Songwriter Success Stories
This is Mathangi Jagdish, a high energy singer-songwriter from India who has been writing songs with two strong influences - swing jazz and sargram. Her exploration of lyrics in English resulted in personal and funny songs with powerful vocal chops! She worked with me developing her material initially via email 1:1, then migrated to Zoom sessions. She has just released her first EP Major Troubles with Minor Blues featuring a song about one of her bugbears, Mr Procrastination!
This is Carlos Montecinos who is an R&B artist aka Charlez based in Chile. But we met in late 2017 while he was living in NZ. He took singing/performing one-on-one sessions with me twice a week, while also attending dance studies @ The Academy, in Wellington where he won a scholarship for a year's length tuition. Gaining performance confidence, he doubled down on guitar skills and songwriting, attending a Songwriters Clinic in Wanaka 2018 and began recording in his home studio. COVID took him back to Chile in 2021, where he continued song writing and recording and was signed to Division Records. He has just released his first two singles Te Vas and Sin Censura feat label mate, Andriel. Bueno, Carlos!
This is Neville Stewart, a Dunedin based singer-songwriter, who completed his first studio album Tall Stories under the pseudonym of Aart Smith. Aart/Neville attended a 2016 Songwriters Clinic at Dunedin’s Folk Club which led to a six song demo being recorded at the 2017 Wanaka Songwriters Clinic. The demo was sent to his friend Murray Burns (Misex) - now a music producer in Byron Bay - and an album was made! Tall Stories was released in February 2020 with a video released September.
This is Anna Maria van Riel, a singer- songwriter who lives in Wanaka. She has had terrific success, particularly as a children's music writer, receiving 2nd place in the 2017 Australian Songwriters Association Awards for her song "Doodlebug". Anna has several strings to her bow and has toured her 'adult' contemporary music throughout NZ, Australia and the USA. She undertook the Wanaka Songwriters Clinic in October 2017 to revitalise her approach to her music or as she put it, 'to fill my cup'. Below is her collaboration with animator Traci Meek, and her latest children's album, Fishing for Stars, is currently placed in the NZ Top 20.
This is Steph Casey, a Kapiti Coast based singer-songwriter, who did two songwriting courses with me through Wellington Continuing Education (no longer offered) followed up with multiple face-to-face Song Surgery sessions, while she was preparing to release her debut album, Whisper & Holler, which went straight to #4 on the NZIM Charts. She's had further well deserved recent success with two of her songs from the album, Kapiti and The Streets Round My House being synced in this promotional video for the Kapiti region. Check it out below!
This is Juliet McLean, a beguiling singer-songwriter from Taranaki who has been developing new repertoire for her latest single & 6-track EP, both titled Amaze Me for release this September 2022. She is a founder member of Songwriting School and also an adjunct tutor for Year 1 students. Her production skills honed on WOMAD and other large events have proved invaluable for her own solo shows and she's touring NZ this October with her trusty Nord.
This is Jaz Paterson, an alt indie pop artist from South Canterbury who has just finished touring her "unapologetically emotive" sophomore EP, Ache through the major centres and hometown Geraldine. A strong vocalist, Jaz touched base in 2019 for feedback sessions on her material before studying at Christchurch's Sole Academy. Ache was produced by Will McGillivray with a NZ on Air New Music Development grant. Great to see Jaz making waves!
Meet Bastien & Alison
Bastien Bourcet and Alison Choquet perform and compose alternative pop in France under their band name, Poppies. They worked with me via the Musician on a Mission's songwriting coaching calls during COVID lockdown, writing lyrics in English. They recorded and produced their new songs released in December 2020. Tres bon!
This is Charlotte Kerrigan from the Kapiti Coast. She's a singer-songwriter who's been performing in bands & musical theatre in Kapiti for over 15 years. She attended a Songdoctor seminar held at Te Takere in NZ Music Month, which led her to 'reading everything on your website' and a subsequent Song Surgery studio session. Charlotte has two albums under her belt, but her second, Paper Lanterns, was released 20 March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the release show having to be cancelled. Despite this the album entered the charts at # 20!
Dunedin based with a Scottish accent strong enough to cut haggis, Richard Dingwall has played music for years in bands like The Wilding Pines Revue at folk clubs and festivals but wanted to develop his own material. He attended the inaugural Songwriters Clinic in Christchurch and hosted the second Clinic in Dunedin. He subsequently wrote a full set of original songs and recorded them with The Wilding Pines as a live album called Telegraph Road. Richard attended Songwriters Retreat at Hanmer Springs 2018 and his children's music song, 'Hum', was chosen for the 2018 APRA promotional CD Music Box Vol 5.
This is Spencer Brill, a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, NYC who was revitalising his love of music while recovering from a nasty brush with COVID. He worked with me as part of the Soundfly 1:1 mentoring programme over 3 x 6-week sessions on songwriting and indie music life. His band Spencer Brill Music is now performing his material regularly and on 5 May 2023, he released his first single - the aptly named Hospital Song. Nice one, Spencer!
This is Rachel Hird, a budding singer-songwriter from Wellington, a Year 2 Songwriting School student and Stage Level Songwriting Retreat participant. Rachel took one class exercise and used it as the basis for a song to commemorate her WWI veteran grandfather. She recorded Take Me Back to Karamea for independent release ( plus sheet music) for ANZAC Day 2022. Her bandcamp page also sells a book of her grandfather's letters and photographs. This interesting family history project was publicised on RNZ National with two interviews and Rachel's song broadcast throughout NZ. A real outcome!
This is Nick Feint from Golden Bay who is a singer-songwriter who has just released his new album, Next Exit from Babylon, produced by Levity Beet. Nick worked with me remotely on coaching calls and attended both my First and Next Level Songwriting Retreats@ Tahora. He's about to come to the inaugural Stage Level Songwriting Retreat @ Martinborough Jan 28-31 2022 in prep for touring his new release.
This is Yve Stewart from Invercargill who came to the inaugural Songwriters Clinic (2016) in Christchurch as a birthday present! She had written a great many songs but was reluctant to perform them and unsure how to progress with her material. After meeting folks on the clinic and sharing some of her songs, she undertook several Song Surgery sessions, gaining enough confidence to perform them at open mics in Dunedin and Queenstown before entering them in the International Songwriting Competition. She became a semifinalist in 2017, with her song, King of Cruel, which puts her in the top 10 % of songwriters from over 16,000 worldwide entries. 2018 has seen Yve record and release her songs across digital platforms. Great result!
This is Tara Canton, a Year 9 high school student who wrote one song and won the 2016 Wellington Regional Smokefree Rock Quest with it! To enter the nationals she had to write two more songs in two weeks. She had two face-to-face Song Surgery sessions with me, and with the support of her family and school, was able to write her songs and record them live in time for the digital audition.
This is Lisa Tui Jonathan, a Christchurch based singer and gospel choir director who has recently begun focusing on her songwriting with great results. Her songs are now entering her regular professional performing repertoire and she is working on pre-production for recording. Lisa has done Song Surgery sessions for over a year and was the producer for the inaugural Song Clinic in Christchurch. Here's her first live facebook concert. She independently released her first single, Comin' On Home.