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Songwriting Contest

Blue Light 30-30 – Week 5 Challenge

So, we received this week’s challenge on Monday, and look at me – caught the lightning bolt last night (Wednesday) and my entry just kind of wrote itself – though I think I could have done better in the mix (and as a non-performing songwriter I know that my singing is sub-par).  Jordan Howard, Creative Director of CCS Rights Management is looking to pitch songs for a 19th century “Dexter”-style show starring Christina Ricci – so that took me to a pretty dark place:  There must be some mistake, I didn’t mean to let them take away my soul… I know the devil wears a blue dress, but this neon blue image took over for me and the 30-30 shotgun image completed this macabre work… the longer version (yes, there is an even longer version) also worked in pentagrams and black candles for a full-on Satanist vibe…

I’m back on my Matt Dusk pitch song now – lighter fare for sure! I’m busy over March Break, so I’m making the most of my not-so-free time now… May the Muse, and not the Devil, be with you…

One Gun Salute – Week 4 Challenge

Okay, another tough week – country pop with an EDGE was the order for this week a la Ron Irving… we weren’t supposed to mention marriage or kids, so what do I do – my first line is about a “man and his wife” – but the song’s narrator isn’t married so I’ll take that as compliance with the rules.  I didn’t have time to make a full demo so I layered some guitar and did a rough vocal to get an idea for the song.  The “edge” comes from the cheekiness in the title – “one gun salute” and the double entendre in the last verse…

Let me know what you think and may the Muse be with you… and not shoot you…

Super Happy Fun Time – Week 3 Challenge

Well, Heather Gardiner, Head of Music Supervision & Licensing for Vapor Music, issued this week’s challenge – to write a 60 second piece of music for use in an advertisement (that could also be cut into 30 and 15 second pieces):

The spot features a child so we’re looking for something child-like, light and playful, fun, capturing the moment and that captures the spirit of a child. However, we don’t want to be emotional or heart-stringy — we’re looking for something that’s purely fun.

That was my focus this week – and with my 4-year old son’s help, I just kind of stopped at the “purely fun” part of the task – I mean the piece is called “Super Happy Fun Time” for heaven’s sake!  I didn’t quite get up to the feel of having a contemporary song, and was more like a Pee Wee’s Playhouse filler song.  But it was fun…

May the Muse be with you… in Super Happy Fun Time way…

Like A Girl – Week 2 Challenge

Well, I had a rough week with this challenge.  As I’ve already stated, these are uncharted waters for me… My daughter just turned 13 so you think I might be hearing a lot of current music in the house, but God bless her soul, she listens to a lot of older tunes (her favourite – The Beatles).  I wrote one song (Waking Nightmare) base on Rehtaeh Parsons‘ tragic death after her attempted suicide.  I didn’t end up having time to record that one for this week, but I thought I’d put a line or two here:

I can’t fake that smile
It’s been a while
Since I wanted to anyway…
Why do I have to be strong?
When you know what’s right from what’s wrong

Not exactly light fare… Some of the lines in that song (and the working title) were right from Rehtaeh’s journal.  Very sad…

So, another song took hold later in the week inspired by the recent campaign that started earlier this month with a Super Bowl Ad –  the”Like A Girl” campaign. The campaign shows differences in how people perceive the phrase, “like a girl.”  And thus, the first verse is:

He meant it as a joke
When he spoke
But a little piece of me broke
Shattered my glass house world

The girl takes ownership of the phrase and wears it proudly.  I gave myself some wiggle room to be able to put it into the third person if need be, but my daughter helped me out with vocals on this one. Here it is:

May the Muse be with you… and can’t wait to see what Week 3 has in store (and still working on the Week 1 challenge!)

Songwriting Challenge No. 2

Boy, if I thought I was out of my element with the first week’s challenge (due in 5 weeks), this week’s challenge (due in a week) has me hyperventilating even more!  This challenge comes from Rob Wells who writes/produces with such artists as Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, among others…  Here’s the gist of Mr. Wells’ “reverse” pitch:

I’m looking for strong female based Pop/Top 40 songs.  Think Selena Gomez.  Think Demi Lovato.  Think big.  Think hits.  Think target audience of 13-18 years old.

This challenge will NOT be easy… I’m really hoping the Muse will be with me…

Songwriting Challenge No. 1

So I took my own advice from my last post and signed up (late) for the SAC’s Songwriting/Blogging Challenge.  I was just accepted today, so I’m behind one week, but I can catch up.  The thing is, after listening to Matt Dusk’s “reverse” pitch on how the songs should feel (up and down tempo, Daft Punk/Foster The People to John Legend/Lana Del Rey) I’m feeling I may not be up to the task.  These are not my contemporaries – I have exactly one song in my personal collection (Pumped Up Kicks) so I’m doing research right now listening for the feel that Mr. Dusk wants (now, I have a lot of Matt Dusk in my collection, but lo and behold, he wants something different!).

