People Profiles: Music Industry Veteran Margie Hauser on Collaboration and the Creative Process

There is an old proverb that says one finger cannot lift a pebble. From forming hunter-gatherer groups to the assembly line to the Beatles, the greatest achievements in human history have only been possible as a result of collaboration – the bringing together of individual strengths to create something greater than the sum of its parts. 

One of the clearest examples of the beauty of collaboration is in music. When voices come together in harmony, or different instruments add unique elements to create an orchestra or band, it is an auditory representation of what we can accomplish when we work together. 

“I think it hit me during my first collaboration,” said Margie Hauser, a songwriter and composer with nearly two decades of experience in the music industry. “A big, big light went off because I realized collaborating was critical to writing. For many years I was just by myself and thought, ‘Oh, this is enough.’ But when you get in the room with people you would have no business being in otherwise, or even being together socializing, what you come up with is so powerful.” 

Hauser has made a name for herself as a musician with authenticity, and as she has grown in her career she has developed a passion for helping those new to the industry find their place and make their personal mark within it. Her songwriting work has been featured on the Billboard charts, and she is a voting member of the Recording Academy, the association behind the Grammy Awards. Hauser has also served as a music producer on numerous projects, and has become known for her ability to lead teams in realizing the musical artist’s vision. Her collaborations have seen her involved in creating music for practically every genre, from country to power ballads to electronic dance music (EDM) and everything in between. 

According to Hauser, she has always had the ability to play music by ear, but it was in 2008 that she officially launched her career within the industry. That first year she was able to have 19 songs published, and attributes quickly finding sure footing in songwriting to knowing and playing to her strengths. 

“I believe my personal signatures in songwriting are a powerful melody, a great hook that you can’t get out of your head, and a compelling bridge,” said Hauser. I think it’s important to realize your own strengths, and, for me, it’s melody. I’m a melody person first. I’m comfortable writing hooks and bridges.  Also, I know what my weaknesses are, which keeps me in my zone.” 

One of Hauser’s most successful collaborations has been with the recording artist Tiffany. Gaining popularity in the 1980’s, in 2007 their work together saw the creation of the track “Higher” which went on to be a hit single for the pop singer. It debuted on the Billboard  Hot Dance Club Play chart as the number-one breakout, and from there the single climbed the charts to number 19. Their next collaboration, “Just Another Day,” peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Dance chart and had an even longer run than the previous song. 

Another notable collaborator of Hauser’s is Eliot Sloan of the alternative rock band Blessid Union of Souls. Her song “Something Out of Nothing” she co-wrote with Sloan was recorded by the band Lost Tricks for the feature film “Alice Upside Down” which Hauser also served as music supervisor for. The songs she wrote for the movie were sung by Alyson Stoner and Lucas Grabeel of Disney’s “Camp Rock” and “High School Musical” respectively. She also co-wrote “The Best of Me” with Sloan, which was subsequently recorded by the NYC dance artist Lucas Prata. She also collaborated with Sloan on songs for his solo album. 

Hauser has also worked with a number of other artists including Grammy award-nominated artist Taylor Dayne, who recorded her song “The Fall,” which became the second-best selling ringtone from her album. Bryce Palisser recorded Hauser’s “City to City” for his country debut project, and she wrote two singles for the pop-dance artist Henri: “Wanna Be Ur Baby,” which she co-wrote with fellow songwriters Pamela Phillips Oland and Eddie Armador, and “Round And Round,” written with Henri and Jean Baptiste. 

“For me, the key to writing a great song is connecting to the listener right away, whether it’s to make them smile, give them goosebumps, or just let them feel the urge to get up and dance,” said Hauser.

 In addition to her work with recording artists, Hauser has also been commissioned to write theme songs and jingles for associations. Working with the famous remixer Dave Aude, she wrote “We are the Reds” for Cincinnati’s Major League Baseball team, and she also wrote the high-tempo hip-hop anthem “Power” for the new MMA Pro League. She has also licensed her own song, “The Journey,” to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in Los Angeles, California, and performed it at the charity’s luxury lifestyle fest, “Cure in the Canyons.”

While these are just a few of the many collaborations Hauser has successfully realized over the past two decades, in recent years she has focused her efforts specifically on up-and-coming talent to try and nurture their growth within the industry and act as a leader and mentor. While Hauser is able to bring to the table the songwriting know-how that has gained her notoriety in the industry, each collaborator is vastly different from the last, a testament to her ability to create work for multiple genres. 

For Hauser, the creative process in songwriting and producing is all about creating an emotional connection that evokes a universal feeling in the listener. “Connecting is what music is all about – connecting in person when you’re collaborating but also making sure that you can connect with the listener where they are.” Rather than allow herself to be pigeonholed to one genre, Hauser has sought out collaborators who challenge her to step outside of her comfort zone, and as a result has been able to grow her expertise considerably. 

Hauser said that for effective collaboration no matter the field, it must be based on a foundation of honesty. “Before I even get involved with an artist, I say, ‘What do you need from me? Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear? Or do you want me to tell you what I really think? And when I do tell you what I think, it’s really just my opinion. So, it doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, but I’ll tell you what I think from my heart, from my gut, and from my experience.”

Margie’s passion for working with young artists has seen her help a number of musicians navigate the industry. Encouraging them to stay true to who they are, she helps them build their brand image and understand their strengths just as she came to understand hers. The creative process and collaboration in music are inextricably intertwined, and Hauser has developed a knack for teaching others how to best execute both.