In January 2011, Heidi Browne was chosen from tens of thousands of unsigned UK artists to attend the first ever BBC Musicians' Masterclass, held at Abbey Road and Maida Vale Studios in London.
'I was really surprised when I got a panicked phonecall off my local Radio Station asking why I hadn't replied to my email... I checked and saw I had been chosen to go down to London for a Masterclass hosted by all the big important people of the Music World... I booked my train down and stayed on a friend's floor the night before, as it was an early start. I took the underground and as I got off the Tube at St John's Wood I realised I was walking alongside Steve Lamacq who was also hurrying down to Abbey Road. 'Hi Steve' I said, and began a jovial conversation about music.
I gave him my album, having explained the culinary theme of the pictures, and given him a short summary of my creative family background. Next I was queuing with lots of other apprehensive musicians and producers. It felt like the first day of Uni. I eventually signed in and got my name badge.
Inside Abbey Road we went into the huge studio number one, 'the world's largest purpose-built recording studio' and we had a talk by Steve Lamacq, who had just walked the famous zebra crossing with me earlier that morning. He was interviewing the Kaiser Chiefs. Not being shy, I'd got myself a seat right at the front. It was quite bizarre. After a break, during which time I was interviewed for BBC Radio Shropshire Introducing, I went and sat back down. This time I saw a young boy who looked quite shy so I sat by him and began asking him questions about his music. He showed me his demo and told me he was 16 and from Nottingham. He was the soon to be discovered Jake Bugg. We went to lunch and I had my Abbey Road Egg sandwich.
Jake Bugg went out for a fag then we had a talk on songwriting by Radio 2's Tom Robinson, who went on, the following year to promote my song 'G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D' — see the review here.
In the afternoon I went off to Maida Vale for a demonstration on guitars, how to pick a good'un etc. I and Zoe Konez were the only girls there. We were representin' though. Check Zoe out. A welsh guy showed us to our seats. Apparently he was Huw Stevens but I was well out of the loop. After this we were bussed back to Abbey Road and we had talks from a panel of industry professionals. I handed my album to various people, from Zane Lowe to the Head of the Beggar's Group. In hindsight it would have been useful if I actually listened to Radio 1 so I knew who all these celebrities were. Unfortunately I went in pretty much oblivious. I did know who Steve Lamacq was however, as I am much more into 6Music. Overall, I thought the day was most exciting in terms of being in the studios, as the talks were all stuff I knew. The trick is handing your demo to someone who thinks they can make some decent money out of you and sadly none of the ones I handed out did me any favours. Things are looking up now however, with the BBC Introducing 'Pick for 2013' shizzle, getting a publishing deal with 'Massive Music' for 'G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D' and with the regional finals of OPEN MIC UK at The Royal Northern College of Music just around the corner... Gotta keep strumming away at it don't we.....
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