Songbay Music and Lyric Sales

Features Songbay Artist: Holly Watkins

Holly Watkins at Songbay

Featured Songbay Artist: Holly Watkins

“Growing up I’ve always wanted to learn how to play different instruments, but I didn’t have a way of learning. Last year I encountered a lot of stress, so I started writing and learning music as an outlet and found different ways of learning like Yousician and Rocksmith. Not long after, I started writing my own lyrics, and soon music, songwriting, and lyric writing became an everyday hobby, possibly even a future.
I have not had any formal songwriting training, I learned songwriting/lyric writing by reading, watching and studying musicians and lyricists online.
My musical influences are diverse. A big influence in my life has been my grandmother, who taught music. She passed away twenty years ago from breast cancer and has been an inspiration to me. As for lyric writing, I think my biggest influence is ‘Sia’ and for music composition, Imagine Dragons. For music production, my biggest influence is Warren Huart- I learned almost all of my music production skills from him!
I can’t really claim to having any major achievements as a songwriter or lyricist as yet, I feel like I’m just starting to get my feet off the ground!
I would like the opportunity to collaborate or perform with another artist-the experience would be great!
The music industry can be a bit intimidating sometimes, especially to artists just getting their talent out, But I think it’s also easier than ever to put yourself out there thanks to sites like YouTube, SoundCloud and Songbay.
Songbay is great, they’ve been so supportive, they’ve provided me with opportunities I never thought I would have. I truly love being a Songbay member. “

An example of Holly’s beautiful writing style taken from her lyric I Pray’

God will always be in my heart,
He keeps me from falling apart,
Holds me in his loving arms.
Far away from all harms,
Prepares me for the world outside,
And wiped my tears when I cried,

Take a look at all of Holly’s work at Songbay and feel free to get in contact with her for any writing or collaboration requests.

Holly Watkins home page Songbay >>

Featured Songbay Artist: Alastair Creyke (No false Promise)


Featured Songbay Artist: Alastair Creyke (No false Promise)

“I have been a frustrated performer most of my life, but with no real musical ability apart from singing whenever I could and writing lyrics on any available scrap of paper, post it or beer mat I could find. I can’t read music, but taught myself to play guitar in the 90’s and started writing music to go with my lyrics. The words arrive and I just feel they need to go somewhere, a word, a phrase or a fully formed structure. It’s a great release

My main influences range from Motown, to Black Crowes, GnR, Radiohead, Damien Rice, The Frames, Foo Fighters. Eclectic to say the least. My favourite artist is probably Dave Grohl, the love of music and energy flows from everything he does. A comparison with him made me realise that the main things we share were having three daughters, love of lumberjack shirts and being in our forties. Ouch!
Time to do something constructive so here I am, looking to create, do something with what I write and work with others. It’s challenging to find time and energy with life’s treadmill rolling at Farrah pace, but if you don’t step off no one will come to you. So here I am, writing with a bit more focus and who knows. Never too old to dream and certainly not to create. Songbay seems a great forum and a professional set up to place work, meet and discuss. Am writing at the moment with a school friend so hoping to have some fully formed songs soon to compliment the lyrics. I don’t rule anything out, until you step off the jetty you’ll never know how warm the water is.”

Songbay Reviews

Songbay Review

Songbay Review

Songbay Review

“We joined Songbay in March 2017 as completely unknown songwriters. We have already licensed two of our songs, and have had multiple collaboration and songwriting offers! Always willing to help, going above and beyond to answer our questions, the Songbayteam has been of great help to us on this daunting journey into the music industry. We would highly recommend Songbay to anyone who creates music! It has opened up a whole new world to us. – Jennie and Emma Wardle (Singer/Songwriters on Songbay  ”

For more reviews by users with first hand experience of Songbay, see  Songbay Reviews >>

Featured Artist: Leigh Malin

Feautured Songbay Artist: Leigh Malin

This week we pose a few questions to Songbay artist Leigh Malin – a brilliant songwriter, new to Songbay  but already enjoying some serious successes with selling and collaborating,,

“How did you get into Songwriting”?

