Writing a top-ten hit song is the dream of many bands and musicians looking to make their name in the extremely competitive world of music. Although some may write a prospective number one song, getting the right exposure can prove to be an even more difficult task. British singer and songwriter Debbie James, along with her American business partner, think they may have come up with the solution.
Debbie, who moved to Calahonda from the UK in 2020, founded a global songwriting network, and also runs workshops to teach people how to write a chart-topping hit.
As well as performing, Debbie, who is an A and R representative (artistes and repertoire) for AMG in Canada, has been in showbiz since the age of 16, and she went on to run stage schools, where she focused on teen shows, as well as managing several tribute acts.
"I have always liked to write songs, and as I got older, especially after first visiting Los Angeles, I decided to start a global songwriting network.
I used LinkedIn and began networking and adding well-known writers and producers.
It's not as hard to access all these people as one may think. If you know how to network and how to make things happen, it all just comes together," Debbie tells SUR in English.
One of the first people she contacted was Jud Friedman, an award-winning, Los Angeles-based songsmith who has had number one hits with songs such as I Don't Have the Heart (James Ingram); and Run to You, recorded by Whitney Houston for the blockbuster movie, The Bodyguard.
Debbie began working with Jud after contacting him in 2018 and they have since held songwriting workshops in the UK, Italy, America and Canada.
Since arriving on the Costa del Sol, Debbie has co-founded the Songwriting Retreat in Alhaurín el Grande.
"I have always been involved with music, either performing or producing.
I now have some very influential writers and producers on my network. Jud, a very nice, amiable guy who was very easy to connect with, messaged me and suggested that we get together, so I went to LA to meet with him," she says.
At first, Debbie had "no idea" about online promotion or marketing. She had previously relied on traditional methods of promotion, like newspapers and radio, so this was all new to her, but she soon began making some very influential contacts.
"I began to meet a lot of people involved in the music industry. These people have had long, productive careers and they know what they are doing, although I don't like to name drop as they are just friends: I don't see them as superstars," the introvert songwriter explains.
However, she did reveal that one of these luminaries of the pop world is Loris Holland, a Guyanese born composer, producer and songwriter who has worked with Mariah Carey and Ruby Turner, among others.
"I am currently working on a project with Loris Holland; he is a legend and I am super excited because he is insanely talented. My first official cut will be on an album that he has produced. It's all so surreal to me," Debbie says.
She is working as well on some songs that were sent to her by Morgan Mathews, a Billboard songwriter and producer who produced Alicia Keys' number one hit, Show Me Love.
Debbie is also hoping to get back into live performances herself, and she is keen to meet with other musicians with the objective of performing at venues along the Costa del Sol.
Along with all this, the talented songwriter is currently preparing for the next workshop at the Songwriting Retreat, which will take place from 4 until 7 March; and Jud will fly over from the USA to take charge of the sessions.
Held in a private villa named Fort Inglés, the workshops are designed to teach people not only the techniques needed to write a best-selling hit, but also to learn about the process of recording and producing music.
For information, see www.globalsongwritersnetwork.com or contact Debbie on firstname.lastname@example.org
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