Tag Archives: Songwriter

“Songs must have a lyrical depth for me”

On 25 May 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined by public voting at the Swiss Music Awards. Nominated for the award presented by SUISA are Zian, Joya Marleen and Lo & Leduc. We wanted to know from Zian and Henrik Amschler what role the lyrics play for the song “Show you”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Zian and Henrik Amschler: “Songs must have a lyrical depth for me”

Zian (left) and Henrik Amschler. (Photos: Jen Ries; Nina Müller)

How important are, in your opinion, the lyrics for a song?

Zian: For me, it’s quite clear: The lyrics are crucial in determining whether a song can last longer or not. All of the songs that people listen to over and over again for decades, are songs that also have a lyrical depth. That’s why lyrics are extremely important. In the short term, their importance may be equal to that of the music, which is in line with SUISA’s royalty split. In the longer term, however, lyrics are arguably more important because they create an additional level.

So, is the music or the sound more ephemeral than good lyrics?

Zian: I believe that the sound underlines the lyrics more than anything else. If you listen to a song, you must find yourself in a sound that supports the lyrics. You can see stand-alone lyrics as poetry, if they are good lyrics. But, after all, we’re aiming to tell a story in three minutes that might have happened over several years.
Henrik Amschler: I don’t think transience is a bad thing. Lyrics per se are not as ephemeral as music, which always follows trends. However, this is highly dependent on the artists and the nature of their music; in dance music, for example, there is no need for depth in the lyrics – it should rather encourage you to dance. With artists like Zian, on the other hand, it is very important what they say in the lyrics, and accordingly the songs are less ephemeral.

By writing English lyrics, you are expanding your potential audience. But wouldn’t dialect texts be a more obvious choice?

Henrik Amschler: You have to remember that both the Swiss music market and the people in Switzerland in general are strongly influenced internationally, especially by the English-speaking world. What this means is, with certain styles, you can start on a different level with English lyrics than you would with lyrics written in dialect. Many Swiss artists have also shown that you first have to be successful abroad in order to be noticed at all in Switzerland, to be taken seriously.

Do you have a typical approach when you write your song lyrics?

Henrik Amschler: In principle, it’s safe to say that we have a pattern. Quite often, Zian presents me with an idea and asks for my opinion. If I’m excited, I’ll say “let’s go”, otherwise we’ll continue to discuss it. In the process, however, I am then more responsible for the musical aspects. Zian is always in the centre, because the lyrics must come from him, from his personality.
Zian: Yes, because the lyrics have to be honest.

So the credibility of Zian’s songs depends on the fact that when you listen to them, you feel that Zian is singing about something personal?

Henrik Amschler: The lyrical intention must always be recognisable in terms of coming from him; as such, he is more involved in the text than I am; I have more of a supporting function. The song “Show You” was born out of a personal story of Zian, like all our songs.

What is usually the trigger point for the lyrics, for a song?

Both: It could be anything.
Zian: Quite often it is any old situation, and then suddenly you feel that there is something there and that you can continue to work on it.
Henrik Amschler: With Zian, even when writing the lyrics, you notice that he is very musical, he is a multi-instrumentalist after all.
Zian: Above all, it’s about having a strong emotion here for me, putting a lot of heart into it.
Henrik Amschler: Often it’s what we feel like doing, what’s in our head and needs to be put into a text, and then we make the music to go with it.
Zian: Quite often, a word is crystallising and then, we feel which world this song belongs to. That can be sad and still take the direction towards “happy”.

Do you then develop the music and lyrics in parallel?

Zian: Yes, up to a certain point, where it is then worth defining the lyrics, because we have defined the world of the song; until then, part of the lyrics still is an incomprehensible “mumbled English”.
Henrik Amschler: Yes, once we’ve established the framework of the song, we go deeper into the lyrics, and deeper into the production.

Do you sometimes still have to adapt lyrics to an advanced production?

Zian: This happens rarely, because at some point the lyrics are finished; striving for perfection is good, but you can’t really achieve it. First of all, it has to be right in terms of the feeling, and of course it has to fit the music, the world that we have created with this song.
Henrik Amschler: For me, it’s quite clear: I always prioritise Zian with his unique voice and profound lyrics.
Zian: But you also have to understand that we are moving in the pop sector, the lyrics should not be too complex and abstract – people should be able to understand them. The more words you need, the less room for interpretation people have when they listen to the song.

“Show You”
Composition and lyrics: Tizian Hugenschmidt, Henrik Amschler.

www.zianmusic.com
www.henrik-hsa-amschler.ch

Swiss Music Awards: SUISA honours the songwriters of the “Best Hit”
In the “Best Hit” category at the Swiss Music Awards, the most successful national songs of the Swiss hit parade of the previous year are nominated. The winning song is determined by the audience voting during the TV show. For the first time this year, SUISA is the presenting partner of the “Best Hit” Award, highlighting the work of the songwriters and lyricists of the winning song. In 2022, the songs “Show You”, “Tribute” and “Nightmare” are nominated in the category “Best Hit”. (Text: Giorgio Tebaldi)
www.swissmusicawards.ch
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On 25 May 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined by public voting at the Swiss Music Awards. Nominated for the award presented by SUISA are Zian, Joya Marleen and Lo & Leduc. We wanted to know from Zian and Henrik Amschler what role the lyrics play for the song “Show you”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Zian and Henrik Amschler: “Songs must have a lyrical depth for me”

Zian (left) and Henrik Amschler. (Photos: Jen Ries; Nina Müller)

How important are, in your opinion, the lyrics for a song?

Zian: For me, it’s quite clear: The lyrics are crucial in determining whether a song can last longer or not. All of the songs that people listen to over and over again for decades, are songs that also have a lyrical depth. That’s why lyrics are extremely important. In the short term,...read more

“Music puts the lyrics into context”

On 25 May 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined via audience voting at the Swiss Music Awards. The nominees for the award to be presented by SUISA are Lo & Leduc, Zian and Joya Marleen. We asked Lo & Leduc about the role of the lyrics for the song “Tribut”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Lo and Leduc: “Music puts the lyrics into context”

Lo and Leduc. (Photo: Maximilian Lederer)

How important are, in your opinion, the lyrics for a song?

Lo: That’s something you can argue about. In our case, however, they are important, I surely have a bigger talent for lyrics than for singing. From our point of view, making music with Swiss German lyrics is generally more challenging than with English lyrics because the former automatically create a bigger distance to the contents. And if you are using lyrics in dialect, you are only making music for a relatively small audience.
Leduc: The lyrics are our primary craft.

