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Happy Holidays! To celebrate the season, NSAI will be closed beginning December 21st at 2:00PM CT and will re-open January 2nd at 10:00AM CT.

Get to know the WINNER of the last Top 40 page contest! Here's a little bit about NSAI member, Gil, and his story:

--What’s the title of your winning song and the inspiration behind it?
"WHEN YOU'RE AWAKE" It's a dedication to the kind of love that makes you feel like your dreaming with your eyes open.

--Who were your co-writers?
The super cool and talented JAMES ADAMO JR.

--Do you plan on making this a career?
YES! Though I was a late bloomer, I'm working hard at it!

--What are your favorite genres to write?
I love an upbeat pop groove married with a little folk. I do also love a good ballad.

--What skillset do you bring to a co-write?
I enjoy thinking about my upcoming session and my cowriter and seeing what melodies or grooves come to me. I bring those in to the session, usually with a title and a couple of scenarios around the title. I try to brainstorm on an idea before each session, and revisit that before I bring in ideas or lines that stick out. I've also learned to bring reference tracks with me. Hit songs that have elements I like. For example a BIG CHORUS! Or fun sounds. The list goes on. This can help inform our writing. I also love acting, and have a lot of fun creating stories and characters around an idea.

--What advice would you give to other aspiring songwriters?
Be kind and never burn bridges. It's a small world.
Listen to lots of new music. Really study the songs you love. Analyze and feel what it is about those songs you love.
Be open and sincerely listen to your Co-writer's ideas. Come to a Cowrite prepared with something to share. Believe in yourself that you have something valuable to say. Even a one word title can blossom into a fantastic session.
I plan ahead to be on time, and try to always be on time, which is not easy in a city like New York! People will want to work with you when you show up prepared and respect their time.
Never criticize yourself or others. Pat yourself on the back for following your calling in a world that doesn't always respect the artist before they make money.
Enjoy the ride. In the fun times AND the challenging times. And get in tune with your authentic self.
And keep on keeping' on!

--Check out more of Gil's music here: