Global Songwriters Connection is a career mentoring and talent building organization whose desire is to build authentic, artistic and sustainable careers in the music business. This process takes time and we are so honored to share some of our members GSC stories in this section called “MY GSC STORY!” This week features Brett Mandel.
To talk about my GSC journey, I actually have to backtrack. Years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing the power of Sheree during her NSAI days. I remember being outside of the offices before a Thursday night meeting. Sheree came out to the porch, and in such a positive, heartfelt way encouraged and welcomed attendees like I had never seen before. It was easy to see that this was a special person, who cared about others, and had her heart in the right place. Her passion was and is infectious. I eventually heard about GSC, but hesitated to join due to the financial aspect. It was one of the best investments I have ever made in my life, and the best as far as my career goes. This is my GSC story.
I joined GSC in April of 2014, and soon had a mentoring meeting with Sheree. She immediately saw something special in me and my songs. I told her my goals, and she laid out a game plan. She made it clear we would be successful together, but it would be a journey and take some time. From that first meeting a special bond, trust, and friendship began. We began to have regular contact, I received regular guidance, and opportunities, both directly and indirectly. In addition to connecting me to industry professionals, she has connected me with writers and artists she thought were appropriate. Sheree eventually let me know she felt I would be an ideal candidate for one of her Focus events. Again, I was reluctant to spend the money, but I chose to invest in myself, my dreams, and my career. The highlight for me was the opportunity to write with Victoria Banks. I brought in a song idea I thought was extra special, and had held onto since 2007. We wrote that idea with Jayne Sachs, and to this day it is possibly the key song in my catalog. Her publisher loved the song, decided to demo it, and pitched it directly to Garth Brooks. It is and will always remain one of the biggest highlights of my life. That song has received an overwhelming industry response,continues to open doors for me, and has lead to various opportunities. I also was blessed with the opportunity to write with hit writer Steve Dean (eight number ones). Steve is now a friend and regular co-writer of mine, and we have two songs about to be pitched for major artists. Also, one of the publishers at the event was Matt Lindsey, who at the time had his own company. He will come into play later in my story.
Later in 2014, I was so excited when I saw an online pitch opportunity came up with Devon DeVries from Big Yellow Dog. This has been my dream publisher for years. I submitted my song “Different Ways Of Dealing”. I remember that night vividly. I was in a night co-write, and could not watch the event. I received a text from Sheree saying how much Devon loved my song, and that she could get me a meeting with him. To say I was excited would be a major understatement. It took months of us both reaching out to him, but I finally got my meeting in March of 2015. He and I immediately clicked, as people and musically. He was into my music, respected me, and gave me a priceless open door to him and Big Yellow Dog. He made it clear that they are picky about who they bring into their fold, so this was a big deal. He advised me that he would be playing my music for other industry people, which he did. Later in 2015, I had a write scheduled with the amazingly talented Clayton Jones. Sheree connected me to Clayton, and he eventually became a friend and regular co-writer. Just before our write that day, Clayton called to let me know Devon contacted him to come into a last minute write. He did an amazing thing for me, and invited me into the write with Devon’s blessing. Devon instructed us to write a very specific type song for TV and film that day, which we did. He loved the song, and signed Clayton and I to a single song contract. This was a dream come true for me to sign any kind of contract with them. I would have never had these relationships and opportunities without Sheree and GSC.
Sheree has continued to guide me since day one on not only the songwriting aspect of my career, but also how to conduct myself professionally, and make the most of opportunities. She has also always been there to support me through the doubts and desperation, encouraged me, and helped me to see the bigger picture. Some things I could not see or did not want to see then, but in time she was proven to be so right. One thing she always stressed to me is that you do not always know what is going on behind the scenes. Man, was she right about that! Let’s fast forward to January 2017. I received an unexpected message from Matt Lindsey, who is currently at Big Yellow Dog. He asked me to get in touch with him regarding an artist write. I immediately called him, and he explained that he was looking for the right writer to bring in as his writers were booked. He said what led to me was a referral from Devon. Remember, things with Devon started in 2015 during a GSC online pitch event, and I originally met Matt at the 2014 Focus event. Everything Sheree relayed to me about time, the journey, and letting relationships build was absolutely right on. That first write went well, which soon led me to a second one, and my relationship with my dream publisher continues to build thanks to GSC.
I have taken calculated steps involving networking, business relationships, and stressing artist and pro writes. Sheree’s guidance, referrals, opportunities, knowledge, and connections have been priceless in my journey. She has gone over and beyond to be there for me, and help me to progress, both personally and professionally. By giving me her most important assets, her time and educated guidance, she has put me in the position to win. So many of my past and current co-writers, as well as industry relationships, have come directly through GSC. I now have my first single out as a songwriter, “Champagne”, by Elizabeth Lyons. I co-wrote it with Elizabeth and fellow GSC member, Troy Castellano. The song was recently featured on iTunes Hot Tracks. I almost exclusively write with rising and established artists and pro writers. If I connect my career dots, they come back time and time again to Sheree and GSC. I have not signed my deal or had my major cut yet. However, I am already leading the life of a full time pro writer, and I would not be in this position without this amazing lady and her priceless company. The fact that I invested in GSC and Sheree invested in me has changed my life and career. I am a better writer and person for it. Sheree has showed me the importance of paying it forward. I have mentored others over the past few years, and that is a priority for me as my career progresses. I consider her and her company one of the greatest blessings in my life, and she is still right by my side as my journey continues.