After years as a relatively successful independent singer/songwriter, I have recently shifted gears to full-time sideman work as a keyboardist and backup singer (for Marc Cohn, Toby Lightman, and others). I have continued to write music, however, and have a couple dozen songs that are essentially done musically--including mostly established melody lines--but with no lyrics at all. I'm a pretty good lyricist, but it's torture for me, and since I'm no longer the "artist," I'm looking for someone else to do it.
I'm hoping to find a lyricist who thinks commercially (I'd like to try to shop these songs around if they come out well), BUT works hard to avoid cliches, is unafraid to inject lyrics with some specific details (even if it makes the song a bit less "universal"), and is unafraid to use humor if it helps the lyric.
If you want to check out some of my previous material, I recommend checking out "Parker St.," "Satisfied," and "American Angel" at http://www.jdband.com/music.html . You can click on song titles to see the lyrics, which are in the ballpark of what I'm looking for. (The other three songs on that page are there because they were fan favorites, but are considerably goofier than what I'm hoping for with the new material!)
Please drop me an email at josh (at) jdband (dot) com if you're interested in talking or know someone who might be. Many, many thanks in advance!
Whatever comes of this, I hope y'all will post on this thread.
I would find it interesting to know the lyricists who were willing and able to take on the challenge of "form-fitting" new lyrics onto an already written melody, and it would be great to read them. I am similar to Josh in that I have a lot of finished musical ideas either lacking lyrics, or with lyrics that are lacking .
But so far on this forum, I haven't noticed a great deal of instances in which the collaboration worked in this order, music first then lyrics applied to it. (I'm sure it has, but I haven't seen much of it described this way.)
I originally sought out this forum for that very purpose, but found myself just trying to improve my own lyrics. So, if anyone bites, please post...I for one would love to see how it all turns out!
Good luck, Josh...given who you're working with, it looks like you already have some good success!
Liked what I heard here Josh. Like the style and the wit in the writes. I love doing all the stuff you are looking for in a collab, but really only do it for fun now so not putting up for a crack at this. Like Lyle, I will be watching out for any takers ojn this thread. Best of luck. Graham
Josh, I'll take a crack at bein' the lyric doc, one at a time cos I've got alot of things in the works right now. I'm interested because of the groove of the material you sent us to sounds unique enough to be worth the effort, and because I write from any angle, lyrics first, lyrics last, melody/music first or last. I'm sure part of the reason you're posting this is because you're partially caught in the creative bog, I can't tell you how many songs get stalled because you want a fresh perspective and so and so doesn't write lyrics after music , only before, etc.. I would prefer you send me an mp3, or send me a link to where I can download the version we'll be working from, provided I'm approved to board the train, check my stuff out at any of the links below, some is country, some is pop/rock. Look forward to gettin' to know ya...Moker Jarrett
Say just what you feel and make it rhyme...(Walt Aldridge)
All I meant by "thinks commercially" (an admittedly clumsy phrase!) is that I'm looking for someone who is writing lyrics that a) a number of different people could sing (e.g., not a deeply personal song from the perspective of a mixed-race lumberjack) and b) has meaning that a relatively wide range of people could relate/connect to on some level. In other words, while I'm trying to avoid "please don't go, I love you so," I'm definitely hoping that the final song is something artists would want to use and that people could theoretically hear on the radio.
I gave a brief listen to Parker Street. Nice! I'll try to give a listen to some of your other work as time permits. I'm assuming your compositions/melodies in question are already recorded in a format that could be used by a co-writer and that you had a theme or topic in mind when you wrote them. (You are talking about co-writing, aren't you?)
Do you write in other genres? I'm not certain that I understand your comment, "I'm no longer the artist!" Does that mean you are under contract now and cannot sing except as a back-up for someone else or are you being modest?
From just one listen, I am convinced that you don't need to take a back seat to any singer.
