Agneya Chikte is a multi-genre percussionist who is about to graduate from Humber College’s Bachelor of Music program and he was a 2018 MusiCounts Scholarship recipient. He received a $4,000 financial award and took part in a comprehensive music industry mentorship week in Toronto that included workshop and networking opportunities. Thanks to Aeroplan miles donations, MusiCounts is able to award scholarships to students across the country and fly them to Toronto for this unique opportunity that helps launch their careers. Nominations for the 2019 MusiCounts Scholarship are open until May 3, 2019 and the Scholarship Mentorship week will take place in September.
MusiCounts recently caught up with Agneya to talk about his experience with the MusiCounts Scholarship and to learn more about what he’s been up to since receiving the award.
Q: What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in your musical life since the MusiCounts Scholarship mentorship week?
A: Beyond preparing to graduate from my program, I have just recorded my first EP! It’s really exciting. I was able to collaborate with a JUNO-nominated bassist on this, which was an amazing experience. We’ll be releasing the EP in the fall, so stay tuned for that.
You’re about to graduate from your program; what’s next?
I want to continue playing drums as much as possible. As a freelancer, I’m going to continue spreading my network and playing with different kinds of groups so I can grow as a musician. I also hope to start teaching drums a little bit on the side as well.
How did the MusiCounts Scholarship support your development as an artist?
Because of the $4000 from MusiCounts, I was able to order my dream drum set. It’s something that I’ve wanted for a long time. Especially since I’m starting to play more professional shows and gigs – this kit is exactly what I want to be seen with and exactly what I want to play with.
What were your biggest takeaways from the MusiCounts Scholarship Mentorship Week?
I think all the tools that a young artist needs in order to understand the interaction between being a musician and engaging with all the different aspects of the music industry was something that was so well explained through the Mentorship Week. I left the week with a lot of clarity on topics that I wasn’t entirely sure about. The most memorable session for me was the session that taught us how to pitch ourselves and assess our own value with Dr. Catherine Moore from the University of Toronto. I find myself using what I learned from that all the time.
Click here to view the 2018 MusiCounts Scholarship Mentorship Week schedule to get a glimpse of all the sessions Agneya took part in.