Meet the team
With over 35 music industry professionals, ranging from songwriting mentors, to orchestral composers to professional drummers and more, our team knows how to help you with your songwriting.
Martin Sutton is the founder of The Songwriting Academy and multi-platinum songwriter and producer. Starting as a young busker on the streets of Norwich, he spent years developing the craft of songwriting, traveling the world to work with other writers, learning about the music business and honing his production skills. He is now a successful songwriter/producer and has sold millions of records in nearly 50 countries around the world.
His work includes Backstreet Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion, Gary Barlow, Pixie Lott, Mark Owen, Olivia Newton-John, Andrew Roachford, Brian McFadden, Lulu, Mike & The Mechanics, K-Pop superstars Super Junior and X-Factor/Idol winners worldwide.
His teaching methodology and ethos have been described as “life-changing” by many of his students and over the years he has shared his knowledge and experience with thousands, opening their eyes to the world of professional music making. His diverse programming and production skills are widely sought after, from orchestration for Celine Dion and Andrew Lloyd Webber to quirky programming and beat-making for K-Pop/J-Pop artists, and rich country productions for artists including LeAnn Rimes.
Now based in Los Angeles, New Zealand born Pam Sheyne’s career has resulted in a number of globally recognised hit records, major film end titles, sales of 50+ million records, 100+ platinum, gold and silver sales certifications, 7 BMI Pop airplay citations and a prestigious Ivor Novello award.
Whilst best known for the global breakthrough single “Genie In A Bottle” for Christina Aguilera (No.1 USA Hot 100/No.1 UK), she was also responsible for Dream’s debut hit “He Loves U Not” (USA No.2 Hot 100/No.1 Soundscan) as well as Jessica Simpson’s “Irresistible” (No.15 USA Hot 100).
Her songs have been covered by a number of international artists including Seal, Corrine Bailey Rae, The Backstreet Boys, O Town, Nick Lachey, Laura Pausini, Hayley Westenra, Lindsay Lohan, Eternal, Play, No Angels, Cece Winans, Point of Grace and The Saturdays.
Michael Garvin is a Grammy nominee and multi platinum writer of 22 No.1 hit songs including “Waiting For Tonight” (Jennifer Lopez) and “Never Give Up On A Good Thing” (George Benson).
Not only has he written global hits for the pop market but is also a highly respected figure in the country market, having written hits for Kenny Rogers, Tammy Wynette and George Strait, amongst many others.
He is a well-loved mentor at the Songwriting Retreats and an avid supporter of new talent. Michael was recently the second “most added playlist” artist on the Billboard charts with his jazz guitar instrumental project.
Since he began releasing music in 1997, Mark has achieved four Ivor Novello Awards, a number one album, two number one singles and over 20 million records sales worldwide. Mark is a hugely popular speaker and features on The Songwriting Academy’s Demo Production Bootcamp.
Maria is a multi platinum award winning songwriter and artist with hit songs recorded by global artists including Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, N’Sync and many placements in Disney films and TV shows including Girl Meets World and Stuck In The Middle.
Originally from South Florida by way of Pittsburgh, PA, Her strong voice caught the ear of Grammy award winning producer Ric Wake, who produced such artists as Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Taylor Dane and moved her to New York to record with him. The result was her self-titled album on Atlantic Records.
At that time she co wrote with some of the most successful songwriters in New York and she honed her own skills as a songwriter and began to place songs with many successful artists. This lead to a publishing deal with “Notation Music Publishing”.
Her songs have been recorded by artists including Celine Dion (“Just a Little Bit of Love” and “Christmas Eve”) both on which she also lent backing vocals, and N’SYNC (“The Only Gift”).
Later she was signed to A&M Records as the lead singer of the group 3rd Party for which she co-wrote the song “Waiting for Tonight” with TSA mentor Michael Garvin. The song went on to become a top 5 Billboard charting worldwide hit for Jennifer Lopez.
Her music can also be heard in films and TV. shows such as “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”, “Drumline” “Kiss me Guido” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”.
Recently she placed two songs on the hit Disney film “Lemonade Mouth”. From there she cultivated a relationship that resulted with song placements in other Disney TV. shows such as “Austin and Ally” and “Jessie”.
Her Christmas song “Favorite Time of Year” was feature at the Macy’s Day parade last year as performed by Debby Ryan.
She also wrote the theme song for Disney’s hit TV. show Girl Meets World, called Take on The World and current has the single Lucky Me with up coming young country artist Tegan Marie, She recently landed the theme song for new Disney show “ Stuck in the Middle “.
Ian Dench was the guitarist and principal songwriter in the band EMF, who scored a major international hit with the song “Unbelievable” reaching number 1 in the United States.
He co-wrote the duet “Beautiful Liar” for Beyonce and Shakira for which he won an Ivor Novello award in the Best Selling British Song Category in 2008. Beyonce’s album “I Am… Sasha Fierce” saw a further three Dench songs: “Disappear”, “Ave Maria”, and “Satellites”. Other hits include “Tattoo” for American Idol winner Jordan Sparks, “Red” a top 5 UK hit for Daniel Merriweather and “Gypsy” from Shakira’s “She Wolf” album.
Ian also spent 2 years as Vice President of A&R at Epic Records in New York so has a unique experience of songwriting from both sides of the table. He is a hugely popular mentor at the Songwriting Retreats, always offering advice, support and encouragement in equal measures.
In 2000 Rob wrote the record phenomenon of the year, Spiller’s “If This Ain’t Love”. He then trumped it with the boundary crossing pop single of the year, Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”, co-written & co-produced with Cathy Dennis which went to No.1 in over 25 countries and earned them 3 Ivor Novello awards: Most Performed, Best International, and Best Dance Song.
An accomplished producer, guitarist and keyboard player, Rob has worked with some of the best of British and American songwriters and artists. He is equally adept at turning an instrumental dance groove into a FM-friendly anthem or creating pop classics from scratch.
