In memory of Ewan McLeod


This is how I met and knew Ewan McLeod. Black Behind The Noise T-shirt, khaki trousers and usually a plaid overshirt. I met him through an afterschool program that I took part in, in school obviously, so around 6 years ago. I was in my final year and I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself. Well, I kind of did. I wanted to work in the music industry in some capacity. I still want to, now. 

I was introduced to him as he was conducting lessons for Behind the Noise - and you could tell he was the man. He spoke about touring and his wonderful life in the music industry. 

My eyes lit up like the star eye emoji. That's the ticket. That's what I want to do. 

I felt a bit daft being in the project because I couldn't play any instruments therefore I wasn't in the band. So I would have to be a bystander, I guess. 

Ewan showed me how not to be a bystander. I could be on the production/managerial side of things. 

It felt trivial, at the start but then I told Ewan about how I did some music blogging. He thought this was great. He even introduced me to a younger girl on the course who wanted to get into music blogging herself -- he was introducing me as someone with experience, someone who could give advice. 

Later on, he asked me to come and talk at Education days that were promoting Behind the Noise as myself, Michaela McElroy, Kieran Howe and Ibby Dikko were picked as trainees and it led to our showcase gig - Scottish Heroes. I blogged about that in 2015. 

When I went to go for my commercial music course interview at UWS, he coached me through that. I got an unconditional place. I didn't take the place in the course, but it was an achievement that he helped me with nonetheless. 

As well as being a DJ for Beat 106, a talent scout in London, Behind the Noise was really the thing that he did that made an impact, for the youth of today. Alongside Rico, Sean and the rest of the crew -- he changed lives. Here's some videos from our school band that we made up in 2014.

I wrote about Behind The Noise in a post before -- Behind The Noise has it's roots in education, as it starts in schools as a music and business education program. I was told about it off hand when my drama teacher at the time - shout out to Mr Nolan, if it wasn't for him taking interest and seeking out opportunities for me, then none of this would have happened. That's what you call a good teacher - was asking me what I was thinking about doing after school. I told him that, idk, maybe like, working with bands and stuff? It just so happened that THAT week, the Behind The Noise workshops would be rolling into our school. They would run as an after school activity, and seeing as I was a big nerd and that sounded like an awesome opportunity, I went along. And after that, my friends, the rest was history.  Kind of. The workshops cultivated into an end of the year live show at The Classic Grand in Glasgow, called The Gig at the Grand. The pictures you see peppered through this post are from the years past, and every time they're on, they are the cultivation of hard work, stress, tears, and the coming together of people who believe in the younger generation and what they can do creatively. They help them with skills and tools to build up their confidence and think "hey, maybe I CAN work with bands and stuff!"

This is so, so important. Far too often, people think that working in the music industry is just a pipe dream - but when you're in school, there are little options are available to you if the most you feel like you can do is get into a 14+ show, while missing out on other gigs that your favourite bands are playing because you're not old enough to drink yet. If you don't start a band yourself, or have friends in bands -- then it feels like there's no possible way it can ever happen. Behind the Noise changes that, and creates experiences for these kids who might feel like that was never going to be an option. That's what happened for me, anyway.

If it wasn't for Ewan, and the others who made it happen, there would be no Behind the Noise. There would be no confidence for younger people. Ewan saw sparks in every one of us and helped make our dreams into realities. 

Ewan MacLeod passed away on Thursday 17th December 2020. 

We will miss him, so, so much. It's safe to say there's a hole now in the Scottish music industry where he once was. 

Here's some clips of the man himself, speaking for himself in his own words and then also interviewing the Spice Girls. Man does it all. 

James Harker from the bands Joesef and Static Union posted on his Facebook:
Incredibly sad news. Ewan’s infectious enthusiasm turned my interest for music into a passion. It was powerful at a young age to be told I had the potential to do things which at the time seemed impossible. My life would be entirely different without his influence. Will be raising a glass for the big man.

Singer songwriter Cara Rose wrote: Incredibly sad. Ewan was such a vibrant character who never failed to make me smile and laugh every time I was in his company. He really was an inspiration and he will be so missed.

Life is so precious, take care. ❤

Enthusiasm, vibrancy, inspirational. That's the kind of man he was. 

He will be sorely missed by many.

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