Music Export Memphis announces ‘Memphis to the Mersey’ songwriters exchange for summer 2017

Submissions open today for immersive cultural experience

Memphis and Liverpool are two cities long connected by the cotton trade and their music legacies. This summer, their music scenes will again collide as Music Export Memphis and Monkey Mind Productions present From Memphis To The Mersey, a songwriters’ exchange that will select two emerging artists from each city for an immersive cultural and creative experience on both sides of the ocean.

The emerging writers will be coached by and collaborate with mentors during the exchange: GRAMMY-award winner and Stax legend William Bell, Memphis singer, songwriter and producer Susan Marshall, the face and the voice of UK and international chart topping Liverpool band The Christians Garry Christian and Christians band member, multi- instrumentalist, writer and producer Joey Ankrah.

Memphis to the Mersey is made possible by support from the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and Arts Council England.

Applications for the exchange open today and will close at midnight on 6 p.m. CST Monday, June 26. Interested songwriters will be required to submit recordings and lyric sheets, among other things, and finalists will be invited to a live audition on Sunday, July 9. For full application details and to submit, visit monkeymindproductions.net/apply.

The four selected songwriters will spend three days working in Memphis (August 4-6) and Liverpool (August 26-28), with each city experience culminating in an event featuring performance of new songs and a curated conversation about the exchange itself and the connections between these two international music cities.  

“From my first visit to Liverpool, I’ve felt that our two cities have similar personalities,” says Music Export Memphis Founder Elizabeth Cawein. “It just made sense to try to connect creatively. A project like this one challenges our artists and gives them an incredible opportunity to work with top-level mentors, but it also puts our cities on display and reinforces that unique cultural and historic relationship between them.”

Cawein and Music Export Memphis are partnering on the project with Monkey Mind Productions and Founder Emma Foxall.

“I’m made up to be celebrating the music history of both my hometown of Liverpool and the amazing town of Memphis,” says Foxall.  “The two cities played major roles in shaping popular music as we know it. This project is especially important because it’s going to offer four emerging songwriters the once in a lifetime opportunity to be mentored by greats in two of the most iconic music cities in the world – how inspiring is that!”

Memphis to the Mersey is supported by the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, which celebrates the city’s legacy as the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Home of the Blues.

“Liverpool and Memphis share a common bond as landmarks in music,” says Kevin Kane, CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The music that came out of the two towns put them both on the map. Today, the Elvis and Beatles stories drive the global awareness of the destinations and have resulted in the birth of a tourism industry vital to the economy of both Memphis and Liverpool.”

To learn more about the project and to begin the application process, visit monkeymindproductions.net/apply.


Music Export Memphis is an export office for Memphis music focused on creating opportunities for Memphis musicians to make Memphis a desirable place to live and work, while driving outcomes in talent attraction, economic development and music tourism. MEM’s three flagship programs are Experiences, Ambassadors and the Export Bank. Learn more at MusicExportMemphis.org.


Monkey Mind Productions was founded by Artistic Director – Emma Foxall in February 2015.  The company launched with the highly successful Bluebird at the Bluecoat project, since then the company has produced educational exhibitions, large scale culture and arts events and talent development exchanges.  The company has the long term ambition of creating exciting and ambitious international arts and cultural projects in Liverpool and beyond. Learn more at www.monkeymindproductions.net 


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