“I started off playing trumpet at school when I was eight years old. My dad talked me into taking up saxophone at ten & I did five years of lessons with a peripatetic teacher. I wasn’t overly interested in the lessons, but spent hours listening to my favourite records after school, notably Motown songs.

When I left school aged 15, I took an engineering apprenticeship & knew quickly it wasn’t for me. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but i knew it wasn’t that! Nobody had ever told me it was possible to earn money through music & I didn’t know anyone who actually made a living from it.

My interest in music continued and from the early nineties, I got involved with various bands, gigging and making a few quid here and there. I joined a wedding band in 1995 & started earning a reasonable wage out of music for the first time.

I’d wanted to create my own music long before then, but wasn’t computer literate & had no idea about programming. Eventually I bought a PC which had a copy of ‘Reason’ pre-installed, & knew straight away I’d get along with it. That was the beginning for me, it gave me the facility to put sound to my ideas.

“Where did you study songwriting?”

Pretty much in my bedroom! No official studies, just trying things hands on & working things out for myself.

“Your musical influences?”

I have so many influences in music. I love latin music, Juan Luis Guerra & The Gipsy Kings. I love reggae artists like UB40, Gappy Ranks & Alborosie.
I really like The Christians, Paul Young, Bowie, Level 42 & older bands like The Moody Blues & The Beatles.
I listen to a lot of jazz players too, like Ronnie Cuber, Jan Garbarek, Joshua Redman & Bob Berg. I’ll listen to classical sometimes, it’s great to hear the strings & arrangements they use.

“Your achievements as a songwriter?”

I’m new to the concept of writing songs for anything other than my own listening, but I recently sold my song “Held By You” through Songbay, to Adelaide artist Ravie Varmaan, who released it as a single on June 23rd this year. I generally record my own guide vocals on my songs & I’m no singer, so to hear a finished product with a vocalist like Ravie fronting it, is a very proud feeling.

“Success at Songbay?”

I’ve not been a member for very long, but after a quiet start, I’ve started getting some interest in my songs.
I’ve done a collaboration, sold a few mp3’s & made a friend on the other side of the planet in Ravie Varmaan, who I’ll be continuing to work with in the future. It’s exciting & I’m looking forward to see where this will lead.

“People you’ve performed or collaborated with?”

I’ve been around a bit so far as performing & recording goes. I’ve played on two of  ‘The Specials albums’, two Lee “Scratch” Perry albums, one of which won the Grammy award in the reggae category (Jamaican E.T) in 2002 & the final album of Manchester band Puressence, amongst others.
In terms of performing, I’ve played with The Selecter, The Beat, The Specials, Hazel O’connor, Carleen Anderson, Dave & Ansell Collins, Judy Collins, Carol Decker, Brian Eno, UB40 & too many others to remember.
I’ve been involved with a lot of projects with Coventry producer Roger Lomas & also German producer Zeus B Held.

“Favorite artists and why?”

It’s impossible for me to pinpoint my single favourite artist, but if i was stuck on a desert island with a just an iPod, I’d want Jan Garbarek, Juan Luis Guerra, Ronnie Cuber & anything with Pino Palladino playing fretless.
Between those, I’d survive! All outstanding at what they do.

“Thoughts on the music Industry?”

I’ve noticed in recent years, there’s quite a lot of anger & aggression in the lyrics of songs that play on daytime radio. I associate hearing music more with positive feelings, although thats not to say lyrics shouldn’t project a serious message.
I like some of the newer artists who are finding success at the moment, people like Christine & the Queens, Rag n Bone Man & London Grammar. They’re all a little bit different from the run of the mill mainstream stuff.

“Thoughts about Songbay?”

I’d been considering trying to sell some of my work for a while & found Songbay through an internet search. I’ve found the site to be just what I was hoping for. There are plenty of people from the industry looking for the products that we are hoping to sell & I’m sure there are many success stories that have played out through using Songbay.
I have found the site easy to use & the staff to be helpful whenever I’ve made contact asking for help. All in all, it’s a great platform for allowing people to listen to the ideas we create.”

Leigh Malin

Take a listen to Leigh’s songs at Songbay and feel free to get in contact with him for any writing or collaboration requests.

Leigh Malin home page Songbay >>

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