Recap: Billboard-charting Singer and Songwriter Kirby on #ASCAPRealSounds “Deconstructed”

May 13, 2020

Discusses Writing and Production for Songs with Kanye West and More

NEW YORK, May 13, 2020 - Yesterday, ASCAP Rhythm & Soul presented the #ASCAPRealSounds event “Deconstructed” with Billboard-charting singer and songwriter Kirby. The session was a part of ASCAP Rhythm & Soul’s weekly live streaming series on @ASCAPUrban Instagram Live, which has featured previous guests including Warner Records A&R Executive Norva Denton, producer OG Parker, artist Bri Babineaux and songwriter/producer Dre Moon.

At the beginning of the live session, Kirby encouraged fellow songwriters to stay creative during this complex time. She advised against giving yourself permission to not create and to instead tap into the rare emotions you’re feeling as inspiration to write and stay focused. She spoke about her dedication to writing and shared a personal story about her first love passing away in a car accident and how that made her realize that creators have two choices: “we can use our grief, sadness, confusion, and anxiety as an excuse on why we can’t create, or we can use those feelings and channel them, so they are a pathway to our creativity.”

Kirby opened up about her humble beginnings and going viral online by writing a song a day on YouTube (275 songs total) to secure a publishing deal with Roc Nation. “You cannot allow your circumstances to discourage your consistency,” says Kirby. She credited singer-songwriter Elijah Blake as a driving force in her success because he noticed her on YouTube and took a chance on her, helping her gain visibility within the music industry.

Kirby deconstructed hit songs she wrote including Kanye West’s “Only One.”  She played snippets of the rough-cut demos and explained how the songs came to be, and then played the artists’ versions of the song. Kirby ended the live session revealing her writing process and confirmed she doesn’t start with a “notepad of words.” She then asked viewers to suggest a word, so she could demonstrate her process. The viewers in the comments suggested the word “skirt” and she began constructing lyrics to a beat she had never heard before. She spoke about initially focusing on the melodies and forming the story as you begin to build off of each “nugget” you hear. As you continue to replay the beat and notice these “nuggets,” the song begins to shape itself.

View video from Kirby’s #ASCAPRealSounds “Deconstructed” Live Session here:

#ASCAPRealSounds “Deconstructed” features live conversations with producers and/or songwriters who provide a behind-the-scenes looks at some of their biggest records. Viewers learn about various components of the creation of two to three tracks, including the programming, layered production, beat breakdowns and suggestions the producer or songwriter may have used from other collaborators.

Join the conversation with the official hashtag #ASCAPRealSounds.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 825,000 members representing more than 16 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

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Michelle Huff Elliott | Simone Smalls  
Strategic Heights Media