Global Songwriters Member Spotlight
Melissa Miller, Songwriter
Melissa Miller, a Cedarburg, Wisconsin native, began her singing career starring in her family’s home videos, belting out every song she learned in choir class each week. She’s kept a diary for longer than she can remember, and around age 14, she began rewriting lyrics to some of her favorite artists’ songs. Her guitar entered the picture, and over the years, she’s penned hundreds of original songs.
Floating on faith and positive words from family and friends, Melissa made the move to Nashville in September 2012. She hit the ground running the second she got to town, immersing herself in writing and performing opportunities all over Music City. She says there isn’t a day in Nashville that doesn’t teach her something new to bring to her songwriting; oftentimes she finds herself caught in a “flow state” writing until after 3AM. She has ultimately surrounded herself with a team of people she says she has “pixie-dust connections” with and refers to her co-writers as “some of the best friends she’s got.”
Last July, Melissa had the honor of opening for Nashville band, Striking Matches (I.R.S Records), with a six-song set. More recently, Melissa had a co-written Christmas cut, “No Place Like Home,” with Top American Idol Finalist, Naima Adedapo (Given Entertainment Group).
Over the last year, Melissa has recorded and released five singles, produced by Chip Hardy of the 515 Studio and Jim Reilley of Keaton Music Group. DJ Duncan McManus of FM 106 Milwaukee Country Radio has personally messaged Melissa to give each of these songs radio airplay on his show.
Melissa’s sounds are a mix of Pop/Country melodies with storytelling lyrics. The songs she writes and sings are commonly based on a true story. Her current project is recording her first self-titled EP. Melissa has solo or co-written all songs on the record. Release date TBD. Keep up with Melissa Miller at www.melissamillermusic.com.
Global Songwriters Member Spotlight
Martin Ouellet, Songwriter
Martin Ouellet is a French Canadian songwriter who grew up beside beautiful Lake Pohenegamook, Quebec. Martin spent his childhood entranced with Country and Rock music, and bought his first guitar at 15. As his playing developed, he made his first attempts to blend original words and music.
After college, Martin started working in forestry and raised a family, putting aside his love for music and songwriting.
In 2008, now 34, his dream of becoming a songwriter resurfaced. Martin gathered the songs he had begun years before and started working to complete them. His search for songwriting knowledge and community led to membership with Nashville Songwriters Association International and the Songwriters Association of Canada, honing his craft while simultaneously learning English.
In 2012 Martin made his first trip to Nashville. His aim was to initiate new co-writing relationships and open doors into the publishing world, goals that he diligently continues to pursue.
Recently Martin has been writing songs with his mentor, Larry Wayne Clark, who lives in neighbouring New Brunswick, Canada. Armed with a growing catalogue of fine material Martin dreams of hearing his first radio cut!
Lance Carpenter, songwriter
When I first came to Nashville I was afraid to put 50% into being a songwriter and 50% into being an artist for fear I’d fail at both. So I put 100% into becoming the best writer I could be. In the summer of 2012 I was blessed to be offered and sign my first publishing deal. That has allowed me to turn some of my focus into my artistry
On February 7th I released my self-titled debut album (independently) on my own record label “Hillbilly Pride Records”. I am very excited at how well it turned out. I have to thank all the folks that brought it together co-writers, musicians, graphics, photographers, but especially Jason Massey who produced the project and Forest Glen Whitehead who assisted with production and also co-wrote 3 of the songs with me. Jason is just unbelievable at bringing a song to life and I believe he will be producing many major projects in the future!
On Feb 7th My album release party was held at The Listening Room Cafe. It marked the first full band performance of my career. I told a few friends this may be my first and last or my first of many full band shows moving forward. Over 350 people attended the event and I was overwhelmed and felt so blessed that many folks would show up to see/hear me sing. I will never forget that feeling as I walked off stage…what an amazing experience.
My next full band performance will be in my hometown of Ozark, Arkansas at Thunder on the Mountain. This is the first year for this Country Music Festival and I will be performing with some amazing artists like Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, and fellow Arkansan Justin Moore!
My debut single “One Shot” will be released to radio June 2013 and I plan to do a Texas tour this summer. I really don’t know what lies ahead but I definitely look forward to the journey!
Mary Haller, songwriter
Winner of NSAI’s 2011 “Hitsville” contest in Nashville and Berklee Music’s 2009 Paul Simon Celebrity Scholarship, Mary Haller has in a few short years gone from being one of Boston’s most respected arts publicists to a respected artist in her own right.
With one foot in Boston, one in Nashville, and roots in the Midwest, Haller combines her musical background with her love of language in crafting songs aimed at the commercial country and pop markets.
In April 2011, her song, “Instead of Roses” was signed to a single-song contract with ole, one of the world’s largest independent music publishers, after being named one of two winners of ole’s “Hitsville” event during its U.S. debut.
Haller is a classically-trained musician (keyboard, flute) who performed actively for many years as a flutist in ensembles at the University of Michigan (Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band) and in Boston-based orchestras. Representing the state of Michigan as a member of the 1979 McDonald’s All-American High School Band, Haller performed in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Tournament of Roses Parade. Haller has also studied West African drumming.
As a writer and publicist, Haller has worked for a number of Boston-area arts and educational institutions, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she was Director of Arts Communication for sixteen years.
Global Songwriters Connection
Songwriter’s Guild of America
Berklee Songwriter’s Club
New England to Nashville (NETN)
Today’s Industry Spotlight
Wes Mayers has had a varied and successful career in the entertainment industry including television, video, and music. After college Wes moved to Los Angeles, California where he worked on the “The Tonight Show” as well other television shows such as “The Fall Guy” and “Remington Steel.” He then moved on to video production and distribution where he was a partner at Sen-Sei Productions for five years.
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