Mark Cawley is a U.S multi platinum hit songwriter and musician who, during his decades in the music business has procured a long list of cuts on the Pop, Country, R&B, Jazz, and Rock charts. He has sold over 16 million records with legendary artists ranging from Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross to Wynonna Judd, Kathy Mattea, Russ Taff, Paul Carrack, Will Downing and The Spice Girls. Nashville based Mark is also a contributing author to USA Songwriting and Songwriter Magazine, a popular blogger and has a wealth of experience as a songwriting coach, making him the perfect addition to The Songwriting Academy team!
Multi-million selling songwriter Bill Padley has written and produced 4 UK and international number 1 records, including Atomic Kitten’s “Whole Again” and Holly Valance’s “Kiss Kiss”, as well as winning the prestigious Ivor Novello award for Shayne Ward’s “That’s my Goal”.
He has also had 3 other Ivor Novello nominations and 4 Brit Award nominations. Other writing and production credits include Blue, Ronan Keating, Westlife, Donna Summer, Gary Barlow, Liberty X and many others.Bill has also had vast experience and success in the world of Radio & T.V Jingles, themes and sonic imaging for over 30 years. Radio stations like BBC Radio 1, Capital F.M, Radio Clyde,Virgin Radio and countless others round the world have benefited from jingles and imaging written and produced by Bill, as have brands like British Telecom, Safeway, TSB, Barclays and literally hundreds of others who have utilised Bill’s skills in marrying a catchy melody with a great production for their jingles on TV and Radio.
Top of the Pops 2, and the Radio 1 top 40 amongst others had their themes written and produced by Bill. His technical abilities as a producer and mixer are many & varied: He is a renowned ‘power user’ of ProTools having been a long term beta tester for Digidesign.
Bill’s background of over 25 years in British Commercial & BBC Radio (as an on-air presenter at Radio Victory, Radio Clyde, BBC London GLR, and many more) gives him a rare affinity for balancing the demands of the medium with musical & artistic requirements. Bill now lives in Marbella, Spain and runs TALK RADIO EUROPE, where he also presents a daily show.
Sharon is a multi platinum songwriter who started her career in music in her home state, Florida, as a singer.
She spent years as a session singer (Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, George Jones and many others) until her first recorded song hit for the Oak Ridge Boys, followed shortly by the iconic, MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COWBOYS, by Waylon Jennings and then recorded by Willie Nelson on OSCAR winning soundtrack of The Electric Horseman film.
After enjoying long term success as a country music songwriter, she moved to Stockholm in 2008 and penned Agnes’ worldwide hit, RELEASE ME and continues to travel back and forth between Europe and the States composing all genres of music… including scores for musical theatre in Europe and The States.
Philadelphian born Soul Singer Ivy Chanel’s talent knows no limits. She regularly mesmerizes audiences with her soulful melodic voice. Part African American, French and Native American (Cherokee & Blackfoot) singer, songwriter, top-liner, producer, and vocal coach now London based is unleashing her unique vocal style and uplifting songs in the UK.
Simon Cowell instantly became a fan of Ivy’s voice and her tutoring skills. Ivy has tutored performers from X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice as well as many major label stars around the world.
She has performed for President Clinton, Tony Blair and shared the stage with legendary artists such as Stevie Wonder, John Legend and her brother, Hip Hop legendary DJ Cash Money.
Ivy is no stranger to the UK music scene having won Best Compilation Award 2005 at the UMA’s (Ivy’s vocals feature on the lead single ‘It’s a Music Thing’ – Union Black), Ivy also released ‘Wind Blows’ in 2012 which hit number 1 on Amazon’s UK New Release Chart and was included on Giles Peterson’s infamous ‘Brownswood Bubbler Seven’ compilation album.
Ivy believes that music is the second universal language and her singing ability is a gift to the world from Creator. Within her music and vocal lessons, she promotes Love to help and inspire others to walk into their purpose.
Andy began his musical career playing in bands across south Wales in the mid 2000’s, before packing his bags and moving to the outskirts of London to study. He spent around 3 years on the road across the UK & Europe as a tour manager before joining One Little Indian Records in 2011.
Andy ran the International department until May 2017, contributing to global campaigns for Björk, Asgeir, Cody ChesnuTT & Sinead O’ Connor amongst others, before joining Believe Distribution services in June 2017 as a Senior Label Manager, running global campaigns for direct artist deals and acting as a label manager for Believe’s digital distribution clients
Justin is a London based Songwriter & Music Producer.
His work can be heard on albums from artists such as Corinne Bailey Rae, Jessie J, Emeli Sande, Raleigh Ritchie and Izzy Bizu.
Justin started his music career as a Sound Engineer working for a number of producers including Gary Barlow, Eliot Kennedy, Salaam Remi, Paul Herman, Baby Ash and Pam Sheyne.
He studied sound engineering at Alchemea in Islington north London, specialising in audio engineering and production and quickly gained a reputation as being one of the foremost production engineers in the UK.
After leaving Alchemea Justin engineered at studios all over London. It was during this period that he started developing his skills as a producer. This lead to Justin’s first released production which was a song on Corinne Bailey Rae’s album. The co-writer on that song was Paul Herman (Dido, Eminem, Emeli Sande) who Justin developed a strong working relationship with that continues to this day.
Dan has over 15 years of international digital communications experience. He has led the successful redesign of several websites and developed content strategies that have helped attract millions of visitors.
Dan is currently the Head of Communications for the Kofi Annan Chaired Africa Progress Panel (APP). Prior to the APP, Dan was the Head of Web and Social Media for the United Nations World Food Programme and Director of Online Communications for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Jake is the founder of the 90s cult orchestral alternative band My Life Story, releasing three successful albums and six top forty singles. Steve Lamacq described Jake as “One of our finest lyricists”. Jake went on to replace Terry Hall in a late incarnation of The Specials, then began compering and co-promoting bands at London club The Panic Station, booking early shows for The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and My Bloody Valentine.
My Life Story went on to collaborate with with PJ Proby, Marc Almond, Morrissey, The Wonderstuff and headlined over Oasis. He has been described as one of the first DIY entrepreneurs , starting his own label in 2002 funded exclusively by investors, benefactors and fans, inventing the now ubiquitous fan funded model.
