Blog Archives

Shelly Peiken Talks Politics

Shelly Peiken, author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, has weighed in on tomorrow’s presidential election on her blog. She titles it ‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny-Moe.’ Check out the excerpt below:


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I don’t post about politics. I’d much rather stick to musical musings. But I keep writing about thissong and that session while chaotic un-presidented (not a typo) pre-election activities are in my face 24/7. I feel like I’m ignoring the elephant (and the donkey) in the room. So here goes…

I’ve always been a registered Independent. I pride myself on straddling the middle…reserving my options. (I also drive a convertible but rarely put the top down—shame on me—but when I do, I love it and I’m happy to have the choice.)

There’s a lot of unrest in this country. Voices haven’t been heard—voices that fear they still won’t be heard if we stay within the boundaries of established politicians, even if they are “qualified.” Nobody wants a dynasty.

Then again, to have someone who isn’t the most suitable change agent promise change, is also cause for dismay.

There’s no turning back now, however. We all knew about her privacy and his audacity when we voted in the primaries. We made our beds and here we are. I’ve unfollowed friends on Facebook to shield myself from the vitriol and sarcasm. I hope we learn from the toxicity and perhaps there’ll be a silver lining to all this madness in the future.


 

Read the full blog post here.


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Confessions of a Serial Songwriter is an amusing and poignant memoir about songwriter Shelly Peiken’s journey from young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to working professional songwriter writing hits of her own. It’s about growing up, the creative process – the highs and the lows, the conflicts that arise between motherhood and career success, the divas and schemers, but also the talented and remarkable people she’s found along the way. It’s filled with stories and step-by-step advice about the songwriting process, especially collaboration. And it’s about the challenge of staying relevant in a rapidly changing and youth-driven world

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Shelly Peiken on the Hometown to Hollywood Podcast

Shelly Peiken, author of Confessions of  a Serial Songwriter, sat down with Bonnie Wallace of Hollywood Parents Guide for the podcast Hometown to Hollywood. Shelly discussed the songwriting process, being an artist, todays music industry, and more. Listen to the podcast below.


>>LISTEN<<

Todays music industry is not what it once was and Shelly Peiken was able to dive deeper into that change and the future for upcoming songwriters. Early in the interview she defined what being a serial songwriter meant:

Somebody that’s just passionate and faithful to just getting up and writing a song everyday and then saying, ‘ok where can we pitch this.’

When it comes to her songwriting she stressed how organic it needed to feel. She wrote a song, ‘Rotten to the Core,’ for Disney Channel’s, Descendants. Bonnie’s daughter, Dove Cameron, starred in the film so there was a personal connection there. Shelly feels that she is a vessel and the connection that she has to her younger self which was the reason she began writing. Making money is always a plus, but it ultimately boils down for her to feel valuable and authentic.

When I wrote my book I thought, you know, it’s not me. It’s the industry and I’ve gotta change the way I’m navigating it and stay in touch with my joy.

COASS-Final_CVR_152159What advice did she have for young songwriters? She urged them to be proactive. Find out how they can make a difference. There’s a problem within the industry as far as the streaming epidemic taking away from the compensation of artist and all those that come together to make the music. Young songwriters must be aware and act now to keep ensure the future of being a songwriter. Most importantly, they must continuously tap into their creativity and never be afraid to step outside their comfort zones.

 

Do everything. Experiment. Test the waters. Write with people who you’re not sure you’re gonna love working with. You might love. Just do everything.

This interview is full of gems that will inspire anyone of any age.

Confessions of a Serial Songwriter

Confessions of a Serial Songwriter

by Shelly Peiken


From the songwriter behind such hits as “What a Girl Wants” and “Bitch” comes a memoir that offers an insider’s perspective on the music business and the craft of songwriting.


 

Website

Shelly Peiken, well known for writing culturally resonant, female-empowerment anthems such as Christina Aguilera’s No. 1 hit “What a Girl Wants” and Meredith Brooks’s smash hit, “Bitch,” looks back on her career and inside the business of songwriting in her memoir, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter.

A humorous and poignant pop culture memoir about Peiken’s journey, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter takes readers into the rarefied world of the music business. From a young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to a working professional writing hits of her own, Peiken describes how she built a career, from fledgling songwriter, pounding the streets of New York City to Grammy nominations, international hits, and the first Number One song of the millennium.

David Wild, contributing editor for Rolling Stone, calls Confessions of a Serial Songwriter “a great book [that offers] an insightful, honest, often funny, emotional look inside the good, the bad, the ugly, and ultimately the transcendent aspects of trying to lead a creative life inside a competitive career.”

