How to build your songwriting career with ICMP student Beckie Margaret

ICMP songwriting student Beckie Margaret tells us how she's taken her music from her bedroom to BBC 6 Music...


From being named as one of the 'Sound of 2018' artists by BBC Essex's Introducing team to announcing a new show at London’s St Pancras Old Church, the music of ICMP student Beckie Margaret should be all conquering in 2018.

Born and raised in sunny Southend, Beckie is an alternative/atmospheric folk singer songwriter studying songwriting with us here at ICMP. She's enjoyed some great success over the last few months featuring on BBC 6 Music and Radio X. She's now looking at a big year with a gig at the beautiful St Pancras Old Church on Thursday 17 May. With all this going on, we decided to get to know more about Beckie and her music in our new interview... 

How did you first start off in music? Was there a song or a person who kicked off your musical journey? 

I always loved writing and poetry from a really young age, then at age eight I picked up a guitar and became curious of what it would be like putting poetry to music. That’s how I started writing songs and it blossomed from there. 

Who are your musical heroes? 

Growing up with a Liverpudlian dad, The Beatles are definitely up there at the top of my musical heroes. Amy Winehouse, Jeff Buckley, and artists who are real and honest. I love the type of music that you hear, and feel like the artist has been saved by what they managed to write/craft. 

What current projects are keeping you busy?

I work under the artist name Beckie Margaret. This is my main focus at the moment, working on building my career and fan base. Focusing on writing and releasing music to show growth, as a DIY artist. 

How do you approach the creative process? Have you a method or way into your songs? 

Thanks to ICMP I have so many ways of approaching writing that I adore and that keep it exciting and new for me."  

Free writing, concept poetry, working with melody first, or starting with harmonic chords and structure. I always make sure I switch it up and work with whatever I’m feeling that day. I think it’s important to keep it flowing, so have options you can choose from. 

How did you find yourself on Radio X? And how important is this kind of coverage to developing your audience and as an artist? 

John Kennedy heard my debut single and supported me from really early on, after being invited to play his Radio X night at Tooting Tram and Social, he invited me for an interview and live radio session. I’m so thankful for it and the coverage on radio is so important to increase exposure and have the opportunity to catch peoples eyes/ears. 

You've also found your way onto BBC 6 Music's Roundtable? - How did you get your music heard on here? Could you explain a little bit about how this works? 

Thanks to my manager, who was able to show Steve Lamacq my music, he has really championed and supported me from the beginning. I have then been lucky enough to have both my singles on the Roundtable. Steve Lamacq has been a massive support and part of the beginning of my journey. I think it’s important to be resourceful of connections in the music industry as this opportunity would’ve been difficult to grasp otherwise. 

You're a student at ICMP - how important has your time here been to shaping you and your music? And what has been the most important thing you've learned while here?

Studying at ICMP has been the best decision as a writer and artist. My music has and is growing in ways that I’ve always wanted it to and that is thanks to the songwriting course." 

It’s difficult to say what the most important thing I’ve learnt is here, as everything that is taught comes together to create a beautiful experience and opportunity for hard work, rewards, and blooming into whoever you want to be. 

Have you any top advice for songwriters?

Keep writing. All the time. Just write and write and something you create will make you proud. Don’t expect results if you don’t write as much as you can. Magic doesn’t happen without hard work and persistence.

Songwriting is like being a carpenter, it’s a craft that must be learnt to sculpt something beautiful from." 

What does your musical future have in store? 

Hopefully building the ‘Beckie Margaret’ brand into an niche market that is successful. I just want to write and play. to be honest. If I can build an empire from that then amazing. I want my music to make people feel like they aren’t alone, then my job is done. 

Visit Beckie Margaret's Facebook page for more information. 

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by Jim Ottewill
January 31, 2018
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