APRIL 2019 ISSUE 05
The best festivals
on the planet
The evolution of
dancing in fields
HIT THE ROAD!
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
We celebrate your talent, value your
music and champion your rights.
To all of our songwriters and composers,
your passion is ours.
Say what you want to
say, then go to sleep
with no regrets.
BMI SONGWRITER SINCE 2007
2 DECEMBER 2018
Kristan J Caryl
Gfire M, Jim Butler,
Nick Rice, Sara Cooper,
Sophia Nyananyo and
Hey Mag is published by Hey Music.
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The opinions and views within this
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accurate at the time of writing but may
be subject to change.
Grab your glitter – it’s festival time! There’s a whole
season of festival fun on the horizon to suit all tastes
– whether you prefer the convenience of an inner-city
event, the adventure of taking to the fields or even taking off
to a brand new country for a festival fix.
Of course, the music is vitally important but, for me, that’s
only part of the festival experience. It’s losing your friends
(standard) and making new ones, plus the random sights
and comical mishaps that complete the story – and make
memories that last a lifetime.
Let’s be honest… even the best laid festival plans have a
tendency to go wrong. Everyone has a festival tale or two.
One year my friends and I thought we were really smart by
hiring a designated driver – a mate of a mate who had only
one job to do and that was to stay in a fit enough state to
drive us back from the festival in Winchester to London.
We were feeling pretty smug. Until our designated driver
locked the car keys in the boot. While we were all outside
By the time we’d waited six hours in the pouring rain for
the RAC man to turn up and open the car, we were on the
verge of killing each other. We’d have smashed a passenger
window to get in except we couldn’t even find a brick.
Then there was the time I was left behind at a festival
(Winchester, again!) after my lift home departed without
me. Which was particularly unfortunate given that I lived in
Glasgow at the time.
But it all goes towards earning your rave stripes so bring
on this summer’s festival (mis)adventures!
SMASH THROUGH CEILINGS
SPEAK FOR YOURSELF
JOIN THE IVORS ACADEMY
For more than 70 years, we have represented songwriters and composers,
but since 25 March 2019, BASCA has become The Ivors Academy.
Find out more about how we support, protect and represent music
creators in the UK, and join us today.
4 DECEMBER 2018
What’s cooking across the UK
and around the world
14 A BRIEF HISTORY OF
We chart the evolution of dancing in
fields (and other strange places)
20 DID YOU KNOW?
Impress your mates with some
22 UK FESTIVAL GUIDE
Hit the road to our pick of the best
music festivals in good old Blighty
30 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL GUIDE
Travel further afield to one of our highly
recommended festivals on distant shores
36 TRAVELLING LIGHT
It’s been non-stop for Children of Zeus
since the release of their debut album
Was it the greatest year in musical
history? We make the case.
44 GOING FOR A SONG
Multi-platinum songwriter Tim Fraser
on the “knack” of songwriting
48 HOW TO…
A beginner’s guide to songwriting
52 MAKING AN IMPACT
International Music Summit co-founder
Ben Turner’s journey through music
56 MUSIC BY NUMBERS
Stats and facts behind Elrow Ibiza
58 GROUND FORCE
The role of a festival Production Director
UPFRONT AROUND THE UK
DISCOVER: Kornel Kovacs
Stockholm Marathon (Studio Barnhus)
One third of the playful, inventive Swedish label collective Studio Barnhus, Kornel
Kovacs’s second album is a perfect embodiment of their sound: catchy hooks, happy
house and rolling basslines. It was written after the break-up of a relationship so has a
melancholic undertone that makes it all the more absorbing.
CRAZY P’S EGO CHECK
By now national dance music treasures,
Crazy P are one of the most spellbinding
disco live acts in the game. They’ll unleash
new album Age of Ego, on 3 May. Released
on iK7, it pairs heavy club beats with richly
layered cosmic synths, boogie basslines
and an underlying vocal theme that muses
on social media, youth politics and Brexit.
“I suppose lyrically it is political, a
reflection of the times, but with a twist of
humour and always a lot of love,” vocalist
Danielle Moore explained.
6 APRIL 2019
Pete Townshend is
branching out. He might
be best known as the
guitarist from legendary
British rock band The Who,
but November will see him
release his debut novel. The
Age of Anxiety – described
as “a great rock novel” and
“an extended meditation on
manic genius” – is a dark
tale of creativity that is part
of a grand body of work that
will eventually fuse fiction
writing with opera and
“I’m an avid reader and
have really enjoyed writing it.
It’s tremendously exciting,”
said Townshend, who is also
in the midst of working with
his old bandmates on The
Who’s first album of new
material in 13 years.
Morrissey has always been a divisive character, but just
recently some of his socio-political views have been so
strong they’ve even started to turn hardcore fans away.
Musically though he will always remain a giant of the indie
world. To that end, the famous miserablist has announced
he is taking on a career-spanning Broadway residency.
The former Smiths frontman will play seven shows at the
Lunt-Fontanne Theater, in Midtown Manhattan, between
2 and 11 May.
Though the content of the shows remains to be
unveiled, it’s being described as “an intimate yet exciting
exploration of Morrissey’s expansive career from his early
days to his upcoming new record”.
The record in question is California Son, which arrives
on Etienne Records/BMG, on 24 May, and is his first
UPFRONT AROUND THE UK
CHICAGO LEGEND TAKES
THE HELM AT XOYO
London’s XOYO has been putting the
focus back on resident DJs for a couple
of years now. The club’s special series of
events invites big names to set up camp
at the venue for a run of weekly parties. As
well as playing themselves, they also curate
the rest of the acts at each event. Chicago
house legend Derrick Carter has been
given Saturdays throughout May under the
Shoreditch club’s Pleasurehood series.
Joining Carter for the opening night, on
4 May, will be fellow Chicagoan Honey Dijon.
Carter then plays all night long the week
after, with a disco special the following
week, then closes it down with his longrunning
Queen! night with party co-founder
Classic Music Company co-founder Derrick
said: “My aim remains the same every week.
I come in, blow your party the f*** up, and
then break out.”
Photo_Red Bull Music
BACK TO SKOOL WITH SOMA
Slam are one of the most iconic techno
duos in the game and their Soma label has
long been putting out some of the genre’s
most vital material. Their Soma Skool returns
to Glasgow’s SWG3 complex, on 20 April,
with the aim of “enlightening, educating and
inspiring the minds of tomorrow in
how to achieve a career in the electronic
Panels will discuss everything from record
labels, promoters, clubs and radio shows to
the importance of queer artists in electronic
music, with experts and industry insiders such
as the Berlin Club Commission, BBC, Young
Marco, Jennifer Cardini, Subcity Radio and
more. A curated panel from Red Bull Music
will discuss what no rules and no boundaries
means in today’s scene, with stars like
Breakwave and Machinewoman.
There will also be Ableton masterclasses,
workshops with Pioneer, and a live demo
from Bulgarian wizard KiNK.
The conference will be followed the by
Maximum Pressure Easter 2019 party, with
Len Faki, Laurent Garnier (above left) and
many more from 6pm.
8 APRIL 2019
PRODIGY’S KEITH FLINT
Despite the impact of rave
and acid house culture in the
late ’80s and early ’90s, there
were few bands who came
out of that era and went on
to become hugely successful
recording artists. Next to
Orbital and The Chemical
Brothers, The Prodigy helped
establish dance music in the
wider public’s conscious.
Their raw energy, f*** you
attitude and thrilling mix of
drum machines and guitars
stood them apart right from
the off and converted millions
of young people and teenage
misfits onto dance music
with seminal albums like
Experience and Music for the
Front man Keith Flint, with
his inverted green mohawk
and nose rings, was a dancer
with The Prodigy to start with,
but soon got involved in writing and singing.
He was, despite his mad and dangerous
look, a very kind and caring soul, according
to those who knew him best, and someone
who was still enjoying plenty of success,
having recently toured Australia.
