International Songwriting Conference 2018 | The Songwriting Academy

International Songwriting Conference 2018

Hilton Tower Bridge, London

3-4 November 2018

The biggest and best annual gathering of songwriters, artists and producers in the business today is back for the fourth year! Join us for two jam packed days of inspirational music masterclasses, keynote speeches, A&R sessions plus live performances and interviews with world class songwriters. Learn how to be a music entrepreneur, how to write with and for major label artists, top tips and techniques from multi-million selling songwriters, plus the chance to get your song reviewed by an expert panel and much more!

What Is The International Songwriting Conference?

It’s time to skill up! You’ll spend 2 days networking with hundreds of like minded creatives and music industry icons, learning how to write better songs, be a successful artist, climb the music business ladder and much more.

If you’re not currently getting the success you think you deserve, spend two incredible days at the International Songwriting Conference and find out why so many people describe this event as “life changing’ and “transformational”.


09:00  Conference Opens

10:00 – 10:15  Welcome from Songwriting Academy Founder
Martin Sutton (Backstreet Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion)

Welcome message from the founder of The Songwriting Academy and multi-million selling songwriter and producer, Martin Sutton.

10:15 – 11:15  Writing For Nashville vs The Rest Of The World
Mark Cawley (Wynonna Judd, Tina Turner, Kathy Mattea, Spice Girls)

Writing for the Nashville scene is a completely different animal to writing for other territories and it takes an insider to know! Mark Cawley is a top songwriter based in Nashville and has had numerous successes with major label country artists as well as many mainstream pop artists, and will be delivering an insightful masterclass highlighting what it takes to get your songs recognised in the country market.

11:30 – 12:00
Native Instruments Demonstration
Eve Horne (Professional Native Instrument Demonstrator and Platinum Member of The Songwriting Academy)

Ever get flustered trying to work your way around third party plug ins in your productions?Want to get the best results so your recordings sound as good as what we hear on the radio?

Eve Horne is a professional demonstrator and uses Native Instruments software and hardware. In this fascinating masterclass will guide you though the ins and outs Native Instruments gear, one of the highest profile plug in providers in the market right now. Get ready to up your production skills!

12:15 – 13:15  How Can I Make My Music Really Kick-Ass?
Jeff Franzel (Frank Sinatra, N’Sync, Shawn Colvin, Rhys Lewis)

No one is better equipped to teach you abut the power or Prosody, which is where the feel of your music matches your lyrical theme. This is an incredibly powerful tool in songwriting which strengthens your song, gives it more atmosphere and makes it easier to write! Jeff is not only a successful songwriter with a track record of over 30M record sales but has also played piano for Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Junior. His skill of creating perfect music for songs both melodically and harmonically is sought after my many major labels and artists alike. In this one-off masterclass Jeff will walk you through his process of capturing the mood of a lyric and mirroring it in his music.

13:15 – 14:15  Lunch break

14:15 – 15:15  Song Surgery
Jeff Franzel
Mark Cawley (Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Spice Girls)
Martin Sutton (Backstreet Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion)

Do your songs stand out from the crowd? In this illuminating, interactive session, you’ll sit in on a live A&R session listening to songs submitted by conference delegates (it could be you!) and analysed by our expert panel. You’ll find out how songs make the cut and what may be stopping you from getting your songs picked up by the labels. Our panel will be giving advice to help each song on it’s way, with tips and techniques on lyric and melody writing,  demo production and more.

Special Bonus:  Submit your song to the A&R panel for a live critique and feedback! Just send your demo to and we’ll select five for the session.

15:15 – 15:45  Rapid Fire Music Business Q&A

Submit your questions for our expert panel to and we’ll get through as many as we can in 30 minutes on the day!

16:15 – 17:15  The Anatomy Of A Hit
Martin Sutton

Martin is gathering thousands of followers on the Songwriting Academy YouTube Channel with his in-depth breakdowns of hit songs, analysing the structures, melodic forms, harmonic progressions and lyrical techniques that have been used in hugely successful songs through the decades. In this Masterclass he’ll be sharing the common denominators in these hits, and how we can use these techniques in our songwriting to create our very own masterpieces. Don’t guess, learn from the best!

Saturday Night Showtime

19:30  An Evening With Sacha Skarbek – The Stories Behind The Hits

(Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball, James Blunt – You’re Beautiful and many more!)

Included in this fabulous VIP ticket you’ll have full access to an exclusive evening show featuring one of the most successful songwriters of today.

