In this series, I ask other songwriters about their quest for inspiration and how they tackle the day-to-day tasks of writing quality, engaging songs. Behind every good song is a hard-worker. I want to know how songwriters work and how they fill their well so it never goes dry.

Kelsey Braid smile

KELSEY KOPECKY is the eponymous member of KOPECKY FAMILY BAND, the New York Times featured band based in Nashville. KFB combines a slew of instruments and harmonies to create their own blend of dreamy, fun folk-rock. In addition to writing with her musical partner Gabe Simon, Kelsey also writes for other artists and for songs specifically destined for film & TV. Somehow Kelsey is able to be fully present in each project. Learn how she does it below.

1. What is your typical work day?
When not on tour my workday usually  starts with a yoga class at a local studio & a jog around my neighborhood while listening to new mixes, or new records that are inspiring me. I usually make a huge smoothie and make my way to my upright piano and start singing and playing. Depending on the day, sometimes I head to the studio and spend an afternoon writing music for film & TV with our producer or meeting up with a writer to co-write. A few afternoons a week are usually spent with Gabe (my musical partner) to hash through new song ideas and plan upcoming release details. No two days are the same and I like it that way!
2. What tools do you use to keep you organized and productive? 
I have a huge black drawing book that I use as my journal. In it, I sketch cartoons, write favorite quotes, sequence an upcoming yoga sequence I want to teach, write song ideas. It’s a catch all that makes me feel connected to all of my life experiences.  I use voice memos on my phone all the time to keep track of melodies and lyrical ideas.
3. Do you have any habits, exercises or activities that jumpstart your creativity?
I am always inspired by nature. A long hike can take me places literally & creatively speaking! :)
4. Are there any specific (or favorite) books, films, lectures, etc. that have impacted your creative process?
For some reason if I put on a Hitchcock film I am always inspired to create beautiful words & stories.  His work makes me feel nostalgic for a time I never lived in.
5. Where do you get ideas for songs? How do you catalog them?
I usually get ideas for songs from my life experiences – the bigger the deal, the more passionate the song. I like telling stories from my journal. My work is my therapy!
6. What have you been listening to lately?
A band called Avid Dancer from LA that we just toured with & a Canadian band, Alvvays…Their records are perfect and inspiring.
7. Who are the songwriters you really admire?
Anyone who tells the truth the best way they can..I admire vulnerability!
8. Do you have any advice to offer a new songwriter?
One of my teachers told me “tell it, tell it again.” Meaning use the first line to say the phrase you want to share, and then the next line to elaborate on it. This has been a helpful tool for my lyrics. Hopefully it helps some one else too!

Thanks Kelsey!  Nashvillians should catch Kopecky Family Band at Mercy Lounge for their final show of the year on December 13th. Get tickets here before they sell out!

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