ams gateshead ba hons foundation degree music diploma open day online zoom newcastle study music

AMS Gateshead announce 3 new online open events!

The team at AMS Gateshead have just announced 3 course open evenings in February and March.

The upcoming open events will be specific for each of the courses at our Gateshead centre – RSL Level 3 for 16-18 year olds, and our undergraduate qualifications, the Foundation Degree in Music & Sound, and the BA (Hons) top-up year in Music & Sound.

Our BA top-up year is the final year of a BA, designed to follow on from our Foundation Degree. Those with relevant industry experience may be eligible to fast-track onto this final year without necessary having any prior formal qualifications. We value real-life industry experience, and believe you should be rewarded for working hard in the sector.

Sign up via the links below if you’re interested in attending one of the events with the AMS Gateshead team! You’ll get the Zoom video link (which will go live on the day) sent straight to your inbox! Each event will include an informative presentation, Q&A session and performances from staff/students.


RSL Level 3 Diploma
24th February 2021


Foundation Degree in Music & Sound
3rd March 2021


BA Hons Top-up Degree in Music & Sound
10th March 2021

hnc edinburgh open day event scotland ba hons music course academy of music

Missed out on our HNC open event? Don't fret, another one is coming!

Missed out on our last open day? Not to worry – There’s another chance to join our Edinburgh team for an insight into the HNC in Music on Wednesday 3rd March!

Last week saw over 30 attend our most recent HNC online open event.  There was great performances from current AMS Edinburgh students, a digital presentation about the HNC course, what you can expect from a course at AMS, and all the details on how to apply and when. But if you missed out, don’t worry. There’s another chance to attend an open day in a few weeks.

Wednesday 3rd March 20201: Via Zoom, our friendly team will guide attendees through all aspects of the HNC course (starting in September 2021) covering all you need to know about the course content and requirements. We will host this event on Zoom with invites to join this event via email once you have signed up.

Find out about:

  • How to apply
  • Fees and funding
  • The audition process
  • Life at AMS Edinburgh!

You will have the opportunity to ask questions and find out what it’s like to be part of our team. You will also be treated to wonderful performances from some of our talented students and staff!


  • 17:00 – 17:30 – Introduction and Q&A Session
  • 17:30 – 18:00 – Performances
  • 18:00 – Fin

If you require further information please feel free to get in touch by calling 0131-656-0600 or alternatively email [email protected] 

We look forward to meeting you all!

Guest playlist: Delaina Sepko on hip-hop, women and gender-balance in radio

Guest playlist, Scottish hip-hop and the best female rappers of all time

We invited Sunny G Radio host Delaina Sepko to write a very special guest blog for us on women and hip-hop – part of a series of features we’re running focused on hip-hop, to mark the start of our new HND hip-hop and rap module. Alongside that, she’s even curated a hip-hop guest playlist for us! It’s an eclectic mix packed with Scottish hip-hop, and classic bangers from some of the best female rappers and MC’s of the past and present – all in the same place. Nice.

Delaina is a music researcher, with her own show on the Scottish radio station Sunny G called ‘Breaks and Beats’. She writes for us about how her passion for hip-hop often conflicts with the sexism engrained in some of it’s content, and how this motivated her to start a gender-balanced hip-hop radio show. Her playlist for us reflects that, a bangin’ mix of Scottish hip-hop’s best talents, and a fantastic array of some of the best female rappers, hip-hopppers and MC’s of all time – the likes of Queen Latifah, Da Brat, Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim, Roxanne Shante, Salt N Pepa, Little Simz, Eve and Lady Leshurr all feature.

Read her guest blog here, and listen to the playlist in the player below.

About the Author

Delaina Sepko is a music researcher, radio presenter and life-long hip hop head living in Glasgow, Scotland. She trained as a sound engineer at Sarm West under Trevor Horn, Tim Weidner and Robert Orton and was a finalist for the 2005 Music Week Woman of The Year award for being Sarm’s first female assistant engineer. After working with the Pet Shop Boys, Seal, Tinchy Stryder, Transglobal Underground and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., she earned an MSc and PhD in Information Studies and audio preservation from University of Glasgow. Now she is a contributor to the long form blog Hip Hop Scotland, presents Beats & Breaks on Sunny G Radio every Wednesday from 8-10 PM and uses the show to promote gender equality and showcase Scottish hip-hop.



Twitter: @delainasepko

Listen to Beats & Breaks archived shows on Mixcloud.

Guest blog: Delaina Sepko on hip-hop, women and gender-balance in radio

Guest blog: Delaina Sepko on hip-hop, women and gender-balance in radio

We invited Delaina Sepko to write a very special guest blog for us on women and hip-hop – part of a series of features we’re running focused on hip-hop, to mark the start of our new HND hip-hop and rap module. Delaina is a music researcher, with her own show on the Scottish radio station Sunny G called ‘Breaks and Beats‘. She writes for us about how her passion for hip-hop often conflicts with the sexism engrained in some of it’s content, and how this motivated her to start a gender-balanced hip-hop radio show.

And she’s even curated a hip-hop guest playlist for us too! It’s an eclectic mix packed with Scottish hip-hop, and classic bangers from some of the best female rappers and MC’s of the past and present – all in the same place. Nice.

In May 2020, while the UK was deep into the first COVID lockdown, I started a hip-hop radio show at Sunny G Radio in Glasgow called ‘Beats & Breaks‘. The show is a mix of 90s American hip-hop, modern tracks that have that vibe, a wide range of Scottish hip-hop artists and a lot of discographical information. Every week, I put on all my hats – sound engineer, hip-hop head, broadcaster and music researcher – to make what I have come to think of as another part of my life-long love letter to hip-hop. The first cassette tape I bought with my own money was Ice T’s O.G. Original Gangster. I was 11 years old and ever since then, most of my jobs or hobbies have included hip-hop in some way. 30 years later, I’m still writing that letter every week with Beats & Breaks. But as a woman, hip-hop hasn’t always loved me back.

While it is not the only genre with misogynistic elements, hip-hop has (arguably more than) its fair share. As a teenager in the 90s, it was common to hear male artists and even a few women rapping about violence against females, sexually using or abusing women, and reducing them to victims, subjects or trash. Dr Dre partly built his career off the back of a “bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks” image. The artwork for Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle graphically depicts the fuck ‘em and leave ‘em attitude that runs through every track on the album. Eminen even rapped about killing the mother of his child and riding around in the car with her body propped up in the front seat. All this was hard to hear as a young woman, and while I didn’t automatically discredit these rappers or others like them for their lyrics – Dre was and still is one of my favourite producers – it felt almost impossible to reconcile what I was hearing with my love of the music. Granted, these are some of the more extreme examples from an era of hip-hop when a lot of male rappers asserted their authority through violence and sexual dominance. Not every artist took this route and if they did, it wasn’t always so extreme or degrading but it was always there. 

