Dr Simon Barber researches, writes and lectures about popular music, the music industries, digital culture and jazz. As a member of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Simon is particularly interested in the study of songwriting, and relationships between creative workers and industry. He convenes the Songwriting Studies Research Group at Birmingham City University and has published in The European Journal of Cultural Studies, The Radio Journal, The Journal on the Art of Record Production and the Jazz Research Journal among others.
Simon has worked with a number of external organisations and individuals within the cultural industries, including the BBC, Pearson Education, Arrow Film & Video, Edition Records and The Scarborough Jazz Festival. He studied music at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool. He is a member of the editorial board of the jazz journal Epistrophy, and webmaster to the executive committee of IASPM UK and Ireland.
Simon is also one half of the songwriting team Sodajerker. He has produced and co-presented over 90 episodes of their popular songwriting podcast, which has received upwards of 1 million downloads, charted in 46 countries, and been awarded coverage in Esquire, Slate, NME, and The Guardian among others. The podcast was also the basis for the BBC World Service documentary The Secrets of Songwriting, which Simon co-presented.
As a musician, Simon has performed at events including BBC Radio 1 @ The Cavern, The Music Week Festival and BBC Big Screen for 6 Music. He has contributed songs to the soundtracks of independent films such as Brutal, Dark Chamber, 10 Yards and Dead in Love, and has composed scores for award-winning animations and short films such as Killing Time at Home, The Lilac Papers, Day of the Jackanape, The Censor and The Odyssey.