Could someone please interpret this result for me? MAB?

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May 03, 2018, 08:03 AM

Hi y’all. As you all know, John and I release a lot of songs on CDBaby. Within our niche, they are well received. Outside of that niche…probably not so much but, hey, we’re not pitching to the masses. Anyway, as part of the CDBaby community, we receive regular emails about all sorts of useful and not so useful things. I usually skim through them because I regularly find little gems of very useful information that we can apply to our work. Sometimes, like tonight, I am baffled by what I read. Today’s email was about the Music City Songstar winners. Now I’m not a song contest sort of person. My music just wouldn’t fit (Christian rock? Ah…no. Sultry blues? No…definitely no. Metal? Oh so totally and utterly no. 30s jazz gal? Yawn…no. See, none of my usual styles would fit because they’re all niche genres). My interest in this result has to do with developing my understanding of what makes a good song. Please check it out and tell me what you think…..

https://musiccitysongstar.com/2017-contest-winners/

In my view, there are a handful of great songs there and a whole bunch of carbon copy songs that shouldn’t be given the time of day (apologies for anyone here who has submitted songs to the contest now or in the past). I listened to half of the songs here trying to figure it out. There’s a song in the top five that uses a chord structure that is a direct copy (and I mean NO variation) of a top 40 song from the last couple of years and others that are VERY close to already released, charting tunes. Huh? I don’t get it.

Also, so many of the songs are carbon copies of the ones before them. I’m really not trying to be rude here. There are wonderful things about all of these songs (most of them tell a clear story for one). So I’m not trying to be rude; I’m just trying to understand the decision criteria. Is it the fact that they all fit a certain mold that makes them desirable? Is it that they all have very similar pacing so it makes them good for radio placement? Most of them are country songs which makes them good choices for a song contest because they all follow similar rules so it means the judges are comparing apples with apples, not apples with pears. But here again, I don’t understand their decisions. I like a good country tune as much as the next guy, but I also like variety. There is plenty of room for variety within that genre, but I don’t see it here. So please, could someone interpret this result for me? I’m all ears.

Thanks guys,
Jen

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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May 03, 2018, 08:35 AM

Jenny,
Welcome to the weird world of trying to figure this out. First of all, let me help you.
FORGET IT!!!!
You are NEVER going to figure this out. There are always going to be songs, artists, industry people, labels, producers, etc. that you go WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES ANY ONE SEE IN THIS GARBAGE??? IT MAKES NO SENSE, IT IS NOT GOOD SONGS, THEY ARE NOT GOOD SINGERS, YET PEOPLE ARE GOING CRAZY OVER THEM!!!! WHAT’S THE DEAL????
And by the same token, you are going to find a ton of things that just blow you away, and they simply don’t get traction. It is one of the parts of the overall entertainment business no one can figure out, because if they could the “big boy” record labels and publishers, writers and producers, wouldn’t produce nine flops for every one that hits.
If I were to apply the first one. I would question the entire RAP and hip hop industry. Have never gotten it, never will, but millions of people embrace it. Good for them.
Now, as to this particular contest. I happen to know the people who do this, have been invited (and attended one) of their own going shows they do around town. What I see, is pretty much exactly what I see on every writers night, every open mic, every example of the new people filing into this town in addition to their FACEBOOK, YOU TUBE, (you name it) camera phone videos of songs they endlessly post. Euchhhh!!!!
Here is my overall theory on this.
I call it the “bad cassette tape era” of music. And it is a bit more involved than that.
In the 80’s, there was this thing called “a CASSETTE TAPE” that came into being. It was a small audio cassette that you could copy or “dub” pretty much anything on to. You would buy an album (something else that used to exist) and then you would want to make a copy for your friends. You would do a few of those. Then THEY would create a dub from that dub. And so forth and so on. With each successive generation, the quality would get worse and worse. Sounded worse. Highs gone, then the bass, tape flutter and wow, and basically unlistenable.
Around the same time came something called KARAOKE. This was a machine that played backing tracks to popular songs, that anyone could get up and sing (really badly) to. This made everyone a singer. Or at least THOUGHT they were singers. Before long that was in all of society. There became Karaoke contests in bars, and then television. It became cool to simply COPY what someone else had done and there was money in it. People won prizes. It became accepted by society as more and more people could purchase these machines and boom it was everywhere.
Not long after that home recording and then computers enabled pretty much anyone to be singers, to be writers, to be whatever their mothers said they could be. At the same time MONEY disappeared out of the music industry so it really didn’t matter. Millions and millions of people IN. billions and billions of dollars being concentrated, dissipated you name it. Still a music industry, but more money was made in celebrity branding and product manufacturing than the talent itself.
Professionals dropped out, and the desire to sound unique and interesting disappeared. Young kids, who idolized what was on the radio ON THAT MOMENT or just a little before them, tried harder to write songs that were simply carbon copies of other songs, and sound just like their heroes. Originality was dead, and that is kind of where we are. And the general public, who are not wanting to pay for anything anyway, simply accepted it.

