Honors student Joshua Birdsong recently participated in the “It All Starts With a Song” retreat led by music industry legend Judy Stakee. Alongside 20 other individuals coming from Nashville, New York and L.A. to London and Stockholm, Birdsong spent four days with a veteran executive who helped to shape today’s sounds and voices in popular songwriting.
With over 30 years of music industry experience, Stakee has led record companies while fostering the careers of singer/songwriters like Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Gavin DeGraw, Joy Williams of The Civil Wars and Katy Perry. She focused the retreat around songwriting and the ways to most effectively thread music, lyrics and performance together. Stakee emphasized the importance of nurturing one’s voice as a writer and tapping into one’s unique perspective whether in a co-write, pitching songs to a publisher or performing for a group of 10,000 people. She also discussed the business aspects of the industry and how songwriters can establish a firm career.