Songwriters Roundtable


At just 17, Sophie Rose is signed to a publishing joint venture between Ester Dean and Dr. Luke’s Prescription Songs. She has written close to 500 songs and has been working with Steve Aoki, Charli XCX, Louis the Child, Serayah and more. Rose is also focusing on her own artist project, and her song “Limitless” with Sam F (with over 10 million streams across all platforms) and has just entered the Billboard Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart. Sophie co-wrote and is featured on the Sam F & TastyTreat single “Wavy” just released on Steve Aoki’s label Dim Mak. She self-released a solo single called “Two Young Lovers” on Friday, Oct. 20 that she wrote and produced by herself.

How did you get noticed by high-profile publishers?
I met Ester Dean at an AIMP panel she was speaking on in 2013 and I gave her the CD of original songs I had at the time. I have been to dozens of panels, songwriters expos, and showcases and have handed my CDs to hundreds of people with no response, so I honestly did not expect what happened after I met Ester. Thirty minutes after we left the panel, Ester’s sister emailed me saying Ester loved the CD and wanted to set up a phone call with me. We talked that day about doing a deal together, and about two months later, Ester called me in for a session with one of her writers to “test” me. After the session, Ester came in and told me she and Dr. Luke were setting up a joint publishing company and wanted me to be the first sign. The next day we went to Malibu and had a three-hour meeting with Ester, her sister Deandria, Luke and the president of Luke’s publishing company and record label at the time, Beka Tischker. The thought of working with these incredible people, who have always inspired me, felt like a dream come true.

What does your publisher do for you?
As a writer, my publisher sets up writing sessions, pitches and places my songs, registers my songs, and collects publishing revenue from placements. As an artist, Prescription is really supportive and heavily involved in helping me choose songs for my project, build my team, and promote my music.

Today, there are typically multiple writers on a song. How do you feel about that?
I love collaborating and feel that when each writer brings their own creative style into a session, something magical can happen. Not all co-writes create something great, but finding people you love to work with and working with them frequently is really important. I also write a lot by myself, but I think co-writing is the most effective way to get songs placed because the more writers and publishers involved, the more people there are working to find a home for the song.

How would describe your collaboration with artists like Steve Aoki, Serayah and others? What’s the work method like? Can you give examples?
Collaborations with artists can happen in many different ways. Sometimes I will write or co-write a song that is pitched to an artist, and the artist will then record the song if they like it. Other times, I will have a writing session with an artist and we will write for their project. With DJs, most of the time I will write or co-write a song to a track they have sent me, or pitch them a cappella’s.

You aspire to be not only a songwriter, but also a performer. Can you talk about how your publishing deals are maybe helping you realize that ambition?
In my experience, my publisher is incredibly supportive of my artist project, which has been very helpful in realizing my vision. Prescription is hands-on with their songwriter-artists, whereas some other publishers only care to pitch songs and do not help their writers on the artist side.

Any advice for aspiring songwriters? What to do, what not to do?
My advice would be to make sure you are having fun and enjoying being a songwriter, because this business is extremely hard. Celebrating the small victories really helps keep me going, and it is important to love the journey. If you believe in yourself and feel that being a songwriter is what you are meant to do, remember that it is a long road to success. As long as you love what you’re doing, keep doing it. •

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