More recently, that overt rhetoric has quieted down and changed to a less violent but equally harmful narrative: ‘she’s good for a female MC/DJ/Engineer/Producer/etc’. Women have always been active in hip-hop and helped build it up from the very beginning. From the late 80s, women like Roxanne Shante, DJ Jazzy Joyce and Baby Love were rapping, DJing and breakdancing alongside and against men and although there were far fewer women taking part, the comparisons were more or less equal. Now there’s a divide between men and women with females working in hip-hop getting paid less, promoted less, praised less and these practices perpetuate the idea that women have less value to the genre. The scales are still tipped in favour of men and after all these years, I still can’t reconcile this imbalance with my love of hip-hop.

Radio airplay is one area where there’s a pretty big imbalance. In August 2020, Linda Coogan Bryne and Womxn In CTRL published Gender Disparity Report: UK Radio that in part surveyed UK airplay of the top 20 songs by domestic artists on commercial stations between 1 June 2019 and 1 June 2020. The report broke down the results by male, female and collaborations and showed that every station assessed gave male artists more airplay than women and some stations were heavily, if not entirely, favouring men. Kerrang! and Absolute Radio, we see you. For example, BBC Radio 1 and BBC 1 Xtra – the two stations in the BBC network you’d be most likely to hear hip-hop – favoured songs by male artists 85% and 76.2% respectively. The effects this imbalance has on female artists are many and profound, with two of the most important being less exposure and less PRS or PPL payments for airplay. Add hip hop’s less than favourable attitude towards women to the general practice of giving women less radio airtime and you’ll find that there aren’t many hip hop shows that play female artists, fewer fronted by female presenters and almost none that present a gender-balanced track list. 

At points during the last 30 years, I thought it would be better for me – particularly my peace of mind and self-esteem – to just give up on hip-hop. Why continue to love the music and to work in the industry when I had to put in 3 or 4 times the effort just to sit at the table and get paid less? Some of the worst experiences I had as a sound engineer came from male hip-hop artists that simply couldn’t stomach the fact there was a woman behind the board for their sessions. Sometimes it was awkward when I was mistaken for the studio’s receptionist. Other times it was demeaning. And only once was the name calling accompanied by physical threats. One bad apple doesn’t spoil the bushel – as my gran used to say – and I agree but it sure does give you the boke when you bite into it. 

Beats & Breaks is a way for me to stop fretting about all the things I feel are off about hip hop and focus on one thing I could do to help put some of it right: even out radio airplay. At first, I thought I’d just programme a gender-balanced track list and that would be good enough. Normalise it, and not make a fuss. But once I saw the Report’s results, I knew I’d have to be more open about what I was doing. I wasn’t just playing music; I was also giving all hip-hop artists an equal footing on the same platform. As far as I can tell, I host the only female-fronted hip hop show in Scotland and Beats & Breaks is the only one with a gender-balanced track list. I want to be wrong about this. I want there to be other shows I haven’t heard about because I don’t want to hold on to this title. 

I understand not every radio presenter has the luxury of playing whatever she or he wants. Commercial stations have much stricter and tighter constraints on what songs their presenters can choose from but as a community radio presenter, I have no such obligations. Beats & Breaks is my opportunity to not just settle the discomfort in my own heart and soul but also to encourage other women to present hip-hop radio shows and generally raise awareness about the airplay imbalance. I realised early on that wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t share what I was doing with Beats & Breaks. I want more women in Scotland involved in hip-hop as MCs, DJs, producers, promoters, sound engineers, radio presenters, event organisers and managers and part of seeing that happen – at least my part – is to reach out to anyone considering those roles and let them know that Beats & Breaks and Sunny G are spaces where the you’ll never be called “good for a female.” 


About the Author

Delaina Sepko is a music researcher, radio presenter and life-long hip hop head living in Glasgow, Scotland. She trained as a sound engineer at Sarm West under Trevor Horn, Tim Weidner and Robert Orton and was a finalist for the 2005 Music Week Woman of The Year award for being Sarm’s first female assistant engineer. After working with the Pet Shop Boys, Seal, Tinchy Stryder, Transglobal Underground and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., she earned an MSc and PhD in Information Studies and audio preservation from University of Glasgow. Now she is a contributor to the long form blog Hip Hop Scotland, presents Beats & Breaks on Sunny G Radio every Wednesday from 8-10 PM and uses the show to promote gender equality and showcase Scottish hip-hop.



Twitter: @delainasepko

Listen to Beats & Breaks archived shows on Mixcloud.

off the record online conference 2020

Look back on the best of 'Off The Record' Virtual Conference 2020!

We are the proud supporters of the Off The Record podcast, as well as the recent conference – which was held online last year. Check out the 2020 conference including a talk with our own Melisa Kelly and alumni Zoe Graham.

Off the Record was founded in 2013 and is a series of events for young musicians and those who want to work in the industry. It is open to anyone aged 16-25, and is designed to equip young people with music business knowledge, information and skills to help them forge a career in music. In 2020 their music conference was held virtually, and featured events focused on music photography, how to get played on BBC Music Introducing, getting funding, how to build your brand and how to go freelance.

Look back on some of the best talks and discussions – including this one (below) featuring our very own Melisa Kelly all about How To Make Money from your Music Online! Melisa joins fellow panelists to discuss their practical tips for building a streaming presence, what worked for them and how you can build your streaming audiences across all streaming platforms. And check out AMS alumni Zoe Graham on a fascinating panel discussion about how to get the most out of streaming your live performance here.

Watch the full conference here. Or check out the Off The Record Podcasts here.

About Off The Record

Off The Record was founded by Community Interest Company Wide Events in 2013 and is a series of events for young musicians and those who want to work in the industry. It is open to anyone aged 16-25, and is designed to equip young people with music business knowledge, information and skills to help them forge a career in music.

Since 2013, Off The Record has organised and delivered 16 events for young people across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Kirkcaldy, Kilmarnock, Glenrothes, Dundee, Aberdeen, Galashiels and Dumfries, providing insights and advice on how to pursue a career in music. This has enabled participants to build relationships with organisations including the BBC, DF Concerts, The Skinny magazine, numerous managers, promoters, labels and more.

In 2015 Off The Record was the first music business event in the UK to commit to a gender balanced speaker programme. The event always takes place in wheelchair accessible venues and is committed to providing opportunities for young people in the top 15% areas on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.


Current Projects

In November 2018, we hosted two Off The Record events in Dundee and Edinburgh to celebrate the Year of Young People.  The events targeted the 16-25 age group and included daytime seminars, discussions, interactive workshops and networking activities featuring a host of music industry professionals from across Scotland and beyond.  Topics covered included monetising music, releasing music, organising and getting gigs, music publishing, streaming, working in music and more. In addition, an evening showcase took place in each city featuring performances from some of the country’s most exciting and diverse young musicians.

These events were supported by the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) programme, which is administered by Creative Scotland. The events featured key figures from the music business taking part in seminars, workshops and advice sessions – all geared to demystifying the industry and providing the basic knowledge to get started.


save sunny g community radio station

Save Sunny G Community Radio Station

Help save the people’s station.

