Songbay Reviews

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 >>

Feautured Songbay Artist: Anka Yura

Feautured Songbay Artist: Anka Yura

This week we take a look at the work of Anka Yura, a brilliant songwriter of high quality chart hits, and such a mellifluous voice!

Listen to her original hit ‘Fire in the Air’ now >>

Anka Yura at Songbay

Anka Yura at Songbay

“How did you get in to songwriting?”

When I was six years old, my parents bought me my first instrument, a Mandolin.I learned to play it myself just by listening. My dad was so strict about me learning to play the Mandolin that he had me master at least one new song a day.
Sometimes, it’s not only teenagers or adults, but also kids who don’t want to be pushed too hard. One day, before my parents got home from work, I sat on my mandolin, jumped on it and broke it in half! (?)
But that wasn’t the end of my music journey. In fact, I carried music in my heart and mind through the years. I now make songs and music from my heart, not because I am obligated to.
I never imagined myself composing and writing songs but it all comes naturally to me.

“Where did you study songwriting?”

Even though I obtained Bachelor degree in political science and Mastered in International Business Management, I never quit studying music. We study many different things in colleges and universities but by studying something on our own and practicing on our own we learn more.
In fact, music is the one thing that I’d create all day without thinking about anything else.
Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a shy person that I don’t often share my feelings with people.
So writing lyrics and putting melodies to them is the only way for me to express the feelings that I’ve never shared to anyone before.

” What are your musical influences?

My music taste comes from all over. But my greatest source of inspiration is my daughter.

” What would you say are your achievements as a songwriter?

My biggest achievement was being able to watch my daughter listen and dance to my song ‘Fire in the Air’?.
About a year ago, I sent my very first songs ‘Shades of the Rainbow’ and Roller Coaster Man’ to an International Song Writing Competition. I was shocked by its results. Shades of the Rainbow( not published yet) was placed as a semi finalist and Roller Coaster Man’ was awarded a Directors Award of ISRC.







“People you’ve performed or collaborated with?”

When my daughter Amanda was born, I decided to dedicate myself to humanitarian causes as much as I could. I joined the UNICEF Next Generation in Los Angeles. Being a part of this great organization and involved in its work for the past five years has inspired me to write the song Why Are You Away ( donated to UNICEF and its effort help children around the world).
‘Why Are you Away’ is a song about questioning powerful people who have become indifferent of helping people in need, once they have power.
This song was produced by Laetoli Music Publishing and sung by Jean Miller, acoustic guitar played by Scott Holt.
“Who are your favorite artists and why?”
I like all sorts of music, but in particular, I like to watch inspiring movies and listen to their soundtracks. I think soundtracks are not only for enhancing the movie’s story but also reveals the inner strength and energy of the main character in the movie.

“Thoughts about Songbay?”

I’m really happy that I found Songbay.
Songbay is a very useful and informative engine for artists. Not to mention, you can live chat with like minded artists through Songbay. It’s offers, features, and extras are amazing tools for those young emerging and new coming artists like myself.
Btw: Thank you Songbay for creating and sharing such beautiful artwork for my song Be Seeing You, coming soon in June.
All I can say about Songbay is to check it out for yourself and you’ll know what to do.

Take a look at Anka’s work on Songbay today. Feel free to get in touch with her with any work offers or collaboration requests: 

Anka Yura’s  Artist Page at Songbay >>

Featured #Songbay Artist Mark Downey “Everyday people dealing with ‘everyday’ life” #Songwriting at #Songbay

Feautured Songbay Artist: Mark Downey

Mark Downey Songbay Lyricist

Mark Downey Songbay Lyricist

This week we feature the work of Songbay artist Mark Downey,  an extremely  talented  lyricist and  poet with a large selection of lyrics available for purchase at Songbay.  Mark’s recent works focus on the ‘individual perspective’- ‘Everyday’ people dealing with ‘everyday’ life.

In his own words:
” I’ve gone through a number of artistic formats over the years, from play-writing to poetry through most memorably for a few months, pottery.

But writing, putting ideas into words, creating images and sounds, trying to find the best way to express a particular emotion, this was an activity I quickly fell in love with. And as all of us who use this site would agree, songs are a magical and unique medium. They can make us cheerful or sad, want to dance and sing in a way that no other art form is capable of doing. All encapsulated within generally a three to five minute period.

I’m not usually someone who writes directly about personal experiences. I have so much admiration for writers who can do that, it’s an amazing gift but sadly for me, not one I have. For me the inspiration, the drive to write is triggered by outside influences. A rhythm or melody on a song which will make me think, that’s a genre style that I would like to try. Sometimes it’s an emotion or an expression that a friend might express that I’ll think is interesting. Or a documentary or political show which has a cultural reference that I’ll connect with. How people are being effected by the environment they find themselves in.

Though with the most recent batch of lyrics I’ve uploaded to Songbay I’ve been trying to write more straightforward, ‘relationship’ lyrics. The timeless variety that we can all connect with. With a ‘catchy’ melody. Hopefully. That’s the rainbow somewhere out there on the horizon that I’m searching for. But variety is what I love.

Following on from that it will not be a surprise if I say that while my love of music listening came from being an ‘80’s child’ and hearing the songs of the time. The ‘popular’ acts like Prince, Madness, Led Zeppelin, it was the folk/pop singer-song-writers like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen etc who got me interested in writing my own song lyrics a few years back. The idea being that I would completely capture the human condition, helping to end through the power of words: war, famine and hardship everywhere. The:

‘And I assure the public that this will be achieved by the end of the decade’

…….kind of idea. Lol

But even after realism sunk in, (strangely enough I haven’t yet inspired a peace march or a single gun to be laid down), I continued on writing less grandiose songs and found I still enjoyed it. Songs more from an individual’s perspective. ‘Everyday’ people dealing with ‘everyday’ life.

I love the feeling of creating, when I settle down with an idea of what I want to say and the words flow. A great feeling of calmness, completeness and achievement envelops me.  Especially since this doesn’t happen with the regularity I would like, it’s often a case of sitting down hoping for an ‘inspiration muse’ to happen by as I stare at a blank page or screen! But when it does come together, I’m in my own personal oasis. Then sharing the piece with people I know and over the last few years, uploading them to this site is a journey I’ve come to enjoy. Sadly, I haven’t had many sales, which of course I would like, but I do get a lot of personal enjoyment from writing anyway.

The feedback and encouragement I’ve got from Songbay, both from other members and the guys who run the site has been great. I tend not to write with other artists so when I finish a piece, no one else has seen a single word and I’m always disappointed with the final song. Sometimes what I envisioned is close to what I’ve put down in words, other times it looks like I’ve just thrown random scrabble block letters onto a page. But the members here understand and are always supportive. I don’t know whether I should extend this comment out to everyone but, if I’m a typical example:

‘Artists are a terribly insecure bunch of people. We can never be reassured too much……!’

Thanks for all the claps on the back. ”

 Mark Downey

Take a look at Mark’s work on Songbay today. Feel free to get in touch with him with any work offers or collaboration requests: 

Mark Downey Artist Page at Songbay


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