Interview | Dilys Uwagboe

We get to know our tutor and her artist project Eckoes ahead of her next London gig… 



Music tutor, artist, library music composer, costume designer - the talents of Dilys Uwagboe are many and multiplying as she makes her journey through the music industry.

Dilys' artist project - under the name of Eckoes - has taken her to different corners of the music industry, from performing at Glastonbury to clocking up hundreds of thousands of streams with her 2023 releases 'Missing You' and 'How To Run'

Her first post-pandemic show was performing the National Anthem live at Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup Community Shield match while her music has seen her tipped by Apple Music for success. 

Teaching music industry and songwriting modules to ICMP students, Dilys is now working on new album material, due to see the light of day in 2024.

In our interview, we find out more about her teaching, artistry and essential advice for new talent - you can also catch her performing in London at the Grace on 25th October

How did you start your musical journey? 

I studied a Modern Languages degree in Nottingham, went to a few vocal schools around London and then started writing music. I met a guitarist, we’d get together and write some really bad songs. That was the beginning. 

What have been your main Inspirations and influences with the Eckoes project?

For Eckoes, it’s very much a fusion of James Blake’s sonic area, his ethereal kind of nature - then a bit of Bjork in terms of her fearlessness and lack of rules, how the songs just go wherever she feels like it. At the same time, I love pop music, I have a pop kind of structure to my music. I grew up on r'n'b and hip hop. I love a big drum beat… 

Have you any favourite venues or places to watch artists? 

I kind of consumed a lot of pop and just went where everyone else went when I was growing up.

Now I live in East London so the small, underground, slightly grimy places are my favourite spots. I think they have the best live music…" 

What led you to ICMP? 

I didn’t expect to pursue teaching. It was Covid that led me to it. The year before the pandemic, I played at Glastonbury, All Points East, and across Europe, there was a bit of momentum building, then everything disappeared because of the pandemic. I needed something stable that I enjoyed, so that’s when I first started teaching. 

I know Ace, and when ICMP was looking for more tutors, he asked me to come on board. 


What do you teach at ICMP? 

I love teaching the Music Industry module, it’s something I created myself. I feel that this understanding of the business side is so important and I love delivering it, particularly as I’m living it right now. 

I’m also a board member of the Featured Artists Coalition, so understanding the industry, staying on top of what is happening and lobbying for artists is what we do. 

How have you developed Eckoes as a project? 

I think it’s a slow burn, finding the right people you want to work with. I’ve slowly come across the right publishers, a sync agent, and the PR team. I’m surrounded by very good people - producers and a band that I trust with my life too. The way forward has been trying stuff out, and meeting as many people as possible. 

Is it challenging balancing all the various roles that are required as an artist? 

It is but I’m a list-maker and have to get what I need to do out of my head otherwise I will explode. I have a military style discipline to it all. 

Should new artists operate as businesses/brands now? 

You’re an independent business and hopefully someone will want to buy into you.

In my class with students, I’m keen to show how everyone needs to understand the industry side of things if they want to make this their life. If you want to monetise this, then you need to be on top of the business, it’s really important."


How does your teaching inform your own artist material? 

Anyone who teaches knows that when you teach, you learn so much. I think I know what I’m talking about in class, then when someone asks a question, it opens up new and exciting perspectives. 

How has 2023 been for you then? 

I’ve been writing my next album and had two sold out London shows which were so good, I played at Christie’s auction house, had a placement on Love Island and have been writing library music too. All these different projects feed into and inform the other - some people say they just want to do artist music all the time but I’m not sure that’s the best way. It’s good to have variety. 

Are there any Eckoes songs that you are really proud of? 

I see them as all my children and love them all, but there’s a track of mine called 'Without Prejudice' that I love. It’s over five minutes long, I was told to make a radio version - but I kept it as is - it’s got a brilliant video too which I love and was the first time I put one together. 

From my new EP 'Fractals', there’s also a song called 'How to Run' - it’s raw, it starts with just my voice, I had to have the confidence to have my voice totally exposed. I leaked it to certain people on Instagram early, then asked me to tell me what the song means to them. They sent me some deep, emotional videos. 

Do you have any essential advice for emerging artists? 

The way we think about music and fans has changed so much, you’re no longer on a pedestal on a stage and they’re watching you from below. For you to evolve, fans have to be your community so you have to talk to engage them - not think you’re above them. Community is going to be increasingly important for us all as tech gets more advanced. 

I have a newsletter - which is my holy grail - I refuse to base my business on anyone else’s algorithm. If someone doesn’t want to engage in other ways, the newsletter is free and is a great way of staying in contact, having direct engagement. I do all sorts of stuff, give away tickets and competitions. 

It’s Black History Month in October - how has the industry evolved in the way it treats Black creatives? 

It’s quite hard to say but it’s definitely being spoken about and in the consciousness more. No sector can move faster than the society it’s in - so it has to be a pivot. However slowly, I do feel like this is happening. 

You have your gig at the Grace this month too. What’s in store for it? 

I’m a costume designer so I make different outfits for each event. I do it by hand. I used to do a thing called from furniture to fashion, take a random item and make it into an outfit - this is my first proper solo show so I need to do something extravagant and I'm trying to work out what that is at the moment. 

I’m also playing some of next year’s album at this gig, I’m so excited to get it out live. 

I’m really looking forward to getting a body of work out there. EPs and single tracks are great but feel quite fragmented. To be able to release a full artistic statement is really brilliant. 

Visit to find out more. Get tickets to the gig at the Grace on 25th October.

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by Jim Ottewill
October 11, 2023
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