Interview | Reya Jayne on ICMP's Hattie Longfield Scholarship

Our Songwriting student lets us in on her scholarship and ICMP experiences...


Victoria Keene, recipient of support from ICMP's Hattie Longfield Scholarship, will be graduating this summer from the BA Songwriting course

Victoria, who records as Reya Jayne, has enjoyed a great three years, releasing her debut single and visiting Nashville during her time with us. 

Read more about the highlights of her musical journey...

How have you found your time at ICMP over the last three years? 

My time at ICMP has been full of creativity, hard work and amazing friendships! It has been tough at times, don’t be fooled, as a songwriting degree packs in a strong workload! But I have thoroughly enjoyed this chapter of my life and am so grateful to have spent it at ICMP. 

Could you talk about some of the highights? What have been your favourite moments? 

My highlight was definitely Nashville 2019. The opportunity was part of the reason why I chose ICMP in the first place! As a country artist that had never been to the US, this was life changing."

We went to the Tin Pan South Songwriting Festival which meant we saw literally hundreds of Nashville’s best songwriters play in writers rounds and met a fair few including Amy Wadge. I also managed to get up on stage with Liz Rose to sing 'You Belong With Me' which I think is a highlight of my life never mind just my three years at ICMP! I also wrote my debut single 'Homeless' while we were out there which was a huge milestone for me. 

Another highlight of the actual course content is getting to learn all about the business side of the industry. I found a real interest in marketing and love this part of self releasing!

What have been the key things you've learned? Have their been any stand out bits of advice? 

I think the songwriting course really takes you from just being able to write a song to understanding and enhancing the craft that goes into it. There were a lot of techniques I was using and didn’t even realise, and some that I had never even considered! As for advice, ICMP's Careers and Industry Hub have coached me through the campaigns for both of my releases so far and that help really has been invaluable. 

How has studying music in London been? 

I am so grateful to have experienced living in London for three years and will definitely be returning when the world is put to rights after corona. It’s not the stereotypical university experience but it’s an experience of its own! I have always busked back home in Sheffield, so getting to do that with the backdrop of Oxford Circus and join the London gigging circuit has been surreal. 

How do you think you've grown as a songwriter during your time with us? 

I have really found my own sonic identity, particularly in third year.

I always knew I would be a country artist but the collaboration opportunities with producers have really helped me to find the perfect balance between contemporary and traditional country with a little bit of pop in there." 

How important has winning the scholarship been in enabling you to develop your musical skills? 

Winning the scholarship gave me a huge confidence boost that choosing to follow my songwriting dreams was the right choice and was really something I was good at! I think it was also confirmation to my family that I was good enough as well. I’m now leaving uni with a whole lot less debt which means I can invest more into my career going forward including recording and releasing more, with plans for an EP early next year!

What are your next steps post ICMP?

I’m trying to pursue my music full time through busking and performing (when the pandemic dies down of course), and getting back into the studio to get to work on recording that EP!

Visit for more information and listen to Reya's debut single, 'Homeless' , below. 

Write songs that last for generations

A great song can become truly timeless, remembered for generations as part of the world’s cultural legacy. Whether you want to craft a killer melody or pen poetic lyrics, our tutors will teach you everything you want to know, including all the production, performance, professional and entrepreneurial skills needed to ensure that your unique creations get the recognition they deserve. You’ll also benefit from A&R-style critique sessions, collaborative opportunities, access to fully equipped live rooms, recording studios and tech suites, and a community of inspiring contacts and friends.

To catapult your songwriting and music career to a whole new level, email our friendly Admissions Team at or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Songwriting courses
by Jim Ottewill
July 22, 2020
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