With his band, Flint changed electronic
music and pop culture forever, but sadly he
took his own life, on 4 March, aged just 49.
His death stunned the music industry and
The Prodigy’s legions of fans. His bandmates
described him as “a true pioneer, innovator
and legend”, and added that he would
be “forever missed”.
In an interview with The Guardian in
2015, Flint described The Prodigy as
“dangerous and exciting” and claimed
that a similar attitude was missing
from today’s music scene. “That’s why
people are getting force-fed commercial,
generic records that are just safe, safe,
safe,” he added.
This unique character may now be
gone, but his legacy will live forever.
REDISCOVER: The Prodigy
Fat of the Land (XL)
Keith Flint was an icon of the rave generation. He was initially a dancer with The Prodigy
who eventually got involved with writing on the hit single Firestarter in 1996. It’s a track
that still lights up any club, so there’s never been a better time to revisit the electrifying
album it came from.
UPFRONT INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Dazzle Drums Till Von Sein Nicola Cruz
DJs For Climate Action release a second
album of new music on 19 April – just ahead
of the global Earth Day.
Earth Night is aimed at harnessing the
energy of the global nightlife
scene to raise awareness and
funds for climate action. The
compilation features over 50
tracks from artists from 12
countries, including the likes of
Justin Robertson, Till Von Sein,
Little Boots, Mr V, Nicola Cruz,
The Revenge and Dazzle Drums.
DJs For Climate Action are
also throwing a series of parties
in Brooklyn and Berlin, amongst other
locations, that look to “shine light on the
challenge facing our planet and the unique
role musicians can play”. All proceeds will
fund projects focused on effective climate
solutions through direct partnerships.
“This includes work at the
nexus of renewable energy,
health and education with
Little Sun, boosting the global
climate youth movement with
Earth Guardians, and offsetting
the impact of DJ air travel with
CO2 Logic,” claimed the group.
The compilation is available
for pre-order exclusively
through Bandcamp, with
tracks landing every week up until the
album’s full release.
10 APRIL 2019
Andreea and Ben
This year’s International Music Summit in Ibiza will be cocurated
by the leading female empowerment organisation in
the music industry, shesaid.so.
The partnership is designed to help break down gender
stereotypes whilst promoting the profile of women making an
impact in the industry. IMS and shesaid.so will work together
towards gender parity at IMS Ibiza, which takes place 22 –
24 May, at the island’s Hard Rock Hotel.
“We can’t hide that IMS was created originally by six white
males, but we can change everything else around us to
promote the best in the industry from across professions,”
said IMS co-founder Ben Turner. “I hope we can encourage
more women to speak, attend, perform and help shape the
industry they love.”
This is the third year IMS has partnered with shesaid.so but
it’s the first time the organisation has been invited to co-host
Founder of shesaid.so, Andreea Magdalina said: “This
gives us a greater opportunity to create more visibility for
women and other marginalized communities in electronic
music and beyond at one of the most forward-thinking music
conferences in the business.”
There’s a 50% discount for all shesaid.so members
attending the summit for the first time. Delegates can
experience inspiring keynote speeches and workshops, plus
powerful networking sessions.
Nicole Moudaber, Anna Tur, Charlotte de Witte, Ida
Engberg and Sophie are amongst the female DJs playing at
the summit finale, at Dalt Villa, in Ibiza Old Town, on 24 May.
(Read Ben Turner’s journey through music on page 52.)
Almost $10 billion of music
revenue in the US comes
from streaming. That’s the
findings of the Recording
Industry Association of
America’s Year-End Music
Industry Revenue Report
2018, which claims that
streaming makes up 75% of
music revenue in the US. The
figure is a 12% increase on
the previous year.
It means subscriptions to
paid services like Spotify,
Apple Music and Tidal are all
up, but so too are vinyl sales,
which now account for one
third of all physical sales.
The king of Sandidisco,
Prins Thomas is
back in April with new
record Ambitions. It’s the
Norwegian producer’s sixth
album and features a track
called Feel The Love, with
his own vocals on for the
first time ever. “It gathers
up loose ideas sketched
down on my computer or
hummed into my handheld
recorder in the last two
years,” said Thomas.
UPFRONT INTERNATIONAL NEWS
FLOODS IN FOR PHIL K
The dance music community in Australia
and around the world has pulled together
to support Melbourne DJ Phil K, who has
terminal cancer. Donations have been
flooding into a Gofundme campaign launched
to buy expensive medication that can help
prolong Phil’s life.
DJ heavyweights including Sasha, John
Digweed, Dave Seaman, Lee Burridge
and Anthony Pappa have all rallied behind
Digweed described Phil, who produces
as Lostep with Luke Chable and under the
Analog Stars and Digital Stars monikers
with Danny Bonnici, as “one of the best DJs
to come out of Australia”.
Phil’s technical ability is legendary
amongst his peers, and when Pioneer was
developing the first CDJs they invited Phil
to the company’s HQ in Japan for his
As this issue went to press, a huge 14-hour
community fundraiser was also scheduled to
take place at Melbourne venue La Di
Da, on 30 March, to further boost the
Party promoters Organic Audio said Phil
was “one of Australia’s favourite DJs and
personalities”, adding: “Both his music and
passionate loving character pioneered the
way for not only a culture but a true sense
of community that goes with it.”
Chronicling his battle with cancer, Phil,
who hoped to be strong enough to play at
the benefit party, said: “I want to hang on
for as long as I can. I want to get back to
music and DJing.”
At the time of writing, his Gofundme
campaign was sitting at AUS $65,000 of
its AUS $100,000 target.
“This is what I love about the electronic
scene,” said John Digweed. “Not only
does it bring people together; it also looks
out for people in a time of need.”
You can read more out Phil’s moving
12 APRIL 2019
FOR THE LOVE
OF BLACK GOLD
Ariana Grande (above),
Twenty One Pilots, The
Strokes and Childish Gambino
have been confirmed as the
headliners for this year’s
Lollapalooza festival, taking
place at Chicago’s Grant Park,
from 1 – 4 August.
Last month, it was reported
that Grande had signed over
90% of the royalties from
7 Rings to the estates of
Rodgers and Hammerstein,
after it sampled their My
Favourite Things track, from
The Sound of Music.
Love vinyl? Then don’t forget it’s Record Store Day,
on 13 April, when independent record shops worldwide
celebrate black gold culture.
Special vinyl and CD releases, and various promotional
products, are made exclusively for the day, with bands
and DJs heading to their local stores for intimate
performances, meet and greet sessions and to buy
records, of course.
“This is a day for the people who make up the world
of the record store – the staff, the customers and the
artists – to come together and celebrate the unique
culture of a record store and the special role these
independently owned stores play in their communities,”
said a RSD spokesperson.
The first Record Store Day took place on 19 April
2008. On that day, Metallica spent hours at Rasputin
Music, in San Francisco, meeting fans, and now
hundreds of artists get involved each year.
Pearl Jam are this year’s official Record Store Day
ambassadors. Guitarist Mike McCready said: “Support
every independent record store that you can. It’s a place
to learn. It’s a place to have fun. And it’s a place to
discover new music.”
London club Fabric is
off on a whistle-stop tour
of Brazil this month, as
part of its 20th anniversary
celebrations. Fabric resident
Craig Richards and Ben UFO
will represent the London
club on the three-day tour,
dropping into RARA, in Rio
De Janiero, on 18 April,
Warung Beach Club, in Itajaí,
the following night, and Sao
Paulo’s famous D-Edge
club (above), on 20 April.
FEATURE MUSIC FESTIVALS
14 APRIL 2019
Photo_Resistance MegaStructure at Ultra Music Festival by aLIVE
this year’s festival season about to get
underway, charts the evolution of
dancing in fields (and other strange places)
FEATURE MUSIC FESTIVALS
it’s a former airfield
in Iceland, an arid
expanse of Nevada desert, a ski resort in
Austria or a sprawling farm in Somerset,
music festivals are found everywhere these
days. They have evolved over the centuries
into a mixed bag of febrile, commercially
ravenous juggernauts and humble,
regional shindigs that eschew profit-mad
untrammelled growth in favour of preserving
ethos and ethics. And everything in between.
Music festivals have boomed in the 21st
century. They are a burgeoning cultural
phenomenon. The likes of Glastonbury
and Burning Man may look a world apart
from the earliest known festivals, but the
motivation driving attendance comes from
the same source – a desire to let loose, to
temporarily throw off the shackles of ordered
society and give free reign to personal and
political freedoms. Occupying a significant
economic, social and cultural role at local
and international levels, festival-going in
the present era has crossed over from the
fringes into the mainstream.
Apollo at Delphi
All over the world the music festival
calendar is bursting. The heritage of these
events begins with the first known music
festival, which going back to the late sixth
century BC pre-dates the Olympics – the
Pythian Games. Held at the sanctuary of
Apollo, at Delphi, it concluded with a day of
The element of competition endured over
the centuries. The deeply established Green
Man festival in Wales can trace its family
line back to the bardic competition held by
Lord Rhys at Cardigan Castle, in 1176. This
annual celebration of Welsh poetry, music
and performance saw periods of success
and decline until a resurgence occurred in
the mid-19th century as a response to the
controversial government reports known as
the ‘Blue Books’, which criticised the state of
education and culture in Wales.
Now it is not the performers but the
festivals that compete, striving to compile
16 APRIL 2019
Green Man, Wales
the most impressive line-ups and pushing
for an edge in a saturated market. With the
explosion of music festivals in the noughties,
two wide trajectories emerged. One includes
the community-driven smaller festival that
has either a folk or counter-cultural tradition
and shuns overt
other is the mega
festival mining a
seam of intense
Prior to this
music festival had
taken many twists
and turns in its
evolution. In the late ’60s, blissed-out, free
lovin’ hippies coalesced as a counter-culture
in the US. Events such as The Monterey
Pop Festival, in the summer of 1967, and
The Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain
Music Festival, in the same year and also in
California, signalled a growing movement.
Two years later, the groundswell culminated
in the seminal Woodstock Music and Arts
Fair – a milestone moment, the effects of
which are still rippling outwards today.
On this side of the
Atlantic, and now
in the 1970s, the
hippy idealists had
All over the world
morphed into a new
the music festival
community of newage
calendar is bursting
With them emerged
a phase of free
and attended by these sub-cultures who
were opting out of society at large, held at
locations such as Stonehenge.
But peace and love became distorted into
a climate of dissent and anti-establishment
FEATURE MUSIC FESTIVALS
Ravi Shankar, Monterey Pop
resignation. Large swathes of the UK’s
youth from working class areas found
themselves with a bleak future. The lack
of prospects in Thatcher’s Britain seeded
disenfranchisement. Some sections of
the younger generations sought to find an
alternative way of living. Chipping in with
some like-minded friends to buy an old
bus and turn it into a home on wheels was
a way out of the decline being inflicted on
certain regions across the country. One such
movement of mobile urban squatters called
themselves the Peace Convoy.
It was with the Peace Convoy that the
last throes of free festivals took place at the
Battle of the Beanfield, on 1 June 1985, as
the convoy of around 600 travellers tried
to set up the Stonehenge Free Festival, in
Wiltshire Police Force unleashed
unprecedented police brutality and attacked
the travellers. Squads of riot police charged
buses of people trying to leave, forcing the
mobile homes to a halt and smashing them
up. Around 1300 police officers took part
in the operation and 537 travellers were
eventually arrested in one of the largest
mass arrests of civilians since WWII. One
Battle of Beanfield
year later, the passing of The Public Order
Act 1986 and subsequently the Criminal
Justice Act 1994 made the travellers’ way
of life, and the creation of free festivals,
impossible to sustain.
Although free festivals became a thing of
the past, the motivation to attend festivals
in general, to seek cultural enrichment and
to enjoy social cohesion, did not die. Music
festivals expanded to include wider swathes
of society, under the broad philosophies of
18 APRIL 2019
Photo_Jerry de Wilde
Jimi Hendrix, Woodstock, 1969
Music festivals now
make up a multi-billiondollar
industry and play
a crucial role in the
participation, sustainability, responsibility
and creative expression.
Music festivals now make up a multibillion-dollar
industry on both sides of
the pond and play a crucial role in the
cultural economy. The new norm is to buy a
wristband for a three or even four figure price
that entitles the wearer to access three or
four days of an event. The commercialisation
of music festivals has not been an entirely
smooth journey. A case in point is the 30th
anniversary of “peace, love and happiness”
that was Woodstock 1999. The event
was the antithesis of the ethos behind the
original festival. A perfect storm of callous
organisation, which included oppressive
heat bouncing off the tarmac at Griffiss Air
Force Base where the ill-fated anniversary
took place, exorbitant prices for tickets, food
and water, and shambolic band scheduling
triggered chaos and riots that left a charred
wasteland and shocking accounts of sexual
attacks in the bedlam.
Music festivals today are multi-cultural,
multi-generational and often multi-national,
and they have learned a lot of lessons
in terms of organisation, but many still
unashamedly focus on profit. Extra money
beyond the often-hefty ticket price is levied
for camping, parking, food, water, alcohol,
merchandise, vending, VIP access and more.
In Plato’s The Republic – his Socratic
dialogue from around 380 BC – he posits
that a powerful tyrant will eventually come
undone, suffering in the end by corrupting
his own soul. Mega festivals take note.
Perhaps there is only so far that the
rampant commercialisation of music festivals
can go before the pendulum swings and
consumer preferences opt overwhelmingly
for the more manageable grassroots events.
In 2019 there is room for both types of
festival to co-exist. So whether you ‘go
big’ or ‘go boutique’ this summer, have
a good one.
FEATURE FESTIVAL FACTS
Impress your mates with some music festival trivia...
US festival Woodstock, which took place in August
1969, is widely regarded as one of the most important
events in music history. Headlined by acts like Jimi
Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker and
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, it attracted about half a
million people. Woodstock will stage a 50th anniversary
event this year at the original site of the 1969 event, in
Upstate New York. The Black Keys, JAY-Z, Robert Plant,
Courtney Barnett, The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Chance the
Rapper and many more have been booked to play.
Ultra Music Festival
started off on a
Miami beach over
20 years ago. Today,
the electronic music
festival attracts over
one million party
people to its annual
events in over 20
Farmer Michael Eavis
mounted the first
– then called the Pilton
Pop, Blues & Folk Festival
– at Worthy Farm, on 19
September 1970 (the
day after Jimi
£1 to attend.
free milk from
Fancy a rave in an
igloo? Then head to
in April. Dubbed “the
Glasto of the Alps” and
celebrating its 20th
anniversary this year,
the six-day festival takes
place across many
20 APRIL 2019
Australia’s Birdsville Big Red
Bash is considered the “most
remote” music festival in the world.
It takes place in the Simpson
Desert, Queensland – 1900km from
Sydney, 1600km from Brisbane and
1200km from Adelaide.
The largest festival attendance – according to
Guinness World Records – was recorded at the
Danube Island Festival, in Austria, in 2015, when
3.3 million people turned up over its three-day duration.
is worth around
The award-winning EXIT festival, held at the
Petrovaradian Fortress, in Novi Sad, Serbia, was
founded in 2000 by a couple of student friends fighting
for democracy and freedom in Serbia and the Balkans.
Photo_Ales aka Dust To Ashes
Although music plays a
large part of Burning Man,
the week-long event in the
Nevada desert bills itself
as “a temporary metropolis
dedicated to community,
art, self-expression and
self-reliance”. Around 70,000
‘Burners’ create Black Rock
City and, while the event is
Burners abide by the 10
Principles of Burning Man.
