November 6 2015

StrongWriter On the Radio: (Episode 57) “Shelly Peiken – What a Girl Writes”

“I wanna thank you, Shelly Peiken, for giving me some great insight on songwriting.”  This is what I said to my very special guest after shaking off the nervousness of interviewing a truly creative professional songwriter.  As you will sense from the conversation, Shelly has a warm and calm demeanor, and definitely has a passion for creating songs, often with a partner (“I like the company.”)  She had some helpful things to say about getting writer’s block out of your system, and advice on how to help creative ideas flow more freely.  She and I briefly reviewed her four biggest songs, as I am sure she’s done so many times.  But it was fun to hear about how, in the 1980’s, she went about submitting her material to a major recording artist, and how one of those songs got onto a debut album, which soared to triple platinum status.  Please enjoy the program, and don’t miss the conclusion in the following episode!  ~ Dean

Featured Guest:   Shelly Peiken

Shelly Peiken is a multi-platinum Grammy nominated songwriter who is best known for her #1 hits “What a Girl Wants” and “Come On Over Baby”. She earned a Grammy nomination for the song “Bitch” recorded by Meredith Brooks. She’s had hundreds of songs placed on albums, and in TV and film.

Her Serial Songwriter Facebook page has become a forum for all things songwriting and ideas about navigating a changing music business as a creative person and parent.

In June of 2014 Shelly was invited to blog for The Huffington Post. She is well known in the music industry as mentor, panelist, consultant and guest speaker.

Shelly is a New Yorker at heart who enjoys her life in Los Angeles with her husband, composer Adam Gorgoni and their daughter, Layla.

I’ve always been inspired by the place within that’s in a continual state of pursuit; a search for something different, something better, or what might have been …while still feeling that if given the choice, I wouldn’t trade my world for any other. Life isn’t perfect. But some days it’s filled with so much joy it seems as perfect as perfect can be. Still, that state comes and goes. It’s from that divine discontent songs can’t help but emerge.

Visit Shelly Peiken’s website:
www.ShellyPeiken.com

Special thanks to Shelly Peiken for the use of her images and music.
© 2015 Shelly Peiken – All Rights Reserved

Shelly Peiken’s book
Confessions Of a Serial Songwriter
is available for pre-order now at her website!!

Shelly Peiken 008 Pre Order book

SHELLY PEIKEN: Confessions Of a Serial Songwriter

September 25 2015

StrongWriter On the Radio: (Episode 51) “Natalia Segura – Who I Really Am”

“Natalia Segura – Who I Really Am”
featuring the song “Beautiful Day”

I am excited to bring you the conclusion of my interview with conscious music singer-songwriter Natalia Segura.  If you missed the first part, you can listen to it right here.  In this episode, we talk about the conscious side of her music and songwriting from the woman’s perspective.  And, here’s a update to what you’ll hear:  Since our talk, under the backdrop of New York’s Central Park, Natalia was proposed to by her boyfriend, now fiancé, Eric. She had also just given birth to a son, Phoenix.  She is going to be quite busy from now on, but I am confident that Natalia Segura is destined for a beautiful life!

Featured Guest:   Natalia Segura

Natalia is Australian born and raised Latina Singer, Songwriter and Actress. Her parents both escaped war-torn El Salvador in the 80’s with Anmesty international to start a new life in Sydney, Australia. They blessed the world by giving birth to an open and warm woman grounded in respect for life on a spiritual level, never judging, always learning. (please see her “Heritage” video bio for her personal story).

Her genuine approach to life highlighted by her journey puts you at ease reflecting a confident humility and sweetness that lingers after meeting her. One cannot quite place a finger on this “conscious lyricist” who’s described by her friends and production crew as a “Glamour hippie” from “Down Under.”

Natalia grew up rocking the Latino music scene in Sydney, Australia since her early teens (please view her “musical journey” video bio for her personal story). Being influenced by not only her Australian upbringing but her Latino roots, those elements she incorporated in her music after spending time in South America.

Her music is dubbed as “Conscious Music” or “Conscious Pop” as a forefront to a rebirth of the 70’s movement in social and political change and a spiritual evolution in the modern platform of pop as she sees it as the most vast to explore. Using subtle lyrics and catchy melodies, Natalia’s music is not only radio friendly, but accessible to all ages.

