September/October 2014 Lyric Contest Spotlight: Winner Brittany Hadley

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

“Reasons To Run”
1st Place
Written by Brittany Hadley

What inspired this song?

There was a guy that I had been talking to who was just such an amazing person, and I remember thinking, “What is wrong with me? Why don’t I want to be with him? He’s such a good guy.” And I realized I had all these stupid reasons why I was kind of afraid to get hurt. So the first line of the song(“I’ve got one good man and one hundred good reasons to run”)was sort of sparked by that thought process. From there it just kind of evolved into how I was running out of reasons to run once I realized that you shouldn’t let fear get in the way of loving someone.

When did you write it?

I started it about two years ago and edited it over time and finally finished it last summer. So, it was a good year in the process, and I would say some of my best songs are like that. I kind of come back and revisit them and think through them again and make some changes.

Do you typically write country tunes or are you a multi-genre writer?

Yeah, I would like to consider myself a multi-genre writer, though my heart is in country music. That’s sort of what brought me down to Nashville specifically, but I love pop music. I do write with a lot of pop writers. When I write by myself it mostly comes out country just naturally. Every once in a while you’ll hear a weird indie-pop thing coming out of me. But I do like to write with all different types and I really enjoy writing with pop writers.

What inspires you to write on a daily basis?

I think, for me, it’s therapy. During the hardest times in my life I’ve turned to music. It’s the songs, specifically, not the singing or the production, that have gotten me through a lot of tough times. I think the inspiration to keep it going is to try to recreate those moments. You never know when you’re going to sit down one day and not really feel like writing and something amazing is going to come out. I just have to push myself to always do it because really some of the days when I didn’t feel like getting up and doing anything are the days when I wrote my best songs.

What starts a song for you? Is it an idea or a phrase, a melody or a hook?

For me, it’s usually a hook. I know everybody writes differently and depending on who I’m writing with I sort of adjust that, but I really like starting with a hook. I just think it’s a really great jumping off point to know where you’re going when you’re starting a song. And obviously as you continue to write the song, that hook may just completely change, and I like to kind of go with the flow. But usually what sparks the idea for a song is that hook.

Who are your favorite songwriters?

Tom Douglas is one of my favorites and I’ve been pretty blessed to have written with him recently. He’s been a huge influence on me. He wrote “The House That Built Me” (Miranda Lambert), which is my all-time favorite song. John Mayer is one of my absolute favorite songwriters. I think he can be really brilliant with the way he puts melodies and lyrics together. Sara Bareilles, as well. Ashley Monroe I think is incredible, and Hillary Lindsey, too.

What has been your impression of the songwriting scene in Nashville?

I’m not gonna lie, I get frustrated from time to time because I think obviously, when you’re so passionate about something, you want it to happen so badly that when it doesn’t happen right away it can be disheartening. But I think if you love it enough you’ll keep going. I don’t think this town is for anybody who’s questioning their love for music. But that being said, it is very welcoming. I was floored by the way people are in the music industry down here. It’s a very unique town. I would say anybody thinking [about moving] here, if you know you love music and you’re up for the challenge, do it. I didn’t know a single person when I moved to Nashville and it’s just an encouraging place to be. People really genuinely want to help you. Co-writing is so big here, and I haven’t encountered that anywhere else. Obviously, it’s a very competitive industry, but we’re all trying to get there together.

Check out Brittany’s music at www.brittanyhadley.com.

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