A&R session with Muff Winwood and Nick Raphael

These two guys need no introduction but just incase your mind’s gone blank…

NICK      ic_2128908

Nick Raphael (left) – Currently President of Capitol Records UK where he has signed Jay-Z, Lemar, Charlotte Church, Scouting For Girls, Paloma Faith, JLS, Aloe Blacc, and Sam Smith.

Muff Winwood –  Founder member of The Spencer Davis Group, with his younger brother Steve Winwood, and has been Head of A&R at Island Records, CBS and Sony Music where he signed Terrence Trent D’Arby, The Psychedelic Furs and Sade amongst many others.


Opportunities to meet, let alone have a three hour A&R session with these two, don’t come along too often.

This was a big night for the numerous amount of artists and musicians who submitted their work for feedback. However this was also a great chance for music business students,songwriters and producers to see what established industry big players base their judgement of tracks and artists on as well as witnessing industry insider ‘know-how’ first hand.

Some of the most interesting points made that night, which certainly stuck with me, where:

  • The best songs are not written, they’re rewritten
  • The first line of your song has to grab the audience
  • The hook of your song should be the song title
  • Songwriters peak between the ages of 20 and 25 (except if you’re Swedish, then you’re probably naturally amazing)
  • The Swedes are killing it when it comes to song writing, but don’t be disheartened, it doesn’t mean you have to be to be killing it too
  • Get a manager first. Being in the digital era a lot of artists think they can bypass the music industry hierarchy and go straight to contacting record heads. This is a big mistake. You have to earn the right to meet these people. Start from the bottom, get a good manager, gig and build an online following. Once you’ve got these three down contact labels.
  •  If you’re as good as you think you are, they will find you
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