The Big Hook winner goes to Nashville!

Hi friends!

I am writing you from my couch on a beautifully sunny Marina del Rey afternoon. My pups are sleeping below me, I'm un-showered (still basking in the Nashville grind glory? Gross..) and allowing myself to relax and unwind before getting back into my California grind. As most of you already know, I won a songwriting contest through a company called Fiverr, what I make my living from. I've been a seller on Fiverr for 3 years and have written over 1200 songs and jingles in that time. Kinda crazy when I think about that reality! Anyway, Fiverr put together a songwriting contest where one submits an original 30 second hook/chorus and from the moment I decided to enter I already knew which chorus I would be submitting. It's a song called 'Blue Bird', a brand new baby which I look forward to releasing next year. I recorded it accapella and layered on the harmonies, as I do, and submitted. A few weeks later I got an email saying 'Congratulations! You won!' and many a tears ensued. Fun Fact: This was my second trip to Nashville that I won through winning a songwriting contest. Go figure!

Fiverr and the wonderful founders at Songspace really put together a trip that exceeded my expectations. The industry meetings, the co-writes and the producer I had the opportunity to work with all blew my mind. The caliber of talent and insight I received on this trip was everything I was hoping it would be and then some. I wanted to share my experience with you in this blog post so here is just some of the breakdown of what my Nashville trip was like..

 

First meeting with Caine O'Rear, Editor at American Songwriter Magazine

Penny Gattis, Writer/Publisher relations, BMI

I arrived in Nashville at 6:30am on October 1st and my first meeting of the day began at 10am! First up was Caine O'Rear from American Songwriter Magazine. We had a great chat about my music career, the magazine and the industry in general. Second meeting was with Penny Gattis of BMI. I've been affiliated with BMI for 6 years now and I had some questions for how to really utilize my membership and how to take advantage of the live events that BMI puts together. A lot of this industry is who you know and showing face in the community and of course that makes a lot of sense. People want to work with people they know or who they have heard good things about and the only way for people to know you is to be seen! What a concept. 

My third meeting was probably the one I was most excited for. It was with Katie Jelen of Secret Road. They do licensing and publishing and actually manage one artist... you might know her... her name is Ingrid Michaelson, my spirit animal. So of course I was super excited to meet Katie and hopefully not fangirl too much! Ben from Fiverr and Jesse Feister from Songspace joined us at La Mamacita and of course I had a margarita (just one I swear!) There were a lot of laughs and great conversations just introducing who I am and what my goals are. Katie was so nice and gave me some great advice. With my musical aesthetic, Katie is definitely someone's radar I want to be on and just being able to get this meeting with her is a step in the right direction. 

My fourth and last meeting of the day was with Robby Towns of Nesta Music & Spotify and Robert Clement of Songspace. We met for coffee, which was so needed at this point since I was still running on fumes! Robby also works with Louisa Wendorff on digital strategy and that being such a huge focus with my music trajectory, it was really cool to gain some better insight from his experience. He was also super nice and encouraged me to follow up with him on any questions and anything I'm working on/releasing. He's another radar to stay active on. Robert from Songspace was awesome to talk to as well. I really can't believe how nice and welcoming everyone made me feel. I felt so special and so honored that everyone took time out of their schedules to get to know me and my music. These meetings were opportunities that unless I knew a friend of a friend of a friend... would be nearly impossible to make on my own and I am so incredibly grateful. 

 

Bobby Campbell, Producer 

I almost forgot one of my favorite parts! PRE-PRODUCTION!!! After my meetings, I jetted over to Bobby Campbell's home studio where for the next 3-4 hours we knocked out some pre-production on the 3 songs we recorded! We decided on 'High Five', 'Back Together' and (my personal favorite) 'Marina del Rey'. You can hear some audio previews on my Instagram by clicking here and here! Bobby and I clicked musically right away and it was super fun to work with him and watch him do his thing. At first I wasn't too set on recording 'High Five' because it's not really a go to kind of vibe for me. I'm more melancholy and depressing and that song is upbeat and dare I say happy?! But Bobby talked me into it and seeing him so inspired by it, I really couldn't say no. We knocked out pre-production over some gin and tonics and created the skeletons of each song so when we hit the studio, the musicians will know what to do. And boooyyyy did they know what to do... that's for another post, though ;)

This completes DAY ONE. I was going to put everything into one blog, but that might be overkill. I'll break them down so it's not too boring and/or overwhelming! Thanks for reading and can't wait to share DAY TWO: My first Co-writes EVER!!

Until then,

xoLM

 

Lonna Marie

Los Angeles, CA, United States