Today's blog tells how easy it is to be fooled in this industry!
I work closely with two very good co-writers, in a songwriting 'team' dedicated to writing modern country-rock material. This week, we spent a lot of time putting three songs together urgently for a pitch, after being contacted by a Nashville music publisher.....
Nashville is a very hard nut to crack, most artists write their own music, so to get a song pitched to them is hard enough, but to get them to record it is even harder, because it has to be better than what they already have. You are also up against hundreds of songswriters and teams based in Nashville who already have a track record!
Now I am old enough and I believe, wise enough, to know when something isn't quite as it seems, and this 'publisher' had initially shown interest in a very strong country song we had written just some weeks earlier which we have all been excited about. However, the response asked us to follow=up with what we believed to be our three strongest compositions. I had some initial doubts when I saw that the publisher in question was using a Gmail address, but we decided to rush into our respective studios and get three more songs ready to present, as there may be a real chance of breaking into Nashville.
I am aware that responses take time, because the songs have to be listened to thoroughly, discussed at senior level if the writers are to be offered a contract and rejected if not making the grade. So when you get an extremely positive response in less than 24 hours, again you start to feel something isn't quite right. The letter praised the songs and said they were prepared to 'help us move forward'. Alarm bells were now ringing loudly!
I discussed with my team how I personally believed that this was some kind of enticement to get us to part with our hard-earned, but as they were over the pond in Nashville, we should be 100% certain before pulling away. I did some online searching for reviews of said company and couldn't initially find anything negative written about them. So we responded tentatively, only to get what looked like a standard copied response offering us their services for $40 a month!
I understand how selling works, my background career is in sales and marketing after all, and all the signs were there from the start, but in this business where we constantly chase the dream, we are perhaps a little too eager to accept their pitch! It is disappointing, but probably even more so for young writers chasing that same dream. I won't name the company involved because I don't wish to give them publicity, but I won't be offering them any of our future music, that is for certain!
Onwards and upwards with more lessons learned.
Songwriter/Producer/BA (Hons) Law & Social Sciences ;)