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Meet The Team

We’re a team dedicated to making music education accessible for everyone.

CEO & Co-founder

Austen Smart

Austen, our co-founder, has a long list of accolades under his belt. As a DJ and Producer, he has collaborated with a number of artists ranging from Groove Armada to Armin van Buuren, achieved BBC Radio 1’s Essential New Tune and performed at fabric, the UK’s number one nightclub, on five occasions. Founding FutureDJs alongside his brother Scott back in 2016, Austen’s journey as a CEO has seen him establish close partnerships with both Pioneer DJ and Spotify, helping him to develop his own form of music education of highest quality.

Never one to neglect his musical roots, Austen’s influences as a DJ range from dark, dubby Techno to feel-good Disco and Funk.

CPO & Co-founder

Scott Smart

Scott is part of the founding team and leads Product and Innovation at Virtuoso. He has been involved in DJ-ing and Music Production for 14 years. In this time he has collaborated with Grammy-nominated act, Groove Armada, delivered masterclasses alongside Armin van Buuren and played five times at the UK’s number one nightclub, fabric. With this experience, he started the company Future DJs alongside his brother in 2016 – teaching DJ-ing in schools all over the UK.

Scott has a love for many genres including Techno, House, Trap, Drill, Dub, Hip Hop and much more.

Chief of Staff

Hugh Shepherd

Hugh is our Chief of Staff at FutureDJs and is mainly focused on our classroom operations, the learning materials and the incredible teachers who deliver our courses. Alongside being a multi-genre DJ, Producer, Guitarist and Kora player, Hugh graduated with a Master’s Degree in Music with Distinction from the University of Salford in 2019. Hugh’s taste in music is eclectic, particularly loving UK Bass music and UK Rap. Hugh learned to DJ with Mark One, our Head Tutor, and is currently working on his own music under the monikers Hugo Mansion and Eloki.

Outside of music, Hugh is a foodie, loves his dogs and enjoys exploring natural places. Listen to music that inspires Hugh below.

Listen to Hugh's playlist

Head of Videography

Oli Crossland

Oli is our lead videographer and part of the visual production team here at Virtuoso. With a keen eye for creativity, Oli’s work revolves around vision mixing, directing, studio management, camera operating, podcasting and editing. He studied at Salford University where he won a BAFTAR award for the best TV drama in a short film and graduated with a first-class honours degree. Oli is a keen musician, bass player by trade and a key member of the Alt-Rock band, Violet Disguise.

Outside of the Alt-Rock scene, Oli dabbles in a spot of DJ-ing, blurring the lines between Funk, Soul and Disco – you can listen to more of Oli’s influences on Spotify below.

Listen to Oli's playlist

Digital Marketing Manager

Holly Watson

Holly spent over 10 years in the events and entertainment industry, working at large scale events including the London Olympic Games and festivals throughout the UK and Australia. Here she developed ticketing and marketing strategies for music festivals, comedy tours and the West End, helping to sell millions of tickets. Holly also has a strong background in music, having learnt to play multiple instruments from an early age. Her main instrument is the trumpet and has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall. Holly studied Music Technology at university where she set up the student radio station and headed up a team of volunteer sound engineers for local venues before moving into event production.

Away from the office Holly will likely be at a gig or festival, listening to crime podcasts or finding the next new beer to try. Holly has an eclectic taste in music, from funk & soul to folk, dubstep and everything in-between.

Marketing coordinator & copywriter

Joe Matthews

Joe coordinates all marketing across platforms and products, as well as working closely with other brands on a number of ongoing projects and partnerships. Joe’s background in communications and media, combined with a passion for electronic music, helps in his secondary role as copywriter - writing, editing and proofing all our emails, articles, video scripts and social media content. At university, Joe co-produced and co-hosted a student drum and bass radio show and worked at weekends as a light technician for events around the UK.

When not engaged in launching the next marketing campaign, Joe can be found either exploring the countryside with a good history podcast or at your nearest bass music event, standing just a little bit too close to the speaker stacks.

