April 21, 2012

ASCAP Loves The Smeezingtons, Just the Way They Are


The Smeezingtons (l-r): Ari Levine, Bruno Mars and Philip Lawrence, raising the roof

We all know them by name and we've all heard their songs. But today in the master session with The Smeezingtons, we also got to see their wonderful personalities. Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine shared with us their experiences, from how they met to where they are today. It was great to see their chemistry as they joked and reminisced. Anyone could see that they are really great friends and their genuine connection is what translates into the music they create together. They talked about how the three of them met, and how before they met, a lot of time was wasted working with random producers bouncing around from studio to studio but never getting anything done. Then Bruno, who had previously worked with Philip through an introduction by a mutual friend, and Philip and Ari who had also previously worked together through an introduction through a mutual friend, connected Ari and Bruno. After that, the three of them got to work for the next two years for over 10 hours every day.

The Smeezingtons talked about their songwriting process and explained that every song should be like a three-minute movie. Every song needs to have a conflict to make it interesting. They said the last line of the song "Grenade" was the conflict for that song…"but you won't do the same." It took two months for them to come up with that last line. I liked hearing that from these hit songwriters, because it seems like many times songwriters are more interested in just finishing a song than really taking the time to make a good song a hit song. 

It was also fun to hear about the jobs that each of them had before they had any hits. The most interesting job of the three was the job Philip Lawrence had. He worked for Disney doing voice-overs as Sebastian in The Little Mermaid and dressed as Simba from The Lion King. He did an identical voice impression of Sebastian on stage that completely deserved the room full of applause that he received. 

This panel was my favorite of all the panels I've attended so far because of how much fun the three of them were having, which made it fun to listen to. My head is spinning with the opportunities around me - I am about to have dinner with some talented music creators I just met at this panel, including producer/songwriter @Nonseqoftinmen.

You can follow Rose Jay on Twitter and Instagram @RoseJayMusic.

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