In order to give potential new students an idea of what to expect whilst studying a performance course at BIMM, we decided to interview some of our heads of department, to help give a glimpse of the people behind the courses. We spoke with Becky Jones – Head of Songwriting at BIMM London – to hear all about her favourite masterclasses, her proudest moments and her golden tip for aspiring songwriters.
What have been your favourite masterclasses?
There have been some great ones, I think perhaps the most nerve wracking being when I hosted Ronnie Spector. She is a force of nature, even now, and she serenaded us with a rowdy acapella performance of ‘Baby I Love You’. Another great guest we have enjoyed is the musician/author Daniel Rachel, who has visited twice to share his insights into top UK songwriters and their methods. His first book ‘Isle of Noises’ is a sort of modern British answer to ‘Songwriter’s on Songwriting’ by Paul Zollo. It’s an amazing collection of frank interviews with some of our most successful UK writers.
In your opinion, what are the best facilities at BIMM?
It’s a difficult one, because the building is full to bursting with excellent equipment. But I have to say, being a graduate myself, that the community fostered by the college is actually the best thing about it. You find yourself in a building 7 days a week full of fellow musos, music managers, future label heads, journalists, performers, producers, writers, promoters, etc. It’s a buzzing hive of collaboration and activity.
What inspired you to become a songwriter?
I think it was the realisation that my voice didn’t suit the music I was always being given to sing. So, I decided to start writing songs for my voice.
Proudest moment of your career so far?
Hmm, there’s been so many, I’m immensely proud of my last album ‘In The Seams’, because I got to self-release it exactly how I wanted. But if you’re looking for a glitzy one then maybe headlining the John Peel stage at Glastonbury and it being televised.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for BIMM students?
Do it because you have to, because it makes you who you are. Don’t do it for anyone or anything else.