ON the Radar is a weekly feature showcasing the hottest new local acts. This week, Amelia Bronger speaks to Brighton-based acoustic songwriter Amelia Caesar-Homden about her musical inspiration, the best places to gig around Brighton and why studying at BIMM was the best decision she ever made.

When did you start writing your own material?

I’ve been playing the guitar for 14 years and I’ve been writing my own songs since I was 12. I walked into my guitar lesson one day and my teacher, John Arran, asked me if I would consider writing a song. I said “no” as if he was crazy, but I wrote about ten songs that week. He pushed me every week, a bit more each time, so I owe him a lot.

When did you decide that you wanted to study for a BA in Songwriting at BIMM Brighton?

Despite always having a passion for music, I was originally going to study French and Spanish at university. It wasn’t until my Alevel music teacher introduced me to BIMM that I fell in love with the idea of studying songwriting. I went for an open day and as soon as I got home I rejected my university offers. Even though it seemed a risk at the time, it was the best decision I could’ve made.

Do you feel BIMM has helped you achieve your goals with song writing?

BIMM has taught me so much. I’ve developed a ridiculous amount and my passion for songwriting has grown. I’ve been here for a year-and-a-half and I’ve played events in Oslo and Stockholm, which is just mad. BIMM has taught me a lot in preparation for the music industry and how to protect my music and how to self-manage and promote.

Why Brighton?

I grew up in Shrewsbury, where everyone knows everyone and there’s nothing going on. When I discovered how much life there is in Brighton I knew I had to be there. I love how you can do and wear anything here and no one questions it. The music scene is like no other and there’s such an appreciation for any genre.

Which singer-songwriters have influenced you the most and why?

Ben Howard. He’s a complete genius. His lyrics, combined with his guitar melodies, just get me. My guitar playing is heavily influenced by him.

What would you describe your style as, considering you have quite a unique and quirky voice?

I write ambient-folk music. I’ve started playing around with reverb and delay, which has transformed my music. It’s created a bigger sound. I’m acoustic currently but I’ve been writing with my electric a lot more.

Where in Brighton is your favourite place to gig? Do you gig often or have anything coming up soon?

My favourite place to gig is Marwoods Coffee Shop as it’s such an intimate venue. I’m supporting Ellie Ford at The Green Door Store on February 19, which I’m really looking forward to as that is my favourite venue to see live music but I’ve never played there before.

Which of your own songs are you most proud of and why?

Skin and Bones at the moment, as it’s a really personal song. It’s all about selfconfidence and the pressures of society. I’ve had a lot of people tell me the lyrics are really hard-hitting. It has encouraged people to open up and it’s also promoted more self-love which I think is very important.

What advice would you offer to anyone starting off in music now?

Work harder than you realise you can and do not compare yourself with anyone else – you are you and your music is your music. If you want to be a performer than get out and do it. Get to know promoters and make sure they know you.

For more information visit:facebook.com/ AmeliaCaesar