I just had a handful of songs at this point. Muff was keen for me to keep writing alone, but he also wanted to get me in a room with some prolific writer producers – because aside from needing more songs, I also needed to develop a sound and a style. This was a great opportunity for me to experiment with my direction, and learn more about the craft of writing from some of the best in the business. During this time I was fortunate enough to write with some fantastic songwriters, including Albert Hammond (The air that I breath / When I need you / One moment in time / To all the girls I’ve loved before ) and Billy Steinberg (True colours / Eternal flame / All by myself / I drove all night / Alone). I’ll tell you more about those sessions at a later date. For now let’s start at the beginning … because I was about to embark on my very first session as a Sony artist and I was nervous!
What if I couldn’t come up with anything? what if they thought I was rubbish? songwriting up to now had been an deeply personal experience for me, so how was I expected to open up to a complete stranger and discuss things I wouldn’t necessarily discuss with my nearest and dearest? The day came and off I trotted to meet Brian Rose at his studio. Back in those days the Internet was pretty rudimentary and wasn’t half as informative as it is nowadays, so I couldn’t google him or have a sneaky spy on Facebook – all I knew was that he was a songwriter and he was in a band.
Brian turned out to be a total sweetheart. In fact, most of the songwriters I’ve been lucky enough to work with have been sweethearts. There were maybe one or two that I didn’t see eye to eye with, but for the most part I’ve found songwriters to be been open-hearted good natured people. Perhaps it takes a certain kind of sensibility to be able to communicate thoughts and feeling into songs? or perhaps I have just been lucky?
Brian and I had a good chat over lunch and got to know each other a little, I then played him some of my music so he got a feel for what it is I do, and off we went. The contract between Jud and I was still going back and forth between lawyers and it was taking its toll on me (and I’ve no doubt on Jud too.) So it’s no surprise that when Brian and I started throwing lyrics around, this situation was at the forefront of my mind. As always songwriting proved to be a great therapy and it was good to put a voice to these anxieties. We wrote ‘Ride with me’ in a few hours, got the track together, and laid down the vocal on the same day.
I really enjoyed that session with Brian and I still have a soft spot for this song: not because I think it’s a great song, I was just starting out really and I still had so much to learn about the craft of songwriting. I just loved the vibe of the song and the sentiment rang very true with me.
I was also relieved to discover that writing with other people was actually quite fun, and wasn’t half as daunting as I thought it was going to be. But as much as I have learned through all these writing sessions, I later found them to have an equally damaging affect on my creativity, which I’ll tell you about a little later down the line. My next step was finding a music publisher.
‘Ride with me’