When the folks at KMF asked me if I would write a blog post about my experiences at the Kauai Music Festival, AKA The Hawaii Songwriting Festival (I love the new name BTW), I was more than happy to. I have been to KMF 2 times. The first time changed the way I approach songwriting. The second time changed my life!
The first time I attended the KMF was in 2005. I had just come off of a long hiatus from songwriting and performing and thought that attending KMF would be a great way to get back into music. Honestly, I really thought I was going to fly over to Kauai, play my demo for industry people, get “discovered” and be on my way to the big leagues. That did not happen - not even close. What did happen is that my idea of what it takes to write songs was spun 180 degrees by listening to, and learning from, the truly amazing songwriters and industry professionals that were there to share and teach. These folks are incredibly knowledgeable, successful and are really there to help.
The second time I attended KMF was in 2007. I had taken what I had learned from my first experience there and done my best to apply it to how I approached songwriting. I ended up winning the songwriting competition that year and as a direct result found myself with 2 publishing offers. One of the staff that year took my demo to EMI in New York, they offered me a multi-song deal, and I ended up having the opportunity to work directly with Jim Ed Norman - a relationship that ultimately let to a staff writing position with Sony/ATV publishing in Nashville and then to my current deal with Jim Ed Norman and Curb Publishing.
I’ve had songs cut by Nashville recording artists, I’ve written songs with some of the most successful writers in country music and I’ve made some life long friends along the way. Eight years in, I know I’m really just getting started, and even though it’s a tough business I feel like I’m on track to have some real success as a songwriter.
The Nashville Songwriters Association’s (NSAI) motto is “It all begins with a song,” and while I couldn't agree more, for me it really all began with the Kauai Music Festival - there’s truly nothing else like it anywhere!
Welcome and Aloha! This is the KMF Blog, and we hope it can be a source of information and idea exchange for songwriters and KMF attendees. Julia Brotman, our board member and director of social media strategies will be moderating and encouraging others to join and comment!