When in high school, Ian Crombie’s headmaster once wrote in a report, “Ian is throwing away any chance of success, because he’s too involved with music.” Fortunately for Ian, he grew up in England at an exciting time in the music world. With a wealth of talented musicians around him making successful careers on the global stage, Ian had no shortage of inspiration in spite of his headmaster’s discouraging words.
Ian first picked up a guitar at eleven, and by age fifteen he was writing songs and playing in a band. Music has shaped Ian’s life and career every step of the way, and for more than two decades he has invested his musical passion into West Coast Songwriters, one of the most active songwriter associations in the United States.
West Coast Songwriters serves as a community of musicians, songwriters, and producers who want to find support, networking and professional development. Classes range from developing songwriting techniques to learning the business side of the music industry. Seminars, workshops, songwriting competitions and an annual conference all round out the offerings of this influential organization.
In addition to his work as Executive Director of West Coast Songwriters, Ian is also an accomplished songwriter and music producer in his own right. In 2008, Music Connection Magazine named Ian as one of the “Top 50 Innovators, Iconoclasts, Groundbreakers and Guiding Lights” in the music industry.
“I just love to hear what younger kids are writing,” says Ian, who (unlike his headmaster from years ago) enthusiastically encourages young musicians to explore their passion. He advises young songwriters to focus on excellence while developing their craft, and to be prepared to persevere: “I encourage you to be the best you can be, and be prepared to pay your dues. Don’t expect things to happen overnight because they rarely do.” Ian is also lending his musical expertise as a judge in the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards.