Shari Verona: Tiny Dynamo of Songwriting and Production
INTERVIEW: Writing and producing songs, composing film themes, and creating music for advertising are distinct art forms. Or perhaps they are commercial enterprises. Or both. Doing all three quite well is a rare accomplishment but that’s what Shari Verona does, day in and day out in various studios from Florida to New York to Southern California. For the past seven years she has been writing and producing mainly in Miami, “But now I’m back in L.A. and am energized by the people on the move even if the traffic is not, lol!”
Taking It to the Next Level
What is impressive about Verona is her ability to interact with a wide variety of artists to rapidly create recordings that propel people and projects to the next level of success. Some big names in the music business send their new acts to Verona to write and create demos for songs you then end up hearing a few months later on albums, radio or TV. These deals are often conducted on a non-disclosure basis. “Sometimes they want things to be very hush-hush,” Verona admits, “but that just adds to the fun of these projects.”
All Styles of Music
She works in all styles of music but has a special affinity for R&B, having been partnered with a member of 2 Live Crew and was a writer/producer on tracks for rap artist E, Rough Ryders South, Rayzor Blaze, Polygram’s Shantel Baker, and The Delfonics (she created the “more” on the album “The Delfonics’ Greatest Hits. . . and More”). Other collaborators include Rodney Trotter, Dave Appel, Greg Williams, Motown’s J. Levine, Gary Hall, and Dave Waterbury (Pink, Paul McCartney, Spirit).
“When I was working at Platinum Studios,” she says, “it wasn’t unusual to be interacting with some really great artists.” Coming through those hallways were Ludacris, Rick Ross, Money Mark, Ghostface, Trick Daddy, Dirt Bag, Pitbull, Jacki-O, Big Tigger, Jolli Boi, Lil’ Jon, Uncle Luke, JT Money, and Fresh Kid Ice.
Music on Screen
Verona has a song in the “Mr. Honesty” reality show pilot, a song in the film “A Cabin In Time,” another in the film “Lost Everything,” and one in a new Fred Willard comedy. “Licensing songs is a big part of the business,” Verona says, “which is why we have assembled a large library of music in many genres.”
Verona gives good phone and good microphone, as evidence by her stint as the sidekick in “Matchola,” a dating radio program originally airing on Florida’s WVCG, which has since changed its call letters. She got the gig after writing the program’s theme song. Her quick wit in the studio when recording the track led to her being invited to move from the producer chair to the on-air talent role. “The show was a lot of fun but I have to admit I prefer being the producer rather than the personality.”
History of Success
Verona joined ASCAP at age seventeen and almost immediately had three songs signed to a music publishing company (Lovey Music.) When in her twenties, she received her first production contract from Joe Tarsia and ended up working with Philadelphia International, the legendary production company founded by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. In the nineteen nineties, she switched her PRO (performing rights organization) affiliation to BMI. “The songwriting continually moves forward,” she states, “with interesting ideas, fresh songs, and opportunities that come from unexpected places. That’s one of the things that you can look forward to in this industry: that you won’t ever get bored.”
A tiny dynamo, Verona has written and co-written with a who’s who of newcomers and old school hit makers. “The best thing about this business is you find yourself working with new projects and new songs all the time. It’s exciting.”
For more information: www.veronamusic.com
Oct 23, 2009 @ 5:43 PM PDT
An amazing woman. period.
Nov 11, 2009 @ 7:29 AM PST
This is a good article, except that they only said half of the great things about her. Shari is truly incredible, down to earth, funny person with the biggest heart. One of the few people in the industry that I still trust. Can’t wait to work with her again!
Nov 13, 2009 @ 5:03 PM PST
The G Man – very nice article! I’ve known Shari and worked with her also in the studio. I’m a musician. I’m impressed when finding this article. Shari co wrote 2 of the songs on my current record “Soul Freedom II” which are “Blow Wind Blow” and “Naughty”. Diddy, J-Z, & Beyonce went crazy after hearing our Naughty tune and took it further. The whole Naughty deal was Shari’s. Besides being a music talent Shari is a comedy writer. She can put together a motion picture in a wiz as well. She can wiz up lyrics real fast. I usually write my own lyrics but felt that Shari had something at the time and let her in. Girls do just want to have fun sometimes. Thanx for the article Scott G. You are right on the money here.
Nov 23, 2009 @ 10:24 PM PST
Shari Verona is one of the most talented and professional young ladies in her field! From the moment I stepped into her studio, I knew I was in good hands with Shari! She is patient, warm, brilliant, and has the most amazing ear for pitch of any producer I have ever worked with! I also appreciate her honesty, and her dedication to a project. Shari is a producer/songwriter who makes sure that everything is ON POINT before you leave her studio! No half stepping with Shari!
I love her so much and I can’t wait to work with her again! I’m so happy she’s back in Los Angeles!!!! Yaaaaah! We missed you, Shari!
Feb 14, 2010 @ 9:49 PM PST
Largely understated, but all true. After 35 years of working with her, I’d have to say that every working pro can learn a lot from such a savvy, wise and ultra-creative writer. A joy to work with and extremely productive. If you’re looking to get the job done right the first time, look no further.
Dec 13, 2010 @ 12:46 PM PST
She is a gem alright, and good people too. She produced my second album: “going international”
Apr 27, 2011 @ 5:11 PM PDT
Shari, is an Amazing Talent! A PERFECTIONIST True Professional,for Producer of Original Music! She excels in Writing, Recording & Production! Can Scout Talent that rivals the “Best of Idol”! To meet her is to Love her! SHE IS “The Real Deal”, Genuine & Trustworthy! Shari is also Very Savy, Business Wise & A “Major Influence” to many Successful Vocalist & Musicans! I call her “The J.K.Rowlings of Music” Dont Miss Out! ALL The Best! D.Gabrele, Artist (Shari is a Good Friend & Associate for over 22yrs.)