Future Hitmakers Gain Confidence, Connections at 2016 ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Songwriters Workshop

December 1, 2016

Great songs are the heart of the music biz, but it takes talent and know-how to succeed as a songwriter. That was the big takeaway from The ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Songwriters Workshop, which convened at ASCAP’s LA office for six nights in November.

The workshop, which is named to honor the great ASCAP lyricist Harold Adamson ("Time on My Hands,” "An Affair to Remember"), brought together 14 talented songwriters from around the country, handpicked from hundreds of applications.

The 2016 class: Gabe Acheson, David Amber, Paul Gutierrez, Justin Hariz, Becca King, Pop Levi, Colin Magalong, Mia Minichiello, Oktavian, Natasha Pasternak, Jonathan Posey, Jonny Shorr, Katie Stump and Joel Taylor.

The Workshop’s mission: to enrich the participants’ knowledge of the industry, help them establish contacts and confidence, and expand their collaborative partnerships. The 14 participants learned about the business of songwriting from an array of guest speakers. As a final assignment, they paired up with each other for real-world co-writing sessions, with the recorded results debuted on the final night.

This year’s agenda:

  • Night One: Daniel Werman (A&R, Interscope) explained what he and his artists look for when they’re evaluating songs
  • Night Two: Luke McGrellis (Universal Music Publishing) & Hannah Babitt (Pulse) talked about what publishers look for, and how they work with songwriters
  • Night Three: The group took a field trip to visit with writer/producer Andrew Cedar (co-writer/co-producer of "See You Again" and "GDFR") at his studio. Andrew gave invaluable advice about production and the quality of songs
  • Night Four: Writers Mr. HudsonAutumn RoweJayson DeZuzio and Nicole Morier critiqued rough versions of the participants final songs and gave direction as the group was finishing up their final versions of their songs
  • Night Five: Rachel Jacobson (SONGS Music Publishing) and ASCAP's own Rachel Perkins gave an overview of the film/TV/synch side of the biz
  • Night Six: The group debuted their co-written songs and did a group critique, with Daniel Werman returning to give feedback and pick the winners!

Led by ASCAP's Ed Reyes and Maura Duval, with invaluable coordination from Brooke Davenport, the Harold Adamson Workshop continued ASCAP’s legacy of supporting songwriters and nurturing the hits of tomorrow.

Special congratulations to Oktavian and Justin Hariz, recipients of The ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Lyric Award for their song "Overboard." This Award and the Workshop are funded by The ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Fund.