Trying to navigate the music industry can be tricky, and as in any job, there are pitfalls for songwriters. The good news is, mistakes can be avoided. Here to weigh in on how to do just that is BMI’s Creative team, from LA to London.
Jessa Gelt, BMI Creative, Los Angeles:
A common mistake songwriters make is not applying the same organization and thought to their business and career goals as they do to their craft. Just like you would organize your approach to composing and writing music, so too should you simultaneously be organizing the approach to building your business. Your business should have the right balance of resources, planning and logistics in the same way that a well-written song has the right balance of composition, melody and lyrics. Concepts like assembling the right team of people or services, managing your long and short-term goals, and budgeting your time/money should receive the same level of care and attention as your songwriting. Thinking like a business person will also take you further, help you make better industry connections and help you effectively execute your goals. Develop a proper plan and strategy to put your hard work and original songs into the hands (and ears!) of those who deserve to hear them… and don’t forget to sign up and register these songs with BMI!
Kevin Benz, BMI Creative, London:
At BMI, I have the opportunity to work with songwriters and artists from across the UK and Europe. From this region, however, there is a natural tendency to look towards the U.S. as a focal point for creative opportunities in both songwriting and artist development, and for commercial success. Sometimes budding songwriters go for writing trips to the U.S. with great intentions and desire, but find it difficult to ingrain themselves into the local markets and can return home disappointed. Sometimes it’s better to look closer to home for collaborative opportunities to develop your craft and establish yourself in the local market. From the UK especially, there are many other amazing songwriting hubs that are closer to home and easier to access, such as Sweden, Germany, or the Netherlands. With time and commitment to develop your songwriting craft and to make a name for yourself in your local music community, opportunities from further afield, such as the U.S., will naturally come.
Stay tuned to The Weekly for more tips to help you in your career!