It’s 1AM the night before my gig with my Funk Soul band, Illegal Download Collection and my eyes are still bright and alert. I left the Song School after hearing Jill Scott guest speak in Ryan Toby‘s class. More pics and highlights below…
SAVE THE DATE: May 29th – Danielle W. Carter is performing live at Indie Express @ Nola’s Los Angeles
When? Wednesday, May 29th @ 11PM
Where? Nola’s Restaurant, near Downtown LA (734 E. 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA)
Featuring? Chris Lee, Chuksingh, Melony Varnado and Luis Lopez.
Jill Scott keeps it so real. She calls it like it is. Jill Scott shared insights from her career journey with us, the next generation of musicians. Here are some summarized inspirational highlights and takeaways below.
Connect with musicians who can bring the music to life before you even say a word. Work with people who can give you “water to swim.” Great musicians will make a difference. They give you room to backstroke and doggy paddle.
Everything in your body has a point of love. There’s a love ear. The music should start with that before you even say a word. Energy flow will guide you through the journey of a song.
As a professional songwriter you can lead and influence the direction of music. If you’re following you can lead. Challenge yourself to reach a better place as a songwriter. Write from a real space. Best songwriters are in country music. Listen to it and follow the stories. You don’t have to write like that.
Your culture is imperative. It’s uniquely your own and it still translates and communicates to every human being. You have a taste, a tone. Be specific and honor your culture in your craft. Rep your mix. No one else is like you.
Confidence. You never know where it’s going to come from. The first hook Jill wrote was for a song that won a Grammy. She was open to taking on new opportunities as she transitioned from poetry into singing…into songwriting and acting. Explore different talents that you have. It could lead you somewhere new.
Whoever you’re in the room with, they need you too. They’re a voice for your story. They should treat you with respect.
Take care of business. Come in the door with your split sheets (form that lays out percentages of song ownership and parties involved). Get them signed before you leave. Keep it on file.
Choose your battles. When you’re working with a major label artist and there’s an unspoken standard percentage the artist requests for just being in the room when you’re writing. Sometimes you give a little away to gain the credits and opportunity. Choose carefully, it’s still your business and therefore your call. Even with a manager beware of tying yourself to someone who’s not getting you in the room or getting you any work.Be mindful.
When you walk into a room full of “competitors,” choose to set a supportive energy in the writing room. If you have a team working together, you create better working conditions. You create an experience for that artist. Set the pace. Don’t allow negativity or competitive people to get in the way of you setting a supportive tone. When you’ve all worked as a team the artist can speak on the success of the entire teamwork experience.
Warning:This next section is for ages 21 and up only. Proceed at your own risk…
How do you get good at performing?
Question back to the room “how many virgins are in the room?” In short, the answer is that you have to start somewhere then it gets easier. Don’t hide behind anyone else. Be original to your truth and perspective.
Back on the Disney track, Jill created an open mic night called “Words and Sounds” in Philly. People paid to play. Musiq Soulchild got his start performing during these talent nights. You keep practicing, you keep getting better. Look at how talented he is now.
What’s your writing ritual?
Deep breathing. Most songs come in her dreams. Jill pays attention and stays present. She doesn’t touch the pen until her hand is already moving. The connection with her pen and paper is the best individual feeling. There’s pressure differences and impressions when you write on paper. There’s bold letters, hand drawn stars and underlying. Typing, unless its been a book typing doesn’t have that same voice. Writing. “It’s not pressure, it’s a privilege.”
How do you find your own voice?
Jill used to listen to one record for a year straight. She didn’t know she was studying but she learned a great deal. That record was “Under the Cherry Moon” by Prince. Taught her a lot about having multiple voices.
When you live inside an emotion, you are a character. You act from a different reference point. There’s a voice to each different emotion. Write from the character point. It will position the voice of your writing. You’re never just one way. Bring out the voices in character. Overall, do your best to honor the truth.
As an artist, work with people who move you. It could be a beat you heard on the street that moves you. Write with everyone and create your resume.
Manners count. “Please” and “thank you” work.
Pay attention to every part of you. You’re not the same at the office as you are on the phone with your mom. Write from the perspective of that character. Gives you versatility.
I hope that you feel inspired by the great insights from Jill Scott, a well accomplished and talented dreamer, poet, singer, songwriter, author and actress.
Are you doing the things your passionate about daily? Tell me where you are in your journey.
