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Songwriter hopes to cultivate the Billings music community

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 20:55:50-04

BILLINGS – Callie Benjamin is a five-year veteran of the music industry who will share her passion for songwriting with the Billings community at a workshop Saturday at noon at the Billings Public Library.

“Tell the world your deepest darkest secrets because chances are they are the rest of the worlds’ deepest secrets too,” Benjamin said.

Originally from Billings, Benjamin studied music technology at Montana State University before attending Berklee College of Music to peruse a degree in songwriting.

After college, Benjamin found a job in Nashville, writing songs for a music publishing company. She also found a passion for teaching songwriting with Nashville nonprofit Girls Write Nashville.

Benjamin moved back to Billings in 2018 after a cross country road trip brought her west and inspired her to come back home.

You’ve got to start somewhere when you sit down to write a song. Benjamin said there’s no wrong way to go about it. 

“Everyone has their own process when it comes to songwriting for sure,” Benjamin said. “For me, the arranging comes first and the melody comes first and then the lyrics. But I really enjoy the structure behind lyrics and I really enjoy all the different depths you can really play with.”

Benjamin said the thing that will make your song stand out is if you write from experiences in your life. In other words, write with authenticity.

“I think that’s a really big part of what makes a hit actually is the authenticity,” Benjamin said. “If it is something that rings true it’s most likely something that came from a true place. I am still working on being authentic myself. I mean, it’s an everyday aspiration.”

There has never been a better time to get started in music. People can make hit songs that can rock the globe from the comfort of their bedroom.

If you want to take your song to the next level, Benjamin is hosting a free songwriting workshop called Write Away. The Billings Public Library will host the workshop Saturday at noon.

“We are our hardest critic,” Benjamin said. “It can be really difficult to get past the little things sometimes. Sometimes all you need is that extra push or that extra snap of an idea or how to change just one line that can change the entire song. Ultimately I am hoping to facilitate a community that creators and songwriters can be safe in being vulnerable in their craft.”

If you would like to tune up your songs at Benjamin’s workshop, just be prepared to either perform your song live or play a recording. To RSVP and submit a copy of your lyrics email