He is the co-director of film and TV music production company Chøppersaurus. Winners of the Sensoria Pro scoring award and currently nominated for 2 UK Production Music awards. Choppersaurus have written music for everything from Obama’s favourite TV show “Homeland” to playing guitars on X Factor.
Jake is also in charge of Artist Development across all 6 BIMM colleges, responsible for discovering the best potential talent and introducing young, high level musicians to the music industry.
Lee Dannay has over twenty five years experience in the music industry, including 15 years at Sony Music, as a senior A&R executive for both Epic and Columbia Records, plus five years at Warner/Chappell Music Publishing. While at Sony, Lee signed, developed and worked with a variety of artists including John Mayer, Shawn Mullins, Five For Fighting, Anna Nalick and General Public.
Lee also worked as a senior music producer for America’s Got Talent, involved in casting and artist development for the music talent portion of the show, and as an executive producer for the artists subsequently signed.
Through her own creative consulting company, GoodWorks Music, Inc., Lee maintains the role of Creative Director and founding member of a music therapy initiative called Knock Out Noise, which researches and creates music and musical templates for disorders related to sensory processing.
Currently, Lee is head of A&R for Nashville based entertainment company Thirty Tigers, responsible for signing artists, providing A&R services for the roster as needed, and assisting with the development of the Thirty Tigers publishing venture.
Additionally, Lee is an adjunct professor at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, teaching the Business of Music Publishing and is a voting member of The Recording Academy.
Chris Neil is a multi platinum producer and songwriter. He began his career as the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair in London’s West End. After a short period as a recording artist he moved into record production and swiftly became one of the most respected producers in the industry.
In his career he has produced classic records for artists including Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Mike & The Mechanics, Cher, Jose Carreras, Andrew Lloyd Weber and many more. Chris is also a multi-platinum writer, having written hits such as “All I Need Is A Miracle” for Mike & The Mechanics. His knowledge and attention to detail as a producer are unparalleled and he is renowned for his remarkable talent in vocal production.
Paul Statham is a multi platinum selling songwriter and producer who has been published by Warner Chappell Music for over 18 years. Paul co-wrote with Dido the breakthrough single “Here With Me” and the title track of her first album No Angel, selling over 20 million records.
Paul also wrote two tracks on Kylie’s massive album “Fever” Kylie as well as songs for The Saturdays, Matt Cardle, Gabriella Cilmie, Peter Andre, Rachel Stevens, Right Said Fred, Tina Arena and many European acts inc the Italian artist Noemi (recent album “Made in London was a no 1 record in Italy ). He has also worked with more left field artists, writing 7 albums with former Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy, 2 albums with Mercury prize nominated Helicopter Girl, and Scottish rock band Simple Minds.
Paul spends a lot of time developing new artists/writers for Warner Chappell including writer Ed Drewett (1D, The Wanted). Paul also lectures weekly at Solent on popular song writing and Leeds College of Music where he is a visiting Professor.
Based in Germany, Mark Smith has been involved in 9 No. 1 Albums, 20+ gold and platinum awards, 100+ releases and over 8 million record sales. He has written and produced many winners of Pop Idol, Popstars, Star Academy, Star Search and The Voice.
Mark is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who started in the early 90s as singer songwriter with over 1000 gigs in his twenties, is a well known studio musician in Germany and hugely popular songwriter and producer all over the world. He is also very well connected within the German music business and record companies.
As a staunch supporter of new talent and a passion for helping others, Mark is the perfect choice to be the driving force behind The Songwriting Academy Germany which will be opening for business in September 2017.
Over the past two decades two-time Grammy nominated Kim Richey has released six critically acclaimed albums, been listed in the “Top 10 Albums of 1999” in Time Magazine for her album Glimmer, received 4-stars in Rolling Stone and named “Alt-Country Album of the Year” in People Magazine for her album Rise.
She has written two #1 singles and four other Top 10 records. Her songs have been recorded by Trisha Yearwood, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Gretchen Peters, James Morrison, Jamie Lawson and many others.
Her songs have been featured in film and television over the years, ranging from recent placements in Nashville (3 songs) and Bones to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Little Liars and many more. Kim’s latest album “Thorn In My Heart” made the best of lists of 2013 by No Depression and The Boston Globe.
Paddy Byrne is a multi million selling British songwriter, musician and producer known for working in a variety of genres with multi platinum and developing artists alike such as Snakehips, Paloma Faith, Ella Eyre, Tom Grennan, Olly Murs, Will Young, Gabrielle, Sinead Harnett, Daley, Devlin, Felon, Watermat, I Blame Coco and Mononoke.
His focus is always on the song, the artist’s vision and their vocal. He is as accomplished when writing and producing an entire song as he is writing lyrics and top line for other productions.
Paddy started his professional career writing and singing in his band ‘Byrne’ gaining widespread acclaim for their self produced album ‘Slowly & Gloriously’, receiving unanimously positive reviews including 9/10 in NME, 4/5 UNCUT and 5/5 Observer Music Monthly.
Following the birth of his first son he stopped touring and set up his studio and began co-writing and producing. His journey from the indi scene as an artist to co-creating in more commercial genres was immediately successful working with Will Young on four songs for his album ‘Let It Go’. His experience as a lead singer and writer gives him a deep affinity with artists and a love of vocal expression and lyric.
He has written and produced many multi platinum selling songs and is currently working with a wide variety of established and up and coming artists, writers and producers.
Although best known as one of the UK’s most respected songwriters, Charlie enjoys a multi-faceted career that includes acting in film,TV & radio, comedy-improvisation, writing for radio and composition for film and TV.
Her songs have won two ASCAP awards, an Ivor Novello nomination, both the Overall Grand and the Folk Prize from the International Acoustic Music Awards and in 2012 Best Album Lyrics from the Indy Acoustic Project for her album Cheapskate Lullabyes.
