This is a special “10 Questions” Interview, with songwriter Julie Cymek. Julie is the lead singer and lyricists with the band Sweet Leda. Stephen Joseph Antonelli (owner/producer of SongBuilder Studios) is producing Sweet Leda’s new record “Let It In” so he’s had first hand experience working with Julie as a songwriter. Here is an interview with Julie where she explains her approach to writing.
1. Tell us about your musical background, how you got into songwriting, and any current projects you have now. When I was a kid, I took piano lessons and sang in a cappella groups. I was always singing. In my senior year of high school, every single one of my electives was a different chorus class! I directed an a cappella group in college. I never thought I could direct until people started approaching me about it! Then a year or so after college, I met a boy who played in a band. I married him! We’ve been playing music together ever since! Our band is called Sweet Leda. And a current project? We are releasing a new CD in early 2015 called “Let It In”. We’re soooo excited! We did it all live in the studio to tape. It sounds amazing!
2. What influences you as a songwriter? (Anything! Everything! I don’t even know.)
I’m sure many things influence me without me even realizing it. Whenever I feel inspired about a concept and I’m not at home, I type the general idea in my phone. Or I sing a chorus and record it, so I can revisit it later.
3. What do you think about the current state of the music industry? Do you think it’s easier for artists to build a career in this modern music industry?
Instead of forming an opinion about the state of the industry, I will just accept it for what it is and go with it! Because of social media, it’s a lot easier to spread the word about your music. Bands don’t have to necessarily tour anymore to get the word out. And today, bands can do more stuff themselves. They can be in charge of everything! It’s great.
4. Who are some of your favorite songwriters right now?
John Mayer, Jordan Sokel of Pressing Strings, Joey Harkum of Pasadena, India Arie, Brandi Carlisle, Allen Stone
5. Have you ever worked another songwriter or a team of songwriters? If so, how did it go?
Sweet Leda writes most of our music together as a band but I write the lyrics and vocal lines. One of us brings an idea to practice, and then we just go with it. It’s wonderful, collaborative, frustrating, challenging. We all write our own parts. I do like to write some songs on my own. I think writing by yourself and writing together are two experiences that we should all have! Both have pros and cons.
6. If not, would you be open to it?
7. Do you think it would be beneficial to have an unbiased team of songwriters in the studio with you while you record music?
Sure, if the chemistry is good. But too many cooks can be tough. Everyone has an opinion. And some opinions are weird. Ha. But yes! I think that’d be great to try at least once.
8. What’s the most unique location you’ve ever written a song?
The car. Happens pretty often!
9. If you could describe Sweet Leda’s sound as a cocktail name what would it be called?
Sweet ‘n Naughty
10. What’s your favorite music venue in Annapolis or Baltimore?
The Whiskey! RIP
Thanks to Julie for the interview. We wish you much success with your music and career in this crazy business we all know and love.
Listen - www.reverbnation.com/sweetleda
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sweetleda
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