Songwriting UK — Winter 2017

(Axel Boer) #1


Our regular columnist LISA REDFORD has been busy writing, performing and coaching in 2017,

but has still found time to visit music festivals, conferences and events. Here’s her report...


am an independent
artist doing my own
admin, social media,
promotion, booking
shows, as well as
hopefully finding time
to being creative! I’m
so obsessed with music,
I also write about it for
Songwriting Magazine,
have an arts column for
website All Things Norfolk,
had a music column
in my local paper, and
more recently started
contributing to vocal
magazine iSing.
I’m also a vocal coach
and teach guitar and
ukulele and find it really
rewarding sharing the
skills and techniques
I’ve learned as a touring
This year I’ve also
been writing about
various music events and
festivals that I’ve been
to, including Maverick
Festival and the AMA UK
Awards and conference.
My diary covers some of
the recent music events
that I have attended,
as well as life as a DIY

Event horizon

I enjoy going to music conferences
and this is the first year of BBC Music
Introducing’s Amplify event at ExCel
London. I’m here for the weekend, and
first catch Steve Lamacq’s Demo Bag
where he, Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and
Hannah Overton of indie label The
Secretly Group, played a selection of

demos from the audience. They were
very honest, and sometimes rather
harsh, with their immediate critiques
and if a track would be genuinely
considered for airplay on their shows.
Straight after, R1’s Adele Roberts
hosted a women in music panel
with Rae Morris, JONES and Becca
McIntyre, from The Marmozets,
giving their interesting perspectives
on being female artists in the industry
including sexism they’ve encountered,
the positive and not so good things
about social media, and their
songwriting process.

Second day at Amplify and today
was the one I was most interested

“Damon Albarn writes

constantly ... you have to

absolutely love writing”



in attending, Bob Harris discussing
the changing UK country scene, and
how upcoming artists within the
genre can make their mark. After the
panel, I was invited backstage and
had a lovely chat with Bob over a
coffee. We talked about the UK’s huge
interest in country music right now
and he credited Civil Wars and Taylor
Swift – “she put the idea of country

in young people’s heads” – with this
rise in popularity. Sharing more of
his wisdom on honing your craft, he
suggested attending a songwriting
retreat as “exchanging ideas” and
being open to co-writing can be very
inspiring. Like the community and
support he has witnessed in Nashville,
he suggests immersing yourself in the
scene here, doing your research and
making contacts. Had many notes to
jot down on the train home!

A week later, and I’m at another
conference, Norwich Sound and
Vision, which I’ve attended a few years
running, so it’s always nice to see some
familiar faces. There was a full day of
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