BBC Introducing musicians meets the experts in London

Image caption Blackpool singer-songwriter Rae Morris admired Gary Barlow's methods

BBC Introducing recently gave 250 up-and-coming musicians the chance to get advice from some of the top names in the music industry.

The inaugural Masterclass sessions were held at the famous Abbey Road and BBC Maida Vale studios.

Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley hosted sessions with artists such as Gary Barlow and Mark Ronson.

BBC Introducing Lancashire invited four local artists along (aged 16 to 19) to meet the industry experts.

Dean Tranter, frontman of St Annes band Pretty Thunder was one of the four. He said: "I've had a brilliant morning. I've met Zane Lowe and the Kaiser Chiefs and I've given my demo to Steve Lamacq."


At the event, Steve Lamacq disclosed (to the incredulity of the room) that he still had the original Kaiser Chiefs demo, from when they were called Parva.

Not only that, he had actually found it in his loft and played a clip.

That is a care and love for new music that not many in the business can achieve or even understand. Dean added: "I hope one day my demo is there and he brings it out. That wouldn't be bad!"

Almost unanimously our four were more than impressed listening to Gary Barlow, as he explored some of the deeper side of songwriting with Zane Lowe.

Gary is clearly a man who knows a thing or two about being a tunesmith.

Ormskirk troubadour Luke Fenlon said: "It's been brilliant. My highlight was Gary Barlow's interview. It inspired me a lot. I like the fact that he's used different techniques.

Image caption Gary Barlow explored the deeper side of songwriting with Zane Lowe

"When he started off he was writing on his own. Now it's progressed when he knew he had three songwriters in the band that he could collaborate with just by sticking them in a room and doing stuff.

"I think by doing that he still gets recognised as a songwriter and that's his talent."

Blackpool singer-songwriter Rae Morris, said of Gary Barlow's methods: "I find that really hard to understand because I just sit at the piano and do it, but it's kind of refreshing that you can move on to things like that."

Big time

Young songwriter Katie Dean continued the plaudits for the man with five Ivor Novellos and a Blue Peter badge to his name. "I was obsessed with him when I was younger and I didn't even know he was a writer until Take That came back."

The Take That man wasn't the only source of inspiration for our young songwriters.

Rae Morris said of super-quiffed pop maestro Mark Ronson: "He's amazing. It's completely outside of the box thinking all the time. He's also a little bit beautiful!"

Lessons were learnt from the cautionary tale of Kaiser Chiefs.

In their former guise as Parva they were signed and tipped for the big time before their label collapsed and they were seen by the whole industry for a while as damaged goods.

Rae said: "Just listening to the struggle they went through and how long it took them, it makes you realise you can't expect everything to come to you so quickly."

Importantly all of the four said they took away some new ideas to help out their own songwriting.

Katie Dean added: "There's been some great tips today, trying to mix it up a bit, taking something different that's out of your comfort zone. There's going to be loads of stuff I can take from today and try and put into the art of song writing."

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