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Pitch Perfect: Songwriting Unwrapped


24 Oct 2019

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (followed by networking drinks)

Come along to our new workshop about songwriting, focussing on engaging with the industry and utilising feedback.

Black and white photo of a man in headphones taking notes in his notebook

Have a song to pitch and feeling brave? Following the success of our last songwriting workshop there will be another opportunity for you to get feedback from our industry professionals on one of your songs. Details of how to submit songs will be announced to you nearer the time - make sure you are signed up for member event emails.

Even if you don’t have a song to pitch, the workshop will allow you to:

  • Learn first-hand how some of Scotland’s successful songwriters are creating the next big hits, from electronic composition to traditional songwriting techniques and ideas. 
  • Hear from industry professionals on how they connect with artists that fit their brief and how best to approach publishers, sync agents, music supervisors and the media. 
  • Hear more from our songwriters about their experience of syncs and other opportunities for collaboration and partnership in domestic and international markets.

We are delighted to welcome the BBC’s Vic Galloway who will be talking about the best way to get your songs played on the radio and we’ll be picking his brain on his experiences of working in the industry and how these can help you, the writer. 

Our panellists offer a huge variety of experience from their diverse backgrounds and want to share some of their learning, pitfalls and successes with other MU members.

Confirmed speakers include:

Vic Galloway, Broadcaster, Journalist and Musician

Vic-New-Colour-1.jpgVic Galloway is a broadcaster, journalist, musician and author based in Scotland. From 1999 until now, he has presented weekly music programmes for the BBC for a solid 20 years, including over 11 years for Radio 1. He continues to broadcast and champion new music on BBC Radio Scotland every week, regularly on BBC 6Music and occasionally on the BBC World Service, alongside documentaries for various radio and TV networks.

As a journalist Vic has written for CLASH, Gigwise, The Skinny, The List, The Times and Sunday Herald. He is also a musician, DJ, curator and event host.

His first book ‘Songs in the Key of Fife’ (about The Beta Band, King Creosote, KT Tunstall, James Yorkston & the Fence Collective) was published 2013 and was well received. His following book ‘Rip It Up – The Story of Scottish Pop’ was published in collaboration with the National Museum of Scotland in June 2018, alongside accompanying Radio and TV series.

Amy Duncan, Songwriter

Amy-Duncan-6.jpgScottish artist Amy Duncan writes emotive songs, combining intimate vocals with acoustic guitar loops, electronics, and acoustic piano creating a folk-pop sound.

Her debut album ‘Pilgrimage’ was released on US label Plain Recordings in 2006 after they discovered Amy’s home recordings on My Space.

Amy self-released a further 2 albums achieving TV placements on BBC 3 Lip Service and the Netflix version of ‘Charmed’.

Creative Scotland funding made it possible for Amy to work with producer Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile) leading to Amy’s 4th album Cycles of Life being released on Linn Records (2013). She has gone on to record a further 2 albums with him ‘Undercurrents’ (2016) and ‘Antidote’ (2017).

Amy is currently working with an animator on a series of music videos inspired by her abstract photography, to be released gradually throughout the year, culminating in an album release / UK tour in April 2020.


Mike Macdermid, Songwriter and Northsound Radio DJ

mike-whitebg.jpgAs a songwriter, Mike has worked with artists all over the world and has recently found success in Asia.  Amongst the biggest releases were hit singles for Chinese superstars such as Cai Xukun (8 weeks at #1), Luhan (China’s best pop single of 2018), Nine Percent (1.5 million sales), Naomi Wang (13 weeks in billboard chart), K Pop artists like girl group Loona (12 #1 album charts worldwide) and 100% (#7 on Japan Oricon chart). 

Mike has several more major releases through Sony, Warner and other major labels due in 2019 and beyond. 

Mike is also the host of the Homerun show on Northsound 1 in Aberdeen. From 2006-2011 he also presented ‘The Sunday Session’, interviewing and recording sessions with artists such as The Sterephonics, Paolo Nutini, Marina & The Diamonds, Kate Nash and many more.

As an artist, Mike has sung on a number 1 American dance album, appearing in video games such as The Sims and Saints Row The Third, played on tours with the likes of Ocean Colour Scene, Wet Wet Wet and Toploader and recently hit #13 in the UK iTunes singer/songwriter chart with his debut solo release.


Josephine Sillars, Songwriter

Josephine-Sillars-Photo-(1).jpegJosephine Sillars is a musician originally from the Highlands but now based in Leeds who writes politically infused pop music.

She has performed extensively across the UK as well as in Europe and internationally, including festivals such as Belladrum, Celtic Connections and Live at Heart (Sweden). As a composer, she has provided music for various media projects and recently composed original music for 'Distant Kingdoms', a video game from Dundee based company Orthrus Studios, due for release in 2020.

Michael Sweeney, Recording & Broadcasting Official, MU

Michael-Sweeney-Photo-(1).jpgMichael Sweeney is Recording & Broadcasting Official at the Musicians Union, looking after the recorded performances of MU members. The MU is a globally respected organisation which represents over 31,000 musicians working in all sectors of the UK music business.

As well as negotiating agreements with a large number of broadcasters, film producers and companies, the Recording & Broadcasting department also provides support and advice to the MU’s Music Writer and Recording & Broadcasting sections.

Stuart Fleming, PRS for Music

SF-winter-2018.jpgWith a background as a songwriter & producer, Stuart has worked for both major and independent record labels, independent publishers and in artist management.

His current role as Senior Relationship Manager for Scotland & Northern Ireland at PRS for Music sees him work with many of the most successful Scottish and Irish songwriters and composers of the modern era, whilst creating wider industry partnerships and career development opportunities for emerging writers. He has created numerous platforms for developing song writing, composition and business skills across both countries.

Register your interest

Please email

Event location

Scottish Music Centre, City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, G1 1NQ

Join the MU for £1