Wow! Yesterday, I experienced the power of cowriting on another level. I’m taking class with Alan Roy Scott who is the mastermind collaborator. He is an active spokesperson for songwriter’s rights and has made a career out of cowriting globally. He has even organized international trips for his peers including Diane Warren and other exceptional writers to expand opportunities over seas.
Last night Alan brought in some incredible guest writers and artists: Marsha Malemet, Liz, Cherish and Brad Parker. After we learned about their personal success in the industry and what they are up to now, we were placed into groups to begin the cowriting magic. Everyone came back together at the end to share the songs that sprouted from the groups. They were beautiful and inspiring! I may post a link to our group’s song so you can hear it. I wrote with Cherish and classmate Marissa who have beautiful voices. It was a natural flow in the room. Cherish lead and encouraged us to let the inspiration catch us by surprise and flow out, without over thinking and trying to rhyme. It was very poetic and sultry. It’s crazy what you can do in an hour.
And now, a little bit about each of the guest writers….
Marsha is a multi-platinum songwriter, a coach and an artist originally from New York. She is writing with Barbara Streisand’s son Jason Gould currently. Marsha has had cuts with Diana Ross, Jessica Simpson, Meatloaf, Shaka Khan to name a few.
She’s so clever and very witty. A genuine and very sharp woman. She told us a funny story about one of her songs surprisingly ending up in the first Scary Movie film. Her song “Show Me Now” was placed right before an oral sex scene. She was mortified but said luckily her name was misspelled in the credits. She immediately snuck out afterward. I can only imagine spending hours on a meaningful song and then discovering its been used for other purposes. That’s alarming and very funny all at once.
Marsha often writes with Liz who is a lyricist. Liz started as a poet in high school. She loves music but did not at all feel blessed with instrumental talent. Although, through the study of poetry, she learned much about the rhythm of words. While in college she ended up renting a room in which happened to be a band house. She threw away one of her poems in the common room. A songwriter, who was there for a demo, picked it up and affirmed Liz that while it may be a bad poem, it could be a good lyric. When Liz asked why she’d want to learn to write lyrics, the songwriter explained, “because songwriters earn a living and poets starve.” Liz got a publishing deal within three months of writing her first song. She has cuts on TV/film and with artists like Meatloaf and Jessica as well. Liz has an amazing attitude and is also very witty. Her philosophy is she will write with anyone once. She’s been given the chance to write with top artists and songwriters throughout her career and so she extends the same opportunity to us upandcoming writers. You never know what magic is there.
Brad Phillip Parker is a songwriter, musician and artist from Iowa. He’s played all over the world in several types of bands. He has been deemed a radical and is a visionary advocating for songwriters to be fairly compensated for the work that’s transacted and for the protection of that work. In the past, he spent time playing in Hateashberry with a psychedelic music band. Initially, he began as a poet who was radicalized by the Times. He was in a band called The Knobs at which time he had orange hair. 415
Records produced an album for them which had, with what he called, a “wall of mud” because the reverb was so heavy. Brad also found a way to get Peter Paul and Marry’s album mass distribution and consequently they won a Grammy.
When Brad traveled to Hong Kong, he met Alan. Alan took him on a trip with Diane Warren and other peers to explore the overseas markets. One of which was called Pacific Harmony. Brad then got hits all over South East Asia, later in Ireland, etc.
Also, Brad was one of first people to do a deal with iTunes; one of the first 100 contracts that iTunes ever signed with a record label. Since his many adventures, he went back to his roots of being an indie artist and recently “Days of Poetry” which I now have a signed copy of. Can’t wait to listen to it! The title came from one of his first poetry books, “Coney Island of the Mind”
As i mentioned, Brad is an activist and a visionary leader in the industry who has lobbied and sold in fair copywrite laws. He is also planning to lobby for a blanket license for digital content, for which transactions can be tracked via the embedded codes and paid out to writers and publishers. He said just like there is a blanket in tv and radio, we should be paid for the work we are doing that is shared digitally.
Last but never least, Cherish Alexander is a songwriter and artist. She’s been hearing music in her head since she was five years old. Luckily her family recognized her talent. By the age of seven, she was taking opera lessons, playing piano, and writing with her brother, who played and wrote recreationally. When she was later signed to Warner Chaplin, she met and wrote w Alan. She described it as a therapy session, writing deep songs about her family and personal stories. She was signed with the label for about four years and the deal didn’t work out because she wasn’t being encouraged to be authentic to herself as an artist.
I love her spirit and kind soul! She’s very talented and unique. Cherish is proud to say, “I’m 100% who I am.” She has stayed true to that. She already did the not who I am thing with RCA already for long enough. She needed to be authentic to who she is instead of being recognized for who she wasn’t.
Nothing stopped her from doing so. She is considered a modern day poet and went on to start a band called Pain Killers, who had placements in Film and TV. She also joined an all girls Led Zeppelin band and toured around the world. Currently, she is a band called Bella Bavaria living a life she loves and writing the music that moves her and others.
Needless to say…although I will…I’m completely inspired!