I love to write. I'm good at putting a feeling or an atmosphere into words and making it emotional and powerful. If my words are paired with the right music and melody, it can make a person laugh, or cry, or get emotionally hit by a euphoric bus.
I have next to no experience in professional songwriting, but I'm good with words, and I can put lyrics together pretty nicely. I don't do production or music composition, but occasionally I'll pitch ideas to go along with a melody if I come up with one. I do sing a bit; I'm not a bad vocalist, but I prefer not to have my vocal on publicly released music. Lyrics is definitely in my main wheelhouse, and I really want to get enough exposure to do this for a living. I'm still young, but I've already written loads of poems (that can be easily turned into lyrics) and have improved immensely since I started. I wouldn't be able to live without being in the world of making music and putting emotions into words to convey a message like songwriting does. I'm confident in my ability to grow as a lyricist, I just need to get the right opportunities. I think it's very important for the vocalist/artist to be as involved in the writing process as possible, so I greatly encourage artists to prepare a concept or idea for the song prior to me writing lyrics, as well as pitching in lyrics and really making it a collaboration that can be personal to the artist. The most powerful music comes from genuity and truth, so I always want to bring as much of that as possible to the drawing board.
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Interview with Samantha Perry
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Ashton Irwin. We've never met, though I've had the pleasure of meeting some friends of his through the world of the internet. It seems we have a lot in common though, with similar motivations and goals. He is also so knowledgeable about all things music, and I feel like I could learn a lot from him. He's an excellent lyricist and songwriter for sure.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Whenever I find inspiration, I always write it down in my notes app on my phone. Then, when I'm getting ready to write, I go back to my notes that I've taken and try to come up with lyrics that will align with what I was feeling/experiencing at that time. Once I get started, I can finish fairly quick, but if possible, I like to give myself a week or two to reflect on what I wrote and see if I can make it better than it was.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would like to think my style is very much that of a storyteller. I try to tie in general concepts to normal, real-life situations to give the listener the feeling that someone out there understands them and that they can resonate with the song.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I don't have a lot of experience in production, as it's not one of the services I offer, but I have friends who produce, and I've learned from them that it's always important to go with your gut and make a sound that you would want to listen to, even if it means taking a bit of a risk.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Believe it or not, I'm most proud of a song that will never be released (on purpose). I have a sister who's young still, and she and I both have a hard time sleeping, so I wrote a lullaby for her. I wrote all the words, melody, harmonies, and a soft acoustic guitar part. It's a piece that's very close to my heart, and I'll never release it publicly, but I was very proud of what I put together.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on a lyric set for a friend who is a singer and producer. He throws his heart and soul into his music, same as me, and also hopes to make a name for himself, so I very much enjoy writing for him. He said I could write about whatever I want, so the lyrics are about two people who love and care for each other, but who are realizing that they need to be apart in order to find bigger and better things for themselves. It has a happy sound, but very melancholy lyrics.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog is smoother and goes in a more flowy pattern in its waves, and digital is a little more choppy. However, digital has more mobility, especially nowadays, when everyone's main revenue comes from streaming. Plus, analog has imperfections, like popping, that can be distracting when you're listening to the track.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that I will work my hardest to write lyrics that will convey the message in mind. I'll make it quality work and be flexible with ideas and adjustments.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I like the freedom that I get to put my own experiences and emotions into a song. Of course, the main ideas should be from the artist, but there have been so many times where I've been pitched an idea and I've thought, "You know, I really relate to that." So there's always room to make it more genuine by including my own thoughts.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I've often been asked why I'm so set on doing this when I'm still so young. I'm only sixteen, but I've always been very mature and wise beyond my years. I'm set on it because I love music and I can't imagine spending my life doing anything else. If I have to spend my days working and making a living for 45+ years, I might as well work doing something I love.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think people underestimate how much work goes into making good-quality songs that people will listen to. Of course, music is wonderful and it provides so much joy and purpose to a lot of people, but the folks making the music use the profits from their work to put a roof over their heads, so a lot of time, energy, and effort goes into it, and not many listeners are aware of that.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is the purpose of this project? What is your inspiration behind this general idea or theme? How can I make this more personal to you?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I would suggest carefully considering the themes and concepts you want to cover in the project and laying out exactly what you want. I can adapt to what you want and need as an artist, but I need details to go off of.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I would take a pocket knife for if I found something to eat, a canteen of some kind in case I found fresh water, a brand-new pen and notebook to keep writing songs, a sleeping bag (for obvious reasons), and a backpack to carry my things if I was doing a lot of walking and such. I probably wouldn't have any kind of cell service so my computer and my phone would be pretty useless, especially with nothing to plug them in to.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been writing song lyrics since I was about 13, but I'm not done with school yet, so I haven't had much of a career path at all. If anything, this is my attempt at starting a career for myself in songwriting, because nothing would make me happier than to do this for the rest of my life.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I tend to have a more singer-songwriter style to my lyrics, but I can also do pop and pop-rock, which are my favorite genres.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill in songwriting is my ability to find inspiration in anything. I'm also able to take influences from the styles of other artists and combine them with my own.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I've been told my whole life that I'm a great writer, and that I write things that people can relate to. Roy English (Jagwar Twin) once told me in a text that I should always tell the truth in my songwriting, and that has stuck with me. I put feelings into words and help the reader/listener understand that it's normal to feel them.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I don't have much of a set-up, being a lyricist. I like to keep it simple, so I'm good to go with my computer for writing things down and my phone to record melody demos.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I absolutely love the styles of artists such as 5 Seconds of Summer (and Ashton Irwin and Luke Hemmings, respectively), Louis Tomlinson, Charlie Puth, Jagwar Twin, and Harry Styles. They're all such talented songwriters and musicians.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mainly just write lyrics, occasionally writing a vocal melody. I take main concepts or ideas from the artist and turn them into a poetic, emotional story or experience.