In 2017, Sharon began writing lyrics with Brooke Hatala, a 16-year-old artist from Sharon's town of Cary, NC. Brooke is managed by Red Light Management of Nashville and spends part of her time there. In July of 2017, she opened for legend Willie Nelson at a summer concert. Brooke and Sharon have written six songs together so far, and three of them are featured on Brooke's website, www.brookehatala.com - The two songs that Sharon co-wrote with Brooke and producer Billy Smiley are Just Hold Me & Stars. Sharon also co-wrote a very special song with Brooke called More Than This (in the SoundCloud box on Brooke's site and video on this page), which 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. Brooke also recorded this song on her YouTube channel, and that version is found to the left. Sharon & Brooke's most recent song is What Would I Say to You? , which is the song playing when you first come on this page and can be found at the top of the page, as well as in slower version on a Youtube video on this page to the left. They are currently working on several other songs together. Brooke is now a freshman at Belmont University in Nashville, where she also is working with a producer there. Brooke and I are still working on several songs. This song called Different from the Rest is the most recent. Kind of a fun story-song.
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, 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?" Both of these songs are available for established artists to record. Sharon also would welcome the opportunity to work with other songwriters on either of these songs (revisions to lyrics and/or melody) to further collaborate on them. Since these demos were recorded, I've revised the first verse of each of them.
"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.