Daniel Snyder is a new Songtrust client and winner of the Songtrust / Indaba Songwriter Development Day. His original song 'Ain't That Beautiful' was selected as the best submission in the contest, winning Daniel a trip to New York for a meeting with industry execs and to mix a new track with Zach Hancock (Alicia Keys, Mos Def) in our Downtown Music Studios. For more photos, check out the Songtrust Facebook page.
How did you get started in the music industry?
I started writing music while I was in high school in Portland, ME and at that time it was really more of a hobby than anything else. I originally had plans to pursue professional hockey and went to college at Northeastern University in Boston. By my third year in school I was writing with several up and coming artists around Boston and put together a demo of my strongest songs.
Around the same time, I reached out to (a then relatively unknown producer/artist in the public eye) Ryan Leslie on Facebook to ask him for career advice. I really identified with Ryan's music and his drive, discipline and dedication for the craft. Ryan heard my music and we exchanged a handful of messages before he invited me to New York to talk about interning with his team at NextSelection.
Although I respectfully (and somewhat regrettably) declined to focus on honing my production and songwriting full-time, Ryan still suggested that I study and collaborate with a seasoned record producer in order to help take my skills to the next level. He ultimately introduced me to his friend and colleague Chad “Beatz” Burnette. Chad has been a great mentor and provided me opportunities to collaborate with a handful of up-and-coming artists who needed a producer to help shape their sound.
Several months later I was also hired as an artist manager (and got my first taste in the world of music publishing) at Intrigue Music in New York City. At Intrigue, I helped identify and develop talent, and exploit copyrights by licensing music to traditional producers and music supervisors for synchronization with TV, film, advertising, video games, and other media.
After spending time at Intrigue I left to pursue a laundry list of production opportunities with budding songwriters and artists from around the world, and that’s where I find myself today.
What has been the proudest moment in your career?
I think any time you make a significant and/or positive step forward in your career it's always a proud moment and should be treated as such. I've been blessed to have experienced a handful of those moments so far, but most recently it was meeting with executives at Downtown Music, Songtrust and Indaba Music. It's reassuring to know that I'm doing something right and making music that connects with both industry opinion leaders and casual listeners.
What inspires you as a songwriter?
Life experiences, love, despair, humor, success, failure, trends (old and new), and listening to other music that moves me to feel something.
You’re an ASCAP writer. How come you chose them?
Effectively, all of the PROs perform the same duties. I basically chose ASCAP because they have a longer history in performance rights collection than BMI and SESAC. ASCAP is also a writer and publisher owned organization.
What’s coming up for you?
Right now, I'm producing and writing with a talented new artist from the UK named Beaux Saunders and hoping to get her signed within the next year. Outside of Beaux's project, I'm working with other artists around the country and will continue to look for songwriter and artist collaborations that make sense.
In 2012, I also want to connect with a publisher and management team who really believe in what I'm doing and can help streamline promising writing and production opportunities with other unique, talented artists.