So, here's the thing...
I'm terrible at social media. I'm honestly just bad at remembering to document what I'm doing in the moment to keep y'all up to date on the projects I'm working on! But as I sit here fighting a sinus infection and packing for my trip to LA tomorrow on this beautiful Thanksgiving, I'm reflecting on a year that has brought more fulfillment than my heart could ever hope to articulate. This year looked like 200+ new songs, working as a staff songwriter/project manager for a music company, and then ultimately taking the leap into full-time independent singing/songwriting on my own. It brought new friendships, strengthened old ones, and included lots of laughing, some very real tears, and choosing to believe in myself again. The highs were higher and the lows were lower, but along the way something changed within me. I stopped defining myself by what other people thought (or even what younger me thought). I decided to love myself right where I was at, dream bigger, travel more, and sing and write to the best of my ability - trusting God to take care of the rest.
So... what have I been up to?
Nothing... kidding, I'm so glad you asked! I have compiled a list of my top 10 favorite projects that I've been a part of this year! Now now - there's certainly way more than just these projects that could have easily made the list. But I only included projects that have already released (so I could share them), and I had to narrow it down in a way that didn't make this blog longer than the old testament. So here goes, hope y'all enjoy a sneak peek into some of my favorite songs/projects/memories from this year!
1. "Coming 4 U" - Ken Loi (feat. Thomas Daniel)
Over a million total plays/streams, listed on Spotify's "Fresh EDM" playlist, a #BPMbreaker on Sirius XM Electro, and released on Armada being posted to their youtube channel with 2+ million subscribers - this collaboration with DJ/producer Ken Loi was without question one of my favorite collaborations this year.
2. "Heartbreaker" - Michael McQuaid
I agree with how New Music Talks put it: "A heartbreak kid rooted with a voice of pain and grit, Michael's sound infuses a clash of blues/soul and heart stopping beats to cultivate a new class of R&B." Michael is a hard working artist with a heart of gold. Thrilled to co-write this tune with him, Brittney Spencer, and produced by Christian Fiore.
3. "Still Small Voice" - Anna Golden
I wrote this song after taking a pretty extended break from writing worship music. I was driving back from Florida thinking about the Lord and my life when this song kind of just hit me. I finished it when I got back to Nashville, and showed it to my dear friend Anna - who ultimately decided to put it on her EP. Aside from making me laugh so hard I cry, Anna is singlehandedly one of the most talented people I know. She's in my personal top 5 of favorite worship leaders, and she sang this song better than I could've ever hoped to. Check it out on iTunes/Spotify!
4. "Don't Drop Me Now" - Dylan Russell
Dylan is a phenomenal writer and true talent. In a world full of people who just up and decide to be artists because its "cool," Dylan actually is one. He has something to say, and a story worth hearing. I was honored to vocal produce and sing BGV's on this song, produced by Christian Fiore. He's got an EP coming early 2017, so keep your eyes and ears open.
5. "UK/Nashville Songwriting Camp" - Palmer Global Ink
So this is not a song, but its by far one of my favorite things that happened this year. The incredibly talented and kind Allen Palmer of PGI invited me to be a part of this year's #PGIUK music camp, where several artists/writers/producers from the UK fly in to work with Nashville talent for one week. We spent our days breaking into writing groups and recording in some of Nashville's most iconic studios. Meeting this batch of artists inspired me far more than they probably ever realized, and the music that came from the camp was remarkable. This was the beginning of some beautiful friendships and collaborations that you'll be hearing more about early 2017. Stay posted, secrets are fun!
6. "United" - NURII
NURII is a very talented producer/DJ from Nairobi (so much love for that place) building a name for himself in the EDM community. He had reached out to me about working on a song together to encourage people in light of terrorism and some of the horrors happening around the world. Thus "United" was born, and I was honored to be a part of it! Released on Ensis records.
7. Worship Online
Again, I got connected with Shalon and his company Worship Online during a season in which I had taken an extended break from worship music. However the instant I sat down with him and heard his heart and vision on what he hoped to do for the local church, I knew I had to do whatever I could to help out. Worship Online provides high level tutorials for church musicians to help them learn the parts just like the album, and I'm honored to be the male vocalist and a worship leader for the site. If you are a worship leader or team member, I high encourage you to check them out! Also follow us at @worshiponline on Instagram for free instrumental demos and the occasional chance to see me sing.
8. "Note To Self" EP - Miklo
I ended up working with the guys in Miklo through The Songwriting Team, a modern music company based in Nashville, TN. What I realized right out the gate is just how passionate these guys are for the music. I was thrilled to write on the EP (personal fave being "CA" which isn't out yet) and vocal produce as well. Check out their first single "Losing My Mind" written by Brittany Lane, Kyle Setter, Chris Garcia, and produced by Christian Fiore. EP coming 1/13/17.
9. "Over My Head" - Man Dee (feat. Thomas Daniel)
I connected with Man Dee on SoundBetter, and fell in love with this track immediately! This quickly turned in to one of my favorite collaborations of the year, which only got better when Universal Music Poland signed the song! Check out "Over My Head" by clicking on the promo image above. Available on all streaming services!
10. Popoff Nashville
To close the list out, I simply have to mention #PopoffNashville. I still remember Lisa Goe and I meeting in June throwing out ideas of how to get the pop community here in Nashville together. Well, we sure did it - and now SESAC sponsored with board members from Atlantic Records, BMG, Word, and others its clear that Popoff is here to stay. I've met some incredible artists/producers/writers through the event, made some great friends, and promoted some of Nashville's best pop music. Excited to see all that happens for Nash-pop next year, and honored to be a part of it!
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
If you are one of the 10 people that actually made it this far (hi mom), thank you! Thank you for your continued support of me and my music. This year has been a ton of hard work, a lot of trial and error, but also filled with dreams coming true. I'm so excited for all that's to come which includes more travel (LA/NYC/Tokyo/London), more music (both for others and myself) and more adventures. There is no way I would be able to do any of the things I'm doing if it weren't for you believing in me. I promise to do my best to make music that really means something, and to use my voice to be someone real in this world. I wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving, and a wonderful holiday season! Remind yourself of all that you have to be thankful for, dream a little bigger, and keep on creating. Love y'all with my whole heart.