GRAY MATTER #7 - The Camp

Well hello:)  I know I have been MIA for a little while and have not held up my end of the bargain on GRAY MATTER and for that I apologize. My head has been a bit clouded with some personal stuff and I decided to take a few months to focus my energy elsewhere.  I tried to write during that time, but I didn’t have the urge! Which is very frustrating.  Writing can be great therapy, but if inspiration doesn’t come, I can’t force it.  Then when you least expect it, it shows up like an old friend.  And it’s like no time has passed.  Sometimes I need a little nudge.  My “nudge” this time was being asked to come and take part in a writing camp down in Nashville.  I literally booked a ticket 3 days before leaving and was off.

This was the end of August and I had not written much in around 3 months and was desperate to be around some creative energy.  My dear friend was putting together what became one of the coolest and most creative things I’ve ever done.  He is a writer of pop and country like myself and wanted to bring together like-minded people from both worlds.  The best part was we were all going to write merely to write great songs.  Most times a camp is put together for the goal of writing for one particular artist or project.  This was more about the joy of writing and writing with new people, and I love that idea.  Don’t write with a purpose of success, write to write great. 

So about 50 or so writers from NY, LA and Nashville all converged upon Starstruck Music which is a publishing company in Nashville that was started by Reba (THE Reba)! It’s the only building on music row that actually has enough rooms to fit all of these simultaneous sessions.  Every day we would all show up, check in and get our assigned writing team for that day.  We had no say in the matter.  We’d eat lunch together and then divide up into our groups which for the most part would be an artist (maybe country or pop) a producer (who leaned country or pop) and a topliner/writer or two (that would be me:)  Then we’d break for dinner together.  After that, you could finish what you started or start something new with whomever you choose. Let me tell you.. It was one of the most inspiring things to be a part of.  I was at that studio until after midnight almost every night!!  I met the coolest most talented writers/singers/producers.. And wrote country songs AND pop songs.. It was amazing. One day I was writing with a super suave country singer named John King and the next day I’m writing a pop track with Jesse McCartney.  I feel truly lucky to have been a part of it and I owe it all to my brother from another mother, Shane Stevens, his amazingly smart and lovable partner Eric, and the sweet Courtney Allen from Starstruck who all put this whole thing together.  How proud I am of my friends, to watch them put this together was truly amazing. The perfect example of having an idea and making it happen.

I wrote 7 songs in 5 days.  I can’t release these songs to you guys for the hopes that we hear John or Jesse or whomever want to release them!  If that’s the case then they need to stay private, but I wanted to tell you about what I did… and how it motivated me to get back.  I now have a bunch of ideas in the works for my next project and am slowly chipping away at them.  It’s funny how life can throw you up and down and just when you aren’t sure inspiration will ever strike again, it’s strikes… hard.  I don’t want to say that my frustrating process of trying to have a baby is the only thing coming through in the lyrics, but it’s playing a major role.. As is the fragility of life and love and wanting to just be ok with whatever happens.  It’s all of the above. I know you all feel me.  So again, music is my therapy.. my shrink.. my release.  I don’t know what the songs are going to be yet, but I can’t wait to hear them:)

Miss you guys.