THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Apra Silver Silver Scroll 2013 nominee Pete Wadams

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THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Apra Silver Silver Scroll 2013 nominee Pete Wadams

The annual APRA Silver Scroll award acknowledges excellence in songwriting, so at Elsewhere we modified our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire and tailored it to be specifically about the craft of songwriting for this year's five finalists.

These five  were decided by the 10,000 strong APRA membership – all songwriters or composers themselves – who voted for their champion for 2013. The Silver Scroll award is New Zealand’s only peer-voted songwriting award, and is widely considered the most prestigious songwriting award in the country.

Since 1965 the Silver Scroll Award has paid tribute to an impressive list of songwriters, with an honour roll that includes Ray Columbus, Neil Finn, Don McGlashan, Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, Chris Knox, Brooke Fraser and The Naked and Famous.

Answers to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire by last year's Apra Silver Scroll finalists are here.

Oh, and last year's winner's answers are here.

The 2013 APRA Silver Scroll Awards will be held at Vector Arena in Auckland on Tuesday 15th October, and will be live-streamed via NZ Herald Online.

But as to this year . . . here is Pete Wadams (aka P. Money who has been nominated -- along with co-writers Aaradhna and Evan Short -- for Aaradhna's song Wake Up.

The first song which really affected you was . . .

Probably a Michael Jackson song. The Thriller album was the first album I remember really capturing my imagination.

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

Ice T was so dope to me as a kid. He had the gold chains, the guns on the album cover, the hot wife and he said the slickest shit. Ice T for president!

The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?

Timbaland. His only real mis-step in my opinion was the Shock Value 2 album. Everything else is pretty much on point. He fathered everybody’s style nowadays. You can hear traces of his style throughout modern pop music, r&b, dubstep, trap, hip-hop and bass music. Timbo is the king of beats.

As songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; kd lang or Katy Perry; Madonna or Michael Jackson; Prince or Pink?

Definitely Prince. Michael was a great songwriter too, although a lot of my favourite songs of his are written by other folks.

Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?

Rhythm and Melody first for me. I leave the lyrics to the authors.

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

“The Mechanics of Popular Music, A New Zealand perspective” was a very helpful guide to the industry in my early days. It’s probably wildly out of date in 2013 though. Someone should do a revised edition.

If you could co-write with anyone it would be . . . 

Kanye West

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

Most recent download is Drake – Never Was The Same. Last Vinyl LP was My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy collectors edition. Last CD was a million years ago.

One line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold winner is . . .

“I got a letter from the government the other day, I opened and read it, it said they were suckers” – Chuck D from Public Enemy’s ‘Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos’

Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?

20% Inspiration 80% Perspiration

Ever had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?


And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best song ever?”

Which song are we talking about?

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