London College of Music

Sandy Beales' big break

Sandy Beales grew up in a small town in Devon, south-west England. In 2005, he decided to make the move to London, where he enrolled on the BMus Popular Music Performance course at London College of Music (LCM), specialising in bass guitar.

The course offered Sandy everything he was looking for. 'It was amazing', he said. 'Having the opportunity to play with so many different musicians improved my musical understanding and ability to play in a live environment. I also made a lot of great contacts on the course.'

Since graduating in 2008, Sandy has worked with various singer-songwriters, but his big break came in 2011 when he auditioned to be the bass player in a new band called One Direction - with no idea how big they would become. Speaking about his four and a half years with 1D, Sandy says, 'I've been very fortunate to have toured and performed all around the world with the band. There have been so many highlights, but the ones that stand out are performing at Wembley Stadium and Madison Square Garden - two iconic venues that I had always dreamed of playing.'

With One Direction currently on a hiatus, Sandy has been working on his own projects, namely the band he is in with Josh Devine, the drummer from 1D, and Brendan Brown, the singer from US band, Wheatus. They've been recording their E.P - the only slight inconvenience being that they are each living in New York, L.A and Hertfordshire. 'We make it work', explains Sandy. 'Modern technology, eh?'

So, what advice would Sandy give to final year London College of Music students about to make their first steps into the industry? 'My time at LCM really prepared me for how versatile you need to be to work as a session musician. It’s important to be prepared to work hard, to go out there and perform as much as you can - and say yes to every opportunity you are given. But ultimately, just enjoy yourself!'

Listen to Sandy’s music at www.sandybeales.com.

Sandy Beales