Urthboy, Ecca Vandal, Alice Ivy, more share their best songwriting tips following Nando's Music Exchange

Urthboy, Ecca Vandal, Alice Ivy, more share their best songwriting tips following Nando's Music Exchange

The Australian music figures all came together for a pair of Australian workshops in March, with Tkay Maidza currently leading another in London.

In case you aren't aware, Nando's are one of the many companies pushing for some much-needed workshops and events amongst the music scene both here and abroad, with the Nando's Music Exchange being just one part of their plan to better promote music around the world. It started in the UK three years ago but has since grown to include Australia, Canada and South Africa, bringing together a bunch of different artists - both small and large - and allowing them to share and build upon ideas, with people like the UK's Stormzy, Example and Ella Eyre joining Australian names such as Alice Ivy, Urthboy and currently, Tkay Maidza leading the pack. The former of those two names, along with people like Ecca Vandal, Andy Bull, Pez and Cloud Control's Alister Wright, were just a few of the names involved with an Australian expansion of the program to Sydney and Melbourne in March, with Tkay currently leading another program in London right now.

The London event going down at the moment saw six Australian music students travel to the UK to collaborate with Tkay Maidza on a series of workshops, and by the sound of it, it's going down a treat. "I’m really excited to be travelling to London to take part in the Nando’s Music Exchange as a mentor," said Tkay ahead of the program earlier this year. "Hopefully I can share some of my experiences with the participants and be inspired by meeting so many new people!" To celebrate their successful Australian expansion, a group of this year's participants, Alice Ivy, Alister Wright (Cloud Control), Andy Bull, Ecca Vandal and Urthboy, have shared some of the biggest takeaways of the event, including tips on songwriting, collaborating and growing from your mistakes. Check it all out below, and check out more deets on Nando's involvement with the music scene HERE.

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Alice Ivy on approaching Bertie Blackman:

“I’m a collaborative artist and I feel that collaborating is the best way to get better at what you do. If you approach someone and work with someone that you don’t know and you go into the studio and create something, you’re both bringing the best songwriting skills to the table. When you get to a point, there’s never a point – you should always ask. The worst thing that can happen is that they say they’re too busy.”

Andy Bull:

“In every creative process, there is a hierarchy. And that changes throughout the process. But someone will be leading an idea and whoever has the energy behind that point, everyone should support that lead. Collaboration isn’t democratic, there’s a hierarchy of energy that you’ve got to support, and you don’t have to be the leader all the time.”

Alister Wright (Cloud Control):

“Communication is really important, and it’s not always perfect, so trust, trust what other people are doing, trust in their vision. If someone can see something you can, it’s important to step back and help them achieve their vision.”

Ecca Vandal:

"I developed a trust with a producer and collaborator, but the first time I was put in a room with someone else was a very scary experience. It was my very first time by myself. I didn’t know him and I was in another country and all sorts of things are running through my mind. I knew exactly who he was, and I was thinking, “does he even know what I do?... probably not”. Then came the decision, do you go in there saying “I am supposed to be here, I am validated, I am going to validate myself, or do you go in there and be really insecure?” I went in there not having any idea about what was going to happen. In two hours we had a song, in 15 minutes we had the vocals down and that is the opposite of how I usually work… The beauty of reflecting on that is there was a moment in that session where I just had to have an open mind… I had to let go of any insecure thoughts I was having, hatred towards the song, whatever it might have been, it was about having an open mind and learning so much.”

Tim Levinson (Urthboy):

“Being a musician is a really lonely existence. For the majority, you are by yourself and you are with your own doubts. You’re going to make mistakes, and those mistakes are going to be good, and they’re going to be great. You have to make mistakes in order to understand who you are. You can’t fast track that, it takes time. You have to back yourself because when you try to emulate something else, there’s always going to be an integrity problem. There is only one you with your perspective with your unique take on the world, that is what you need to trust. Trusting yourself is one of the hardest things in music. Trusting your own vision is the best place to be.”

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