Do you have a typical process when writing song lyrics?

Lo: Very different, everything is possible. Most of the time, one of us has an idea, this can even be the refrain or a melody. After that, we usually work individually, sometimes also together. Towards the end, at the latest, we finish all lyrics together. Sometimes one could call this fine tuning, sometimes also: We write a second verse and then have to rewrite the first one. There is no fixed process, the only thing that has become somewhat commonplace is that I hold an archive of lyrics and Luc an archive of photographs.
Leduc: It is almost pathological how I am trying to categorise our moments because I need some structure in order to think and work within the folders. It is often very interesting if you can place a new idea with the other one this way. What is also important is that we bring our own perspectives to the table. With a new approach, you do not just collect ideas but you also filter out the ideas which could become relevant for the song in question. Then we give the song idea a bit of time to brew, and later on simmer it together some more.

The music of the song “Tribut” is from the producer team Jugglerz. How was the cooperation, especially the coordination of music and lyrics?

Lo: This song is a special case. The idea for the lyrics is about ten years old; because it was unfinished, however, it was just lying around. When we began our cooperation with the Jugglerz in 2020/2021, we listened to many beats and draft songs and came across a guitar riff which simply captured us: Hey, that actually fits to a stone old text! So, we took it off the shelves again, rewrote it and adapted it to the music

Was this old version of the lyrics one without music?

Lo: No, but there was already music for it, and we have tried over the last ten years to make a song out of them a few times, but we always got stuck.
Leduc: It is therefore a lovely example that sometimes the time is not right for a song yet. “Tribut” contains the oldest line of the current album “Mercato”, but also the newest: The end of the refrain was the last bit that we wrote for the album, rather wide splits so to speak.

How clear was the definition of the cooperation with the Jugglerz?

Leduc: Sometimes the line how we share the work between music and lyrics is rather sketchy, but we presented clear versions and realised that their drafts matched ours. And then, we kept adapting our lyrics to the new beat they created.

“Tribut” has a multi-layered set of lyrics regarding what songs can express and what they cannot express. What was the starting point for the original version?

Lo: The basic idea is to find the first verse at the outset; the feeling, to write a love song knowing that you cannot give love its due with it, this kind of contradiction. The lyrics read “but love is no song” (aber Liebi isch kes Lied), this opens the world for this song and ends on the note that music is, after all, just a vehicle to capture such feelings but not quite in such a direct manner.
Leduc: With respect to lyrics, everything was available in the very early version. We then increased the aspect of music so that it is a kind of data storage of memories, even if no music is played. In the case of vinyl of tapes, you can even recognise the pauses between the songs and place them into the overall order.

What was the mutual influence of your lyrics and the music of Jugglerz when it comes to the creation of the song?

Lo: First, we adapted the key of their draft beat, which was a 30-second loop without arrangement. We then adapted the lyrics and fixed the arrangement together with Jonas Lang in the studio: the lengths of the stanza, pre chorus and so on. After that, we had to practically rewrite the refrain lyrics because it no longer worked. We had to adapt the lyrics to the music once more in the end where the original version of the draft beat can be heard.
Leduc: It is there that you can see really well that the reminiscence of this original beat led to the song.

Quite often, a set of song lyrics only reveals its impact, its meaning with the song. What does music contribute in terms of effect with respect to the rather self-evident lyrics of “Tribut”?

Leduc: It places the lyrics into context, a very nice example is the moment where it breaks at the end and changes into a parallel flat key. So what you know is practically changing into a kind of a parallel world.
Lo: I believe this happens even beforehand. The mood is not sad but there is a certain melancholy in the music.
Leduc: Yes, I have the feeling that the very consequent trap aesthetics is helping to create some sort of a counterweight to find a balance so that the resulting song is not a nostalgic one, something that happens too often in dialect pop.

“Tribut”
Composition: Jonas Lang (DJ Jopez), Joachim Piehl (Sir Jai), Martin Willumeit (DJ Meska) (Producer team aka Jugglerz).
Lyrics: Lorenz Häberli (Lo), Luc Oggier (Leduc).

www.lo-leduc.ch

Swiss Music Awards: SUISA honours the songwriters of the “Best Hit”
In the “Best Hit” category at the Swiss Music Awards, the most successful national songs of the Swiss hit parade of the previous year are nominated. The winning song is determined by the audience voting during the TV show. For the first time this year, SUISA is the presenting partner of the “Best Hit” Award, highlighting the work of the songwriters and lyricists of the winning song. In 2022, the songs “Tribute”, “Show You” and “Nightmare” are nominated in the category “Best Hit”. (Text: Giorgio Tebaldi)
www.swissmusicawards.ch
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On 25 May 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined via audience voting at the Swiss Music Awards. The nominees for the award to be presented by SUISA are Lo & Leduc, Zian and Joya Marleen. We asked Lo & Leduc about the role of the lyrics for the song “Tribut”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Lo and Leduc: “Music puts the lyrics into context”

Lo and Leduc. (Photo: Maximilian Lederer)

How important are, in your opinion, the lyrics for a song?

Lo: That’s something you can argue about. In our case, however, they are important, I surely have a bigger talent for lyrics than for singing. From our point of view, making music with Swiss German lyrics is generally more challenging than with English lyrics because the former automatically create a bigger distance to the contents. And if...read more

“If everything was easy to understand, the lyrics would be boring”

On 25 May, 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined by public voting at the Swiss Music Awards. Nominated for the award presented by SUISA are Joya Marleen, Lo & Leduc and Zian. We wanted to know from Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler what role the lyrics play for the song “Nightmare”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Swiss Music Awards: “If everything was easy to understand, the lyrics would be boring”

Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler. (Photos: Rouven Niedermaier; Emanuel Muhl)

How important are lyrics are for a song in your opinion?

Joya Marleen: Mega important, lyrics are essential! Olivia Rodrigo, for example, has written very beautiful, but also rather crass lyrics that are right in your face, lyrics where everything fits together; Amy Winehouse also impressed me with the very personal honesty of her lyrics.
Thomas Fessler: Yes, lyrics are rather important, not least because their royalty share at SUISA amounts to 50 percent, that is the same share as that of the music.

Do you have a typical approach when you write your song lyrics?

Joya Marleen: I like to start with words that somehow sound good or convey an idea of where the song might be going or what a story looks like. Accordingly, I may have three words that must appear in the song and then the add the feelings that go hand in hand with them. This can be the way the song is then formed. But mostly, I write the melody to the three words first.
Thomas Fessler: These words already contain the mood of the song. The rest is, initially, “yogurt text”: incomprehensible or meaningless text for places where the text is not yet fixed.

