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.


Would you let me see “Beneath Your Beautiful”

First things first! Have you ever fell in love with a song so much so that it became your one song playlist? Since I’m making an effort to take more risk in my career and in daring to open up more in my personal relationships, these songs fit right in this week. Try them on and comment below to let me know how they fit you.

Jesse Ware’s “Wildest Moments” AND Labrinth featuring Emeli Sande’s “Beneath Your Beautiful”



I was sitting at Starbucks during lunchtime today discussing how powerful it is to step into someone else’s world and learn how they think about success and what their journey looks like day to day. It’s only in hindsight that I can see more clearly how the small steps shape into an actual path. I enjoy looking back, smiling and asking, “How the heck did I get here.” Even so, I’m still learning how to not take any moment for granted.

Speaking of stepping into someone else’s sneakers, I found a cool short interview on three young people with different aspirations and successful journeys “on the come up!” Noah Goldstein worked on “Clique” from Kanye West’s album. DJ camper is producing for Keyshia Cole, Kanye, Big Sean and Tamar Braxton. Writer Sevyn Streeter found a musical mentor, Chris Brown.

Stay tuned for valuable insight from Steve Williams, initially a pre-med Berkeley student, who took a leap of faith to follow his passion. He is now a VP at NBC Universal. Great takeaways from Steve Williams to come!

What about you? Are you doing what you love? How often? Leave a comment and let me know what career or hobby you’re passionate about. What’s your story?

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