by Kristian Vader
You know that phrase people often throw around when talking about their most favoured friends and acquaintances .. the one that goes .. You couldn’t wish to meet a nicer guy ! .. Well, actually you Could ! .. and his name is Tim Fraser !
So, as Tim is very firmly entrenched in many aspects of the music industry .. I’m sure you’ll excuse the accurate but incredibly blatant pun when I describe him as a man with many strings to his bow ! (pause for laughter) .. ok .. bet it got a smile at least !!
Tim Fraser, multi-platinum selling songwriter and producer, is also Tim Fraser, Basca Board Director, Deputy Chair of The Basca Songwriters Executive, Guest Lecturer in copyright, music business and songwriting at The London School of Music, The Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and at Metropolis Studios London. Tim has written and produced songs for a long list of artists and includes Lulu and Tina Turner amongst the Headline acts he has written for .. and he is always in big demand at industry social and networking events where I have, on occasion, found tranches of would be hit writers patiently awaiting an opportunity to engage with him and maybe glean some snippet which will lead them to that holy grail which is a top ten hit !
And not only does Tim have the odd snippet .. He’s a fountain of the kind of ‘pearls of wisdom’ that every aspiring songwriter should hear and embrace .. and, all delivered in such an unfussed, unassuming and matter-of-fact manner that you may not even realise the significance of what you’ve heard until you replay it in your head .
We were standing at the wrong end of the coffee queue in Caffe Nero as we launched into
conversation about the evening’s event, his recent trip to the USA (and Nashville specifically) and .. more broadly about the subject of Songwriting in general ..
“You just don’t know which one is going to get the cut “.. he told me .. “I recently worked with a very well known songwriter and we spent a week collaborating and crafting songs with each other.. and towards the end of the week I’d kind of become a bit reticent (author interpretation ) about sitting down to write for another day … but I did it !! .. and You know .. we pitched the song and out of a week’s worth of material we loved much better .. it got cut by a famous US act, so you Just Dont Know !!”
“Have you got anything in the competition ?” he asked me .. “Got knocked out in the final heat of the 1st Round” I told him and I smiled as I thought about what he had just said to me.
Tim went on to tell me all about his trip to Nashville.. a crazy dinner with friends including awesome Kim Richey, who has also recently flown in to the UK to take part in the judging of #NextBigSongwriter .. and .. at that point .. suddenly the coffee queue disappeared .. “What are you having?” he asked .. as Martin Sutton, Songwriting Academy dynamo and erstwhile co-writer with Tim .. appeared .. and I paused to take fotos .
The evening went exceptionally well with some very very talented songwriters competing for a place in the finals and Tim, Martin and producer and manager Paul Kennedy seemed to take it all in their stride .. which as true professionals. you’d kinda expect but still feel reassured to see it happening.
At the end of the evening there was an electric buzz in the air as everyone engaged in excited conversation and congratulated the Winners and, as Tim passed me on his way out .. he looked and said in his usual matter-of-fact way .. ‘Ive just started to get more exercise .. I’ve joined a gym .. and .. You know what surprises me .. ?? I think I actually LIKE it !! “
I smiled … and smiled .. at a parting comment typical of the very down to earth and wholly personable Tim Fraser .. Hit Writer .. Mentor.. Judge . Basca Super Man and all round NICE GUY as in . ‘The ‘Nicest’ !!
If you happen to bump into Tim and have the pleasure of chatting to him at an event .. Enjoy ! And remember .. “You never know which songs will hit the spot ! “