The 2021 Songwriters
Arie Abija is a 21 year-old singer-songwriter and actor currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from the land of sweet tea (Richmond, VA), her eccentric electronic pop songs and nostalgic folk ballads will have you dancing your heart out or reflecting on the past 10 years of your life. Her distinctive sound is inspired by everything from TED Talks and books to superhero movies and comics. In addition to music, Arie is passionate about diversifying voices in the arts. She serves as the president of Modern Minority Theatre Company, a student theatre group focused on uplifting underrepresented artists. She is currently a rising senior at the University of Southern California where she is pursuing a BA in theatre as well as a minor in music production. Arie is excited to grow as an artist (considering she’s only 5’ 4”) and aspires to eventually create a satirical TV show featuring original music.
Barrett Riggins is a Brooklyn based actor and songwriter originally from Santa Rosa, California. New York theatre credits: The Jury (Theatre Now), Summer Valley Fair (NYMF). Regional: Memphis (TUTS), All Shook Up (The MUNY), The Pin-Up Girls (Casa Mañana), Dogfight (Farmer’s Alley). With Graham Techler, he is the co-writer of the musicals The Moderators (OTF) and Sound Choices (Academy of Art University). He has released two albums, Good Ol’ and Smoke Machine, which are available on iTunes and all streaming platforms. Proud graduate of the University of Michigan. @barrettadamriggins
Growing up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Charlotte Morris discovered her passion for music at a young age. After starting violin lessons at age 4, Charlotte taught herself how to play the guitar, piano, ukulele, mandolin, & more, and began taking her songwriting seriously by age 12. Describing her unique style as genuine, raw and emotional music with a purpose, Charlotte takes inspiration from female artists like Delta Rae, Brandi Carlile, Joni Mitchell, and The Chicks. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2017, Charlotte moved to NYC where she wrote and released her first EP, “To New York, with love”. Since then, Charlotte has released a number of singles, and a second EP (produced by Grammy winner, Mitch Dane) entitled “Sputnik.” In 2019, Charlotte embarked on her first fully-acoustic tour, performing her original music across the US. She released her first full-length album, “Songs For My Next Ex,” in December 2020. While in New York, Charlotte joined Lonesome Traveler, a concert tour performing the history of folk music, where she had the chance to work with, and perform alongside, folk legends such as Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, George Grove, and Tom Chapin. In early 2020, she made her Off-Broadway debut at the Cherry Lane Theatre in (The Making of) How to Save the World in 90 Minutes. Charlotte now resides in Nashville, TN where she is focusing on songwriting and developing herself as a folk/alt-country artist.
IDavid Gomez is a composer, lyricist, and librettist who hails from Kansas City, MO. In NYC, David’s music and lyrics have debuted at venues like 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, and Birdland. David contributed the lyrics to Miss Havisham’s Wedding (with composer Jude Obermüller and librettist Laura Barati) which was presented through Music Theatre Kansas City in 2018. In 2020, David debuted Laundry Day: a musical mural in partnership with the Latino Arts Festival. David is currently in the Dramatist Guild Foundation’s Fellows Program and is also a Musical Theatre Factory MAKER for 2020-2021. David received an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU, Cycle 25. David is invested in continuing the tradition of rancheros y corridos which use lyrics and music to celebrate Latine stories.
é boylan (they/them) is a director, creator, and composer developing new work towards trans liberation. Their music has been heard across many spaces, including Birdland, Joe’s Pub, and Ars Nova. Past selected honors include: 2019 Trans Lab Fellow, 2019-20 MTC Directing Fellow, 2020 NAMT Award. Currently: Member of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Directors Group, Resident Artist at Musical Theater Factory and Lincoln Center Theater. www.eboylan.com
Emma Lockwood is a playwright, songwriter, artist- person from New York. Her work, along with her partner Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz, has been featured as a part of Taylor Louderman’s Write Out Loud at 54 Below, The Passing Show at Pershing Square Signature Center, and at New Musicals Inc. in Los Angeles. She has also presented work in the New York Musical Theater Festival. Other than that, she works an honest day job at Disney and loves songwriting to her core.