Pleasant surprise! Random story about how I ended up in VIP at Lianne’s concert. My friend’s cousin (who I met a couple days prior) texts me at 9PM. He has an extra ticket to see London singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas. The concert is going to start in 15 minutes! I grab a quick dry kale salad…it was so dry!!…and jump into a cab downtown. As I walk up the dimly light steps into the concert venue, I hear Lianne singing. As I wait by the steps/entrance, a couple who is leaving asks if I want to take their VIP passes since they have to go. Yes please! My new friend and I head on up to VIP for some photo opps, then down to the ground level where the root of the crowd energy is already boiling. What a fantastic and surprising night! In the flow of life; some things you can’t plan.
Lianne La Havas was great live. The tone of her voice was rich with a nice edge. Great energy from the audience. The stage setup was simple. Acoustic set, good songs with strong lyrics and a powerful voice. The entire concert hall was singing along. It’s good to know that pure music from someone’s heart without all the gimics is still appreciated. I am inspired by tonight’s show. Can’t wait to write more songs for my project and with other talented artists.
In this episode: Time to get healthy…mind and body….leads to a 30-day Challenge for charity called Little Kids Rock, Meet my band rocks the house in Hollywood. Plus Inspiration for your journey and more music making on the breathtaking shores of Corona…
See you tomorrow, Saturday, March 16th at the Pig n Whistle show in Hollywood! Doors open at 8:30pm. My band is on at 10pm. New songs just for you! Other acts include hip hop and comedy. See Events for upcoming shows!
I am taking on the 30-day challenge to “Sweat for Change.” Don’t worry you don’t have to sweat a drop. I will be taking hot yoga at Moshka Yoga in LA and NYC for 30 days straight.
The goal is to raise $10 per day for Little Kids Rock which empowers children and supports music education. Please join me in providing more activities and creative outlets for our young minds.
I found out about this while attending a free class at Moshka Yoga LA. It was tempting to say no thanks, I’m traveling in April to the east coast. But I love supporting the next generation of innovators and thinkers…plus it forces me to workout with a purpose…and they have bicoastal studios. Shucks! No excuses for me! I’m doing it anyway.
Challenge begins on: Friday, March 15 Challenge ends on: Saturday, April 13, 2013
What! If you like live music, check out this one-man-show video below. Have you heard this guy before? I just found out Bernhoft is coming to the US, specifically to Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, on March 20, 2013 at 8PM.
I have an online show and interview that night through Google Plus, Artist In the Plus at 7pm with artist Tiffany Parker.
I would absolutely love for you to tune in online through Google Artists In The Plus. However, if you feel the itch to get out of the house that night, I would forgive you with all my heart if it’s to go to Bernhoft’s show.
What an honor! I am Songsalive!’s featured member! They just released a special interview and song review which gets up close and personal. Find details below!
Songsalive! was founded by Gilli Moon and is the largest international non profit that supports and helps promote songwriters; providing access to more opportunities. The first chapter began in Australia.
“Danielle Carter’s latest single, “Don’t Torture Yourself (Enough)” is described as ambient soul, and the moniker fits.”
Interview excerpt: What are your views about where the music industry is heading in your community, or on a global level?:
“I am learning and discovering where the music industry is headed every day. Overall, we have trended toward a high tech and high touch society. We’ve seen a wealth of creativity through the web–such as virtual concerts and youtube artist sensations–which present more alternatives to major label deals…As media continues to broaden the access to local music on a global scale, the craving for authenticity and raw talent grows stronger. ”
There’s something about simplicity that is captivating. It makes me ask more questions than something that’s spelled out in black and white.
Today a simple new video intrigues me. Let me know what you think this is about.
When I watched it and thought about the concept of “I was a boy before you came,” I thought of a special breed of women. The kind (like me) who didn’t fantasize about picket white fences, weddings and having babies since I was little. Maybe that’s strange, or maybe I’m not the only one?
While I’m all for the beautiful union of two souls, what truly gets me sentimental is the idea of meeting someone who is SO amazing that I would absolutely want to bring more of that person, with their values and generous qualities, into this world. That’s how selective and powerful I think choosing a spouse can be.
Hats off to the person who can, or perhaps has already, truly turned your heart you from your solo life into a life of lasting partnership sharing love, trust and happiness.
All these thoughts spawned from a little video. Watch and tell me…where does your mind wonder?