K-pop songwriter Becky Jerams launches novel and album The Songs You've Never Heard with show at Lord John Russell pub in Southsea

Songwriter and author Becky Jerams has combined both sides of her work for the first time in a new book with its own soundtrack.

Thursday, 21st July 2022, 8:52 pm

Co-created with Ellie Wyatt, The Songs You’ve Never Heard is out now as a book with the accompanying 14-song album available to stream and download.

A professional songwriter – Becky has penned hits for K-Pop and J-Pop stars – she has also previously written five books aimed at young adults.

The Portsmouth-based artist explains the project’s genesis: ‘I was feeling a bit disillusioned with the music biz and songwriting – you have to pitch so many songs all the time.

Ellie Wyatt (left) and Becky Jerams, who have co-written the book and its accompanying album, The Songs You've Never Heard.

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    ‘I started doing fiction writing on the side as a hobby, but it started to grow, and then I had this idea, what if I was to write characters that these songs could be for, to give them an outlet that way?’

    She wrote the first draft back in 2017, but realised she wanted to work with someone on the music, so turned to her friend and songwriting mentor Ellie.

    ‘Ellie's a really amazing musician who does a lot of stuff for TV, like the compositions for some really big shows that anyone who's got kids would probably know.

    ‘We've written a lot together in the past, so I came to her with this idea and we had a lot of stuff we were looking for homes for. She was really keen and then she came on-board and started to tweak the story as well. So I had the initial idea but once Ellie was on-board she reworked it with me. It went from just doing the music side with me to being a whole co-written project, and both of us ended up pouring our life stories into it as well.

    ‘It started off as something that might be a fun idea and grew and grew...’

    The book has been put out by Sweet Cherry who won Children’s Publisher of the Year at the 2022 Independent Publishing Awards.

    ‘We knew we wanted to find an agent for it and to get it published and it's all taken such a long time, and then there was the pandemic as well.

    ‘Funnily enough the book people were really resistant to it, we thought they'd be going: “Yes! This is great, this is something new bringing music and books together”.

    ‘Music people seem to really love the idea, while book people are way more old school...

    ‘It took us a long time to find that right team that really wanted to take a chance on it, and we have found that now.

    ‘Sweet Cherry have really got on board with the whole thing and really get it – they're even making band T-shirts for us to wear at events which is cool.

    ‘We're talking about maybe pitching to music festivals next year because I think a lot of festivals are having book sections now, it's becoming a bit more "blended media”.’

    When you buy the book, there’s a QR code in there which links to a bespoke website with the album on it via Spotify.

    ‘We've gone past the days of having CDs in the back of the book,’ says Becky, ‘kids don't really do that any more.

    ‘People can listen along as they read, or you can listen to the album on its own – the album stands up on its own as a fun pop album.

    ‘It's like if you go to a musical, you can listen to the soundtrack and get to know the songs before you know the story. You can do both or either!

    ‘I hope both sides stand up on their own, but I think you get more from both together. I feel the songs are just great pop songs, so even if you don't know the story, you'd still enjoy the songs on their own. Equally, you don't have to hear the songs to get the story. But both together enhances the whole thing.’

    And fingers crossed, people are starting to take notice. ‘Apparently we're making a bit of a buzz in the industry – it’s been in the trade publications and things like that – and people are starting to take notice, at least that's what our agent has told us!’

    Their ‘ultimate dream’ though is to see it up on screen.

    ‘We would love to pitch it out to Netflix, or for someone to make it a series or a show. It would be all very easy to film because it's set in contemporary Brighton and the music's all already there.’

    So are they already thinking about a sequel?

    ’There's the potential there, but we're not rushing into it until we see how this one goes because it's been such a lot of work.

    ‘We want to let this one breathe a bit before we take any next step, but we definitely have got material that we'd be able to write a sequel, and it's definitely something in the back of our minds.’

    There is a local launch gig at Lord John Russell in Southsea, on Saturday, July 16, from 5.30pm, where Becky is joined by Chris Ricketts, Megan Tuck and Nellie Fraser.

    Tickets £6. Go to book.events/beckyjerams.