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The Ivors Academy launches ‘vital’ mentor scheme with David Arnold and Kamille

Griff is being mentored by Kamille (The Ivors Academy with Apple Music/PA)
Griff is being mentored by Kamille (The Ivors Academy with Apple Music/PA)

Singer-songwriter Kamille has stressed the importance of The Ivors Academy’s “vital” new mentorship scheme as its nominees were announced.

Five British and Irish songwriters and composers have been shortlisted for the body’s new Rising Star Ivor Novello Award, each winning a spot on the year-long mentor programme with Apple Music.

They include soul singer-songwriter Amahla, Manchester-based composer Carmel Smickersgill and pop singer Griff.

David Arnold with lullahush (The Ivors Academy with Apple Music/PA)

Irish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel McIntyre, known as lullahush, and singer-songwriter Mysie also feature.

Each has been paired with mentors from The Ivors Academy – composer Anna Meredith, Chic star Nile Rodgers, Stormzy collaborator Fraser T Smith, Bond composer David Arnold and Kamille.

The Ivors Academy, which represents songwriters and composers, opened applications for the Rising Star Award last year, receiving the most for any category in its 65-year history, with 60% of entries made by female music creators.

Kamille, real name Camille Purcell, has worked with Stormzy, Sam Smith and Rihanna, and has written more than 20 tracks for Little Mix, as well as mentoring acts on The X Factor.

The singer-songwriter, who is paired with Griff, told the PA news agency: “When I look at my career, I realise that I have had mentors along the way and a lot of people don’t have that – they have to find their way on their own.

“And it’s a really hard road. This is a really hard industry. You don’t know when your next chance is going to come, or your next big break.

“You don’t even know if you are going to be able to survive and financially support yourself.

Fraser T Smith with Mysie (The Ivors Academy with Apple Music/PA)

“To have someone here to encourage you and just be there for you, help put your songs in the right place and just listen to your music. This scheme is important, vital.”

Speaking about what she wants to encourage in her mentee, she said: “The one thing I have seen is that magic in music can come from anywhere.

“I’ve been able to see how many different ways there are to have a hit. It’s never what you expect.

“I’ve learnt not to assume things and I’m a lot more open-minded now about where success can come.

“As music changes and the way people consume music changes, it’s about never expecting things and trying new things.

“From Stormzy to Mabel to Little Mix, the one thing that these artists all have is creativity.”

Multi-award winning composer Arnold, who has scored five James Bond films as well as Independence Day and Godzilla, is paired with lullahush.

Speaking about the importance of mentoring, he told PA: “It was a long struggle of finding out how things work by myself.

“And what it does is, while you are doing that, it robs you of time.

“It means you are not able to do your core thing and the core thing for me is writing.

“If I’m not writing, I feel like I am wasting my time.

“All the time new artists can’t spend doing what they are good at and enjoy is time wasted.”

He said it was important established artists “direct people who are obviously very talented in an environment that has changed so much”.

He added: “There are a bunch of other skills that you need to know about – how to get through the process of delivering your music to the audience, finding that audience and keeping them.

“The dream is to be able to fund your life by doing the work that people hopefully love so much.”

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