Internationally renowned producer Stuart Epps is a valuable and important member of the UKSC judging panels. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his role as a contest judge as he has worked very closely with some of the most successful songwriters, bands and performers in the world. Stuart is particularly well known for his work with Elton John, Robbie Williams, Led Zeppelin, Bill Wyman, George Harrison, Paul Weller, Oasis and many others.
Stuart gets very involved with UKSC contestants. For example he took the UKSC Pop category winner "What Love Is" by Ken Brown (which he described as "unusual, beautiful, sentimental and with poignant lyrics") and worked with the writer to record a stunning new mix of the song at his own recording studios. He was also impressed by Australian winner Jaron Natoli's work and was happy to help to promote this new writer. Stuart and Jaron were both seen by millions when they were featured and interviewed on the hugely popular Today Tonight TV show when the UKSC results were announced.
London born Belle Humble is a mega successful songwriter and performer with worldwide hits from Europe to Korea to the USA and hundreds of millions of YouTube views for her songs. Most importantly she is also a past UK SONGWRITING CONTEST WINNER - so Belle knows exactly how it feels to be a UKSC entrant from her personal experience. Belle joined the UKSC judging panels in May 2019 as part of our move to involve talented and successful past UKSC entrants in the judging process and she is a very welcome addition to the team.
Some of Belle´s songwriting and performing credits and successes (and there are many) include the massive worldwide hit "Cracks" with The Freestylers. Listen to it on YouTube where it has had many millions of views over various channels (over 36 million views and counting for this one link alone). She has written songs for Paloma Faith, Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry and has had her songs featured on BBC dramas. She also wrote the massive successful K-pop hit "Russian Roulette" by the South Korean group Red Velvet which was a top three hit in South Korea, Japan and the USA and has had over 200 million (200,000,000!) views on YouTube.
Under 18s Winner Katie Kittermaster is fast becoming one of the biggest new names in UK music. After winning the Under 18s Category in 2018 Katie´song was nominated by the UKSC judges as UK representative in The Commonwealth Song Contest - and she went on to win the whole international event representing the United Kingdom with her UKSC winning song "T Shirt". She narrowly beat the Australian song entry, which was also a UKSC Finalist!! Success is following success for Katie Kittermaster and this year she has been exclusively signed and as the support act on the highly anticipated national BoysLife Tour, featuring Boyzone and Westlife stars Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy. She has also been signed as support for 2019 Ronan Keating concert dates, was featured and interviewed on BBC TV after her UKSC win, and has a busy schedule of recording and personal appearances and performances throughout the year.
As a UK SONGWRITING CONTEST WINNER Katie knows exactly how it feels to be a contest entrant from her own experience, and she will be showing a special interest in the Under 18s entries this year as well as helping wiith other categories. We are very happy and proud to have been an important part of Katie´s career so far and we look forward to working with her on the judging panels for the 2019 UK Songwriting Contest. Visit Katie´s website here.
Number one hit songwriter Mark Cawley joined the UK Songwriting Contest judging panels back in 2014 as a very welcome addition to the team. Mark is an award winning, chart topping, songwriter and songwriting coach with many years experience in the business. Mark's songs have sold over 15 million copies worldwide and his songwriting credentials and credits are outstanding and impressive. He has written or co-written songs for The Spice Girls, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Wynonna Judd, Kathy Mattea, Russ Taff, Paul Carrack, Will Downing, Tom Scott and more. He has also worked with legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach and he had a UK number one hit with Billie Piper's song Day and Night.
Mark´s new and very highly acclaimed book "Song Journey" went straight to #1 in five different categories on Amazon within 12 hours of its release! Mark is also a very popular blogger and a highly respected songwriting coach, as well as a UK Songwriting Contest judge, and he provides personal mentoring and coaching sessions to UKSC winners and he regularly looks in on the UKSC social media pages. Visit Mark's website here.
Shelly Peiken is well known in the music industry as a Multi-Platinum Album, Grammy nominated hit songwriter who had outstanding success with her #1 hits "What A Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby" with Christina Aguilera. She also earned a Grammy nomination for the song "Bitch" recorded by Meredith Brooks.
Shelly´s songs have been recorded by so many artists that it is not tpossible to list them all here. But any short list with just a few examples of artists that have recorded her songs must include Meat Loaf, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Ronan Keating, Backstreet Boys, Cher, Gladys Knight, Gloria Gaynor, Lindsay Lohan, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, NSYNC among other famous names. She has also had hundreds of songs placed on albums and in TV and films.
