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Tileyard Presents Vol 1: Amplifying Young Artists in Collaboration with BMGPM


Delve into the album collaboration in this interview with Tileyard Education, BMGPM and featured music artists

Tileyard Presents Vol 1: Amplifying Young Artists in Collaboration with BMGPM

An initiative born from the creative brains at Tileyard Education and BMGPM, Tileyard Presents Volume 1 provided young artists with a platform to showcase their talent. The success of the album saw the artists’ music featured on the likes of I’m A Celebrity, The Only Way Is Essex, Britain’s Got Talent and Walk the Line.

To find out what went into the making of the album, in this interview, LBB speaks with Tileyard Education’s head of A&R and commercial partnerships, Jamie Searls; BMGPM’s VP of bespoke services Rachel Menzies and producer John Roffe-Ridgard; as well as featured Volume 1 music artists B.B.Cole, Aldous Solano, Jordan Round, Namywa, Madeleine 'MINX' Dunbar and Emma Horan.

LBB> Firstly, could you tell us about how the idea for Tileyard Presents came about?

Jamie> Being nestled in Europe’s largest professional music community, where there are over 250 music and entertainment businesses, we’re hot on new opportunities for our students and alumni. We were introduced through the local community at Tileyard London and we just discussed areas of synergy and soon, an entire album was born! That’s what I love about Tileyard; different worlds from within the music industry collide so easily! 

Rachel> I've worked with Tileyard Education quite a bit in the past – from interviews to form part of their music business curriculum, to speaking on Tileyard hosted panels and listening sessions. I’ve always really liked what they do and what they stand for. Off the back of this relationship, we set up a call to discuss further potential collaboration opportunities. I’d been introduced to a number of students after a recent listening session and knew just how talented some of them were, so I was keen to find a way to work together.

LBB> You are passionate about disrupting traditional music education by offering students real-world opportunities. What is your aim/mission with Tileyard Presents?

Jamie> As far as I’m aware, we’re the only music education with an active A&R department. That’s critical to our continued success. We have overseen the release of over 100 songs. We’re not just talking about opportunities, we’re creating them. For me, I’m passionate about breaking the mould and creating education that focuses on opportunities, something that just wasn’t available ten years ago. I want our tracks on huge campaigns and it’s already happening. With a track featured on this summers’ Love Island, that’s a huge start for the acts that were featured. 

Rachel> BMG has so many fantastic partnerships within the media space, including broadcasters such as ITV, Netflix and Disney, to name a few. For BMG it’s all about supply and demand – being as focused as possible with our album releases so that we’re constantly raising the probability of our music being utilised by media clients. We are in regular talks with clients in need of exciting up-and-coming talent to sync on their programmes (specifically for shows such as Love Island, I’m A Celeb and other entertainment programming).

Once Jamie and I got our thinking hats on, a multi-artist compilation album to be released as part of our joint venture label with ITV, At The Studios seemed like an obvious route to take. It’s a win-win situation for all. Our clients get the music they need for their productions and Tileyard artists get an opportunity to earn real money from their craft, learning more about the music-for-media landscape in the process!

LBB> Over to the students! What was your reaction when the opportunity to be featured on Tileyard Presents came about?

B.B.Cole> I just thought, wow, what an opportunity! I'm glad that something is happening with the songs from the camp and they are not ending up in a drawer…

Aldous Solano> My reaction was ecstatic and magnetic as I was floored to hear that one of my songs was selected to be on the Vol 1. It has been a dream of mine to earn any sort of recognition from a publisher and I am appreciative of BMG for picking me up for a single song deal!

Jordan Round> I was more determined than ever to make myself and my songwriting known, this was an incredible opportunity to showcase my skills and to write some incredible music

Namywa> I think I said something like, "It's a look". I felt proud of the writing team but when we were making the song we all felt it was special and needed a good home. Then I called my mum, she is who I share all my wins with, big, small and the in-between.

Madeleine 'MINX' Dunbar> It was an honour to be asked to work on a project with both Tileyard and BMG's involvement.

Emma Horan> Honestly, I have so much love for Tileyard so to be asked to do anything is such a privilege. I have had so many opportunities through Tileyard and love working with them. 