Enid Mollel is a singer-songwriter from Tanzania, currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in music performance at NYU Abu Dhabi. Her music is a fusion of pop and contemporary R&B and she draws inspiration from artists such as Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, and ChloexHalle among others. She has not formally released her music yet, but she hopes to have her songs played on the radio someday and possibly write music for other artists as well.
Graham Techler has contributed writing to The New Yorker and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and was a house performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. As a member of Less Than Rent, he has written the plays THE TYCOONS! (Rave Theater Festival) and LIKE HENRY THE SIXTH BUT COOL (Playwrights Downtown). Other plays include THE KID CULT COSMOLOGY (Urban Stages) and NEW YORK CITY GIRLS WILL KILL YOU (New Jersey Rep). With Barrett Riggins, he is the co-writer of the musicals THE MODERATORS (Originals Theater Festival) and SOUND CHOICES (Academy of Art University). He received his BFA from the University of Michigan, and currently lives in Brooklyn.
J. Quinton Johnson (jakeÜ) is a multi-disciplined creative artist, educator and professional super fan who is redefining what it means to make musical theatre. Throughout his career, he has sung Hamilton with Sydney Lucas, shared an Uber with Joshua Henry, hugged Lin-Manuel Miranda (twice!), beatboxed and freestyled with James Monroe Iglehart, gotten ice cream with Nicole Scherzinger and Jennifer Lopez in the same night, has shaken hands with Keegan-Michael Key, had Fran Drescher sit in his lap (omg grow up it wasn’t weird), carved a turkey with Bryan Cranston, once made Steve Carell cry and even shared a sharpie marker with the legendary Cicely Tyson. And I write songs and stuff. He! I..I mean he writes songs and stuff. This is his big fancy manager writing his bio and not Quinton in disguise...
Jasmine Forsberg is an actor and singer-songwriter based in New York City. She has been writing and performing original music since before she was a teenager. Jasmine spent the past four years earning a BFA in Musical Theatre from Penn State University. During that time, Jasmine co-wrote Results Will Vary, Penn State’s New Student Orientation musical. As an actor, Jasmine made her Off-Broadway debut in Broadway Bounty Hunter, directed and choreographed by Jennifer Werner and composed by Tony nominee Joe Iconis. She also originated the roles of Rat in the World Premiere of Love in Hate Nation at Two River Theater, and Almastasa in the Premiere production of Kirsten Childs’ new musical, The Lucky Boy. Keep an eye out for Jasmine in Times Square as she performs in the Songs for Our City concert series this June. Love and thanks to her incredible family, friends, and mentors for their unwavering support. www.JasmineForsberg.com
Jordan Reynolds is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA. He releases music under the name Jordan Pratt (www.jordanprattmusic.com/links). Influences include Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Adrianne Lenker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Ethan Gruska. Jordan is also influenced by pop artists like John Mayer and Sara Bareilles, and musical theater songwriters Pasek and Paul, and Anaïs Mitchell. Jordan Reynolds was a mentee in the Society of Composers and Lyricists 2020-21 mentorship program, where he worked with mentors including Michael Kerker (VP of Musical Theatre & Cabaret at ASCAP) and songwriting team Amanda McBroom and Michele Brourman. Jordan was a finalist in the 2020 John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Jordan holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy from New England Conservatory, and a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University. He has performed in many opera and musical theater productions, most recently as Anthony in Sweeney Todd and Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors. Jordan also cohosts The Holistic Voice (www.theholisticvoice.net), a podcast for vocalists that features guest interviews in the vocal music industry.