Shelly´s Serial Songwriter Facebook Page is very popular and she also writes a popular blog for The Huffington Post. She recently published her first book “Confessions Of A Serial Songwriter" to great reviews and we recommend that you watch this great video with Shelly talking about her songwriting and how it all happens here.
Susan Muranty is a songwriter, singer and artist from Sydney, Australia, who has twice won the Lyrics Only category in the UK Songwriting Contest with her Lyrics entries. She also won the UKSC Open Category as a co writer of "Stephen Hawkins Wants You To", a song that went on to become Runner Up representing Australia in the 2018 Commonwealth Song Contest.
Susan is a very creative person who lives on a mountain top in Australia where she writes, records and creates art works, mainly sculptures in bronze and recycled materials. She has worked with and recorded songs with renowned UKSC judge and hit songwriter Mark Cawley in Nashville, USA, and has been a strong supporter of the UKSC over many years.
Susan is a great addition to the UK Songwriting Contest judgding panels and she has special input into the Lyrics Category judging. As a past entrant she knows the contest from both sides and she has great empathy with the participants based on personal experience. Read more about Susan on her website at www.susanmuranty.com
Rachel Mason, is known to TV viewers as a judge on Sky TV's popular show "Sing - Ultimate Acappella" hosted by Cat Deeley, and she joined the UK Songwriting Contest judging panels in 2019. Rachel is a highly acclaimed songwriter described by HRH Prince Harry Duke of York as "an inspiration" for her work with young musicians. Rachel is also a past entrant in the UKSC anad she reached the finals in the event with her work. As a UKSC Finalist and participant Rachel knows the contest from the entrants' perspective and this personal experience greatly enriches the judging panels.
Rachel holds a Masters in Songwriting, a Bachelors Degree in music with honours, a Licenciate in Musical Theatre Performance and a Diploma in Vocal Teaching. For the last 14 years Rachel has been teaching singing, composing songs and performing across the world. Rachel has also been the BRIT awards correspondent for the BBC, and has judged choral contests, Show Choir Championships and taught masterclasses in the UK, Canada and Ireland. She also composed three musicals.
Rachel writes songs for American Idol and The Voice alumni, BBC Introducing artists and many others. She is an a cappella specialist and has judged The Voice Festival, Masters of Show Choir, The ICCAs and the CARA Awards. She teaches vocal workshops and masterclasses all over the world and also lends her expertise to the Team GB Olympic gymnasts, honing their musical interpretation skills and expression. You can discover more about Rachel at her website www.rachelmasonmusic.com
Jamie Serafi is a very talented Oscar Nominated composer with over twenty years' experience composing music for film, animation and theatre, including Feature Films, TV Documentaries, the channel identity music for a Sky TV channel and music for a Tate Modern video game.
Jamie is also the Founder and Choir Director of the well known and highly aclaimed UK "Alive and Singing Rock and Pop Choir" and he is a highly accomplished pianist and orchestral arranger.
He was nominated for an Oscar at the 2016 Academy Awards and after working with him on a film project the film producer Martin Percy said "Jamie Serafi is quite simply brilliant. He can weave together really beautiful pieces of music to match your film footage. Use him now before he gets an Oscar." Read more about Jamie, and see his impressive list of composer credits, at jamieserafi.com.
Neil Fitzpatrick is a talented British songwriter who won the UK Songwriting Contest with a song that was to become one of the world´s most succcessul charity benefit songs of recent years. Since winning the competition Neil has also been widely featured in the media and was seen by many aspiring songwriters on the popular national Sky TV series about songwriters, Tin Pan Alley.
Neil´s UKSC winning song "Apart" has been signed to a major publishing deal with the world's biggest independent music publishing company, The Peers Music Group, which means that Neil is now part of an elite group of signed songwriters that includes Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Bjork, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce and Garth Brooks. Sales of Neil's UKSC winning song (performed by the British singer Michelle Lawson) have already raised over $100,000 to date for the charity Cancer Research UK - a cause close to his heart, to which Neil has been donating proceeds.
Neil joined the UKSC judges in 2019 as part of our move to have past winners on the panels. We are sure that as a past UK Songwriting Contest Winner Neil will bring his own personal experience and insight as an entrant to enrich the judging process. His powerful UKSC winning song entry was covered by Michelle Lawson in this video.
