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

Spotlight: Indie Songwriter Spencer Saylor

All, Featured Songwriters by Dennis Field on March 01, 2013


We want to introduce Spencer Saylor as this week’s featured Singer & Songwriter. When he is not studying music at the Conservatory of Music at Capital University, he spends his time writing and performing. In just a short period of time, Spencer has made himself known in Columbus, Ohio for his unique style and lyrics.

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

Q: Where do you call home:
Columbus, Ohio.

Q: Where did you grow up?
Canfield, Ohio.

Q: How did you get started with Songwriting?
I have been playing guitar since the age of nine (started electric but made my way to acoustic) and due to the shift in the genre of music I listened to, by the age of around 14 I wanted to start writing my own music.

We all look up to our heroes. My heroes were the musicians I was listening to; Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer—we want to be like our heroes and that’s how I took such an interest in writing.

Q: What books are you currently reading?
As a music student, you do not get a whole lot of time that can be spent on extra reading outside of school; however, I like to continue to educate myself on songwriting and the music business, so I am often reading forums and articles online written by some of the industry’s best.

Q: What album are you currently listening to?
I love all genres of music—therefore my music playlist is constantly changing. However, if you want me to pinpoint it down to one album or artist, I have really been getting into Phillip Phillips and his debut album since American Idol, “The World from the Side of the Moon”. He has a unique folk sound, and I feel like he and I have commonalities in our writing. Hopefully our similar stories can allow us to cross paths in the future.

Q: When it gets tough, how do you stay inspired?
One skill I have developed over the years is really how to fight writers block. It is almost as if I have a switch in my mind that can either allow me to write based on my personal life and events, or when nothing is really happening in my life, I have the ability to just write something marketable that others can relate to.

Q: As a Songwriter, what is your biggest challenge?
I think for every songwriter the big challenge is busting out of the walls of the city you have made a name for yourself in. For me, I did it quicker in Columbus than other Songwriters in other cities where it takes them years of playing out to become recognized.

Going to a school in Columbus where my music quickly spread and students hopped on board. They started sharing it and that really helped me skip a few stressful steps in becoming known. I am so blessed for this to have happened. My booking agent and I have now been working closely in finding more larger named artists to open for not only in the Columbus area but also the Cleveland-Youngstown-Pittsburgh areas. Hopefully in the larger shows that I begin to play, my national fan base and recognition can grow large enough to allow me to travel the country with my music—which is right now a top the pyramid of my goals.

Q: What time of day do you prefer to write your music and where?
I never really just sit down and write music; I have to either begin feeling an emotion that I think will work good for a song, think of a catchy melody that I can work with, or think of a couple good lines that allow me to continue to work off of them.

This can happen at all times of the day so I cannot really pinpoint a certain time of day. I have written from the crack of dawn to the late hours of the evening.

Q: To date, what has been your favorite memory as a Songwriter?
The start of my career three months ago til now—and I cannot even explain it. Everything has truly happened so fast and it all still seems so surreal. I have had this dream since I was just a little kid.

I can’t just pick out a certain memory because it seems that every single day something awesome is happening with my music. From becoming #1 singer/songwriter artist for Columbus via ReverbNation, having successful radio/iTunes/Spotify releases, working with some great sound engineers and studios, playing out more around Columbus, and now I am opening for Aaron Carter on his comeback tour at the end of March. For this to all happen in just 3 months blows not only other peoples minds but my own

But my true favorite memory and accomplishment is being able to do what I had always set out to do. There is no greater feeling than looking out into your audience and seeing people singing your songs word for word with you. Having fans let you know that your song is one of their new favorite songs, and that your songs are now apart of their favorite in the car playlist to jam to is amazing.

I had always and will always set out to create something that will help people when they are having problems or feeling a certain way. The fact that my music is doing that and to the point that they known it word for word—simply leaves me speechless.

Q: How do you maintain your professional growth?
In order to be successful in the music industry you have to be willing to put all of your time and effort into your career. I can’t count how many hours in the day I set aside to making sure my growth professionally is always going upwards.

I am not only always practicing, but I continually update information on my Facebook and ReverbNation pages, look into other tools and websites that will help me grow my name, and of course staying closely tied in with my fan base through twitter.

Professionally if you want to be successful put your fans first. They are really the people who will decide whether your name grows and gets spread so staying in touch with them as much as possible is what I make my priority. This journey is not just mine, my fan base will always be coming a long with me sharing every moment!

Q: What advice would you tell up and coming Songwriters?
Three things are important:

1.) Decide whether you are doing this as a hobby or want to make it a potential career. If you want to make a name for yourself and grow a fan base and have people take interest in your music, it takes a lot of time, effort, and work. You have to know whether you are willing to put in
that time.

2.) Stick to your roots. Remember who you are, where you came from, who the people who love you are. It will make the process so much easier, fulfilling, and allow you to know wherever your music takes you, you will always have home. (It is as cliché as the songs make it out to be).

3.) You are a songwriter; write YOUR songs. No matter where you go, write about what YOU want, what YOU feel, and the melodies that get stuck in YOUR head. The coolest thing about being a songwriter is that no one can tell you what to write— you write the story that people are going to listen and relate to.

If you are really a songwriter, if you get to the moment where you are given the option to see your name in lights but you are not the one writing the songs that you are trying to get others to believe in, then revaluate what you originally started doing this for.

Q: Would you like to add anything else?
Thank you for the opportunity. You can find my music on itunes.

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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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