Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I am most proud of a gorgeous choral piece I wrote for a large cathedral's Christmas celebration. It was a large event and I think the end product really had an impact on the community I was writing for.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I'm working on an album for an alternative artist who feels like their career is taking off.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I promise to always provide what I've outlined in the job proposal by constantly listening to what you want and rewriting what you don't agree with.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like most about being a lyricist is the feeling that I'm solving a puzzle. I know what the end product needs to be like... just have to figure out the best way there.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
The most commonly asked question I get are: 'Where can I find your work?' and 'Do you write melodies too?' You can find examples of my professional work at http://songbay.co/artists/16156/ and right now I do not provide melody tracks, just an outline-melody gauged from the syllable count of the lines. I'm working on getting that set-up though!
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
The biggest misconception about lyricists is that we write poetry and don't understand the merits of a seemingly simple EDM or pop song. We're not that arrogant!
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I always ask for a melody, I don't need one, but I need to know if you have one! I ask what genre your song is, what 'feel' you want it to have, if you've identified a target audience yet and what you hop to achieve from this song.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
The person you hire should be able to direct you somewhere where you can view a body of work, they should have a social media presence and take what they do seriously.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
That desert island better have a magic supply of electricity! If it did I'd take my MacBook Pro, my Beats headphones, two notebooks and my favourite pen.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been a working lyricist since 2009, it all started writing pop/country songs for a new artist and her music producer. I had no experience professionally but gained a lot rather fast. Soon I was being recommended to others and started branching out on my own. I've worked with clients all over the world!
How would you describe your style?
My personal style is direct with hints of poetry, relatable with flair!
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
In dream-world I would love to work with Thom Yorke as I think he is extraordinarily talented and could teach me quite a lot.
Can you share one music production tip?
Allow open communication between the writer, producer and vocal artist.
What type of music do you usually work on?
For my professional career I usually work on pop/R&B/EDM and alternative styles. Personally I sell a lot of folk/rock/EDM/country and choral lyrics.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skill is being able to evaluate the target market for a song and adjust my vocabulary and style to that audience.
What do you bring to a song?
I bring to a song catchy hooks, original lyrics and a very flexible vocabulary. I am fantastic at choosing the right words, even if I do say so myself!
What's your typical work process?
This varies between jobs. If I get a melody to work with I listen to that through a few times until I can hum it. I sit with the melody in my mind for a few hours until a good line pops into my head, then I just let words flow. I revise the original lyrics over about three times, sing the final product with the melody and then send my finished work off.
If I do not have a melody I contemplate what genre and message I need to portray, listen to relevant inspirations and then a few hours later start to get ideas and write them down to a melody I've concocted. I then revise, sing and send!
Tell us about your studio setup.
A whole lot of leather-bound notebooks and a macbook basically!
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
There are so many inspirations in my work I find it hard to name them, my work varies so much it is hard to choose. All good music inspires me, as cliche as that sounds. For different projects I draw on many different inspirations.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
The most common type of work I do, which only won by a small margin, is to write lyrics for pop/dance and R&B music. The second most common is to write lyrics for alternative artists/bands directly.