Northern Hop Talk Song-Writing, Opportunities and Music Gateway
By Mary Woodcock on 12 Apr 2016
Northern Hop is a vibrant music production/songwriting duo. With years in experience, the company strives to continuously better their craft and create opportunities for others through the countless projects they post on the site. We caught up with ‘Northern Hop’ members Adam and Lewis recently where we were able to discuss with them about their opinion on the site, relevant advice/tips to our members on top line writing and their thoughts on the site as well as how to make the most out of our business platform.
Tell us a bit about Northern Hop, yourself and the company background.
We are Northern Hop, Adam and Lewis. We met when both attending writing camps in London a few years ago. We didn’t write together at the camps but knew each other’s work, and gave each other that nod of respect. But we somehow knew we needed to create something together. Not long after, we passed a couple of demos back and forth and before we knew it, we had four fully finished productions that we were happy with.
The natural step after that was to create Northern Hop: our brand, our writing and production team. We don’t want there to be a limit to what Northern Hop is.
How are you enjoying the platform, what benefits have you noticed so far?
The benefits are that it’s an honest platform for collaboration, and great for sharing our creativity in a structured way. The briefs to pitch to give projects a focus, which is necessary when collaborating. We’ve already identified topliners through the site which we would like to work more with in future. Unfortunately, neither of us are blessed with a radio-ready vocal, so we often collaborate with others on vocals.
I can see you have posted a number of previous ‘Topline Writers Required’ projects on the platform in the past. What advice would you give to others who desire to grow in this field?
Share ideas with other writers and topliners. You might be surprised at what you get in return, as others will have ideas you could never imagine. Not everything will work, and there’s no shame in turning down an offer from a collaborator that doesn’t suit what you’re after.
In your opinion, what are the top 3 do’s and don’ts of songwriting?
1 – DO accept you are always a work in progress. You’ll write enough bad songs over the years to be able to start to learn how to write a good song which industry people will listen to. We always keep writing and don’t dwell on what we’ve achieved or not achieved. You might write a song today that you’ll write off tomorrow, and that’s OK.
2 – DO be patient. One thing we have in common is that we are both in this for the long haul. We’ve had to train our minds in the art of patience and persistence as we have been doing this in one way or another since leaving school and have had our fair share of unanswered emails and voicemails along the way. We’ve seen many artists, writers and producers get on the bandwagon over the years and then get off a few stops later because it wasn’t the fast route to fame, fortune and success they first thought it was. Equally, we’ve seen writers and producers that haven’t yet learnt to play the C chord land big cuts because they’ve been hanging around in the right circles. Good for them. We focus on what we’re doing.
3 – DO work with people whose talents complement your own. That could be that they write toplines, produce tracks, or seek out opportunities. We’ve each teamed up with collaborators over the years that didn’t click, and that’s something you learn from along the way.
1 – DO NOT force it. If you are sat at a piano, guitar, MIDI keyboard and an hour later you have barely laid down a beat, switch it off and come back later.
2 – DO NOT chase. Be chased. It’s so easy to get caught up in the chase to the point where you are spending more time firing emails and searching for leads that you take your foot off the gas in terms of real creativity. Publishers are like cats, you dangle the string on one day and they react playfully; you dangle the string another day and they are simply not in the mood. It’s just the way it is. Just let them do their thing and they’ll come back when they need to be fed. Maybe today they are being fed by your neighbours or your neighbour’s neighbours.
3 – DO NOT overthink everything. You have to trust your instincts – whether it’s about a lyric, a harmony, a sound, a person, or an opinion. You might not always be right, but you’ll progress faster.
We’ll be looking to pitch to some of the briefs on the site, so expect some instrumentals to be up for grabs. We’re also on the lookout for a male vocalist to join some existing and future projects. We’d also like to share the results of some of our collaborations on the site so far.
What have been the main advantages of finding new song-writers through the platform as opposed to working with existing connections?
Finding new collaborators increases productivity, and the range of skills in your team. For example, having different topliners working concurrently on tracks means we can focus on fresh projects and react to briefs coming in. Working with a variety of other writers will add diversity to your catalogue and inspire new ideas. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone.
What advice would you give to other members looking to utilize the site to aid their career?
It’s great to have an outlet for your work. Working to a brief will bring cohesion to your collaborations. And if the result is sufficiently universal, it can be used for other opportunities too. We’ve found that connections made online are as valid and useful as connections made in the real world, and the site gives us all a chance to work together.
If you’d like to get involved in opportunities like the ones Northen Hop has been talking to help develop your career or equally if you’d like to connect with companies like Northern Hop, sign up to Music Gateway today!