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 03, 2018, 08:36 AM

PART II (cause I can only get so many words on this:

When you combine all of this you see where we are. How it affects what you are viewing, you need to understand one thing about CONTESTS. They attract the WORST OF THE WORST OF THE WORST. They are amateurs, with very little redeeming things in their songs. They pay money to participate and have their songs heard by industry people, who many times also have their own questionable reputations. And you have to work with WHAT COMES IN!

I have been a judge on a LOT of contests. I am asked to do it all the time but really don’t even participate any more because it is a lost cause. In most cases, out of thousands of entrants, you are hard pressed to find ONE that even is barely listenable. The reason is that most actual talented people simply don’t participate because they are going for other things. They are interacting with the actual industry. They are working with publishers with or becoming artists. They usually start out in these contests with their early works, but then become disillusioned and move on.

Have you ever gone to a dance recital with a bunch of under 10 year olds? You have more of an “AWE!!! Isn’t that CUTE?/ LOOK AT THOSE COSTUMES!!!!” And then as they twirl around, fall down you smile and say “BLESS THEIR HEARTS!” Well that’s what you have in these contests. Yep. Pull out the latest title, fill in the same blanks, wallah! there you go.
I find it funny that either the winner or one of the top songs is called “SUNSHINE AND WINE.” That is really funny to me, because one of my former clients, FRANKIE BALLARD, had a number one last year called “SUNSHINE AND WHISKEY.” It is currently a theme song for a Nationwide burger company and on t-shirts, billboards, bumper stickers everywhere. Sure. Just put the same thing in your own song, change one word and BOOM!!! hit song, right? Worked once.
NONSENSE.
If you are looking to find what makes a “good song”, you probably would do well to avoid studying these contests. Study HIT songs that LAST A LONG TIME. Study songs from the past that keep getting recorded, used in movies, television, commercials that people immediately identify. Don’t try and base your opinions on the “trend of the moment.” If you want to see the fallicy in that, go back a year, two, five years and see what the TRENDS were at that time, and how they would hold up today. Most make you wince.
Keep working on your own material and don’t go for the lowest common denominator. Don’t look to amateurs to base your work upon.
Now, as I’ve said all this, I’m not really disparaging contests. They are part of the growth of an artist. I know a ton of artists who all failed in the auditions of American Idol and the Voice. Many have huge record deals. Almost all of us have participated in contests. I did and won in 1984. It’s part of what you do. But also part of what you LEARN from.And no matter how carbon copy the world becomes, don’t let that guide how you do what YOU do. Be yourself, everybody else is taken.
Yeah. I wrote that too. LOL! G’Day!
MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 03, 2018, 09:06 AM

Jenny,
all of my life I’ve found contests very intriguing. I’ve participated in a number of songwriting contests and even won one of them. Just like you described, I’ve learned that song contests are extremely hard to figure out. MAB’s advice to forget it is spot on.

I get those CD Baby emails regularly but hardly read them anymore. Since you guys put your songs up at CD Baby, they are probably also available at Spotify as well. The number of plays you get there show much more whether your song is good or not. My son for example is getting an average 40.000 plays per month with his EDM songs. In my opinion that’s worth much more than winning a contest, unless we’re talking about the ESC.