Since the closure of their studios in March 2020 as a consequence of Covid 19, Glasgow community station Sunny G has lost significant income streams, resulting in a deficit of approx £30,000. They need your help!

Sunny G is a registered small Scottish Charity with a fantastic team of volunteers. They use Radio / Broadcasting Media / Technology for Community Development. They have launched a GoFundMe page and are asking for donations to help support them.

The following areas have been most effected:

Unable to deliver SQA training.
Advertising and sponsorship income down by approx 70%
Unable to have our regular fundraising gigs and events.

The station’s monthly outgoings include staff costs, licence fees, rent, and utilities are just a few of the monthly obligations that are completely necessary to allow Sunny G Radio to function.

Studio Manager Steven Gilfoyle has been leading the team at Sunny G since April 2020, and has been a founding member since 2001.  He believes the station to be the best community radio station in the country. He says: “I would challenge anyone to match us in the breadth of our community radio content and community development that we have provided over the years, considering the lack of resource we have had we always provide a high quality service.”

“We find ourselves trying to survive in an area that contains many of the sectors that have been hardest hit which has destroyed the income streams we used to rely on. We are optimistic that we can see ourselves through this terrible time with the generous help from supporters of the station and the community we serve and work alongside,” he says.

“We have lots of exciting ongoing programming and community development ambitions that take Sunny G into 2021 and beyond.”

They would be extremely grateful for anything you might be able to donate. You can find out more and listen online (if you can’t listen on your FM radio) at



karen dunbar interview academy of music and sound ams hip hop workshops online

Karen Dunbar on Hip Hop Workshops, the arts, and why she gave up watching the news

Back in November we held a Hip Hop and Rap online workshop with a very special guest in attendance – Scottish legend Karen Dunbar. We were thrilled to find out what a great experience she had on the course, and fascinated to discover about the new community Hip Hop workshops she’s been hosting online since the first lockdown. So we boldly asked her for an interview! 

We chatted in depth about her Hip Hop workshops, which are currently mostly being held online via Zoom. Although it’s been an idea and a passion of hers for a while – the spread the power and positivity and Hip Hop and its empowering spoken word aspect – it was the conditions of lockdown which made it happen. Karen has been working with different community groups, from refugees to venerable young people, to a community theatre group, helping them to devise and create meaningful and personal rap stanzas. She even hopes to one day get their tracks played on the radio, and host a concert to showcase their work.

It was also a chance for us to catch up with Karen about how her lockdown(s) have been. 2020 was a trying year, not least of all for actors and comedians, with gigs and shows ripped from under them. But Karen is admirably optimistic, throwing herself into her new project and happy to face all the changes in our world with a headstrong, grin-and-bear-it attitude. She’s also stopped watching the news, which helps…

So why hip-hop then Karen? How did you get into that?

I love hip-hop! I’ve always loved it. It’s not as if I’ve been a huge hip-hop effiiardo for decades so I’m not gonna claim that, but I’ve always enjoyed rap music and been intrigued by it – the history, the culture. I was into a wee bit of Scottish rap music but the last couple of months it’s really took off for me. Just enjoying listening to it, discovering.  And it’s because rap is essentially spoken word – it’s performance spoken word – and I’m an actor so that’s a big part of what I do!

[It] just kinda exploded! To almost an unmanageable point, which is just lovely in some ways but it’s a bit hectic. I’m working on a track now actually. But I am really enjoying it, really enjoying it.

Has music always been an interest?

There was a social club round the corner from where I grew up, and my big sister and my dad used to take me round, and I’d go up on stage and sing sometimes – I must have been about 4 year old. I mean this was in the mid 70s so you were allowed to take 4 year olds into a big pub and let them sing at the time! Full of smoke and everything. And you know I’ve got two sisters, and my mum and dad, and their influences – they’ve very different influences you know! One of them was prog rock – one of my sisters – the other was Motown, my mum and dad were much older so they were the classic references… 

I always had a kind of musical ear. I don’t play any instruments – apart from the mouth organ and I only play ‘Oh Suzanne’ on the mouth organ! But when I was in primary, I was able to pick at tunes on a keyboard or on a xylophone – so if someone said ‘doe a deer’ I could play it. And I thought everybody could do that! A bit like seeing and hearing you know, that everybody could jus’ do that, but it wasnae until years later that I was like, oh that’s a thing not everybody has… So aye, music obsessed, obsessed!

There’s an old 70s song called ‘Music..’ by John… I can’t remember who sings it, there you go! John somebody! Anyway, he says, the first line has a big dramatic, big piano behind it, and he sings ‘music is my first love and it will be last‘ – and it always makes me laugh, because it’s true, it’s true for me.


What do the workshops involve?

Well, I’m saying they’re basic right now but it feels like there’s an awful lot in them! [laughs] I’ve been doing most of them on Zoom. They’re 2 hour sessions which are great, people are really enthusiastic, and they’re up for it, and they’re open minded, and they’re creative! The idea is to get a group of people, maybe 6 or 8, and give them a topic and ask them to write a short paragraph up about that topic and then to take each of their paragraphs and help them write it up into a rap stanza. Then, help them develop that and help them rap it and perform it – you know, [it’s] on Zoom, but we’re doing it!

I’ve been recording them and then taking the recordings. I’m doing some of them acapella, sometimes I give them a beat behind it, but obviously with Zoom it’s very limited. Then I’ll go and make the music up for the track on GarageBand, and edit their voices into the song. So I’ve just finished one about 15 minutes ago! I think I’m finished – I’m no sure! I might go back and faff about with it for another 5 hours! [laughs] But I’m hopefully finished with it. I’m really having a ball with it.

“There’s a strange mix of resignation and gratitude.
We’ve gotta do it like this, but at least we can.”

What has the response been like to the workshops?

Well, it’s so strange how it came about and, I’m not too arty farty or airy fairy [laughs] but it just seemed to happen and it just seemed to flow very easily, and usually that’s a good sign!  I’ve done 5 workshops with 5 different groups over 3 week periods for each of them, I’ve got another 3 to do, and that’s intentional that I don’t have any more to do at the moment, because I could’nae handle any! [laughs] 

When I started off, one of my friends – he’s a business advisor but a pal you know, I was talking to him about it, and he says, ‘so what are you charging for it?’ I’m nae charging anything for it! And he said you gotta charge something! I say – you know, typical artist – I don’t want tae make money, I want tae make music! And I meant that, I really meant it. That does’nae mean I don’t need to pay my rent and things… But I don’t want to attach money to this because it starts to sully things. SO, all that being said it gave me a really good place to come from, because the inference wasnae, ‘oh let’s see how much I can get financially out of this’. It was more, ‘lets see what we can do together.’  I think that’s been helpful in creating a useful atmosphere for it. 

Who can get involved?

I had a group of refugees who live in Glasgow, that was my first group – fantastic! I was overwhelmed with enthusiasm and creativity, just brilliant. Then I was out at the Good Shepherd Centre out in Bishopton with some teens – and I was out there because they could still operate because it was a closed school environment. Again overwhelming, just wasnae expecting what I got from them at all. I thought it would be good but I didn’t realise it would be so moving! 

