Some of our artist don't play an instrument... but they can write a melody and a lyric. I enjoy these moments, because, from a selfish point of view, they give me a really fun creative opportunity to create the music from scratch; to work out the chords, find an interesting way of playing them, and to try and hear what the song is telling me it wants to be! I'm a great believer in that. No doubt every producer, each different musician, will hear a song tell them it wants to be something different, there's not necessarily a definitive version of any song... but in terms of what it tells me, it is often clear, and in my own perception, at least initially it can seem fairly definitive. The trick is learning to hear what the song is telling you!

The great joy of this is - you take a simple melody, and lyrical theme and you get to build this whole thing around it! On the first occasion I had the privilege of doing this for one of our BIRD artists it went like this. We'd finished doing a cover version and I asked if they had any original songs. Yes they did. So in the last few minutes of the session I asked if they'd sing it to me. They duly obliged... a little self consciously, which was totally understandable, as they had no accompaniment and they hadn't known me long... nevertheless, courageously they shared their composition. 'Right' I said, somewhat to their surprise 'we'll record that next week!'

The following session, we still had no music, but the young artists was confident enough in their singing to be able to pitch the song and stay in key unaccompanied by anything other than a click track. This provided a guide track for me to work to.

In the time before the next session I put something together, guitar chords, drums, a string part, a lovely little synth 'hook' etc, and at the start of the next session played it to the artist. 'This is your song'... I said. It could have taken me all week long and it still would've been worth it to see the look on our young artist's face.

As a songwriter in any situation there are few better moments than when you hear the thing that only previously existed in your head coming back at you played by your band or out of some studio speakers. But when you are a new, developing artist it is amplified to something else... It stands for something. It suddenly gives you belief, 'I am a songwriter, I know because... that's my song I'm hearing!'. I could see this in the very moment this young artist heard their song back at them. Almost perceptibly, I saw them in that moment grow a few inches taller, and I saw on their face a look that went chronologically from wonder, disbelief, bewilderment and then joy! I will never forget it.