Well, I enjoy writing lyrics and am always up for any kind of creative challenge. However, you are most likely looking for people with this type of writing experience. I have not written a full lyric from music before, just from scratch, if you know what I mean. I'm not sure what would happen if I tried it by listening to music first. There are a lot of qualified people on here, but I have to say, it does sound interesting to see what would happen to work the brain "inside out."
A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. -- Abraham Maslow, American Psychologist
I'm relatively new to songwriting (but not to poetry and writing) so I may not be the one you are looking for but am interested in this approach to songwriting as I'm just trying to learn music and composition.
One of my goals for the coming year is to work/colaborate on a few songs in exactly this manner, where the music/form exists and to work to add lyrics.
"18,000 miles in 2 months?" WOW..I'm always In-Awe of Someone who's Paid All The Dues at this Biz! (& when you did the "Good Morning Tampa Bay" Show, you were 2 blocks away from my Clock Shop here in Tampa..Small World, eh?)
I'm a guy who writes Words. LOTS of words..it's an Obession/Bad Habit/but I still think a Good Living can be made at it, one of these days. I worked 3 years with Belinda Womack's former Keyboardist, Susan Shoshana-Braun...results, such as they were, are at <www.CDBaby.com/TampaStan/3>..long story/lotsa Songs/Some not-too-shabby.."Where The Hell is Heaven" is still On-Hold (In a more-Countrified Version) with the Oak Ridge Boys...& Branson's version of "The Platters".
There are a few other CDs I recorded there, too. (I'm also losing the Desire to Be The Next Big Artist..heh..but still Love workin' on The Next Great Song.) I've enjoyed listening to your Site, dunno if I could ever pen a song as Great as Hornsby's "The Way It Is"...but IF you'd send your Fave Un-Lyric-ed Melody to my new email addy, TAMPASTAN@Hotmail.com I'll do ya some lyrics on-spec.
Got the time, check out Lyrics Feedback Board 3 here, where I've got Plenty of Lyrics just-sittin'..AND there are Plenty of Other Lyricists all busily perfectin' their craft just Dyin' for a chance to work with a Melody Person.
Best Wishes for The New Year, Big Guy-Hug, Stan
#571345 - 12/31/0708:27 AMRe: Looking for a lyricist to write to (mostly) established melodies
Joined: Dec 2007 Posts: 1Jade38 ny
Hey Josh- I am an excellent candidate for what you are looking for. I can create the most amazing lyrics and I am sure that it will be no problem to have the melody first. I have a knack for humor and originality. I am also from NY. Long Island. I am looking forward to your reply.
#571401 - 12/31/0703:49 PMRe: Looking for a lyricist to write to (mostly) established melodies
[Re: Jade38 ny]
Thanks so much for the response and for the kind words--I really appreciate both. Just to let everyone know, if you're at all interested in the possibility of collaborating, I would love to have you email me a sample of any lyrics you've written (josh (at) jdband (dot) com). Experience in writing lyrics in this order (music/melodies first) is definitely not necessary!
Dave, to answer your questions: I'm in the process of re-recording each of these tunes with the melody played separately on keyboard, and should have them all done and in MP3 format in the next week or two. As to theme or topic, however, I don't typically have something in mind when I'm writing the music. (I know that's not true of most writers, but it's just the way I write!) And yes, I'm absolutely talking about co-writing. Everything would be 50/50, credit- or royalty-wise. Oh, and all I meant by "I'm no longer the artist" is that I'm no longer performing as a frontman (I only do sideman work at this point), so I don't picture these songs being for me. I'm hoping to shop this stuff around; if collaborators have contacts to shop to as well, that's great too.
Thanks again to everyone--I've gotten far more and better feedback here than anywhere else I've posted. Much appreciated!
Hi Josh. I am up for it I have experience writing lyrics to order and for music already composed. I am a pro singer and sing most genres but prefer rock/blues done in a similar style to your links. I can either write you a sample piece if you provide an Mp3 or post some of my original lyrics by email or PM. Please contact me if you are interested.