I’ve just a couple of groups with the Citizens Theatre, they have a thing called the Community Collective, and that’s one of the songs I’m working on just now. That was so different as well! They’ve all been so different and I think that’s what’s making me so excited about it and quite purposeful, because every-single session is different, with a different mix of people and different backgrounds. And I think In fact, 4 of them – or 3 different groups – have asked me to come back and do it again, which is great because I’ve only just finished! So that’s heartening as well. And then another 3 groups coming up in the next month.

It’s just these groups that have come to me at the moment – and I haven’t even advertised it! I haven’t put it out anywhere, I’m just testing the ground right now – but the ground seems pretty fertile!

Are attendees new to hip-hop or do they have an interest already?

Yep, some of the students out at the Good Shepherd were fantastic MCs! I’m learning all the time… I didn’t know the difference between an MC and a rapper.. So they were educating me on that! But mostly, I mean the group I was working with yesterday I would say they were at the ages of 40 upwards, a couple of them in their 60s, which is brilliant! Each individual in that group, their attitudes to rap, what they liked and what they didnae like, and what they thought could be done – that’s so interesting as well. 

Each group at the end has come out of it with a formed, structured rap song. I think that’s surprising to a few of the participants, I didnae see how this could work and yet here it is and it’s brilliant and it flows! And I’m LOVING that! I’m actually In love with it now! I’ve got all the chemicals of being in love, I’m off my face on dopamine! It’s all fleeing through me – adrenaline – I cannae wait to get back into it!

And the tracks they create – will they be available for people to listen to?

I’ve been talking to Steg G at Sunny G Radio, who’s one of your tutors, I said to him, what I’d like to do is, I’ve not had the chance to do it yet (you know, Zoom novice) but what I’d like to do is get the recordings together, and mix them as best I can. I’ve actually signed up to your sound engineering course, because I don’t really know what I’m doing with it. I just recently got back into Garageband, so I’m just learning that now. The quality of them is pretty dubious right now but what I’d like to do, and Steg has agreed, is make individual shows for each group and put them on Sunny G. Along with different music as well, but play that and play interviews with the group. 

Essentially what I’d like to do is make an album of it and put it out. Then if the world ever opens back up do a concert at the Royal Concert Hall with each group – I would love that! But if its never anything more than what it is now, it’s fantastic. And I mean that, because if I keep it within that realm, I don’t project too much and I don’t try to force things like; ‘we need to do this better, because I want it to be recorded and who knows who might be listening…’ Pardon the expression – but f* all that! I just want the experience of being in the room – or being on Zoom – with participants. Anything else is a bonus. 

Do you know much about the Scottish Hip Hop scene? 

Nooo, this time 3 months ago all I knew was Stanley Odd and Loki! I didn’t even know Steg G did hip-hop. So there’s my ignorance level on it, but I’m getting more familiar with it now. 

I’m also watching the Rap Game, which I had actually watched last year, without any thoughts on watching it because I was doing a workshop, and I don’t really watch a lot of reality show type competitions, but I was really interested in that, and I watched Hip Hop Evolution when it came out. So I’m watching Shogun on the Rap Game right now, and I’m very interested in his stuff. So aye, getting into it more – and I’m intrigued! 


Some people have a negative perception of hip-hop – how it sometimes is sexist, homophonic or violent. It’s good that it’s being seen more as a positive tool for learning and expression. Because as you said, it’s spoken word and poetry! 

Yeah, most things when they become so commercial turn… You know the two main sources of power are sex and money. And if you look at anything really, well most things, you’ll see that element when it gets to a certain degree. And as you said there, that’s now how it started off and that’s not what it needs to be. There’s other channels of hip hop as well – or there’s other ways to channel it. 

“Each group has come out of it with a formed, structured rap song. I think that’s surprising to a few of the participants. I didnae see how this could work and yet here it is, and it’s brilliant and it flows!”

What about 2020, how has it gone for you? I saw you were set to play Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Ernest in Perth in March, did that go ahead?

We did yeah! We got so far into it. It was only a 3 week run, so we got 2 weeks out of the 3 weeks in the end. I’m really glad we got that but that was disappointing because I felt it was a huge role… One of the hardest in terms of muscularity– the vocal muscularity! The annunciation, the breath work I had to do, never mind any emotional stuff I had to do! You know so much of it was technique. And that sounds like I know what I’m doing – I’m not trained in anything, my training has kinda been on the job, so I made it up as I went along, and that… I felt I was just getting into the part and we lost the last week! 

So yeah, that was disappointing. It was a lovely wee theatre in Perth, a great director, fantastic cast, the set, what they’d done, because it was a very low budget, and what they’d done with the set and the costumes, it was such a good job that we all pulled together, and we only had 3 weeks rehearsal! There were 5 cast members and the 4 were all playing other roles! So it was a huge undertaking. So aye, it was disappointing, it would be lovely if that was remounted, but god knows where and how and when now! 

How was lockdown?  Was the workshop something that came from lockdown or had you thought about it before?

Well, to answer the hip-hop question; a bit of both. I’d spoken a bit at the beginning of the year [2020] to a friend, it might have been even at the end of last year [2019]… Before I even knew what COVID-19 was! So it wisnae a thing that I wanted to do because of lockdown, but I had nae time! I had been wanting to do something like that for a long time and was just too busy… So yeah it did come from the lockdown in terms of how I could do it, because obviously I couldn’t have go into rooms with people, so the majority of it’s been done on Zoom, which I very hesitant to do, but if it was between that and nothing, then I was doing that, and actually that [is] working out. 

I’m a Zoom novice but I seem to be getting better at it every 2 hour session! It’s just practice like anything. But I’m limited to what I can actually do, because if I was in the actual room with people I would be sitting working with them you know, you can get the energy of people as well, especially when it’s creative and it’s musical and it’s rhythmic and you’re picking that up off people… But we’re nae doing a bad job on it, and I think [the participants] are – I cannae speak for everybody– but I think there’s a strange mix of resignation and gratitude. We’ve gotta do it like this, but at least we can. 

It’s strange to say this, I try to be very mindful of the suffering that’s happening… I’ve had my own stuff to deal with and that as well, it’s not as if it’s not touched me – ‘cos all my work was cancelled, and that’s a big thing! There’s nae furlough for me! There’s naebody paying me anything! But I hardly did anything. I couldn’t see anybody, but at the same time there was an awful lot less money spent. It was readdressing a balance personally for me in how I spent money, how I spent time – because that busyness! You know it’s funny, there’s kind of a perpetual motion that’s going on and then, coming into lockdown, was left panting! Almost like… [she mimics breathing fast]… 

Left catching our breath!