Known for her bittersweet, often quietly subversive lyrics, she is one of a handful of UK writers to have success across many genres, defined by the range of artists to have covered her songs, including Tina Turner, George Harrison, Lisa Stansfield, Paul Carrack, Ricky Ross, Celine Dion and Jimmy Nail, notching up along the way a UK No 1, US No 4, No 11 for her own Pilot of the Airwaves and hits in Italy, Germany, France and Israel. She has just released her 9th album, Dark Matter, and is touring across the UK throughout 2017-18.
Jez Ashurst is a multi-platinum songwriter/producer/programmer based in London, who has also worked in the USA, Scandinavia, Germany and Japan.
His early career spanned work as an engineer to session guitar work and composing for TV. The last couple of years have seen Jez write cuts for (and with) Will Young, Mel C, Boyzone, Joe McElderry and many other established and new UK acts.
His track record includes the iTunes No.1 “One More Sleep” (Leona Lewis),“Love Will Save The Day” (Boyzone), “Loving You” (Matt Cardle & Mel C) and “Panic” (Gabrielle Aplin). Jez has added his guitar and programming skills to hit records from Susan Boyle and Il Divo, as well as a Number One for Little Mix, and he was one of the team behind the music for the 2011 and 2013 X Factor. He particularly likes developing new talent and has a wealth of experience as a songwriting and production coach.
In 2016 Jez hit the UK Top 10 with Jason Derulo and Little Mix performing his song “Secret Love Song”
Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, Cliff has been in demand as an arranger, composer, songwriter and producer. He has worked with artists including Kylie Minogue, Lionel Richie, Michael McDonald, Il Divo, Labrinth, Emeli Sandé, Robin Gibb, One Direction, Westlife and Susan Boyle.
He composed/produced music for both the opening ceremony at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2012 London Olympics.
Cliff wrote and produced the theme song for the “Mission Space” attraction in Disney World Florida and has had songs recorded by artists including Charlotte Church, Shayne Ward (X Factor), Anthony Callea (Australian Idol), Ben Montague and International multi million selling artists Monica Naranjo and David Bisbal.
He has been Musical Director for both the X Factor and The Voice TV show recordings, Radio 1 Live Lounge performances by Ella Henderson, Leona Lewis and Little Mix and for studio recordings by Robbie Williams and Ella Erye.
In his work with orchestras he has conducted the RPO, LSO and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra at events including the Nobel Peace Prize, The FA Cup final and the Buckingham Palace Coronation Festival.
Cliff has arranged 14 Classical BRIT nominated albums, the current Radio 2 jingle package – including the iconic BBC News jingle – and orchestrated Hollywood movies including The Mummy.
He has been a finalist in the International Songwriter of the Year and Vivian Ellis/PRS Awards and was awarded an Associate of the Royal Academy in the 2016 honours list.
In a career spanning 20 years, Julian has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business. Always passionate and creative his collaborations have proved long lasting. His enduring love of records, and the art of the song found him a home at London’s famous Sarm Studios where he spent 5 years working alongside Trevor Horn as arranger and keyboard player, as well as producing for Horn Productions. Julian is as comfortable creating an intimate piano part or conducting a thunderous orchestral score, working with the likes of Seal, Rumer, Laura Welsh or Atlantic A&R and long standing relationships with Trevor Horn and Don Black speak volumes for his musical vision and drive.
The past few years have seen Julian recording, arranging and conducting at London’s Angel, Abbey Road and Sarm Studios; producing for Sony and Warner; MD’ing The Trevor Horn Band and composing for the BBC. He has scored countless string and orchestral arrangements for various artists and he featured as performer and programmer on “Seal 7″ . Julian has a production and writing partnership with Graham Archer, Grammy nominated engineer/producer whom he met whilst at Sarm.
Graham’s credits include Madonna, Sam Smith, Jeff Beck and Lana Del Ray. 2016 saw them writing with amongst others Zak Abel, Laura Welsh and James Walsh. Julian featured in the BBC4 documentary “The Secret Science Of Pop” investigating whether there’s a formula to the perfect pop production, took to the stage at London’s Roundhouse to perform with Ronnie Wood and Imelda May and July 2017 sees the release of the Studio Deen/Stan Leecreation for which Julian wrote the theme and much of the incidental music. www.julianvictorhinton.com
Shelly Poole is a multi platinum selling British singer and songwriter who has achieved international success in an ever- increasing variety of musical settings. The daughter of Brian Poole of the classic 1960s group The Tremeloes, Shelly formed the chart-busting band Alisha’s Attic in the late nineties with her sister Karen . Alisha’s Attic scored a string of hit singles, made 4 gold and platinum selling albums, secured a nomination for an Ivor Novello songwriting award and saw Shelly described as one of the iconic female voices of the legendary lilith fair tour of America in 1997.
Shelly’s 2005 solo album Hard Time For The Dreamer entered the I tunes charts at number 1 and earned her constant radio exposure and copious five-star reviews. In 2008 she co-founded the country/folk band Red Sky July with her husband Ally McErlaine (lead guitarist and founder member of Texas) and the American singer Charity Hair. Red Sky July have released 3 albums all entering the Official Uk Country charts in the top 3 . They also won the Nordoff Robbins inspiration award in 2013 and have toured with Jools Holland , Sheryl Crow , Steve Earle , Tom Jones , they continue to make records and tour.
Shelly is also a highly respected award wining songwriter and has worked closely and had hits with talents as diverse as Janet Jackson , Massive Attack, Jack Savoretti ,Mark Ronson, Gary Barlow, Westlife, Boyzone, Paloma Faith , Michael Gray, Zucchero amongst many others Shelly also continues to write with produce and mentor new and emerging artists.
Jeff Franzel is a multi talented songwriter jazz pianist with over 35 years experience in the music business and is currently living in NYC.. He began as a jazz pianist and toured with many groups including The Hues Corporation (Rock The Boat) and Les Brown big band. Jeff accompanied such artists as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, and Mel Torme.
Jeff has over 250 of his songs recorded and has sold over 30 million records. He has had over 20 top ten singles internationally and travels to London, Sweden, LA and Nashville to co-write with artists and songwriters.
Jeff’s first big hit was “Don’t Rush Me” which was #2 pop hit. He has written songs for such diverse artists as Josh Groban, Placido Domingo, “NSYNC (2 Christmas songs) , Shawn Colvin (two film songs including Never Saw Blue Like That), Clay Aiken, Louise – (All That Matters), The Temptations and Dianne Reeves.
Jeff has had a number of his songs in film and TV including Runaway Bride, Serendipity, De Ja Vu, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Barbershop 2.
Jeff currently has songs coming out with Rhys Lewis on Decca Records, Hayley Westenra, Persons of Interest, Elvis Blue-South Africa , Falipa-South Africa, and BoA – Japan.
Jeff is a Yamaha artist and performs solo piano regularly in NYC.
Tim is a multi platinum songwriter/producer with songs recorded by Tina Turner, Lulu, Marcella Detroit, Billie Myers and Steve Brookstein. He has also had music placed in X-box game Stoked and in multiple TV series including CSI Las Vegas, Roswell High and new British movie Love Me Still.
Tim is also an artist manager and a highly respected board member of BASCA. He is in demand not only as a songwriting tutor but also for his extensive knowledge on all aspects of the music business, including publishing, royalty collection, grand rights and financial advice for songwriters.
Danny is A&R manager at Decca records, signing and managing his own projects. He has been involved in music for as long as he can remember, being inspired by his parents’ love of music. After playing and recording in a successful local band in and around East Anglia, he later enrolled in a local Music Performance course whilst promoting gigs in his spare time. Danny studied Music Industry Management at Hertfordshire University and, whilst studying, took on a regional A&R scouting role for EMI and also ran his own new music radio show. Danny achieved a first class degree with distinction, before moving to London where he landed his first job working in music PR. After a year, Danny moved to work at Universal Music. He has worked in the A&R team at Decca Records for 5 years working his way up from an intern, to A&R assistant, to A&R scout to signing and managing his own projects. Danny says he feels very lucky to wake up every morning to do the job he always dreamed of!
Bob has over 20 years of high level experience in record labels, publishing, promotion and music management, helping his clients sell over 60 million records along the way. He has a strong professional contact network through LA, New York, Nashville, Germany the UK and Asia and is a sought after music business consultant and lecturer with an unparalleled knowledge of music publishing, record label set-up and expansion, artist management, as well as all aspects of digital publishing, intellectual copyright, marketing, branding and promotion. Most recently his management company have launched the global careers of Kelvin Jones (Sony music), Corey Fox Fardell (winner Sony/ATV songwriting award) and YouTube phenomenon Hannah Trigwell Bob is now responsible for running the publishing interests of The Songwriting Academy, Agenda Rights Management.
Known affectionately as Mo Pleasure, this renowned multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, began playing acoustic piano at the age of four and by his early teens already mastered several instruments including bass, trumpet, guitar, drums and violin. He has played with Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Christian Aguilera, Mary J. Blige and Earth, Wind & Fire.
Upon receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from University of Connecticut, Mo began his professional music career playing bass with Ray Charles. He then began working as a session musician, backing some of the most accomplished talents in Jazz ,R&B and pop including George Duke, Natalie Cole, Dianne Reeves, Christina Aguilera, Jonathan Butler, Rachelle Ferrell, Brian Culbertson, Michael McDonald, Oleta Adams, Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack, Marcus Miller, Mary J. Blige, and Frankie Beverly and Maze, to name a few.
From 1989 through 1992, Mo was both keyboardist and musical director with saxophonist Najee, pianist Alex Bugnon, and vocalists Philip Bailey, Patti Austin and Jon Lucien. In 1993, he became a member of the legendary group Earth, Wind & Fire, and ascended to become the band’s musical director from 1994-2001. Mo was featured playing keyboards, trumpet and guitar with Janet Jackson’s 2001 All For You tour and played keyboards and trumpet with Boney James’ 2004 Pure tour. As a principal member of the group Devoted Spirits he was featured playing keyboards for Jimi Hendrix’s 60th Birthday Celebration and the 2004 Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix tour.
Mo was a keyboardist in Michael Jackson’s final touring band that was scheduled to perform in the late superstar’s historic 2009, comeback tour at London’s O2 Arena.
Luc Floreani is an international singer songwriter and manager, born in Alice Springs, Central Australia.
He has worked with artists including Amy Winehouse, Corrine Bailey Rae, Sam Smith, Blake, numerous X Factor/The Voice contestants, Jack Bruce, Marcella Detroit, Tony Hatch, Barry Mason, Kasabian, Darren Hayes and Starsailor.
He wrote the theme tune for Australia’s Channel 7 television current affairs program “Today Tonight”, the Prince’s Rainforest Project campaign song, Euro Gay Pride theme song 2011 Cand the title track to the film “Darkness”.
Luc is the current host for OK Magazine Music Sessions online. “Live with Luc Floreani ” and a regular featured writer inwww.trebuchet-magazine.com.
Originally trained in Speech Level Singing (SLS), Chris has spent his coaching career working with scientists and specialist coaches to bring the most advanced, effective and true methods of voice training to his clients.
Now an authorised instructor for the highly connected ‘Vocology In Practice’ network, Chris’s contemporary clients have included recording artists Lawson, The Staves and Deaf Havana.Musical theatre credits include preparing lead vocalists for Wicked, Mama Mia and Beautiful.
As a performer, Chris is a busy soul singer working with bands and production shows, and has supporting credits for The Drifters, Alexander O’Neal and Lemar.
Multi-million selling songwriter Shridhar began his entertainment career at the age of 11 as an actor on British television. After spending much of his childhood on the popular BBC show, Grange Hill, he began appearing in Musical Theatre Productions in London, where his love of song grew. First signed to the legendary Ministry of Sound as a songwriter, Shridhar found early success in the UK. A chance encounter lead to a deal in Nashville and eventually Los Angeles, where he lives now. He has written songs with and for numerous award winning artists including Dua Lipa, Jennifer Hudson, Andrea Bocelli, Carrie Underwood, Seal, Cliff Richard, Katharine McPhee, Craig David, Sabrina Carpenter, Natalie Imbruglia, Stan Walker, Justice Crew, Super Junior and Namie Amuro and has been involved in many chart topping records worldwide. Shridhar’s music has been featured in numerous TV shows and films including Twilight, Breaking Brooklyn, Disney’s Lemonade Mouth, Grey’s Anatomy, Beauty & The Beast, Switched at Birth, Bunheads, Austin & Ally, Rizzoli & Isles, Kiss Bang Love, BET Awards, American Idol, Pointe Break, Teenage Newlyweds, Adam Ruins Everything, Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, Garage Squad, Married At First Sight, United Shades of America and Younger. Shridhar also penned the theme songs to the hit Disney show’s Girl Meets World, Stuck In The Middle and Andi Mack and Freeform’s Young & Hungry and Travel Channel’s Watt’s World. Alongside his writing career, Shridhar is one half of the internationally acclaimed band Cider Sky, who’s song Northern Lights, featured in the box office smash, Twilight: Breaking Dawn. Billed by MTV as ‘one to watch’ Cider Sky are constantly writing and releasing new music.
Jamaican born Taz had an early introduction to local artists & Sound System hanging out with Terra Fabulous, Monster Shock, Lee’s Unlimited and Beanie Man. At the age of 12, Taz moved to London and his big break came in 2004 when he hooked up with Dizzee Rascal. Taz produced and co-wrote the Ivor Novello nominated ‘Just A Rascal’ , which featured on the Mercury award winning album Boy in Da Corner, and then supported Dizzee on his 2004 ‘Boy in da corner’ UK Tour. Taz’s part in putting UK Grime onto the global mainstream music map cannot be underestimated.
This success led to further production & remix work including Ashanti’s ‘Rain On Me’ and ‘Rock Wit Chu’ plus ‘Locked Up’ taken from Akon’s ‘Trouble’ LP. Soon after the head of Def Jam signed Taz to be the first and only UK rapper on this iconic hip hop label. His debut LP ‘Analyse This’ featuring Kardinal Offishal & Terri Walker features seminal tracks ‘Only God Can Judge Me’, ‘Wish Me Luck’ and the UK Top 40 hit ‘Can’t Contain Me’. ‘Cowboy Film’ went on to become a UK Hip Hop classic featuring Kardinal Offishal, a remix from Sway and Bigz and revolutionising urban video in the UK.
Taz continued to write and produce with Dizzee and toured with Kanye West and Sean Paul. He has performed for Prince Charles alongside Jay-Z, Beyonce and Alicia Keys. Taz has also performed on tracks alongside Akon, Styles P, Estelle, So Solid Crew, Blaxxx and Arrow Benjamin
Conan has worked in the music industry in a multitude of capacities for over 14 years. Starting out as a receptionist in a London studio, Conan quickly progressed into engineering, writing and production and then into business. He has worked with a varied client list across the multi-media and entertainment industries that includes John Lord, Roger Glover, Universal Music, All Around The World, The Beautiful South, Rob Davis, Karma Studios, Veyner Media, Irresistible Films, Carlsberg, BT Sport, Walkers Crisps, Regaine For Men, Yahoo!, Fosters, Huawei and Pepsi to name a few. Conan works closely with Rick Blaskey of The Music & Media Partnership as a creative director on various projects in music, TV, film and events. He also works with Chris Craker on various artist development projects internationally. For nearly 3 years Conan worked for Syco and Thames TV on The X Factor UK and BGT. He has now launched his own venture, Platform. A new breed of artist scouting, development and management company focussed around consultancy and songwriting camps geared up for early stage and developing talent. Conan is focused on turning emerging talent into new music business entrepreneurs, giving them all the tools and strategies needed to create their own future.
Melanie Redmond has been in the music industry for 30 years. The first half of that time was spent as a backing singer, travelling the world and performing backing vocals for artists such as Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, Bob Geldof, Bill Wyman, Chris Rea, The The during that time. Melanie then went to work for 19 Entertainment where she learned the business side of the industry looking after songwriters and producers. She was then employed by SonyATV Music Publishing where she spent six years developing artists and songwriters until she was headhunted by Perfect Songs in early 2012. She is currently the head of Publishing at Perfect where she has signed artists such as Will Heard, Nerina Pallot, Joel Baker and Secaina Hudson.
Phil is a Music Producer, Songwriter, Engineer, Programmer and Mixer.
In a career spanning over 30 years he has enjoyed success with many genres of music and a wide variety of artists. He owns CrazyJoeCola Music Productions and runs his own production/mixing studio.
Credit highlights include:
Co-writing, producing and mixing all the original songs for the ‘Bob The Builder’ TV show currently broadcast worldwide (Mattel) 2017-18
Recording tracks for the “Take That And Party” album including “A Million Love Songs” (RCA) 1991
Producing Jaki Graham single “Breaking Away” 1,000,000 Sales (Avex Japan) 1996
Mixing the Military Wives single “Wherever You Are” 2011 UK Christmas No 1 700,000 sales. BRIT Awards Nomination: Best British Single (Decca) 2012
Mixing and additional production on the Military Wives album “In My Dreams”. No 1 in the official UK album chart. 300,000 sales (Decca) 2012
Mixing over 25 albums for Decca since 2006 culminating in over 4 million sales in the classical crossover genre.
