March/April 2013 Lyric Spotlight: David Campbell

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Glasgow, Scotland. I moved to America four years ago. It’s quite a long story. Had to fight immigration for 18 months. Now I am a bit east of Atlanta in a small town called Decatur. I was originally a drummer. I did do a bit of session work with a band called Belle and Sebastian. And then I contracted a form of gout in my left hand and had to stop. So because of that I started to take up songwriting really seriously.

Do you perform as well as write?

I went to a writer’s retreat in Nashville. The country artist Billy Dean was performing for about 200 people. He called me up to do a song. It was the first time I ever performed live. Since then I’ve done open mikes. But on my first trip to Nashville, I met a guy from Switzerland, an artist called Coal. He had a record deal, I worked with him and I actually got my first cut through him. I’ve had a lot of cuts over there. My biggest hit [in Switzerland] was with an artist named Daniel Kandlbauer on a compilation album called Bravo Hits #62, which ended up reaching number one on the Swiss charts.

What inspired you to write “Life’s An Invitation”?

The inspiration was in the fact that it’s always been my philosophy in life. I believe that most people get the same opportunities in life – they just don’t recognize them, you know? It isn’t until after you write a song that you look back at it and go, “Woah. That’s a reflection of my life.” I also wanted to try to write something very up, very positive.

When did you write it?

I probably started it at the beginning of the last year but it wasn’t finished until about Christmas.

What is your favorite line of the song?

“There’s dreamers and there’s doers and some days you’ll stand alone” which is in the chorus. I tend to like that idea.

Were there any parts of the song that were particularly challenging to write?

Well it did take almost a year to write, but I’d have to say the bridge was the hardest thing to write. Believe me, on my computer, there are God knows how many drafts of it. I’d go back and polish something here, then polish something there.

Is there a recorded version of it?

There isn’t actually. I am working on putting the melody to it now, since it is a solo project. Hopefully that will be there soon.

How do you overcome writer’s block and other challenges when songwriting?

I’m gonna be honest with you. Over the years, I’ve learned to convince myself it doesn’t exist. As long as I can write a song, it isn’t writer’s block. It may not be any good, but you can keep working at it. I’m not going to sit around for months and say I’m not able to write. I’ll write and write until I get through it. Of course, I will walk away and come back to it or go to another song. But I don’t really get writer’s block. And I think it’s something you have to train yourself to do. If this is what you do, you can’t afford to get writer’s block.

What artists have inspired you to write?

I think everyone has been inspired by the Beatles. I think it’s good that you can look at the past and some of the things the current people are doing and put it together.

Where can someone find your music?

I don’t have a website, but I am on Reverb Nation. http://www.reverbnation.com/davidcampbelljr

Read David’s prize-winning lyricsby clicking  here

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