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The Frettie Journal
A collection of interviews, updates, tips and resources for songwriters.

Spotlight: Georgia Singer & Songwriter Caryn Womack

All, Featured Songwriters by Dennis Field on May 07, 2013


It has been great to get to know Georgia Singer & Songwriter Caryn Womack. In this interview, find out how a strong songwriting community and valuable feedback from fans has helped her grow as an artist.

Q: Where do you call home?
Atlanta, Georgia.

Q: Where did you grow up?
Cartersville, Georgia.

Q: What is your ideal setup for writing music?
I sit in my living room floor with my notebook, a pen and sometimes my guitar. I keep my iPhone nearby to record melodies when I’ve got them worked out. It’s pretty low-key. Then when I enter the editing stage, I’ll type everything up on my laptop and start cleaning up lyrics and fiddling with the music.

Q: How did you get started with Songwriting?
I guess I’m kind of a late bloomer by a lot of people’s songwriting standards — I just started writing about a year and a half ago, at 23 years old! I was always a bit of a poet as a child, but I never tried writing any music because I thought I’d be awful at it. A close college friend, who ended up later becoming my producer, knew I loved to sing and encouraged me to try my hand at songwriting so that I could stand out as an artist. I was immediately addicted! Once I found out what a release it was, I had to keep writing to get all of my emotions and thoughts out there.

Q: What books are you currently reading?
I just finished The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (my favorite author!) this week. It centers around a Nazi general and a Holocaust victim’s family, and it deals with the potential for change and redemption from past sins. It’s great! Her stories are pretty heavy from a moral standpoint. They really make you think.

Q: What album are you currently listening to?
Six months later, I’ve finally downloaded the new Mumford & Sons album. I totally get all the hype! I’ve been listening to a lot of Carolina Story lately, too. They’re a Folk/Americana duo that’s got a few albums out.

Q: When it gets tough, how do you stay inspired?
I truly believe that God’s led me through both really wonderful and really rough times in my life to provide me with inspiration for my music. I always pray that my songs can touch someone in a similar situation and help them to celebrate or cope with something they’re going through.

It’s also so simple to find inspiration in everyday life if you’re willing to keep your eyes and ears open. I’m constantly getting ideas from little snippets of conversations, novels, Sunday morning sermons, quotes on Pinterest… one of the songs on my album is even inspired by something I saw on an episode of Pawn Stars!

Q: As a Songwriter, what is your biggest challenge?
Keeping songs, particularly verses, to a relevant theme is sometimes difficult. Of course I want to write songs that will resonate with others, so I tend to try to cover every possible topic to make that happen. That isn’t how it works, though. The more specific you can get with your lyrics, the more people it seems you can reach. It’s odd. I have to rein myself in more often than not and say, “Ok, this is a good idea, but does it belong here? Are you confusing people with your message? What do you really want them to hear?”

Q: What time of day do you prefer to write your music and where?
It’s easiest for me to write late at night, for sure! Probably because that’s when I feel the most relaxed and reflective. Sometimes I’ll be halfway asleep and a melody or a line of lyrics will jolt me awake and I’ll have to jump out of bed and start working. Writing at night also gives you the advantage of having a whole day’s experiences fresh on your mind to pull inspiration from.

I mostly write in my apartment. I’d like to write outside, but I don’t want to be wandering around Downtown Atlanta at 2am with my pen and paper when inspiration strikes. Shoutout to my neighbors who put up with my bizarre night owl tendencies. Y’all are champs for listening to me sing and work at all hours of the night!

Q: To date, what has been your favorite memory as a Songwriter?
The first time I had someone tell me a song of mine made them cry, it really struck me. This person in particular was referencing a song that had really become a struggle to write, but for some reason I just couldn’t stop working on it. The validation that I got from that one comment helped to spur me on in such an incredible way. It really helped me to realize the impact my music could potentially have on others, and it also showed me how important feedback can be to an artist.

Q: How do you maintain your professional growth?
I try to take every opportunity to work with others. There’s something to be learned from any fellow musician, regardless of whether or not they’re in your particular genre or at your same experience level. Music depends so heavily on a strong community, so I’m constantly trying to grow my support system and make new friends that are as passionate about music as I am!

Q: What is your Songwriting process?
I’m split about 50/50 on whether I write the lyrics or the melody first. I almost always start with the chorus, though, from a structure standpoint, and then move on to verses and a title line. Verse 2 is always hardest for me to write. No idea why.

If I start with the music first, I’ll strum along on my guitar while I finalize the melody and will keep humming along until words start to morph themselves into place. When I start with lyrics, I try to come up with two or three unique matching melodies and then move forward with the one that fits the song’s vibe best.

Q: Who are your top three favorite artists or Songwriters?
Pretty obsessed with anything by Luke Laird, Trent Dabbs and Natalie Hemby. Eric Hutchinson is great, too.

Q: What advice would you tell up and coming Songwriters?
Write for yourself. Write whatever makes you happy. And make sure you just write!That’s the greatest way to improve your work and make progress as a songwriter. Also, don’t get offended if someone doesn’t love your music. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, it just means it isn’t their style! Even the most famous and successful artists in history have people that didn’t love their songs. As long as you’re truly proud of your work, that’s all that matters.

Q: What are some of your accomplishments to date?
I just released my debut album on April 23rd, which I consider a huge accomplishment. It debuted at #177 on the iTunes Top 200 Country Albums Chart! I wrote all 9 of the songs myself, picked from about 100 that I penned over the course of a year. It was a pretty intense undertaking, but I had a great producer and incredible session musicians that helped to create something I’m really proud of! Check it out on iTunes!

Q: How do you think Frettie will benefit the Songwriting Community?
Getting feedback on your work is SO invaluable. Nothing’s better than hearing whether or not you’re on the right track and learning where your strengths and weaknesses are so that you can make your music even better. Frettie is going to be an incredible place to mentor and be mentored, as well as a great way to come together in collaboration. It’s going to allow each songwriter to reach out across the country to gather ideas, opinions and critiques that they can use to improve their work.

Q: So what’s next for Caryn Womack and where can readers find you online?
For the next few months, I’m going to be playing shows around Atlanta, promoting my album and working to perfect my performances. I’ve also started writing some new music for an EP that I hope to release by the end of this year. Other than that, I’m just praying and keeping my fingers crossed that my music lands in the hands (or ears, as it may be), of someone who can make something big happen!

You can find me online at www.CarynWomack.com. I’m also on Facebook and on Twitter at @carynwomack. Feel free to follow and say hi!

Thank you Caryn for taking the time to answer these questions. We appreciate all of your support and hope to see you soon on Frettie.

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Interview conducted by The Frettie Team. If you are interested in being interviewed for our next “Songwriter Showcase”, feel free to reach out to us at info@frettie.com.


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