A Q&A with January/February 2024 Lyric Contest Winners Brenda Cay and Mitch Collins

“Remind Me Of Me”
Written by Brenda Cay and Mitch Collins
Interview by American Songwriter

Brenda Cay and Mitch Collins scored 1st place in the January/February 2024 American Songwriter Lyric Contest for their song “Remind Me of Me.” American Songwriter caught up with Cay and Collins to get the scoop on the inspiration behind the lyrics and other musings.

What made you decide to enter the American Songwriter’s Lyric Contest?

When Mitch and I wrote this, we thought it was a unique song and one that we hoped would touch a lot of people. The American Songwriter’s Lyric contest is so prestigious and winning has been a dream of mine for a while. It’s an extremely competitive contest, but I thought maybe we’d have a shot since this song is different so I crossed my fingers and hit the submit button.

How did you feel when you learned you won?

I felt a little like I had been struck by lightning twice in one week, but with a much better outcome. I found out a couple of days earlier that I had been accepted into the CMA (Country Music Association). Now being recognized by American Songwriter, I knew I had reached two major milestones in my career! It’s going to take a while to come down off this high!

What’s the story behind the song “Remind Me Of Me”? 

Mitch brought the idea for the song from an article he read about a couple that had given up a baby for adoption. I have a friend that was adopted and didn’t find her birth family until she was an adult, much like in the article, so I loved the idea for the song. We didn’t have a title yet and actually didn’t finish it at that writing session. Months later, I felt drawn back to that idea and I asked him if we could take another shot at writing it. We decided to write the story from the child’s perspective and explore their thoughts and feelings as they looked for their birth mother. We came up with the title “Remind Me of Me” as we thought about someone constantly looking for someone they assume looks like them.

Have you written music for this lyric? If so, how would you describe it?  

Yes, we wrote music that is upbeat and hopeful. The article that inspired the song really touched our hearts and we wanted a song that would capture the roller coaster of emotions of a person in a similar situation. Based on the way the story impacted us, we felt like the music just fit.

Since 1984, American Songwriter’s Lyric Contest has helped aspiring songwriters get noticed and have fun. Enter the 2023 Lyric Contest today before the deadline:

How long have you been writing lyrics?

We’ve each been writing lyrics for many years and have been writing together for probably ten years. Between the two of us, we’ve written hundreds of songs and will continue to write because we don’t know how not to.

What keeps you motivated as a songwriter?

Motivation as a songwriter is a tricky thing. You don’t always immediately know the impact a song will have on other people, but when they share that with you, it touches you in ways that are hard to describe. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing and other times I feel like there’s no way I can’t write—there’s no motivation needed. Writing gives me an adrenaline rush!

How long does it usually take for you to write a song?  

That’s a tough question to answer because every song is different. Sometimes a song can be fleshed out in fifteen minutes, but then I might spend days or weeks making little changes to the lyrics or small tweaks in the melody. Other songs need to simmer longer before I sit down to write them. I’ll think about them for a while and write down ideas on the fly. It can be hard to quantify how long a song took to write when you think of things in the shower or in the middle of the night. You hear stories of songs being written on the back of a napkin, but when the idea hits, you write it down!

What is your idea of the perfect song?

My idea of the perfect song is a song that touches you and makes you feel something. What that song is can depend on the moment when you hear it and what you need to hear at that time in your life.

What’s next for you?

The song and video for “Remind Me of Me” is set to release on December 8!! After that, Mitch and I will start working on our next hit!

What would you tell other songwriters who are considering entering the Lyric Contest?

I would tell other songwriters to enter their lyrics because you never know who your song might touch! It could be one of the judges of American Songwriter that discovers one of your hidden gems!

Since 1984, American Songwriter’s Lyric Contest has helped aspiring songwriters get noticed and have fun. Enter the 2023 Lyric Contest today before the deadline:

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