Graham Reid | | 3 min read
Every year many of the students in Auckland University's popular music course enter a Songwriter of the Year competition in which they perform their original songs backed by a professional band (and often with some fellow students pitching in).
This year's final was at the Raye Freedman Arts Centre on Thursday Sept 20 and Elsewhere thought we should throw the same questionnaire at the students as we did with the Apra Silver Scroll nominees (see here). Of course many of these students hadn't recorded their music (yet) so we can't post a track.
Here is Emily Rice whom we are told "sings with such conviction displaying the voice of an experienced performer as she soars through beautiful phrases with hints of jazz scatting - perhaps her most noted trademark. With the use of exotic instruments and rhythms, she has begun experimenting with new flavours in her song writing which will move your feet and stir your soul. Emily likes nothing more than to collaborate with fellow musicians and entertain her audience with her exuberant personality, thoughtful lyrics and delicious sounds". Her Facebook page is here.
The first song which really affected you was . . .
“My name is Emily Rice and I’m a movie star … I got hips (boom boom) and lips (kiss kiss), I’m a turn around turn around movie star”. Mum tells me I used to dance around the house singing this for hours when I was three. That’s when I fell in love with music.
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
I used to sing, no, yell, Spice Girls songs out the windows with my best friends… we we’re going to be them… oh and how could I forget Shania Twain
The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?
Bon Iver. Oh yes.
As songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; kd lang or Katy Perry; Madonna or Michael Jackson; Prince or Pink?
McCartney, Perry, Jackson and….. Pink
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are well crafted are . . .
Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home
Radiohead – The Tourist
Sufjan Stevens – I want to be well
Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?
It’s always a bit different, today was lyrics first, last week was chords, and sometimes it all just happens as one!
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
To be honest…. I’ve always been a listener and not so much of a reader…. I can never sit still long enough to read… I listen and I dance!
If you could co-write with anyone it would be . . .
Sufjan Stephens! That would be fun!
The three songs you'd insist anybody listen to because they might understand your songwriting style better are . . .
Sting – Fields of Gold
Tarzan- Trashin’ the camp
Madeleine Pereoux- Dance with Me to the End of Time
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts – SO GOOD
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be . . .
The Beatles – Hey Jude.
One line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold winner is .
“we are crooked souls trying to stay up straight,
dry eyes in the pouring rain
the shadow proves the sunshine
the shadow proves the sunshine” - Switchfoot
Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?
60/40….. can’t write without being inspired… and can’t write if you don’t work at it….
Ever had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?
YES! It happened to me once on a bus. One by one all the different instruments and parts fell to my lap and I assembled them and put them into a song! The first love song I wrote actually.
And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best song ever?”
Because I tap dance in it recorded live off my garage floor!
To read the responses of other finalists in this competition go here.
To book tickets for the final: phone: 09 361 1000 or 0508 iTICKET If you are calling from outside of Auckland. Service fees may apply.
Concession may be claimed on production of suitable ID. $15 full price / $10 concessions / $5 school students