Anna Shoemaker Details the Five Most Important Things For a Successful Writing Session

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Anna Shoemaker first became a SoundCloud sensation with her viral mashup of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and Chance the Rapper’s “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” which she recorded on her bedroom floor. 

In September of 2018, Shoemaker released her debut EP, East Side, produced by GRAMMY- nominated producer JT Daly. While still catchy and pop, the new songs feel more vulnerable and personal than ever. She finds putting pen to paper is often the best way to process her emotions, thus creating raw and honest lyricism that will certainly define Shoemaker’s releases.

Her latest album, Everything is Embarrassing, is six-track collection that was released on February 28, features the current single, “Funny,” (watch the music video here) and lead single, “If You’re Going (I’ll Go).

She said that one of the things she gets most asked is for “Five Things” that are important to have ready for a successful songwriting session. She gave her Five to American Songwriter as a way to help spread the word for what is important to her.


1.     My phone

Whenever I have any lyric or song title ideas I try to write it down in my phone, AND I take tons of voice notes. If I’m ever stuck in a session it’s nice to be able to go back and look through those for inspiration. Also I feel like I am always googling things and looking up rhymes on rhyme zone. Sometimes ill bring my laptop but having my phone is just easier!

2.     References

At the beginning of sessions I like to sit down with the producer and listen to songs and artists that have been inspiring us lately. It could be an entire song, just a hook or even just a small synth sound. It’s helpful to get on the same page and also just to like make small talk and vibe out for a second before getting to work. When it comes to the producers I consistently work with I’m constantly sending them songs all the time just to let them know where my head is at.  

3.     Coffee

I’m pretty useless without coffee so I try to bring my own or make it there depending on who’s studio I am going to. This one producer I work with in Brooklyn, Chedda, always is making coffee so we bond over that. 

4.     Notebook

When I’m first writing a song I tend to write out all of my ideas in a notebook. I find if I just write it in my phone I end up deleting things that could be good for a bridge or later verses or even other songs. But usually when I go into the booth to record I will write out the finished song in my phone so it’s organized and easy to read when I’m singing. Also I always steal pens from restaurants, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a pen in my life. 

5.     COMFY Clothes

For me I always dress how I feel. Even if that’s wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt I like to feel cool and in my zone. If I’m comfortable in my skin I feel it’s a lot easier to be vulnerable in my writing.

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