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Meet Mike Harley

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We caught up with one of the newest emerging talents at Tileyard Education.

Mike Harley, master baker, indie label owner, instrumentalist, sound engineer and producer, joined Tileyard Education last September to take his career to new heights. We spoke with Mike about his story. Mike found his love for music 20 years ago learning to play the clarinet at school, though his biggest inspiration was his father, who played the guitar. Mike said:

“My house was filled with guitars and Vinyl, music was my dad’s passion”

He reminisced with us over his dad spinning prog-rock vinyl in the house, from Genesis to Pink Floyd. This would later inspire Mike to play in bands which successfully run UK tours on the metal underground scene, he mentioned one of his most memorable shows was playing a gig in Camden:

“The vibe was electric, the crowd just vibed with us”.

After getting kicked out of college, Mike decided he needed to funnel his creative skills into a more practical music diploma, so he could focus solely on music tech and creation. He studied at Croydon College and, throughout his time studying, Mike learned how to be a live sound engineer at his local church during his study, learning from George Michael’s Producer, for just under a year, who taught him how to work a desk. Mike became the head sound engineer at his church for the following years, before graduating from his diploma, which also lead to other exciting opportunities helping to organise working as a head sound engineer at ‘Baseline’ one of the UK’s largest under 18’s club. Here, they would programme bands as well as DJ’s for ‘battle of the band’ events. After college, Mike successfully enrolled at Canterbury University to complete his Bachelors in Music Production and Business Management.

After University, Mike kept working in music, proactively looking for opportunities. He became the head sound engineer for an indie label in London for 18 months, until he eventually decided to start his own label, originally called ‘Real Music Production’ and now known as ‘The Beat Bakery London’. Since the beginning, the focus was to work with emerging talent. Mike was inspired to set this up after the success of his Croydon radio show ‘The Real Music Radio Show’ connected him with so many new and talented musicians and artists. One of Mike’s signings, Mannrococo is an artist-producer with real promise. 

Mike said he is really excited to see the growth of his relationship with Mannrococo, they’ve worked together for 3 years, were recently approached by Lorenzo Carvelli and have been commissioned to work composing music for an Italian film ‘Formentera’, a film about the story of Pink Floyd. Lorenzo is the executive writer and producer on the film. The film is due to be finished in the next 6-12 months.

If that wasn’t enough, Mike is also a master baker, attaining an MA in Baking and Food Technology, he is a passionate baker and has been baking professionally for years. He currently starts every day before coming into the studio at Tileyard at 4 am to bake. His love of baking is what inspired the title of his record label ‘The Beat Bakery London’

Mike has had an inspiring and unconventional journey to get to where he is, battling mental health, he is open and a proud advocate of talking about mental health, reflecting upon his own experience, he told us 2019 was a low point, he decided to quit his job and make music, his absolute passion, the most important thing in his life. Mike chose Tileyard Education to study his MA in Commercial Music Production, because: 

“There is nothing else like it in the UK”

He added:

“I am so excited by the opportunities Tileyard has to offer”

He recently pitched a track to Sister Bliss at Tileyard, she liked the song so much, she’s meeting with Mike to discuss it in the upcoming weeks. Mike has been proactively organising collaborative studio sessions and also recently pitched his music to Tileyard Music for feedback.

He said:

“The thing I like about studying at Tileyard is that it’s not really a masters, I’m constantly working at a professional level” 

Mike’s enthusiasm, passion and drive is inspiring and we cannot wait to catch up with him to see what new opportunities present themselves! Follow his label and his story here.

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