Nearly everyone who’s at least a bit interested in making music is familiar with the concept of writers’ camps. But although the phenomenon is known to many, few might actually fully understand in what way a writers’ camp kick-starts the process of creating a record. Luckily, we just held our own Armada Deep writers’ camp in Berlin and have just released one of the songs that was born there: Sebastien feat. Bright Sparks – ‘Gold’. So, we grabbed the A&Rs and artists involved to tell you just how writers’ camps lead to full-blown tracks…
We’ve all been there. You want to create something different and head in another musical direction for once. Or you want to add something fresh and unique to one of your tracks, just to ensure it stands out from the rest. One of the easiest and often most efficient ways to do so is to get another artist to contribute to your song. But where do you find this person? And how do you find the opportunity to hit up the studio together?
Frankly, this is exactly the reason why writers’ camps exist. Kevin de Roos, the A&R manager of Armada Deep, explains.
“The Armada Deep writers’ camp came from the idea of having the whole roster of Armada Deep together during the creative process. We think this is really important, because connecting with the people you work with on a daily basis is essential in this industry. We invited all of our own artists who were available on the specific dates and we drafted in a bunch of songwriters accordingly through a selection based on their ability to work with artists in a variety of genres and styles.”
“It all turned out as we expected. We got several good songs, some really nice vibes, and a strong build-up to a more ‘family’ type of environment for the artists and the A&Rs.”
Naturally, creating the right vibe is essential. From the A&Rs to the artists and songwriters, they all come bearing their own expectations, meaning the mood has to be perfect in order for everyone to go home happy and satisfied at the end of the day. And that’s a tough nut to crack, so you have to be on top of your game at all times.
Ash from Bright Sparks: “We had real high expectations for this writers’ camp. Not just because we love loads of the producers and DJs signed to Armada, but also because we know Jeroen (Armada’s Head of A&R) worked in publishing for many years – so he knows a lot of amazing writers. We also expected whiskey, Haribo and some nice releases, and the Armada peeps delivered.”
“The great thing is that every session was completely different, and that’s what we like most about Armada. There are no ‘boxes’ genre-wise. For sure, it’s always dance related, but every DJ/producer we worked with has their own style or works in different genres.”
Sebastien: “I was excited to see what would happen, though sometimes it’s better to go in a situation like this without any expectations. You get so much input from all sides. If you have no ideas left, you can just go into another room with another amazing musician. After a few minutes, your mind is full of new ideas again.
As soon as the right people are brought together and the right mood has been set, on comes the magic of the moment. It’s a simple thing, really. If the artists involved feel appreciated and are taken care of perfectly, there’s nothing stopping them from coming up with ingenious stuff. The end result shows just that.
Ash: “We’re stoked and we think we all nailed it! There’s a track called ‘Gold’ that’s dropping with Sebastien that feels super fresh, and another track ‘Skin’ with Möwe we’re really excited about… Nothin’ but love from Bright Sparks.”
Memru, guitarist and co-writer: “I’m super happy! While a writing camp is also nice for connecting with other people, we wrote some dope tracks as well. I had a great time with the producers, artists and the Armada team. Thanks!!”
Sebastien: “I’m 100% happy with how it all turned out. I create 3 new songs and one of it is my new single “Gold” together with Bright Sparks. This Session was awesome. Ash & Memru are so cool and very talented. Thanks Armada!”
What the end result sounds like, you ask? Check it out below!