A seasoned live stage performer, Natalia is touring with her band in 2016. Her debut single, “Beautiful Day” was released on June 30th with her EP slated for later this year. Experience the #ConsciousPop page for a sneak peak of her EP.

Natalia Segura’s single
“Beautiful Day”
is now available on iTunes!

Natalia Segura 021 Beautiful Day copy

Natalia Segura - Beautiful Day

Visit Natalia’s website:
www.NataliaSegura.com

Special thanks to Natalia Segura for the use of her images and music.
© 2015 Natalia Segura –  All Rights Reserved

September 18 2015

StrongWriter On the Radio: (Episode 50) “Natalia Segura – It’s a Beautiful Day For Conscious Pop”

“Natalia Segura – It’s a Beautiful Day For Conscious Pop”
featuring the songs “Beautiful Day” and “World Peace”

Today, “My Mind’s Made Up” to have a “Beautiful Day” with my featured guest Natalia Segura! This lovely young woman calls herself a conscious music singer-songwriter, and you’ll hear her explanation on what that is all about.  Then, Natalia and I discuss her music video, a project she completed while seven months pregnant. The discussion moves from her beginnings in Sydney, and then to her songwriting and making music in New York.  She is a wonderful woman to interview, and please stay tuned for part two in episode 51! Enjoy!!

Featured Guest:   Natalia Segura

Natalia is Australian born and raised Latina Singer, Songwriter and Actress. Her parents both escaped war-torn El Salvador in the 80’s with Anmesty international to start a new life in Sydney, Australia. They blessed the world by giving birth to an open and warm woman grounded in respect for life on a spiritual level, never judging, always learning. (please see her “Heritage” video bio for her personal story).

Her genuine approach to life highlighted by her journey puts you at ease reflecting a confident humility and sweetness that lingers after meeting her. One cannot quite place a finger on this “conscious lyricist” who’s described by her friends and production crew as a “Glamour hippie” from “Down Under.”

Natalia grew up rocking the Latino music scene in Sydney, Australia since her early teens (please view her “musical journey” video bio for her personal story). Being influenced by not only her Australian upbringing but her Latino roots, those elements she incorporated in her music after spending time in South America.

Her music is dubbed as “Conscious Music” or “Conscious Pop” as a forefront to a rebirth of the 70’s movement in social and political change and a spiritual evolution in the modern platform of pop as she sees it as the most vast to explore. Using subtle lyrics and catchy melodies, Natalia’s music is not only radio friendly, but accessible to all ages.

A seasoned live stage performer, Natalia is touring with her band in 2016. Her debut single, “Beautiful Day” was released on June 30th with her EP slated for later this year. Experience the #ConsciousPop page for a sneak peak of her EP.

Natalia Segura’s single
“Beautiful Day”
is now available on iTunes!

Natalia Segura 021 Beautiful Day copy

Natalia Segura - Beautiful Day

Visit Natalia’s website:
www.NataliaSegura.com

Special thanks to Natalia Segura for the use of her images and music.
© 2015 Natalia Segura –  All Rights Reserved

August 14 2015

StrongWriter On the Radio: (Episode 45) “Bunny DeBarge – God Is Good For The Kept Ones”

“Bunny DeBarge – God Is Good For The Kept Ones”

featuring the song “God Is Good”

I had the genuine honor of featuring a very special guest on the radio program, Bunny DeBarge.  She is a gifted songwriter, a glorious singer, and today, she adds author and speaker to the mix.  Her current book is a three volume series titled “The Kept Ones.”  You know her family name from the phenomenal success that she and her younger brothers experienced under the Motown machine during the front half of the 1980’s.   DeBarge was one of my favorite musical artists back then, both lyrically and melodically, and seemed so positive and joyful on stage.  But, behind the curtain was a life of sadness and turmoil, consistently paired with addiction.  If you ever watched the DeBarge’s Unsung documentary from 2008, then you are aware of the desolate underside of a seemingly happy family performing their music.  Bunny and I discuss this sensitive subject, but “in a special way” because she gives us hope and shows that she is moving on, especially because God is moving with her and has transformed her life!   She deserves a wider platform for her stories, so you get to hear Bunny for two episodes!  Please enjoy our conversation and her latest song, “God Is Good.”  You’ll hear just how great she still is today!!