FEATURE UK FESTIVAL GUIDE
From forest getaways to urban
hangouts and from multi-day,
multi-genre behemoths to
niche underground events, the
UK has plenty to offer when it
comes to festivals. Here’s our
pick of 10 of the best
Words_Kristan J Caryl
FEATURE UK FESTIVAL GUIDE
Cheltenham Jazz Festival
When: 1 – 6 May
A tented festival village in Montpellier Gardens,
Cheltenham Jazz Festival features a Big Top stage,
the Jazz Arena, a Family Tent featuring workshops,
performances and sing-alongs, and the line-up is
curated by Jamie Cullum. It mixes up the greats with
tomorrow’s stars, plus blues and world music from
local and emerging talent.
Don’t miss: The silky tones of Gregory Porter.
Where: Hop Farm, Kent
When: 23 – 27 May
From: £30+ day, £110+ weekend camping
This year’s Alfresco is the biggest yet in terms
of big name acts. And while the 2019 event is
spread across four day and three night stages
in the woods, the festival retains its cosy feel.
Electronic music from underground innovators like
Ivan Smagghe and Errol Alkan is paired with hiphop
karaoke, family picnic circles and luxurious
Don’t miss: Festival debut from wacky one-man
music-making machine Mark Ribillet.
Where: Noseley Hall, Leicestershire
When: 11 – 14 July
With a focus on wellness, education, creativity
and environmentalism, Noisily plays out in the
heart of rural England. Three main stages and
various micro-venues host the music (from d&b
to dub, folk to techno) and there are also talks,
panels, discussions and healing practices in
the Mind Body Soul area. This one is all about
community, making new friendships and exploring
new acts you might not know but will soon love.
Don’t miss: Dub pioneer Mad Professor.
24 APRIL 2019
Where: Finsbury Park, London
When: 5 – 7 July
Wireless is a supersized
weekend event that brings the
biggest names in the world to
London. A big focus this year
is on R&B, trap and grime with
superstars like A$AP Rocky,
Migos, Travis Scott, Stefflon
Don and Future all bringing
their day-glo, hyper-real
productions and on-point raps.
Tim Westwood also represents
for some old school flavours
and plenty of gun-finger action.
Don’t miss: Current rap queen
Where: Jodrell Bank
When: 18 – 21 July
From: £180+ weekend
Bluedot makes you think as
much as dance with a full
programme of live science
experiments and technology
talks and workshops,
immersive artworks, stand-up
comedy, moon celebrations
and more. Legends like New
Order, 808 State and Hot
Chip play with jazz fusionists
Gogo Penguin and Syrian
wedding singer Omar
Souleyman, amongst many
other diverse names, all in
the truly unique setting that is
Jodrell Bank Observatory.
Don’t miss: Krafwerk’s
FEATURE UK FESTIVAL GUIDE
Where: Hillsborough Park, Sheffield
When: 19 – 21 July
Sheffield’s biggest annual music gathering mixes up all genres with art, performance and live comedy from wellknown
TV stars. It all goes down across four stages, with craft ales and tasty street food to keep you fuelled.
Local bands star next to international talents such as Nile Rodgers & Chic, Manic Street Preachers, Doves and
Rag‘n’Bone Man, making it one of the north’s most all-encompassing offerings.
Don’t miss: The always fun Happy Mondays.
Where: Perry Park,
When: 27 July
The West Midlands has
always been a hotbed for
grime and urban styles,
and this one-day gathering
celebrates all that and more.
Local heroes like Goldie and
Lady Leshurr are joined by
superstars like Dizzie Rascal
and Giggs, with d&b, house
and techno also catered for
in a blissful green space in
England’s second city.
Don’t miss: Mike Skinner on
26 APRIL 2019
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RECORD STORE DAY
keep up to date
and to find your local store visit
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FEATURE UK FESTIVAL GUIDE
Where: The Cotswolds
When: 23 – 25 August
From: £62+ day, £152+ weekend
A perfect festival for all the family, Big Feastival
goes down on Blur man Alex James’s farm and
mixes up music, comedy, cooking and family
entertainment. Music comes from chart-topping
multi-genre dance stars Rudimental, pop royalty
like Jess Glynn and garage legends DJ Luck & MC
Neat. Kids will love getting creative in the arts tent,
dancing in the big top and laughing to TV stars like
Mr Tumble, and adults can brush up on cooking
skills with tips from Jodie Kidd, Raymond Blanc
and Prue Leigth, amongst many more.
Don’t miss: Party starters the Fun Lovin Criminals.
51st State Festival
Where: Trent Park, London
When: 3 August
A must for fans of house music, 51st State covers
deep, disco, soulful, tech, garage and afro niches
across multiple stages and tens of giant bookings.
Nestled in green parkland just outside the centre of
London, this 5th anniversary edition features Dimitri
From Paris, DJ Spen & Karizma, Soul Clap, Roger
Sanchez, Todd Terry, Todd Edwards and many more
DJs, with special live PAs from Kele Le Roc, Crystal
Waters and Julie McKnight.
Don’t miss: Definitive New York house pair
Mood II Swing.
Where: Whitebottom Farm, Stockport
When: 23 – 25 August
Hosted at an eco-friendly farm, Moovin boasts
bespoke and boutique stages in barns, seating
on haystacks and an intimate crowd that is
utterly welcoming. Morning gong baths, yoga,
fire shows, performers and lots of local bands
join soul, bass and funk giants like Soul II Soul,
2manydjs, Big Daddy Kane, Inner City, Lee
Scratch Perry, Nightmares on Wax and Horse
Don’t miss: The worldly rhythms of Awesome
Tapes From Africa.
28 APRIL 2019
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FEATURE INT’L. FESTIVAL GUIDE
Unleash your sense of adventure and
travel further afield to one of our highly
recommended festivals on distance shores…
30 APRIL 2019
Spring Break Amsterdam
FEATURE INT’L. FESTIVAL GUIDE
Spring Break Amsterdam
Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
When: 7 – 9 April and 14 – 16 April
Spring Break Amsterdam is growing in popularity
every year and in 2019 the fun will be focused
on five key venues in the Dutch capital. Playing
at Melkweg, Air, Escape, Club NYX and Claire
will be over 50 cutting-edge acts from the drum
& bass, house and grime scenes, including
Rudimental, MK, Big Narstie and Jaguar Skills.
Don’t miss: Step away from the music for a
moment and into Van Gogh’s world at the Van
Where: Mayrhofen, Austria
When: 8 – 13 April
The “greatest show on snow” returns to the
picturesque slopes of Mayrhofen for its 20th
anniversary bash and it’s shaping up to be
crazier than ever. From street parties to forest
stages, alpine lodges to reggae shacks and
even a butcher’s shop, no space is left unused
in pursuit of the perfect party. It’s why some of
the best artist in the world return time and time
again. Stormzy, Fatboy Slim, Sub Focus and
High Contrast are among the headliners this year.
Don’t miss: Give the Chairlift Speed Dating a go!
32 APRIL 2019
Dresden Music Festival
Where: Dresden, Germany
When: 16 May – 10 June
From: Individual concerts from €20
One of the most prestigious festivals
for classical music in Europe, whilst
classical is at the core of this event,
world music, jazz and dance are also
featured. This year the Glashütte Original
Music Festival Prize will be awarded
to the American violinist Joshua Bell in
recognition of his commitment to the
development of young artists. Jan Vogler,
Director of the Dresden Music Festival,
says: “Joshua has remained true to
himself and reaches classical music
fans of all generations and nationalities
with his poetic style of playing the violin.
He is one of the most charismatic and
successful musicians in the world today.”
