Instructor Spotlight: Antea Birchett (Songwriting)

DIME Detroit’s Live and Lyrical Songwriting Showcase is tomorrow! Today we are putting the spotlight on the Head of the Songwriting Department, Antea Birchett!

In addition to teaching songwriting and vocals at DIME, Antea is one half of the duo Aplus. With her sister Anesha, Antea has written for artists such as Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Ciara, Mary Mary, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Beyoncé, and Candice Glover.  Aplus are also artists in their own right, and will be gracing the stage at tomorrow’s showcase.

Antea SheltonHow would you say the current academic year is going for students in terms of their development?

I think everyone is doing well! I’m especially impressed by this year’s Freshman group—they’re very talented and quite advanced for Freshmen in college. I’m a woman in the industry, and all of our Freshmen songwriting majors are women, so I am quite thrilled to see women taking interest in becoming songwriters. I think it’s fantastic!

What have been some of your proudest moments this year?

I’ve been watching a lot of students who have previously been timid, been afraid of their emotions or of being vulnerable on stage in front of their peers, get past that this year. These students have been taking the advice of their instructors, and just leaving it on the stage. It can take performers years, even a lifetime, to learn how to do that, and we have young artists and songwriters already taking that leap. So, it makes me quite proud to see these students being so fearless so early in the school year.


Antea with DIME students who she coached to perform with Don Was at Concert of Colors


How was the audition process for the Live & Lyrical Songwriting Showcase, and did you see anything that might excite the public?

It was great! We had quite a few students audition, and not just songwriting majors but vocal majors, bass majors, and drum majors. I think the most exciting thing for me is having students who are not songwriting majors audition original songs, and songwriting majors who aren’t performers perform their original songs. Everyone was at a high level at the audition—great lyrics, great stage presence—specifically the Freshmen. I was very impressed.

What are you involved with musically outside of DIME Detroit?

    1. My sister Anesha and I are working with a lot of established artists at the moment, including Monica, Syleen Johnson and Keyshia Cole.  We have also received some major film opportunities that we’ve been working on. And, of course, we are always working on new artists, including our own project, APlus.

Where do you see the songwriting department heading in the next couple of years?

I think a lot of these students are going to be working well before they graduate because they are so advanced and in-touch with what inspires them. I see a lot of opportunities being taken advantage of because they are prepared, and this goes for second and third-year students as well. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of headlines, student features, and song placements. And these students are fearless! They are not afraid to network and put themselves out there, so I’m looking forward to the upcoming months and years, and what’s going to happen for these students.

Is there anything that we should look out for at the Songwriting Showcase? Any songs you’re excited to hear?

We do have some alumni come back to perform along with some of our faculty. We will also have a surprise special guest… And I know I’ve said this before, but the Freshman songwriters are really pulling out all the stops—full bands, the works. They’re artists as well as writers. I’m looking forward to that!

Songwriting instructor Antea Birchett

Anesha and Antea from Aplus


For anyone coming to this show, who is also having their first experience at DIME, what is some advice that you would give them going into an audition?

I would tell them to keep coming to events first and foremost. Talk to some of the students and faculty and get a feel for what the DIME family is about. Outside of that, write and record often, even if it is just on garage band or voice memos on your phone, so when it is time to audition you already have songs to choose from, and you’re not scrambling to write something new.

RSVP to our Live and Lyrical Showcase on Facebook!

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Interested in learning more about the Commercial Songwriting Program offered at MSU Denver at DIME Detroit?  Find out more about all of our programs and how to apply HERE: