Mary Nelly Russe, NY Creative (Latin)
I think it really comes down to: don’t copy others, don’t imitate. Look for your own voice, your own words, your own story, your own sound. It’s o.k. to have influences from admiring other songs, but so many songwriters want to be like one artist or another and they end up being just a copy of the original. There is nothing more refreshing than to hear a song that is different and crafted with soul. Don’t be afraid to get together with other writers and fuse styles, twist, experiment. Also, listen to other people’s feedback to help you grow. Know the difference between negative and positive criticism and dedicate time into creating something that moves you, that represents you, that you are proud to call your own. Don’t settle, be meticulous and trust in you. When you believe in your work, those energies are captured in recordings and transmitted when played. Spread the right ones.
Tim Pattison, NY Creative (Pop)
The thing I stress the most for aspiring songwriters is to have patience, which isn’t what they want to hear. But it really is taking the time to hone your craft and evolve as a songwriter. Work with other people and figure out what your strengths are in writing sessions and work outside your comfort zone to allow for growth.
Also, keep in mind that this is a job. Yes, while it’s exciting and creative, it is still a job and you have to put in hard work and be professional in order to be successful. Being a songwriter is owning your own business, and I believe that means learning about the things that make up the business of songwriting. The more informed you are about PROs, publishers, record labels and how they relate to you as a songwriter - the better.
Keep an eye out for more top tips from BMI’s Creative team right here in The Weekly.