“When I moved to Nashville, there was no coming back without writing a #1 song.”

Welcome to One Year Later, an Industry Observer podcast, presented by APRA AMCOS, where we revisit career changing moments, one year on.

In this episode, Poppy Reid chats to hitmaker Phil Barton, who signed a co-publishing deal with Liz Rose Music (Taylor Swift, Bonnie Raitt) in June 2018.

Barton had his first US #1 with superstar Lee Brice’s smash, ‘A Woman Like You’ in 2011. Since then he’s been awarded Music Row Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year, and an NSAI Award (National Songwriters Association International) for one of the coveted “Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written.”

Barton isn’t just an American country music songwriter, he’s had 14 Top 10s in Canada, and 15 in Australia, thanks to his co-writes with and for Lee Kernaghan, Busby Marou, Jai Waetford, The Wolfe Brothers, many more.

The discussion takes place in London, a few days after Barton’s Songwriter of the Year win at the APRA Global Music Awards in Nashville.

Stream One Year Later with Phil Barton below:

During the expansive chat, the pair discuss how important it is for Australia’s overseas songwriters to be honoured in the territories they are successful in, and by those from back home.

“I was one of the first writers in Nashville that was Australian and it’s so far away. You don’t know anyone,” he said. “Then to have APRA come and start recognising that ‘yes it’s amazing what you’ve done’, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s important to members everywhere, LA as well and London, just to know that someone cares from home.

“It’s really hard,” he added. “I’ll get all these cuts or songs with different people but no one at home knows who the artists are. It’s a strange thing, I’m starting to do great but no one at home knows these Canadian artists or these American artists, which is a shame, except for the high profile artists that people like Sarah Aarons are getting.”

Phil Barton is integral to the creation of the Global APRA Music Awards. Milly Petriella, Director of Member Relations at APRA AMCOS, and producer of these inaugural Awards, told TIO it was Barton who initially pushed for APRA to take the awards international.

Barton also touches on his collaborative songwriting relationship with Liz Rose, who has penned tracks for Taylor Swift, Little Big Town and Bonnie Raitt. He offers a full rundown on how the songwriting industry works in Nashville, he talks about the track that ended up on US Hollywood blockbuster film Sicario after he played it at Bluebird Cafe, and much more.

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