The European Songwriting and Production Project is a pan-European exchange programme initiated by Leeds College of Music's Principal and Managing Director, Gerry Godley, overseen by Head of Postgraduate Studies, Professor Andy West and Principal Lecturer in Popular Music, Doctor Adam Martin. Focusing on creative collaboration between staff, students and professional songwriters and producers, the programme brings together LCoM, Codarts (Rotterdam), RMC (Copenhagen) and Popakademie (Mannheim).
Scheduled over four phases, between 2015 and 2017 a total of 80 students will travel to study and work with European experts, gaining experience of being a musician in countries other than their own.
Highlights of the project so far include a performance for all students involved on the exchange programme on 18 February in the LCoM Recital Room, and the creation of 17 new collaborative works between students and Ivor Novello award winning songwriters Simon Aldred and Iain Archer. For a separate task, students wrote songs for Josephine Oniyama, who is soon to complete work on her second album for Sony.
Caitlin Stubbs, a participant and second year student on LCoM’s pop degree, said “the European Songwriting Project had a huge impact. We went to Germany and all of a sudden were in a group with two people whose first language wasn’t English, and had to write and record a song with them of professional quality in two days. When I got back, I did a cover of a Drake track with one of the producers I worked with, who’s signed to a YouTube channel label, that’s now had over half a million airplays on YouTube, so hopefully it’s led to the beginnings of something pretty awesome. Overall the week in Germany inspired me, built my confidence, made me realise my strengths and weaknesses and I made friends and musical partners that I'm still working with and communicating with now!”
The relationship with her European counterparts has continued for Catilin, with a student from Copenhagen’s RMC heading to Leeds to learn about LCoM’s Women In Music work and the Gender Equality Society – “I think it's so wonderful that we met in Germany and now we have this connection that's continuing separate to that experience”.
Other students from LCoM who have been involved in the first two phases of the project include Molly Puckering and Max Shirley, who are currently collaborating with Grammy winning songwriter and producer Steve Chrisanthou. The next phase of the project will be held in Rotterdam in November before concluding in Copenhagen next February.
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