Artist Development 01

Content Creation – Songwriting

by John Latimer

In the music business, everything begins with a song. Without great songs, there is no music business.  In today’s world, where everything is so “30 seconds ago,” good songs are not good enough.  And many, many times, great songs are not good enough either. This content creation is not only through songwriters, but also the interpretation of the songs in live performances and/or recordings.

The quality of the song has got to stand high and above everything for an Artist.  The quality of the content, I should say.  Songs are a part of that content.  So is Spoken Word.  So is a Babbling Brook.  If you think about it, content, or potential content, is everywhere.  That doesn’t mean there’s quality content everywhere.  Quality content is a rarity.  Owning or controlling content is the money tree in the music industry.

So, the content has got to be of really high quality for people to pay attention to it.  To want to listen to it. And to play it over, and over and over.  And then it becomes their favorite.  Wouldn’t you love to have a product out there that is somebody’s favorite…. Ever  .Even if it’s only one person.

So, the first part is creating the content: the song, the lyric, the verse, and creating the catalog.  Songwriting is not just an artistic expression. It’s the axis which the music business rotates. Artist Development is all about the music itself.

Good songs are not good enough when preparing to market music.

So, as a songwriter, if you’re writing for yourself, who cares?  But if you’re writing for anybody else, then who is your market and where is the commercial appeal in order to write for that market.  If you’re writing only for yourself, it can be as avant-garde as you want because nobody will ever hear it and nobody will ever care.  And that’s fine, if that’s your goal.  If you want someone to buy it from you, it has to have some commercial appeal.  It better be good.  And the bigger the appeal, comes the commercialism.

We sometimes talk about the 1 – 6 – 4 – 5 progression or the 12-bar blues progression. or the 1 – 4 – 5 progression.  All of these are so standard that thousands and thousands of songs of been written using those chords.  Does that mean they’re bad?  No.  But I bet you though, if any one of us wrote a song using those chords, it would be familiar already.  Those progressions are so familiar with our ears because we’ve hear them so many times.  Listens might say… “Oh yeah, I feel the groove.”  In other words… “I’m used to this music.”

OK… so finding that niche, managing its growth, is an essential part of developing a successful artist.  So, when we talk about artist development, you have to find your niche, and you have to manage that niche to succeed.

So… And I can’t say this enough times….Think QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY. The first thing in Artist Development is CONTENT. Content is King.