Co-writing “15 Minutes” with The Yeah You’s (Island) – Highly successful airplay hit – also used on American Idol and synced on the US hit movie “Easy A”. 2009
Co-produced The Yeah You’s (Island) album “Looking Through You” – 4 stars in Mojo Magazine and BBC Radio 2 Album Of The Week. 2009
Producing/mixing tracks on the critically acclaimed album “The World Goes Quiet” by Radio 2 A listed indie-rock band Rubylux (Sony Red/Luxury B) 2013
1990s Dance Remixes of Boyzone, Louise, Eternal, Rozalla, Aaliyah, Paul Young, Imagination and more – Many Club Chart No1s
Engineering, programming and mixing on “Dive In” by Darius – 300,000 sales (Mercury) 2002
Engineering Vic Reeves single “Born Free” No 6 in UK Singles chart (Island) 1991
Other notable artists worked with (Engineering/programming and Mixing):
Sir Tom Jones, Dame Shirley Bassey, Mick Fleetwood, Alison Moyet, Edwin Starr, Julio Inglesias, Vanessa Mae, A-ha, Boy George, Bruce Forsyth, Davy Jones (The Monkees), Lisa Stansfield, Lulu, Mica Paris, Myleene Klass, Shakin’ Stevens, Steps, Vic Reeves, Gareth Malone, Andy Williams and Denise Van Outen
Jochen Schuster is a music entertainment consultant and publisher specialising in artist and producer management.
He has more than 20 years of leading experience in the music industry as label executive (Universal Music, Sony Music). Jochen is a leading project manager for TV shows (eg. The Voice of, …got Talent, Starsearch, Eurovison Songcontest). Jochen has also founded his own company: Schuster Management.
Joe is a multi-million selling singer and songwriter from Hackney, East London who started out as a pirate radio MC before becoming a songwriter for other artists. As one of the most prolific and popular songwriters in the business Joe works with many signed artists and songwriters for the current music scene. He co-wrote Armand Van Helden’s My My My, and has written for Avicii, Fat Boy Slim, Idris Elba, Jaguar Skills, Nao, Camo and Krooked, O-Town, Cher Lloyd and Mullalley to name just a few.
With his recent success as the singer of Devil in Me with Purple Disco Machine, which charted no 3 in French official charts, Joe has earned a solo artist deal with NHMM, LLC world-wide. Expect many more releases in the near future!
Joe is published by Notting Hill Music, managed as an artist by NHMM, LLC, and managed as a songwriter by Sound Collective.
Richard is a music lawyer, writer, and active musician. He has worked with a range of clients including major and independent record labels, music publishers, managers, artists, writers and producers. He advises on business affairs, contract disputes, copyright, and digital matters. Richard has also penned numerous press articles, covering all aspects of music business and law. http://www.intunemusiclaw.co.uk/
Angela is an in international songwriter based in Hertfordshire. She has a Master Certificate in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music’s online platform and currently writes for artists and synch. With a background in nursing and business, she brings a host of people skills to her combined roles now as TSA’s Customer Relations Manager and as Martin’s PA!
Jo is an NLP Practitioner and Lifecoach with over 20 years personal development knowledge.
Having worked for the BBC for nearly 10 years in Editorial Strategy managing the creative and strategic direction of tv channels, Jo spent several years working for Creative Marketing Agencies account managing global brands such as 02, Lloyds TSB, Halifax.
She has also worked as a Marketing Executive in the Music Industry for companies such as Warner, Mercury and Sony.
Kristian is a songwriter and founder of Songwriter News UK – an online blog/magazine and Social Media network to promote Songwriters and emerging artists. Originally from Sao Paolo, his diverse working career includes, video production crewing and being a former talent scout for an Indie label. Kristian, a former Platinum Member, was awarded TSA Member Of The Year 2016 and has now joined us as TSA Events Correspondent.
Jo is a songwriter, producer and re-mixer and is based in Warwickshire. After two years as a Platinum Member with The Songwriting Academy she now splits her time between the role of Member Relations Manager for the TSA and writing and producing. She also can occasionally be found playing in and around the Birmingham area as bass player in a rock & pop covers band.
Vicky Pitchers is founder of VJP Media and an award-winning broadcaster.
Her previous clients include Glasgow Life, Des Clarke, Red Note Ensemble, Manchester Camerata, Musicians Union, MagicFest, Edinburgh Corn Exchange and Spider Online.
Vicky has created sponsorship and promotion campaigns for Coca Cola, Bacardi and Miller Genuine Draft. As a radio presenter Vicky hosted Save the Children Gala Dinner and The Scottish Executive Awards, reported backstage from the MTV VMA’s and Live 8 and presented a number of award winning breakfast shows.
She is also a consultant for Arts PR, an arts PR and communications agency helping organisations and individuals to manage their own effective PR through ideas, support and mentoring.
Simon has been a performing musician for over 20 years, performing in a variety of original bands and heading up top UK Coldplay tribute Coolplay, including live performances to 40,000 people and performing at Londons O2 Arena.
After attending one of Martin Suttons songwriting workshops Simon and Martin decided to combine talents and create The Songwriting Academy to be the leading Songwriting and Music Production training company using world class industry experts to deliver expert tuition to aspiring songwriters, producers and musicians.
Simon is a serial entrepreneur and has launched a number of online businesses including The Internet Business School – one of the UKs leading Internet marketing training companies. Simon has an MBA from University of Kent and provides coaching on business and online presence.
Ron McCreight has been one of the UK’s foremost radio & TV promoters for the music industry for over 40 years. He has an unrivalled experience in the field of radio plugging and promotion, having worked alongside a myriad of artists, writers, producers and TV personalities.
He helped launch the career of artists such as Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Rick Astley in the 80’s and has also worked with Take That, Josh Groban, The Saturdays, George Benson, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Roberta Flack, The Drifters, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Cher, Janis Ian, John Travolta, record producer George Martin and songwriter Burt Bacharach. In TV/film he has worked with David Frost, Esther Rantzen, John Cleese and Rowan Atkinson.
Ron has had years of experience understanding exactly what it takes to get songs played on the radio and how essential the right kind of promotion really is.
Tom is a graduate from the world renowned Tonmeister course at Surrey University and has trained under many distinguished engineers. He has experience recording full scale orchestras, jazz ensembles and rock acts as well as regularly producing and co writing with a number of singer songwriters. Tom spent a year working at Purcell school, Britain’s oldest specialist music school, teaching music technology to A level students, both as classes and 1-2-1 tutorials. He also ran and maintained the studios. Tom also works as a lecturer for the Academy of Music and Sound in Production, Recording Techniques and Songwriting and is a freelance producer/songwriter/mixer.