Don’t miss: The special performances
pertaining to the centennial of the
Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: 30 May – 1 June
Primavera promises a world-renowned lineup
of some of the biggest headline acts in the
business, with a wide-ranging international
selection of supporting talent to boot. With
views of the Mediterranean soundtracked by
a slew of A-list artists, it’s little wonder fans
travel far and wide to get to this one.
Don’t miss: The secret pop-up performances
– keep your ear to the ground to see the
biggest bands perform intimate gigs.
Ultra Music Festival
Where: Ultra Park, Singapore
When: 8 – 9 June
From SG$238 for a two-day pass
There’s no stopping the Ultra juggernaut. From humble
beginnings in Miami, the US-born festival rolls into 23
cities worldwide these days. Now in its fourth year, the
Singapore edition is off the hook and this year brings
Martin Garrix, Porter Robinson, Skrillex, Jamie Jones,
Eats Everything and Josh Wink, amongst others, to the
Southeast Asia location.
Don’t miss: If we could be there you’d find us down the
front of the Resistance Megastructure.
FEATURE INT’L. FESTIVAL GUIDE
The Yacht Week
When: Each week from 1 – 8 June through to 7 – 14 Sept
From: €550 per person for a yacht for six people with a skipper
The Yacht Week is a series of week-long floating festivals staged at stunning destinations, including Greece,
Montenegro and the Caribbean. It all began in Croatia though, and for many the original destination remains
the best. Get a group of six friends together to charter a boat, complete with a skipper and optional host, and
head off for a week to enjoy a unique itinerary of events, all united by the best electronic music out there.
Don’t miss: The Buzz Boat, a floating DJ stage complete with VOID Acoustic sound system.
Photo_ Roxana Sadvokassova
Midnight Sun Film Festival
Where: Sodankylä, Finland
When: 12 – 16 June
From: 12-ticket packages start from around €90
Founded in 1986 by Finnish filmmakers the Kaurismäki brothers
and the Municipality of Sodankylä, this festival is utterly unique.
Experience nightless night as the sun never sets during this festival,
held some 120 kilometres above the Arctic Circle in the heart of
Finnish Lapland. An international audience joins film directors and
emerging talents from around the globe to enjoy a carefully curated
festival programme of old and new films.
Don’t miss: Looking for your music fix? Music films are given a new
spin in the karaoke screenings, and the silent film concerts alone are
worth the journey.
34 APRIL 2019
Photo_ James Patrick
Photo_ Andrew Wyatt
Where: Black Rock City, Nevada
When: 25 August – 2 September
Everyone should do Burning Man at
least once. The legendary counterculture
art event brings 70,000
‘Burners’ together to create a
temporary city in the desert, where
practically everything that happens is
created by its citizens. Check out the
jaw-dropping art installations by day,
or take part in some of the many talks,
classes or workshops, before the
terrain becomes a neon playground
after dark when most of the sound
systems and stages fire up proper.
It’s often described as “Mad Max in
the desert”. That doesn’t come half
Don’t miss: Distrikt, Robot Heart
and The Playground are magnets for
house and techno heads, but don’t
miss Carl Cox’s legendary disco, funk
and soul sunrise party at the Kasbah.
Where: Budapest, Hungary
When: 1 – 3 September
Smack bang in the beautiful
city of Budapest are
hidden some of Europe’s
most spectacular venues.
Immerse yourself in
culture by day and then
party through the night at
uncommonly cool clubs and
open-deck boat parties.
This ultra-hip metro festival
is capped at around 5000
guests and delivers the very
best in house, techno, deep,
garage and bass.
Don’t miss: Sparty –
the famous, huge and
historic Szechenyi spa is
transformed into a massive
sound system. Rave on in
40-degree thermal water.
Day of The Dead
When: 1 – 2 November
The Día de los Meurtos tradition has been around
for centuries. It takes place over two days, with the
aim of showing love and respect for deceased family
members. All over Mexico revellers wear dramatic
make-up and costumes, hold parades and parties
and make offerings to lost loved ones. Thanks to
cultural recognition by UNESCO, Día de los Muertos
is more popular than ever. It is so widespread that
many Mexicans anticipate it becoming as big as Rio’s
Carnival in the years to come. Lots of tourists head for
Oaxac and Pátzcuaro.
Don’t miss: Pan de muerto – or bread of the dead – a
sweet bread decorated with bones and skulls.
FEATURE CHILDREN OF ZEUS
36 APRIL 2019
It’s been non-stop for Children of Zeus since
the release of their Travel Light album
made this music hoping a
few people from our city
would hear it,” claimed Manchesterbased
outfit Children of Zeus after
wrapping up a tour of Australia and
New Zealand recently. “Who knew
we could go to the other side of the
world and have a venue full of people
singing along to every word!”
The music in question is the neosoul
and jazz to R&B and ’90s rap that
fills their critically-acclaimed Travel
Konny Kon is a DJ, MC and
beatmaker best known as one third
of Broke‘N’English, while Tyler Daley,
also known as Hoodman, went from
being respected MC to in-demand
soul singer, lending his vocals and
writing credits to music from Goldie,
LSB, Soul II Soul’s Caron Wheeler,
Lenzman, Lisa Mafia, Bugsy Malone
After their paths crossed, the pair
made a few tracks together here and
there. Since then, their sound, hype
and vibe has grown organically until
the pair decided that the “time was
right” for the release of Travel Light.
“We’ve not looked back since,”
catches up with Konny
and Tyler before they embark on the
second part of their UK tour in May.
FEATURE CHILDREN OF ZEUS
What are some of the most fun things
about being on the road together?
Konny: Sometimes it’s the show itself, if
people are singing back songs or people
after the show telling us they loved it. But the
thing that we probably take away from most
of the travelling is getting to go to places we
never would have been able to. We’ve done
shows where the next day we’ve gone and
climbed mountains. We’ve got on a plane to
a place we’ve never been before. That’s the
thing I’ll be thinking about on my deathbed.
Tyler: We always end up somewhere
breathtaking and he always says the same
thing – “Rapping got us here.”
If I’d been touring this much in my younger
days I wouldn’t have been mature enough
to deal with it. A lot of artists probably
is why many
end up a train
wreck. It’s a
blessing that I
get to be
a bit more
Not to put
the sound of
Children of Zeus in a box but there’s
a lot of neo-soul, some lovers’ rock.
Growing up, what was the soundtrack
in each of your homes?
Tyler: My biological dad is Jamaican so
the reggae influence was there. My mum’s
British and she loved street-soul music.
My stepdad was a breakdancer and he was
mad about hip-hop so I started rapping as
soon as I could talk, so my background
comes from those three elements.
“From when I was around 10
or 11 years old, I started to
really obsess about music;
I was a real music nerd”
Konny: My dad’s English, my mum’s from
Barbados, so I had a real mix. The stuff that I
picked up on was more lovers’ rock, reggae
and a little bit of Motown. My dad listened to
a lot of world music, he’s an old hippie.
more stuff that
I found. From
when I was
around 10 or
11 years old, I
started to really
music; I was a
real music nerd.
I’m still like that –
if I find something I like I obsess over it.
You’ve received so much critical acclaim.
Where has some of the most exciting
feedback come from within the industry?
Konny: Jazzy Jeff might have been one.
Konny: Someone sent me a message
saying they played our music to Raekwon
and he loved it. Pharoahe Monch follows
us on Instagram.
Tyler: As soon as somebody says something
38 APRIL 2019
positive about you, people’s
ears open, and once their
ears are open they’re willing
to accept something. Until
then, a lot of people aren’t
paying attention and their
ears aren’t open.
You’ve worked with a lot
of really talented people,
Tyler: Goldie’s the most
passionate person I’ve ever
met. I don’t really like to sing anybody
else’s lyrics. I’ve got so much to get off
my own chest, but with Goldie I was
intrigued and I decided to try and paint
this picture for him.
