Wednesday, June 23
4:00pm - 5:00pm EASTERN
Happy Hour with Awards and Music
Presentation of Working Capital Awards
BMI sponsored Singer/Songwriter: WILLA AMAI
At nine-years old, Willa Amai began her journey writing songs about heartbreaks she had yet to experience, losses she had never felt, and social injustices she didn’t even know existed. With an eclectic mix of inspirations - from Regina Spektor records played during bath time to the poetry books her parents read to her - this Los Angeles native quickly amassed a body of work revealing lyrical complexity far beyond her years. She also created imaginative melodies, something she partly attributes to synesthesia (a neurological phenomenon in which one sense triggers the perception of another sense, such as seeing letters and words as color).
At 14, she won acclaim for her gently breathtaking rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” (recorded with Dolly herself and featured on the talent filled Dumplin’ soundtrack).
Esquire praised the duet as “truly exceptional” and “one of the few moments that an accompanying voice is able to keep up with Parton’s.” Refinery29 hailed their interaction as “a passing of the torch.” In addition to her duet with Dolly, Willa had the opportunity to join another one of her musical influences when Brandi Carlile invited her to perform a duet at the Great American Music Hall.
Now 16, Willa has begun sharing her music with the world, showing the extraordinary depth of her narrative voice and the subtle power of her songwriting. “When I’m writing it’s almost like I’m turning on a radio,” she says. “It might take a few songs to find a station that comes through, but once I do find it, it’s just right. It’s like the song already exists and my job is to pull it out of the air and into the world.” Willa is currently in the studio with Perry working on her forthcoming full-length debut album.
Thursday, July 29
11:00am - 12:30pm EASTERN TIME
Closing at home Brunch/Lunch with Awards and Music
Presentation of Rainmaker Awards
BMI sponsored Singer/Songwriter: Katie Pruitt
Katie Pruitt grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. She was raised in a Catholic family and attended Catholic school. She began singing as a child in musical theatre productions. She began learning guitar in middle school with her mother teaching her basic chords and hymns. Pruitt continued singing at open mic nights in Athens, Georgia while attending community college.
She attended Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she joined a band and received the first annual Nashville Songwriting Scholarship from the BMI Foundation.
In 2017, Pruitt was awarded the Buddy Holly Prize from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and signed with Round Hill Records.
Her EP, OurVinyl Live Session EP was released in March 2018. She was named by Rolling Stone as one of 10 new country artists you need to know and by NPR as one of the 20 artists to watch, highlighting Pruitt as someone who "possesses a soaring, nuanced and expressive voice, and writes with devastating honesty".
On September 13, 2019, Pruitt released "Expectations", the title track from her full-length debut. Additional singles from this project were subsequently released: "Loving Her" on October 21, 2019, and "Out of The Blue" on November 15, 2019.