Take care
Robert

 
     
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Robert Baitinger Joined Jun 01, 2006
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May 03, 2018, 09:40 AM

One of the things to remember about contests is that there is NOTHING the contest owners or providers would MORE LOVE to do is find a HUGE hit song! Imagine what it would do if they found some song, got it to ADELE and it became a worldwide HUGE hit. Of course, before that happened, the evaluators, the contest, the sponsors, would all be angling to get part of the publishing, but that is a given. But if that happened, imagine what it would do for the next contests. Submissions would EXPLODE!!! FEES WOULD SHOOT THROUGH THE ROOF. Sponsors would beat themselves up to pay advertising to be involved in the show. it would go Nationally, Internationally, and worldwide. It would be THE thing everybody talks about at work or on every web site. It would be featured on every television morning show. It would be HUGE!!!!

Wait a minute. That has happened. IT’S CALLED AMERICAN IDOL!!! BRITIANS GOT TALENT!!! UK IDOL!!!! THE VOICE!!!! That is what these shows are. Glorified Karaoke contests. And one thing they do that is very interesting. They will always have someone that EVERYBODY thinks SUCKS, that keeps staying on the show for week after week. No one can figure it out. How can “William Huang” stay on with this idiocy SHE BANG? How can’t everybody NOT SEE HOW BAD THIS IS?
How? Because it brings in MORE VIEWERS THE NEXT WEEK!!!!!! That is what people talk about. RATINGS=ADVERTISING DOLLARS!!!!!

These contests really don’t get that far. They raise money and get people to pony up to participate. The winners get some prizes, sometimes trips.

I was actually A PRIZE in one (actually a few times.) My “songwriter’s tours” have been part of the prizes for contests. I would spend a day with usually the second or third place winner and go through their songs. Help them with their overall journey, introduce them to other people.

The main contest I did this with was for a BATTERED WOMAN’S SHELTER here in Nashville. The contest raised around $40,000 between corporate sponsorships (banks LOVE to be involved with charities) and overall submission fees. And the ten winners got trips to Nashville, had a big show, and seen by quite a few people. I met my current significant other and best friend. So we all won.

The NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) contest helps fund lobbying efforts in Congress. For those of you that are seeing mentions of the MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT, how do you think that happened? By tens of dozens of trips to Washington by songwriters organized by NSAI. I was one in 2006. Dues and submission fees paid to NSAI paid for that. So if anyone gets some benefits out of it, by bringing the music business up to date, you can thank NSAI.

You’re welcome.

But contests all have one central reason for existence. To raise money. They have their own rules.

To give you an insight into a judge I can tell you of some of my own biases. These are reasons I would reject songs:

NEGATIVE MESSAGE.
If the winning song was supposed to be turned over to the industry, it would reflect on the contest. If songs had a negative message, no publisher is going to touch it. No artist is going to record it. They are personal introspective songs and NOBODY cares about that outside the artist themselves. So they were dead before they started.

BAD PRODUCTION.
Whatever the song was it is going to have to be played for a series of people. There are never one judge. So the worse the production, the less interest you have in the song because it’s not going to stand up.

CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES.
While they might make the songwriter or artist feel better, they rarely were going to do much past that. While there are always a few “save the world” songs, and you try to be open to that, most of those you find written from a very sophomoric point of view, “let’s all hold hands an sing Kumbaya” and actually sound quite silly. So there is no point turning those in, because again, they don’t stand up.

WEAK TEMPOS.
Turning in another BALLAD is going to be death. Again, they just don’t stand up against up tempo songs. Wider audience appeal. And ballads are star driven. Most stars are going to the major leaguers for that.

INDIFINEABLE CATEGORIES.
Most contests have very well defined categories. But people still submit things that have no real defining characteristics for the genre they are trying to submit for. They really don’t have a format so there is no real place to go with them.

Everything is subject to OPINION. That is why you have multiple judges. But everyone has their biases. Those are some of mine. And I apply each to my OWN songs. I have to practice what I preach.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 03, 2018, 09:47 AM

One more. (Sorry, this topic fascinates me). In one ocassion that I’m personally aware of, they have worked out very interestingly.
I know there are more, but this one I had some personal involvement in.

