Monday, March 16, 2015

Get Real!

“Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.” - Jack Welch

Think you just have to have that record deal?

Hoping someone magically hears your song and wants to publish it?

It's time for you to GET REAL!!

One thing that continues to amaze me in this day and age where there is so much information available to folks online is how everyone is still looking for "get there quick" schemes in their music careers.

We have kids coming out of high school enrolling in recording programs expecting to become world famous recording engineers. 

Artists email me daily wondering where they can get a record deal, as if they are doled out in the same way someone gives you a Facebook “like”.

Songwriters email me songs, or sometimes just lyrics asking if I will publish them. Like there is a machine here in Nashville where we just feed it in and it comes out stamped “Published!”

“Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.” - Nikos Kazantzakis

When we meet new artists and songwriters, one of the first things we try to do is to educate them on the realities of our industry. How do labels pick the artists they want to sign? Is a record deal even applicable to you? How do songs get published? What does publishing even mean?

Moreover, many people who want a record or publishing deal aren't even close to being ready for a step like getting signed or published. It's actually much more likely that they don't even have anything a label or publisher would be interested in.

The important thing is that you read this not as rebuke and there’s no chance for you, but to further your knowledge of what is realistic to hope for, and what you need to lay down.

Introducing, Reality.

A record deal is really just a business deal with someone funding and supporting you so they can help you build a strong music ministry. In theory, the end result will be that you can both profit as business and ministry partners. This is a hard thing for major labels to offer these days with the way music sells (or doesn't). The parameters of the artists they are looking for are very strict, and the label has to be completely sold and in love with the artist musically and personally.

So if you are not in the .01% of people who get a deal, what are your real options? Well, those are different for everyone, but they all involve hard work by you finding the right audience and building a strong music ministry business of your own.

Music publishing at its core means someone knows a way to do something with your song that will achieve success. Usually, this will be the song is making money, and that can come from a variety of sources, from getting the song cut and released on an album or as a single, being heard on the radio or TV, movies, internet, or a variety of other things.

For someone to offer you a music publishing contract on one of your songs, it means that they have a use in mind for the song. They think the song is strong and believe it can be profitable for both of you.

If you have trouble finding music publishers to get interested in your songs, or if this process of convincing someone about your song doesn't sound fun, there are other ways to get your songs heard. You can sing them yourself and get in front of real peoples ears. Find other artists to sing and record them. Look for other places that might need your songs including churches or conventions.

The idea here is that we have to carefully look at reality for our music and not just live in the fantasy land we have in our heads about how the music business really works. If we will, and work hard towards that, armed with good information about what is real and what is not, we can build the music life we always wanted to have.

“Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow's reality.” - Malala Yousafzai

Have a great week!

Eric Copeland tries to be real every day as he creates his own vision and helps others create theirs. For more information on what his company Creative Soul does go to

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