Best Songwriter - 2009
Honor Roll Music
Around the turn of the 20th Century, the New York City songwriting collective that came to be known as Tin Pan Alley turned out some of the most memorable hits from that era. Sixty years later, the Brill Building housed legendary songsmiths such as Carole King, Burt Bacharach, and Neil Sedaka, whose output is something of legend. Fast-forward to present-day Miami and you'll find a similar songwriting force taking shape at Honor Roll Music — part label, part creative force for hire, all located in an unassuming white building in Little Haiti. Honor Roll and its founders — Nick Scapa and J. Reade Fasse — have amassed a roster of local notables including Awesome New Republic, Nick Kruge, Bob LaDue, and Dead Hookers Bridge Club (many of whom are graduates of UM's Frost School of Music). They've scored commercials for big campaigns such as Geico, State Farm, and Visa. They also created the score for Cocaine Cowboys II and placed songs in prime-time TV shows. Perhaps their catchiest collective effort to date is ANR's latest single, "Birthday." Originally shopped around as a single for a pop chanteuse (Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester infamously recorded a demo version), the infectious tune features writing contributions from all over the Honor Roll family. Some detractors might dismiss it as a songwriting factory, but if this is what they're capable of, we can only hope they make the assembly line work faster.