THE 2022 SONGWRITERS
Cooper Baldwin (or “Coop”) (he/him/his) is a Manhattan based composer, arranger, producer, conductor, and performer originally from Burbank, California. Raised up on show tunes and choral music, he has since fallen in love with a wide array of musical styles and finds great joy in fusing them together to create inventive and unexpected sounds. Within the past several years his original work has garnered a number of awards and been performed by ensembles across the country, including the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Austin, The Capital Hearings, and Tony Award-nominated actress Sally Mayes. Recently, he has worked freelance as a music copyist on a wide range of projects for Netflix Studios, including Big Mouth, Centaurworld, The Half Of It and Julie & the Phantoms. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition cum laude from Oklahoma City University, where he studied with Dr. Edward Knight, Dr. Corey Gavito, Dr. Jamie Whitmarsh, and Lendell Black. When not pursuing musical endeavors, Cooper can be found advocating for social justice and LGBTQ+ causes or quietly playing his Nintendo Switch.
Clare Fuyuko Bierman (she/her) is a playwright and lyricist raised in a Japanese-Jewish home with some rabbits, a snake, and a bunch of finches. Current commissions include Yoko’s Husband’s Killer’s Japanese Wife, Gloria (Book by Brandy Hoang Collier, Music by Erika Ji, Winner of 5th Avenue Theater’s First Draft Commission), and Theseus and the Minotaur and the Other Six (Music by Joshua Vranas, Youth Theater Northwest). Her past work has been seen at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Spooky Action Theater, Open Door Playhouse, Broadway’s Future Songbook Series, and as a winner of the New Musicals Inc. New Voices Project. Originally from Los Angeles, she received her MFA from New York University.
Sophia DeLeo (she/her) is a New York City based singer, songwriter, and actor. Growing up in Falls Church, Virginia, she taught herself to play guitar at age 14 and began writing songs about boys in her childhood bedroom. After earning her BFA in Musical Theatre from The Hartt School, she moved to New York, where she began playing her original music at venues like Rockwood Music Hall, Pianos, and The Bitter End. She released her debut EP “The Boys Who Make Me Cry” in 2021. Known for her “bright vocals” and “lyrically complex narratives”, Sophia continues to write about love, loss, and nostalgia, usually drawing inspiration from personal experience. While she’s been experimenting with pop production over the past few years, she taught herself how to play bluegrass-style banjo the summer of 2020 and used this to step in a more folk-country direction for her latest single “Maggie Rogers”, released in March 2022. She is currently at work on her sophomore EP, which she hopes to release sometime in 2023. https://www.sophiadeleo.com/
Anna DeNoia (she/her) is a Chicago based theatre creator, as well as a passionate performer, producer, comedian and prankster. Born in New Jersey and raised in the northern Chicago suburbs, Anna is a graduate of James Madison University. She enjoys daydreaming about music, language, The Muppets, and one day giving Rachel Bloom a high-five. In collaboration with her writing partner Joshua Villa, her musical theatre works include the new musical Grace and the Ghost, as well as the song cycle Open, Stay, which will be next seen on stage on July 22nd at Feinstein’s 54 Below in NYC.
Jack Doyle (they/them) was born in Baltimore, M.D. They are currently based in New York City, where they front a band called Her Dark Heaven. The band has performed at NYC’s Mercury Lounge and Berlin Under A, with upcoming show dates NY in Baltimore. Jack started as a bass player, and only began singing when the lead singer of their middle school band quit before a show. Following up on the success of their EP “Angel” which was produced by the Grammy nominated producer Alex Newport, Her Dark Heaven self-released their EP “Poor Luck” in February 2022. The band’s sound is a mix of indie pop, heavy metal, and spoken word poetry.
Ben Ginsberg (he/him) is a Los Angeles-based composer, pianist, music director, and recent graduate of NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, where he wrote the music for CITY OF HOPE (with Zoe Ray Prawda), MINORU (with Momo Akashi), and RAMIN (with Thalia Ranjbar). He also composed for VIEW FROM THE MOON (with Stacey Weingarten and Richard Holland) at the Academy for New Musicals in North Hollywood. His original song “Heaven,” co-written and sung by George “Jorgie” Shkara, premiered on American Idol Season 17 in March 2019. In August 2021, his original song “Color of You” (lyrics by Jordan Toopes) was performed at The Composers’ Showcase in Las Vegas (produced by Keith Thompson). As a music director and accompanist he has worked with numerous theatres, universities and choirs on over 150 productions. With the Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble Theatre he has music directed and performed twice for Oprah Winfrey. He is associate accompanist for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. He earned his B.F.A. in Piano from CalArts — where he gave the Wild Beast Music Pavilion concerto premiere with Saint-Saëns' Piano Concerto No. 2 — and his M.A. (with distinction) in Music Industry Administration from California State University, Northridge.
