I never was one to want to write songs for seasons or holidays, but when I heard a track that a friend of mine Shay Watson had put music together, I couldn't help but to totally hear Vampire Diaries themes and Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' going through my head. We immediately jumped on the idea of a dark love song with a vampire theme and it really turned out to be a cool track. Typically this is not the style that I perform or produce, but it's good to venture out a little sometimes! http://soundcloud.com/nbrumley2/speak-to-me
A few years ago I was blessed to write a track with Eddie Kilgallon; the keyboard player for Montgomery Gentry. It was our first co-write and I knew going in that he was a tremendous writer and was excited to see what we would get. When he played me his idea as a possible pitch for Intervention I was blown away and what we would finish that day was probably the most ideal song for 'Celebrity Rehab' or 'Intervention' that I have ever come close to writing. We really hope to get this song in the hands of the right people who can get the track on some kind of show dealing with addiction, depression or just the troubles that come from going through difficult times in life.
One of my passions outside of songwriting is fly fishing in the state of Idaho where I grew up. I grew to really love the sport through my dad introducing me to it at an early age. Throughout my childhood and into being an adult we made trips constantly to the river or to high mountain lakes; usually to remote places to catch enormous trout.
In the last few years my dad and brother have opened a fly tying business called DFI (Dry Fly Innovations) and have been extremely successful selling their flies to fisherman around the world. Along with tying incredible flies, they also create amazing videos cataloging their fishing trips around the state of Idaho.
This has been a really cool opportunity because they have been able to use a lot of my songs as the background in the videos and it has been a cool cross-promotion tool for both companies. I really hope to see their business thrive as they offer a product that is undoubtedly the best in the world and have the integrity and hard work to back up every fly.
http://youtu.be/RfXO_0o2uCw http://youtu.be/WvRa64-vJZ0 http://youtu.be/YhqbVwzM5yM
I had a great meeting at BMI last week with a gentleman who was a veteran in the industry. He was an outstanding songwriter himself and I sought some of his advice as to where to go next with my career. In my hands I had the best of my pop, Christian and 2 or 3 or my best country songs. Since pop is my dominant genre, I had lots of songs to play him in that area.
After listening to about 8 of my songs pretty much straight through, the man turned around and said 'Wow, you've got some really great stuff!" I proceeded to wait on him to tell me that pearl of wisdom, that nugget of truth that I've been looking for in my 11 years in Nashville. The silence mounted as I waited for what he might say about what to do next with my career.
The silence was broken by words that I never would have expected, "Man, I really think you need to write more country." More country I thought? I waited 11 years to be told to write more country when I have pop songs that are getting placed in major network shows?
Well you live and you learn and you have to take everything with a grain of salt, but I don't think you'll need to worry about me changing into a cowboy hat or slinging a guitar around any time soon!
I can remember when I was 19-I had a fair amount of music talent, some pretty good ambition and a few lofty goals in my music future. When I moved to Nashville, I realized that the talent continued to get younger and the determination, focus and drive of these young artists were more than even I had at almost 10 years past their age!
One such artist I've been blessed to work with recently is Ashley Allyson who I met at a festival doing a songwriter round. Ashley is a serious talent who can sing country and pop extremely well and has been performing since before she was in middle school.
In our first meeting, it was obvious that she had it all together and the drive and focus to match her talent. We finished a great song together and I hope to get it out for film opportunities and help use it to build her pop catalog.
Shay Watson is a very talented singer/songwriter/producer that was one of the second people I met when I first moved to Nashville in 2000. He was working with Embassy Music and cranking out songs like the genres were literally going out of style!
Our friendship grew over the years and I saw him have great success with the band 10 Mile Drive-a country act that had a sound like Rascal Flatts meets Nickel Creek and eventually move to a duo Watson and Nash who put on incredible live shows with energetic and superbly written country tunes.
But as of lately we've been meeting on a regular basis and writing a few times a month and have been turning around some pretty cool stuff. Shay's self producing a record for himself and he has featured the last 2 songs we've written on his latest record.
I'm excited to co-write many more cool songs with him here in the next few weeks and months and try to get him some good exposure for the great artist and songwriter he is!!
Right now I'm in a strange place in that I've got about 8 or 10 songs that I've produced for other artists and written for other artists that are just about ready to be completed all at the same time. Usually it takes me 6 months to produce 10 or 12 songs, but it seems like these last 10 have gone really fast; mainly because I've had a lot of help from other producers and have shared the work with other musicians/artists. This has been so much easier on me and I look forward to getting these new tunes out on Facebook, Reverb Nation, Myspace and other networking sites. Now all I need is for one of them to take off for one of my artists. Maybe someday soon!!
I am in no way a perfect person or close to the man that I should be among all the distractions in my crazy life with kids, work and this unpredictable world of music. I've always tried to find a little time in my schedule to try to give back to others in the same way that others have poured their lives into helping me.
The first program I totally recommend to anybody is the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. This is my 6th year with the program and I can tell you that I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I cannot say enough great things about the organization or about how special my little brother has been in my life and how amazing of a young man he is.
The other way I have tried to give back recently is by handing out homeless backpacks to men and women who are on the streets. A client of mine developed this idea of taking canned goods, snacks, toiletries, clothes and hand warmers and putting them into backpacks to hand out to folks. Many times I feel guilty passing them by but yet don't feel like I'm making much of a difference giving them money so this has been a great way to have peace of mind knowing I could be buying them some time to find work and hopefully get themselves established by having food for a week or so.
Life is fast, life is crazy, and life is surely out of our hands-but we all can do little things that don't take much time that can make a world of difference in someone else's life. Lord knows I'm not perfect, but I sure try to help with what time that I do have.
I've been very active in putting material out the last 11 years in Nashville. I probably average 50-60 songs per year and have put out 5 albums since I've been here-4 in the last 4 years! But one thing I have really enjoyed is writing and producing other artists.
One opportunity that has come about recently is the opportunity to write for a production company in New York called 'The Ultras' (credits include The Spin Doctor, Vanessa Carlton and D'Angelo). I won an opportunity on Sonic Bids (a music opportunity website) to write lyrics to full productions they have completed. So far I've finished 3 songs for them and have 2 in the works.
I've employed the help of artists like Holly Stewart, Nolan Neal, Shay Watson, and Jara Johnson to help me take this on and we've come up with some very cool stuff http://soundcloud.com/nbrumley2/boomerang. Now we just got to get the production team interested enough to pitch the songs to some pop artists!
When I moved to Nashville I was never a huge fan of country music, but have grown to really enjoy it and have many friends who are great country writers and artists around town. One artist I've been doing a few shows recently with is an artist named Scott Steele. He has a really great voice and songs that really relate to a lot of issues going on right now in America. I've been playing piano/keyboard for him on his last few shows and it's been a blast. On February 7th we're going to have the opportunity to open for the country band Lonestar and Keith Anderson as well as Vince Gill's daughter and a great list of other writers/artist at a benefit called 'Show The Love' at Thompson Station First Baptist Church. I'm really looking forward to it and for getting Scott the chance to be seen by some great artists in the country industry.