How I Got My Job as a Singer/Songwriter: Interview with Jack Hinks

Being in a band- we all wanted to at some point, right?

While most of us swiftly realise we can’t sing, or let life get in the way of our plans of superstardom, twenty-something Jack Hinks has been making quite a name for himself in the Edinburgh music scene and beyond.

Hey Jack! So tell me a little bit about your music and what you’ve been up to lately?
Hello! I’m currently working on quite a few things, mainly my personal project ‘Hinks’, at the moment. We have just released our latest E.P, ‘Icarus’ after a long stretch of recording and honing our songs leading up to our launch gig just a few weeks ago. I’ve also been doing quite a lot with the Loud Poets. I play as part of the backing band that provides accompaniment to spoken word in and around Scotland. We’ve just returned from a tour in Brighton and Prague Fringes, and we had an amazing Edinburgh Fringe run, with the promise of an Indian tour at the end of the year!


You decided not to go to uni, right? We are always told uni is the best pathway to a good career. Why did you decide against it?
That’s right, I never felt sure on a course, and I knew by then that music was what I wanted to do. I found the prospect of a degree more of a cage than liberating, and I was keen enough to get out and do more with my music, and I hated the idea of wasting a degree when my head or my heart wasn’t in it. I don’t believe that a degree is the only way in to a profession in the arts, and so many have made a name for themselves with no credentials at all. Music is one of those beautiful things that isn’t exclusive, and true music can come from anywhere, and anyone.


It must be scary thought, not having a solid career. What’s the ‘worst’ part of being a musician?
 It’s true that the life of an artist isn’t the most reliable or sometimes lucrative, but I find the thought of working behind a desk or in a shop more terrifying than anything else. I think the worst part of being a musician, especially in an age where everything is expected for free, is having to depend on part time work to cover the overheads.


…And the best?
The best part is without a doubt seeing the fruits of your labour. Our E.P launch gig was one of the best gigs, if not the best I’ve played. The band was amazing and put so much effort in, and it felt great to put on a successful night without having to go through a separate promoter. Writing songs and playing with great musicians is always such an exciting and interesting experience, but it’s a totally different euphoria to seeing people stand in front of you, there to hear you, and care about the music you dedicate yourself to.


Have you ever thought, ‘nah, I’ll just have a 9-5 and be done with it’?


You’ve just released your new EP. How was that experience?
It was great. So much work went in from all angles, and there were a lot of pitfalls along the way, but it was such a beautiful feeling to finally release our music and celebrate all that we had worked towards and a goal that we had shared for months.


“Writing songs and playing with great musicians is always such an exciting and interesting experience, but it’s a totally different euphoria to seeing people stand in front of you, there to hear you, and care about the music you dedicate yourself to.”


What’s next on the cards for you?
I just want to continue as I have been! In the wake of our E.P I’m trying to focus on promoting our music on social media. I’m trying to give myself a little time off to focus more on writing new material, but experience has proven that I’m not the best at sitting still. In my past few days off I have just been endorsed by Faith Guitars, so I’m more excited than ever to get out and get gigging again!


Do you have any advice for other twenty-somethings who want to follow in your footsteps and pursue music as a career?
Get out and experience the scene first hand. There are always open mics and acoustic nights that are very welcoming for new acts and people looking to give performing or even playing a try. There is no definitive way to get in to the music scene, so don’t feel intimidated that you may be doing something wrong. The industry is ever changing, and even the pros don’t have a little black book.


Ideally, where would you like to be in five years time?
Ideally, doing what I am now, but as a completely self-sufficient, full time professional. As time goes by I hope more and more people can discover my music and hopefully build a larger and larger fan base, but I’m in no rush. I don’t see myself stopping, and I’ll enjoy the journey in whatever form it takes. The more time I can spend doing what I love, the better.

You can listen to Icarus, the new EP from Hinks here

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