About Richard Hamersma


 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  “Jimmy lends soulful vocals (with a hint of grit) to the laid back countrified tunes ‘Early Morning Blues,’ ‘How Close,’ and the exceptional ‘Incidental Lover,’ by local songwriter Richard  Hamersma.”
 
—From the Liner notes of the Jimmy Burns album, Band Stuck in the Middle

 

 

 

 

“Richard’s style and arrangements felt like they were destined for me to sing from the start. His passion and dedication to songwriting is truly inspirational.”

—Rivka, International
Recording Artist
 

 

 

Biography ~ Why Richard Writes ~ How Richard Writes



Biography

It was your eyes of loving laughter
That caught me wishing
It was me that you were after.

— Your Eyes of Loving Laughter

Richard Hamersma didn’t start out in life to be an award-winning songwriter and lyricist. In fact, his academic credentials earning a Ph.D., writing numerous scholarly articles, co-authoring several non-fiction books and working as a licensed clinical psychologist would seem to indicate a scientific rather than a creative bent. Yet Richard’s incredible ability to write brilliant lyrics for almost every musical genre made him a standout competitor in the United Kingdom Songwriting Contest. Held in London every year since 2002, the contest is sponsored by The BRIT Trust, The BRIT School, The BRIT Studio, Music Aid International,The Guild of International Songwriters and Composers, and Roland Music UK to encourage and showcase new talent.

For the last several years, Richard has entered his lyrics and songs in a number of different categories including country, love songs, retro, indie and adult contemporary music with several of his songs earning finalist and semi-finalist rankings. In 2016, 14 of Richard’s lyrics were semi-finalists as were 16 of his songs. Four of his songs, “I Remember Lovin’ You,” “Good Goodbye,” and “One More” were finalists, and “Love’s Like That” was a finalist in three categories: love songs, country and adult contemporary.


Richard Hamersma holding certificate of award

 


How his amateur efforts led to professional achievement.


Ever since his high school days when he penned poetry to express himself (and perhaps impress a co-ed or two) Richard’s been fascinated by the way words go together, sound, provoke emotion and have a music all their own. After completing his doctorate, he started collaborating on songs with a musician friend as a hobby, and that, as they say, was the start of something big. His friend was so impressed with his talent that he suggested Richard explore collaborations with more experienced composers to fully exploit his gift.

Taking his friend’s advice, Richard attended meetings at the Chicago’s Songwriters Association and then visited Los Angeles and Nashville to connect with musical peers such as Amanda McBroom (“The Rose”). “Organizations, traveling, making connections are all very important to success,” Richard explains. “But most of all, you really have to know song structure and have good material.”


Richard’s been winning awards for his lyrics for decades
.

His winning streak began 20 years ago when we won first place for a pop song in the American Songwriting Contest. Since then, collaborating with different songwriters and composing some tunes on his own, he’s had several of his songs recorded and released both domestically and internationally. His collaborators have included Joyce Harrison, Gerry Magallan, Phil Kimbrough, Chris Farrell, Larry Nestor, Ray Colcord, Josh Roberts, and Brandon Fraley among others.

The Chicago blues legend Jimmy Burns recorded three of Richard 's songs—“Early Morning Blues,” “How Close (Is Your Love),” and “Incidental Lover”—on the Jimmy Burns Band album Stuck in the Middle. Richard also wrote seven songs for an album by local Chicago artist, Rivka. And “Cruel Kindness,” a song he co-wrote with Seann Bowe, was recorded by South African artist Rian Swanepoel.


Jimmy Burns
Jimmy Burns

Rivka: Why Not album cover


Love Is Our Mission album cover


His work is equally popular with musicians and audiences across Europe
.

In Austria, the Mary Broadcast Band included his song “How Close (Is Your Love)” on their album Love Is Our Mission. They also released a single and a karaoke version of it and it was featured on an Austrian Christmas special TV show. Later, Richard teamed up with Mary Broadcast on “Promise in the Dark” for her album Dizzy Venus.

Richard went on to co-write a song with Joyce Harrison called “Damned If I Know.”  It was recorded in Europe by a well-known Latvian singer, Candy, and her performance of it won the Latvian version of the Grammy. “Damned If I Know” has also been performed by artists in Germany, Sweden and LA. Another song “Just One Lie” has been recorded and released in Germany by a young artist, Matteo Markus Bak. Matteo and his manager also released a video of the song that became quite popular and is on YouTube. Matteo is working on his album to be released late summer 2018 containing more songs co-written by Richard.


Richard’s other professional ventures.

Songwriting is only one of Richard’s accomplishments. He also ran a practice as Director of the Growth Process Center where he helped patients with a wide range of psychological issues. He is now a medical consultant dealing with mental impairments. Several years ago, he wrote a futuristic novel, Sperm Germ, which he hopes to have considered for a play or movie script.



Cany
Candy

Yet his first love has always been, and no doubt will continue to be, penning lyrics for songs that touch the heart, nourish the soul and open our eyes to the richness of life.

   
Love is like a rainbow
Like sun rays in the mist
All the colors of affection
Are there in a lover’s kiss
Love’s like that…love’s like that.
   

—Love’s Like That

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