Meet Nick Donovan: BIMM Berlin’s New College Principal

22 March, 2016

Here at BIMM, we’re very excited to have Nick Donovan on board as the new College Principal for BIMM Berlin, so in order to get to know him a little better, we thought we’d ask him a few questions…

What most excites you about your new post at BIMM Berlin?

I’m really looking forward to building BIMM Berlin with the Executive Principal, Vaseema Hamilton. We’ve already had some great industry partnerships, student shows and Masterclass guests, and I look forward to working closely with our tutor and core team to grow BIMM Berlin as the leading industry connector and provider of contemporary music education.

Briefly discuss your experience and background working in the music industry.

Aside from working alongside many great music professionals at BIMM for the last two and a half years, my experience in the industry is as an independent artist (I make strange dance music). As many artists do, I’ve had to work as my own agent, manager, designer, video director and PR to secure releases on two labels (with a third coming late this year), as well as arranging remixes, shows and festivals, and press coverage on radio and in print.  You can listen to Nick’s tracks here: Soundcloud.

How do you feel about the Berlin music scene?

Berlin is an incredible, multifaceted city with many subtleties and scenes, and our college reflects this in the multinational student cohort and the great range of talent and experience represented in our tutor team. The music scene here is one of the most renowned in the world. The club scene feeds into all other genres and generates a second, after-hours economy, with many venues either closing at 4am or opening on Friday midnight and closing Monday 9am. It’s intense, but creates a scene that’s full of possibilities.

How have you found your time at BIMM so far?

My time at BIMM has been fantastic. Working alongside the core team here has been a pleasure, due to the incredibly dedicated and experienced staff we have on board. Additionally, being surrounded by music professionals every day is a highlight – not to mention meeting the visiting big names.

What’s the best gig you’ve seen?

One of the best was actually a couple of weeks ago at Astra (a venue local to BIMM Berlin) where I saw Grimes. It was loose, exciting, relevant – an incredible show. I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of great shows but the most special one was probably the opening show of Kate Bush’s recent ‘Before The Dawn’ gigs at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. It was her first live show in 35 years and later I found out that Bjork was sitting behind me. There were also rumours of Bowie being there too.

What are you listening to at the moment?

My Spotify albums right now are: James Holden – ‘Outdoor Museum of Fractals’, Steve Reich – ‘Tehillim’, The Japanese House – ‘Clean’ EP, Paul Simon – ‘Graceland’, and James Taylor – ‘One Man Dog’.

What’s your most memorable moment working in music?

Last year I got to interview Thurston Moore and meet one of my producer heroes, Gordon Raphael – those were pretty special. In terms of playing, probably supporting shows for Sohn and Max Cooper. The Max Cooper gig was in Tresor (a legendary Berlin club and huge ex-factory) – that was incredibly fun!

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