Singing For His Supper
Click Play Audio to listen to 'Lost In A Moment' and musician Niall Conn discuss the Song of the Year competition
Belfast songwriter and producer Niall Conn would love to see his self-released single 'Lost In A Moment' climb all the way up the Irish charts. 'It would be a victory for balding, middle-aged men the world over,' he chuckles.
For the moment, however, Beyoncé's favourite Belfast man is happy to sit back, turn up the volume and bathe in the glory of his recent success at the Song of the Year competition. 'Thing's like this don't happen every day,' admits Conn.
Song of the Year is an international songwriting contest supporting VH-1's Save The Music Foundation, judged by the likes of Bono, Beyoncé Knowles and Garth Brooks and a host of behind-the-scenes industry professionals.
With winners announced each month in categories including rock, pop and R&B, Song of the Year incorporates all styles and genres, and can open many an industry door for successful entrants.
At the end of each year, a 'best of the best' round-up of winners is chosen in each category. 2007 was a year to remember for Conn. His entry, 'Lost In A Moment', secured him fourth place in the rock cateogry.
'The song came to me in a dream,' says Conn. 'I woke up one Sunday with the melody and most of the lyrics, and the demo was recorded that morning in my studio at home. It was all done by lunchtime!'
An unnamed Song of the Year judge was full of praise for Conn's successful entry:
'Song of the Year is excited to recognize Niall Conn for his exceptional songwriting ability for the song ‘Lost In A Moment’. Niall competed against songwriters from all over the world for this honour. The lyrics are adorable and the melodies wonderful, and perfect with the set tone.'
Since entering the competition, Conn's career has gone from strength to strength. He has already signed single-song assignment deals with publishers on both sides of the pond, and is in talks with a US television and media company regarding the development of a promotional song for a large American corporation.
Writing and performing since the age of 14 (his childhood band was managed by novelist Colin Bateman), Conn argues that to make a living as a songwriter in the 21st century needn't necessarily involve getting up on stage and flaunting your stuff. He's grateful to Bono et al for giving him the opportunity to diversify.
'One thing the competition does is lend you credibility, which can be invaluable. It’s hard enough blowing your own trumpet in the music world, sometimes it’s better to have others blow it for you.
'The whole synchronisation thing is something that I’m keen to get involved in - writing for adverts, for television and ultimately, for film. I want to have a really broad church, to write in lots of different styles and with lots of different people.'
'Lost In A Moment' is available from Irish independent music website Downloadmusic.ie (check out the external link above right), and in the podcast at the top of this page. You can hear more of Conn's songs on his website.