We took some time to chat to topliner and songwriter Tim Barnsley-Parfitt about his latest collaborative projects found through Мusic Gateway! Tim shares his musical journey from DJ to Topliner and how he found working with our members through the platform on various projects.
Could you first tell us about your background in music and what your role in the industry is?
No problem at all! For most of my life, making music has been a hobby, although I was a paid club DJ for a while. 3 years ago, I decided to devote my life to making music full-time. I’m a songwriter for hire but do a little production and singing. Recently, I’ve devoted my time to toplining, thanks to Мusic Gateway! I think that’s what I’m best at.
Tell us about your upcoming release with Alvaro Moroni.
Why did you pitch the project and how did it go? We hear there’s been some interest from Labels!
It was pretty much just after I joined Мusic Gateway. I was browsing the Opportunities board and I saw Moroni’s project listed. He was looking for a topline for his instrumental progressive house track. I pitched, and he listened to my previous work and liked what he heard. He shared the instrumental in the project’s Shared Files area, and I wrote lyrics and a melody and sent a demo vocal to him. He liked it, and then it took a year to sort out the right vocalist and final mix. It turns out I was the right vocalist all along! He pitched the track through contacts and SubmitHub and had 5 or 6 labels that said they wanted to release it. It will be coming out shortly through PR Label Group.
Did this project help you get into Toplining? What skills have you developed from this?
It did indeed. I had made a couple of tracks from instrumentals before, through a now-long-gone collaboration site but this was a big step up, working with professional musicians, making commercial music, rather than the talented amateurs I had known.
Toplining, like any form of songwriting I think, is something that you improve at with practice. I have learnt more about how the industry works, and networking skills, I have increased my network of collaborators and the quantity and variety of my portfolio (which then I’ve been able to use to sell my talents to others again). It’s a snowball effect.
How was singing on the track? Is it important for Topliners to capture their vision for a track vocally?
Difficult… I think I’m an OK singer but I’m no Ariana Grande! Originally, I envisaged a female singer when I sang the demo so I’m way up in my falsetto. If you’re a great vocalist or write with a great vocalist, it can greatly increase your opportunities. An incredibly sung demo of a song is a big advantage. Most people, even within the industry, seem to have little imagination with regard to how a song COULD sound. It’s something I’m looking to address more with my own demos as soon as I can. Great singers, hit me up! You can pay singers to sing your demos but that’s not cheap
What projects are you working on via Мusic Gateway and how are they going?
I’m looking at making music for Asia and beyond at the moment with songwriter/producer Joshua Hudes and I’m making a dance track with French singer John Linhart. I have a few solo tracks that have been accepted for Retail Distribution, plus all the toplining opportunities of course. They’re my bread and butter at the moment. They’re going great – although, a few more hours in the day would be handy!
How are you finding Мusic Gateway?
I love Мusic Gateway! I used to be a member of another organisation that was a LOT more expensive and resulted in ZERO opportunities. The Мusic Gateway website is modern, stable and really easy to use and the staff are knowledgeable and super friendly. My favourite part of the site has to be the Opportunities Board. There’s always something I want to pitch for. It’s been a Godsend, truly, I feel like I’m employed now! A seemingly non-stop source of work is what I always wanted to find within the industry. The instrumentals that need toplines are top quality and very often inspiring for a song. I think that’s really important because If you aren’t inspired when you write, you’ll create something with no heart that won’t succeed.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The music industry is all about networking. Very few people can do it all themselves. I definitely can’t! Мusic Gateway is aptly named I think, as it’s a gateway into a community of talent. Talent that is outward-looking, that wants to work with new people. Even if a project doesn’t work out, something else might come up with that person further down the line. You’ll connect with new people and if you’re hardworking and professional, maybe their network too. So Мusic Gateway, please keep up doing what you’re doing!