Songwriting Masterclass with Simon Aldred (Cherry Ghost)

20 May, 2015

Simon Aldred is perhaps best known to the world by his recording name, Cherry Ghost. He is a guitarist, a singer and an Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter. As well as his own successful career, Simon has collaborated with a host of fellow artists including Sam Smith, Birdy, Kwabs, Becky Hill, Rae Morris and Lianne La Havas.

Simon visited BIMM Manchester for a Masterclass session hosted by Songwriting tutor Bruce Carter, sharing his considerable musical skills and experience, including his early years getting into music, his experiences playing with a host of different bands and his contemporary approach to songwriting.

Simon performed the moving Cherry Ghost song ‘People Help the People’, for which he won an Ivor Novello Award for ‘Best Contemporary Song’. The song was a huge hit and was also covered by the young singer Birdy, helping Simon make the move into writing for other artists, which Simon discussed with the class.

“I think the key to writing a good song is producing work that makes you feel something. Live a life. Song writing can’t exist in isolation,” said Simon.

After performing a second pieced, Simon welcomed an audience Q&A session which touched on a wide variety of subjects.

Tom Deedigan, AA1 Songwriting student, attended the Masterclass:

“Simon offered a really great insight into the world of songwriting. It was good to hear his views on the differences between artistry and commercial songwriting.”

Host Bruce Carter agreed:

“Simon was a really great guest. He was really open and a great talker and shared some really valuable experience.”

BA2 Guitar student Jake Pattinson described it as, ‘a really informative session’, adding:

“Simon answered a lot of questions I think will help aid me in my own songwriting, especially regarding the time constraints that come with it. It was inspiring advice – to get out there and live!”

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