How to become a singer-songwriter: Jade Bird's story

Meet Jade Bird and find out more about life as a singer-songwriter and her journey into the music industry. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

  • Jade started writing music at 12 and gigging at 14
  • After moving to London, Jade kept gigging throughout her time at school and got her first break on stage at 18
  • Jade has found that resilience is really important in the entertainment industry – you have to get used to rejection! Her advice is to take all the opportunities you can to gig in pubs, clubs and local competitions – they'll help you get a thicker skin and useful experience
  • She believes that having good people around you that keep you grounded is so important
  • Jade's learnt that, if you're a hard worker, people will want to work with you.

You've got to work hard for the things you want.

What to expect if you want to be a singer-songwriter

What will I get paid? Your income will depend on how successful you become and how much paid work you secure. Remember, a record deal doesn't necessarily guarantee success and success doesn't necessarily mean fame. Where will I work? Initially, you'll probably work a lot from home or the recording studio. You will need to travel nationally or internationally to perform. What are the working hours like? You'll choose your writing hours. Gigs are normally at night and can end very late. On tour, there will be a lot of early mornings and travel.

What qualifications do you need to be singer-songwriter?

What qualifications do I need? None in particular – passion, experience and dedication is more important, although musical knowledge and performance skills could be beneficial.

Emily: Production Manager for Festivals
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Jack: digital marketing assistant