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NMC Guest: Victoria Wai (Photographer)

How long have you been active in the north east music scene and what do you do?
Too many years – always stop/start but in it for the long haul. I am a predominately a live music photographer but also do documentary style photography from recording/rehearsal studios, backstage and soundcheck which is where my heart lies – I’ve also started to do (live) videos when artists/management/venues allow. Video is very much a working progress but definitely a direction that I am going.

How did you become involved in music and what have you done to get where you are today?
I simply love music. I cannot play, sing or write but somehow found an eye for photography and managed to combine that with music and it is through pure passion I have got to where I am. I am a bit of an introvert so have held back a lot and maybe have let a few opportunities go because of it and somehow although I am more in the shadows a lot of people know (of) me which has led to conversations and a building of trust and honesty from it. Sometimes a bit too much trust on my half but you live and learn.

What advice would you offer to others looking to be more involved in music?
Do what you love and love what you do. Follow your heart and not the crowd. If you’re honest with yourself then the path you find yourself on will be genuine and the hard work will pay off one way or another. It sounds so cheesy but it’s a harsh world out there and you have to genuinely be in it for the love of it otherwise you will lose your way. Talk to as many people as you can and get involved with as many things you can but also look after yourself.

What are your favourite things about the north east music scene? Are there any particular highlights from your experiences?
If I am honest, I started on the North East scene but then found myself in London a lot as the sounds down there got me more and the artists I loved rarely came to the North East so I had a huge gap from when I started to where I have found myself in recent years and in this time I’ve come to embrace the North East scene. There are so many of the familiar faces in the crowd that when I am flying solo photographing gigs and I am restricted to three numbers I can normally hang with someone I didn’t come with for the rest of the gig. Or even if I am there for the full gig at least there are friendly faces I can talk to in between sets – whether that be the gig goer or a performer on stage to even the sound engineer and the person in control of the lights. I love the genuine support that most of the artists have for each other too and when I’ve met those on the other side from journalists in radio and print to studio managers and sound engineers you just feel the support of everyone wanting people to succeed. It is true community spirit.

Where can others find out more about your work and how can they get in touch?
If you want visuals then Instagram is probably the best platform but you can also find me on Twitter with some photos but a lot of chat/rant about other things. I am @Victoria__Wai on both platforms and that is with two underscores. Facebook if you want the quieter version of me which is Victoria Wai Photography.
One day I will get to grips with my website but at time of writing it is broken, however my email is open and I can be reached at ‘hello@victoriawai.co.uk’ should that be better for you
And when gigs start up again come say “hi”. A lot of the times my head is on the game and I might not see you so I am not ignoring you but just working.
Victoria Wai: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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