Sometimes the songs themselves don’t win or even qualify, but the QUALITY of the overall writer’s ability might stand out. Or their tenacity overall. And sometimes they are just nice people. I do know of one guy, who submitted songs to NSAI several times over like five years. His songs were not terrible but not quite there. One of the contest judges got to know him on a trip to Nashville, and took him under his wing. The guy started making more trips to town and ended up with a publisher.
Not long after that he started getting cuts and after a couple of years, he ended up with some HUGE NUMBER ONES.

As I was driving down Music Row yesterday, I noticed a billboard out in front of one of the offices welcoming his new publishing company to Music Row. He just had a top ten hit on a new artist.

So while you might not win a contest, you will probably benefit from the experience. What don’t kill you makes you stronger, and there can be benefits outside of the contest. So you have to look at them in a broader context.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 03, 2018, 03:41 PM

Thanks guys. It’s nice to know that I wasn’t missing something with judging the caliber of songs in the top 10 and their sameness to one another. I loved the story about the guy who never actually won a contest but made meaningful connections with people involved in the contest who helped to develop his craft and springboard his career. What an inspiring story.

I think I’ve learned enough in this thread, however, to happily exclude contests from my radar. You’ve suggested they are a part of the learning experience, Marc, but I just don’t think they are part of mine (apart from what I’ve learned in this thread. Thank you). I think I’d much rather work hard, read a lot, talk a lot, write a lot, continue to self publish, grow my fan base, and keep talking with my fans (all three of them—lol). That, to me, is a more authentic success than associating oneself with mediocrity, and for that matter, with judges who perpetuate mediocrity by rewarding it. If I end up creating mediocre music myself, at least I won’t standing in a crowd of the same.

:)

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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May 03, 2018, 04:18 PM

Jenny,

Actually you HAVE benefitted from contests. By using MY EXPERIENCE and those of others, to suppliment what you are doing. And you learn that contests are maybe not the best place to learn from. But I’ll give you a little homework assignment. Which comes FROM judging contests.

Go to a web site where you can listen to a lot of songs. Reverb nation, Soundcloud, even sites like this. Make sure they are people you don’t know, have no connection with. Now give yourself THIRTY MINUTES, and listen to a verse and a chorus of as many songs as you can in that thirty minutes.

You start finding what holds your attention and what LOSES your attention. You will find all kinds of recordings. Songs sounding like they were recorded in a bathroom echo chamber. Songs with rhythm that sounds like those old organ sections. Songs that have decent guitar or piano vocals, and you will have various stages of studio recording and a few really good ones.
Make notes on the ones that stand out. Make notes on the production. See how a well produced song makes you listen just a little harder.
Listen to subject matter, is it pleasant or a chore to listen to? Listen to the message. Would it make you want to listen again? Can you see it in your mind’s eye, or is it just a song that sounds like other songs.

In contests you get all kinds, but it is even more interesting when you hear just regular people putting their music up somewhere.

That is what it is like to judge contests and also what you do when you are in the industry. Publishers, producers, labels, acts, agents, managers, etc. are all listening to songs all the time. Hundreds and THOUSANDS of songs come in from all directions.

Then you have to ask yourself the REALLY HARD QUESTION:

WOULD I TAKE THIS SONG TO MY CONTACTS, TO MY PUBLISHER OVER MY OWN SONGS?

That is where the rubber hits the road. I used to have to ask that all the time when judging contests. “I only have one or two pitches on songs for all the songs of mine. Would I take THIS over my own?

And that is what you have to understand about the music business. The people who ARE THE “GATEKEEPERS” are writers and artists also. And they are either putting their own money into projects, pr they are on the line for money from investors. Every song could mean their job, their kid’s school, food on their tables.

When you start looking at that, you start looking at music in different ways. It’s far more than just sitting in a room, writing something you like, and recording all for your own enjoyment. You are now entering OTHER PEOPLE’S WORLDS. And that takes a different set of ears.

So I hope this has helped you a little.  No, the judges don’t always make the best decisions, but they have to work with what they have. Contests can be very interesting, sometimes nice little side benefits, but you can’t really get too caught up in them for an overall career. Just a part of what we all go through.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 03, 2018, 06:11 PM
MBarne4908 - 03 May 2018 04:18 PM

....I’ll give you a little homework assignment. Which comes FROM judging contests.

