Getting to hear the real LA
Vocalzone teamed up with The Famous Company to give artists a real insight into the entertainment capital of the world.
Whether it’s Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Sunset Boulevard or Long Beach, the glamour of Los Angeles is well-documented and world famous. Those names resonate with anyone, whoever you are and whatever job you do. These are places that are both iconic in the world of music and in film, and they are the places of dreams, creativity and innovation. Or so that’s what we’ve been told. We and The Famous Company wanted to know what it is really like in LA. How do you succeed in the entertainment capital of the world? What does it take to make it? Is LA as glamorous as they say it is?
Last year, Vocalzone teamed up with The Famous Company, an award-winning British music company, to give five emerging artists from the UK an insight into life in the City of Angels. In March, synth-pop artist Jemma Tweedie, R&B singer Keri Whip and dance-pop artist Kerri Mackay jetted off to LA to experience music production LA style, and in September, Jemma returned to LA alongside electro-popper Bradley Say and rapper Kay Kumar.
Speaking before the trip in March, Jemma said: “I can’t wait to head out to LA and work alongside some really great writers and producers. I’m hoping this is just the start of bigger things to come, but I know I can’t let up if I want to become the best musician possible. I hope this trip allows me an opportunity to become a more experienced artist with some great new songs”.
Watch Lilura’s L.A. Live Session – ‘Monster’
Watch another Lilura’s Live Session – ‘American Boy’ cover
What awaited Jemma and the rest of the artists on the West Coast was a whirlwind week of writing, video production and networking. We gave them the best, but also the most demanding, of what LA has to offer, teaming them up with the top writers, producers and directors in California. And what a week they had!
Here’s an awesome L.A Live Session with Cameo Adele & The Black Noise – ‘Open Up’
Over seven days artists recorded original songs, filmed a series of acoustic videos on board the world famous HMS Queen Mary, which is now docked in trendy arts district Long Beach, and also had the opportunity to work with LA based artists who have been working with The Famous Company since their US launch in Beverly Hills last year. We pushed them to work hard and we encouraged them to blog about all of their experiences. We showed them the landmarks and the attractions but also helped them to experience LA’s rich, often intense, culture of artistic expression and creativity.
The Black Noise performing original song ‘Holywater’ | L.A. Live Session
“I think LA is an absolutely amazing place, it’s full of creative people,” said 24 year old Jemma (known as Lilura by fans), after the trip. “I find it really inspiring. It’s so chilled out; it’s such a happy environment I feel like when you’re out here because you’re submerged into that creative environment, it’s like an intense week of just making music and creating videos and really working hard on your craft. It was really important that, as an artist, I didn’t just stick to my hometown and was pushed out of my comfort zone and experiment that little bit more… it helped me establish who I wanted to be.”
Here’s the last but not least of the L.A. Takeover Live Session video by Cameo Adele – ‘Sure Thing’
And when we witnessed the results from the trip, we knew we had to team back up with The Famous Company to offer another UK exchange trip to Los Angeles. Whether it was Bradley Say’s stripped back version of ‘Visionnaire’ on the HMS Queen Mary, or reading up about the artists’ experiences of being pushed by the best to find their best, we knew we’d got to the heart of what you need to succeed as an emerging artist: committing hard work and being prepared to embrace the creativity and culture around you.
“Our Exchange Programme has proved to be incredibly popular,” says Ben Rees, CEO of The Famous Company. “It is now in its second year and we’re looking for artists to go on our third trip. The whole point of the Exchange Programme is to give UK artists that once in a lifetime opportunity to experience music in the entertainment capital of the world but also to help them understand the reality of an often harsh and hard music industry. We provide them with a chance, and we help them make the most of it whilst they are there.”