13 episodes

A collection of Sheffield musicians and songwriters discussing their creative processes, sharing tips and insights, and demystifying the art of songwriting. Created as part of the free open online course 'How to Write Your First Song.'

Songwriters in Session Sheffield University

    • Arts

A collection of Sheffield musicians and songwriters discussing their creative processes, sharing tips and insights, and demystifying the art of songwriting. Created as part of the free open online course 'How to Write Your First Song.'

    • video
    Jon McClure

    Jon McClure

    Reverend and the Makers formed in 2005 and have released four studio and two live albums, supported Oasis and the Arctic Monkeys and have performed numerous sold-out tours. Fiercely proud of their Sheffield heritage, the band are known for their energetic and innovative live shows, as well as a revolving line-up of band members and differing recording styles. Jon and bassist Ed Cosens are the central songwriters of the band, and in this video Jon discusses how their relationship works.

    • 4 min
    • video
    MC Matic Mouth

    MC Matic Mouth

    As this week is all about words and rhythm we spoke to local rapper MC Matic Mouth. As a rapper, he’s particularly sensitive to the rhythm contained in words and uses this to generate ideas for songs.

    Matic is a member of Clubs & Spades, a hip hop outfit comprising of fellow MC, Shinobi, and producers Manakin and Andy Nicholson (former Arctic Monkeys bassist). Proudly rapping about their Sheffield hometown and in their native accents, Clubs and Spades have cultivated their own strong local identity whilst simultaneously opening stages for international artists such as Public Enemy, Pharoahe Monch and Mash Out Posse. Their two albums are available on Spotify.

    • 6 min
    • video
    Toddla T

    Toddla T

    As a DJ, record producer, remixer and composer, Toddla T writes most of his songs using technology. This enables him to approach songwriting in a different way.

    Hailing from Sheffield, Toddla began DJing at a young age and left school at 16 to pursue a career in music full time. He now lives in London and regularly DJs across the world as well as producing tracks and remixes for artists such as Roots Manuva, Tricky and Tinchy Stryder. He has released two studio albums and recently contributed to an audio documentary for BBC Radio 1Xtra about using local accents and dialogue in music - this was a collaboration with rap group Clubs & Spades.

    • 5 min
    • video
    Neil McSweeney 1

    Neil McSweeney 1

    Neil is a folk, blues and country inspired artist originally from Scotland but now living in Sheffield. Appreciated by BBC Radio 2, 6Music and XFM, the Guardian compared Neil’s voice to ‘a male Tracey Chapman’. He has released three studio albums and has supported Richard Hawley on tour across Europe.

    In this video, Neil will discuss his lyric writing, suggest good subjects for songs, explain the origins of one of his own songs and the tricks he uses to appeal to listeners.

    • 6 min
    • video
    Neil McSweeney 2

    Neil McSweeney 2

    In this interview, we will hear again from songwriter and musician Neil McSweeney, as he plays us some of the songs he is currently writing. He demonstrates how he has worked through possible solutions and evaluates the merits of different ideas, giving us a unique insight into his songwriting process.

    • 6 min
    • video
    Shahbaz Hussain

    Shahbaz Hussain

    In this video, Adam talks to Shahbaz Hussain, an accomplished tabla player, about how time is organised in the music of South Asia.

    The tabla are hand drums used in Hindustani classical and folk music and Shahbaz is one of the foremost players, having performed at prestigious venues around the world including Washington’s Smithsonian Institute and London’s Royal Albert and Queen Elizabeth Halls. In 2008 he was awarded the title “Son of Lahore” by the Pakistani government for his services to the art of Tabla.

    • 6 min

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