Erika Ji (she/her) is a cross-genre composer-storyteller who loves soaring melodies, dream worlds, and stories that challenge our preconceptions about what is true, good, right, or worth wanting. Her work has been featured Off-Broadway and around the world at Lincoln Center, the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, the Nadia Boulanger Institute, and the Public Theater via the Musical Theater Factory. Current & recent projects include VISARE (concept album for an immersive circus experience, winner of the 2021 New Voices Project), Yoko's Husband's Killer's Japanese Wife, Gloria (new musical commissioned by The 5th Avenue Theatre), [untitled hat project] (tiny immersive experience at an eclectic hatmaker's studio, NYFA grant recipient), and music directing for new works like Scarlet Night (Virgin Voyages's inaugural ship-wide immersive experience). As a conductor, pianist, and vocalist, Erika has performed on national TV for CBS Sunday Morning and at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. Erika was a Tisch Fellow at the NYU TIsch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. The proud daughter of Chinese immigrants, Erika grew up in California, studied computer science and philosophy at Stanford University, organized the Viennese Ball in San Francisco, and built products at Dropbox before deciding to follow the music : www.erikaji.com
Dia Morgan (she/her) is a magnet for adventure and creates content to bring us along for the ride. The pop artist, songwriter, and producer shares her “exuberance personified” personality through her catchy pop melodies, wild Instagram stories, semi-viral Tik Toks, energized live shows, and any other fun, captivating content she can imagine up.Dia grew up in the suburbs of Chicago where she started writing songs at the young age of 9 years old. She followed her passion to Full Sail University where she graduated with a Music Production Bachelor’s of Science in 2016. After college, Dia moved to Los Angeles where she started a mentorship with world-renowned songwriting coach Judy Stakee (former SVP of Creative at Warner Chappell). Her work-a-holic attitude, jack-of-all-trades skillset, and passion for all things music industry helped her rise to the position of Stakee’s Chief of Staff. Some of her other in-industry side-hustles have included internships for Ziggy Marley & NRG Recording Studios, graphic designer for SONA (Songwriter’s of North America) as they worked to get the MMA (Music Modernization Act) passed (which, they did!), assisting multiplatinum songwriters & producers and more. After 5 years in LA, Dia decided to pack her things and explore the ever growing pop scene in Nashville, TN. where she currently resides.
Gracie Nash (she/her) is a New York City-based retro pop artist. Described as creating music with “a certain timeless Golden Era grace” by Atwood Magazine, Gracie writes self-empowering modern-vintage pop songs. Her tunes perfectly encapsulate her eccentricities, tying together her playfulness and poetic sensibility as a lyricist, her theatrical musicality, and her nerdy obsession with her vintage vinyl collection. In 2018, she received her Master’s Degree in Songwriting from NYU Steinhardt. Since then, Gracie has been a featured singer with the string group, Little Kruta, a featured artist with the New York Nashville Connection, and has performed at iconic NYC venues such as: Radio City, Yankee Stadium, Rockwood Music Hall, and Pete’s Candy Store. Her debut EP, Power Lady, produced by Grammy & Tony award winner Charlie Rosen, was released in 2021, and was described by The Indy Review as an “epic tapestry of nostalgic sounds that are adorned with a modern sheen”. Gracie is currently developing her children’s music project, Miss Tutti And The Fruity Band, creating a collection of body-confidence anthems for young listeners. When she’s not writing & performing, Gracie is a Teaching Artist with the Metropolitan Opera Guild and a private music instructor.
Moyana Olivia began recording original music at just fifteen, combining pensive piano melodies and inventive harmonies to create her signature sound. In addition to songwriting, Olivia takes on multiple roles in the creative process, including instrumentation and production. A Musicology Major at Northwestern University, Olivia is studying to continue transforming music into an avenue for social change. Additionally, she is a member of the Royal Family Music Group Collective in Minneapolis. Her work has been commissioned by the Edina High School Choir Department and featured by the Best Buy Corporation, The View, the National Women’s March Movement, the ACLU, KMOJ radio, and many film festivals across the United States, including the 2022 Seattle International Film Festival. You can find her latest release, “Smile” on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Apple Music, Amazon, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. Follow @moyana_olivia on Instagram for updates and more music, including a Quarantine Cover series with over 50 videos.