LBB> Tell us a little bit about the inspiration and style of your track on the album?

B.B.Cole> Tom, the producer in our team already had a tropical style beat and we thought it fit the briefing. For the lyrics we wanted to incorporate a nursery rhyme because the reference track also had one. Someone came up with "girls and boys come out to play". Millie and I started to talk about the inner-child theory and what we would say to our inner children to bring them back to life and unleash their power. We also talked about things we did in our childhood and how easy life seemed back then.

Aldous Solano> The inspiration I took for this track was from the hot Marrakesh sun, the diverse group of individuals within the group. In terms of style... we really just wanted to use the writing tool of a "lifted and driving post-chorus" that featured the title of the song.

Jordan Round> For the track “I don’t need your loving” we wrote the bombshell brief, we wanted bad bitch energy! The style we went for was more of a trap and R&B style, which is a style I specialise in. Hard hitting 808 and a production that had swagger. Not many people in the camps do this style so this was a time for me to stand out.

Namywa> Freedom is the vibe, being you and not caring what people think is the main inspiration for the song. If you want to dye your hair pink, wear a short skirt, be soft, and be loud, it's okay. I think we get this across in the verses and in the hook we ask "freedom - what does it mean to you?" because the song is for everyone and that's part of the reason why it bangs. The style of the song reflects each of us, two rappers with Hip Hop, Dancehall and West Coast LA Rap Music influences, Me, a Soul singer and Millie who is Indie at her core. We all came to the session to be a new sound for the brief but we stayed true to our styles on this one.

Madeleine 'MINX' Dunbar> Our inspiration was each other and the incredible setting we wrote the song in. We were sitting basking in the sunshine on the roof of a Riad in Morocco with a view of the Atlas mountains.

Emma Horan> ‘Don’t Need Your Loving’ was a fun one to write as it was a pop track with trap elements and I got to rap on it too. Also writing in on Zoom in lockdown was fun… especially doing vocals in my jammies!

‘All Day All Night’ is your summer dance anthem which I loved creating. It very much has Love Island vibes!

‘What Are You Doing’ was a track written by James Grover where he contacted me asking to put my vocals on it. Such a privilege to be asked to do that as he really liked my voice!

LBB> BMGPM, what else are you doing in this space? 

John> We have another fantastic partner based in Hackney called Expand Music. Expand work tirelessly to give opportunities to young people from inner London boroughs, and have released a number of albums and EPs in collaboration with BMG in the short time we have been working together. 

LBB> How did you go about selecting the independent artists to be showcased on this album?

Jamie> Each week, students and alumni receive our brief of the week, a collection of live commercial briefs that we receive from the majors and independents, they then submit tracks to our A&R team and if it’s good enough, we pitch. That’s it! Essentially, we act as a management team for our students and alumni on a single song agreement basis. Our future goals are far more ambitious but we’ll keep quiet on that until there’s more to share but watch out for a very exciting opportunity with the teams behind Ella Eyre, Sigala and Joel Corry.

John> Jamie delivered a huge number of assets for BMGPM to audition. There was so much great music and artists pitched – but the nuances associated with production music mean we needed to consider potential usage within TV and advertising use as priority. We’ve worked in music for media for a long time – and know what works and doesn’t work for sync.

LBB> How did you find the collaborative process?

Jamie> We run between 12 -15 songwriting camps per year, where we mix producers and songwriters based on their skill sets and work with them through feedback to get the song to pitcheable state!

John> There was a huge amount of back and forth between BMGPM producers and Jamie/Tileyard artists. Initially on a creative level, then much hand holding when we got to contracts, PRO registrations and general production deliverables.

B.B.Cole> It was a great week and a great session. I attended other camps, but they were not as output-oriented as the Tileyard camp, where you really have a connection to publishers and not only a workshop where you learn the theory. Also we had to deliver a track each evening and had real deadlines to finish the songs. That's really learning by doing.