Yeah. There’s some part of my brain mechanism that’s still running and looking to attach to the busyness, the level of energy it was used to. And that eventually ran out you know, with enough episodes of the Gilmore Girls [laughs] – that ran out! It was quite scary because I’m used to being very busy….. And then I went into the inertia period of, what the f*ck am I doing… What can I do? What do I want to do? What do I need to do? So all those questions on a small level.. and on a – micro and macro, because those sort of existential, ‘who am i, what is this’… 

I hav’nae watched the news or read a newspaper for 20 years. Now in saying that, I was still on Twitter quite a lot – funny I came off Twitter a couple of years ago, and then I reinstalled [it]… I wasnae tweeting anything but I was reading you know so much, so I was infused completely with all sides of everything! Then the arse fell out of that.. I know I jus’ thought I cannae look at this anymore, so a couple of months ago jus’ deleted Twitter again. So I don’t have any news that I look at. My mates keep me posted on what I need to know. And that’s been really, really conducive to my creativity. I cannae stress that enough!

We’re aching for the arts industry right now! What advice would give those still interested in pursuing a career in the arts?

Well this might sound a bit strange – and I hope it does’nae come across as patronising in any way – but do not worry about it. Not because, in that kind of ‘everything’s gonna be alright’ way, but we must create, as the creatures we are ya know. I don’t mean us as artists, I mean the species – we must create. So whatever that creativity is inside each person, whether it’s about creating a good soup, creating a wee baby, creating music – we’re driven to do it. 

There’s a surface level to me that’s like ‘oh my god, the theatre is shut, live events are shut, the bulk of my work is in that, what’s gonna happen’.. One of the ways that I’m able to calm down is to come back to what my needs are. And I’ve got a kind of mantra of, ok what are my needs? Food, water, air, shelter, love – sleep potentially! But even if I don’t get that I’ll probably still live for quite a bit. Food, water, air, shelter, love – that’s what I need. And I’ve never been without that! So I know that’s maybe no advice to an artist because I don’t really know how to give it other than; Don’t worry, we will find a way to create – we cannae not!

If we’re gonna live online then we will create online and that will take off… It’s already taken off but that will take off more – and I know that’s not the same and I know there’s a huge loss in that but.. There’s an old bumper sticker that says ‘change = loss + gain’ so there’s gotta be gain in it too.


It’s human nature isn’t it, to create?

And when I’m questioning and doubting everything myself creatively, that’s why for a few months of lockdown, my go-to place would’ve been – write a monologue, write something that you can do online – but I just was’nae there, there was a huge block! And I know a lot of creative people had that, but it was nurturing that belief, which is a core belief that as a species we’ve got to create, you know. This isn’t just about me being a suffering artist or something, that’s what we do as humans. Knowing that that was true, and thinking – ok leave it alone and it will come. And when it did it was a bit tsunami-like! It was like – ‘I’m going to do hip-hop! That’s it!!! HIP-HOP!’ So, it’ll come. And I think stressing about it can create a barrier to it. Sometimes it’s good to have a wee bit of stress to give us some umph, but there’s levels to it.

How are you feeling about the current lockdown?

I mean it’s a terrible thing that we’ve got to go into any level of it again. I feel so lucky, so lucky to be doing what I’m doing right now. I feel… it’s unfair to say this but to a certain degree I’m not really thinking about the lockdown too much. I’m waking up in the morning right now and thinking I’ve gotta find a baseline for that hip hop track! And I’ve gotta find a way to splice that.. And put a beat into this and I cannae mix yet, so I’m gonna Google that and watch a tutorial [laughs]! That’s what I’m thinking about just now. 

Are you feeling more positive for 2021?

Next year? Nae idea! Don’t know, don’t care! Because it’s too far, it’s too far. Tomorrow’s a wee bit too far for me. What I manage is what’s happening right now. And that’s.. I was going to say a coping mechanism, but it’s not, it’s a dealing with life mechanism. An awful lot of the time –not in any kind of bhuddist-zen-medative kind of way– but I actually try to check in with my body; ‘Are ye in any pain?!’ Are ya hungry? Tired? Thirsty?’ Because this is reality what is happening here and now. And everything else, past or future, it’s all in my head! And that sort of brings me back into the room if you like. Which is good, that’s been a really useful tool over the years. Never mind tomorrow, never mind yesterday, what’s happening in the now.

And it’s not easy because we live in a society that’s so led towards we must try harder, better, higher, faster… bikini-body ready, blah blah… Oh man, we’re so immersed in it, just to come out of it for a while and think I’m gonna try this GarageBand loop, because my ears can hear it and that’s reality… 

There’s me saying I don’t think about 2021! I am looking to expand [the workshops] next year, so if you know any groups that would be interested in that, then please put that out there. But we’ll see, we’ll see what happens today! 

Read more about Karen on her website.

Check out more news and blogs from us here.


Words & Interview: Isobel Trott

new year new lockdown academy of music songwriting

New Year, New Lockdown...

You know the drill! Courses to move back online from 4th January 2021.

After Monday (04/01/2021) night's announcement, all teaching across all our regional centres will move back fully to online delivery, with group tutorials and one-to-one sessions.

Prior to Monday's news, our centres had been operating under relevant local government guidance, with smaller class sizes, online course options for all courses, less contact time and social distancing though-out the schools. We will now be moving all classes back online, just like we started to do for the very first time in March. We will update students when guidelines are reviewed.

Students can find help & support on our Student Guidance page or via their MyAcademy account. We're doing everything we can to make sure students have a positive and worthwhile experience – we're always here if you need us.

Let us also take this chance to wish you all a Happy New Year! Despite everything, 2020 did bring us some positivity, and we're hoping 2021 brings much better things for musicians and those working in the industry, and there is thankfully good reason to hope.  We're sure the music scene will be back and thriving again soon...

And we're going to be ready when it does!


AMS partner with Sound City on a series of exclusive online talks

AMS partner with Sound City on a series of exclusive online talks

The Academy of Music and Sound and AMSonline will be partnering with Liverpool Sound City on a series of exclusive online masterclasses.

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be partnering with Liverpool based conference and music festival Sound City on a collaboration which includes a programme of exclusively curated masterclasses focused on employability, industry skills, and careers in the music sector, exclusively for AMS staff and students.

Sound City said of the partnership, “Sound City’s core aim is to help the very best in upcoming talent and with many university courses now competing for attention and so many graduates looking for work, its vital that students set themselves above the competition and make their mark in the industry!  Sound City has started a partnership with the Academy of Music and Sound with the primary aim of improving their students music industry skills and employability.”

The first of a series of Masterclass will take place Tuesday 1 December at 7pm via Guesthouse, and will be an interview Band Manager Alfie Skelly on ‘How To Build A Bands Music Profile’

Alfie Skelly has worked in the industry for over 15 years working with the likes of The Coral and Arctic Monkeys. He currently manages The Mysterines (Pretty Face Recordings) and The Lathums ( Island Records) who both had sold-out UK tours, among others including Abbie Ozard, through Modern Sky Record label. The talk will span all things managerial, including how Alfie has built up the profiles of both The Lathums and The Mysterines. Alife will discuss how he gets them gigs, how he lands artists record deals, publishing deals and tours, plus he will talk about how he markets and promotes the bands.