Sacha Skarbek is a British two time Ivor Novello Award winner and Grammy nominated songwriter, producer, film scorer and multi-instrumentalist. Sacha is best known for writing James Blunt’s hit singles “You’re Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover” as well as Miley Cyrus’ hit song “Wrecking Ball”. Sacha has worked with artists such as Adele, Lana Del Rey, Jason Mraz, Tears for Fears, Duffy and many more.

Sacha will be sharing the stories behind some of his huge chart successes as well as treating you to a stripped back acoustic performance of a selection of his hits.

21:30  Aftershow Party

Following the show you’ll also be treated to a glass of bubbly or a soft drink and have the opportunity to network with a buzzing room of music industry guests and delegates.


10:00 – 10:15  Welcome from the founder of The Songwriting Academy
Martin Sutton (Backstreet Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion)

10:15 – 11:15  How Do I Get Cuts With Major Label Artists?
Paddy Byrne (Will Young, Paloma Faith, Tom Grennan)

Writing with and for major label artists is not only something that every songwriter should be aiming for but every artist too. Why? Because if  a major label artist records and releases a song you’ve written, three things happen; you gain a reputation as a great writer which will boost your career and get you noticed, more signed artists will want to work with you which will boost your career, and you’ll make MONEY, which will boost your bank balance and help pay for your own projects. It’s a win win and in this masterclass top songwriter Paddy Byrne will be walking you through the approach to take when you’re working with and for an artist.

11:30 – 12:30  How Do I Actually Make My Goals Become A Reality
Jo Valentina-Sinclair (Mindset & Life Coach and NLP Practitioner)

If you’ve been longing to step into a bigger version of yourself or move forward in your career and perhaps notice something might be holding you back, did you ever stop to think it might be you? Jo is an incredibly inspirational Life Coach who will help you gain a deeper understanding of your mind and how you can make it the bedrock to help skyrocket you to your success.

12:30 – 13:00  Music Gateway: The Power Of Networking

In this 30 minute seminar you’ll be shown how crucial it is to create a strong network of contacts for yourself, and you’ll learn the different ways available to connect with major players in the music industry. These connections create opportunities that can in turn create success and help you build a foundation for a long term career in the business. We need each other to succeed!

13:15 – 14:15  Lunch Break

14:15 – 15:15  How To Make It in Urban Music Today And Be An Awesome Rapper!
Tesmond Rowe aka Taz (Dizzee Rascal, Ashanti, Akon, Mousse T)

Learn the inside secrets of urban music success and how to write and perform your own raps from urban music royalty! Ivor Novello winner and multi platinum selling artist and producer Taz will take you through the evolution of rap from early to current days and give invaluable insights into where urban music is right now and how to have a long term career in it.

15:15 – 16:15  How Do I Make Money As A Successful Independent Artist?
Hannah Trigwell

Hannah is a perfect example of a modern music entrepreneur, starting at University with a YouTube channel which she grew into a community with a massive 490,o0o subscribers, monetising the 200M views on her videos along the way.  She has had two number one singles in South East Asia and garnered the attention of the music business as well as getting major corporate branding deals with companies such as Skoda and Samsung, who wanted to be associated with a high profile modern music artist with a giant social media following. Now touring the world, she is an inspiration and a font of knowledge for all independent artists. Discover the secrets to branding, social media, brand alignment and monetising your own music without a record label.

16:15 – 17:15  Looking After Your Mental Health In The Music Business
Martin Sutton (Backstreet Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion)

All too often overlooked but desperately needing to be addressed, founder Martin Sutton will be discussing the many challenges faced by songwriters, artists and music business executives in today’s world; dealing with rejection, performance anxiety, fear of failure, fear of success, loneliness and financial insecurity are just a few issues that can not only affect our music but can affect our entire lives.

Martin will be exploring ways to help maintain positive mental health, stay confident, overcome setbacks and survive whatever the music industry throws at us.

17:30  Conference Close

NB: Life can be unpredictable so whilst we always do our best to keep to our published agenda, The Songwriting Academy reserves the right to change guest speakers and session titles at any time.

Who is this conference for?

  • Songwriters wanting to get their songs performed by major label artists
  • Artists who want to get record deals
  • Artists who want to release their own material
  • Songwriters and producers who want to develop artists
  • Producers who create tracks for others
  • Independent labels
  • Managers
  • Anyone who wants more from their music than they’re getting right now!

 What our delegates thought:

Making It Happen Songwriting Conference 2018: VIP Ticket

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