The Nashville Songwriter Residency provides Australian songwriters with an opportunity to live in Nashville and immerse themselves in the local music scene for three months. The Nashville Songwriter Residency, now in its third year, includes mentoring by one of Australia’s most successful producers.

The residency will enable songwriters to develop their writing skills, build creative and business networks and connect with other artists to co-write and collaborate. Australian producer and Nashville resident Mark Moffatt facilitates the program.

According to Moffatt, Nashville had seen enormous growth, especially in recent years, and continues to stretch musical boundaries.

“The city should be firmly on the Australian industry’s horizon and the Australia Council is playing an important role in ensuring that by providing opportunities for writers that would not be there otherwise,” said Moffatt.

One of the past grant recipients, Travis Caudle, said the residency allowed him to make valuable connections and record his latest release It’s Just You.

“Most people think they have to go to LA or New York, but all the infrastructure is in Nashville and to be able to soak up a city known as music city as well as the opportunity to work with Mark Moffatt was a great experience,” Caudle said. “He really helped out with contacts and getting to know Nashville and who I should approach.”

Caudle said recording his new release was the highlight. “Mark put together some amazing musicians to record with me, including guys who had worked with people such as Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson, and he played on three songs. They would have one listen to my song and then they would play it like they had played it for 10 years. It was an amazing way to work.”

Caudle found his Nashville experience so beneficial he extended his stay by nearly three months and has facilitated several return visits to capitalise on the contacts he made and record the songs he wrote during his residency. Caudle has some advice for those applying for the residency: “Definitely do it if you want to immerse yourself in the music industry in America, but pick what you want to achieve in those three months.”