Writing A Song Is A Gift Says Songwriter Chuck Harmony
Chuck Harmony is a Grammy award nominee songwriter, producer and musician. Harmony is one of music’s most talented and prolific composers of our time. He penned a host of successful albums and songs with such artist as Celine Dion, Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Keri Huilson, Chrisette Michele, Ledisi and Le’Andria Johnson to name a few. It is evident that Chuck Harmony is well on his way of being an industry songwriter/producer gem.
Chuck Harmony is a diverse lyricists as demonstrated in the songs he has penned and co-penned. Just when R&B was fading behind the hip-hop culture. Chuck Harmony collaborated on the following albums “Pieces of Me,” “Year of the Gentleman” and “Evolver” bringing back hope. Harmony has now come full circle to keep the hits coming with “Harmony House” partners Carlos Taylor, Michael “Trak Guru” Johnson and Trevor Gates.With much gained recognition Chuck Harmony is a very busy man. However, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with him about his blossomed career and Grammy nomination this year 2012. It is safe to say that Chuck Harmony has propelled well into the spotlight as a songwriter.
Ni: Thank you for joining us Where Key Players Speak! You have been putting in work with some of the industry top performers. Out of all your abilities which would you say is your is your strongest asset?
Harmony: I would say songwriter, the producer part came as a necessity. As I became more involved with the process of writing songs, I realized production was an asset. So, I started producing as well to complete the package.
Ni: What is the connection between the two?
Harmony: I think if you understand song and how to create, it makes you a valuable producer as well. Understanding both song and creating music you come out with a better product.
Ni: How important is education or how much can be taught or caught to help you excel in this field?
Harmony: Education can play a very important part in your creativity process. However, experience is the better teacher in both taught and caught. The more you do something make mistakes and study to be better, the better you become in songwriting and producing.
Ni: Well congratulations on your Grammy nomination. How did you feel when you received the news?
Harmony: I am super excited to be nominated in the songwriter’s category 2x in a row it is a great feeling to have your work recognized.
Ni: What ingredients make for a great song?
Harmony: Melody and lyrics. Making sure people can relate to the lyrics and making sure the lyrics are relevant. Music is powerful. The instrumental of the song should move you and the vocal performance is the final product.
Ni: I see you have a heart for Jazz any projects in the works?
Harmony: I am interested in all genre’s of music right now. I love music. Hopefully, I can fulfill them all. No jazz projects right now. My first love is jazz. I was introduced to jazz by my dad.
Ni: How does a songwriter evolve?
Harmony: I really feel songwriting is a gift from God, it’s in you. You have to be good with words. The core of it you can learn but some of the sharping up your skills is instinct. The evolution of it came when you entered the world.
Ni: Amen. Have you worked on any film projects?
Harmony: Yes., I worked with Robert Townsen, I did the title song for Princess and Frog, Tyler Perry “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” and currently the new “Sparkle” movie. I really want to do more film projects. Scoring is the ultimate because you are responsible for the flow of the movie. You really have to understand cords and melody to turn the feel of a movie. It is different than writing a song.
Ni: Nice. I am not going to say much but I am interested to see what they are going to do with “Sparkle” somethings need to be left alone. Okay back to the questions. Digital media. How are you effected as a songwriter?
Harmony: Because of the digital media markets songs are sold for less because there are so many markets out there. Right now music is free. Anyone can just go and download a song. If an artist releases a song today with a video. People will find a site where they can just pull the song for free. It is really effecting the value of the song. It is easy to block but no one has put up that fight to block it.
Ni: Hmm. That’s interesting. What has been one of your greatest challenges in this business besides folks stealing songs?
Harmony: Staying true to who I am as a true musician, songwriter and producer. Keeping relevant in this changing field. Sometimes in this industry it can be about who has the hottest beat or sound. I am blessed to be able to do what I love and remain true in spite of.
Ni: Amen to that. What has been your best decision once you got signed?
Harmony: Listening to myself and following my instincts in the beginning. When I got signed people would say I was good but to musical. I was told to tone it down and I just decided to trust myself and do what was in me and it paid off in the end.
Ni: Can we say Grammy. As a songwriter, you see in the movies how excited they get when they hear their song on the radio. What is one of your most memorable moments hearing one of your songs?
Harmony: I have to admit. (laugh) I shared a couple of tears when I heard Celion Dion sing one on my songs. Her voice is so powerful. She is one of the greatest voices of our time and it was an honor.
Ni: Okay. One of my favorite albums of all time is “Off The Wall,” very well written and produced album. As a songwriter and producer in the business. What is your favorite album of all time?
Harmony: “Thriller” is the best album of all times. Very well produced and well written. One of the reasons it sold so many copies and greatest album of all time.
Ni: I guess we can agree Michael Jackson and Quincy combo is serious. “Thriller” sold but “Off the Wall” is serious too but we will stay focused.(laughter). How do you keep yourself fresh to write songs for the various artist you come across?
Harmony: When I go into the studio, I do not have any preconceived notions to create for any particular artist. I allow the collaboration between myself and the artist to just flow. I’m not one of those producers with a signature sound per say. So, when an artist comes to me, I am able to create a sound that works for the artist.
Ni: Well let me tell you Pieces of Me is one of my 2011 favorite. Thank you. You started your own production house “Harmony House” what’s the plan?
Harmony: To flood the market with great music. I have been afforded the opportunity to have more control over the music I desire to put out and it is very rewarding.
Ni: Well from your track record. I am sure we will not be disappointed and congratulations. I have a question and just looking for your opinion. What do you think about the music shows, like X-factor and America Idol?
Harmony: They are entertaining and there are some great performers out there. However, it can give a false sense of artistry. I feel the shows are limited in representing talent. It has really effected the way labels are viewing talent. The shows have gotten the attention of record labels and now they are using the shows as a barometer for talent and abandoning the true talent that is out there.
Ni: Wow. Well said especially with all the drama this past season. I agree, I think they are limited. Well Mr. Chuck Harmony, it has been a pleasure chatting with you. It is my pleasure to speak with you. You are truly a music impresario on the rise. As our Key Player please keep UBM as your media partner. Keeping us up to date on the next memory maker coming out of Harmony House. A good song is always attached to a memory, again congratulations on the Grammy nomination I will be watching.
Harmony: I will do that and thank you Nigeria for interview.
If you have a question or comment for Chuck Harmony email us at email@example.com and we will get that to him. We thank you Chuck Harmony for passing through the Urbanbuzzmag.com “Where Key Players Speak