The nominated song “Nightmare” shows how important a single word can be and how it can already trigger many emotions. Joya, did the word nightmare spark the lyrics to the song of the same name?

Joya Marleen: Yeah, along with “Hold on, hold on”, it almost lends itself to providing a sailor vibe, a nightmare on a ship, that atmosphere fits well.

Did the music arise from this, from the rocking of these three words, as it were?

Thomas Fessler: Joya had recorded this refrain, the combination of these words and the melody, with her smartphone in a preliminary version and sent it to me. And I thought, uh, this is something special, you can make a great song out of this.
Joya Marleen: At the beginning, the song had a strong reggae influence …

… which is still easy to hear in the rhythmic intonation, in the swaying of these three words …

Both: Yes!

Joya, did you know what this song was going to be about when you heard the word nightmare? Or did the meaning of the song develop bit by bit?

Joya Marleen: I wanted this word to create an eerie mood. That is why I described this person who is waiting for a nightmare because they were bored. The nightmare is essential for them in life, they are looking for a toxic challenge. The song sounds bizarre, but is actually very melancholy, despite the contrasting vocal part “Hold on!”, and this creates a certain tension.

Did the rest of the lyrics then develop in parallel with the music?

Thomas Fessler: Joya also worked on the lyrics during the music recording, here on the sofa in the control room – and then finished them on the train ride home, as she always does … The lyrics have no clear storyline, they rather create a mood, they are lively and fresh, a bit quirky and also a bit chaotic. And that’s also a good thing, because if everything was easy to understand, the lyrics would be boring. You still have to be able to imagine something when you are listening to the song.

“Nightmare”
Music: Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler.
Lyrics: Joya Marleen.

www.joyamarleen.com
www.571.ch

Swiss Music Awards: SUISA honours the songwriters of the “Best Hit”
In the “Best Hit” category at the Swiss Music Awards, the most successful national songs of the Swiss hit parade of the previous year are nominated. The winning song is determined by the audience voting during the TV show. For the first time this year, SUISA is the presenting partner of the “Best Hit” Award, highlighting the work of the songwriters and lyricists of the winning song. In 2022, the songs “Nightmare”, “Tribute” and “Show You” are nominated in the category “Best Hit”. (Text: Giorgio Tebaldi)
www.swissmusicawards.ch
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On 25 May, 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined by public voting at the Swiss Music Awards. Nominated for the award presented by SUISA are Joya Marleen, Lo & Leduc and Zian. We wanted to know from Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler what role the lyrics play for the song “Nightmare”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Swiss Music Awards: “If everything was easy to understand, the lyrics would be boring”

Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler. (Photos: Rouven Niedermaier; Emanuel Muhl)

How important are lyrics are for a song in your opinion?

Joya Marleen: Mega important, lyrics are essential! Olivia Rodrigo, for example, has written very beautiful, but also rather crass lyrics that are right in your face, lyrics where everything fits together; Amy Winehouse also impressed me with the very personal honesty of her lyrics.
Thomas Fessler: Yes, lyrics are rather important, not least because...read more

Applications for the 2022 SUISA Songwriting Camp | plus video

For the fifth time, SUISA is organising a songwriting camp in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions. It takes place from 4 to 6 July 2022 at the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. SUISA members can apply for participation. Text by Manu Leuenberger; video by Mike Korner

At the SUISA Songwriting Camp, pop songs are composed in teams of three to five people each. The teams are put together by the artistic director of the camp. In the morning, we start from scratch, by the evening of the same day a complete demo track must be completed and recorded.

The musical style of the songs may include all manifestations of contemporary pop, which could also be successful in the charts, on streaming platforms or on the radio/on TV. On the one hand, the songs should be usable for the Eurovision Song Contest and on the other hand, they should also constitute material that can be offered to publishers and performers.

In order to fulfil this demanding task in a team with professional songwriters and producers from Switzerland and abroad, one must have solid musical knowledge, be able to deliver a creative performance of a high standard under time pressure and be open to criticism and exchange with fellow composers.

The fifth SUISA Songwriting Camp takes place from 4 to 6 July 2022 at the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. The event is organised by SUISA in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions. Pele Loriano Productions is responsible for the artistic direction of the Songwriting Camp on behalf of SUISA.

Applications for the 2022 SUISA Songwriting Camp

SUISA members can apply to participate in the 2022 SUISA Songwriting Camp. Are you a producer, songwriter (topliner) or lyricist and you think you meet the requirements in terms of musical craft and skills? Then send us your application, which should include the following:

  • a short biography;
  • meaningful reference songs (mp3 files or internet links);
  • contact details.

Applications should be sent by mail to the address: songwritingcamp (at) suisa (dot) ch
Deadline for applications is on: Sunday, 8 May 2022

Important: Places for SUISA members only are awarded via this application procedure. Those who apply should be able to guarantee that they will be available on one or more of the event days (4 to 6 July 2022). For the time being, the camp is planned to be held on-site at Powerplay Studios with physical/on-site participation of all participants. All participants will be informed in good time about any necessary protective measures or if the event is possibly held in a hybrid format.

Dates and selection of participants

The selection of all artists invited to the camp is made by the artistic director. An appropriate make-up of the participants is crucial for the creative success of the “songwriting sessions”.

Confirmations or invitations and further information on participation in the 2022 SUISA Songwriting Camp will be communicated personally by the artistic director by 26 June 2022.

Letters of refusal will not be sent. Anyone who has not received a confirmation or invitation by 26 June 2022 has not been considered for participation in the 2022 Songwriting Camp.

Experience shows that the number of applications will exceed the number of places available. It should be noted that the application does not create an entitlement to participation at any time. Furthermore, there will be no correspondence regarding the allocation of places. No statements can be made at this time about the implementation of further songwriting camps supported by SUISA.

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  1. Argyle Singh Koncon says:

    Argyle here!

    Would love to join again this year!

    Cheers
    A.

    • Manu Leuenberger says:

      Dear Argyle
      We are pleased that you enjoyed your last participation in our camp. The best thing is to send us your dossier with your application so that we can forward it to the artistic director for the selection.
      Kind regards, SUISA Communication Department

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

For the fifth time, SUISA is organising a songwriting camp in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions. It takes place from 4 to 6 July 2022 at the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. SUISA members can apply for participation. Text by Manu Leuenberger; video by Mike Korner

At the SUISA Songwriting Camp, pop songs are composed in teams of three to five people each. The teams are put together by the artistic director of the camp. In the morning, we start from scratch, by the evening of the same day a complete demo track must be completed and recorded.

The musical style of the songs may include all manifestations of contemporary pop, which could also be successful in the charts, on streaming platforms or on the radio/on TV. On the one hand, the...read more

SUISA panel at M4music: What influence does streaming have on songwriting? │ plus video

Today, music is often consumed via streaming platforms. With millions of songs available, individual pieces quickly get lost in the crowd. And songs often have to grab the listener in the first few seconds – the next song is just a click away. Does the distribution channel for streaming influence songwriting? This question will be discussed at the SUISA panel at the 2022 M4music Festival. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Lisa Burth

Gone are the days when music consumers listened to a whole album from the first song to the last in one sitting. In 2021, CDs and records accounted for just over 10% of music sales in Switzerland, according to the industry association IFPI, with the remaining 90% coming from online, of which over 80% is streaming.

The shift from recorded music to streaming is relevant to artists in several ways. In the case of CDs and LPs, remuneration covers the reproduction and sale of physical units in their entirety. Today, creators, performers and producers are paid for individual streams; these only count if a track is listened to for at least 30 seconds. The crux of the matter: For music consumers, the next track is just a click away. For songwriters and performers, this means that they have to grab the listenerʼs interest to keep listening within the first few seconds of a song.

Zurich musician Evelinn Trouble provides a first insight into how composers deal with todayʼs listener behaviour in a video interview.

SUISA panel at M4music: “How streaming is changing songwriting”

The influence of changing music consumption behaviour on songwriters and labels will be discussed at the SUISA panel at this yearʼs M4music Festival. Under the header “How streaming is changing songwriting,” composers, producers and label executives will discuss the impact streaming is having on the way songs are written, produced and released.

The panelists are:

  • Evelinn Trouble, songwriter, singer, producer and visual artist from Zurich
  • Julie Born, Managing Director of Sony Music Switzerland
  • Henrik Amschler aka HSA, songwriter and producer from Zurich
  • Loris Cimino, producer and songwriter from Frankfurt/Zurich

The panel will be moderated by Nina Havel.

The SUISA panel will take place on Friday, 25 March 2022 at 4:00 p.m. at Matchbox in Zurichʼs Schiffbau. The panel is free and open to the public.

The 2022 M4music Festival

After the festival had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was held in a scaled-down form in 2021, the Migros Kulturprozent (Culture Percentage) Pop Music Festival will take place again this year in its usual form on Friday and Saturday, 25 and 26 March 2022 at the Schiffbau in Zurich. In addition to panel discussions, workshops and panels on current topics in the music business, numerous Swiss and international artists will also perform at the festival.

www.m4music.ch

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Today, music is often consumed via streaming platforms. With millions of songs available, individual pieces quickly get lost in the crowd. And songs often have to grab the listener in the first few seconds – the next song is just a click away. Does the distribution channel for streaming influence songwriting? This question will be discussed at the SUISA panel at the 2022 M4music Festival. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Lisa Burth

Gone are the days when music consumers listened to a whole album from the first song to the last in one sitting. In 2021, CDs and records accounted for just over 10% of music sales in Switzerland, according to the industry association IFPI, with the remaining 90% coming from online, of which over 80% is streaming.

The shift from recorded...read more

SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021: now open for applications by SUISA members

The fourth SUISA Songwriting Camp will take place from 5 to 7 July 2021 in the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. It is possible that due to the corona pandemic not all participants will be able to be present at the studios and will instead join online. SUISA members may apply for participation. Text by Erika Weibel and Manu Leuenberger

SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021: now open for applications by SUISA members

Teamwork at the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2019: start with a blank sheet of paper in the morning and finish with a completed demo track by the evening. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

The SUISA Songwriting Camp offers some of its members the opportunity to team up and compose pop songs under professional conditions with renowned producers and songwriters from Switzerland and abroad. Between 30 and 40 musicians usually take part in the three-day event.

Those who wish to participate in the Songwriting Camp must have well-founded musical knowledge, be able to produce high-level creative output under time pressure, and be open to criticism and exchange with their co-writers.

The challenging task: write a pop song in a team of three to five people within a day, according to certain specifications – start with a blank sheet of paper in the morning and finish with a completed demo track by the evening.

Pop songs with hit potential

The musical style of the songs can comprise all facets of contemporary pop music that could also be successful in the charts, on streaming platforms or on radio/TV. The songs are intended to be offered to publishers and artists or even suitable for the Eurovision Song Contest.

The event, jointly organised between SUISA and Pele Loriano Productions, has already produced several internationally successful pop songs that have made it on to the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC). The song “She Got Me”, co-written and sung by Luca Hänni, reached fourth place at the ESC in 2019. The songs “Répondez-moiˮ (Gjon’s Tears, for the event in 2020 that was eventually cancelled), “Stonesˮ (Zibbz, 2018) and “Sisterˮ (Sisters, the German entry in 2019) also qualified. In 2021, “Amenˮ – sung by Vincent Bueno for Austria – became the fifth song from the SUISA Songwriting Camp to reach the semi-finals or finals of the ESC.

Hybrid version of the camp possible

The coronavirus pandemic is still dictating world events. It may therefore be the case that despite safeguarding measures, physical participation of all parties at the Powerplay Studios will not be possible. For this reason, all applicants must have their own technical infrastructure available that would allow online participation. Specifically, you may need to be able to communicate with songwriters remotely using a computer via Wi-Fi, and be able to make professional digital sound recordings and edit music yourself. A Wi-Fi network is available in the studio. Participants must be able to bring their own computers and the necessary (recording) software.

All participants will be informed in good time about the safeguarding protocols and the possible hybrid implementation of the Songwriting Camp.

Applications for the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021

This year’s SUISA Songwriting Camp takes place from 5 to 7 July 2021 in the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. The event is again organised by SUISA in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions. Pele Loriano Productions is responsible for the artistic direction of the Songwriting Camp on behalf of SUISA.

SUISA members can apply to participate in the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021:
Are you a producer, songwriter (topliner) or a lyricist, and do you think you meet the requirements in terms of musical skill and ability? Do you also have a solid technical infrastructure (computer that can be connected via Wi-Fi and is equipped for professional digital sound recording and music editing) that you can operate and bring with you? In that case, please send us your application, which should contain the following information:

  • short biography
  • meaningful reference songs (mp3 files or internet links)
  • contact details

Please email applications to: songwritingcamp (at) suisa (dot) ch
Closing date for applications: Monday, 7 June 2021.

Important: Participant places are allocated only to SUISA members through this application process. Those who apply should be able to guarantee that they are available to participate on one or all the event days (5-7 July 2021).

Dates and selection of the participants

All artists invited to the camp are selected by the artistic director. A suitable mix of participants is paramount in the creative success of the songwriting sessions.

The artistic programme director will communicate all confirmation messages and invitations, and further details on participation at the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021 by 27 June 2021. Rejection letters will not be sent. If you have not received a confirmation message by 27 June 2021, you have not been taken into consideration for the Songwriting Camp 2021.

Experience has shown that the number of applications will far exceed the number of available places. Please note that an application does not constitute a claim to participate in the event. Furthermore, no correspondence will be entered into in relation to the allocation of places. No information can yet be given about the implementation of other songwriting camps supported by SUISA.

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The fourth SUISA Songwriting Camp will take place from 5 to 7 July 2021 in the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. It is possible that due to the corona pandemic not all participants will be able to be present at the studios and will instead join online. SUISA members may apply for participation. Text by Erika Weibel and Manu Leuenberger

SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021: now open for applications by SUISA members

Teamwork at the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2019: start with a blank sheet of paper in the morning and finish with a completed demo track by the evening. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

The SUISA Songwriting Camp offers some of its members the opportunity to team up and compose pop songs under professional conditions with renowned producers and songwriters from Switzerland and abroad. Between 30 and 40 musicians usually take part in the three-day event.

Those...read more

“Amen”: Another ESC song that comes from the SUISA Songwriting Camp

The Eurovision Song Contest will be held again after its 2020 cancellation. A song which was created in the SUISA Songwriting Camp in the Powerplay Studios in Maur will be featured in Rotterdam. We spoke with the SUISA member Tobias Carshey, from Zurich. He wrote “Amen” together with Jonas Thander and Ashley Hicklin. The singer of the song, however, is Vincent Bueno from Vienna – and he performs for Austria. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

“Amen”: Another ESC song that comes from the SUISA Songwriting Camp

Tobias Carshey performs the vocal track for the demo recording of “Amen” at the SUISA Songwriting Camp. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

Tobias Carshey, how do your normally create your songs?
Tobias Carshey: I write from my own life, that is why the results are different each time. I tend to sit down and write, sometimes the melody comes first, more rarely the lyrics, so mostly I start with the music.

Are you usually the sole author of your songs?
When it comes to writing, yes, but not when it comes to arranging.

You have written on your website: “Writing songs is and was always a very personal process to me”. Has it been difficult to work with songwriters that you did not know during the Songwriting Camp?
At the beginning, very much so. I usually withdraw to a quiet place where I can work away. At the Songwriting Camp, I was exposed and had to collaborate with a team. I had done this before, but …

… here, the pressure was probably higher since you worked together with the Swedish producer Jonas Thander and the Scottish topliner Ashley Hicklin for the first time?
That’s right, it is simply a new situation: There are new dynamics which you have to understand first. I was lucky enough that Ashley Hicklin took the reins from the start with a specific notion.

How did this work, did you bring along some ideas for the songs?
I would do it differently today but back then, I simply went there. It was my first time at a Songwriting Camp and I wanted to be completely unbiased. Before we started with the writing process, we listened to a few of my songs so that Jonas Thander and Ashley Hicklin could find out where I come from musically.

Was that the right thing so that the two could find out where your strengths were?
Exactly, in this regard, my song “Almond Eyes” was the starting point.

At a Songwriting Camp, there is a certain specialisation with producers and topliners. What was your role, were you more the singer in the sense of a performer or were you involved as a songwriter?
I was definitely also involved as a songwriter. My two partners accepted me as a peer.

Jonas Thander Ashley Hicklin

The Swedish producer Jonas Thander (left) and the songwriter Ashley Hicklin, a resident of Edinburgh, deeply focussed when working on their composition in the studio A of the Powerplay Studios in Maur. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

Did this kind of job sharing make sense to you?
Very much so, because everyone has their own experience and we used this role allocation as a starting point. Friction can easily occur when three songwriters, who do not know each other, work together. That way, you can withdraw to your own competences if you are not in agreement, and still make progress with the song.

How far did the specialisation go?
I was clear who held which role. But each of us was considered to be competent enough to be able to contribute everywhere, whether to songwriting or the lyrics, also the production.

In your opinion, how did the fact contribute that you had never written a song together or played together, and that you weren’t a well-established team?
Ash and Jonas already knew each other but that did not make any difference because they are experienced musicians who know the dynamics of songwriting. As a consequence, it was easy for me to join them as a newcomer and go with the flow, so to speak. If all of us had been newbies, it would probably have been more like a lottery.

Did you also do some jamming or did you decide on something and then each of you separately carried out their job?
There wasn’t a moment where someone was just tinkering on their own – that was a new aspect to me. I am more the type who withdraws in order to continue with the development of an idea to then present it to everyone. At the Songwriting Camp, Ashley Hicklin came up with a refrain pretty much at the beginning. This also acted as the starting point for our work which matched the goal to write an ESC song. And then the path was clear for everyone.

Thander Carshey Hicklin SUISA Songwriting Camp

The co-authors of “Amen”, playing around with their creation (f.l.t.r.): Jonas Thander, SUISA member Tobias Carshey and Ashley Hicklin. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

The refrain came first: How dominant was the goal to write an ESC song, i.e. a potential hit, and to remain catchy?
We were aware of that, but it had no influence on the feeling of the song. We also paid attention that we managed to get to the point with the song in three minutes.

Did the factor that you had to stand out with something special despite the hit character also play a role?
Not especially for us. But our song stood out in comparison to the other songs of the Songwriting Camp because we kept it very tranquil – only piano, guitar and my voice, we also did not use any effects such as auto tuning. That was, in my opinion, the strong point of the song: It also works just with a guitar which seemed to be atypical.

How does the song “Amen” at the end of the Camp day differ from the one that we can hear at the ESC?
It has become more pompous. The original is very reduced: a bass drum, my voice, an acoustic guitar and a piano. Strings and backing vocals can now also be heard.

How come that someone different performs this song, a third of which has, after all, been created by you?
I have written songs for others in the past, and once a performance actually did hurt, because if was a personal song. I do, however, find it very exciting and very beautiful that Vincent Bueno is going to interpret the song “Amen” with his own history which gives it its own proper meaning. No regrets!

How has the Songwriting Camp changed your own personal songwriting process?
The unrestricted, also free approach influenced me most of all. I am otherwise probably too hard on myself, too acrimonious in order to just write away and try things out.

Did you suffer under the speed that the song had to be finished in just one day at the Songwriting Camp?
Yes, I found that difficult. Because, in my view, really cracking, really good and timeless songs need more time for their development. I am used to the fact, however, that I was proven wrong when it came to such dogmas.

www.tobiascarshey.com

Eurovision Song Contest 2021: In the second semi-final of the ESC on 20 May 2021, Vincent Bueno is going to compete with “Amen” for Austria and Gjon’s Tears with “Tout l’univers” for Switzerland. The final will take place on 22 May.

Songwriting Camp: The Songwriting Camp organised by SUISA in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions has already generated several successful international pop songs. “Amen” is the fifth song from the SUISA Songwriting Camp which made it to the semi-final or final of the Eurovision Song Contest. The song “She Got Me” which had been co-composed and sung by Luca Hänni made it to fourth place during the ESC 2019. Other qualifiers were “Répondez-moi” (Gjon’s Tears, for the eventually cancelled event in 2020), “Stones” (2018, Zibbz) and “Sister” (2019 for Germany, Sisters).

The credits of “Amen”:
Lyrics/Music by: Tobias Carshey (CH), Ashley Hicklin (UK), Jonas Thander (SE). Produced by: Jonas Thander (SE), Mikolaj Trybulec (PL), Pele Loriano (CH). Recorded by: Pele Loriano, Jonas Thander, Mikolaj Trybulec. Mixed by: David Hofmann. Published by: Schneeblind Publishing, ORF Musikverlag. Label: Unified Songs.

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

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The Eurovision Song Contest will be held again after its 2020 cancellation. A song which was created in the SUISA Songwriting Camp in the Powerplay Studios in Maur will be featured in Rotterdam. We spoke with the SUISA member Tobias Carshey, from Zurich. He wrote “Amen” together with Jonas Thander and Ashley Hicklin. The singer of the song, however, is Vincent Bueno from Vienna – and he performs for Austria. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

“Amen”: Another ESC song that comes from the SUISA Songwriting Camp

Tobias Carshey performs the vocal track for the demo recording of “Amen” at the SUISA Songwriting Camp. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

Tobias Carshey, how do your normally create your songs?
Tobias Carshey: I write from my own life, that is why the results are different each time. I tend to sit down and write, sometimes the melody comes first,...read more

Jessiquoi: having the freedom to reinvent yourself

Searching for her personal identity is the force that drives her creativity. It has enabled Jessica Plattner, alias Jessiquoi, to create a complete audiovisual work of art. The 31-year-old Bern resident says that she is brim full of ideas. Thanks to the Get Going! grant, there is no longer anything standing in the way of her goals. Text by guest author Rudolf Amstutz

Jessiquoi: having the freedom to reinvent yourself

Jessiquoi (Photo: Manuel Lopez)

“Once I am a grown-up, I would like to have a grand piano on stage,” says Jessica Plattner, laughing at her own turn of phrase. Needless to say, at 31 years of age, she has already been a grown-up for some time, but her statement also indicates that she sees herself as an artist on a path to further development that has not yet reached its end. And this is in spite of being one of Switzerland’s most impressive acts with her alter ego Jessiquoi. She composes and produces herself. She is responsible for the visuals, continually creating fantastic worlds, in which Jessiquoi reinvents, redefines herself with the aid of electro-sound environments that are sometimes aggressive, sometimes gentle.

“For me, identity is something that is fluid,” comments Jessica, quoting well-known drag queen, RuPaul: “You’re born naked. The rest is drag.” Then adding: “I believe that every person has the freedom to reinvent themself. Also, no justification is necessary if someone steers their life in a completely new direction. It is like in a video game, where each and every player can specify their own avatar.”

The quest for an identity is the creative driving force: in Jessica’s case, this has its roots in her extraordinary life-history. She was born in Bern. Shortly afterwards, her family emigrated to Australia. When she was a teenager, her father was offered a job at the Bern Conservatory, so the family moved back to Switzerland. This steered her still young career down other paths. Jessica had wanted to be a professional dancer and trained accordingly in Sydney. In addition, the Plattners spoke exclusively English at home. “If I had wanted to pursue my career as a dancer, I would have had to go to Rotterdam or Berlin. But I wanted to be with my family,” she says. “At the beginning, I felt like I was a foreigner in Bern and like I was being excluded. It was only when I started to speak the Bernese dialect that everything was suddenly OK.” The language came to her easily, her German teacher even giving her the nickname “tape recorder”, “because I could play back everything so perfectly,” she laughs.

Alternative existence

The search for her identity in this strange homeland then led her to music – with dance falling by the wayside. “We always had a piano at home, but I never touched it in the beginning. I’d had lessons for a short time, but I hated them. Then I suddenly started writing songs of my own every day,” is the way she describes her musical beginnings.

But if the loss of her familiar environment was not bad enough, seven years ago Jessica suffered the most painful stroke of fate that anyone could possibly imagine. Her brother, who was two years younger than her, died. “We shared everything and were often even mistaken for twins,” she says before explaining how her brother inspired her interest in the world of video games and film soundtracks.

And it was precisely in these worlds where you can reinvent yourself that Jessica found her new home as Jessiquoi. “You could say that Jessiquoi is a fictional character, but in truth she is actually a different version of me,” she says and adds: “This character can also scare you, because Jessiquoi does not inhabit our fixed system of clear gender roles and national identities.”

On her albums, she now tells us about these strange worlds, in which the valleys are contaminated, so people flee to the mountain tops, and where pilots are able to fly in the direction of a better existence. On stage, she brings about this alternative existence all by herself. She has electronic instruments and a command centre for the visual effects on a wooden cart and dances, playing the part of Jessiquoi as absolute ruler of the stage, which is a place of self-determination and constant repositioning. Jessiquoi creates a complete artwork that is impressive thanks to its uncompromisingness, and with which she has also already drummed up enthusiasm in Seville and New York.

The wooden cart – or “trolley” as she calls it – is like a Chinese harp, which she plays live, and is reminiscent of Chinese culture, for which she possesses great affinity. “In the language school, one of my Chinese friends got me interested in her culture. And once when I was in China – it was three o’clock in the morning in Shanghai – I wanted something to eat and there was this old lady with a wooden cart on which she was cooking food. This old cart in the middle of this great metropolis: that’s an image I will never forget. I wanted to be this woman,” she explains, chuckling.

Craft new songs

Self-determination with no ifs or buts, as well as the freedom to keep her own identity in a fluid state are things that Jessica sees as being essential for her art. “For me, the main job of an artist is to dream about the future of our civilisation anew or to make it visible, because this is what absorbs, analyses, criticises and reformulates the world and the people around them.”

Thanks to the Get Going! grant, nothing stands in the way of this exciting development. “I have had to finance myself by playing concerts, which meant I had less time to craft new songs. I now have my annual budget available at a stroke,” she beams. Where this journey ultimately leads her is totally open: “I don’t know what music I will be making tomorrow. It comes easily to me. But I will never let reasons of market strategy stipulate what my music must sound like. I am working on my identity. Me. Just me, nobody but me.”

www.jessiquoi.com

FONDATION SUISA started awarding new grants in 2018. Under the heading of “Get Going!”, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start. Each year, our Portrait Series profiles recipients of Get Going! funding. The invitation to apply for 2020 expires at the end of August.

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

Searching for her personal identity is the force that drives her creativity. It has enabled Jessica Plattner, alias Jessiquoi, to create a complete audiovisual work of art. The 31-year-old Bern resident says that she is brim full of ideas. Thanks to the Get Going! grant, there is no longer anything standing in the way of her goals. Text by guest author Rudolf Amstutz

Jessiquoi: having the freedom to reinvent yourself

Jessiquoi (Photo: Manuel Lopez)

“Once I am a grown-up, I would like to have a grand piano on stage,” says Jessica Plattner, laughing at her own turn of phrase. Needless to say, at 31 years of age, she has already been a grown-up for some time, but her statement also indicates that she sees herself as an artist on a path to further development that has not yet reached its...read more

Anna Gosteli: “I never know where things will take meˮ

Despite her outstanding training and commercial successes in a number of bands, Anna Gosteli hid her light under a bushel far too often.The 35-year-old resident of Solothurn is now stepping into the limelight and has found her too long-awaited musical identity, thanks to all of her many experiences. The 2019 Get Going! grant gave her the necessary financial independence. Text by guest author Rudolf Amstutz

Anna Gosteli: “I never know where things will take meˮ

Anna Gosteli (Photo: Manuel Vescoli)

Parts of a puzzle like mosaic pieces – before they are put together, they shimmer in all the colours under the sun, but: the full picture is just not there. The correct arrangement, the right sequence of events which gives the finished picture its identity, is missing. “Jack of all trades and master of noneˮ is the way Anna Gosteli describes the state of affairs in which she found herself for years. And this is despite how these individual parts of the puzzle can be seen or heard: piano lessons at the age of 7, then the clarinet, followed by the school choir. At home in the Vorarlberg region of Austria, her mother played the guitar and her father the saxophone. “Even as a child I came into contact with all sorts of musical genres, with golden oldies and pop songs, and in our house there were always instruments available to play.ˮ

At the age of 14, she moved to Switzerland. Yet another piece of the puzzle, followed by more new pieces at regular intervals. When she was 21, she joined the Basel-based art-pop collective, The Bianca Story. Nothing seemed to stand in the way of a stellar career. Appearances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, recording at Abbey Road Studios in London, however: “In the beginning I was the timid one in the band,ˮ the 35-year-old comments today, quickly adding: “This was entirely something I felt myself, and had nothing to do with the guys in the band, who always treated me as an equal.ˮ In spite of Gosteliʼs international success, this extremely talented singer was always the second voice. Combined with her reserved nature, she was left with the feeling that there could be more to her than meets the eye.

Her liberation began when she attended the Jazz School in Basel. Composition with Hans Feigenwinter, singing with Lisette Spinnler and harmony lessons with Lester Menezes. She is able to laugh about it today, but “at that time I was moved to tears when an irritated Lester once again pointed out to me that what I was doing was boring. My singing tended to be ʼtoo sweetʻ.ˮ Ultimately, this love-hate relationship turned out to be an important driving force in her breaking out of fixed roles and listening to her inner voice. Slowly but surely, the parts of the puzzle that had been collected over the years seemed to be fitting together. A feeling of certainty grew that a bigger, more coherent picture was possibly hidden inside her.

Along with Fabian Chiquet of The Bianca Story, she founded Chiqanne. Working together, they created great pop songs with depth. “Suddenly, I was writing lyrics in German and standing at the very front of the stage.ˮ But the decisive step in completing the puzzle only appeared as a result of the album, “Dr Schnuu und sini Tierliˮ, with a collection of songs for children, and most importantly, for their parents as well. Like so many things in her varied career, this was not planned. “I never know where things will take me. But somehow that can also be a way of doing things,ˮ she laughs.

It happened at Christmas, when Anna, now the mother of a six-year-old son, was looking for presents for the children of her friends. “And because I was really short of money at that time, I wrote a song and gave each child a verse.ˮ After the song about “Poultryˮ, came “Biber (Beaver)ˮ, which she gave to the film composer, Biber Gullatz, by way of thanks for a stay in his Berlin apartment, when she was frequently cooperating with him on television film soundtracks. “Only then did the idea come to me of writing a collection of childrenʼs songs.ˮ

It was behind these actual songs that almost all of the musical experiences that Gosteli had gathered throughout her career were hiding, and which suggested that the puzzle would become part of a glittering oeuvre. Thanks to lots of humour, but also immense psychological depth, these songs show off Gosteliʼs talents as a lyricist, whilst the music – which she performed on stage in collaboration with guitarist, Martina Stutz, – reflects her stylistic journey from golden oldies to pop songs and ultimately jazz.

“Iʼm currently bursting with ideas,ˮ says Gosteli, who teaches singing at the Guggenheim in Liestal, as well as leading a “Female Band Workshopˮ for “Helvetiarocktˮ along with Evelinn Trouble.And, last but not least, she is starting to bring the puzzle nearly to completion in the newly established Kid Empress band. “At last,ˮ states Gosteli, “Iʼve found three musical kindred spirits. We make decisions together and without having to make any compromises.ˮ

The “Schnuuˮ and genre-crossing sound of Kid Empress already clearly indicate that the initial “Jack of all trades and master of noneˮ is being condensed into an independent identity. “The Get Going! grant gives me the necessary financial breathing space at just the right time to be able to immerse myself in this new, creative adventure.ˮ And at this point, she beams all over her face once more.

FONDATION SUISA started awarding new grants in 2018. Under the heading of “Get Going!ˮ, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start. Each year, our Portrait Series profiles recipients of Get Going! funding. The invitation to apply for 2020 expires at the end of August.

