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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Feb 2019 > THE KEYS TO SUCCESS


From being ‘that student’ who always played piano in school assemblies, to an adult life tinkling the ivories for some of music’s biggest stars – including Jake Bugg, James Arthur and recently, The Streets – Mike Patrick’s musical life has been something of a rollercoaster, driven by a deep love of music

“There’s a lot of mind games with music – the path isn’t mapped out for you, it’s not the nine-to-five and there are no certainties,” Mike Patrick tells us, fresh from a live stint with The Streets that is set to extend throughout 2019 and beyond. Having solidified his position as Mike Skinner’s keyboardist, Mike reflects back on his early life, and how his journey to this place began. “It was really interesting actually, my dad used to play keyboards when I was little, which was more of a hobby really, than anything professional. I remember being a kid and he bought an electric Bontempi Hammond. I just used to always play on it – from as long as I can remember.”

Through playing with this simple keyboard, Mike started to develop a real talent, which would come to fruition at church. “A lot of musicians that I know started in church and I guess that played a big role for me, too,” Mike says. “I started playing for the school choir. That’s where it started. Before long, I ended up being that kid at school who played everybody into assembly. Piano was just something I picked up naturally. I felt sometimes that it was more of a gift than anything, because I never had lessons, it was more a thing of being around music. In church you had like 30 seconds to pick up a song. When you don’t know what you’re doing, you still kind of had to play anyway!”

As school came to an end, Mike’s love for piano began to become a central passion in his life. “After school, I said to my mum and dad that I wanted to study music more. My dad expressed that he ‘couldn’t see how music’s going to put food on the table’, so instead, I studied Graphic Design at college, which was quite interesting and still sometimes useful to me. I finished that though, and still felt the drive to do music.” In the end, Mike headed to Middlesex University and started doing a Classical BA in music. “The problem was I couldn’t read music,” Mike recalls. “I was an instinctual player really, so I jumped into theory and bought a bunch of books before the course and started getting my head around it. So by the time the course started, I wasn’t too bad – but I always dreaded reading.”

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About MusicTech

The first issue of MusicTech of 2019 is on sale now! This issue we’ve compiled the very best advice, insight, tips and general music making wisdom from our archive of interviewees to arm you with all the knowledge you need to enhance your compositions this year. We’ve also got the first part of a massive guide to scoring and orchestration, interviews with The Streets’ keyboardist Mike Patrick and industry innovators Aston Microphones, a huge review of Cubase Pro 10 and our usual mountain of tutorials, tips and guides. Enjoy the issue!