Wish me luck – I’m waiting for this new Muse to be with me…

The SAC Songwriting & Blogging Challenge 2015

Check out the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) Challenge 2015.  Participants in the Challenge complete a weekly and blog about their experience.  As part of a private Facebook group, challenge participants may collaborate with other SAC songwriters.

The first challenge? Write a song to pitch for the next Matt Dusk album.

So, if you’re a SAC member why not register for the challenge (check out the link above).

Good luck and may the Muse be with you…

Going Platinum on Bravo!

Former American Idol judge and music publisher/songwriter Kara DioGuardi and singer-songwriter Jewel will co-host a new show on Bravo titled Going PlatinumThe ten-episode reality competition is currently in production and is slated to premiere in 2011.

The program will focus on singer-songwriters as they write their own songs. It will feature 12 musicians competing in songwriting challenges – from dance tracks to love ballads. The winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize, a publishing deal and a recording deal with RCA/Jive. 

Said Jewel, "I am excited to be a part of this show because as a songwriter, I understand the dedication and struggle these musicians are going through." She added, "This series will showcase the passion, talent and determination it requires to become a hit songwriter, and in the end we will find the next big music star.”

"Hit songs are the backbone of the music industry, and as a publisher, nothing excites me more than finding new songwriting talent," DioGuardi said in a statement released by Bravo. "I am happy to be a part of a show that helps up and coming songwriters pursue their dreams, while giving the public a look into the creative process."

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Canadian Radio Star Competition

Canadian Radio Star, the 18th annual national songwriting competition, is now accepting entries and online submissions from aspiring and proficient songwriters – published or unpublished – across the country.  Sponsored by Astral Radio, and presented in association with Canadian Music Week, the contest offers emerging artists the opportunity to submit their songs for the chance to win thousands worth in music equipment, services and more – including $10,000 in cash.

"Songwriters are at the core of our rich musical heritage," says Rob Braide, Astral Radio. "Their songs define our lives and our landscape.  Through initiatives like Canadian Radio Star, we have the opportunity to discover, empower and promote the stars of tomorrow, while contributing to Canada’s vastly thriving music scene."

New to the Canadian Radio Star competition this year, songwriters can submit their songs directly online at www.radiostar.ca to the participating radio station in their area.  Entries are open now until 5pm EST on December 13, 2010 – the contest’s close. 

Complete details and contest rules can be found online at www.radiostar.ca.

Songs will be judged by Canadian radio programmers, music publishers, recording industry executives, and successful songwriters.  Regional winners will be declared by the participating radio station in each market, with a combined public and industry vote determining the Grand Prize winner. 

The 2011 Canadian Radio Star will be announced on Saturday, March 12, 2011, during Canadian Music Week (March 9-13, 2011).

"In many ways, this competition offers a launch pad for the careers’ of aspiring Canadian songwriters," says Neill Dixon, President of Canadian Music Week. "It opens doors to new possibilities, provides unrivaled exposure, and puts the songwriters’ songs directly in front of a commonly unreachable audience.  Astral Radio’s dedication to this project is commendable and underscores our mission to develop Canadian talent."

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SongDoor 2009 – Open for Competition

From its promotional materials:

SongDoor is still the only songwriting competition where nobody loses. All entrants receive a free DIY SongU.com songwriting course and free melody-writing software, valuable tools worth $70. The entry fee is $10.

Entrants are eligible to win the Grand Award, valued at approximately USD $7,745 in music merchandise and services, including a single-song publishing contract with Hard Twist Music-BMI (owned by mega-hit songwriter Bill Shore), a full-band private session demo at 16 Ton Studios, Music Row’s hottest recording facility, a one-year full-access membership to SongU.com, a copy of MasterWriter songwriting software, a suite of songwriting software from Tanager Audioworks, a Primo MoB membership to Broadjam, a leather gear bag and an autographed copy of two of hitmaker Jason Blume’s best-selling songwriting books. Six Category Winners each receive a valuable package of awards valued at almost $4,670 including a first-rate guitar or vocal production demo and memberships to both SongU.com and Broadjam.

Songs may be entered in six different categories: Christian, Country, Pop, Rock/Alt, Soft Rock and Instrumental. Entries are accepted online or by mail through November 15, 2009.

The SongDoor International Songwriting Competition is an annual event, open to amateur and professional songwriters worldwide. Entries are accepted online or by mail from April 15 through November 15. The entry fee is just $10.

Good Luck and may the Muse be with you…

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