Lewis Capaldi ‘discoverer’ and alumnus supports future music stars at UWS

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The talent-spotter who discovered singer Lewis Capaldi has teamed up with University of the West of Scotland (UWS) to support promising new music projects.

Scott Kirkwood, who graduated from UWS with a BA in Commercial Music in 2012, discovered and helped launch the incredible career of Scotland’s Lewis Capaldi who has went on to secure two UK number 1 singles and a number 1 album.

Recipients of the Music Enterprise award will receive up to £1k of funding, alongside a support package of mentorship, support and advice from Kingdom Management, the company founded by Scott.

Scott told Ayrshire Live: “Being enrolled at UWS opened many doors for me early on, including a role at the Scottish Music Centre where I programmed the youth tour initiative Hit The Road. This was how I first discovered Lewis Capaldi.”

“I’m proud of where I am from and hope that the success that Lewis has had will inspire others from Ayrshire, or attending the (UWS) Ayr Campus. You don’t have to be based in London to carve out a career for yourself.”

“If you want to go for it, do it. Don’t be afraid to take chances and don’t be afraid of getting shot down. You’ll hear ‘no’ a lot – in fact, you’d better get used to it. But if you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

The shortlist for the Music Enterprise award will consist of BA Commercial Music students who demonstrate strong entrepreneurial skills and have developed innovative concepts.

They will then front a Dragons’ Den-style pitch to Kingdom Management staff, who will select the winning projects.

BA Commercial Music Programme Leader Allan Dumbreck said: “This is a key initiative for UWS, and we really are delighted to be working with Kingdom Management on this award.

 “While the funding will be incredibly helpful, the real prize is the mentorship and depth of industry expertise our students will gain from working with such a successful company.

 “With artists like Aaron Smith, Catholic Action, Dead Pony, Rory James and Medicine Cabinet on their roster, the winners of the Music Enterprise award will be in the ideal environment to nurture their talents.”

Scott added: “As a company, we pride ourselves on spotting talent early, helping them to develop lifelong careers.

 “We look forward to identifying innovative future industry players from UWS, providing them with valuable feedback and support, and providing a local launch point for their professional journey.”

The BA in Commercial Music at UWS was established in 2001, and has graduated more than 1,000 music professionals, who have gone on to become key players in the UK and Scottish music scenes.

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