Country Music People December 2018 - Page 28

“To be fair, Brian and Tyler in Florida Georgia Line are both from the songwriter’s mouths pretty solid writers in their own right. The bro-country thing, you could make the argument in both directions.” for themselves. “The publisher chapter,” say Brown, “was designed to really give a moving picture as you read, in real time, of what today’s industry is like. It’s shifted so much, even in the last five years. There’s also a lot of writer-owned publishing companies too where a lot of these guys started out with other deals for ten or fifteen years and then had the capital at that point to take a chance. I say ’take a chance’ because not all of them had ‘hits’ as publishers. You get an idea also of the mentor-ship that goes on in this town, of the community, the support network I suppose you could say, that is provided to the young writers both from the senior writer they co-write with and the publishers who are the people that are going back to them for pitching songs, making sure they get their money when they do make some, putting them on ‘draw’ and salary if they’re just starting out. It’s an incredible process and it’s never really been covered in a book. “More and more songwriters are doing that move early. Some people are doing it after two or three hits versus ten or twelve because they can see the revenue streams… It used to be you could move to town here and you could just write songs that were on a record and not just hits and make a comfortable living, but now it’s really radically changed to where you have… there’s a statistic in the back there - the one out of a hundred songs or something like that, with a chance of getting cut, let alone becoming a single versus even becoming a hit. The 28 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 threshold is so high and so competitive [and] I really wanted to ‘arm’ if you will, the reader or aspiring songwriter, or even an industry person, with a more realistic look at what it takes. “Part of the fun with the book, was trying to give the kid that’s reading that book who’s gonna want to move here and go to Belmont (University) and so forth. You get a little preview with this book of what you’re in for, and it’s not what it was. It’s definitely a fast moving business in terms of the people and how much harder it is to get a publishing deal but hopefully you find equal inspiration to come to it in there, because these people made it. “The other thing that’s so important if you’re coming to town to be a songwriter is you can’t just sit in a room and write. You have to find what they call your ‘tribe’. You just have to go out and watch shows, and network, and join ASCAP or BMI… just finding your co-writers in this town is super important.” Jake Brown’s book takes the reader behind the scenes of Nashville’s hit machine like no other. If you fancy your chances as a songwriter it is an essential read, but even if you just have a passing interest in how you got to hear the song that’s on the radio right now, or you just love country music, it is equally recommended. cmp Nashville Songwriter Vol. II - The Inside Stories Behind Country Music’s Greatest Hits by Jake Brown is out now.