My father recently told me that as a six-year-old, I would tell him that I wanted to move to New York and make music. Now, nearly 30 years later, after having lived in a few continents, I’m sitting in my Midtown, New York, recording studio writing about doing just that.

I’m saying this, because, there are moments when it’s easy to think, “What am I doing here?” because, even though this is literally the dream I had long ago, a lot of it isn’t what I expected it to be.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work around the world, with some of the greatest producers and songwriters of modern times. To watch them work, to learn from them, to work with them, and also to be forging my own career and path into the unknown. Perhaps the most unexpected and also the most obvious part of my career is the concept of ‘writing to a brief’.

Stream Sigrid’s LP Sucker Punch below

worked on by Stephen Bartlett

What is writing to a brief?

In its most simple form, it’s writing a song within the contextual bounds that someone else imposes on you. This could be the song “meaning” or “emotion” or it could be the style of a song “Upbeat or Ballad”. Or it could be that you’re given music and asked to write lyrics, or vice versa.

The someone could be a manager, a label, an artist, or an advertising company. Sometimes it could be self-imposed.