In 2017, Sharon began writing lyrics with Brooke Hatala, a 16-year-old artist from Sharon's town of Cary, NC. Brooke will graduate from Belmont University in 2023 and has been managed by Red Light Management of Nashville. In July of 2017, she opened for legend Willie Nelson at a summer concert. Brooke and Sharon have written seven songs together so far. The songs that Sharon co-wrote with Brooke and producer Billy Smiley are Just Hold Me (scroll down the playlist in the link), Stars (audio only is to the left) & What Would I Say? (link to Youtube of May/2022 release). Sharon also co-wrote a very special song with Brooke called More Than This (link is Brooke performing the song at a Teen Mental Health Conference in 2018 in Chapel Hill, NC and audio only is to the left). The song addresses the issue of teen anxiety & depression and some of the pressures that teens are under -- and makes the point that teens are more than just their GPA or their athletic accomplishments: they are more than this. An audio of a produced version of the song is on the left. A fun, story song they wrote together is called Different from the Rest (audio on left) is about a girl thinking that a guy was going to be different from the rest, only to find out he wasn't. Sharon and Brooke are currently working on several other songs together.
Brooke was asked by ASCAP to perform at the iconic Bluebird Cafe in Nashville in December of 2017. She performed five songs, including an acoustic version of "Stars", one of the songs which Sharon co-wrote. Sharon was with Brooke and her mom at the Bluebird and was incredibly honored to have Brooke sing one of the songs they wrote together. An amazing experience.
Brooke singing at the Bluebird Cafe
Brooke sometimes records at Dark Horse Studios outside of Nashville in 2017, and Sharon loved visiting there with her and producer Billy Smiley and meeting some of the fabulous artists who record there.
Also in 2017, Sharon worked with Chad Lister of Osceola Studios in Raleigh (along with owner Dick Hodgin) on two demo songs. She wrote the lyrics and discussed the music in great detail with Chad, and he and Dick produced the two songs: an upbeat country song called "It's the Inside that Counts" and a heartfelt slow song about a relationship that is coming to an end called "How Does it Go?"
"It's the Inside that Counts" (copyrighted) is on the top track on the right.
"It's the Inside that Counts" was selected by WQDR radio station, 94.7, in Raleigh, NC as a featured song on its Carolina Homegrown Series in August of 2017. Since Chad Lister was the singer, I arranged the interview with him, and that interview and the song are on the bottom track on the right.
"How Does It Go?" (copyrighted) is the third track. Also performed by Chad.