Go to a web site where you can listen to a lot of songs. Reverb nation, Soundcloud, even sites like this. Make sure they are people you don’t know, have no connection with. Now give yourself THIRTY MINUTES, and listen to a verse and a chorus of as many songs as you can in that thirty minutes.

You start finding what holds your attention and what LOSES your attention. You will find all kinds of recordings. Songs sounding like they were recorded in a bathroom echo chamber. Songs with rhythm that sounds like those old organ sections. Songs that have decent guitar or piano vocals, and you will have various stages of studio recording and a few really good ones.
Make notes on the ones that stand out. Make notes on the production. See how a well produced song makes you listen just a little harder.
Listen to subject matter, is it pleasant or a chore to listen to? Listen to the message. Would it make you want to listen again? Can you see it in your mind’s eye, or is it just a song that sounds like other songs.

In contests you get all kinds, but it is even more interesting when you hear just regular people putting their music up somewhere.

That is what it is like to judge contests and also what you do when you are in the industry. Publishers, producers, labels, acts, agents, managers, etc. are all listening to songs all the time. Hundreds and THOUSANDS of songs come in from all directions.

Then you have to ask yourself the REALLY HARD QUESTION:

WOULD I TAKE THIS SONG TO MY CONTACTS, TO MY PUBLISHER OVER MY OWN SONGS?
....

When you start looking at that, you start looking at music in different ways. It’s far more than just sitting in a room, writing something you like, and recording all for your own enjoyment. You are now entering OTHER PEOPLE’S WORLDS. And that takes a different set of ears.
MAB

Well that was interesting. I managed 12 songs samples (I just went down the list and didn’t know the genre until it started playing). On a few of them I forgot my task and was kept listening to the end (those were the winners in my book). They all demonstrated a musical talent. The guitar tones were crisp and tasteful. The arrangement was mesmerizing. The vocals were clear and told a story (not necessarily a complicated one). The pacing (as you said) was upbeat. There was something original in the successful ones—maybe they presented an original fusion of sounds or the vocal pulled you in. In all cases, the artist had come up with a catchy melody. Some of the songs were close, but the vocalist made odd choices in the performance of the melody so the melody was okay but not polished. The poorly done ones had mundane subject matter—too rubber stamp for my taste—and most had pacing issues.

To answer your question (would I take this song to my contacts over my own?)...one of them I would. But I’d want to revise it before I did. ;)

That was fascinating. Thanks for that Marc.

Jen

[ Edited: 03 May 2018 06:26 PM by Jenny Stokes]

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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May 03, 2018, 08:26 PM

Jenny,

That’s a good start and I’m glad you tied into some good ones. But you didn’t quite do it all the way. You can only listen to a verse and a chorus. And remember, if you are judging a contest (or in the real world), you can’t listen or FORWARD on all of them. Then of course, put yourself into the shoes of an actual contest judge, publisher or record label, and you have 200-500 to go through.

And this is really the deal. You start dissecting more and more. And if you were to realize that the more you put your own songs on the back burner, every one you are working with, suffers too. Your publisher who is paying you to write, your demos, providing ways for you to stay in this game. It starts to take on different preportions.

Then remember other things. You are actually FRIENDS with other writers. You hang out together. Do favors for each other. They lend you money or help you move when you have a break up. They invite you to their Christmas parties after your break up and introduce you to the next “LOVE OF YOUR LIFE.” And you suggesting their songs, are part of your overall survival in the business.

Now in one way I’m not quite being fair. I’m adding a few details at a time. But I’m doing it to illustrate a point. EVERYTHING involved with the music industry is about a LOT OF THINGS BEYOND THE SONG.

So that is why you have to listen to more, more and more songs. Right now you can listen and find some that you really like. But when you start layering on these other things, you again have to view it differently.

When I was an evaluator with NSAI, we would go through an average of 100 songs a month. You would have to listen to them, and then give a review of the song for the writer. At that time it was done on Cassette, later it was done online. So you have the extra time element of having to type or talk and explain yourself. The “best songs” that were forwarded each month, were brought to a luncheon with around 20 other evaluators. Then those songs were played and every one had to vote. No talking, no explanations, just yes or no. Those are the ones who got forwarded to publishers. In my five years doing it, I can only think about three-five songs ever got forwarded and none of those got publishing deals or acceptance from the industry.

