BMI’s Creative teams are back in The Weekly providing tips to help readers navigate the industry. The focus this time is:
Jessa Gelt, BMI Creative, Los Angeles:
First and foremost, it always starts with the music. Self-evaluation is essential and it’s helpful to recognize your experience, talent, marketability and unique qualities as a songwriter. Before contacting a publisher, ask yourself if your music holds up against other writers on the roster, what makes you different, do you stand apart, are your songs relevant to today’s hits and marketplace and can they reach beyond current trends? Before signing a publishing deal, you should know how publishing companies operate, what kinds of music they specialize in, and why a publisher is right for you. Finally, there are no short cuts or magic buttons. In the end, there’s nothing like good old-fashioned hard work and perseverance. When your songs are ready, your talent, confidence and professionalism will come through!
Josh Tomlinson, BMI Creative, Nashville:
Well, the first thing I would suggest is to make sure that you are writing every day. Whether that’s by yourself or with co-writers, it’s something you have to be doing day-in and day-out to hone your craft. Second, you have to be intentional. You must be engaged with your community involvement. For example, attend as many showcases and networking events as you can, share your music with fellow writers and artists, ask for your peers’ advice and opinions on what you’re doing… create a buzz around what makes you different and stand out from the rest. Be willing to be the hardest working, most unique writer out there, so that publishers will want to come to you. That leads to the last thing: be unique, be honest, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. You will get a lot of “no’s” before you get the “yes” that you are looking for, but if you’re the best at what you’re doing, people will be listening.
Look for more helpful tips from BMI’s thought leaders right here in The Weekly, and in the meantime, keep writing!