Having performed with One Direction in their live band, Sandy Beales is certainly an experienced bassist. As one of our judges for Sound of the Times we caught up with him to find out more about what inspires him and what he’s looking for in this year’s entries…

This project is all about inspiring young musicians – which musicians inspire/d you?

Growing up Flea from the Chili Peppers was a massive influence, his funky in your face grooves made me want to pick up my bass all the time. Now it’s a much broader range of musicians, anyone who can groove and sit in the pocket.

As a judge what sort of performers are you hoping to find?

Of course talent is important, and also strong songwriting but mainly desire and a hunger to succeed, that’s something you can’t learn or teach.

What advice do you have for musicians entering the competition?

Don’t be afraid, be confident in yourselves and your songs.

You’ve worked with lots of big name musicians and you’re highly successful in your own right. What quality do you and all those musicians share?

Professionalism, punctuality and being flexible to many ever-changing scenarios are such good qualities for professional musicians.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to or performed at?

I am very fortunate to have performed at some amazing venues, but Madison Square Garden and Wembley Stadium have been my personal highlights.

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