Part two of the secret world of song camps looks at the different roles in a songwriting session. There are producers who sit behind a console desk or computer and record, arrange and craft the instrumental and track the vocal. Often they double as engineers who use their technical knowledge to select mics, set up signal chains, and ensure the best recording. Then there is the topliner, a singer who generates melodies on the fly, throwing ideas at the instrumental, looking for the best hooks. Often the top liner is also a songwriter who crafts chords and lyrics to fit the topline melody. And then there is of course the artist who performs the piece.
These roles aren’t always clearly divided - most musicians have multiple skills. But for the sake of understanding how each role is essential to creating a song, we asked four musical luminaries to embody one of these roles and break it down: producer/engineer Alex Tumay, topliner Wolftyla, Songwriter and Walk the Moon frontman Nicholas Petricca and Artist Grace VanderWall.
This conversation happened live at the College of Performing Arts at The New School as part of Anti Social Camp 2023, the largest song camp in the world that is working to revive to the NYC songwriting scene.
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