Interview with songwriting student Reya-Jayne

We catch up with the recipient of the Hattie Longfield bursary to find out more about her first year at ICMP...


We were delighted to welcome Victoria Keene to ICMP last September as the recipient of a scholarship set up in memory of songwriter Hattie Longfield.

Victoria, now working as Reya-Jayne, is studying songwriting with us, beginning her studies last year thanks to the bursary established as a tribute to Hattie who sadly passed away in 2014.

We caught up with Reya-Jayne to learn more about her first year in ICMP’s songwriting community…              

How has your first year at ICMP been?

A large part of my first year has been focused on settling in to life in London – and I am loving it!

The change of scenery from busking on the high street in Sheffield to busking on Oxford Street has definitely taken some adapting to but the experience of being a musician in London is incredible." 

In terms of classes, I have thoroughly enjoyed the modules I've completed this year. While it has been challenging studying areas of music I have little experience in such as production, I have learned so much and am already so excited to return for my second year.

What's been the best piece of advice you've received while studying with us at ICMP? 

I think the best piece of advice would have been that as great as it is to try and release music now, we're at ICMP to learn and become the best we can possibly be at our craft. So it may be best to hold off officially releasing anything until we're sure it's as good as it can be. That way you start off giving the best impression you can. 

What's been the best thing about studying at ICMP? 

Definitely being around other musicians with the same drive and goals as you.

Seeing others work hard and progress pushes you to do the same with your own music and is the most productive environment to be in!" 

I was so shocked at the beginning of the first year at how much I was writing and how everyone around me was interested in what I was creating as much as I was about their writing. 

Who are your current favourite artists? 

Currently I’m loving The Shires catalogue. I’m really interested in their career as the first UK country act to really have an impact both here and in the US; they’re really paving the way for other British country artists to follow. I'm also really enjoying a couple of American country acts: Maddie & Tae and Kelsea Ballerini. I would have to say an all time favourite would still have to be Taylor Swift though, despite her move away from country. 

What are your aims for your musical career? 

Like most of us at ICMP I would love to make a career out of performing and releasing music. The goal of course is to do this on a large scale and I will always keep working towards that goal. However, so long as I'm still playing and writing to earn a living I'll be happy. 

Visit Reya-Jayne on Facebook to find out more.

Study music in London with ICMP

If you're interested in developing your musicianship,  learning from our regular industry guests and collaborating within the vibrant ICMP creative community, then speak to our Admissions Team. They're on hand to help you find the right course that matches your ability and aspirations.

Contact the team on 020 7328 0222 or via email and start your music career today.

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by ICMP staff writer
August 8, 2018
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