It was the penultimate day of our family holiday on the beautiful greek island of Skiathos when I got the email from our publisher that left me grinning almost as much as my 5 year old boy about to dive into the hotel swimming pool!
My publisher had just confirmed and finalised the deal for a song I produced and co-wrote with the super talented Kim Williams, to be featured in an upcoming major feature film to be released later in the year. We are told it is to be featured prominently in a key scene in the film and there is also the possibility that the song will be used in the official film trailers. Unfortunately due to the film not yet having an official release date, I am strictly not allowed to publically disclose the name of the film or cast at the moment which trust me is killing me! BUT I know the wait will be worth it!
So how did this come about you may ask? Well to use a well worn cliche in the music industry, it all starts with a song. This particular song called "Waiting for You" first came into existence in November of last year. My co-writer Kim had written some lyrics that really had me intrigued and I was instantly drawn to the imagery portrayed within them. So much so, I started playing around with some musical ideas on the piano and within minutes we had the basis of the melody and chords that would eventually form part of the song. I've said it before but sometimes songs seem to almost write themselves and it's as though you are a spectator rather than a participant in the writing process as the music starts to flow through you rather than from you. I can't explain it and I certainly don't understand it! And to be honest I'm not sure it matters, I'm just grateful I get to be there when it does. From there we sent ideas back and forth, tweaked some music and lyrics, made revisions and then I set upon producing the song in my studio. This included enlisting a great vocalist out of Seattle called Joseph DeNatale to sing the song. The beauty of today's technology meant he recorded the vocals at his own studio stateside and then sent over the vocal stems for me to do a final mix and master of the song....and so the song was born! We soon set about pitching the song to various agencies before the publisher we signed to picked up on the song. Thankfully they were excited as us about the possibilities for the song and set about contacting film music supervisors to pitch to. Which brought us to where we are today with the excitement of awaiting the film's release.
From the start I think we both knew this was something that could be perfect for sync (music to moving images for those not sure what sync actually is). The beauty of writing for sync is that the constraints you may face as a writer or producer pitching to artists, don't exist. There is no genre of music off limits when it comes to sync opportunities. If you don't believe me then the next time you're bingeing on the latest Netflix show, listen out for everytime you hear music playing in the background. Listen to the songs, orchestral music, the genre, no matter how short or long, whatever it is and you'll be surprised at how often and crucially the importance it plays in a particular scene. For all you songwriters out there, whilst most genres of music present an opportunity, lyrically speaking you need to pay attention to what you are writing about. The key to a successful placement in many cases is the mood and atmosphere your song creates and not a specific lyric. Music supervisors don't tend to like songs with people's names or places mentioned in the song. The reason being is it would likely detract from the story the scene in the film or show is trying to portray. It's not much use if you have an incredible song that is perfect in every other way if it is talking about the beauty of the rain in Manchester, UK when the fim is set in the everyday hustle and bustle of downtown Manhatten! So my humble advice for you songwriters and artists wanting to land a placement is write from the heart, create a mood, a feeling, be brave, challenge yourself to write outside of your preferred genre but keep your lyrics non specific in terms of places or names, you never know where it could lead!
Finally DSM also has another reason to celebrate with the release of UK pop artist Ben Davidson's new single "ANYTHING". I've been lucky enough to have produced and co-written with Ben on quite a few of his releases and this one has got us all massively excited, a great summer tune if ever I heard one (me? biased? never!)!!
Ben is an awesome talent, a super singer and a great songwriter and I for one am excited for the next chapter especially as I get a front row seat when it comes to helping him to create and realise his musical vision.
The song was cowritten between myself, Ben and Paul Coxhead and produced here by me at DSM Music Production. The song is out now on all major digital platforms. Spotify link below should you have a spare 3 mins to dance and sing your heart out!
Time to bid you farewell for now but in the meantime, if you want to stay up to date with all the happenings at DSM Music Production, the latest blog as well as special subscriber only deals for any of DSM production services, then subscribe by clicking here.
Until next time, have a great week and make every second count!