Jordan Round> As a professional songwriter for three years now, the collaborative process behind the track was inspiring, pushing each other to not only write the best song for the brief possible, but to get the best out of every songwriter in the room. I learned about serving the song, and doing what’s best for the song regardless of any ego in the room

Namywa> I found the collaborative process interesting, as a singer working with rappers is always something new. I found myself adding to bars and writing in other sections, as well as writing and vocalising the hook of the song. It was always going to be a vibe making music on a sunny rooftop in Marrakesh.

Emma Horan> BMG were amazing to work with! I have signed lots of deals in the past and the experience with BMG was so quick and easy! One of my goals at the start of the year was to sign sync deals and the fact I got songs cut on Emmerdale and Love Island was amazing and it wouldn’t have happened without BMG and Tileyard!

LBB> Why do you feel it is important for students to receive real-world experience alongside their studies?

B.B.Cole> In my opinion, songwriting has two elements: Inspiration and craft. Theory is really helpful but you need to experience a session and you need to really connect with other people to fully feel the power a song can have. Songwriting for me is such a personal and creative process that theory alone can only tell half of the story.

Aldous Solano>  It is valuable to work alongside professionals. That is truly the door that opens the hallway to all other doors in any specialised industry.

Madeleine 'MINX' Dunbar> It's invaluable, nothing will set you up better for the real world than the real world!

Emma Horan> The experience of getting to write to live briefs was amazing and it didn’t feel like a normal university experience which was amazing, especially as you are studying. It is setting you up for your career during the course as opposed to just after the course. The fact that Signal came into my class to ask to write for his project was a dream. The songwriting camps were my favourite part of the year, working with new people and overcoming challenges was such an accomplishment and I have learned a lot about myself. 

LBB> What were your personal highlights from working on this project?

Jamie> Working with John and Rachel was brilliant. What I love about the music industry is the genuine friendships that you develop through working together. John and I are now great mates so it’s nice to see professional friendships bleed into your personal life. Professionally I’m really proud to see a track of ours was featured on this year’s Love Island. It was a real testament to great A&R from BMG, Tileyard and ambitious music selection from the music supervisors at Love Island. 

John> We loved every step of the process. The level of quality in the Tileyard students' work is astounding. Great productions, great songwriting and great mixes. Seeing the album released on the BMGPM site and then hearing the tracks get synced on exciting TV shows/key moments makes it all the more rewarding.

Aldous Solano> Hearing Jamie Duffin, the producer of our track, return from the toilet exclaiming, "I've got a wee idea!" in his natural Scottish accent.

Namywa> Getting a song cut with Tileyard and BMG - as well as meeting the amazing producers on the camp, especially BR!DGE who I still connect with to this day.

LBB> And finally students, how do you hope to grow your music career in the future?

B.B.Cole> I'm working on my own artist project (country-soul singer/songwriter style) as well as on songwriting projects like corporate songs (already did a few with my team) and songs for other artists, e.g. in other camps.

Aldous Solano> I hope to grow my music career by writing with peers, producing other artists, and by writing songs for sync and ad-licensing. My first love has and always will be, production as a songwriting and narrative tool. I also hope to one day break into the film foley scene! With that said, I'll mention, scoring for films, games, or TV is a dream of mine as well!

Jordan Round> I have been building my songwriting empire for years now, achieving over 25 million streams independently and cuts with majors and independent labels. I will be growing my portfolio and catalogue with more cuts and syncs, meeting incredible writers and hearing their story and learning and growing through each opportunity I work day in and day out for!

Namywa> I hope to grow my music career by signing a publishing deal and be songwriting for myself and others more and attending camps both in the UK and in the USA. I would love to fly out to Nashville and make some connections and of course some beautiful music. I'm working on new music at the moment, so I would love to release a project in 2023 and see what happens.

Madeleine 'MINX' Dunbar> I have recently had a baby and have had to slow things down a bit, but I have two projects I have been steadily completing. One of these projects 'Suggestive Biscuit' will be the soundtrack to a feature film I will be starring in.

Emma Horan> I am excited to release all new music and do live gigs! I hope to continue to sign more deals for sync and hopefully cut some big tracks for other artists too! 

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BMG Production Music, Thu, 17 Nov 2022 08:33:32 GMT