Going on that journey and doing things I
never usually do allowed me to learn a lot
about myself. It was a double-edged sword
where I learned so much but I was also
itching to get back in the studio for myself.
yes, and then he’d tell me we could do it
then, if we like it and it sounded good.
Once we got rid of all the rules we made
better music, and a lot of the things he’s
shown me over the last year or so I’ll
probably take with me for the rest of my life,
as far as making music goes. I don’t need
rules for making music, which opened a lot
of things up that made the album sound the
way it does.
Watch the full interview on Hey Music’s YouTube Channel
Who do you want to work with on the
Tyler: We’re not about getting people
attached to make it a bigger thing, it’s more
about making legendary quality music
to the best of our ability. That’s the goal.
Whether we walk away rich or poor, let’s
walk away being proud of what we did.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever
Konny: Most of my best advice has been
given to me in the last year and it’s come
from Tyler. If you go traditional hip-hop it’s
got lots of rules. When we made this album
I was telling Tyler we can’t do things. He’d
ask me if it sounded good, to which I’d say
FEATURE BEST YEAR EVER
Was it the greatest year in musical history?
Hell yes, says Jim Butler
40 APRIL 2019
reactionary bores, music, fittingly, just like
time, never stands still. There is always
something new worth listening to. So far this
year there have been vital albums from Little
Simz, Solange, Steve Mason, William Tyler,
Ariana Grande and Helado Negro.
The key is to remain inquisitive, open to
new ideas and keep that inner 16-year-old
sense of wonderment alive. Unfortunately,
too many people stop listening once they hit
a certain age and store their musical tastes
in aspic, blithely declaring that year x, y or z
was the best year for music ever.
And yet… some years can’t help but
acquire a certain potency. Some cultural
historians and old punks (sometimes one
and the same) will refer to the scorched
earth, year zero significance of 1976.
FEATURE BEST YEAR EVER
Baby boomers hail
the landmark years
of 1966 and 1971,
when the likes of
Bob Dylan and The
cement popular music as the voice of a
generation thanks to their ground-breaking
albums Blonde on Blonde and Revolver,
or when David Bowie transformed sexual
politics and just about everything else.
One could also make
a case for 1956, when
Elvis Presley’s gyrating
hips were the midwife
present at the birth
of rock & roll; 1977
(the real year punk
broke) and 1988 (the
second summer of love,
following the original in
1967, thanks to the acid
In each of these
cases, however, the
years in question
– or popularised –
and feelings already in place. They were
neither created in a vacuum nor were they
an unmistakeable full stop on the face of
The year traversing 1 January to 31
December 1989 is a little different though. It
really was the year everything changed. Or
as Ian Brown, singer of the Stone Roses, one
of the year’s emblematic bands, would have
it: what the world was waiting for.
Not that you would have known this
by looking at the singles chart – often a
fundamental arbiter of cultural shifts – as
1989 dawned. There, at the top of the hit
parade in all their manufactured Stock,
Aitken & Waterman glory were Kylie and
Jason with their nauseous duet Especially
For You. The rest of the Top 10 was made
up of acts like Cliff Richard, Erasure, Status
Quo, Kim Wilde and Bros.
The year – seemingly – did not get off to
the most auspicious start. But at No.4 and
No.6 were Inner City and Neneh Cherry,
notable harbingers of what was to come.
Their dancefloor-based stylings (Detroit
house and a UK take on hip-hop inspired
club culture, respectively) demonstrated that
the underground was not only stirring but
would come to – if not take over – certainly
recalibrate the mainstream heading into the
decade that would end the century.
In 1989, youth
culture got its last
you looked there were
clear and distinct
style tribes. Indie kids
meaning of existence
while listening to The
House of Love, Pixies
and The Wonder Stuff.
Goths emitted their
scents while swaying
their black and purple
uniforms to The Cure,
Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim.
Hip-hop’s golden age was in full swing and
the year saw albums drop from De La Soul
(3 Feet High and Rising), Beastie Boys
(Paul’s Boutique), NWA foot soldier The
42 APRIL 2019
D.O.C. (No One Can Do It Better) and EPMD
(Unfinished Business), while Public Enemy
and NWA caused untold moral panics with
their uncompromising black power rhetoric.
Elsewhere, in the US at least, grunge
was beginning to bloom: Nirvana,
Mudhoney, Soundgarden and Tad all
released seminal albums.
After a decade of Thatcherism, British
youngsters wanted a new attitude of
harmony and, most significantly, a new beat
to dance to. Acid house, and its attendant
offspring, certainly gave them that. In 1989
a new Sheffield label released its first 12-
inch from the shop that gave the imprint its
name, Warp. The Forgemasters’
Track With No Name was manna
for those dancers lost in the
unrelenting rhythm of bleep. In
London, Soul II Soul hit the top of
the charts with both their single
Back to Life and the influential
album it was pulled from, Club
Classics Vol. One.
It was in Manchester, of course,
that this new spirit hit the most
memorable ecstatic heights.
Bands such as The Stone
Roses and the Happy Mondays,
alongside producers 808 State
and A Guy Called Gerald, took the rave era’s
key signifiers to bold new heights. Following
a summer recording in Ibiza, Mancunian
statesmen New Order released their Balearic
The incredible thing about most, if not all,
of the music mentioned is that it remained
largely hidden underground. The media had
yet to cotton on to the alluring tales from the
dark side of popular culture and this was
of course pre-internet and
social media, where nothing is
underground for longer than
The other aspect largely
forgotten in our post-tribe
world where the history of
recorded music is just a click
away, is how much hard
10 ALBUMS THAT DEFINE 1989
1. Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique (Capitol Records)
2. Pixies Doolittle (4AD)
3. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses (Silvertone)
4. De La Soul 3 Feet High & Rising (Tommy Boy)
5. New Order Technique (Factory Records)
6. Nirvana Bleach (Sub Pop)
7. Soul II Soul Club Classics Vol. One (Virgin)
8. Madonna Like a Prayer (Sire)
9. The Cure Disintegration (Fiction)
10. Neneh Cherry Raw Like Sushi (Virgin)
work it was to maintain and cultivate
these cultural identities. Today, we’re all
hip-hop and indie fans. We all dance –
broadly – to the same music. Whether
that’s a good or bad thing is for
It was different in 1989. But things
were changing. People coming together
felt good. Taking over the mainstream
felt righteous. Cool was becoming
popular. It’s true when they
say the past is a foreign
country, they do things
differently there: 1989 is
proof positive of that and
just one reason why those
365 days deserve the
accolade of the Greatest
Year in Musical History.
FEATURE TIM FRASER
44 APRIL 2019
Multi-platinum songwriter and founding
member of the Songwriting Academy,
Tim Fraser was also made a member of
Hollywood Elite Composers, in Los Angeles,
last year. catches up with Tim to
discuss his songwriting chops
How did you get into songwriting?
I started off, like any young
teenager, thinking I’ve got to be
in a rock band or a pop band. My
band did quite well but I didn’t like
playing live. What I wanted to do
was just write songs.
In my late teens, I was writing
songs for artists that now seem
lost in the mists of time. They were
very big business… people like
The New Seekers. But in my early
20s I could not see myself making
enough money, quickly enough, so
I stopped [songwriting].
To cut to the next phase as far as
music was concerned – and this
is some 25, 26 years after writing
some pop hits – I went out and
bought a guitar, which I kept in my
office. After a few months, I wrote
a song or two and then I needed
to record them. I found an amazing
guy – ex Cockney Rebel keyboard
player Milton Reame-James – and
got some demos together.
Someone said to me, ‘Oh, I
know Terry Britten’. Terry is one of
Britain’s great unsung heroes of
songwriting. He’s written so many
hits – Devil Woman for Cliff Richard;
What’s Love Got To Do With It and
We Don’t Need Another Hero for
I was introduced to him in his
studio. He listened to all four
demos. A few weeks later he was
producing the latest Tina Turner
album [Twenty Four Seven]. Tina
Turner’s legendary manager Roger
Davies happened to be there and
Terry played my demo. Tina never
really chose any of the songs, it
was always her manager.
