Now more often than not, the professional songwriters that sit in on co-writes with other artists, or just pen songs for the pop genre, come from bands that used be known and loved commodities in the pop genre. At the very least, they had a band that was their complete focus and they had some measure of success to give them credibility. With busbee, that’s different. He’s been a songwriter for years and that’s how he got his initial break. If you go through his credits you’ll see that busbee has scribed songs or helped scribe songs from everybody from Ryan Star to Kelly Clarkson. busbee was a prolific writer first, and now he has a shot to make big with his own group, GoNorthToGoSouth.
GoNorthToGoSouth isn’t just busbee. There’s another half to the group that’s just as prolific of a songwriter, Ben West. Based out of Detroit, Ben is a jack of all trades in the music industry. He’s done everything from music direction for performances and TV shows, to co-writes, to production, to mixing and mastering. West and busbee make a formidable songwriting team; GoNorthToGoSouth is the matching of two outstanding behind-the-scenes guys, jumping to the forefront with their own music. They’re doing that with their brand new Lost & Found EP that’s out now.
Perhaps the biggest example of what the duo is capable of is their song, “Try.” The song was originally recorded and put out by GoNorthToGoSouth, but eventually it found it’s way into the publishing world with P!nk recording the song. The rest, of course is chart history, with the song being chosen as the second single off of P!nk’s album, The Truth About Love and moving on to become a smash hit. Recently, Alternative Addiction chatted with both busbee and Ben West about “Try.” The two discussed writing the song, but first they talked about how that song found it’s way to P!nk in the first place.
“That was a classic example of old school publishing,” said busbee on the duo’s hit song. “That doesn’t happen as much in the pop world as it used to. One of my publishers and my manager sent the song over to RCA Records, there was a strong relationship there with an A&R person named Rani Hancock who has believed in me as a writer. She fell in love with the song and wanted to find a home for it. Talking to her for awhile, she wanted it on different artists and it actually got cut by another artist. But that artist wasn’t the right fit for the song. I actually had to call her up about that and say, ‘Hey I don’t think this is working, it doesn’t sound right.’ It was a nerve-racking moment to be on the phone with her because it was a fairly established artist and it was a good look for us as a band.
“On that phone call, she asked if she could play it for P!nk. To make a long story short, P!nk fell in love with it and it wound up being her second single. That’s nuts because it’s a cover of a song that was quasi-released by us before. We didn’t have a deal, we just put our songs out there. Now, when they hear our version people are going to think that we’re covering her song. It doesn’t matter to us either way. It’s been great exposure and I’m glad that she nailed it.”
So, wait... the song was actually recorded by another artist before P!nk. Why didn’t busbee and West just go ahead and let the song be put on that artist’s record? Only they know the exact reason behind that. However, you have to respect the credibility of a writer thinking highly enough of a song to wait for the perfect fit for it and not just cash in on the first offer.
“For me, if that was the only thing I had going on at the time with music I would have been tempted to just take the offer and let the other artist cut it,” said busbee. “I had other things going on so that made it easier to make that call artistically. Things didn’t work out with that other artist and RCA and that song would have never been used as a single if we did let them use it, so it worked out out. Still, it was all a very weird experience for us to see this go down, it took about a year and the whole thing was pretty stressful.”
The song has been around for awhile but that doesn’t mean West and busbee have forgotten about making it in the studio. “Try” was a rare, mystical experience in the studio for the two critically-acclaimed song writers.
“It’s one of those things,” said West remembering the duo’s time recording. “It was pretty effortless and it came together quickly. busbee performs that really well on the recording. That’s one of my highlights in making music. It was just a good moment, it felt like something genuine. It’s a song about struggle but it wasn’t a struggle to make,” added West.
“I remember getting in to sing it and I probably did it five times,” started busbee. “I sang it from top to tail and it felt like I could have sang it twenty or thirty more times. It felt effortless to sing and I got lost in it. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but just thinking about that moment now, I get goose bumps. It was a heavy moment because of the profundity of the song. Creativity is an otherworldly thing. How can two dudes enter a room and leave with that song? It’s a pretty powerful experience and even though you’re part of the process I think you have to recognize that. I was not only a participant and a recipient, but I was an observer and it impacted my life too. Some days I feel like I write songs and I work hard, but that day I feel like we got a gift.”
People who check out GoNorthToGoSouth’s debut EP will get a gift too. The five song is amazing. You can also check out “I’m Going Home” from the duo online too. busbee and West are looking into doing some live performances with GoNorthToGoSouth soon. They’re also constantly writing and they have some material ready for another release when music fans are ready. To keep up to date with all things GoNorthToGoSouth, visit GoNorthToGoSouth.com.