Alex Petti is a writer from Massachusetts who grew up as a pop punk rocker. Though his dreams of headlining Warped Tour have ended, the energy of the genre still infuses his music. His work includes The Trouble With Dead Boyfriends (Best Score - SheNYC 2018, Best in Fest Premiere Premieres! 2017), which has premiered in Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York, and Boston, and his autobiographical show, Alex Petti And The Nervous Wrecks Present The Hometown Tour (Ad Hoc Collective - 2018). He is currently developing I Used To Be From Earth with Claire-Frances Sullivan, and a new autobiographical show, Wash The Color Out, a show about his Lebanese heritage and American assimilation. Alex is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon, a composer in the BMI Advanced Musical Theater Workshop, and a proud Dad to his cat, Sonia.
Jasmine Power is a singer/songwriter and pianist from the coast of West Wales, which brings to her music a uniquely Celtic quality. The daughter of a musician and a sailor, she is one of the most engaging voices to emerge from the UK music scene over the past few years. In 2016 Jasmine's self-released debut EP 'Stories & Rhymes' quickly gained the attention and airplay of a number of respected UK selectors. Jamie Cullum (BBC Radio 2) referred to her as "a great new British singer... great song-writing, great voice and a unique sound" and the legendary Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 6) said she is “one to watch." In 2018 she co-wrote and recorded a duet and video on behalf of the #metoo movement with Cult American Artist Amanda Palmer. The duet, called 'Mr. Weinstein will see you now', garnered global attention. She has now made a name for herself in Nashville as a 'one of a kind' songwriter and artist with a 'wonderfully British sensibility', and regularly co-writes for other artists and TV/film with Nashville and LA-based hit writers, including Melissa Manchester, Keith and Adrienne Follese, Robin Eaton and Nina Ossoff. She currently resides between the U.S and Wales. She has also been endorsed by Sir Paul McCartney who states, "Her songs are very good and she sings them wonderfully."
Thalia Ranjbar (she/her) is a Canadian book writer, lyricist, director, and choreographer. She is a graduate from the University of Western Ontario where she acquired a Bachelor of Arts Honors Specialization in Kinesiology and a Minor in General English. In 2019, Thalia wrote and directed her own original musical entitled, Where Do We Begin? in London where it performed a sold-out run. In the past year she has worked on developing two new musicals: Then She Ran at the New Studio on Broadway and Notes From Now with Prospect Theatre Company, both in New York City. She is currently a Masters student in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at “NYU/Tisch School of the Arts” with a passion for amplifying voices of Iranians, Latin Americans, and queer artists.
FERMIN SUERO JR.
Fermin Suero, Jr. (he/him) is not only a lyricist/composer – he is also an accomplished vocal producer/engineer represented by Kuk Harrell. Fermin recently engineered the 2022 Grammy-nominated song “Hero” by David Guetta and Afrojack for ‘Best Dance Recording, and can be found on the Billboard Hot 100 charting record “Closer” by Saweetie & H.E.R, the record titled “Windows” from the Hulu series ‘Love, Victor: Season 2 (Original Soundtrack), the 2020 American Music Award-winning soundtrack “Birds of Prey”, and the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award-winning documentary “The Awakening”.His recent engineering credits include: Dua Lipa, Saweetie, Anitta, Christina Aguilera, Florida Georgia Line, Tory Lanez, Normani, Lil Tjay, Iann Dior, Monsta X, MAX, Bree Runway, Fletcher, Ashnikko, Jess Glynne, Kiana Lede, etc. As a writer, Fermin’s work was recently featured on the Netflix series, “Blood & Water (Season 2)”. Fermin is originally from Perth Amboy, New Jersey and is of Dominican & Puerto Rican descent. Despite almost failing the 12th grade and dropping out of three different colleges/institutions (ultimately attending five), Fermin finally obtained a Master of Music degree from NYU Steinhardt in 2021; and, further, has been accepted into the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU Tisch.
Joshua Villa (he/him) is a Virginia Beach native composer, arranger, orchestrator, music director, musician, and vocalist recently graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Music Composition. While studying at JMU he's shown himself to be a versatile musician in many different genres and ensembles from classical opera to jazz big band and to musical pit orchestras. Joshua has also been on the writing team for several original musicals arranging, orchestrating, and composing original scores as well as music directing and leading musicians in rehearsals for many concerts and productions. His passion lies with making music for the stage and telling meaningful stories in every note and word he writes. Joshua strives to make meaning in his music, creating a voice for the voiceless. Speaking the universal language of music as an audible embodiment of the heart.