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The importance of mentors

February 27, 2014

Brooke TurnerAspiring artists can always benefit from the wisdom of mentors.  Brooke Turner is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter whose music has already garnered awards and placement.  As she describes the trajectory of her young career, we see the important role mentors have played in her many successes.

In Brooke’s Words…

My family, friends and coaches have been my biggest support of my music career so far. At seventeen, and in my last year of high school, I feel fortunate enough that I have had some amazing experiences over the last few years.

I first started formal music training at the age of seven, where my focus was my voice, and piano. Several years later, I started on the guitar. In grade ten I decided to write a song for a music video project for school. I realized that I could express my own ideas and feelings creatively in a song. Now songwriting is as much a part of me as my voice is.

Shortly after I completed the music video project for school, I decided to search out a mentor who could help me learn the craft of songwriting. I contacted Jeff Dawson and asked if would co-write a song with me, and as well as produce the song, (http://jeffdawsonproductions.com/)

I was not sure if Jeff would say yes, as I was a “nobody” teenager, so I was surprised when he did say yes, and he also brought in Laurell Barker (http://www.laurell.ca/), as a co-writer, and the three of us wrote my first single “Life of The Party”, which later that year won the 2012 UK Songwriting Competition in the Pop Category, http://www.songwritingcontest.co.uk/2012-results.html. The Canadian TV Show, Degrassi High placed the song in the 2013 season. Working with Jeff and Laurell was an amazing experience and I’m  grateful for the opportunity and experience to work with such talented people. I found them both to be down to earth and most of all, fun to work with. We wrote “Life of The Party” in under four hours and it changed my life.

While in Vancouver working with the photographer, Erich Saide, I was introduced to a manager who introduced me to Troy Samson, http://www.nettwerk.com/composer/troy-samson. Troy is amazing because he lets me explore and develop my voice the way I want to, while still giving me guidance based on his experience. Troy helps me create my unique sound. Troy and I co-wrote my single “Convince Me” which was a finalist in the 2013 John Lennon Song Competition (http://www.jlsc.com/winners/2013a/finalists.php). The music video for “Convince Me” was a lot of fun and again, I was lucky to work with someone who took the time to mentor me and to help me create my own style. For over seven months the video has been on Much Music’s Juice Box TV in the top ten rotation.

Over the past year, I have been taking courses from Berklee College of Music Online, which has helped me learn about the future of the music industry, as well as some techniques for commercial songwriting. It has been challenging taking these courses, while still working on my final year of high school and keeping up with my personal life, but it has all been worth it. One of the performance coaches I have been working with, Jason Parsons, http://jason-parsons.com/, suggested that I enter the Great Canadian Song Race Junior, held on Vancouver Island in October and November 2013. At the song race, I was able to work with Bill Henderson, and although he is not a pop music person, he worked with me while I explained my vision of pop to him, and we were able to craft a great song along with Lucas Antoni. This song race was a great experience for me, as I was able to work with a number of professionals including producers, music supervisors, mangers, and radio directors.

Since the song race, I have been working with Highland Music Studio, http://www.highlandmusicmultimedia.com/, under Susie McGregor and producer Andrew Lorimer. We currently have several songs in production that should be released soon. Both Susie and Andrew are great to work with, and you can tell they are people who sincerely love their music and who truly put their hearts into their work.

All of these amazing people, professionals and experiences have shown me that there is this wonderful energy and experience that happens when creating the song. This is what I have come to sincerely love about song writing and I never want to stop.

Click Here to visit Brooke’s Songwriters’ Profile.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 4, 2014 3:13 pm

    Hi Brooke – great insights into the passion and energy you need to put into getting your music and writing out there. Writing a great song and producing it well is just the start of the process. Thanks for sharing

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