Featured Guest:   Bunny DeBarge

Bunny DeBarge is best known as the lone sister in the legendary Motown R&B family group DeBarge.  The eldest of the ten DeBarge children, Bunny’s unique high soprano vocal style and love of writing began at a tender young age.  She was the lead vocalist behind the classic R&B ballad, “A Dream,” from the group’s In a Special Way album and is also the co-writer of the group’s 1982 breakthrough hit, “I Like It,” and the number one hit, “Time Will Reveal.”  Her song “A Dream” was sampled and covered by the likes of Tupac Shakur and Blackstreet.

Bunny’s book “The Kept Ones, Vol. 1” tells the definitive story of her family and the world that made them.  She pours her life into the pages, sharing the trials and tribulations of her journey with sensitivity and insight.

In the words of Bunny:

God has been faithful and so very good to me through it all. Many of you have followed me faithfully from my days touring with my brothers as “DeBarge.” Those were good times, and lots of wonderful music and memories came out of that era. Behind the scenes , there was personal pain that most knew little about. I speak very candidly about the inner turmoil that I hid behind a smile in my book ,”The Kept Ones!” I’m facing my demons one by one, and determination is taking over where fear and doubt would have stopped me in my tracks. I’m getting “high on life” now and it is such a wonderful thing.

Bunny DeBarge - The Kept Ones

Please visit Bunny DeBarge’s website:

www.bunny-debarge.com

Order Bunny’s book “The Kept Ones, Vol. 1” and her wonderful CD “God Is Good” from her website!

CDBookletOutsideTemplate

A huge thank you to Bunny for allowing me to use her music and pictures on this site and on my program! 

April 24 2015

StrongWriter On the Radio: (Episode 34) “Shantell Ogden – Ghosts In the Field”

My guest in this episode is a hallmark artist that I am proud to call a StrongWriter… Miss Shantell Ogden!   I’m also blessed that she is my good friend and my window to the fabled Music City.   Shantell is a very talented songwriter who plays well with others around town, and her work ethic and positive attitude make her a superstar on my show.  I brought her on to promote her fourth studio album, Ghosts In the Field, produced and recorded in Nashville with John Willis.  Many of the songs were written and given a little extra kick with her familiar collaborator Bill DiLuigi and vocal producer Judy Rodman.  And it was a pleasure to share Shantell’s music, because I really enjoyed this collection of songs ranging from thoughtful to ebullient to sometimes stirring.

For example, “God Counts Every Tear” (co-written with Joe Doyle and Brian Kolb) sets a melancholy tone, until Shantell takes you by the hand to point to the heavens.  It is there that the desperate and lonely can take comfort that God is there, watching over everything and proving that we’re not alone after all.    Some of her thoughtful tracks are slightly heavy, as in “Who Comes First” which deals with addiction and relationships … while others touch the heart (“Be My Rain” co-written with Judy Rodman) and the spirit (“Ghosts In the Field.”)  The ebullience is definitely apparent in “Just a Little,” which captures the nervous joy of a new relationship.   Finally, Miss Ogden offers two tracks that she didn’t write:  One is the mandolin and banjo driven “Blossom In the Dust” written by Joe Doyle, Jon Hendersen and Mallory Hope.  The other is the eight-beat gospel & blues flavored “As Long As You’re Mine” written by Mandy Cook, Dustin James and Jimmy Borja.  Feel free to clap along as I did!

As a whole, Ghosts In the Field puts a smile on your face and a beat in your heart.   And I think that’s what Americana music should do!

✰✰✰✰✰

Featured Guest:   Shantell Ogden

Shantell Ogden has a gift for crafting songs with real conviction and emotion. Her gift, combined with a work ethic gained from growing up on a farm, is paying dividends. Shantell’s songs have received airplay on more than 500 country and Americana radio stations internationally, reaching Top 20 chart positions both in the U.S. and Europe. Her songs have also appeared on the CW’s popular TV series Hart of Dixie and in several feature films.

