Behind the Curtains with Katy Perry, Big Sean, Brandy Clark…

Enjoy this recap of an all star cast seminar below!

Plus, Let’s Get Together Again!  Save the Dates:

I’ll sing if you dance!  More at

ASCAP “I CREATE MUSIC” EXPO 2013:  Behind the Curtains

Were you at the ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo this year?  One-on-one listening and feedback sessions with industry executives, peer-to-peer networking, awareness of imperative regulatory lobbying on Capitol Hill and a solid lineup of acclaimed panelists made for an informative and eventful conference.  If you missed it, you can still purchase the online access to the recorded panels through the ASCAP website.

During the Expo, we heard from accomplished A&R executives such as Tina Davis, who discovered Chris Brown, as well as from artists and producers like Stargate, Ne-yo, Katy Perry, Jill Scott and Big Sean.  Some panelists who represented major international publishers even provided their contact information and were seeking song submissions.  Award winning international songwriters graced the panels to recount golden nuggets from their respective career paths.

An overarching theme of advice was to stay focused no matter what; keep developing your authenticity as a writer, artist, producer, or musician so that your songs stand alone and speak for themselves.  As you do so, the dots will continue to connect and shape your career path as you remain open to opportunities and fine tune your instincts.  Each milestone you reach prepares you for the next.

Many attendees enjoyed the interactive co-writing session hosted by artist/songwriter Priscilla Renea, whom ASCAP reported:  wowed last year’s EXPO by performing some of her biggest songs at the closing Writers Jam: “California King Bed” (Rihanna), “Who Says” (Selena Gomez) and “Love Spent” (Madonna).

During Priscilla’s session, attending songwriters gathered in a large conference room and were placed into separate writing teams.  Each group was given the same instrumental track and a limited amount of time to write the best verse possible.  When the writing time ended, each team had the opportunity to present their melody and lyrics on stage.

Priscilla selected the best two verses in the room and recorded them live.  At the end of the session, the entire room listened proudly to the freshly recorded song.  ASCAP has found this to be a way to engage their attendees and to enrich their experiences.  Going forward, this could be an opportunity to not only add value for attendees, but also to leverage their talent through more interactive workshops.

A special feature of the Expo is the final Songwriter’s showcase called “The Writers Jam”.  This year, talent included Stacy Barthe, Brandy Clark, Brett James, and Tom Higgenson from Plain White T’s.  Each artist/songwriter delivered compelling songs one-by-one, in the round, Nashville style.

One showcase favorite at “The Writers Jam” was Brandy Clark, whose descriptive Country lyrics moved many dry eyes to tears.  She gave very little introduction to her songs, demonstrating the principle of “Show, Don’t Tell.”  Overall, the talented lineup of songwriters shared the power of great songs, reminding us why we love what we do.


Can I Take You to Africa? The Journey Into A Fresh New Year

The last time I experienced jet lag this intense was in 2006 when I studied in Hong Kong and China. Phew! After a couple days of travel, I am here in Lagos, Africa with my God family! A big thank you to my God family!

I finally went to bed at 3am and woke up at 4pm. I guess I was exhausted from all the off and on naps on the plane. Not to mention exhausted from a busy 2012.

Comment below and tell me what’s on your bucket list? Have you always wanted to go to London? Paris? South Africa? Have you had your eye on a career change? On a special someone?

Getting more of what you want this year is within your reach. It’s closer than you think even. What is something small, one step that you can take today…one decision you could make today…that could change your life for the better? Let me know in the comments below. Plus if you take action, share that too! It could be as simple as buying a sewing machine or a yoga class, or scheduling a vacation.

Mine was the switch into my dream career. It took me two years to discover, plan and take action. Put it out there and everyday will stem from your personal vision.

Since June 2012, with your support I’ve:
– Written over 80 new songs
– Written and recorded my first solo project produced by Abstrakt Soundz (recommended if you like Sade, Imogen Heap, Bjork and Sia)
– Sang with the amazing Wayne Brady and Judith Hill for the Crystal Starr’s foster kids benefit
– Released original music videos with the talented independent artists Tiffany Parker and Shan Carballo
– Performed at popular LA venues with talented bands like Roxie & the Ki , Illegal Download Collection, Nina Storey
– Stayed up on music business and craft by attending conferences, Billboard TV Film and Music , Taxi Road Rally , ASAP I create music expo
– Attended classes at The Songwriting School of LA and attended over 15 private songwriting workshops with great teachers like Pat Pattison and Jason Blume .

Last year, I decided to add a time frame to my dreams and put myself in places where I thought the dream might be. Most of all, I told myself my life is going to be fun and fruitful with amazing people! Then one opportunity led to the next. What will Africa have in store now? What will this year have in store for you?

Steven Memel shared a powerful piece of wisdom. I will do my best to do it justice. Vision is not determined by circumstance or fair weather conditions. Stay the course and you will reach what you envision for your life.

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Look forward to hearing what’s on your bucket list, comments and song requests! We share this journey together.