We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to offer this to our students and staff! And with a whole host of exciting masterclasses and talks coming up, we’re sure it’s going to be a thrilling time for online learning.


About Sound City

Globally-recognised Sound City, the leading champion of emerging UK talent, is set to return bigger and better than ever in 2021 – With three full days of music discovery right across the city of Liverpool, Headline acts this year include Rejjie Snow, Red Rum Club and The Murder Capital.”

Like what you hear? Find out more about AMS music courses and read the latest news.

uk music industry music by numbers study 2019 2020 covid

Report shows huge growth of UK Music Industry prior to COVID-19

The latest Music By Numbers economic study has shown that the UK music industry continued to grow in 2019 across every sector before the Covid-enforced shutdown hit in early 2020.

Music By Numbers is the flagship annual economic study by UK Music and its members. Recent numbers show that the UK music sector was facing significant growth, with employment at an all-time high, prior to the impact of COVID-19.

The new figures in the Music By Numbers 2020 report show the 12 months up to December 31 2019, and they do not reflect the devastating impact of the Covid-19 just weeks later in early 2020. “Despite the buoyant 2019 figures outlined in Music By Numbers, the industry now faces a marathon effort to get back on its feet as it strives to return to pre-Covid levels of success as swiftly as possible”, says UK Music.

The report measures the health of the music business by collating data about its contribution in goods and services to the economy. That economic contribution is known as Gross Value Added (GVA), to the UK’s national income (Gross Domestic Product/GDP). Exports are part of this contribution.

Some key facts from the Music By Numbers report 2020:

• The UK music industry contributed £5.8 billion to the UK economy in 2019 – up 11% from £5.2 billion in 2018.
• Employment in the industry hit an all-time high of 197,168 in 2019 – an increase of 3% from 190,935 in 2018.
• The total export revenue of the music industry was £2.9 billion in 2019 – up 9% from £2.7 billion in 2018.
• In addition to the industry’s direct economic contribution, music tourism alone contributed £4.7 billion in terms of spending to the UK economy in 2019 – up 6% from £4.5 billion in 2018.


Read the full report here.

Many Hats with Chloe Heatlie, producer at Adelphoi Music

Many Hats with Chloe Heatlie, producer at Adelphoi Music

Welcome back to Many Hats. This week our Edinburgh centre manager Alyssa got to sit down and catch up with her old pal Chloe Heatlie, producer at Adelphoi Music, a Music Agency based in Central London. Chloe has a set of impressive music qualifications including a Masters in Musical Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music and since joining Adelphoi, she has worked with a range of high profile clients including Nike, Armani x Hypebeast, Zara, Walkers Max, and Google Cloud.

Their conversation spans all things music production, as Alyssa gets all the details on what Chloe’s fascinating role involves, and her commitment to music beyond her day-job including her lockdown-inspired Podcast ‘A Little More Conversation’. Alyssa and Chloe also chat lockdown tips and the impact of this ‘toxic productivity’ we’re all feeling just a little bit right now. Read on and discover all…

Hi Chloe! Tell me a bit about yourself! What do you do and how did you get where you are today?

I live in London and I work as a producer at a music agency [Adelphoi Music].  Before that, I studied musical theatre in Glasgow at Motherwell College and then moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. After that I worked as a performer before I decided I wanted to work in the music industry. When I decided that, I started to work hard to gain experience, so temped on reception at places like Universal Music, I volunteered for Sofar Sounds, read a ton of books, wrote a music blog and eventually (after a couple of years) I got a job at Adelphoi. And that’s where I am now!


Tell us a bit more about your role at Adelphoi?

I’m a producer – we work with creative agencies, production companies and brands to either find or create music and/or sounds for advertising campaigns. We have a team of composers who work for us but we also work with freelance composers, musicians and artists to create compositions! We work with record labels and publishers to brief out searches if we’re looking for a specific type of track for a project, we’ll work with them to find tracks that are in-line with what we want and are licence-able for the budget we have.

We also do audio branding, so that’s working directly with brands to find a specific sound to represent them. For example we worked with Norwegian Air to create a sonic identity for them and they use it on board all of their planes, we also revived Gillette’s existing audio identity for use globally across their advertising. We also do sound design to picture too.

What’s a typical day in the office for you? – Pre-covid!

A typical day pre-COVID! [laughs] Our office is in Covent Garden, there we have studios and we have a production room where we all sit and work together. We usually have production meetings, so all the producers get together and we talk about projects we have. We also talk about sales a lot, part of our role is new business. So we’re reaching out to producers, creatives and creative directors, to tell them about the company and try to get them to think of us when they next need music on a project.  We have sales catch-ups in the morning, then during the day we’ll just be working on whatever projects take priority. A lot of the time our projects are a very quick turn around, 1-2 days to make a composition for an advert, so that’s doing demos, working on them and then delivering, so getting them mixed as well! [We’re] sometimes in-and-out of the office for industry events too.


And how have things changed with COVID this year?

It’s quite different yeah… So all of the ‘nice’ bits of the job – getting to meet people and socialise and attend events and screenings – are all non-existent! [laughs] There are a lot of online events which we are trying to attend more and more. But yeah the sad thing is not being able to meet people and chat face-to-face and do all those things which are the big perks of the job really! But yeah we’ve been working remotely since March, everybody, all our composers and producers.

Has your job been effected by the impact of COVID on the music industry?

We’ve noticed [it] in terms of the types of projects that we’re getting. We’re getting a lot smaller budgets this year, so brands just don’t have as much money, or they’re choosing not to spend as much money on music so we’re getting a lot of back catalog searches and library music searches. Rather than brands spending £50k on a composition job, they’ll spend £10k on a piece of library music that maybe isn’t as special but is cheaper and does the job. So we’ve definitely noticed some budgets being slashed, but there’s definitely still work out there so we’re still working which is nice!


That’s good – it’s a bit doom and gloom and we’re having to adapt! But musicians are used to being versatile?

I think that’s true. Most people I work with have some kind of ‘side hustle’ whether that is DJing or being part of some sort of collaborative group, or volunteering, they do have things they do on the side. Definitely agree.


When you graduated from RAM, how did your degree help you to get where you are today?

My degrees did help me in terms of the musical knowledge you need to get my job. Everyone that works for the company is a musician or a DJ or is totally involved in music in some way, shape or form. So it’s really important. And also to be able to give feedback to performers, if you don’t understand music you’re not really able to give that feedback. It’s something that adds value to companies like us. You get agencies coming to us and saying things like… ‘I want music that’s happy’. Okay, what kind of music are we talking about here? So it needs to be happy, is that all you can give us? [laughs] So it’s kinda like translating what people want into music – which is essential. 

“For my job I have to have an understanding of a range of genres. Our briefs can be anything from opera to 80s disco! It could be anything.”

I also think, with my degree in musical theatre… It wasn’t all about the music, it was more about your confidence and your character.  I think it was those things that really helped me in terms of getting up and being able to talk to people or being able to approach somebody you don’t know and say, hey look at what we’re doing over here, do you wanna hear more about it? It’s also those skills that are really valuable!


