Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
My name is Oli Ng, I’m 23 from Crewe, Cheshire.
What does your job involve? Give us the typical outline of a day?
I work self-employed/freelance as a singer-songwriter, but also do bits of tour managing and promoting on the side.
What’s great about your job?
I travel a lot, which some people might find not so great, but I enjoy seeing new places. You also get to meet a lot of new people, which is also great!
What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging?
There’s nothing I don’t like about my job, I love it. There are challenges with everything you do, the days can be quite long sometimes but you get used to it.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
I’ve toured Europe a couple of times up to now, and both times have been really great experiences - I hope to do a lot more of it in the future!
When did you decide you wanted to become a musician?
I’ve been playing since I was in Year 10 at school, but I went professional about three years ago. I thought if I don’t do it now, I don’t want to look back in 30 years and think “I wish I had given it a go”, so I took the leap of faith and did it! So far, so good.
And what was the process for pursuing your music career? How did it start?
Started like most really, learned the guitar, started a band at school etc. Then when I started writing my own songs and doing a fair few gigs, and people seemed to like it and it was all I wanted to do, I knew that that’s what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life.
Have you also worked outside the arts?
I worked at Costa Coffee before I went professional, but other than that not really!
Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
I think the biggest challenge for me was a tour I did a few years ago, where everything you could think of, went wrong. We got robbed, we had an accident in the van, we got kicked out of a venue because we didn’t sell enough tickets… it was a disaster. It was really hard to try and motivate yourself to carry on after that, but we were young and took it on our chin and learnt from it.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?
The industry is always changing, which I think isn’t always a bad thing. I think sometimes people get stuck in their ways and don’t move with the times, and that’s when they get left behind and suffer the most. We might not like it no, but it’s a necessary evil sometimes.
And what would you like to see change in the industry?
Of course, like everybody, I’d like to see secondary tickets die out, but unfortunately, as long as people keep buying over priced tickets, it will always be around.
If you could collaborate with one artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
People who know we who are reading this will have guessed this, but it’d have to be Bruce Springsteen. He’s my hero and the sole reason why I became a Musician.
What is something you wish you knew before you started?
There isn’t anything really, I feel like if I knew some of the things before I started, I might have been put off due to not thinking I could do what it entails, and I can’t imagine my life without music.
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
Brace yourself. It’s doing to be tough, but you’ll love it!
Do you have any advice for young people interested in becoming a musician?
Just go for it. It’s a job that has the cliché ‘you get what you put in’. If you’re out there doing it, meeting new people, things will come.
Where can people find your music?
I’m on all the usual streaming sites etc. You can get links to those from my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/olingmusic and all my other social media profiles @OliNgMusic.
Anything else you want to plug?
I have a big Headline Show at The Sugarmill in Stoke, on Friday 17th May. Tickets available from my website www.olingmusic.co.uk