How Hosting a Couple of Writing Camps Taught Me About How Important it is to have the right Energy
If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you know that a few weekends ago I hosted the first ever Room380 writing camp. The purpose of it was to develop as many songs that were competitive for placement and sync opportunities. Part of doing that is creating records by having songwriters come up with the best melodies and lyrics while recording them to be mixed later. The process is pretty fun as you’re watching songwriters compete and collaborate to come up with some awesome top lines. While we were hosting our own I learned a few things from that session I’d like to share that may help you the next time you attend one.
May the Best Top Line Win: Having multiple songwriters work on the same song at the same time can be chaotic. However, if you allow each songwriter a crack at the record you can take a piece of each contribution and make a pretty phenomenal reference. At one point one of our songwriters came in a little late after attending a music video shoot and laid down a top line that was so fire it changed the entire vibe of the record we were working on. The first songwriters had to go back and rework their lyrics and cadences. One of the A&R’s in the session assured me that this does happen from time to time and I was not mad at the result. Everyone’s not going to have the best idea at the time but it should motivate everyone to bring their A game.
Collaboration is Important: Now as much as I like competition I also know that in this business it’s important that everyone feels as though their voice is heard. If you wave someone’s idea off you could damage the entire vibe of the session. Think about it. If you’re go to writer feels like they’re not being heard that energy is going to be felt. People will notice it and may even feel like it’s not even worth making a suggestion. Before we started our camp I let every writer know that even if they are embarrassed by the idea to lay it down in the vocal booth as that could be the money maker for us. Everyone has to feel like they can be themselves, even if you don’t initially agree with what they’re presenting. It’s not about you, it’s about the record.
Push the Writers When Needed: You definitely want a fun environment but the last thing is for everyone to get too comfortable. Breaks are needed and building camaraderie is essential but make sure everyone is focused on the goal. If need be, order pizza and water right before getting back to it. We’re here to do a job.