Songtrust Team, Songtrust Spotlight

An Interview with Lorenzo Cook

Chantelle St. Clair
Chantelle St. Clair on Mar 29, 2018

Lorenzo_crop UPON ARRIVING in Syracuse after growing up in Brussels, Lorenzo Gillis Cook was introduced to the fast paced, lo-fi sound of the American house show scene. Though he had been making music for years under the name Spark Alaska and through his previous indie pop band, Throw Television, the franticness and earnest expression being put on display in upstate basements and attics was infectious.  In late 2014, Cook brought the first Petite League demo - Surviving October - to friend and drummer, Henry Schoonmaker. From there, the two have recorded two albums - Slugger and No Hitter - which have been written up by publications such as Pitchfork, Fader, Yours Truly, and Noisey; co-founded the notable Syracuse DIY venue Scarier Dome, and now reside in Ridgewood, Queens. The third record - Rips One Into The Night Into The Night - was released in August 2017. Blending the sweet, bubblegum qualities of bedroom pop and the snot nosed fuzz of garage rock, Petite League is swinging for the fences.
line-1

What is your favorite song?

Spanway Hits by Flake Music. A friend of mine, who was a few years older than me, growing up showed them to me when I was getting into The Shins and its just been one of those songs I never get tired of listening to. There are like 20 songs I’d call perfect songs and Spanway Hits is definitely one of them.

When did you write your first song?

When I was 13, after school. I was taking guitar lessons but was too embarrassed to play aloud, let alone sing. So I waited for a chance when the house was empty to shake my goofy tween insecurities and let it rip.

What inspired you to write your first song?

Being a middle schooler, probably.

Where do you do your best writing?

Alone in my bedroom, usually when everyone else in the house is asleep which makes recording it a challenge.

What was the first time you recognized yourself as a songwriter?

Pretty much right away. Those songs I wrote when I was a kid are still out there, online somewhere. That counts!

Do you have a trick when you face writer’s block or get stumped when you’re writing?

I write down words and stuff I hear that catches my ear in my phone all the time. When I really don’t know where to go or where to start, I look through those notes and just start messing around with them. It’s also good to walk away from stuff and come back to it with a clear head. Can’t force anything if you’re not happy with it.

What is your most favorite performing memory?

In high school, I played guitar in a band called Throw Television. One time, the singer couldn’t make it to a show so I filled in for him at this battle of the bands in Brussels. It was my first time singing in front of an audience and we won which was real sweet!

How did you find out about Songtrust?

My friend Jenny Kaufman sent me a job listing for a temp position when I moved to New York after school. I was about to start working at a pizza place by my house, so her recommendation was really well-timed.

What is your experience like being both a Songtrust employee and a client?

I came into Songtrust confused as anyone would be about the nature of publishing. I was registered with ASCAP but honestly didn’t understand why and what that meant for my catalogue as I had never seen any money up until then. Once I started working here and got a grasp on what Songtrust was doing, I got really excited about the potential. This was the first company I had come across that was actively trying to simplify this unbelievably complex aspect of the industry into a manageable platform for artists.

What’s your favorite part about working at Songtrust?

I love that my job involves guiding artists and bands through the same struggles I was going through before I started working here. I would never take a job in music that took advantage of musicians, so I’m glad to be on the side of the industry that aims at putting money back into the pockets of writers. If my work here helps someone quit their day job to be a full time musician with the extra money we help them get, that’s all that matters.

Do you have a favorite Songtrust artist (that you’ve helped along the way)?

I feel a real sense of pride when I get anyone to sign-up, so it’s hard to pick a single favorite. I’ll highlight one though - fellow New Yorkers, Mons Vi, signed up a few months back which is really cool. They’re amazing.

What’s ahead for you?

Put out more records and try to tour more often!

LC_pic2

Related Articles

Songtrust Spotlight: Royalties Team

JOHN COSENZA graduated from Oneonta State University with a degree in Music Industry. John has always been in bands and loved audio recording & production, but felt it was important to learn the business.  His first job after school was at the Harry Fox Agency, and then moved on to Warner Music on the label side where he then moved over to publishing at EMI/Sony/ATV as an Income Tracker.  Prior to joining Songtrust, John ran Royalties & Income Tracking at SONGS Music Publishing.

JAMIE FRANZESE'S aspirations to become a rock-star died ten years ago; he then realized the next best thing to do was to help musicians get paid for their craft; accurately & efficiently. He's been with Downtown since 2012 doing just that and looks forward to continuing to provide unparalleled services to our clients.

ANNA MICELI born in New York, but raised on the road, spent most of her early years on tour with her family, thus sparking her affection for music. She attended the College of Saint Rose and studied Music Industry, where she cofounded Rose Record Label and SMAN Music Publishing. As a fellow songwriter, Anna is proud to have been one of the first few royalty members for Songtrust. She currently helps manage the ever-growing royalty department.

SAMANTHA SHANK recently graduated with her MBA in Music Business where she developed a deep interest in music publishing and the massive business surrounding the song. After learning about Songtrust’s aim to make the complex music publishing accessible to all writers, she knew she wanted to work there. Today, Samantha works hard every day as part of the Royalties team to make sure Songtrust is collecting every last penny out there for their writers.

NIKKI BROWN studied Undergrad at Syracuse University, where she majored in I.T and minored in Music Industry. She wanted a career at a place that bridged the gap between tech and the music industry, which is what brought her to working in Royalties at Songtrust.

STEVE GUIGLIANO graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a degree in Digital Media Production and has written and performed music most of his life as a guitarist. His love for music compelled him to find a career within the music industry and now is a member of the Royalties team at Songtrust as a Coordinator. 

MACKINGOSH ZUMARRAGA found his love for music through playing the piano and singing since the age of four. This passion prevailed throughout his school years and after graduating from Pace University with a degree in Arts and Entertainment Management, he decided to pursue a career in music publishing. With his experience in royalties, he aspires to help music creators develop not just artistically, but also financially, to provide them a better opportunity to impact the world. 

Dec 12, 2018

Songtrust Spotlight: NexGen

NEXGEN MUSIC is a worldwide independent record label group recognized for its pioneering sound representing underground and cross-mainstream music. Converging from countries across the globe, NexGen artists, composers and musicians showcase their talent of creating music that "pushes the envelope."

Through their various imprints the label showcases a wide range of musical genres and styles such as: Downtempo, Chill-Out, Nu/Future-Jazz, Drum & Bass, Bass Music, Dubstep, UK Garage, House, Electronica (EDM), Trap, Hip-Hop, Trip-Hop, Soul, Funk, Leftfield, Experimental, Dance, Pop and more.

NEXGEN MUSIC is an artist-centric brand devoted to creating a forward-looking, inclusive and multifaceted musical community. They foster a philosophy of artistic growth, collaboration and experimentation, uniting promising new talent with established music production artists.

Dec 5, 2018

Songtrust: Business and Technology Partner to the Creative Community

Shortly after I started at Songtrust and during the early conversations I had with candidates for roles on our team, we talked about how we would speak to the creative community about why it might make sense for them to work with us. Much of what brought me to Songtrust was the chance to be a part of an organization that gives access to an area of the business long made mysterious and seemingly unavailable to a large swath of songwriters and producers. The fact is that, by law, simply by having recordings of their compositions in distribution earns them royalties. Yet it can seem nearly impossible to access these royalties due to the complexity of the global rights system. This unfairness is something that motivates me every day.

Nov 29, 2018