If you missed last week’s episode of ASCAP’s SPF (Summer Performance Festival) series, you missed an intimate performance of “Thinking Out Loud” by Amy Wadge, who co-wrote the modern-day standard with Ed Sheeran. Don’t fret though, the performance is available below, and you can catch one more session tomorrow with a new round of songwriters.
ASCAP’s SPF series concludes with top songwriters, Chris DeStefano and Gizzle, plus rising Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Gale. The show premieres tomorrow (Thursday August 20) at 10 am EST at ASCAP’s YouTube page and social media with the hashtag #ASCAPSPF.
Ahead of the show, DeStefano gave American Songwriter some insight into his relationship with ASCAP and a little background on his career. We’ll have a full interview with the 3x CMA Triple Play award-winning writer, who has written top hits for Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Chase Rice, Rascal Flatts, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Miranda Lambert, Chris Young and Morgan Evans in the coming weeks.
“ASCAP has been heavily involved in my career, expanding my web of collaborators and they’ve taken an active role in getting me in rooms with artists like Ellie Goulding, James Bay, Mike Posner and Jon Bellion, to name a few,” he said. “In my opinion, they’re very important in furthering songwriter’s careers. They have the reach, and the hands-on approach to getting their members involved at all levels of the industry.”
“I joined ASCAP in 1997. I was constantly writing a lot of songs, but it was Film Music that earned me my ASCAP wings. I had written a couple cues for the hit TV show JAG, through the composer and friend, Steve Bramson. He’s one of the most gifted film composers I’ve ever met, and it was an honor to work on a couple very specific pieces for the show.”
About tomorrow’s performers:
Chris DeStefano is a singer-songwriter, producer-mixer and multi-instrumentalist based in Nashville, TN. He is a 3x CMA Triple Play Award winner and has co-penned over 20 hit songs. Chris is also the President and CEO of Winsongs Music, focused on developing songwriters and artists. instagram.com/chrisdestefano
Gizzle is a Los Angeles-born artist and Grammy-nominated songwriter who got her start under the tutelage of legendary producer Teddy Riley. Gizzle has gone on to work with many multi-platinum producers, artists and writers including – but not limited to – Puff Daddy, Timbaland, Pharrell, Ozuna, DJ Snake, Nelly, T.I., Trey Songz, Kid Ink, Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Ty$ and more. She is also currently garnering much interest as a solo artist with her unique sound, trance-like tone, and one-of-a-kind perspective while proving to be a force in the television and film synch world with more than 100 different licenses. instagram.com/imgizzle
Originally from Puerto Rico, in the quest to fulfill her dream of becoming a singer and professional songwriter, GALE decided to leave everything behind and move to Miami officially launching her career as an independent artist. It was more than a “big step” – it was a leap into the unknown and it proved a great decision. After years of posting cover songs on YouTube, GALE self-released, wrote and co-produced her debut album Espirales Sin Sentido (Senseless Spirals) under her own label Blue Madness Records. To pay for the production costs of making the album, she sold her 10-year-old SUV and created a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Nothing was going to keep her from pursuing her career. “You have to face your fears and make the tough decisions that are going to take you to the next step. There are costs and sacrifices in everything we do. I’ve worked hard to jumpstart my career and want people to know that nothing can stop them from pursuing their dreams and be happy.”
Another major step in GALE’s career came shortly after the release. An album track, “Levántate” (Stand Up), was selected by the largest Spanish-language media company in the US as the theme song of the broadcast of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a world renowned international soccer event. GALE describes this inspiring dance track as one about fighting for your dreams regardless of the obstacles and fears we face in our path…a song which she takes to heart and describes her journey as she makes her dreams come true.
A natural-born musician and songwriter, influenced by the “boleros” and the ’80s songs she constantly heard growing up and her influences from Julia Michaels, Rihanna, Nelly Furtado, Selena and Shakira, she has developed a musical style that is unique both melodically and harmonically. Her songwriting is profound, yet still casual and conversational, full of emotion, empowering and honest.
GALE wrote her first song when she was seven years old. She graduated from La Libre de Música, a music specialized school where she studied classical singing. She won a Berklee scholarship which she used for the Writing Hit Songs Online course and has developed her songwriting ever since. As a songwriter, she has worked with artists like Anitta, Pharrell Williams, Ryan Tedder, Natti Natasha, David Bisbal, Sebastián Yatra, CNCO and Stargate among other artists and producers. She recently spoke as a panelist at the She Is The Music (the global nonprofit organization founded by Alicia Keys) event in partnership with ASCAP with the purpose to increase opportunities for women in the music industry.
GALE is currently working on her new music and writing with other artists. “I want to inspire people to be happy, love and be who they want to be no matter what people say. I can’t wait to share my new music and who I am with the world.” instagram.com/gale_oficial
Previous playlists featured:
Aug 6, Nashville-based indie singer-songwriter Alyssa Bonagura (“Lights Down Low” by Jessie James Decker, “Road Less Traveled”), chart-topping Colombian singer-songwriter Sebastián Yatra (“Un Año”) and pop songwriter, producer and artist LIIV (“Before You Do It Again”).
Aug 13, Multi-talented R&B artist and songwriter ROE (“I Like”), frequent Ed Sheeran collaborator Amy Wadge (“Thinking Out Loud” by Sheeran), and up-and-coming pop artist EZI (“anxious.”).