FEATURE TIM FRASER
Tim’s songs have been recorded by...
Billie Myers Joana Zimmer Lulu
Her manager said, ‘Tina, I like that one
[Falling], you’re doing it’. Two weeks later
she did it, two months later, it’s a gold and
Did you then instantly become in demand
as a songwriter?
I had no publisher, no manager, no record
label, I knew nobody. I thought I’ve got to
get out and start connecting with people.
No publisher, no manager, no record label
has ever got me a cut or a cover or an
introduction to write with an important
songwriter – I’ve had to do it myself.
Is that the case these days?
I suspect it’s even worse. This is why selfreliance
is so important.
So networking was a skill you developed
Yes, I just started networking like crazy. You
have to be constantly swimming; you have to
stay energised about it otherwise the world
will forget you.
How do you get your songs placed if you’re
not represented or signed?
Somebody says, ‘Oh, you should meet so
and so; you’d really get on’. It’s important to
play the long game with people, they have
to know that you’re not there just to further
your career, you’re there to enjoy their
Is that the basis for any songwriting
It’s very possible that you can write a good
song with someone you don’t like but I
think you get even better songs from people
where you have that incredible connection.
You have to go in to a writing session with
somebody fully understanding and being
fully briefed about what their strengths are.
If you try and do something that they do
supremely well, you’ll cancel each other
out and it doesn’t work.
is like capturing
46 APRIL 2019
Marcella Detroit Ricki Lee Coulter Tammy Weis Tina Turner
You also collaborate with new and
emerging songwriters. What’s different
about working with young songwriters?
‘Emerging’ doesn’t always mean ‘young’
because I’ve heard some sensational songs
from people who are in their 50s. What I
notice with young songwriters though is that
they are constantly writing about their own
I see emerging writers getting so hung up
about a particular song, as if it’s the only
song they’ve got in there. Write another!
Share that one and write another great song.
If you’re overly precious with your work,
you’ll never get anything out.
Whether emerging or established, for me,
songwriting is an art.
I think it’s a knack. If you think about the
ability to write songs as a knack, then you’ll
always know your place.
What comes first – melody, a word
I generally like to think of a story. Just
outside of San Francisco there used to be
a big furniture warehouse. It had a big sign
over the freeway saying ‘Make it home’. I
kept that idea, that phrase, in my mind
for decades. The idea can be used for
people who are separated from their
family or their home, or for all sorts of
reasons. I’ve just finished writing that
song with Jez Ashurst and it really was
worth waiting for.
If you have a title and the title gives you
the story, and the story gives you the
chorus, and the chorus gives you the
shape of where the song is going, I think
it all follows from that.
What advice do you give students on
your songwriting courses?
I can’t advise people because writing
songs is like capturing lightning in a
bottle. It’s all a great big lottery. All I’m
doing is helping them to reduce the odds.
All I can tell them is what not to do, I can’t
tell them what to do.
Songwriting legend Tim is also a regular guest lecturer in music
copyright and music management at The University of West
London, The Academy of Contemporary Music, Guildford, and
Metropolis Studios in London. He runs The Insider’s Guide to the
Music Industry with Rita Campbell.
FEATURE HOW TO...
Dream of being a songwriter but
don’t know where to start? These tips
for beginners will help you find your
Set your surroundings up for songwriting since
ideas can come at any time. You’ll want to commit
those ideas to paper, a computer or voice recorder
as soon as possible, so keep notebooks and pens
in your home, work environment and car. Even a
one-word title is worth writing down.
Know how to get to your phone’s recorder quickly
— you can sing a melodic idea or say your lyrical
idea and save it for later.
Everyone is influenced by different singers,
songwriters, guitarists, composers, instrumentalists
and so on. Make a list of some of the musicians
and songs that have meaning for you. Keep a
playlist of inspirational tunes to keep yourself
48 APRIL 2019
FEATURE HOW TO...
DETERMINE YOUR SONG’S STRUCTURE
Analysing songs you enjoy will give you an idea of some of the different
structures you can use. And as you learn to write songs, you can play around
with different types of song structures.
Example 1 – The simplest structure is that in which there is only one type of
lyric, the verse (we call it ‘A’). The classic Gershwin tune Summertime has an
A-A structure, with only two verses.
Example 2 – Songs with both verses and choruses have two types of lyrics —
we call the verse ‘A’ and the chorus ‘B’. The
famous Bob Dylan song Blowin’ in the Wind
has this type of structure – A-B-A-B-A-B.
Example 3 – Other songs are more complex.
They may have verses, choruses and a
bridge (which we call ‘C’). The Beatles’
Ticket to Ride is one of these songs with an
A-B-A-B-C-A-B structure. Listen to it here.
Jim Morrison’s handwritten lyrics of LA Woman
auctioned for £62,000
HOW TO WRITE LYRICS
Wherever you start, it can be helpful to describe the entire scope of your song
in a single sentence. This will help you stay focused. For Ticket to Ride, for
example, the sentence could be “My girlfriend is moving away from me and I am
sad, but she doesn’t care.”
A song is a very short form of art so it is essential to tie it together with just
one idea. If you have too many ideas, break them apart and write a different
song for each idea instead of trying to pile too much into one song. You don’t
have to create an entire song in one sitting — you could just create one verse or
one chorus and keep coming back to add more lyrics as you become inspired.
50 APRIL 2019
WRITING THE MELODY AND CHORDS
As you experiment with different melodies and chords, this is a perfect time to use
some sort of recorder on your phone or on your computer. Try simply singing your
lyrics in different ways at least three times, then listen back to your recording and
see if you have any keepers.
You could also start with some chords instead. Play some chord progressions on
guitar or piano and record those. Then try out some melodies against those chords
using your lyrics. Or you could try both chords and melodies at the same time.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a chord progression, you could always
“borrow” one from another song. Choose a song in a similar style and tempo to
yours and combine the chords with your own lyrics. Just make sure that you don’t
copy the actual melody of your borrowed tune. Song melodies are protected by
copyright law but chord progressions are not.
Your song needs
a great title! Many
songwriters use the
“hook” or repeated
words from the chorus
as the title of the song.
Other songs use a
descriptive term as
the title that is not
contained in the
lyrics at all.
Once you’ve finished, set your song
aside for a few days and don’t think
about it. When you come back to
it with fresh eyes and ears, you’ll
be able to identify lyrics that need
tweaking, chords that need adjusting
or other small details to really make
the song pop.
Consider testing your songs out
live. Performing in front of others
— whether at an open mic night or
simply in front of your music teacher
— will help you iron out any kinks.
Another great idea is to record
your song. With technology today,
it’s easy to record your own songs
with the right software and a quality
microphone. Publish your recordings
online so potential fans, other
artists and established
people in the music
hear your work
If you’re interested in honing your songwriting skills why not obtain professional instruction from tutors at takelessons.com?
FEATURE JOURNEY THROUGH MUSIC
52 APRIL 2019
Co-founder of the International Music Summit and the
Association for Electronic Music, Ben Turner reflects
on his journey through music…
artists from the
electronic music world will soon descend
upon Ibiza for the International Music
Summit. Taking place from 22 – 24 May
this year, IMS will throw the spotlight onto
the “complex challenges and emerging
opportunities that really matter in today’s
Now in its 12th year and considered the
start of the Ibiza season, IMS was cofounded
by Ben Turner, who has had a
long and varied career in the scene. This
is his story…
“I grew up in Oxford, England, and from
the age of 15 I wanted to be a music
journalist. At 16 that journey began with
a five-day internship in London at leading
rock music publication Melody Maker.