Listen to Joe's playlist

Head DJ Tutor

DJ Mark One

Mark’s talents as a remixer and DJ for the multiplatinum selling band ‘Texas’ have taken him far and wide around the globe. His diverse musical style is a fusion of House, Tech House, Jackin House and Disco House. This unique edge is reflected in both his DJ sets and his remixes. At the age of 13, Mark became interested in DJ-ing after witnessing a former DMC UK Mixing Championship Finalist practising his music. After a few years of getting to grips with DJ-ing, he went on to be the UK Northwest Mixing Champion in a number of competitions in 1991, 1992, 1993 & 1995.

Videographer

Mark Crawford

Mark is one of our videographers and part of the visual production team at Virtuoso. His videography is influenced by the live music events industry, where he captured videos and created content for some of the biggest events companies in the UK including Sankeys, Shelleys and Bonanza. He developed his passion for videography while studying music technology and film at university, completing his degree with an award for most developed student of the year.

Outside of work, Mark is an upcoming electro-pop artist going by the name of Macious, making his way through the industry playing regular shows and festivals across the UK.

Listen to Mark's playlist

Content producer and editor

Daniel Pearson

Daniel is part of our video content production team at Virtuoso. He has an eye and ear for detail in all his work, particularly when it comes to his specialist areas of podcasting, post-production sound and editing. He recently graduated from the University of Salford where he was nominated in the BAFTAR awards for Best Radio Documentary, being put forward in a category for final year students while he was still in his second year.

Daniel is also a keen guitarist, having been the lead in several bands throughout his time at university.

Video editor

Cameron Kalare

Cameron is a valued member of our highly talented video production team. He began his video editing journey at the young age of 12, editing gameplay commentaries for his YouTube channel which has now amassed over 50k subscribers and 15 million channel views. Since then he has gone on to work with some of the most influential gaming and automotive brands in the world including Xbox, Playstation and Mercedes-Benz. Alongside his passion for creating engaging social content, Cameron has also studied Film Production at the University of Winchester showing his diversity as a video editor.

Outside of his professional career, Cameron also shares a huge passion for music. His main influences range from Jungle, Soundcloud rap to melodic RnB slow jams. Cameron has also been DJ’ing and producing for around two years with hopes to touchdown on his first live set soon.

Digital Imaging Technician and Researcher

Sophie Lloyd-Smith

Sophie is part of our video content production team at Virtuoso. Sophie's work revolves around researching artists, studio lighting, handling rushes and colour grading. She recently graduated with a BA Hons in Film Production from the University of Salford, where she was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship.

On the weekend you can find Sophie standing in front of a big rig at a drum and bass event. Sophie has an eclectic music taste ranging from drum and bass and disco to psychedelic and progressive rock.

Teacher and Content Creator

Sacha Allen

Sacha is one of our teachers and content creators here at Future DJs. Fluent on the piano and violin, she specialises in vocals, and spent time at The Royal Northern College of Music. She’s gigged in venues all over, from the local pub to The Deaf Institute and Royal Albert Hall. As an avid songwriter, she writes for a range of genres, whether it's top-line vocals on a House track, a Classical film score or her own electric Alt-Pop style as a solo artist. Alongside this, Sacha has arranged music, directed bands and choirs, recorded podcasts and hosted local radio shows!

On the weekends you’ll find Sacha likes to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen and kick back and relax with some good tunes.

Listen to Sacha's playlist

Course Writer

Manami Baba

Manami is a DJ, producer and pianist born in Japan, raised in the UK and now based in Bristol. Inspired to learn to DJ at university whilst studying Psychology, she has since pursued the path of music after graduating.

Listen to Manami’s curated chill out ambient and down-tempo playlist:

Listen to Manami's playlist

Teacher and Course Writer

Maggie Fraser

Maggie is one of our talented course writer and teachers. She played her first song in front of a crowd at age 18..... after seeing their reaction and feeling the immense connection, her passion for DJing was born!

She has worked professionally in the Entertainment’s industry for 12 years; As well as a pro DJ she is a presenter in live theatre and has even performed on the West End! The fusion of her love of music and love of presenting shines through in her teaching style.