Review of the songwriting conference Songs Con in Berlin on 8.10.2016
I didn’t stumble upon David Guetta and Max Martin, like I did at ASCAP Expo 2016 in Los Angeles earlier this year, but it was indeed a unique and valuable experience.
There were several workshops led by successful songwriters, producers and A&R managers, such as: Michelle Leondard, Leo Chantzaras, Daniel Nitt, Melbeatz, Errol Rennalls and many more.
The event took place at beautiful nhow Berlin, Europe’s first music hotel, located between Universal Music and MTV.
I specially liked the master workshops led by songwriters individually, and here are some words of wisdom I got there.
It’s just music, get a life
I heard for Michelle Leonard due to her fantastic work with the music group Cinema Bizarre, but her list of achievements goes on and on.
I really liked her thoughts on not taking things too seriously, that music is just music and on looking for environment that suits you. It is so simple but so relevant.
She also emphasised that “writer’s block” occurs only when you don’t have a deadline, like mentioned in my Ultimate Guide to Overcoming Songwriting Blockage [Infographics].
I also had the opportunity to meet Leo Chantzaras, multi-gold and platinum songwriter, producer, publisher, A&R and former singer, who said:
Music was invented to have fun. Don’t lose that fun.
Get a Swedish name to get into the music industry
Leo Chantzaras was all about being a sales person and thinking like a businessman. He mentioned that at some point he changed his name to Swedish and got a much greater response when pitching his songs.
A name is so important. If you don’t have a cool one, you better get a cool one. One of the greatest rock stars Gene Simmons from a band Kiss was born as Chaim Witz. Who’d buy Chaim Witz?
Leo also mentioned that top songwriters are rejected as well, so it’s not a big drama if you don’t get a cut, just move on.
What should I say right now?
Songwriter Errol Rennalls, the author of Sex Bomb by Tom Jones, mentioned the importance of using unique expressions:
What should artist say in order to be fresh and relevant for the current moment?
For more on the topic on unique expressions, I’d mention the book The Billboard Guide to Writing and Producing Songs that Sell: How to Create Hits in Today’s Music Industry by Eric Beall. A short review on this book can be find in another blog post.
Unfortunately many workshops took place at the same time so I couldn’t attend them all. I was hoping to hear some writing tricks, such as interesting harmonic twists etc. If anyone heard something interesting at Songs Con, I’m welcome you to share the experience in the comments below.