Along with famous music journalists back
then like Push, Andy Smith, Bob Stanley
and Dave Mothersole, we subverted the
paper with electronic music content,
introducing the DJ as a valid musician,
which had a huge impact on a lot of artist
careers and helped the genre grow in the
UK at a very pivotal point.
“Push and I co-founded Muzik magazine.
It was funded and published by IPC
Magazines (now Time Warner). The first
cover was The Chemical Brothers or The
Dust Brothers just around that time. Muzik
was trying to take the spirit of NME and
Melody Maker to dance music and not
just gush over everything being made. We
wanted to be edgy, honest and heartfelt.
“We launched in May 1995 at Tribal
Gathering and left in the summer of 2000.
I wanted to pursue a more entrepreneurial
role in the industry and also to take some
ownership of projects or properties I was
putting my whole life into. Nobody told me
about equity and IP when launching Muzik
– I was 21 years old and just happy that
a huge company was funding my dream
and our vision. Not that IPC would have
given me any ownership.
“But I was around people like James
Barton who was building his own Cream
brand, and I wanted to set along a path of
building my own concepts, properties or
participating in events created by artists
“I moved from Muzik initially to be an
Editorial Director of worldpop.com.
Worldpop went bust in the dotcom crash,
and at this point I said I’d never work for
somebody else’s company again and set
up Graphite Media immediately.
FEATURE BEN TURNER
“Pete Tong is a
‘change agent’ and
one of the best brains
in our scene”
“Today Graphite is really focused on artist
management. In artist management your
work is never, ever done. You will always
be working at things, and always thinking
about things and ideas. It’s a job I love but
it’s inside of you 24/7. The most rewarding
aspect of artist management is making
projects happen and dreams come to fruition
for the talent you work with. The work is
about them, not you.
“My first management clients were A Man
Called Adam and Rob da Bank. I diversified
from the start, as Worldpop taught me so
many new skills for the digital age. I did
continue to create magazines initially – I
created the Pacha Magazine, House for
Soho House and did a number of contract
publishing jobs. I have totally put that
IMS culminates in the Dalt Villa party
part of my life to bed, as the magazine
production schedule did not work well with
representing artists and dealing with the
day-to-day issues that come up. So IMS is
my expression of editorial content today –
curating that has a magazine
feel to it.
Ben with previous IMS speaker Nile Rodgers
“My desire to help make
change came as a journalist
at Melody Maker and The
Guardian newspaper, where
I had a voice that could
influence the course of
music. I guess I continue
to think that way with the
International Music Summit,
the Association for Electronic
Music (AFEM), and with
Remedy State, our wellness
platform for people in the
54 APRIL 2019
Photo_ David Holderbach
“[IMS co-founder] Pete Tong is a ‘change
agent’ and one of the best brains in our
scene. [With IMS] we’ve created an amazing
platform for the genre and it’s rewarding to
see people enjoy it so much. I love Sonar and
Amsterdam Dance Event but felt that Ibiza
was a good place for an event of this kind.
“IMS is a powerful platform but it wasn’t
designed to have a mandate for change
in the industry. It puts the topics out there
but I felt we also needed a body to help
implement change. We put it to the vote
with the IMS delegation and when the
response was so positive myself and
Kurosh Nasseri put in the seed money
to launch the trade organisation, the
Association for Electronic Music.
“AFEM is a labour of love but I think it’s
probably my greatest contribution to this
culture and I hope it survives me and
becomes as powerful as the CMA [Country
Music Association] is to country music.
“AFEM was a miracle to come together,
to bring rivals into a room to discuss and
share issues and to find that common
ground between us. It’s almost back to
the principles of why dance music was so
special at the beginning.
“We’ve really made a stand on topics like
mental health and sexual harassment, and
credit to Mark Lawrence, our CEO, for living
and breathing a lot of this stuff day-to-day
and being the nerve centre for so much
disruption going on in our industry.
“The response to sexual harassment has
been strong; Get Played Get Paid has been
a huge success and to hear that artists are
now getting royalties through because of our
work with PROs is incredible. For me,
though, the fact that our industry can now
speak with one voice is the real highlight.”
FEATURE MUSIC BY NUMBERS
Think clubbing has become too serious?
You haven’t been to an Elrow party.
Founded as a Sunday party in
Barcelona in 2010, the infectious fun
and madcap antics of Elrow has spread
around the world.
This year, the Elrow crew plan to touch
down in 67 cities, across 26 countries,
for 150 shows featuring a selection of
the world’s finest DJs. Of course, Ibiza
plays a huge part in those plans. Here
are some facts and stats around Elrow’s
2019 summer season on the White Isle.
56 APRIL 2019
Dates: Every Saturday from
25 May – 28 September
No. of shows: 19
Themes: There are 12 themes
this year, including Rowsattack,
Nomads and Romuda Triangle
Attendance last year:
Approximately 1 million clubbers
partied hard at Elrow Ibiza in 2018
Production: More than 1000 man
hours go into making each party a
Largest party props: Taxis, Barbie
Box, Yellow Submarine and the
Confetti: More than 1.7 tonnes
of the stuff will rain down on the
Amnesia dancefloor before the
Elrow season is out
Actors: Around 1700 actors will be
drafted in for the season
Stilt-walkers: 300 stilt-walkers
will be living the high life
Aerial performers: 200 aerial
performers will add extra swing
Costumes: More than 1300
different costumes will keep
Inflatables: It’s not a proper
Elrow party without a raft of silly
inflatables. 12,000 have been
ordered for the season. Yup, you
read that right
Indomitable character Warren Noronha
is Production Director for Dubai’s
award-winning Groove On The Grass
music and arts festival. Here, he gives
us a glimpse into what that involves…
“I’ve been tripping over wires and falling
off speakers since 1989. I started my
promoter career in Dubai with a crew of
like-minded people at a club called Catwalk,
in the Barsha area. That group of people
branched out to form Groove On The Grass
and Analog Room. My fellow promoters and
their respective brands – like Glitch, Warped
and House of Afrika – are still very much part
of the nightlife calendar here, and I love that.
“Stripped back, in my role of Production
Director I’m part politician, part creative, and
I tackle a whole lotta troubleshooting (which
includes my own mistakes!).
“For each gig, there are numerous
suppliers, partners and artists that are very
certain of how they want their projects
represented on site, and that has to fall in
line with what we see as the best way to
package the event. Managing expectations
and delivering to that end is really what the
role of Production Director comes down to.
“Having the patience of a saint helps.
Particularly in Dubai, we have to account
for the vast multi-cultural background of all
the teams we have on site. Different people
bring a different work ethic with them, and
in a venue like ours [Emirates Golf Club], the
short set-up and dismantle times due to the
nature of the space amplify the effect of any
weak links. At the end of the day, getting
the show on the road is the ultimate goal
no matter what, and that’s what our crowd
remember us for.
“The most annoying thing that can
go wrong is when the weather doesn’t
play along – yes, even in Dubai. And
it’s not just unexpected rain we have to
contend with here, the wind can whip up
sandstorms, which are a nightmare.
“There are so many elements, from
structures and creative aspects of
the event, that depend greatly on the
weather to function at 100%. When this
is challenged, we have to go that much
further to alter the experience whilst
“I’m sure I echo the thoughts of all
event production people when I say that
every single event that comes out the box
is a proud moment because of the level
of commitment invested in each one.
There’s a sense of triumph when each gig
comes together, especially after dealing
with unexpected or unforeseen behindthe-scenes
challenges. All the stress is
worth it though when we see the crowd
interact, define and eventually make our
event their own.
“It’s been fun and challenging to see my
role grow along with the brand. Groove
On The Grass has been the best teacher
life could ever have given me. Or maybe
I’m just a masochist!”
The next Groove On The Grass takes place at Emirates Golf Club,
Dubai, on 19 April. Check grooveonthegrass.net for more info.
58 APRIL 2019
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