Croydon Composers

By Asjad Nazir.

Composing a collective hit.

CROSS-GENRE musical collaborative project Croydon Composers proved to be so popular in 2017 that it has made a triumphant return this year, providing another admirable platform for new British talent.

Acclaimed musician Shri Sriram is once again leading a project where upcoming Croydon-based musicians team up for various collaborative projects which are performed live. The first performance took place recently at the Oval Tavern in London and the next will be staged at the Boxpark in Croydon on December 2.

I caught up with Shri Sriram to find out more about an opportunity-filled musical project that introduces new talent to one another.

What’s Croydon Composers about?
Croydon Composers is about cross-cultural and crossgenre collaborative compositions between musicians in Croydon. The project is designed to focus on the strength of collaborative composition between musicians from various communities who bring their own styles, genres and various approaches to music making. We also conduct music industry workshops for the participants to cover many aspects of the music industry including publishing and finance.

Shri Sriram

How did you choose this year’s performers?
We have three partners – me, Shirin Sriram who is co-founder and project manager of Croydon Composers, and Michael Fuller, who is in charge of business and legal affairs. We researched lots of musicians, many of them online, and made a shortlist, which was hard as there are so many talented musicians in Croydon. We then confirmed the participants
based partly on their willingness to try new ideas and work in collaboration with other musicians.

We try to have as much variety as possible so that the collaborations are exciting,
challenging and meaningful to the people of Croydon and beyond.

What are you hoping they will gain from their experience with Croydon Composers?
Bettering their compositional skills, understanding cross-cultural composition and how and
where to meet collaboratively are major strengths for a musician.

We also want all musicians on this project to be aware of the business aspects too, including subjects like royalties and various streams of earning, which they could carry forward into their own careers.

Croydon Composers made its debut last year. How does the project differ
this time round? 
Last year was our pilot project, but we still had people who had never composed
before going away feeling like they had become empowered and much more confident in their careers.

This year we have grown in size and experience, so we have more participants. In fact, I am a collaborator myself this year as a writer and performer with a few of the participating artists, supporting or enhancing what they do.

Will the music be available to the public for download or purchase?
The music will definitely be available freely as soon as it is ready via the website and Soundcloud links.

This year’s big concert is at Box Park in Croydon. How will you stage the gig
and what do you hope audiences will enjoy most about it?
We have decided the gig should be on a Sunday afternoon with free entry via Eventbrite registration – this is so families and friends of the participants can easily attend and so Croydon residents can be proud of the talent surrounding them. We would love for students from Croydon College, the Brit School and other Croydon schools and colleges to attend the
performances and enjoy the music made by the people around them.

Tell us a little more about the Young Croydon Composers?
We are also in the process of putting together Young Croydon Composers. They
will also perform at Boxpark alongside the adult composers. We are partnering with Croydon Music and Arts, Sangeetha and Music Relief on this.

Finally, what do you like about Croydon?
I love the multi-culturalism in Croydon. We have some amazing local artists on our project. Croydon Composers makes me feel like we are involved at the start of something cool and new.

Croydon is bubbling with positive cultural activity at the moment. It has been named the music borough of the country and is at the forefront of music in genres such as dubstep, grime, rap and reggae music for some time now, with current artists like Stormzy and Grime duo Krept and Konan. We have reggae legend Mad Professor, the London Mozart Players, and Britschool around the corner – we are rich with musical talent.

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