Showing posts from January, 2013

The songwriter's process of discovery

In my experience, songs are born, not made. I once wrote a song whose identity I did not discover until after I found myself in the recording studio making the music with my collaborative partner. We learned together that the song had a natural "country" feel, style, groove and affect. Being an experienced jazz singer (with a good deal of both classical and pop singing experience) I was a bit concerned about how my recording of this country song would sound! With a little help from my friends (my guitarist, John Chiodini, and recording engineer, Paul Tavenner) I found the right "voice" to pull it off, and my country single was born. This song has not yet been released, but I expect that it will be commercially available within a few months.

As I teach my songwriting class at USC Upstate, I encourage the students to understand that they cannot always superimpose a style upon a set of lyrics with the intention of forcing a song to become something it is not. …