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Despite her outstanding training and commercial successes in a number of bands, Anna Gosteli hid her light under a bushel far too often.The 35-year-old resident of Solothurn is now stepping into the limelight and has found her too long-awaited musical identity, thanks to all of her many experiences. The 2019 Get Going! grant gave her the necessary financial independence. Text by guest author Rudolf Amstutz

Anna Gosteli: “I never know where things will take meˮ

Anna Gosteli (Photo: Manuel Vescoli)

Parts of a puzzle like mosaic pieces – before they are put together, they shimmer in all the colours under the sun, but: the full picture is just not there. The correct arrangement, the right sequence of events which gives the finished picture its identity, is missing. “Jack of all trades and master of noneˮ is the way Anna Gosteli describes the state...read more

“The crisis feels a little like being in a rehab clinic to me”

During the corona crisis, via its project “Music for Tomorrow”, SUISA is providing a platform for some members to report on their work and the challenges they are facing during this period. This time round, the Valaisian musician and songwriter Tanya Barany tells us why she hopes that people in this crisis have focussed their awareness of things like care, appreciation, solidarity or reflection and exclusively performs her song “Cotton Clouds”. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Tanya Barany, complemented by Nina Müller

“Dark like my British humour, but with a touch of fresh mountain air,” is how Tanya Barany describes her “Dark Pop”. Born and grown up in the Upper Valais, Tanja Zimmermann, that is what she is actually called, found her way to music at an early age: “I’ve been singing, dancing and performing all my life. The stages have simply become a bit bigger over time,” she says in a written interview. “What was once my bed has mutated into a Gampel Open Air stage.” Her musical career began with her first solo appearance with guitar at a children’s hit parade at the age of 11. At the age of 14 she founded the girl power trio Labyrinthzero, with which she released her first EP with her own compositions and played over 150 concerts at home and abroad.

Found a musical home

Decisive for her musical career was the encounter with Jonas Ruppen, who plays keyboard in her band and creates the videos: “He showed me the world of Radiohead, James Blake, etc. – and suddenly I had found my musical home!” The two have been playing music together for ten years now and work together on the overall concept of “Tanya Barany” – Tanya as songwriter and Jonas as video producer.

She began her musical education in 2014 by studying music at the Zurich University of the Arts, where she says that she was able to benefit from great teachers. “At the same time, I learned how to use the recording program LogicX, which took my songwriting in a completely different direction – my ‘Dark Pop’ saw the light of day!”

The debut album “Lights Disappear”

In 2019, Tanya Barany’s debut album “Lights Disappear” was released. Several performances on stages at home and abroad followed, e.g. Gampel Open Air, Zermatt Unplugged, Swiss Live Talents or at the Blue Balls Festival.

Besides her project Tanya Barany, she is a full-time studio singer and musician, songwriter, lyricist and vocal coach.

“Cotton Clouds”

For “Music for Tomorrow” Tanya Barany performed and recorded the song “Cotton Clouds”. She says the following about the work: “‘Cotton Clouds’ describes the feeling of immersion in water where suddenly everything around becomes silent; where suddenly another world appears. One the one hand, the water walls are depressing (almost oppressive), on the other hand they remind us of the security of an embrace. ‘Cotton Clouds’ is my unreleased hidden track. Like my songs on the album ‘Lights Disappear’, ‘Cotton Clouds’ grew out of the dark corner of my heart, but the track didn’t find a place on the album. I had composed ‘Cotton Clouds’ on the piano at that time; I prefer to play the piano alone for myself, without anyone listening to me. I chose ‘Cotton Clouds’ for ‘Music for Tomorrow’, because I want to invite the audience into my little lounge and take you on a little personal journey … :-)”

Tanya Barany, what does your working day as a composer/lyricist look like during the corona pandemic?
Tanya Barany: At the moment, I have more time to convert my song ideas into finished songs. Therefore, I try to generate as much output as possible – not only for me as Tanya Barany, but also as a ghostwriter for other artists. My partner, David Friedli – also a musician and composer – and I often write together. We move in all possible style directions – from folk to rock to pop to electro pop to soul etc. – it’s really fun!

What does this crisis mean for you personally?
The crisis feels a little like being in a rehab clinic to me. I don’t really want to be there – I miss performing live, cultural life and even planning ahead – who would have thought – and I can’t wait for normality to return.
On the other hand, this crisis also brings something valuable with it: Time! The world just seems to revolve a bit more slowly. Suddenly I am allowed to concentrate on things that are not necessarily on my having to do list but on the nice to do list – that feels incredibly good! This time has made “Reboot” possible, now I feel much more energetic and creative than before the crisis.

How can the audience support you at the moment?
My audience can best support me by telling all my friends and relatives about my music and telling them to buy the “Lights Disappear” CD! :-) Dark songs help through dark times … :-)

Would it help if people on Spotify and Co. streamed your music more often?
When selecting live acts, the organisers look at the number of “listeners” on Spotify, YouTube etc. Therefore, it is surely an advantage if my music is streamed regularly on these platforms. It is also nice to see that my songs are even heard on the other side of the world! But to support me as an artist directly, I am always very grateful for purchased music on iTunes etc. or directly at concerts.

What do you think the current situation could bring with it?
I very much hope that people’s awareness will be sharpened somewhat – on all levels! A little more care, appreciation, solidarity, reflection – that would do us all good!

What do you want to give your fans to take away from this interview?
Dear fans, although it seems to be quieter around Tanya Barany at the moment, I’m working diligently in the background on a new concept, so that it will be even more cracking afterwards – so enjoy the calm before the storm! :-) I am already looking forward to presenting you new songs! Thanks for your support so far! Take care <3

www.tanyabarany.ch

“Music for Tomorrow”
The Covid-19 crisis has hit SUISA’s members particularly hard. The main source of income for many composers and publishers has completely been lost: Performances of any kind have been prohibited by the Federal Government until further notice. In the coming weeks, we will be posting portraits of some of our members on the SUISAblog. They will tell us what moves them during the Covid-19 crisis, what their challenges are and what their working day currently looks like. The musicians also performed and filmed their own composition for the SUISAblog at home or in their studio. SUISA pays the musicians a fee for this campaign.
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During the corona crisis, via its project “Music for Tomorrow”, SUISA is providing a platform for some members to report on their work and the challenges they are facing during this period. This time round, the Valaisian musician and songwriter Tanya Barany tells us why she hopes that people in this crisis have focussed their awareness of things like care, appreciation, solidarity or reflection and exclusively performs her song “Cotton Clouds”. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Tanya Barany, complemented by Nina Müller

“Dark like my British humour, but with a touch of fresh mountain air,” is how Tanya Barany describes her “Dark Pop”. Born and grown up in the Upper Valais, Tanja Zimmermann, that is what she is actually called, found her way to music at an early age: “I’ve been...read more