• Find a dedicated physical space in which you write consistently, whether it’s a room in your house or a certain desk.
  • Do it regularly. When I come into this room at this certain time I am here for one purpose, to write. That helps train your mind.
  • Always serve the song. Don’t be too specific in your goal. Let the moment take you. Once you feel you’ve uncovered a seed of an idea, let it be what it needs to become.

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  • “The central challenge is nailing the emotion the director wants. What you do has to mesh with their story. That’s the craft.”
  • “There’s a much greater technical aspect than there used to be [in film composition]. If you don’t understand or don’t enjoy tech, you’re in trouble.
  • “You’ve got to keep working. If I had turned down MOWs because I only wanted to work on Canadian independent films, I might not have gotten District 9.”

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  • Always strive for originality, to find your own voice. Be authentic, be yourself, people feel it.
  • Write songs to move people, not to make money. If you come at it from that honest place, you’re always going to do good work.
  • Hit songs are created in the studio. You can have the most brilliant song in the world, but if you don’t have the right singer conveying the right emotion it won’t work.
  • Never copy or imitate what you hear on radio. By the time your song is potentially cut and/or recorded, the fad/fashion has already changed and music is moving in another direction.

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