Canadian Musician


James Linderman

Invest in Your Songs

I have sat across from more songwriters who are afraid of success, than songwriters who are afraid of failure.
I have even been one of those songwriters myself…….
If I wrote a great song today…and I don’t mean just a good song or even a very good song but a great song.
Lets say a song that would raise the bar for every other song ever written by anyone. I mean “Let it be” kind of great or “Imagine” great or..well you get the idea.
That song would begin to change my life right away, but not necessarily in ways that I would have dreamed it would or want it to.
First of all I would have to invest in the song first. Many publishers have asked me over the years why I should expect them to invest in my song when it is evident that I did not believe in it enough to invest much into it myself.
To give my great song it’s best chance to succeed I will need a great recording and that will mean hiring some talented people to do the stuff that I’m no good at. And maybe I need to get into a studio that has a mixing board that is larger than say….the cutting board I have in my kitchen.
I often suggest to my songwriting clients to see if they can hire celebrity vocalists for their top end recordings since they can then pitch the song themselves to radio with a vocal by an artist that already gets radio play.
One of my clients paid just over $1000.00 for a vocal by a Juno Award winning singer from a band and that song then got some radio play that paid back more than double their investment but the celebrity singer also loved the song and promoted it and performed it as well.
It is a calculated risk that only a great song deserves…at least with my budget. I’m not suggesting it works every time but it has worked more than a few times.
But back to my problem of writing a great song…..
There is also the stress and worry that now I have a great song and a brilliant recording and this might be my big break…what if it doesn’t go as planned, what if it is ignored like so many of my other “great” songs.
What if my taste is not reliable and I love this song more than anyone else does because my song is about me and I care about me but no one else cares about me as much as I care about me but why don’t they care about me…I’m a good person, I’m not needy or whiney or annoying…not like that Phil guy I met at the open mic night….or Jen. AHHHHH! I hated Jen and why does eeeeeeeeverybody love Jen’s songs when it is obvious she only writes songs about herself and…….Ohhhhhhhh! Now I get it.
And so this, too often, has been my investment. Competing for attention instead of pouring my energy into being great and writing about life instead of just about my life in a way that is, therapeutic for me but not always relatable…. thinking that I represent my music instead of the other way around.
In 2016 lets start letting the music do the talking and invest in our skill and and vision and if you write a great song, invest in that too.

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