Today at school, I met Lauren Christie, the woman who wrote Avril Lavigne’s hit songs “Complicated”, “I’m with you” and “Skater Boy.” She also wrote Enrique Iglesias’ hit song, “Tonight I’m loving you”. She’s co-written with Jason Mraz, Christina Aguilera and many others.
“But I thought Jason Mraz wrote his own stuff?” I asked. She said, “He does. I just came in to help out. He played me what he had for “Remedy” and I could tell it was a hit. It just needed a chorus. So I helped him write that.”
She writes with her songwriting team, “The Matrix” (pic above) who won BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year in 2003 and now write for Universal. The Matrix (named just before the movie came out), were all performing artists who turned to songwriting in their 30′s. For a long time, they were just getting by, writing songs for unknown artists on the label where they had their publishing deal.
Avril Lavigne was just another one of those unknown artists until those songs hit it big. Now, Lauren never has to work again. But she does keep working and writing because she loves it. Ah, the love of music. ”That’s why we’re all in this crazy business,” is what the instructors and guest speakers say again and again at school.
I remember “I’m with you” hitting me hard. The image of that poor lost waif standing on a bridge, waiting for someone to show up and take care of her. It’s the same theme as my “Map Song” and “Ordinary Man” which is probably why it affected me so much.
Lauren Christie was this week’s guest speaker in Allan Rich’s class “The Songwriters” at the Musicians Institute. After the guest speaks, the students share our songs with them.
There’s a lot of talent in our class. This tall Swedish girl has this great dance track called “Lady Boner” which always blows the guests away. One guy sings half in Chinese and half in English. There are a couple of R & B singers who look and sound like they walked right off MTV.
Our teacher, Allan Rich tells us every week how amazing we are and how proud he is to show us off to the guest songwriters. He says the only thing separating us from success is luck, who we meet, being at the right place at the right time, etc. Lauren Christie recommends asking for help from God, which has been her biggest secret. He just has a way of making stuff happen, she says.
I shared my new song, ”Loving every day” which Lauren loved. She smiled at the line “This tension could bring us such pleasure,” and said it touched a chord in her personal life. She and the teacher said my stuff was like “indie girl” and they could hear it on TV shows, like “Weeds.”
I think I want it all. I want to sing and perform my own stuff, but I’d be very happy performing at Folk Fests, 200 seat concert halls and doing a house concert tour of the US and Europe.
I also love songwriting and co-writing and would love to work with great songwriters and get my songs in films and on TV.
And finding my Avril? Well, hey, maybe that would be like having a daughter. Many people say there is nothing more fulfilling than that.