Victoria Shaw Offers Five Tips To Aspiring Songwriters


If you’ve turned on the radio over the last quarter century then you have heard something that Victoria Shaw has written.

Her No. 1 songs include Garth Brooks “THE RIVER” (which we recently did a Behind the Song feature) and “SHE’S EVERY WOMAN,” Ricky Martin’s “SO’LO QUIERO AMARTE,” Doug Stone’s “TOO BUSY BEING IN LOVE,” Jim Brickman’s “SENDING YOU A LITTLE CHRISTMAS” and “I LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE YOU ME,” recorded by John Michael Montgomery and Boyzone. Other hits include Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera’s duet “NOBODY WANTS TO BE LONELY” and the Garth Brooks/Trisha Yearwood duet “WHERE YOUR ROAD LEADS.”

Shaw is also a music producer, including co-producing Lady Antebellum’s debut album for which Shaw won a 2009 CMA award for Single of the Year, “I RUN TO YOU.”

We were able to ask Shaw to give tips to aspiring songwriters, and she delivered in a big way.

“In no particular order,

“Go back and listen to older music in ALL sorts of genres and make sure you learn the musical HISTORY of the genre you’re pursuing.

Don’t just try to write with big time writers when you’re starting out because most likely you won’t be able to. Find the talented people in your group and gravitate towards them.  When I was starting out my “classmates” were Garth, Faith Hill, Marcus Hummon and Jess Leary.  NONE of us had shit going for us when we met. We just had dreams and talent and ALL of us made it. So don’t forget you might be sitting next to the next big thing.

Don’t think everything you write is GREAT.  I promise you in the beginning it is not, and you will look back and agree with me in a few years.

In addition to writing with people in your age group, if you get the chance to write with someone who seems “old” and isn’t on the charts “anymore” write with them anyway!  You will learn from them and you will grow.  I kick myself sometimes at the chances I had to write with some iconic older writers and I turned them down because I thought they weren’t cool enough.  BOY was I wrong and I’m sure I missed out on some great experiences and some great friendships.  Don’t make that mistake. 

Lastly, if you’re trying to decide on a music career OR something else…DO that something else!  People like myself had no plan B.  It was this or we felt like we were gonna die (figuratively speaking).  We wanted this like air.  We thought about it 24/7 and we heard the word “NO” so may times that a sane person would’ve given up.  So if you don’t want this like you want air, I truly suggest you do something else and maybe express yourself musically in other ways and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Even a brain surgeon who plays the piano likes to come home and chill out by playing music.  We need that. Thank God for piano playing brain surgeons! Amen!”

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