Born and bred in Liverpool, musician Ben Hughes has worked with some of world’s most famous artists, including Mick Fleetwood, Melanie C, Paolo Nutini and the Zutons, to name a few. Having trained alongside the likes of Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor, he is now passing on his musical experience to students at LMA.

 

Was music a big influence on you when you were growing up?

Definitely! My dad was a musician and he played his guitar everywhere, in pubs and clubs, and even with some pretty big bands. He’d always be out playing until about 3am in the morning and I’d wait up for him to get home just to hear all about it – he inspired me to take up music and taught me the basics when I was quite young.

 

What would be your career highlight so far?

It’s hard to pick – I’ve met so many different characters and found myself in so many different scenarios, some of which are hilarious!

If I had to choose a stand-out moment, it would be meeting Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac, which was amazing.

 

 

 

What do you love most about LMA?

All of the staff here are fantastic! It’s just like a family – everyone supports one another and it’s a really healthy, welcoming environment to be part of. The students are so willing to learn and it’s great to pass on my expertise.

 

How has the industry changed from when you were starting out?

It’s no easier or harder, it’s just that the industry has evolved. In the 60s and 70s, a label would pick up a band, invest money and make them mainstream. Now, artists have to get their foot in the door, the label picks them up and tips them in the right direction when their career is breaking. The future is all digital, that’s for certain. But the real money is in live shows, so it’s all about getting yourself out there.

 

Who would you love to collaborate and make music with?

I’d love to collaborate with a huge variety of artists but I guess if I was made to choose it would probably be with someone truly big in the industry like Beyonce or Justin Timberlake. It would be fascinating to see how the industry operates at that level.

 

What advice would you give your students?

I give students lots of different advice because there’s no single nugget of information that can ever help in all situations. I think the main things are to be happy and healthy. If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.

 

If you could only listen to one piece of music for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Any piece of music would make me go mad quite frankly. Something long and with lots of variety – “Money” by Pink Floyd would probably do!

You mentioned that you’d been in some hilarious scenarios – tell us more!

I’ve done press interviews where band members have thrown up on cameramen, I’ve been in band sessions where musicians have fallen off stage or set the room on fire. I’ve seen Justin Bieber smash a studio to pieces with a football in the first five minutes of being allowed in the room. I’ve also nursed James Bay whilst drinking a cup of tea because he was shivering before a gig…it ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous, take your pick!