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While The Human League’s pioneering synth-pop sound shaped the future of music, their adventurous sonics were built upon a foundation of classic songwriting. As a founding member of the band, Adrian Wright has countless writing credits throughout their early years. It’s a run that started with their breakthrough album ‘Travelogue’ and reached a peak with the UK #1 ‘Dare’, and continued with two further Top 10 sets in the shape of ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Crash’. The jewel in the crown is ‘Don’t You Want Me’, a smash hit that will forever be a classic of both the decade and the genre, and that continues to be discovered by new audiences today.
Photo: Anton Corbijn
Based in Nashville and Los Angeles, the Grammy-winning Darrell Brown is a songwriter and producer whose work with artists such as LeAnn Rimes, Keith Urban, Ariana Grande and Bon Jovi has contributed to over 80 million sales to date.
Grounded in country and pop, Darrell Brown has also achieved significant success in an unorthodox way by writing multi-genre music specifically for one of the best-selling gaming franchises of all-time, Electronic Arts’ ‘The Sims’.
His music has also graced film and TV projects including ‘Gambit’ (written by the Coen brothers), Stephen Soderbergh’s ‘Logan Lucky’, ‘Cruel Intentions’ and ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’.
Originally a side project for songwriter and frontman Chris Carrabba, Dashboard Confessional grew to become one of the modern era’s most influential bands.
Adored for a groundbreaking sound, unwavering candour and introspective soul-searching, Dashboard Confessional were one of the forefathers of the emo scene, and Carrabba’s success was such that he was even invited to record an ‘MTV Unplugged’ show.
A near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2020 threatened to end the Dashboard Confessional story, but instead Carrabba’s new-found artistic clarity led to 2021’s ‘All The Truth That I Can Tell’ album – a strikingly potent musical self-examination informed by pure honesty and facing his vulnerabilities head-on.
David Gray’s ‘White Ladder’ was one of the biggest albums of its era, achieving 10 x Platinum status in the UK in recognition of 3 million+ sales and becoming Ireland’s all-time highest selling record.
In the process, his rich catalogue of songs – ‘Babylon’, ‘This Year’s Love’, ‘The One I Love’ and many more – set the standards for the waves of sensitive, soul-bearing singer-songwriters who have followed in his wake.
Having won two Ivor Novellos as well as BRIT, Grammy and BAFTA nominations, Gray’s subsequent albums have continued to earn critical acclaim and he remains hugely popular live – most recently selling out London’s 20,000 capacity O2 venue.
Particularly well known for his hit-making collaborations with Robbie Williams (including ‘Angels’, ‘Feel’, ‘Rock DJ’ and ‘Millennium’), Guy Chambers is one of the world’s most successful songwriters.
The multiple BRIT and Ivor Novello award winner has written or co-written countless hits all over the world for a diverse array of artists such as James Blunt, Mark Ronson, Kylie Minogue, Tina Turner and Diana Ross.
Chambers’ other creative pursuits include a solo album, ‘Go Gentle Into The Light’, co-writing the music and lyrics for the RSC’s musical adaptation of David Walliams’ ‘The Boy in the Dress’, and contributing to charitable projects such as Save The Children, BBC Children In Need, and The Justice Collective.
HIM’s mix of goth grandeur with fiery hard rock and metal established them as chart-topping stars throughout Europe while also landing Top 20 chart positions in the UK and US.
Fronted by the charismatic Ville Valo, the band’s biggest moments (‘Wings of Butterfly’, ‘Join Me’ and their take on ‘Wicked Game’) blend pop-leaning accessibility with moody atmospherics and a romantic heart. HIM have won a Kerrang! Award, a Revolver Golden God Award and have also been nominated for a Grammy.
With their numerous hit albums including a RIAA Gold-certification for ‘Dark Light’, HIM are set to be discovered by a new audience following the recent release of Ville Valo’s debut solo album ‘Neon Noir’.
Jeff Silverman is a songwriter / producer with a flair for bringing classic soul sounds to the world of mainstream pop.
It’s a talent that has generated huge success, most notably as co-writer and co-producer for Aloe Blacc’s global smash ‘I Need A Dollar’ and breakthrough album ‘Good Things’, as well as ‘Right As Rain’ from Adele’s ‘19’.
