Lessons for Independents

Updated: Dec 14, 2019


Our theme for July at Songpreneurs is Independents.

This month in our online groups and weekly trainings, we have been looking at what makes for a successful independent artist.

Everyone doesn’t want to be a recording artist, but as songwriters, we rely on artists to sing our songs.

The tendency for songwriters is sometimes to be ambitious, and aim for the top of the heap before we’re ready.

It’s not that our songs aren’t good enough, but it’s tough to convince industry insiders to take a chance on an unproven writer when they have so many options to choose from, including the songs from their in house staff writers.

A good strategy for up and coming songwriters is to focus closer to home.

If you can identify an independent artist who has the same drive and work ethic you’ve come to recognize as essential in making it in the new millennium of music business, you can target him or her with your writing.

Just like major songwriters do in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, you can look around and see who’s cutting, and then aim some of your writing towards something that they might record on their next projects.

This is what my dad, Nashville Hall of Fame Songwriter Kim Williams did when he was getting started.

He set his sights on writing with local Rogersville, Tennessee superstar Benny Wilson.

Benny is a dynamite performer, and even toured with Janie Frickie back in the 80s.

Here's a song written by Dad, Benny and Ron Harbin cut by Janie called "Finishing Touch"

Dad started writing regularly with Benny, and the two grew together as writers and friends, and were able to enjoy some early successes together as peers.

That confidence Dad earned from working with Benny was a big boost to his eventually superstar songwriter success.

Who is your local superstar? Get out and explore the music scene close to home, and see who is making waves in your area.

If you want, post a link to him or her, and leave a comment letting us know what you like most about their music.

What kind of music does this artist put out? Are your songs similarly suited? Do you have similar influences? Let us know in the comments below.

Members, check out the video archives of the weekly trainings for July here:

  • Songpreneurs Getting Started™ Training – this meeting we talked about the business foundations of what makes an artist independent in the first place, and saw some superstar examples of indie artist launches

  • Songpreneurs Brand You™ Training – all about how having an identifiable brand can make all the difference in your successful artist launch, and see a case study of how it works hand in hand with the old 80 20 rule

  • Songpreneurs Write Brain Song Crafting™ Training – this session we focus on precasting™ techniques, and walk through an example of how to research your target artist online, and identify key characteristics of his or her music so you can aim your songs toward their style.

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