As a performing Americana artist, Shantell and her albums have been covered by Maverick Magazine (UK), Performer Magazine, Music News Nashville and other media. She’s released three acclaimed independent albums, including Better At Goodbyewhich won Americana Album of the Year in the 2014 IMEA Awards.  Shantell tours internationally from her home in Nashville, Tennessee. When at home, she’s known for keeping her front door open and a song drifting down the street.

Ghosts in the Field was recorded and produced at Willisoundz by John Willis (Faith Hill, Jewel, Indie Arie, Taylor Swift)  John is an A-list session musician who played all the instruments on this album, except for percussion, played by Steve Brewster (Dierks Bentley, Faith Hill, Chicago, Bob Seger)

Mixed by Grammy-nominated engineer Brian Kolb.  Mastered at Mayfield Mastering by John Mayfield.  And the wonderful Judy Rodman produced the vocals!

“Shantell Ogden – Ghosts In the Field”
featuring the songs “Ghosts In the Field” and “God Counts Every Tear” 

Shantell Ogden on ''Josh Connor in the Songwriter's Circle''

Visit Shantell’s website:
www.shantellogden.com
Shantell hipfarmchicrecords-logo

Special thanks to Shantell Ogden for the use of her photos and music.

(Photo credits:  Chuck Eaton, Angie Miller)

April 17 2015

StrongWriter On the Radio: (Episode 05) “Get To Know Frank Shiner”

This week on the AWOP Radio Network, an encore episode with Frank Shiner is airing!

A legend in the making!  And I got to interview him at the beginning of his meteoric rise to stardom.  (Let’s speak it into existence!)

Just wait until you hear from the man himself!  My guest today on StrongWriter On the Radio tells a great story of what happens when your dream takes a hiatus, and then returns, stronger than before!   Life, love, music…it’s all there, and sounds terrific.

Featured guest:  FRANK SHINER

Frank Shiner Feels like home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Shiner is a unique singer whose vocals evoke a certain gracefulness that is associated with the old school American Songbook era. But all comparisons end there, as is clearly evident on Shiner’s debut album, The Real Me set for release in June, 2014.

On the first single from his debut album “Feels Like Home,” Shiner takes a breezy romantic approach to the Randy Newman song. “I chose the song because it is the quintessential love ballad which is absolutely brilliant in its simplicity. It tells the story of a man who felt lost and alone, until a woman came and changed his life. This is such a relatable feeling to me, and I believe it is to anyone who has experienced true love. It touched me deep inside and my favorite line in the song is ‘I never thought I’d love anyone so much’.”

Shiner’s decision to chart a new course for the Standard Songbook follows through on The Real Me. With Katz establishing the well-crafted moods for which he is known, Shiner has succeeded in establishing himself as a modern singer in the genre of the Grobans and Bublés of the world. “The idea,” Shiner says, “was to combine the attitude and musical values of the music that inspired me – the era of Sinatra and Darin – with a more contemporary body of material. “The selections, many of which have distinct blues overtones, are lyrically rooted in the generation that belongs to Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Van Morrison, and Randy Newman, just a few of the contemporary composers whose work is showcased on Shiner’s album.

Shiner’s creative story got off to a promising start when he came to New York City after college and immediately started to land roles on television and the stage. His discipline as a trained actor earned him SAG, AFTRA and Actors’ Equity credentials. He played more than fifty theatre and television roles including multiple musicals. He also spent six years in a small traditional Shakespeare theatre company.

“I go about life from my heart,” says Frank Shiner. “I love hard, I suffer from anger, I suffer from loving too much, I suffer from worry, but it’s all from my heart, it’s all real. Sometimes it’s a rollercoaster, but I don’t think you experience life without that part. A lot of people just kind of skip over the top of the water but I can’t. I gotta dive deep.” Frank Shiner wears his heart on his sleeve for all to see.

“Feels Like Home” was released on iTunes and all other digital media on
March 25, 2014.

“Get To Know Frank Shiner”

For more information, go to Frank Shiner’s website!

www.frankshiner.com