From 2004-2016 he was co-owner of the influential production house / soul revivalist record label Truth & Soul. Their varied creative endeavours have included masterminding the return of Lee Fields (subsequently sampled by J. Cole and A$AP Rocky), remixing Amy Winehouse, and reissuing the Ghetto Brothers’ lost classic ‘Power Fuerza’.
His songs particularly excel within some of the world’s biggest selling games, a niche which started when Truth & Soul hosted their own radio station in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
He subsequently became a key producer for subsequent landmark releases from Rockstar Games with Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption II.
Raised in Long Beach, Lil Peep (born Gustav Åhr) launched his career through the self-release of his music online as a teenager. He garnered attention in 2015 following the success of a slew of singles and his first solo mixtapes, ‘Lil Peep; Part One‘ and ‘Live Forever’. Over the course of two years, Peep amassed millions of fans, who connected with him through his gritty lyrics that explored themes of love, loss and loneliness.
Branded “the future of emo” by Pitchfork in January 2017, Peep’s genre-bending style contributed to his reputation as a pioneer of the late 2010s post-emo revival, dishing out a handful of full-lengths and several extended-plays all before the release of his debut album ‘Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1’ in 2017.
After his breakthrough 2016 mixtapes ‘Crybaby’ and ‘Hellboy’ made waves in underground circles, Peep toured the United States and Europe, walked the runways at Fashion Week and began collaborating with increasingly prominent artists between New York, Los Angeles and London throughout 2017. At the time of his death just two weeks after his 21st birthday, Peep had achieved status as one of the scene’s most promising rising stars.
Since his emergence in 2015, he has racked up 5 billion views on YouTube and over 20 billion streams across all platforms.
Australian singer/songwriter Missy Higgins has enjoyed phenomenal success with her irresistible melodies, seering lyrics and an authentically striking voice.
She was just 21 when her 2004 debut, ‘The Sound of White’, exploded in Australia. The nine-times Platinum, six-time ARIA Award winning album was the first of her five domestic #1’s. Her 2007 follow-up, ‘On A Clear Night’ followed with another chart topping single, ‘Steer’, plus RIAA gold-certified U.S. breakthrough hit, ‘Where I Stood’.
Missy remains one of Australia’s most revered voices. 2018’s ‘Solastalgia’ probed the existential crises that come with climate change and was accompanied by a stadium tour with Ed Sheeran while her work on the soundtrack to the acclaimed TV Series “Total Control” earned her several songwriting awards in 2022.
Emerging at the peak of Britpop, Placebo offered something very different to the dominant sound of the day: echoes of Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana blended with an androgynous aesthetic and an inclusive outlook.
The duo – Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal – have inspired a die-hard fanbase by exploring issues of sexuality and drug use within alt-rock soundscapes in tracks including ‘Nancy Boy’, ‘Pure Morning’, ‘Every You Every Me’ and ‘Special K’.
Winner of the Kerrang! Award for Classic Writer and an MTV EMA for Best Alternative, Placebo now have seven UK Top 10 albums to their credit, including last year’s ‘Never Let Me Go’. Their most recent UK tour included two sold-out London shows at the O2 Academy Brixton.
R3HAB is one of dance music’s leading lights, having already exceeded 8 billion streams, gained 70+ international Platinum and Gold certifications, and consistently peaked near the top of Spotify’s most streamed artists and DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list.
Original tracks such as ‘Around The World (La La La)’ and ‘Lullaby’ have raced to hundreds of million streams, while he is also a go-to artist both as a collaborator (Ava Max, ZAYN, Louis Fonsi, Sean Paul) and a remixer (Rihanna, Drake, Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris).
Taking diverse influences into his core dance sound, R3HAB has played landmark festivals including Coachella, EDC, Ultra Music and Tomorrowland. He also became the first dance artist to sell-out fifteen consecutive shows in China.
The Wombats’ brand of exuberant, pop-leaning indie anthems has made them one of the UK’s biggest festival bands via unforgettable singles such as ‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’, ‘Greek Tragedy’ and ‘Moving To New York’.
Yet under the fun facade, the band’s lyrics often explore topics such as mental health issues with unflinching honesty. After debuting in 2007 with the fan favourite ‘A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation’, all four of the band’s albums to date have fired into the UK’s Top 5.
They also achieved the rare distinction of scoring their first #1 album fifteen years into their career with their fifth set, 2022’s ‘Fix Yourself, Not The World’.
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