Nordoff Robbins meets…

Carly Wilford

For our first guest blog of 2020 we caught up with DJ, Presenter and Nordoff Robbins supporter, Carly Wilford. In this edition, Carly talks about her long standing relationship with the charity and takes us back to her most memorable Nordoff Robbins’ moments.

Hi Carly, tell us about yourself.

I’m a DJ and a Presenter first and foremost, but I also find myself involved in many different areas of the world of music. Day to day I run a collective called SISTER, which focuses on creating balance in the music industry through discovering and backing new artists, curating events with balanced line ups and we have a radio show and podcast that is broadcast globally. I also consult for some record labels as a freelance A&R (Artist & Relations), as well as working with brands like The North Face and Apple.

In what way does music impact your life?

Music is more powerful than so many of us realise. It has the ability to lift you up when things get tough, to bring us together or to divide us, it can be used to carry messages and is also deeply healing. Music is my world. As a DJ, I listen to it every day. Discovering new sounds, uncovering next level producers and musicians and sharing what I find with anyone that will listen. For me, the music industry goes beyond the music. It’s the people behind the music that make it so special.

How did you become connected to Nordoff Robbins?

After learning about what an incredible charity Nordoff Robbins was, I was lucky enough to visit the centre and watch a therapy session in action. I was moved to tears by the impact that music therapy had. Seeing someone who initially came in to the room shy and closed off open up so quickly was incredible. Communicating through playing chords on the piano and that then turning to laughter and smiling with the therapist. From that day, I have been connected to the charity as I really believe in the power of music therapy.

You’ve been an amazing supporter of Nordoff Robbins and a strong voice, especially at our fundraising events. What is it about the charity that makes you keep coming back?

At every event, you get to hear from the families and the people that they have helped. Meeting them, hearing how it has changed their lives and seeing the endless work that the charity do is exceptional. Before my wonderful Grandmother passed away, she had dementia. On the days when things were tough we used to play music to her. Even though she found it hard to communicate sometimes, she still remembered the words to her favourite songs. In her younger days, she was on stage, an actress with a fantastic voice. Even though she is no longer with us, supporting the charity is the least that I can do to honour her legacy.

Tell us about your favourite Nordoff Robbins memory?

Every year, the O2 Silver Clef awards are brilliant. I will never forget interviewing Jimmy Page & Pharrell Williams together on the red carpet. Two icons of our time. The awards bring together so many talented and dedicated musicians and music industry minds. It’s one date on the calendar that I always look forward to.