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Catch Up With Joe Strummer Foundation Camp Winners

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As part of Tileyard Education’s last Spring Songwriting Camp, we joined forces with reputable charity and partners, The Joe Strummer Foundation to offer one lucky winner a free place on the camp!

Alongside this, we offered 4 very lucky runners up a reduced rate of £199 (rather than £699) onto the camp! All camp winners were selected on the merit of their musical potential, picked by our admissions team here at Tileyard Education. 5 stood out, and we caught up with 3 of them, as 2 have deferred their place to our Summer Songwriting Camp launching this July 18-21.

Tileyard as a location is renowned for its songwriting camps, with the many publishers and labels that reside here hosting more than 12 a year in partnership with other internal and external labels. Tileyard Education camps however, are a great entry point for any aspiring producers or songwriters wanting to access Tileyard’s rich networks and to learn first-hand how to collaborate and respond to live briefs, as well as learning the insights of how the professionals work. Better still, all tracks created in the camps get pitched to labels, so they act as a great networking platform to get your music heard by the professionals.

Winners of The Joe Strummer Camp competition, Lauren Ray, Mike Martin and Olly Wood all benefited from spending a week at Tileyard, and we caught up with all 3 of them to find out about their experience on the camp.

Olly is a current student of Music Production at BIMM London and was our official winner for the free place! He’s a Producer that works across multiple genres, releasing his own music, but also working on releasing music for other bands. Olly had already heard about Tileyard, but had never been part of a songwriting camp before, his curiosity led him to apply for the competition and he was delighted to have been picked. We asked Olly what his experience was like overall:

“At first my experience with the camp was quite stressful as I don’t usually work with other people, I’ve never written to a brief either so I completely stepped outside of my comfort zone. I also haven’t done much commercial music before, so to be put in a room with strangers and having to recognise strengths and weaknesses was a difficult task, to begin with.”

He added:

However challenging it was, I met some amazing people, and ultimately fell in love with writing camps. I’m looking for new camps to join, I was honestly blown away.”

Olly later came down to an A&R Sessions we hosted at Tileyard with SONDR, where he met a Masters of Production student from Tileyard who suggested other networking events he should attend. He said spending a week with us really opened up his networks, he’s remained in touch with David Laudat, and he is now applying to study his masters with Tileyard! You can check Olly’s music out on his Soundcloud page here.

The first runner up Mike Martin, heard about the camp through the Joe Strummer Foundation. Mike started playing music when he was young, he always wanted to pursue music, but was never quite sure how. A few years ago, he introduced himself to the world of production, he self-trained in logic and studied Games Development at Falmouth University. He realised after graduation, he didn’t want to exclusively make music for games, as his passion lies in the music making process, for any genre. He has spend the past few years defining his style, and listing music online, working with films, student projects and other experiments.

After attending an open day to study a Masters at Tileyard, Mike found out about the competition. He summarised his experience on the camp in 3 words:

“Challenging. insightful, exhausting”

He elaborated:

“You have to give 110% of yourself in the time you’re there, and in the time you’re not. As a Producer, I was taking home a lot of project files that needed additional instrumentation, sound design, mixing and mastering, whilst on a very tight deadline. I’m used to working on my own and at my own pace, so the added pressure from the camp was a challenging, but valuable experience for me. It really opened my eyes to the skills, expertise and drive necessary to succeed. “

He also added:

“I really valued the industry insight that I got from being on the camp. The tight deadlines, working to commercial briefs, and communicating ideas with songwriters and musicians you’ve just met! For a week, I felt like a part of Tileyard, like one of the residents immersed in its quick-moving industry.

All in all, Mike had a great experience, and you can check out some of his latest music on his soundcloud here.

Our final winner, Lauren Ray initially heard about the camp through her writing collaborator and friend Noraay who already had a place on the camp and was staying with her in London for that week. She saw the competition being run and decided to apply!

She said:

“It all worked out!”

Lauren’s background is a singer-songwriter who has used most of her creative energy working on her solo projects, she has already released two EP’s and her debut album and has just recently finished recording her second album which she will release later this year. She said:

“I’d done a little bit of writing and collaborating with other artists but I hadn’t really pursued songwriting separately from my own projects as much as I would like to”

She said:

“The songwriting camp came at just the right time”

She added that she enjoyed writing to briefs for the first time, and also came along to the A&R Sessions with SONDR, and really enjoyed the feedback. Overall, she said she had a fantastic experience on the camp, and was subsequently invited to join a camp with Tileyard Education MA students in Malmo, where she got to work alongside Tileyard Music and commercial Swedish Producers. Lauren said she enjoyed the connectivity and writing opportunities that Tileyard offered her on the week-long camp and is still in touch and collaborating with other students that attended (she has already written with fellow competition winner Olly Wood and also has plans to return to Malmo).

You can check out Lauren’s music here.

If you’re interested in our next songwriting camp, read more on how to apply here.


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