Graduate profile
Hinako Omori

Hinako Omori

"In the last few years, my main projects have been touring as a session musician/programmer and I’ve felt incredibly lucky to be able to explore cities in countries I haven’t visited before, in the name of work."

Course
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons)
Graduation year
2011

Choosing Surrey 

My A-level Music Technology teacher at Reigate College highly recommended the Tonmeister course, plus I knew some people who had gone on to study the degree and really enjoyed it. I based my A-levels on the course’s entry requirements.

The course

The best thing about the Tonmeister course were my incredible course mates and tutors that I had the pleasure of meeting. My strongest memory of Surrey is the Performing Arts and Technology (PATS) building, where we spent a lot of our time. I have such wonderful memories of recording sessions in the amazing studio facilities, rehearsing and playing music with friends.

I feel very lucky to still be in touch with many of them and it really does feel like a big family and support network. It’s so heart-warming bumping into many familiar faces even outside of socialising, in various work environments such as studios, radio stations and festivals/shows – both in the UK and abroad. I recently moved into a studio in Tottenham and was so happy to find out that some Surrey friends also had studios there. It immediately felt like home.

Life after Surrey

I recently started working as a freelance musician/producer, after working at Focusrite/Novation in their Artist Relations team, and at a record label. The interesting thing about freelance work is that it really varies from project to project and is a great chance to learn and develop different skills along the way. In the last few years, my main projects have been touring as a session musician/programmer and I’ve felt incredibly lucky to be able to explore cities in countries I haven’t visited before, in the name of work. More recently, I’ve been writing music for a visual media/performance installation project and for an animation.

How did your time at Surrey help you choose your career? 

I think the support network of class mates and tutors from Surrey helped and encouraged me to explore the different avenues I’ve taken. One of my first jobs after graduating was helping run Tape Club Records. I met the founder when he was doing a PhD at the University of Surrey, and we’ve worked closely together ever since across various projects. James Wyatt, an incredible musician/MD/producer who was in the year above me at Surrey, gave me advice on the session musician world before I made the decision to go freelance. I’m so grateful for these ongoing connections.

I also really enjoyed the industry lectures we had at Surrey; it was a great opportunity to learn from many different professionals spanning a range of areas in the music world.

Advice for music students

My advice for students aspiring to work in music is to follow your heart and trust your gut feelings, and be open to opportunities and different paths as you never know where they might lead.