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Songwriter Donna Karein and Her Branch into New Industry Territories

By Mary Woodcock on 28 Sep 2016

Donna Karein has been an avid lover of music for as long as she can remember. However, in recent years, the talented writer has been able to apply the knowledge gained from a passionate music background to the art of writing scores which have had success in large movies. We caught up with Donna to discuss her opinion on the platform, the projects completed and whether her goals were really met after joining the site.

#1 Tell us a bit about yourself and your background

I’ve always been creative.  For as long as I can remember really.  Even as a small child I remember running around with some tune running in my head – perhaps that’s what happens when you grow up in the Welsh valleys!   

Fast forward many years doing some of the more usual things like Uni and working, I was lucky enough to meet my bestest friend of all – my husband – and we have two fab children who keep us on our toes pretty much even though they are only 4 and 5!

In-between being a Mum and working with my husband in a health care business I have finally found time to write all those scores that have been running through my brain all this time.  So I am very much a songwriter and loving it.  I also publish my own work. I’ve had some near misses such as the song that didn’t make the final selection for a new HBO production but was their second choice!  No fun in being second but it happens!

I’m also working with another well-known music company in the US who have already taken some of my work and have placed music in big movies.  So from a slip of girl in the Vale of Wales I get great satisfaction now putting my music to paper rather than allowing it to gather dust in the recesses of my mind.  My ultimate goal has to be getting this stuff recorded and out there!  Just wish I had started it a whole lot sooner as I love doing it.

#2 How’re you enjoying the platform, what benefits have you noticed so far?

I love Music Gateway and it has quickly established itself as by far my favourite platform.  

Starting out in this industry can be tough and like all industries there are vultures out there preying on the inexperienced.  But with Music Gateway I feel they have my back with the guidance they offer via A&R and the Sync team.  At least you know before you submit your songs that you may be in with a shot or not.   

It has been a great springboard for me to be able to reach companies that would have otherwise taken me ions to reach, such as being shortlisted for Sony, high-end advertising and K Pop. Music Gateway for me is exactly that – the entry point for songwriters, producers and talented artists into a very complex business and makes finding ‘opportunity’ possible. 

#3  You’ve done quite a few projects, are any of the results being released anytime soon for people to check out?

So far my music seems to have caught the attention of some great people who tell me they want to work with it but so far nothing concrete has been finalized but it’s early days so can still happen. It’s great it’s been shortlisted.  That in itself is really exciting.   

I’m working on new music all the time and I continue to do this via this platform.  I think the scores I’m working on will be aimed at music for TV shows or general release but I will be guided by A&R on this.  Both would be good!

Thanks to Music Gateway and its anonymity, this pathway has already lead me to collaborate with producers who I would never have had the chance of working with yet. It brings such a wide mix of skills together.  

Take the song Umbrella for example and the number of songwriters who were involved in it.  Working within Music Gateway nurtures these relationships and encourages undiscovered talent to participate in a way that just wouldn’t otherwise be possible.   

The fact that there is a sense of anonymity about who you are working with too is brilliant as all too often a talented artist or writer could be overwhelmed by the prospect of collaborating.  They may also select someone based on ‘who they are’ which isn’t guaranteed to bring the best results so this is avoided too giving all a level playing field to start on. In this way that just doesn’t happen and allows you to shine through.  I’ve worked on projects with someone who has written for X Factor and others who know Ed Sheeran

#4 What are the main advantages for you with running projects through the platform as opposed to working with existing connections?

The advantages of working with Music Gateway, for someone like myself who simply does not have the connections already, are immense. It gives me a broader platform to showcase my work to and the opportunity to work with Companies I would not even have thought about pitching to.

The Asian market is just one example of this and one I would never have even thought about pitching to. 

#5 What advice would you give to other members looking to utilise the site to aid their career?

Music Gateway is a platform that gives you immediate access to showcase your skills to international buyers. It is acknowledged by the Producers as a reliable source of up and coming talent so it’s on their radar too!  What more could you ask for – It’s ready done for you!

We all have our skills but we also have our limitations so it’s a great way to find and work with others who complement your talents with theirs.  It opens up doors and opportunity that you might never have found otherwise.  For example I helped a German Producer with lyrics on his track and he has now been signed.  In return he has offered to help me with mixing which is brilliant.   

So it’s not about being able to afford to get it done but more about finding skills that others have that can be shared to one another’s advantage. Together you can be sensational!   

#6 What was your goal when you first joined the site, have your needs been met?

My main goal has to have been to find a community where I work with like-minded people.  People who were prepared to trust, share and create without bias.  It also had to be affordable as it was very much a test bed for a passion I have but an un-tested passion that as yet doesn’t support me.

So for me it’s a resounding yes Music Gateway has exceeded my expectations.  I have learnt that I need to be a little patient when it comes to waiting for songs to be considered but having no knowledge of this before, I had no idea how long this would take.  

The fact that these are genuine opportunities far outweighs any impatience I may have.  These are genuine people with real ears and not some robotic evaluation process! Go for it, you will not regret it one bit.  

If you’d like to get involved in opportunities like the ones Donna has discussed or equally if you’d like to connect with people like Donna, sign up to Music Gateway today!