Jude Obermüller is a British musician, most often composing for Theatre and Recorded Media. He was a full scholar at both London’s Royal College of Music, and NYU’s Tisch. Scores include: Beauty & the Seven Beasts (upcoming - The Opera Story, London/Fedora Prize finalist); Julius Caesar (Singapore Rep); As You Like it & Farragut North (Southwark Playhouse, Off West End); Alice in Wonderland (Storyhouse, UK regional); Underground (59E59 Off Broadway); UCAS & The Jabberwocky (Edinburgh Fringe). Music for screen includes commercials for Vogue; musical sketches for Comedy Central; and various independent films. Current musical works: Miss Havisham’s Wedding (MTKC - Stiles & Drewe Best New Song finalist); Bardo: A Musical Webseries. Credits as Musical Director or Orchestrator include: MD for Tony Award winner Frances Ruffelle since 2014; Michael John LaChiusa’s The Gardens of Anuncia (workshop - The Public). New orchestrations/musical adaptation for Marguerite (Tabard, Off West End revival - with Alain Boublil), held by MTI Europe; Encore! (Abbey Road Studios); Peter Polycarpou’s The Songs of My Life (Garrick, West End). He has provided music for Alan Cumming, Eva Noblezada, Fra Fee, Paul Baker, Eden Espinosa, Mary Testa, Andrea Burns, Rachel Bay Jones, Craig Bierko, Sally Ann Triplett, Matt Lucas, Josh O’Connor, Robbie Williams and Luke Newton.
Michael Shofi is a Ridgefield, Connecticut raised and Jersey City-based folk-rock artist with an ethereal, yet quirky poetic voice. After studying musical theater undergrad at Baldwin Wallace and then Pace University, he earned his BFA. With over a decade of playing guitar under his belt, he found himself dipping his toes into songwriting during college. After taking a musical theater writing course taught by Ryan Scott-Oliver in 2017, Michael found himself immersed in an entirely new passion. Through that course, he began collaborating with other musicians and songwriters (including his best friend, Jameson May). After the pandemic cut senior year short, Shofi found himself, like so many others, living at his childhood home again. He lived in his basement, wrote music, and taught himself music production from the ground up. As of now, he lives with three of his best friends in Jersey, writes music, and professionally produces music for other musicians out of his studio. Michael’s first self-produced album, “Life’s Not Fair, Kid.” was released in April, and there is so much more music on the way.
Pleasure to introduce myself, my name is Nakeem. I’m an artist/poet/songwriter and grateful for the opportunity and experience to learn from great artists and songwriters during this process. I’m 22, and from a small town Reynolds, GA. I wrote my first poem around the age of 12 in which that quickly turned into a passion for wordplay and song lyrics. I enjoy the growth I’ve seen with my creativity and talents over the years and can’t wait to see where my passions take me!
Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz is a musical theatre composer and performer from Scranton, PA (yes, like The Office) currently residing in Glendale, CA. He has been writing with collaborator Emma Lockwood since they met at Muhlenberg College in 2015. Their music is filled with exuberance, heart, and sparkle, and has been featured at 54 Below as part of Taylor Louderman’s Write Out Loud Competition in NYC, New Musicals Inc’s New Voices Project in LA, and more. Noah was also a Creative Coordinator at Walt Disney Imagineering for over two years, has worked at the Hollywood Bowl for multiple Live-to-Film concerts, and is currently the assistant to viral musical theatre composers Barlow & Bear.
Sofie Zamchick is a New York-based singer/songwriter, actor, and music educator. Accompanying herself on VibeKAT, marimba, guitar, and piano, Sofie writes wistful, romantic indie-pop songs that make you feel like she’s singing only to you. With a voice that “flutters between sweet and salty… like a ferocious bluebird” (Kara Manning), Sofie’s lyrics reveal her deepest secrets. Named by WFUV as one of “10 New York City Artists to Watch,” she has played numerous NYC venues including Rockwood Music Hall, Pianos, The Bitter End, and The Delancey. Her first single "electric palms" caught the attention of NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest judges, who invited her to perform on their “On the Road” tour. Her debut EP “until we meet” explores long-distance intimacy through technology. Sofie is a graduate of NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing and Juilliard Pre-College. A voiceover artist since childhood, she played Linny on Nick Jr.’s “The Wonder Pets!” and has appeared on numerous tv shows, films, jingles, and radio spots for Disney, PBS, Kidz Bop, and more. Sofie runs a private music studio of 30 students and has been the Vocal Director at the Elisabeth Morrow School in NJ for the past four years.