Myah Marie is a good friend and one of our favorite songwriters and vocalists. Myah is currently signed to Warner Chappell; She’s written #1 Billboard & American Top 40 charting songs for major artists from Britney Spears to Lil Wayne, toured around the country as an artist on Capitol Records (My Crazy Girlfriend), and served as a background vocalist for Britney Spears on over 14 songs.
We got a chance to chat with Myah about her process, career, and plans for the future.
1. How do you approach song-writing?
I find a melody first and then fill in the lyrics from there! My favorite way is to write from scratch (guitar or piano).
2. What are some tools that you use to aid in your process?
Other than my recording software, I really don’t use any other tools!
3. What’s your favorite song that you’ve written?
The one I haven’t written yet!
4. What’s a defining moment in your career thus far?
Writing for Britney was HUGE for me since it was a major goal of mine since childhood.
5. Do you have any tips for aspiring singers and songwriters?
WRITE WRITE WRITE! Keep writing, and listening to eclectic music to gain inspiration (Still don’t know about listening to current music, because that can keep you in the “following trends” mode.) Co-writing helps also, with people that you can learn and grow from!
6. How do you know when a song is done?
Jeez, I feel like you never do really know! It’s about the feeling, but I always feel like there’s something more I can add, its more about just letting it go!
7. What’s your process for finalizing songs/demos?
Knowing that sometimes, less is more.
Too many melodies, too many lyrics, know when to take stuff out. I don’t want to necessarily say “dumb it down” but… “dumb it down” LOL. Sometimes as songwriters, we want to fit in SOOO much, but it’s not necessary. Get to the point. Sweet & simple.
8. How do you stay focused and productive?
HAHA, that’s the challenge of being a songwriter! I try and keep a schedule, but I can veer off of it now and again. There are definitely times where I fall off, but those times make me more inspired to fall back in again. It’s an on-going process.
9. Where do you get inspiration?
As a child, my parents were divorced and I would travel back and forth between them. In those long car rides, I would have my Diskman (cd player LOL) and listen the entire way. From there, I’d start making up my own songs. I LOVED pop music, and everything to do with it. Britney was a huge inspiration, as well as No Doubt, Sublime, and Blink 182.
10. How do you deal with writer’s block?
I give myself a break!! Sometimes you can get burnt out (which is natural), so I give myself a goddamn break. Go to the beach, take the day to watch trash tv, go LIVE. It’ll come back. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it. Embrace the writer’s block as your brain begging for a little vacation.
11. Who are some of your biggest influences and why?
Britney Spears, Max Martin, Gwen Stefani, Ryan Tedder, Brandon Flowers, Kara Dioguardi…. So so so many! WHY? Because they’re all equally inspiring in their own ways, I’ve learned from all of them.
12. What are you listening to right now?
OLDIES. Honestly, it’s the only thing I can listen to right now.
13. How do you feel about the current state of music?
See above^ LOL!
Nah, I mean it’s cool, but it seems like a strange time for music right now, it’s all very ONE GENRE. I love me some diversity. I’m dying for something fresh and new. Where’s our Alanis & Fiona Apple?!?! Where’s our Smashing Pumpkins & The Killers?!
14. Tell us about a time when you needed to change your writing style to accommodate an artist.
All of the time, if I’m in the room with an artist, I don’t really CHANGE, I just adapt to what they are looking for, (obviously if it’s their song). I still try to keep pieces of me in there and don’t totally compromise my style. I remember when I was working with Flo-Rida, it was interesting… haha, definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone! But I try and learn from those experiences and take what I can to grow!
15. What do you do for fun when you aren’t working on music?
COOK! Run errands, honestly I’m such a grandma, I am a huge homebody and I like chilling with my dog and being comfy. I LOVE pools and bbq-ing!
16. What’s a crazy experience you’ve had in a writing session or the industry in general?
A crazy experience was when I was in a band and on tour, we got stuck in a tornado in Alabama! A SERIOUS tornado, we were terrified and had to grab a mattress and bring it downstairs. It honestly felt like we were all going to die. IN ALABAMA. LOL
17. Who would you want to collaborate with that you haven’t already?
Soooo many people… Diane Warren, Linda Perry, honestly I can’t even name all of them!