Discover the hidden talent behind the lyrics of our beloved tracks. How often do we consider the ‘Song Writers’ responsible for crafting the very essence of a song? Personally, I find that the lyrics, hooks, and chorus are what truly make a track memorable. Just days before the Novello awards, a remarkable event called ‘The Other Songs’ emerged, completely changing the game. Presented by the Ivors Academy and hosted by the incredible Al Webber, son of the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber, this celebration honored the unsung heroes behind our favorite tunes.
The event brought together real-life music industry heroes. It commenced with a mesmerizing performance by Richard Kerr, the mastermind behind the timeless hit ‘Mandy.’ Following him were a star-studded lineup of songwriters, including Fraser T Smith, renowned for his contributions to Stormzy, Dave, Adele, and Avelino, among others. Smith graced us with his own original material, showcasing the undeniable impact his writing skills have had on recent musical sensations.
Pam Sheyne, the genius behind the ultimate 90s pop anthem ‘Genie In A Bottle’ by Christina Aguilera, captivated the audience with a beautiful acoustic rendition of her hit. Nostalgia permeated the night as RuthAnne took the stage, treating us to a medley of her own chart-toppers. From ‘In The Name Of Love’ to hits she penned for Jojo and Britney Spears, it was impossible not to sing along and relive the magic of the 90s.
As a schoolgirl of the 90s, I couldn’t contain my excitement when Shaznay Lewis of All Saints performed their iconic track ‘Pure Shores.’ Al Webber added an extra layer of depth throughout the show, sharing his knowledge and purpose, reminding us how music can beautifully immortalize its creators, as demonstrated by a heartfelt rendition of a song composed by his late brother, Nick Lloyd Webber.
Witnessing the conversation between Al Webber and Andrew Lloyd Webber was truly wonderful, as it revealed the profound inspiration Al has drawn from his father’s musical influence. One of the show’s major highlights was Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics reconstructing ‘Sweet Dreams’ through storytelling and captivating sound, culminating in an EPIC performance of the classic. The presence of musical royalty was palpable, particularly during Rick Nowels’ mind-blowing performance.
While the event showcased big names, it also provided a platform for emerging talent, featuring students from The Brit School. Standout performances by Suren, Rachel Chinouriri, and a personally unforgettable moment when a singer brought in by Jimmy Napes delivered a stunning rendition of Sam Smith’s ‘I Know I’m Not the Only One’ left a lasting impression.

The audience was buzzing with anticipation throughout the night, particularly for the legendary A.R. Rahman. His fans were treated to an extraordinary performance at the illustrious London Palladium, as screams of excitement echoed every time his name was mentioned. AR Rahman concluded the night in true Bollywood style, delivering a mesmerizing showcase of his biggest hits, even graced by an appearance from his talented son. The profound impact Rahman has made on the music industry and his invaluable contribution to representing South Asian music globally were undeniably evident.
Entering ‘The Other Songs,’ I had no idea what to expect, but I left with a newfound appreciation and respect for songwriters. I gained valuable insights into the evolution of the songwriting process, discovered emerging talents, and, most importantly, had the privilege of witnessing the original creators perform my favorite songs. What an absolute treat it was!