She Is Focused

May 18, 2009

My 5 Minutes With Songwriter Greg Curtis

Filed under: Get To Know,Interviews — Felicia @ 8:47 pm

The one thing that every person can agree on is having a love for music. No matter the genre, we all have songs out there that has touched us in such a way that we can listen to it numerous times and it never gets old. Credit is rarely ever given to the driving force behind each of these songs. The artist brings the song to life, but the songwriter is the actual “lyrical wordsmith” as animated Kanye would say, behind each song.

Songwriter Greg Curtis has been writing hits for the likes of Keyshia Cole and Yolanda Adams, and when speaking to him its clear to see that his passion is still as strong as it has been when he began his career more than 20 years ago. I talked with Greg recently at the SESAC Awards about his time in the business and what inspired him to write some of his songs. Greg Curtis and Regie Hamm

What does the SESAC New York Music Awards mean to you?

Greg Curtis: Just being recognized for the hard work, because we hear the final results and you enjoy the music and say ‘oh I love this song, I love that song’. But then you don’t really know what happened behind the scenes. There’s very emotional stuff that happened. So to be recognized for it, even though it’s like 3 years later it’s ok, because hard work always pays off. I’m really excited for it.

Where did you get the inspiration to write Keyshia Cole’s “I Remember”?

GC: Well Keyshia and I worked together. But my inspiration was because I was going through a very rough time in my life, and musically I just sat down at the piano and just played this beautiful track. And I sat there and sat there, and several hours later I kept coming back to this same beautiful track. When I played it for Keyshia she heard the record and loved it. Then immediately the lyrics came and we wrote the song writer there and it was hot.

Do you work a lot directly with the artist?

GC: Yea, sometimes I do. With Yolanda Adams I did a song called “Victory” which I won a Grammy for, and I wrote that song by myself and she heard it and wanted to do it just as it was. I love collaborating with the artist though, it’s cool.

How long have you been writing now?

GC: Well how I got hooked up with SESAC, I wrote a song when I was 14 years old and I had to be with a performing right organization, so they signed me up with SESAC when I was 15. And I’ve been with them ever since. So I’ve been writing for about 27 years.

What would you say was the most difficult song you’ve had to write?

GC: I would probably say “Victory”. Even though it’s such a victorious song lyrically and the music is so inspirational, I went through hell. I was going through a difficult time in my life. My life is not like everybody else’s. You get a paycheck once a month or every two weeks, it’s not like that with us. I have to provide for a family and kids, and hopefully I get a nice check coming in every quarter; maybe. So things were just going bananas. And it was the hardest song I ever had to write because it just came to me. It’s even harder to listen to that song because I know what I was going though and where it came from.

Where are you from?

GC: I’m originally from Houston, TX, but I’ve lived in Los Angeles and basically everywhere.

Have you ever recorded music of your own?

GC: Of course

Any albums coming out anytime in the future?

GC: I don’t know; maybe, maybe not. But my son G. Curtis Jr will be coming out soon, so be on the lookout for him. And my other son, Draylen Curtis, we call him Dray, is coming out also. So I’m gonna push them. Greg Curtis

They write as well?

GC: They write, sing, produce everything.

How do you feel about your kids following in your footsteps?

GC: It’s a trip. I see them and they’re not just good, they’re great.


1 Comment »

  1. Greg I am so proud of you and all of your very hard work . It feels so good to see your smiling face even though I have not seen it is some 20 something years . You still look the same just mature .. Keep up the good work and play hard . Much Love for you hope to see you again one day …

    Comment by sam — December 27, 2010 @ 11:44 am | Reply

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