Marc (Kipper) Eldridge (pictured with UKSC winner Emma Fitzsimons) is one of the UK's most eminent producers and composers. He has two Grammy Awards and also an Emmy Award and his albums have sold more than 15 million copies. He is well known as Sting's producer and musical director and he produced (and performed on) Sting’s album Brand New Day and the Platinum albums All This Time and Sacred Love and produced/performed on all Sting’s musical output between 1998 and 2005. He has also worked with Stevie Wonder, James Morrison, Mary J Blige, James Taylor, Richard Marx, Clay Aiken, Chris Botti, Gary Numan, Catherine Zeta Jones and Curtis Stigers among many others. Find out more at kippermusic.co.uk
Kipper has also produced and written scores for a number of Hollywood feature films and he first met Sting while working on the Sharon Stone movie The Mighty. Kipper works from his own studio in Surrey where he produces, writes and mixes for many new and established artistes alike. He also has his own record label, Extenso Music Unlimited - visit the website at extensomusic.com.
Richard Niles is an award winning Hollywood producer, arranger and broadcaster who found great success in London where he had his own studio. For much of his career he lived and worked in London and his list of credits includes Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, Westlife, Michael McDonald, Take That, Mariah Carey, Cher, James Brown, Pat Metheny, Ray Charles, Tina Turner and many more. For more info visit richardniles.com
Richard is an important member of the UKSC judging panels with a good ear for new talent and he has offered advice to many UKSC entrants. He produced and co wrote with UKSC finalist Younee and his involvement led to BBC appearance and tours of the UK and USA for the singer-songwriter. Their joint composition "Home To You" charted in the USA and won a Music Aid International Best Songwriter Award. Richard is a Doctor of Music and he has run acclaimed songwriting workshops with the UKSC in London. He recently moved back to Los Angeles where he is very busy in the local LA music scene. He continues to devote time to juding for the UKSC via the net from his studio in California. Richard also runs a highly aclaimed educational website with online workshops at nilescreativeworkshops.com
Multi award winning singer and songwriter Lucie Diamond first shot to fame in 2006 when she beat Dolly Parton and Faith Hill by winning Female Artist of the Year and also Country Artist of the Year at The European Country Awards. Since then she has toured the world with her music, she has had great success at the world famous CMA Country Music Awards in Nashville and she has topped the country music charts in many countries. Lucie was described by the UK's biggest selling newspaper, The Sun, as "The UK's number one country music export". Lucie has worked with Multi Grammy Award winners Delbert Mcclinton and Albert Lee and a host of international songwriters including Garth Brooks' writing partner Kent Blazy.
Although successful in the international country music scene Lucie is also interested in other musical genres and she is expanding into other musical styles close to her heart. As a UKSC judge she has a very personal interest in the song entries as she is always looking for new material to record. In 2014 Lucie teamed up with the successful british songwriter and composer Jamie Serafi (20 years experience writing for feature films and TV and Director of 'Alive and Singing Rock & Pop Choir' - see below) to work together as a judging team. Find out more at Lucie's Facebook page.
Simon Ellis is a remarkable and talented BRIT Award winning songwriter and producer who joined the UKSC judging panels in 2010. Simon is well known and respected in the music industry worldwide for his work as the Musical Director for the Britney Spears' world tour, and also as MD for The Spice Girls, Belinda Carlisle, East 17, D:Ream and Jamelia. He has also written and produced songs for many other top artists including John Farnham, Randy Crawford, Emma Bunton, Steps, Hearsay, D Side, Javine, Maria Lawson, S Club 7. He is a winner of the highly pretigious BRIT Awardfor Best Song and he has also won ITV Record of the Year and has been nominated for an Ivor Novello Award.
Simon's judging input and experience is particularly vaulable in the Pop category of the UKSC as he is a proven and undoubted expert in this area. Visit Simon's website at simonellismusic.com
Natalie was a winner in the UK Songwriting Contest back in 2004 at the tender age of only 11. Winning the UKSC at such a young age quickly brought Natalie to the attention of the music industry with a large feature article about her win in the UK's prestigious The Stage newspaper and interviews on the BBC and elsewhere and she was soon signed by Simon Cowell for his band Angelis. The band were a huge success and Natalie was presented with a Platinum Album Award on national TV for sales of over 500,000 copies of the band's debut album. She was also personally presented with a Special Achievement Award from the President of the Philippines (her family's home country) for outstanding achievements in music. Her career is still based in London but she is also now very popular in SE Asia and she tours the Philippines appearing on the nation's biggest and most popular TV shows there.
Natalie joined the UK Songwriting Contest panels as a judge in 2012. She said "I'm so proud of my UK Songwriting Contest win. Doing well in the contest gave me confidence in my writing and I would recommend it to anyone". Visit her Instagram page here.
UKSC judges have included many industry executives, producers, songwriters, authors, music journalists, the staff and students of The BRIT School, broadcasters and UKSC directors. Every year we are able to call on this pool of professional talented contest supporters to assist with the judging.