The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) were pleased to recently welcome songwriting royalty and Mary J. Blige writer Teedra Moses for an exclusive masterclass at their London campus. Presented by the Academy’s Head of Creative Industry Development, Ace (also the guitarist in Skunk Anansie), the session covered her extensive career and advice to students on how to get ahead in the music business.
After an introduction from Ace, Teedra began the class by explaining how she started her career in songwriting. Having originally started out as wardrobe stylist, Teedra unfortunately broke her leg; an incident that made her reevaluate her career options, and ultimately led her to make the life-changing decision to become a songwriter.
Spending her whole career signed to an indie label, Teedra explained to students how they had to be resourceful when setting up their careers. One tip she shared was for them to tour with other artists to increase their fanbase and her money saving tips included learning to perform with a cut down band if you can’t afford to take a full band on tour.
When speaking about songwriting, Teedra stressed the importance of a good work ethic and advised them to surround themselves with a good team to enable them to focus on their art and not worry about being a ‘jack of all trades’.
Students were keen to find out about the importance of utilising social media for an artist’s marketing campaign and Teedra explained how she loves the fact you can cut out the middleman and now speak directly to fans. When sharing her advice for how to stand out in a crowded online market, Teedra told students they needed to find a voice and be different, “find a niche and give people a reason to be interested in you.”
The class drew to a close with an intimate and spur of the moment vocal performance from Teedra at the request of a student.
Before heading off for her flight, Teedra posed for photos and answered as many questions as she could. The students left feeling inspired and ready to get going in the world of music. It was clear that Teedra also really enjoyed her ACM experience saying;
“My first impressions of ACM are that it’s a really cool space. Everyone seems to be very relaxed – it doesn’t seem like an institution which is really cool. It seems to have a lot of facilities that will help the students to be more versed in going out into the industry and being productive.”