within the space of just a few months. Our work was seen by over 33,000 people just in Venice and seeing the culmination of our efforts in Venice was one of the most brilliant rewards for an experience that pushed such a wide range of my skillsets more than I had ever experienced before. My biggest challenge occurred most recently and all started with a cold, unsolicited email that I sent from the comfort of my bed in my tiny uni bedroom in 2018.

This one email lead on to my working as part of the music departments for the Hulu Original documentary ‘I am Greta’, the SF Studio disaster movie ‘Horizon Line’ and the new MARVEL movie ‘Morbius’… and as someone who did not have any experience in the film industry at that point, knowing I was going to be working on a MARVEL movie as my first job was insane! I began working for Swedish composer Jon Ekstrand in Stockholm, Sweden in September 2019 after a ten days trial that was to act as my internship for one of my final year modules for my composition degree. I continued to work in Stockholm throughout the entirety of my last year of my degree and was completing my degree remotely, which before the virus was seen as an anomaly. I had the chance to visit new places, indulge in a new culture and build my skillset all whilst working for Jon until I was forced to move back to the UK in March 2020 when the world turned upside down. I believed that my part in these brilliant productions was going to be over, but thankfully I was wrong! I continued to work for Jon remotely from my mums spare bedroom, on a laptop connected to the world’s longest ethernet cable (spanning from one end of the house to the other) in an attempt to find an internet connection fast enough to allow me to continue to control the computer I had been using in Stockholm as if nothing had changed. The music department were then working over two continents and across three time zones to complete these projects and this presented its challenges, but overall this experience has certainly taught me the importance of resilience and patience.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
In 2020, I began two new businesses that are going to start flourishing this year. UGLiCAT is a coaching business helping new freelance musicians who struggle to monetize their musical talents create a network of passive income streams by utilizing a social media marketing strategy which will enable them to pursue their dream active music careers. Soothing Music is a new relaxing music YouTube channel that produces new, nature inspired videos every Wednesday and Sunday. Soothing Music is something that I am, personally, really excited about as it is not only giving me the excuse to write over 2 hours of music every week but is also the chance for me to build my music business skills and create a platform that genuinely helps people to relax within our busy society. My plan for the Soothing Music YouTube channel is to continue to produce new videos twice a week and grow a catalogue of soothing music which can then be licensed, bought and distributed across a number of streaming platforms.

I hope that, by the end of 2021, I will be licensing my own music under Soothing Music and will have grown my YouTube channel to over 100 videos! In the end, the goal with this venture is to help viewers relax, so one of my main aims is to continue to research and experiment with new musical relaxation techniques in order to build resources for the wider public. To keep up to date with our new videos check out our Instagram @soothingmusic.channel and find all of our videos on our YouTube channel linked in this article. UGLiCAT is a company that I founded with my partner, Thomas Eggensberger, back in the middle of 2020 when we realized just how much the music industry, and our peers, were struggling as a result of all the sudden changes that were occurring.

Thankfully, before the pandemic came into full force, Thomas and I had managed to build our passive income streams and active music careers to the point where we had found a teachable, repeatable business structure that we could use to help others. Currently, we are working with free beta clients on a one-to-one basis to finesse our course presentation, taking these clients through all of the actionable steps of our course and guiding them through the steps of building a music career that they can rely on financially and to continuously provide work. In the coming months, we will be launching our one-to-one coaching program to the public and by the end of 2021, we will be re-packaging our coaching program as an online course to add to our one-to-one coaching program. We are currently still looking for more beta clients so if you are interested in building passive income streams and learning how to network your way to exciting opportunities then DM us on our Instagram @_uglicat.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
Glendale, Los Angeles and California are brilliant! It is so such a different place to the UK for a starters it is warm in Glendale… all the time! As a British person, I am used to the rain so being surrounded by beautifully warm sunshine and the opportunity to go to the beach, go hiking, or to the desert all the time makes it so easy to find excuses to take breaks from work and go outside. I am not sure what I would say is my least favourite thing about Glendale so far… Maybe because of the pandemic and because of my short length of stay, I haven’t had the opportunity to explore enough of the area, but I have to say that the bugs are, well, persistent and ENORMOUS! I am not sure I have ever seen bugs this big back home in the UK! That is something I would be happy not to take back with me that’s for sure!

Pricing:

  • UGLiCAT Current Beta Clients Offer – FREE (receive coaching in one segment of our full coaching plan with the option to continue the coaching sessions to cover the remainder of the UGLiCAT course).

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Main Image, and image of Music box (children’s installation) by Kirsten McTernan. Soothing Music image sourced from Pixabay.

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