Ian Dench

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Ian Dench (born 7 August 1964, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England) is an English songwriter and musician. Dench was the guitarist and principal songwriter for EMF,[1] who scored a major international hit reaching number 1 in the United States with "Unbelievable" in 1991. It was voted one of BBC Radio 2's 'Greatest Guitar Riffs'.[2]


In 2007, Dench wrote the duet "Beautiful Liar" for Beyoncé and "Shakira", and "Tattoo" for American Idol winner Jordin Sparks with Amanda Ghost with whom he had worked since 1995 when they wrote for Ghost's Ghost Stories album.

Beyoncé's 2008 album I Am Sasha Fierce saw a further three Dench and Ghost collaborations: "Disappear", "Ave Maria", and "Satellites".

From March 2009 until November 2010, Dench was Vice President of A&R at Epic Records in New York, where he A&R'd albums by Alice Smith and Augustana and signed the acts, Progress in Color and HeyHiHello.

Dench won an Ivor Novello Award for "Beautiful Liar" in the Best Selling British Song Category in 2008. In 2009, he was nominated for a Golden Globe as co-writer of "Once in a Lifetime", sung by Beyonce for the film, Cadillac Records. He was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2010, one as co-producer of two tracks on Beyoncé's album I Am... Sasha Fierce, which was nominated as Album of the Year and the other for "Once in a Lifetime".

He co-wrote "Colours" on the Prodigy's 2009 album, Invaders Must Die, and "Red" a top 5 hit for Daniel Merriweather in the UK in May 2009. "Gypsy", another collaboration with Amanda Ghost, was the third single from the album, She Wolf by Shakira.

Dench began his music career playing in a punk band although his father, Harold Dench taught Ian classical guitar. Dench also studied Fine Art at the Ruskin, Oxford University.

Before EMF, he was a member of Gloucester based band Apple Mosaic who were signed to Virgin Records. After leaving EMF, he found independent success with the band, Whistler, signed to Wiiija Records. Whistler released two albums, Whistler and Faith in the Morning.

He co-wrote the Sub Focus track "Endorphins", which reached No 10 in the UK Singles Chart; also "Bedroom Hymns" from Florence and the Machine's Ceremonials album, and her collaboration with ASAP Rocky, "I Come Apart".

Recently he has been writing with Zak Abel, Wally Lopez, Will Heard and Reuben Hollebon.


  1. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: EMF". AMG. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "BBC - Radio 2 - Charts - Radio 2's Greatest Guitar Riffs". Radio 2. Retrieved 27 September 2014.