ORGANISERS behind a free, all-day event hope to help establish Glasgow as a world centre for electronic music education.

Soma Skool sets out to “educate the minds of tomorrow in how to gain a career in the electronic music industry” through a day of workshops featuring artists and others working in the industry from Scotland, the UK and further afield.

Budding music artists and entrepreneurs can gain insider knowledge from prominent figures from the worlds of record labels, promotion, broadcasting as well as attending workshops on Ableton production technology, modular synthesis, music journalism and creating live visuals.

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“When people leave, we want them to feel like they have made the first stepping stone into their career,” says Soma Skool project manager Rosie Shannon, below. “We wanted to up our game this year.”

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As well as the more practical elements, Soma Skool includes more conceptual discussions such as the meaning of “no rules and no boundaries” in contemporary electronic music and a panel discussion with John Baillie from Bossy Love, Night School Records and DJ duo Lezzer Quest titled “the importance of queer artists in electronic music”.

Shannon said: “We’re bringing in conversations about making electronic music more diverse, so people can see that people of any background can get into it ... it’s becoming a more accessible industry than it has ever been before.”

Shannon is manager of production and distribution at Soma Records, the Glasgow-based techno and house label co-founded by legendary music duo Slam in 1991. She was instrumental in bringing back the music industry education event last year after a break of eight years.

“By my desk was a poster advertising Soma Skool in 2008,” she says. “I was looking at it and thinking: ‘That looks so good, we need to bring this back and update it for the people of today, get more companies involved.’”

The success of Soma Skool 2018 affirmed what the University of the West of Scotland graduate knew: that there was a clear demand for an event specialising in electronic music education.

“When I was at university, there was never an event like this,” she says. “A lot of the universities and colleges are more band-focussed and electronic music is often overlooked.

“I think people who are studying music are just crying out for something like this. In recent years there has been a surge of interest among people of all ages, seeing electronic music as a viable career option.”

Open to anyone aged 16 and over, Soma Skool aims to offer advice relevant to a variety of roles within the industry.

“It won’t be people speaking about a subject that won’t relate to a career,” Shannon explains. “It’ll be people at the top of their game giving career advice to the audience with a real personal touch. People will gain, not just random knowledge but things they can use, as well as seeing the vast variety of job options that are available out there.”

Though Soma Skool may be of particular interest to young people in their teens and 20s, Shannon noted a wider demographic at last year’s event.

“There were people of all ages there, which was great,” she says. “It is an industry which is accessible to anybody of any age. You can make music at any age you want to. One thing you’ll also see is that it doesn’t matter what genre of music you’re into. There’s loads of stuff to play around with and learn.”

Following the day’s graft, Soma Skool students can kickback with Maximum Pressure’s Easter party at the same venue.

Joining Shannon’s label bosses Slam in the DJ booth will be rising local youngster Jasper James, Turkish-German DJ Len Faki and French legend Laurent Garnier, who’ll play a three-hour set.

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Soma Skool’s international dimension is one Shannon and her team are keen to pursue further, with names from elsewhere including Japanese DJ hardware company Pioneer DJ and Veronica Vasicka, above, a respected label founder, radio and club DJ from New York.

Glasgow is “missing a trick”, Shannon says. “If you look at something like the Amsterdam Dance Event, 250,000 people travel to Amsterdam every year for that.

“That’s why we want to expand the international aspect and open it up to the world.

“Hopefully in years to come, people will recognise Soma Skool and Glasgow being even more of a central hub for electronic music education.”

Soma Skool: April 20, SWG3, Glasgow, noon to 5.30pm, free. Tickets:

Maximum Pressure: April 20, SWG3, Glasgow, 6pm to 3am, £30 (+ booking fee). Tickets: #SomaSkool