• SALUTE: Gabbi, greetings, let’s tell the people about you and your music…

Hi, my name is Gabbi Simpson. I have been playing the piano by ear since the age of 6. I have always created tunes on the piano but never thought about using them in terms of songwriting. That all changed recently after my husband suggested I have a go at songwriting, he enjoyed the music I was playing and encouraged me to record some of my songs.

I have created hundreds of songs and began by recording them on my phone. Initially, I wrote some lyrics and the music would just come. I also worked with lyricists, like M Craven, which I then put music to. I met some talented singers who kindly agreed to sing on my demos, as I am not a singer. Some of whom sing on the tracks I have entered into this competition; Michael Mooney, Laura Daniels and Gem, who doesn’t have a background in singing. Next I found a local studio, put the piano tracks down, then the singers recorded their vocals over them. I really enjoyed the whole process.

The short video I’ve sent in for this blog post is one of my songs, it is called Mother, Mother, a very personal song, it shows me at the piano and my daughter Gem singing.

  • SALUTE: Have you had any challenges getting your music heard by audiences and artists?

I had absolutely no idea how to get demos heard by known Artists, who may be interested in singing them. I quickly realised that as an unknown songwriter, most artists don’t accept unsolicited material unless it comes from a known Manager/Producer/Agent etc in the business, and I don’t know anybody. I sent some tracks into the local radio station programme, which showcases unknown songwriters, and got one played, ‘I’ve got wings’, sung by Gem, which is at the end of the Chris Currie radio show link. This feedback was invaluable to me. Apart from that, I have only put a couple of songs out via YouTube and social media. One achieving over 12,000 views. I am not brilliant with technology, so it has been a huge learning curve for me.

My ultimate aim would be to have the opportunity to write for Artists and have my music heard. I am not looking for fame, just an opportunity to work in the business and continue doing the thing I love.

  • SALUTE: What inspires your music? Do you write in any specific genre?

I find it really hard to fit my songwriting into a specific genre, as what I create varies hugely in terms of style. I would say my influences would be Dylan, Cohen, Young, Bowie and I love hard rock and R&B too.

  • SALUTE: SALUTE is a new initiative for Music Makers, what do you think of what we’ve got going?

I think this SALUTE competition is a fantastic platform for people, like me, who are unknown and unconnected to give their music a chance to be heard. It is the first time I have seen a competition which focuses on songwriting, so I look forward to the chance of sharing other songwriters’ experiences. And hopefully feed back on my music.