Andy has stars in his eyes

Fleetwood Mac, Public Enemy, Biffy Clyro, Foals, The 1975, London Grammar, Bastille, Soulwax, Idris Elba, Disclosure, Deftones, Fall Out Boy, Angel Haze, Richard Hawley, Albert Hammond Jr and Chvrches. They’re just some of the stars Andy Trendell has interviewed since he landed his dream job in London nearly a year ago.

The 25-year-old graduated from Nottingham Trent in 2010 after completing an MA in Newspaper Journalism at CBJ. He was desperate to write about music and the arts full time but – as is so often the case – had to go on a roundabout route to get there.

Star turn: Andy (right) with The 1975’s Matt Healy.

Star turn: Andy (right) with The 1975’s Matt Healy.

Andy was a junior news reporter for the Gainsborough Standard and Worksop Guardian (doing freelance gig reviews and other music journalism in any spare moments) before passing the NCTJ’s senior exams at the second attempt and being hired by gigwise.com as assistant editor.

He said: “I’d always hoped but never really believed that I’d land a job like this. However, that didn’t stop me working for it.

“As a result, when I first started I found myself just saying ‘yes’ to absolutely everything. After two or three months of nearly-solid festivals, I found myself stumbling off a boat in Ibiza and interviewing Idris Elba. It’s moments like that where you need to kick yourself. I get to interview my favourite bands and don’t pay for gigs or festivals any more, but that’s not to say it isn’t hard work – it bloody is. Online journalism never rests. There’s never a deadline because you’re writing constantly. However, the discipline, structure, work ethic and legal knowledge I learned at CBJ and on regional newspapers have proved invaluable. I’d be a much poorer person if I hadn’t interviewed Paul Daniels at a sausage competition, covered the court case of a man who cooked a cat in a microwave or got to know some pretty wonderful families while dealing with their loved ones’ inquests and tributes.

“There were times, I admit, when sitting in Dora’s shorthand lessons, having Dave Welford roll his eyes at my admittedly awful puns, working towards my NCE and the countless hours door-knocking people in the rain seemed irrelevant to the plot, but I’d be a pretty terrible journalist if it weren’t for the whole experience. My time at NTU and writing for the Gainsborough Standard and Worksop Guardian formed the cornerstone of everything that followed, and I feel lucky to do have had some pretty amazing mentors, editors and colleagues to keep me on my toes.

“Don’t rest on your laurels and expect these opportunities to fall in to your lap. I’ve met plenty of people who thought that getting their journalism degree, diploma or MA was enough to get them a job on a music magazine or a national newspaper. Dream on. I took up my first job as a local reporter three months before I’d finished my MA, and feel bloody lucky for it. In the year before that and for years after, I spent every spare hour writing music reviews and interviews for the likes of Nottingham Post, Metro, Platform, Left Lion and anyone who would have me (for free), as well as shoe-horning it into my day job.

“It’s that relentless plugging away, seeing what gets edited, getting your stuff read and having a bulging portfolio that gets you somewhere. To write for a living is a privilege, so be prepared to put the hours in. “Oh, and don’t expect to be ever be wealthy or get enough sleep.”

See Andy’s work and read more about his award-winning past at http://www.andrewtrendelljournalism.co.uk/about/cv

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