So from graduating from RAM to where you are today, what experience did you gather along the way?

I had to have passion for music to get my job, you had to have experience in music. You have to have an understanding of a range of genres – our briefs can be anything from opera to 80s disco, you know! It could be anything. So you have to kinda understand a lot of different styles, or at least have an awareness of it. 

I was also doing loads of voluntary work at the time too.  In those 2 years where I was looking for a job in music, I was applying for jobs like mad! There’s paid internships down in London but they don’t really pay you enough for you to actually do them, unless you’re living with someone and not really paying any rent or student loans or bills. I didn’t do an internship, I just needed to get a job! And I think Adelphoi did take a bit of a risk.

I think it’s important to note I didn’t have experience in the job, I just had passion and I had degrees and I had knowledge. I was teaching myself, I read so many books all about the music industry and I was volunteering at live events, doing all sorts of things from artist liaison to making sure people at the events were safe and comfortable. And I was blogging as well!  I was constantly looking online to find artists that weren’t signed and I was blogging about them, just writing ‘check out this song, this is really cool, and she’s from here, and she’s this old, and this is the kind of music she does or he does.’ So yeah, a big part of me getting the job was the company taking a chance, but also proving I was passionate.

What about the best thing about working in music?

The best thing I think is the people. We get to meet so many people, not only is our team so nice, we have a good family feel! But there’s just so many interesting people. As I said before, aside from the day-to-day projects we might be working on, you might not be really passionate about making an advert, or what the advert is about, but a lot of the people have things that they believe in and they’re part of things outside of work they get involved in. That might be charity projects… The other night we went to an online… What do you call it when it’s like naked drawing? [laughs]

Anyway! It was an online naked drawing [life drawing] event for Breast Cancer Awareness and these girls from an agency were like, we’re gonna do an event with naked drawing and you pay £8 for a ticket, all the money goes towards Breast Cancer Awareness and you have a bit of fun! And there’s loads of those sort of initiatives which I really like. So definitely the people. 


What’s the most challenging aspect of your job or working in the industry?

One of the challenges actually is getting through all the music! So everyday we each get 10s and 10s of emails from sync companies, publishers, record labels, freelance composers and artists – we just get sent so much music! And we’d love to listen to it, and we do try to go through as much as we can but we can’t sit and listen to music all day, so that’s the sad thing, we get a sent a lot of great stuff that we might miss because we just don’t have the hours in the day. But we do always try to reply, especially if it’s someone new that we haven’t heard from before just to say thanks, I’ll take a look, and we’ll keep you in mind and if something comes up maybe we can work together. But yeah, that’s the day-to-day trouble for sure.


What advice would you give students or graduates who want to get into your line of work?

Yeah, passion! If you’re not, why are you in the music industry really! That’s a given. But for this year obviously it’s really challenging for everyone in terms of working, there’s been a ton of redundancies all over the place especially in the live sector, I think just don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t happen straight away. It took me a few years to get a job in music, and I think just do your research! 

If you’re passionate about something, just learn. Watch YouTube videos, read books, email people, add them on LinkedIn, just say hey, I’m really interested in your career, would you be up for having a coffee or a zoom and just chatting. Maybe find a mentor as well, somebody that’s willing to give you advice or check over your CV. But I think passion will definitely help you on the way!


And what’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve received? 

I think for me I’ve always been quite driven to the point where I just want to get things done and get to the finish line. It can be a really good thing, but it’s important to take your time sometimes and enjoy the moments… And not always be pushing for the next thing. Just taking it a bit slower sometimes would probably be the best advice I’ve had. Not that I always listen to it! [laughs]

Especially during the pandemic…

There was that saying which was like, if you’ve got out of bed in the morning and made your bed, then you’ve done something, you’ve achieved something.


That’s a good way to look at it. There’s so much pressure on achieving stuff during this time – I’m not in the mood to do anything creative, just trying to get through it.

I think it’s totally common. Obviously everybody is different and everybody is dealing with it differently and has different situations, but I don’t think it’s a time to be putting pressure on yourself and stressing out about it. You know, do what you can do. If you can make 10 albums this year then go for it – it doesn’t really matter, but just make sure when you come out of it you’re in a good place. 


That takes me to my next question… You’re working on a podcast that covers mental health in the industry, is that right?

Yeah sure, so the podcast is called ‘A Little More Conversation‘ and it basically came up during coronavirus. Me and a colleague Lacyn were thinking how hard all this was, and we bet there’s other people out there who are really struggling, but there’s actually nothing for people – in advertising especially – to turn to. There’s a charity that provides counselling but that’s all really. So we decided to start a podcast that talks about mental health in the advertising industry. It’s been really popular so far. We’re going to talk about things like the pressures of sales, the pressures of creativity, job sharing, working from home, returning to work after paternity or maternity leave, things like that. Anything that might be presenting challenges for people in the industry and openly talking about it. It will hopefully give people in the industry somewhere to go and listen to other people’s problems, which they can probably relate to!

It’s good to feel you’re not alone in the way you’re feeling. A lot of what we’re seeing is the highlights of people’s lives on social media.

Yeah it’s true – it’s not real what you see on social media – but it’s the same in the industry, you might have a company saying ‘we’re really busy, we have so many projects on..’ but they don’t! They’re just saying it because they want people to think that they’re busy, which is their prerogative really. But actually I think this year especially it’s fine to say, we’ve had a hard year, you’ve probably too, is there anything we can do to help each other out?

How would a budding artist go about approaching you to get their tracks featured in one of your projects?

So there’s a couple of ways. If you have a publisher, the publisher should be pushing out your music to people like us, not just for advertising but for film and TV as well. But not everybody has a publisher, so if you’re doing it yourself, just research companies – companies like us, music production companies. You’ll also find on LinkedIn lots of freelance music supervisors. They want to be sent music, you know, we want to be sent stuff, we need to know what’s current, what’s cool.  And also if you’re an artist, there’s some really interesting reasons for a company to work with you, one it’s supporting up-and-coming talent, which is huge, hugely important. And 2, it’ll give you good money for you to go and make more music! 

Also it often works well for lower budget projects, or projects that are maybe more creative. So I think there’s definitely good opportunities. Our emails are on the website, just go around, do some research, send some emails. Make sure that when you present your music you do it in a good way. So don’t send too much, maybe send a couple of tracks and just explain who you are and what kind of music you’re making – and that’s it!


And one last question – what’s the most exciting project you’ve been involved in at work?

Oooo… I’m actually working on one at the minute, I actually can’t tell you what who brand is, it’s a luxury fashion brand, but we’re basically mixing an old out-of-copyright classical piece of music with very modern, ugly sounds, an so it’s going to be a total mash up of beautiful classical music and really ugly, industrial sounds! And the film is really cool, it’s got loads of dancers in it and the people are beautiful and hopefully it’s going to come together in the end!

Sounds interesting!

