Whoever You Are

Impossible not to be charmed and impressed by this latest Bully Beat song brought to us by the consistently brilliant young songwriters at Edward Francis Primary School, Rayleigh, Essex. The song deals with a serious issue confronting children and young people today. Whoever You Are is catchy, thoughtful, containing crystal clear messages. The sparkling performances captured in the video ensure the song’s appeal ranges far and wide. We’ve no doubt it will bring a smile to your face and get you tapping your feet, all for the right reasons!

Well done Edward Francis Primary School! You have graduated two cohorts of exceptional songwriters and clued up Bully Beat activists! This year’s Anti-Bullying Week is all about Making A Noise About Bullying – well you guys have been doing that for the last two years (and more) with the Songwriting Charity.

We offer thanks to the Essex Community Foundation and the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust Burns Night Pledge donors for supporting this important project, for playing their part in empowering children through the art and craft of songwriting and helping the world hear what they have to say.

The Songwriting Charity Goes With The Floe

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British music collective, The Floe, agree to become official Ambassadors for The Songwriting Charity, helping to empower young people through the art and craft of songwriting and music. Sarah Springett and Liz Townsend make up the singer-songwriting partnership. Drawing on influences such as Massive Attack, Adele and Portishead and renown for breathtaking live shows The Floe are leaving an indelible mark on the British music scene.

The Floe said of their recent ambassador status, “It was an absolute honour to be invited to be official ambassadors for The Songwriting Charity. We were extremely touched to be asked and said yes in a heartbeat! We can’t think of a charity, or a group of people, that we’d like to be associated with more and as musicians, songwriters and teachers we understand the value of what the Songwriting Charity does. We look forward to sharing in both the hard work and successes of the Songwriting Charity’s future.”

Nathan Timothy, Chief Executive of the Songwriting Charity said, “I’m delighted to announce ‘The Floe’ as ambassadors of the Songwriting Charity. I have known Sarah and Liz for many years. They are fantastic songwriters that work very hard and take their craft very seriously. In addition to this they are fantastic role models and should they drop in on a workshop they will be an inspiration to the children and teachers that we work with all over the country.”

The Floe will be kicking off their ambassadorship with a ‘secret gig‘ to help raise funds for one of the charity’s new songwriting and wellbeing projects called Project K on Saturday 13th April. Project K is a tribute to Kate Johnson, the sister of Songwriting Charity CEO Nathan Timothy, who sadly passed away last summer. Project K is a new wellbeing songwriting programme that will be run annually. Children from schools in Kate’s hometown of Penarth will write and record songs promoting peace and wellbeing in her memory. This exclusive gig for Floe fans, will mark the first in a series of fundraising concerts for the Songwriting Charity entitled ‘Live at Nathan’s House!’

Notes to editors

About The Floe

The Floe are British pop duo Sarah Springett and Liz Townsend.

Their live performances sweep effortlessly between breathtakingly heartfelt Adele-worthy piano ballads to impassioned angst-driven electronica, drawing on influences such as Massive Attack, Portishead and other luminaries in their field. At the heart of every Floe song lies Townsend’s multi-instrumental musicality, Springett’s melodic and distinctively direct lyrics and two incredible voices.

‘Headlights’ (digital single, released 4th March 2013) is an epic Trip-Step collaboration with Sony/ATV writer/producer James Earp which sees the girls make another brave leap forwards. Exploring a more dramatic, electro sound, ‘Headlights’ is much darker than their ‘Simple Pleasures’ releases in 2012 which saw them stripping their performances and recordings back to the bare bones and presenting them in the most intimate of settings.

Notable highlights for The Floe in previous years have included working with Grammy Award winning Mixer/Producer Simon Gogerly (Paloma Faith, U2, Underworld, The London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony), nationwide exposure from Caffe Nero and Image Sound, airplay on Radio 2 and across the BBC, numerous supports for the likes of Glen Tilbrook and Ultravox and an International Songwriting Competition Honourable Mention. The Floe have also toured tirelessly across the U.K and Ireland, notching up many hundreds of performances and comfortably selling out venues in their home county of Essex.

www.thefloe.com

www.youtube.com/thefloemusic

www.facebook.com/thefloemusic

www.twitter.com/thefloemusic

www.soundcloud.com/thefloe

Guy Fletcher OBE FRSA announced as new patron of The Songwriting Charity

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The Songwriting Charity celebrates a landmark first year by proudly announcing Guy Fletcher OBE FRSA as new Patron

Nathan Timothy, Chief Executive of the Songwriting Charity said, “A year ago, I decided to consolidate my experience in education and the music industry to help children explore their emotions, friendships, hopes and fears, improving their overall sense of wellbeing, through songwriting and musical expression.”

Nathan added, “It was always about opening up opportunities for children who have no access to this level of support or creativity, helping them to achieve and feel valued, boosting their self-esteem and confidence. It’s been an incredible journey!”

Nathan continued, “Almost one year on, it makes me so proud to announce Guy Fletcher OBE FRSA as our patron. Over the past 18 years Guy has been a teacher, mentor and true friend. We share the same values and understand the importance the art and craft of songwriting can have to aid the emotional wellbeing of young people. Guy’s passion for supporting songwriters old and new is legendary and I know his influence and expertise as patron will have a huge impact on our work in the future.”

Renowned songwriter and PRS Chairman Guy Fletcher OBE FRSA said, “Having seen at first hand the results of Nathan Timothy’s work with primary school children, I had no hesitation in agreeing to be the patron of the Songwriting Charity. Nathan has an extraordinary ability to motivate children by breathing life into their musical creativity and encouraging them to believe in themselves. Over three thousand children have received this gift already this year and I am proud to be associated with this achievement.”

Since it formed in July 2011, the Songwriting Charity has gone from strength-to-strength, working with more than 3500 children and young people across 130 Primary, Secondary and Special Educational Needs schools. By the end of the summer 2012, children will have participated in 130 songwriting workshops and written more than 145 original songs on a range of subjects from bullying, to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. To date the songs have been streamed more than 36,000 times on the charity’s SoundCloud, and their music videos viewed more than 21,000 times on the Charity’s YouTube Channel.

Professional’s evaluations have yielded impressive figures; 97% of professionals reporting they were extremely satisfied with the charity’s work, with 94% of them stating all their objectives had been met. Of note, 83% of professionals had noticed positive changes in the behaviour of the children who participated and engaged in the songwriting workshops, and 100% would happily recommend the Songwriting Charity to colleagues and other organisations. Faye Blain, Sherington Primary School, London Borough of Greenwich commented on our work, saying it was, “possibly one of the best visiting workshops that I have participated in, in over 10 years of teaching. Pupils were open in discussing experiences and were able to show a better understanding of what bullying is. Well planned, fantastic delivery and a great connection with the pupils.”

 

About the Nathan Timothy Foundation – the Songwriting Charity: We are the number one charity in the world dedicated to the empowerment of youth through the art and craft of songwriting. The work of the Songwriting Charity, addresses the emotional health and wellbeing of children using songwriting and music technology. The Songwriting Charity formed in 2011, is based in London, Cambridge, Kent and Gloucestershire.

Nathan Timothy is a member of the following associations: BASCA – The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, AIM – Association of Independent Music, Musicians Union and PRS

Further information can be found on the Foundation’s website: http://nathantimothyfoundation.org

About Guy Fletcher OBE FRSA: Guy Fletcher has been a respected songwriter since the sixties. Recordings of his songs by Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Ray Charles, Frankie Valli, Joe Cocker and many other international stars have ensured Guy’s place in British pop history.

Still a leading light in the music industry, he was elected Chairman of the PERFORMING RIGHT SOCIETY on January 1st 2011. Wearing his commercial hat, he is Chairman of COMMERCIAL ARTS LTD, a new rights management company in the UK – specialising in bringing high-quality music based projects and their creators to their markets. He is also Chairman of CONEXION MEDIA GROUP Plc a rights management company specialising in secondary rights. Conexion Media Group (formerly Music Copyright Solutions Plc) was listed, first on OFEX then graduating to AIM in 2004. It is now one of the biggest independent administrators of music for film and television in the world.

Guy’s Creative life has been active since he achieved his first UK hit with “I Can’t Tell the Bottom From The Top” by the HOLLIES in 1969. He discovered Chris De Burgh whilst he was still at Trinity and built his career over ten years, making him an international star. Many more successes followed across many genres. His experience as writer, producer, publisher and industry guru is second to none.

Further information can be found at http://guyfletcher.com/

Social feeds:

@NTFoundation

http://www.youtube.com/user/SongwritingCharity

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nathan-Timothy-Foundation-The-Songwriting-Charity/

https://ntfoundation.wordpress.com

 

Amy Wadge: my role in Ed Sheeran’s success

A couple of years ago I was the guest at a Youth Music funded event hosted by hard to reach teenagers at the British Music Experience at the O2. The children were responsible for staging the entire evening programme. I was impressed by the event and the quality of the performances from the children. They’d also booked some of their favourite up and coming acts which were also pretty good. Then towards the end of the evening a very unassuming Ed Sheeran took to the stage armed only with a guitar and a loop station and proceeded to give everyone in the room a masterclass in singing, rapping, audio manipulation and guitar playing. I can honestly say I had never experienced a performance like this as a spectator before – the energy Ed created in the room was genuinely electric – everyone in the room was captivated and following the show I rushed home and downloaded every song he’d written from itunes including an EP he’d co written with Amy Wadge.

This was a few weeks before he signed to Island Records and the rest of the world was exposed to his sheer songwriting talent.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Ed and his wonderful mentor and co-writer Amy Wadge at the IVORS, just after Ed won the award for best song musically and lyrically for The A-Team – the song I first heard him sing at the BME.

Amy recently wrote an article for the BBC about her experience of working with Ed and she has kindly agreed for the songwriting charity to re-blog it for you all to read. Ed is a truly inspirational songwriter and he is very fortunate to have a co-writer and mentor in Amy Wadge.

Thanks Amy for supporting us, and thanks Ed! Here’s to many more IVORS.

Nathan

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For the first time in my career as a singer/songwriter, which I am slightly astonished to admit now spans some 20 years, I will be watching The Brits knowing in some tiny way I am part of things. It’s been a long time coming but thanks to a 21-year-old ginger-haired guy from Suffolk called Ed Sheeran my life has completely changed in the last year.

Four years ago, as I was about to have my first child, I realised that the endless touring that I had done for my own career was about to come, in some part, to an end. Although I still intended, and have continued, to work as a singer/songwriter in my own right, gone are the days of chasing a deal and hoping for mega stardom.

I had co-written a fair amount and always felt that as a lyricist and top line writer I had something to offer. Luckily Sarah Liversedge at BDI Music Publishing thought the same and signed me.

Working with Sarah changed everything as suddenly I was being hooked up with new unsigned artists from all over the UK.

The very first person I was sent was Ed.

I distinctly remember picking up this young lad at Trefforest station with a ‘back packer’ guitar thinking ‘What the hell is going to happen here?’ But then we drove back to my house, sat in my kitchen and he sang to me.

I can’t imagine there will be many times in my life that I will meet someone so incredibly gifted and to be honest I spent much of the next few days running in from my studio in the garden to tell my husband how sure I was that he was “going to make me a millionaire”.

In a normal writing session I would hope to get one or two songs, but with Ed we wrote nine in two days. It was just one of those crazy things that is very rare – we clicked and what happened was amazing.

Another few sessions followed and then Ed asked me to do backing vocals on an EP he was doing at the time. I was heavily pregnant with my second child so couldn’t travel. Ed carried on without me and the EP was released, and to my surprise he’d called it Songs I Wrote With Amy.

Last February, as Ed was about to be signed to Atlantic, he called and asked to come down to write again. This time when I picked him up from the station people were recognising him and it suddenly became clear that things were about to change. And boy, they changed.

The various EPs he’d done, including Songs I Wrote With Amy, started selling by the bucket load and charting. I then got the call to say that one of the songs we’d written on his last trip down had made the Deluxe Edition of +, his new album.

The day it went to number one I went up to London and we all had + tattoos to mark the occasion. Since then it’s been incredible to watch things get bigger and bigger. I played Cardiff with Ed and for the first time in my life heard 3,000 people singing a song I had written back at me. The album has just crossed the million sales mark and he’s about to head Stateside.

A track from Songs I Wrote With Amy was recently featured on an episode of Cougar Town and is the b-side to the American release of The A-Team, so I will now be watching the American Billboard chart to see what happens.

All of a sudden all the doors that were so tightly shut before have flown open and I am writing with some incredible new artists. It’s the most exciting time in my career and I can do it all from the comfort of my own home.

And Ed? He hasn’t changed one little bit; he’s still the most laid-back person you will ever meet. But I did go to see him play in Wolverhampton a few weeks ago and for the first time realised that this guy who I think of as my little brother is now a huge star. Live, Ed is a force to be reckoned with but there is still so much more to come.

He was 17 when we wrote a song called She and he came up with these words:

Strange as it seems

She is endless to me

She’s just like paperwork

But harder to read

I knew right then he was incredibly special.