Ben Robbins is a multi million selling songwriter/producer. As an engineer he has worked alongside artists such as A-ha, Cliff Richard, Leo Sayer,The Moody Blues, D-Influence, Gabrielle, Shola Ama, David Cassidy, Jason Donovan, and Vanessa May. As a writer/producer he has had hits with Tina Arena, Errol Brown, Rick Astley and Laura Pausini (Grammy award nominated).
He co-produced Katherine Jenkins first album ‘Premier’ which stayed at No1 in the Classical Charts for 7 weeks. In Sep 2007 Ben won Classic FM’s Composer competition with his setting of ‘In Paradisum’ performed by Soprano Fiona Jessica Wilson. Since then he has worked with Shayne Ward, Robert Plant, Mike and The Mechanics, Roachford, Matt Lucas, Alfie Boe, Michael Ball, Justin Lee Collins. He has also written for SKY and had compositions recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Choral Society.
Jacqueline is a professional coach to individuals and top executives both in and out of the music business. She has over 25 years of successful sales experience, learning the hard way about the importance of confidence in the workplace. In the early days she sold fax machines by canvassing tough industrial estates in the North West, and worked her way up to selling multi million pound technology solutions to heavy weight corporates and government organisations
After surviving breast cancer for the second time in five years, Jacqueline now centres her activity on personal coaching and development, showing others how to pitch, sell and present themselves with confidence. She is a born communicator, a natural people person and her passion is to coach talented people in the music business to achieve the success they dream of.
Her approach is a mix of practical skills and deep coaching to help clients to be their most authentic self, based on her own experience that confidence comes from authenticity and connection within oneself.
Jacqueline is also a TSA Platinum member having taken up singing and songwriting as part of her journey back to health through creativity.
Wonderful uplifting day restoring faith in my path
Feeling so blessed to be a part of this songwriting family! Thank you for creating this wonderful community, a place for us all to be creative, passionate, supportive and talented!
When I look back to last April, when I attended TSA’s Introduction to Songwriting, my life has changed immensely for the better
Thank you Martin Sutton for your continued excellent support during the monthly 1:1’s, general encouragement, and kicks up the rear to keep on improving.
Just had an amazing mentoring session with Danny Roberts. He knows his stuff. So much for me to go away and get started on!
I’ve finally found myself and my confidence has come back! That is down to what The Songwriting Academy has done for me and given me the boost I needed. I can’t thank you enough
Just had my first mentoring session with Martin Sutton, what an amazing experience, so grateful and ready to face my first exercise. Thank you Martin.
The day went far too quickly
Just finished an awesome mentoring session with Charlie Charlie Dore what an inspiration you are Charlie. Thank you for all the excellent advice and guidance.
Fantastic mentoring session with Martin Sutton today, thank you Martin! Great feedback as always
10/10 – Excellent and superbly presented, fulfilling, educational and inspiring
10/10 – The one day course far exceded my expectations. Full of useful information backed up by eveidence. Would highly recommend to anyone interested in the process of writing a song
Just when I thought it could not get any more inspirational, I have another mentoring session with Luc Floreani!
Special people. Thank you all for some beautiful and amazing times
10/10 Thoroughly enjoyed this course, lovely group of people, fun and informative
Great mentoring session with Luc Floreani last night! Really encouraging and so many good tips for upcoming events!
Absolutely brilliant! Informative, fun, engaging, great opportunity to network with like-minded people. Great atmosphere!
10/10 – Well worth the travel. I would do it all over tomorrow. I feel a lot more confident now with what I’ve learned.
The passion of all the lecturers was amazing to see. The sharing of their life experiences that enabled them to get a career in the industry was inspirational and has made me reinforce in my mind it’s truly possible for me!
Thanks for a great day & for inspiring me to #makeithappen along with discovering some crazy improve skills!
Just completed my first mentoring session with Mr Martin Sutton … got direction .. critique ..structure .. ongoing goals and targets …lots of advice and a real motivation boost !!! AWESOME !!!
Another incredible mentoring session with Charlie Dore tonight! Really great feedback. So so much to work on and a good challenge but excited to get working on it!
I also had a great 1:1 session with Charlie Dore. Very helpful practical advice and thoroughly lovely person 🙂
Amazing and inspiring to be around wonderful like-minded people who live, breathe and love music like I do
I’m so freaking excited to be on this songwriting retreat!! Have written with some awesome people so far and have created some beautiful songs already! Yesterday’s was incredibly emotional
So enjoyed my mentoring session with Mark Cawley yesterday – from now on I will be hanging out in bookshops looking shady – thanks mark x
Had a great and informative mentoring session with Mark Cawley, nice guy, had some interesting left of field ideas for me to try. Thanks Mark
Just had an amazing mentoring session with Charlie Dore. Great suggestions and inspiration, along the lines of possibly becoming a ‘superwoman’!
Thank you so much for this weekend, really was such a fantastic experience. I’ve learnt so much that I wasn’t able to sleep all last night thinking about it.
Excellent thought provoking and inspirational
What an incredibly life changing experience, on sooo many levels!!! It’s so difficult to put it all into words!!!!! Beautiful friendships gained and definitely the beginning of something monumental.
I have had the most amazing mentoring session with Martin Sutton. So inspirational and energizing! Thank you Martin, you Rock!
I am SO totally buzzed that I took the plunge and committed to this program!
10/10 – I really enjoyed the day and look forward to the Bootcamp
Absolutely amazing, inspirational, insightful session today
Thought the course was so good and inspiring, have signed up for the Platinum Mentoring Program!
Great organisation and inspiring evening
Dominic King… Absolutely Inspirational!!!! Almost did not take up this session, wanted to play it save, but thank God I didn’t !!! Risk aversion you’re a bloody thief. Thanks
Just had a fantastic mentoring session with Martin, my first on my platinum membership! Feel completely boosted and grinning away ready to take this year by the horns! Positivity all the way
Great first mentoring session with Martin. Really encouraging, helpful in establishing focus and with so many things to takeaway.