So in a perfect world, there would be a lot of songs that made it “out there.” It’s not a perfect world.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 03, 2018, 08:27 PM

Oh yes. People in the industry usually will initially listen to 30 seconds of a song. If they are not KNOCKED out, they don’t go any further.

All adds layers of difficulty.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 03, 2018, 08:50 PM
MBarne4908 - 03 May 2018 08:26 PM

....

When I was an evaluator with NSAI, we would go through an average of 100 songs a month. You would have to listen to them, and then give a review of the song for the writer….  The “best songs” that were forwarded each month, were brought to a luncheon with around 20 other evaluators. Then those songs were played and every one had to vote. No talking, no explanations, just yes or no. Those are the ones who got forwarded to publishers. In my five years doing it, I can only think about three-five songs ever got forwarded and none of those got publishing deals or acceptance from the industry.

....

Whoa! That’s an appalling success rate. So do the majority of songs that actually get through come through the back channels (networks and relationships) that you’ve talked about?

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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May 03, 2018, 08:55 PM

ALL OF THEM COME THROUGH BACK CHANNELS. IF you want, I can explain how some of this really works. But at this moment. I’m actually doing an interview with a songwriter’s group on FACEBOOK. Why don’t you ask me a question or two and I can narrow it down.

M

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 03, 2018, 09:06 PM

Songwriter and industry relationships take a while usually many years to develop. As well as the ability. Think of it as childhood sports. You start out in these little leagues. Everyone is about the same. Then you or someone on your team gets a little better. Some people grow faster. So you go up to other, higher leagues. The competition gets harder. Get into high school or even college, semi pro, pro, at each level the competition is higher. And you don’t just walk on the field and start playing. You sit the bench. You make political contacts. You get private coaching.

With music, you are around certain groups of people. Some are good, some not so good. You advance and leave people behind. You interact with other groups. Then you have gone as far as you can go in your circles, so you move to a music center. And it all starts over again.

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 03, 2018, 09:14 PM

Okay. Thanks Marc. Whoever said men can’t multitask was full of the proverbial.

Here’s a question: If an indie artist wants to enter the world of big publishers, is the best way to first get into that back channel network and then go from there? So, in a sense, to collaborate your way through…

Have I got that right?

[ Edited: 03 May 2018 09:17 PM by Jenny Stokes]

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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May 03, 2018, 09:44 PM

When you first move to town, you are surrounded by people just like you. Some are better, but most are just like you. That means the bad news and the good news are the same.

THE GOOD NEWS: EVERYONE IS JUST LIKE YOU, GETS WHERE YOU COME FROM, AND KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
THE BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS JUST LIKE YOU, GETS WHERE YOU COME FROM, AND KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

You start plugging into the clubs. You wait in line. You play for nobody. You build relationships. Every month, more and more of your friends disappear, they run out of money or patience. You connect with other people. You start building friends for life.

If you are worth your salt, about year three or four, you start connecting with some serious people. Publishers. You co-write with people already connected. You write with artists, that hot girl or guy that just seem to be everywhere. Your shows get better. The people you play with get better. You write a LOT MORE SONGS.

Then you get some people actually interested in you as a writer. This is usually around year 7. I call it FRESHMAN, SOPHOMORE, JUNIOR AND SENIOR years. And they all last THREE YEARS. Kind of funny how history repeats itself. But you find those songs that come through the back doors, come this way. Artists you have written with that you sat and held their hands through break ups and wrote about it. The “unknown writer” that scored a top ten. And you had three songs with him/her. People that you knew as writers, ended up working for publishers. This is where the “back doors” start developing.

And it is really designed for a reason. It is NOT ABOUT SONGS. It is about RELATIONSHIPS. If you view it in the context of your own lives, your job, your friends, family. That all took time to develop. You didn’t just walk in and everything drop in your lap. You have to bide your time, learn people and where you fit in. Takes time.

Contest songs don’t have that. Even very good ones didn’t do the PERSONAL CONNECTIONS YOU DID.

And there is how it all develops.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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