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Liverpudlian rapper making waves in UK songwriting contest

by Khyle Deen. Published Tue 07 Sep 2021 20:20
Photo credit: Andrew AB
Photo credit: Andrew AB

Liverpool-Irish, openly queer, and non-binary rapper M!key Garland becomes double Semi-Finalist in prestigious UK Songwriting Contest.

M!key Garland released their Arts Council England funded debut rap album Who’s Afraid of M!key Garland? in July of this year. The album explores Garland’s experience of homelessness in the early 2010s, and tackles themes of poverty, addiction, and mental health. The Liverpool-based rapper submitted 10 of the album’s 12 tracks into the first and second rounds of the UK Songwriting Contest to enormous success. All 10 songs ranked highly in the competition with commendation and praise, and two songs, Daydream, and The M.M. Effect (Crown of Thorns) have reached the Semi-Finals. Garland hopes that more songs may reach the Semi-Finals in the third and final round of entries.

Garland has been involved in the performing arts for over 15 years, but like many working-class artists struggled to find opportunities. “Most artists with my background simply don’t have the money to fund their own creative work,” says Garland, “I would never have been able to fund this project on my own, I’m truly grateful to Arts Council England, National Lottery Grants, and to ArtsGroupie CIC [record label] for giving me this opportunity”.

Commenting on their success in the competition Garland adds “Throughout this whole project I thought to myself “Am I deluded? Am I like one of those people who auditions for talents shows but is diabolically bad?” I can’t tell you what it means to be told by industry professionals that I really do have talent and can write songs to a high standard. Especially having been homeless only 9 years ago, I never thought this would happen for me. I’m over the moon.”


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