Alumni interview at Greenfields School

02 Jul 2013

Ludwig Long aka Ludwig Amadeus is a musician, music producer and owner of Size 9 Records. He has composed for TV and adverts for companies such as Disney, Wella, NBC, and Universal. To date he has released three singles on his own label, all of which have received airplay on all major national UK radio as well as play listing on MTV and reviews in Mixmag and DJ Mag.

Q. What have you been up to since leaving Greenfields?

A. Quite a great many things, the 3 passions I’ve developed since leaving have been in music, cycling and slightly reluctantly… Business

Q. What are your fondest memories of Greenfields?

A. My fondest memories are of students and some of the teachers. Some of my best friendships were developed at Greenfields and the English class with Mr Hudson was always interesting as Mr Hudson had an infinite repertoire of excruciatingly bad puns so there was never really a dull moment.

Q. What have you learnt at Greenfields that is still of value to you?

A. A lot of the things I learned in Maths and Business Studies. I didn’t think so at the time but they are two of the most valuable subjects in my life at the moment. Music and art in general are entirely Maths once you get down to the mechanics behind them. At the time I didn’t honestly consider any of the subjects to be of value but in hindsight I find myself actually remembering and applying most of what I learned in nearly every subject.

Q. Describe Greenfields in three words…

A. Different, unique and inspiring

Q. What inspired you to work in the music industry?

A. The effect that music had on me when I listened to it: we had a piano player staying at our house when I was leaving Greenfields and I heard him play just once and decided then and there that that’s what I would dedicate my life to doing. It was a bit of a pipe dream at the time and I never thought I’d actually end up doing it professionally but skip forward a few years and here I am…

Q. What training or courses did you do to learn your craft?

A. None at all. Originally when I left Greenfields I was planning to go to a music school in London to do a degree but between me and my dad we just couldn’t afford it. In the end I just battled my way through on my own. I taught myself piano and then applied the mechanics to guitar. Once I was at a certain level on guitar I applied the basics to bass and then started making some terrible recordings. That’s when I began learning how to produce.

Q. You sing, play piano, bass and various other instruments, what equipment do you use?

A. I’ve got two pianos, a bass, a guitar and a home studio running Cubase, it’s a pretty basic setup but I feel it’s more about what you can do with the equipment than the equipment itself.

Q. You have collaborated with other artists in the past, can you tell us about some of your productions?

A. Yeah I’ve collaborated quite a bit. I’ve released 3 singles so far on the label I set up with collaborations from some great rappers and singers. They’ve all done pretty well with press and radio coverage. Most of my money has come from writing songs for TV and adverts, I guess this is where I drop a few names:
Disney, Wella, NBC, Universal, Giovanni Bianco, Varipix.

Q. What upcoming projects can you tell us about?

A. I always try to have 3 projects on the go: My next single is called The Breeze which will be out on 24th June, It’s basically finished, and I’m just working on the promotion and marketing side of things right now, working with radio pluggers and PR people etc as well as lots of very boring admin. In the meantime I’m recording the next single called Matter which is like a live classical dubstep orchestra. I took on a bit more than I can chew with this one as it’s something that’s never really been done, so it’s progressing, albeit slowly. The recording process alone has taken 4 months and will take another 4 still. That will be released towards the end of the year if all goes to plan. I’m also making a documentary on busking which is less fun creatively, though it’s something very close to my heart and is important to do. It aims to explore the actual laws on busking in public and empower musicians to not be afraid of authorities by understanding the actual law, as opposed to what they are told it is by “officials”

Q. You run your own label, what made you decide to do so?

A. I got into music right when MySpace and Facebook were starting to get big and the industry seemed to be dramatically changing. I was meeting a lot of labels, management companies and “experts” around this time and came to the conclusion that they were pretty much making it up as they went along. I set up the label initially as a test to see how successful I could be at releasing a record on my own and to learn about the industry. It did better than I could have imagined and I realized that it was entirely possible to succeed without help from a large label so I’ve kept it running ever since and have released all of my work through it.

Q. What advice can you give to any students wanting to work in the music world?

A. Learn the business.
It’s pretty much the one thing a musician or artist doesn’t want to do but it’s more important than you can imagine. Any success I’ve had so far is around 2% to do with me being a good musician and 98% about understanding the mechanics of the music business. I meet bands and singers who’ve been doing it far longer than me and don’t have the slightest idea about how the music industry works or where the money comes from and they will sadly never be successful as a result. So learn the business no matter how painful it might be and learn it for yourself, not what someone else thinks it is or says it is. Also do NOT quit your day job; I learned this the hard way…. Several times….

Q. What are your ambitions and goals for the future?

A. To be the greatest composer in history and to inspire others as much as possible, no biggie…

You can find out more about Ludwig at: