We had the honor of interviewing Marshalee about her songwriting methods and experience in the music industry and here is that interview.
BTS: What was the reason you started writing songs?
Marshalee: I was a quiet child and teen and felt very intimidated by my surroundings so I felt more comfortable writing than speaking my thoughts and opinions.
BTS: What was the first song you ever wrote about?
Marshalee: A song about acceptance, forgiveness and God welcoming each person ‘With Open Arms”. It’s the most requested song from my 1st album God’s Favor.
BTS: What is your most current song written about?
Marshalee: It’s entitled “Follow”. It’s a song that speaks to my dedication to follow Christ wherever He leads me on this journey. It’s a song to encourage anyone who is dedicated to living and following the call and the dreams God has placed in their heart.
BTS: Where do you derive inspiration from?
Marshalee: The inspiration for my songs are from my life’s experiences and the answers I contemplate and sometimes write about are inspired by lessons from the bible and the wise people I have been blessed to know who have shared with me their knowledge and grace.
BTS: Who were your musical influences in the beginning of your songwriting?
Marshalee: I remember attending a Shirley Caesar concert in New Jersey and that experience had a profound spiritual influence on me. It really focused my mind, spirit and heart on ministry and on serving God. Her testimony and ministry was instrumental in setting me on my way to where I am in writing music today.
BTS: Who are your musical influences now?
Marshalee: Still Shirley Caesar and Donnie McClurkin because I am impressed with their anointed music and it’s impact as a ministry, and Yolanda Adams, Mandisa, Erica Campbell, and Lacrae for writing lyrics that speak to our everyday life and gives hope.
BTS: Do you have a method of writing, place, vibe, setting, instrument you prefer to write on? And why?
Marshalee: Yes, I prefer to write using the piano as my background track. When I write I spend a lot of time inside the church sanctuary by myself praying for God’s leading and meditating on the words in the bible, creating and working out melodies. I also pray with others. God always send a team of folks for me to pray with. I do those things because I feel that gospel music need to be led of God. My aim when I write a song is to write one that God would want to hear me sing.
BTS: What are the elements you think contribute to the making of a great song?
Marshalee: It needs to have a great music track that inspires writing a great song. The lyrics must have a relatable story, glorify God, I love songs that says the name of Jesus and draws attention to the story of the gospel.
BTS: How do you push past writer’s block?
Marshalee: I pray and ask for inspiration and leading, and then find somewhere tranquil to sit, think and write.
BTS: What would be your advice to a beginner songwriter trying to make their way and trying to express themselves musically?
Marshalee: Take a song writing class at a community college or continuing education course on line. Study patterns and lyrics of award winning songs, and trust your guts and experiences. Stay prayerful and ask God for His leading.
Up Coming Events: I will have a CD release concert on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 6:30pm at the Greater Framingham Community Church located at 44 Franklin Street, in Framingham, Massachusetts. Visit my website for more info. Also my 2015 CD will be available on my website at www.MarshaleeMusic.com, as well as at on iTunes, www.Amazon.com and other electronic media.
I completed new videos for my singles from the upcoming CD for the songs FOLLOW and BY HIS BLOOD. They are on youtube I encourage folks to take a listen leave a comment and support the singles which are current available for purchase. The full album can be pre-ordered and will be available by September 1, 2015. Do follow me on tweeter @MarshaleeMusic and ‘Like’ me on fb at www.Facebook.com/MarshaleeGospelSongstress. I’m also working on organizing a 2015 Concert Crusade series of outdoor services. Everyone is welcome to all my events I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. Come let us worshiping together. Please mark your calendars–Come one!! Come all!!