Ep32: Mike Batt on 50 years of writing songs, and the need for anti-gravitational brandy sauce
Welcome to my conversation with Mike Batt, recorded on 12th February 2021. Visit Mike’s website for his blog, artwork and an exhaustive list of his exciting writing credits.
[Content warning: some friendly swears.]
In this conversation, we discuss:
- how a teenage Cat Stevens inspired a slightly younger teenage Mike Batt to write songs
- blagging versus reaching – using projects to teach yourself how to do the thing you’ve been hired to do
- savvy negotiating – how refusing a one-off payment to write for The Wombles while broke led to great things
- what it feels like to bet hundreds of thousands of pounds on an artist through buying TV advertising
- writing for other people – how songwriting can be like acting
- why someone needs to invent anti-gravitational brandy sauce
Explore Mike’s work:
- Listen to “Schizophonia” by Mike Batt
- Listen to “Bright Eyes” from Watership Down, as performed by Art Garfunkel
- Listen to “A Winter’s Tale”, co-written with Tim Rice and performed by David Essex
- Check out Mike’s artwork
About Mike Batt
Mike Batt is an English singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, record producer, director, conductor and former Deputy Chairman of the British Phonographic Industry. Having achieved substantial international success as a solo artist, he is particularly known in the UK for creating The Wombles pop act, writing many hits including the chart-topping “Bright Eyes” and discovering Katie Melua.
The man behind pop hits for Cliff Richard, David Essex and Alvin Stardust, collaborations with XTC, Vanessa Mae and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the conception and co-creation of all-female string quartet Bond, Mike set up his Dramatico record label in 2002. Working with Carla Bruni, Marianne Faithfull, Caro Emerald, Gurrumul, and Sarah Blasko, he released Katie Melua’s first six albums (and wrote / co-wrote / produced the first three).
He has also conducted many of the world’s great orchestras, including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony and Stuttgart Philharmonic in both classical and pop recordings and performances.
Visit Mike’s website for more.
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Have a lovely day xo