In addition to the fascinating biographical trajectory, Peiken presents invaluable information for the aspiring songwriter, including tips about the creative process and how to adapt to the constantly changing currents. “Now more than ever, people who want to enter this topsy-turvy world of professional songwriting need to know how to handle the inevitable ups and downs that accompany what, for me, has a been an incredibly gratifying journey,” said Peiken.

In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, Peiken writes about personal growth, how to recognize your muse and navigate the creative process as well as the struggles that arise between motherhood and career success. While she’s not afraid to delve into the divas, celebrity egos and schemers, it is the talented and remarkable people she’s found along the way that predominate the text. And, finally, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter raises the obvious though universal challenge of getting older and staying relevant in a rapidly changing and youth-driven world.

 

$19.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
280 pages
Softcover Original

9781495049255
B/W photographs throughout
Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

SHELLY PEINKEN is a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been a prolific, behind-the-scenes force in the music business for more than two decades. Her songs have sold in excess of 50 million records. She is beast known for penning culturally resonant anthems, including Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants, Meredith Brooks’s “Bitch,” and songs recorded by Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, the Pretenders, Keith Urban, Cher, the Backstreet Boys, and many others. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Author Event with Shelly Peiken!

Author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, Shelly Peiken, will be at Parnassus Books tomorrow June 30th to talk about her book and also sign a few books! The even takes place in Parnassus Books which is located in Nashville, TN. It starts at 6:30pm so anyone who is in the area be sure to drop by! If you’d like to know more about the event and Parnassus Books, click on the link below.

>>Click Here<<

A humorous and poignant pop culture memoir about Peiken’s journey, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter takes readers into the rarefied world of the music business. From a young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to a working professional writing hits of her own, Peiken describes how she built a career, from fledgling songwriter, pounding the streets of New York City to Grammy nominations, international hits, and the first Number One song of the millennium.

In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, Peiken writes about personal growth, how to recognize your muse and navigate the creative process as well as the struggles that arise between motherhood and career success. While she’s not afraid to delve into the divas, celebrity egos and schemers, it is the talented and remarkable people she’s found along the way that predominate the text. And, finally, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter raises the obvious though universal challenge of getting older and staying relevant in a rapidly changing and youth-driven world.

Shelly Peiken: A letter to her father

Shelly Peiken, Grammy nominated songwriter and author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter,  was a contributor to The Huffington Post blog. In it she dedicated a letter to her dad in honor of Father’s Day, which happened this past Sunday. Read what she had to say in the excerpt below!


COASS-Final_CVR_152159Dear Daddy,

Since you’ve been gone the world has gone a little mad. I miss you so, but there are things I’m happy you didn’t have to witness.

In 2001, terrorists flew a plane into the World Trade Center and both buildings crumbled to pieces. We watched it in real time on TV. Thousands of people lost their lives. It was horrible, Daddy. I’m so glad you didn’t have to see that.

In 2012 this crazy kid stormed into an elementary school and shot 20 little children. Can you imagine their parents’ heartbreak? You’re lucky you didn’t have to.

I also take heart in knowing you didn’t have to read about the guy who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Florida. And a few days ago fifty people from the LGBT community (an acronym we now use for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender), were gunned down at a nightclub and a young girl was a fatally shot signing autographs after her concert. I knew this girl, Daddy. I can’t stop thinking about her.

There’s so much gun violence…in movie theaters, shopping malls, army bases, college campuses, even churches. Nothing is sacred.

Then there were these two brothers who left a bomb in a knapsack at the Boston marathon. They were part of this extremist militant group called ISIS. I’ll spare you the details of what they’ve been up to.

What I’m trying to say is…as much as I wish you were still here I take comfort in knowing you escaped some very painful times. At least that’s what I tell myself when I want to feel better about missing you so much.

On a lighter note (or maybe not), the political climate is a circus. One of the big issues during the presidential debates this year was whose penis was larger. Can you imagine Kennedy and Nixon having that discussion?


Read more HERE

Inside look at Confessions of a Serial Songwriter

Shelly Peiken, author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, was a guest contributor on Huffington Post Arts & Culture. She gave us all a look inside her newly released book with an excerpt titled “Suddenly”. Take a look down below and get your copy today!


COASS-Final_CVR_152159SOMETIMES I HEAR Simon and Garfunkel singing, “Slow down you move too fast.” They’re in a little bubble following me around as I scurry about my day. They’re in my underwear drawer as I hurry to get dressed. They’re in my coffee cup as I grab it to go. Those two heavenly voices; they sing extra loud when I’m multitasking. And I usually am.

See, I get caught up with work. I don’t turn things down. I take a meeting and listen to lip service from the A&R exec who says he thinks my song is perfect, but I know he will ultimately use the one from a writer of whom he gets a piece. I get angry with myself when someone’s album is finished and I didn’t try hard enough to get a song on it. I go to a writing camp to try to raise my batting average, even though there’s a decent chance the artist we are rallying around may be dropped. I often have a choice to make: write yet another song or go to lunch with the girls. I usually write another song.

Recently, things changed. I had had a tiny bump on my breast for years. It was barely noticeable and I had been assured it was nothing and would never turn into something. I’d been so busy, that I barely noticed it was getting bigger. So I went to my doctor. The second he touched it he said, “I don’t like this”…and that’s when things suddenly started to seem surreal. I thought about how my life might slip away from me in the next few months. I’d have to put everything on hold at least until I could find out just how much life I had left. He didn’t waste any time. He made some appointments for later on in the day. It was a Friday. He didn’t want to “have to wait out the weekend” to see what “we were up against.” I liked how he said “we” even though it was actually just me!


Click here to read more!

Shelly Peiken talks technological changes

Author of the book Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, Shelly Peiken, spoke with Argonaut Online about her book, the changes that the writing process seems to have taken, and more! Read an excerpt of the interview below and let us know your thoughts on the interview in the comments section below.


COASS-Final_CVR_152159“Hit songwriter” sounds oxymoronic, considering the process by which commercial pop songs are frequently constructed. But Shelly Peiken belongs to that echelon of “career songwriters” who’ve made a living crafting songs for other artists.

“I was actively getting up every day and writing and pitching to artists,” she recalls, estimating that she would write or co-write 30 songs a year. The sassy writer’s best-known cuts are “Bitch” (Meredith Brooks), “Who You Are” (Jessie J), “Almost Doesn’t Count” (Brandy), “What a Girl Wants” and “Come on Over” (Christina Aguilera).

A short list of other artists for whom she’s composed includes Aaliyah, Natasha Bedingfield, Joe Cocker, Natalie Cole, Miley Cyrus, Celine Dion, Selena Gomez, Gladys Knight, Lisa Loeb, Reba McEntire, the Pretenders, Britney Spears, Keith Urban, and the cast of “Glee.”

Now, 25 years into her career, Peiken has become choosier in her projects. As she spells out in her witty, compulsively readable book “Confessions of a Serial Songwriter,” she still joyfully sings along at the top of her lungs to songs she hears on her car radio.

But something fundamental has shifted in the way mainstream pop music is created, largely as a consequence of technological changes that continue to rewire the industry.

The thrill of connecting with a song that perfectly encapsulates the listener’s own circumstances — that three-minute rush that addicted Peiken to songs and songwriting in the first place — is rooted in very human experience.

She writes poignantly about how the Beatles and singer-songwriters such as Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon “were all able to reach a place inside of me with their self-examination, honesty, incongruities, longings and whimsical pleasures.”

But when songs are treated as templates with interchangeable parts, rather than as vehicles for meaningful personal expression, their capacity to connect deeply with listeners is undercut, which in turn shortens their shelf life.

That lack of relationship between co-writers — the trust-building collaboration Peiken dubs “SongSex” — affects the quality of music and disenfranchises songwriters from the process of song creation, she argues.


To read the full interview click HERE.

 

Shelly Peiken on the Standing “O” Project Podcast

Shelly Peiken, author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, was on the Standing “O” Project! She spoke with Viv Nesbitt about her book, creative process, the current situation with streaming services and more! The podcast is available below, click play to hear what they had to say!

>>Listen<<

COASS-Final_CVR_152159Shelly Peiken, well known for writing culturally resonant, female-empowerment anthems such as Christina Aguilera’s No. 1 hit “What a Girl Wants” and Meredith Brooks’s smash hit, “Bitch,” looks back on her career and inside the business of songwriting in her memoir, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter (March 2016, Backbeat Books, $19.99).

A humorous and poignant pop culture memoir about Peiken’s journey, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter takes readers into the rarefied world of the music business. From a young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to a working professional writing hits of her own, Peiken describes how she built a career, from fledgling songwriter, pounding the streets of New York City to Grammy nominations, international hits, and the first Number One song of the millennium.

David Wild, contributing editor for Rolling Stone, calls Confessions of a Serial Songwriter “a great book [that offers] an insightful, honest, often funny, emotional look inside the good, the bad, the ugly, and ultimately the transcendent aspects of trying to lead a creative life inside a competitive career.”

In addition to the fascinating biographical trajectory, Peiken presents invaluable information for the aspiring songwriter, including tips about the creative process and how to adapt to the constantly changing currents. “Now more than ever, people who want to enter this topsy-turvy world of professional songwriting need to know how to handle the inevitable ups and downs that accompany what, for me, has a been an incredibly gratifying journey,” said Peiken.

In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, Peiken writes about personal growth, how to recognize your muse and navigate the creative process as well as the struggles that arise between motherhood and career success. While she’s not afraid to delve into the divas, celebrity egos and schemers, it is the talented and remarkable people she’s found along the way that predominate the text. And, finally, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter raises the obvious though universal challenge of getting older and staying relevant in a rapidly changing and youth-driven world.

Shelly Peiken on SongCraft: Spotlight on Songwriters

Shelly Peiken, author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, was on the SongCraft Show! She spoke with hosts Scott Bomar, author of Southbound, a book published by Backbeat books, and Paul Duncan. She talks about what inspired her to write songs, her experience with certain artist, and how the book came to be! The podcast is available below, click play to hear what they had to say!

>>Listen<<

COASS-Final_CVR_152159Shelly Peiken, well known for writing culturally resonant, female-empowerment anthems such as Christina Aguilera’s No. 1 hit “What a Girl Wants” and Meredith Brooks’s smash hit, “Bitch,” looks back on her career and inside the business of songwriting in her memoir, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter (March 2016, Backbeat Books, $19.99).

A humorous and poignant pop culture memoir about Peiken’s journey, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter takes readers into the rarefied world of the music business. From a young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to a working professional writing hits of her own, Peiken describes how she built a career, from fledgling songwriter, pounding the streets of New York City to Grammy nominations, international hits, and the first Number One song of the millennium.

David Wild, contributing editor for Rolling Stone, calls Confessions of a Serial Songwriter “a great book [that offers] an insightful, honest, often funny, emotional look inside the good, the bad, the ugly, and ultimately the transcendent aspects of trying to lead a creative life inside a competitive career.”

In addition to the fascinating biographical trajectory, Peiken presents invaluable information for the aspiring songwriter, including tips about the creative process and how to adapt to the constantly changing currents. “Now more than ever, people who want to enter this topsy-turvy world of professional songwriting need to know how to handle the inevitable ups and downs that accompany what, for me, has a been an incredibly gratifying journey,” said Peiken.

In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, Peiken writes about personal growth, how to recognize your muse and navigate the creative process as well as the struggles that arise between motherhood and career success. While she’s not afraid to delve into the divas, celebrity egos and schemers, it is the talented and remarkable people she’s found along the way that predominate the text. And, finally, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter raises the obvious though universal challenge of getting older and staying relevant in a rapidly changing and youth-driven world.

Shelly Peiken on The Pauly Cast!

Shelly Peiken, author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, was on The Pauly Cast podcast. She spoke with Paul Samuel Dolman about her book, the importance of connecting with others, and much more! The podcast is available below, click play to hear what they had to say!

>>Listen<<

COASS-Final_CVR_152159Shelly Peiken, well known for writing culturally resonant, female-empowerment anthems such as Christina Aguilera’s No. 1 hit “What a Girl Wants” and Meredith Brooks’s smash hit, “Bitch,” looks back on her career and inside the business of songwriting in her memoir, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter (March 2016, Backbeat Books, $19.99).

A humorous and poignant pop culture memoir about Peiken’s journey, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter takes readers into the rarefied world of the music business. From a young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to a working professional writing hits of her own, Peiken describes how she built a career, from fledgling songwriter, pounding the streets of New York City to Grammy nominations, international hits, and the first Number One song of the millennium.

David Wild, contributing editor for Rolling Stone, calls Confessions of a Serial Songwriter “a great book [that offers] an insightful, honest, often funny, emotional look inside the good, the bad, the ugly, and ultimately the transcendent aspects of trying to lead a creative life inside a competitive career.”

In addition to the fascinating biographical trajectory, Peiken presents invaluable information for the aspiring songwriter, including tips about the creative process and how to adapt to the constantly changing currents. “Now more than ever, people who want to enter this topsy-turvy world of professional songwriting need to know how to handle the inevitable ups and downs that accompany what, for me, has a been an incredibly gratifying journey,” said Peiken.

In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, Peiken writes about personal growth, how to recognize your muse and navigate the creative process as well as the struggles that arise between motherhood and career success. While she’s not afraid to delve into the divas, celebrity egos and schemers, it is the talented and remarkable people she’s found along the way that predominate the text. And, finally, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter raises the obvious though universal challenge of getting older and staying relevant in a rapidly changing and youth-driven world.