I had a great time today being part of BBC Radio 1’s Academy and a songwriting masterclass. I love, and am fascinated by songwriting and have written extensively about it; about renowned and favourite songwriters, and my own creative process in my column for Songwriting Magazine. The masterclass was run by London based musical director Zara Nunn and it was really inspiring seeing young aspiring songwriters, many who’ve never written before, come up with original lyrics and then perform some impressive compositions to the group. Zara got everyone in their small groups to write down lyrics and they were then passed to another group to edit, an important part of songwriting is making lyrics more succinct. Then the short songs were written with melodies and instruments added. A lovely group singalong at the end showcased the songs they’d written. It was lovely witnessing the songs blending together and there were certainly some strong melodies that resulted from the workshop. Access to Music, who’ve been a really important organisation in my own music education, also provided a great house band.
Ella Eyre was also part of the masterclass and talked about her writing and what inspires her. She’s responsible for many cool collaborations and written hits including co-writing Sigma’s number one hit ‘Changing’ featuring Paloma Faith. I really liked what she said about keeping it personal as I agree that when you write about what you feel and have experienced, it really resonates with, and moves people. Ella says she keeps a diary and is always writing down ideas and doodles, as well as recording herself as soon as she gets a melody or lyric, and that’s a great way of ensuring a great idea isn’t lost. Here’s what she said about writing as counselling:
“If you force it, it doesn’t seem so real. I always say “if it comes from the heart, it goes to the heart.” That’s my approach to writing a song from the heart.”
It was also great meeting Greg James and lovely to see the various Radio 1 DJ’s and their obvious enthusiasm for inspiring music fans. Thanks to Radio 1 Academy for such a fun and exciting week in Norwich!
With the cool songwriters today!