Bruno Mars & The Biggest funnel in the world…

IMAGINE the biggest funnel in the world holding the top talent. They are floating around. Down at the bottom of the funnel are four drops (four songs that get to go on the radio). What are you going to do to be better than Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, Dr. Dre and Diane Warren? It is that competitive! Keep the bar high for yourself and stay focused on the creative purpose. The bar is set HIGH!

More key takeaways from the interview with publisher and producer, Steve Lindsey, who took a chance on a young man with a dream. Five years later, we now know that young man as Bruno Mars.

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  • Speaking to a room full of passionate songwriters at The Songwriting School of Los Angeles, Steve tells it like it is. The music business is all about the radio right now if you want to make some sustained income. That might change, but today it’s the biggest funnel.
  • The purpose of songwriting is to make people feel like they’re not alone. It’s not about your diary.
  • Storytelling is key. Know who is singing to who, where, when and why?
  • There are two types of songs: the Fertility dance (any love song) and the War Chant (different rhythm, gets males riled up so they can conquer the other tribe over the hill).
  • Initially, Steve heard a song of Bruno Mars (before he was Billboard charting Bruno Mars) and thought he was “wack.” Steve was interested in the second kid (Neyo) who was singing in the background and wrote the demo song. In an attempt to get Neyo signed, he signed Bruno and got “stuck” developing him. The rest is history…both Neyo and Bruno eventually became A-list artists.
  • Bruno Mars wanted to do an old school retro thing. Steve advised, “You can do that. But make sure the lyrics, the language is of today’s times.”
  • Making music is like making a film. You need: 1) A great script: a great song, 2) A great director: a great producer, knows how to bring the song to life with all moving parts, and 3) Movie star: your artist, singer. You don’t need a great track to make a great record. It’s just a part of the movie.
  • Solo your vocal. If it’s not a hit with just the vocal, it’s not a hit. Get the song right!
  • Everyday I handwrite a card and send a thank you note for every meeting that I take. It’s touching, personal and differentiating. It’s opened doors.
  • Steve will be continuing the conversation with his first class @SongSchool starting Monday, October 14 at 7:30PM.

Everyone needs a little helping hand! Set your compass and stay focused.

A daily dose of inspiration to fuel every big ‘old dreamer!

Love,

Dani W

Danielle Wei-Tsung Carter
Performing Artist/Songwriter
www.daniellewcarter.com
JOIN THE TEAM! Making my FIRST ALBUM HERE!
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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 www.daniellewcarter.com

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.

Rihanna, Katy Perry, Diplo…Producing indie to Top 40 hits

Wow! Step into the versatile musical works of 24 year old hit producer and songwriter Benny Blanco. You have most likely been singing along to his songs from indie to Top 40 pop through Katy Perry, Rihanna, Keshia, Whiz Khalifa and other international mega music stars. Take a peak into his life as he works with your favorite artists and producers. Here’s the pic and a nice interview write up in the Huffington Post:

“Hitmaker” — a term that’s often thrown around loosely — seems like the right label for Benny Blanco. The multi-platinum songwriter and producer’s resume boasts a staggering 13 No. 1 singles, a tally even more impressive given that the man behind “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Dynamite,” “Tik Tok” and “Moves Like Jagger” is 24 years young.

And Blanco’s star is about to get bigger: As a co-producer on Rihanna’s lead single “Diamonds” (off the soon-to-be-released album, “Unapologetic”) and Ke$ha’s “Die Young,” he currently has two songs in the top ten on Billboard’s singles chart.”

Click here for more on Benny Blanco

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Katy Perry Shows All

She’s not the first to do this, but I like that Katy Perry is reminding her fans that she’s a real person just like anyone else. There’s so much genius marketing and branding that backs the business of an artist. People who are deemed celebrities are just like us.

“Katy Perry: Part of Me,” which debuts in 3D on Thursday, is anything but standard fare. Most performers wouldn’t dare show fans what they look like first thing in the morning without make-up, or worse, doubled over bawling backstage in costume. But Perry insisted that everyone see.

“I’m OK with showing what’s behind the curtain,” Perry, 27, told Reuters in a recent interview. “I’m OK with showing that side of me because it helps people relate (to me) better and think of me as a human being.”http://m.yahoo.com/w/legobpengine/news/pop-singer-katy-perry-fearless-warts-film-portrayal-195416762.html?.b=music&.ts=1341447121&.intl=US&.lang=en