Want to learn how to write and record catchy chart-topping pop songs at Eliot Kennedy’s Steelworks - the ‘Abbey Road of the north’? Well now you can, writes Graham Walker.
Wannabe pop stars and song-writing producers are getting the chance to follow in the footsteps of the Grammy award winner at his base on the cventre of Sheffield.
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Week long courses are underway at his Steelworks studio where he has produced some of the biggest names and written greatest hits for the likes of The Spice Girls, Take That and Bryan Adams.
He recently launched the Eliot Kennedy Steelworks Academy, offering three-month long courses aimed at developing new pop talent. That costs £10,000.
But anyone wanting a taster can now buy into an intensive one week production program for aspiring young engineers and producers.
There’s also a three-day song writing camp to give lessons in song structure, lyrics, melodies and what makes a song catchy.
And at £495 per person it’s proving a big hit with budding musicians and their families, who are snapping up the unique opportunity for Christmas presents and birthdays.
EKSA General Manager Ruth Amos, said: “The Steelworks is rightly known as the Abbey Road of the north. It has a fantastic history. Eliot is the face of it. He’s committed to Sheffield and responsible for the courses. It’s where he works. This really is an amazing opportunity to write and produce here and now it’s open to everyone.”
Hitmaker Eliot is currently working on a new Broadway and West End musical with best pal Gary Barlow.
But he’s developed the courses which are being run by his Academy Manager Luke Filsell and Chief Recording/Mix Engineer James ‘Slim’ Campbell.
Luke, who has been working with artistes including X Factor star Janet Devlin, Phillipa Hanna and boyband chart stars The Mend, started out on a Sheffield Hallam music technology course.
James joined the Steelworks team in January 2010 and has quickly become the studio’s main Engineer/Mixer. Since then, James has worked on and mixed records for stars such as The Wanted, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Steps and Andy Abraham.
Luke said: “The Steelworks production week is for aspiring engineers and producers. We will work with them to improve their skills. It’s perfect for people entering a full time education course who want to get a jump start on their fellow pupils, or people who have finished an education course and who want to get a taste of working in a professional recording studio.
“We have excellent facilities and equipment here. We have a live room that entices engineers and producers from far and wide, top class microphones and a perfect working environment. Now we are offering everyone the chance, for a full working week, to see what it’s all about.
“They will produce a band, which will include everything from miking up a drum kit, editing vocals and achieving a professional sounding mix.
“At the end of the week every one will have two tracks to take away that they can take credit for, a valuable asset for an engineer trying to prove their worth in the professional world. Not to mention we will be offering a selected graduate of the program the opportunity of a month internship at The Steelworks. This kind of opportunity is hard to come by and could prove to be a huge step in your career.
“The steelworks song writing camp is a three day program aimed at budding song writers. We provide a professional environment in which they can develop their song writing ability and expert mentors will be doing talks on areas such as song structure, lyrics, melodies and what makes a song catchy.
“Every writer on the program will leave with one song professionally recorded to add to his or her catalogue. Throughout the week there will be seminars with industry experts who will be sharing their knowledge on how to earn money from writing songs and all the complicated legal stuff that is some times over looked.
The course is about identifying strengths and development. So people shouldn’t worry if their strength is just writing lyrics and they struggle with the musical aspects such as chords or melodies, we have brilliant mentors who will be on hand to help. “
* Courses were launched this week, with more dates planned, including October 28 to 30 and 30 to 31, 2013. For more details about EKSA visit the official web site www.eksacademy.com and see www.steelworksstudios.com.