I’m in a continuous dialogue with writers and artists literally across the world in the importance of “building teams” in their approach to music. Too many feel that the industry, publisher, producers, labels, agents, managers, etc. will come in and set everything right, so they will be able to “do what they do…” Not exactly, We now ALL have to do more than we ever had, and that means you have to BUILD teams.
For writers, this starts out with ARTISTS.
There was a time, that you wrote songs, wrote with others, and then got them to publishers, who hired song-pluggers, who pitched to producers and labels. While that still happens at certain levels that is not going to happen for most people for a while. So they have to get to that part. In this day and age, that requires them to have ARTISTS involved in their songs. And doing that means you don’t have to worry about “what the industry is looking for.” You are finding what that ARTIST is looking for. The songs, written in conjunction around what the artists want, find the reality that that artists wants in their own songs.
For ARTISTS, this means getting another view of a certain subject. Artists tend to be younger, so not as many life experiences. It helps to get perspective, having someone with more or focused skill set. It helps when you have someone to bounce ideas off of. And it helps to have people to promote you in addition to themselves and songs. The WIN- WIN scenario.
And there is nothing like the result of having songs OUT THERE, being performed, on web sites, actually being promoted, instead of hiring demo singers, studios, or having a song that never gets off a computer or onto a web site that no one ever sees. It’s PRACTICAL APPLICATION. And you are all trying to find the STARS OF TOMORROW TODAY!
This week I have had the fortune of seeing this come together in three very unique ways.
First, on Monday, was a newcomer to town, Dan Stoeckel, Dan is a 23 year old guitar/bassist from Rhode Island, who has been here for two weeks. While Dan has many guitar pieces, he really had no finished songs. Now, in order for him to get into writers nights, get to know people and therefor start building his TEAMS, he is going to have to have finished songs he can play on the writer’s nights.
So what did we do? WROTE HIM THREE SONGS. Finding out about his background, personal inspirations and opinions, and using those details into songs, we wrote things based around his own musical stylings. So now he will be able to get up on the nights, and start performing, thereby getting him on the playing field.
HEARING THINGS WITH FRESH EARS
On Tuesday, it was working with three guys, SAL CASALE, DAVE SHWALM, and PAT NETTI, who form the trio, WHISKEY HOLLOW RUSH.
These guys are from Syracuse, New York, were they operate businesses, a recording studio, and other interests, as well as being performers in that area. They are very dedicated, and come down once a year to play the Bluebird, the Commodore, and other places like Bobby’s, write with people, and to work with me. I got to see them three times this week, and in all, they are doing songs we have written together on previous tours with me. And that allows me to hear these songs, fresh, each time, and I get to experience them the way the audiences do.
The songs, SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO PASS ON, about Dave’s father and mother’s marriage, “CONCRETE AND STEEL” about a combination of all four of our Father’s, and “KISS ME I’M IRISH” about Sal’s experiences with marriage is a very ST ,PATRICKS DAY song. All of them feature astounding harmonies and were written again around THEIR real life experiences. These help them attract other singers, writers and hosts of the writers nights who always invite them back.
Now this time it was even more interesting as they met a girl on Monday’s COMMODORE show, EMMA JUDE, who is FROM their same town. Which goes into my theory that you meet people IN NASHVILLE from your home town. They all met up and even invited Emma, to the Tuesday’s writing session, where we wrote one with her. That means they will all have more team members, when they get back home. To write, record and do shows together. See how this works? One thing leads to another, which leads to another.
The third was JESSI PUGH a newcomer to town, BELMONT college student, who I have been working with for a few months now. She is 18 but VERY TALENTED. She writes well, sings well, and is a WONDERFUL PERSON. In addition, she is very attractive, which always helps in today’s music marketplace. A new song we have written, SO OVER BEING UNDERESTIMATED, is a TRIBUTE to FEMALE EMPOWERMENT. Jessi has a great sense of herself and it comes through in that song.
A video of her performing it at a party this past weekend, was posted on FACEBOOK, and by Wed .had received over 3000 views.
The point of all of this is THIS IS HOW IT ALL WORKS. Finding people who help you do what you do, finding their inner selves, writing songs that MEAN SOMETHING TO THEM, and challenging yourself to find what people WANT TO SAY AND OTHERS WANT TO HEAR, Is the MAIN thing we are trying to do. Do that and other people see the growth and want to be involved. Do that consistently and you have a career.
It is all part of a formula I particularly like:
ACTIVITY leads to PROXIMITY that leads to OPPORTUNITIES.
What that means is that if you put yourself out there, build relationships work with other people on their goals while still helping your own goals, you create opportunities. These can succeed whether it is in Nashville, in home towns, on the road, or wherever people go. And even if they don’t get the big record or publishing deals, they have found things about themselves, they have made steps in the right direction. You extrapolate that in many directions and you have a successful career. And if you DON’T do this, the managers, labels, producers, publishers, agents, DON’T come along. So BUILD YOUR TEAMS NOW!
SO thanks to all my participants this week. You make us all look good, and are on the right track!
AND THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!