Yeah it’s bold definitely! I’ll send it ya!

You can read Chloe’s blog here, and listen to her podcast A Little More Conversation on Spotify.

Find out more about Adelphoi on their website


Interview: Alyssa Renwick
Photos: © Adelphoi Music

women in music short course free scotland female artists kate mccabe

Meet 9 incredible Scottish artists from the AMS Women In Music course

Our latest Women In Music (Empowerment and Employability) short course took place online a couple of weeks ago, and was a roaring success. The free online event saw a huge number of passionate female artists and women in music, come together, network and share their knowledge.

Hosted by our own Karlyn King and Melisa Kelly, the event saw female-identifying artists currently based in Scotland come together to share knowledge and skills in a welcoming and inclusive environment.  Some of our wonderful attendees have been kind enough to share with us some of their work and music. Take a look below for a short bio on each artist, and links to some of their music.

Our next WIM event will take place over 2 weekends from 21 November to 29 November – oh, and it’s completely free! Follow the link to book your place now.

Kate McCabe

Kate McCabe is a 23 year old singer songwriter from, and based in Scotland. She’s been writing songs since she was 10 and in 2014 released her debut E.P ‘Fault’ at 15 years old. Most recently in 2018 she released she second E.P ‘WOMAN’. Kate said that music has always been her passion and she hope that her work will “emotionally engage people with melodies and lyrics not only make you stop and listen, but make you stop and think”. Check out her music on her Bandcamp artist page and get updates on her music on her Facebook.

Jeri Foreman

Jeri is a big name in Australian folk music – now residing in Scotland! A fiddle player from Adelaide (South Australia), Jeri’s debut in the Australian folk scene was winning back-to-back Young Traditionalist’s Awards at the Victor Harbour Folk Festival, age 11 and 12. Sh’e won plenty of awards since then, including Most Outstanding New or Emerging Artist/Group in the Folk Federation of SA Folk Awards in 2007 and 2008, and in 2009, her performances with Adelaide band, Garida, won the inaugural Peter Daly Award for the finest performance of Celtic music at the National Folk Festival.

She’s also gone onto being awarded music scholarships 2010 to study with many of the world’s top fiddle players, and in 2014, she won the Best Composition Golden Fiddle Award for her tune, “No Bigger Than an Envelope”.  She is a multifaceted fiddler, fascinated by finding similarities in fiddle traditions. Jeri holds a Bachelor of Music with Honours (majoring in violin performance) from the Elder Conservatorium. She has released two albums of compositions in the Celtic style, in 2013 and 2017. She continues to play with a variety of musicians in multiple genres. Check out her LP The Blue Album on Spotify now.

Amy Ross (Baby Taylah)

Scotland based Amy Ross (artist name Baby Taylah) is know for her fusion of dark electronica with distorted, breathy vocals, which flicker relentlessly between angelic and ominous tones.

“Combining dark electro pop with a classic Celtic sound, Baby Taylah’s music is fuelled by a sense of empowerment. Born Amy Louise Ross, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter had been active in the Glasgow music scene since the late aughts before she decided to take a three-year break from songwriting. More confident than ever, she returned late last year having signed to Swedish label Icons Creating Evil Art with a bold new single called ‘Reclaim’, a track whose power lies in its minimal yet effective production, presenting Taylah as a force to be reckoned with. There’s a lot to be excited about in Baby Taylah’s future, and we can’t wait to hear more….”

Listen to Baby Taylah on Spotify now.

Alison McNeill 

Alison is 1/3 of Reely Jiggered – “a Scottish folk rock band with a twist”, who’s recent album Tricky Terrain is cone to check out. Alison has performed as a soloist all over the UK, Holland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Japan, Pakistan, America and Mexico and has been broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio nan Gaidheal and Spanish, Pakistani and Mexican TV.

As a freelance portfolio musician, Alison enjoys a busy and varied career as a Classical lyric soprano performing as a soloist in top venues including Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Minami Aizu Concert Hall (Japan) and the National Auditorium of Galicia (Spain). As gifted recitalist, Alison formed the McNeill Savaloni Duo with Classical guitarist Sasha Savaloni which has seen the pair broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland’s Classics Unwrapped and become the 2015-2017 Artists in Residence for Enterprise Music Scotland‘s Chamber Music Project.

Ellie Morrison

Ellie is an Artist Manager and Musician. After receiving a first class honours degree in music business at SAE Institute, I decided to set up my own artist management company called Ellie Morrison Artist Management. Since then, she has been working with singer/songwriter Megan Black for around a year, in which time they have released two singles and organised a series of independent events and gigs.

“Not every day is the same,” she said in an interview with SAE. “Most of the time I am updating her social media, depending on what event is coming up next, and then making sure everything is organised for whatever we are working on at the time. Right now we are working on an EP, so over the next few weeks I will be making sure the songs are finalised, uploading them to a distribution company, creating an EPK (Electronic Press Kit), which includes the tracks, music videos, promotional photographs and press release statement, which I will then send out to different press outlets.”

Get updates on her Facebook page.

Sonia Duignan

Based in Scotland, Sonia D is an Irish singer-songwriter whose fingerstyle picking and melodies take their influence from Folk and Indie Folk music. Sonia’s acoustic based music contains thought provoking lyrics and emotive vocals intertwined with hints of piano and strings. With her haunting tones and honest expression she sings about her life experiences and hopes that her music resonates as a form of escapism or therapy to any who listen.

Growing up in Galway, Sonia started writing songs at the age of 10 immersed in the influence of artists such as Nina Simone, Pete Yorn, Fiona Apple, Glen Hansard, Jeff Buckley, Heather Nova and Chantal Kreviazuk. Today’s influences number the likes of James Vincent McMorrow, Wallis Bird, Dodie, and Dermot Kennedy, whose music has inspired her to be brave in baring her soul through her art form. Sonia loves live streams and plans to gig both locally and abroad. Currently focused on releasing singles, an E.P. and an Album are also in the pipeline.

Jen Athan

Jen Athan is a songwriter, composer, producer and multi- instrumentalist from Aberdeen.  She found her passion for music after learning to play the violin, piano, guitar and drums throughout her youth. Whilst studying music at North East Scotland College, she found herself becoming more involved in music production and sound design and decided to pursue a career in writing and producing music.

In 2018, Jen released her solo piano EP Vinter Allée with one of the pieces ‘For Sebastien’ featuring in the sold-out performance of Kid Astronaut –  an early years theatre show which she also co-wrote. She has worked with Scottish Youth Theatre, Tron Theatre Young Company, Ipdip theatre, Glasgow Life and BBC The Social.

Listen & learn more on her website.

Emma Milligan

Emma is 22 year old singer songwriter based in Edinburgh. On her artist page, she says her influences are the likes of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, and Ed Sheeran. She plays guitar and ukulele. Find out more about Emma on her Artist Facebook Page.

Emmy Leishman

Otherwise known as Big Girl’s Blouse, Emmy Leishman is a Glasgow based artist. Listen to her radiant music on Soundcloud now.