Candice Russell, a pop singer/songwriter based in Tualatin, Oregon, has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for April, for her song “Remember” (co-written by Dave Lubben & Aaron Russell). This song is included on her debut album, So Much More, which she released independently in June 2013. This is the second time Russell has won our song contest. She previously won in November 2013 for her song, “So Much More”.
“Remember” is a well-crafted pop/AC ballad, which has a heartfelt lyric theme. The song’s arrangement is pleasant to listen to, and flows nicely from beginning to end. Russell’s lead vocals are appealing and expressive. This recording was skillfully produced by Dave Lubben at his studio in Portland, and he contributed piano and acoustic guitar tracks. Russell and her brother Aaron also added guitar tracks.
Russell (who is 21) grew up in the city of Tualatin, which is a suburb or Portland. She comes from a family with a musical background—her father Stan was a Christian artist who released an album, and her brother Dave plays several instruments. Russell learned to play guitar when she was 14, and soon after started to write songs. At age 16, she won a statewide singer/songwriting contest at the Oregon Fine Arts Festival.
Russell also fared well in two other competitions, which demonstrated her music potential. In 2011, she auditioned for American Idol and advanced to Hollywood Week, where she flew to Los Angeles to compete with other top vocalists. Then in 2012, she made it into the showcase final of as a singer/songwriter at AMTC’s Shine event in Orlando, FL.
It was also in 2012 that Russell began writing the songs for her debut album. She found two, good collaborators to work with—Dave Lubben and her brother Aaron—and together they wrote all 10 songs for her album. Aaron also assisted in the production, and studio musicians were hired to create a high quality album which is well produced and sounds ready for radio airplay.
Russell was inspired to write “Remember” after hearing a teenage girl from Cambodia named Nhu, who spoke in Portland. “Nhu said that she had been sold into sex trafficking by her own grandmother (due to dire conditions),” explained Russell. “I was so heartbreaking to hear her story. Nhu (who was adopted by an American family) works with an organization called Remember Nhu, which was established to prevent the exploitation of children in the sex trade industry throughout the world. I wrote ‘Remember’ about her story.”
Since the release of her album last year, Russell has been busy promoting her music via her YouTube channel and social media, and in January (2014) she undertook her first media tour. “I went to Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock and other cities to promote my album,” said Russell. “I did some TV show appearances, mainly on morning shows, I also visited radio stations to do interviews.”