Most people know what songwriting is, but these days it’s all about toplining. What is toplining? It’s essentially a form of songwriting where you’re writing lyrics and melody over an already-produced beat—and it’s how most of today’s pop, hip-hop, EDM, and R&B music is created.
For aspiring songwriters and vocalists, becoming a topliner, or topline songwriter, is a great way to work and collaborate with different producers and get your vocals heard, as you’ll often need to record a demo vocal track of your work for the producer to hear. And if you’ve got a great set of pipes, you could wind up being the featured artist on the final track.
Such is the case with vocalist Gracie Van Brunt, who’s a topliner for such producers as René LaVice, Rameses B, and Kiba, as well as an artist herself. For her, using Pro Tools has enabled her to topline music quickly and deliver her best work possible.
“I’m a huge perfectionist—like almost to a fault,” she admits. “I just want my best work to be out there not only for myself, but for my collaborators. I want to make sure that the stems that I deliver are easy to use, effective, emotional, and mean something. I think the kind of challenges that Pro Tools helps me overcome is the workflow aspect of it. It makes it easier to just dive into a project instead of having to set things up every single time.”
She’s also seen how knowing Pro Tools can open the door to more creative opportunities in the big studios where Pro Tools is the universal language.
“I think it’s important to learn Pro Tools because it is the industry standard,” she says. “If you want to be in the big sessions and the big studios, you need to know how to use it. As I evolved as an artist, Pro Tools evolved with me.”
Hear more from topliner Gracie Van Brunt about how Pro Tools helps her create her vision for each song…