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Posted By: Marc Barnette

GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/25/16 07:25 PM

August 23, 2016

I was contacted recently by a writer/artist and asked a very good question. “What is the music business now?” Through all the changes in the business. The loss of money, the explosion of people trying to do this, the Internet, the changes to record and publishing companies, artist branding, etc. it is a good question. The simplest answer I have is “WHEN SOMEONE PAYS YOU TO BE YOU!”
When you are trying to get known in the business, you do cover songs, versions of other people’s songs, to get booked, to play the dances, clubs, parties, etc. Most people want to hear something they know, something familiar.

As we develop as writers, singers, whatever, we have to develop our OWN PERSONALITIES AND TALENTS. If you are trying to get co-writers, managers, publishers, record deals, it is about who YOU ARE, not being a COPY of what is ALREADY OUT THERE. One of the things that drive me CRAZY are artists that are trying to be themselves, yet doing endless cover versions of OTHER PEOPLE’S SONGS on their camera phone, web sites, YOU TUBE, ETC.

Go to YOU TUBE, and see the latest star’s music video. Then look to the right of that. You will see fifty, one hundred, A THOUSAND people doing the EXACT SAME SONG on their camera phone or home recording equipment.

If the NUMBER ONE PROBLEM we all have in the music industry, is GETTING PAID FOR ANYTHING then bringing the EXACT SAME THING they already have, artists and writers are doing themselves NO FAVORS by just replicating what is already out there. BRILLIANT!

So as an artist or writer, YOU HAVE TO START working on YOUR OWN songs, your own approach, BEING YOURSELF. And the sooner you do it, the better. Studying artists and songs are a great idea. Being familiar with a cover song shows you structure, theme, melody, timing, how to build a great song. But you can’t just copy that. You have to advance your own talent.

So when the general public buys tickets to YOUR SHOW, paying for YOUR MUSIC, going to YOUR WEBSITE, are buying YOUR MERCHANDISE, that is part of it. When co-writers start seeking out YOUR TALENTS. When publishers are wanting to hear what YOU DO. When record labels are interested in YOUR EFFORTS.
When venues are asking for YOU TO PLAY THEIR VENUE. That is all part of being in the music business. THAT IS THE MUSIC BUSINESS.

Posted By: niteshift

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/25/16 07:48 PM

Hey Mr Motormouth,

Good to see you. smile

Geez mate, you do prattle on, but what you're saying is absolutely correct.

The space has been filled with white noise. The reason being, there is no filtering process.

When there was a filtering process, and the production of finished material was expensive, money was not wasted on a second tier level. That didn't mean that everything produced was brilliant in terms of musical talent, but it did mean that due thought was given into what was produced.

Just because it CAN be recorded, doesn't mean that it should be.

Focus on your best songs, get feedback and persue those tunes which move the listener/audience. And please don't insult my ears by "releasing" a song which has not been engineered. If it hasn't been audio engineered, it's a demo.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Barry David Butler (D)

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/25/16 10:40 PM

Very true...
Posted By: Barry David Butler (D)

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/25/16 10:47 PM

I wrote this song called "I'M AN ORIGINAL"....pretty cool song.

NOW That's a Cool Title...

Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/29/16 03:52 AM

Thank you Barry. When I wrote it in 2009, I thought so too.

Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/29/16 06:33 PM

Hello Nightshift, "Motormouth" here. Please understand this is an ARTICLE I wrote for several songwriter web sites and some online writers magazines. So it is MEANT to PRATTLE on. That is the point of ARTICLES.

Posted By: niteshift

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/30/16 08:23 PM

Hey Marc,

Then why didn't you just say "this is a syndicated article" ?

Works for me. smile And all the time I thought you were speaking to me personally . smile

Ok, Ok...... just joshin' you here. I always like to take a warped view of the world.

Your articles are always instructive, and have a really good feel for the subject matter.

cheers, nieshift
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/30/16 08:31 PM

Nightshift, (really wish I knew your name. Makes it more personal).
I was just responding to you. It is not so much "Syndicated" as a regular thing I do on web sites, my own, Facebook, Twitter, places here, and are often picked up by different people along the way.

This past weekend I was in Gatlinburg Tn. for the Smokey Mountain Songwriters Festival. One of the things I did was an interview for a television program in KENTUCKY, that was based upon this article, which was based upon a SONG that I wrote in 1999.

I'm becoming Mel Brooks. The PRODUCERS was a PLAY, that became a MOVIE, THAT became a PLAY THAT BECAME ANOTHER MOVIE. Geeze!

I do tend to go on a bit on some of these posts, but only because I try to give multiple sides of any issue, mostly from the side of the industry and how it is changing and relating to us all.
But if it has a "Written by Marc-Alan Barnette" or usually any thread I START, it is pretty much something I am doing in more places than one in a "syndicated" format.

Always good to hear from you MATE!!

By the way, I've got a couple of songs on the radio over there. One is called "MADE IN AUSTRALIA!" Wrote it with a guy from Cairn.

Go figure this weird business out.

Posted By: John Lawrence Schick

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/30/16 09:35 PM

It's Geoff Marc.

John smile
Posted By: niteshift

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/30/16 09:35 PM

Hey Marc,

Yep, I smile whenever I read your posts.

And quite agree how it is.... one thing leads to another..... and to another....and that's the way the arts are in general.

In fact, I can not find one instance where my music has DIRECTLY gone to the intended place. It has always been through a convoluted series of events.

Keep writing Marc. It's good to hear from someone who actually lives it.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: GETTING PAID TO BE "YOU" - 08/30/16 10:27 PM

Geoff eh? Good piece of information to know. Thank you John.

I'm fortunate that a lot of my life has been able to see things that are coming before the mainstream of anything does. About 20 years ago, we saw publishing deals dissapear and the money start to decline in the music industry. Then we saw the rise of hit and established writers as well as publishers start to do the development on artists that labels do.
Now we have seen the ending of money in songs at all and shift to artist branding so the shift has been a "do it yourself" environment.

Where this effects the "outside" writers is it ends them. They have to pair up with artists in their area, and become part of the overall approach from the beginning. It's the end of the road for songwriters. But since there are SO MANY artists out there, it is not as hard to find them in the first place. Again, things like American Idol, American's got Talent, Britian's got Talent, "Insert name of whatever country you want... Got Talent" and then the local and regional talent shows ranging from variety to karaoke shows, have put everyone INTO the marketplace.

So much of the things always remain the same. Create a product. Find someone to deliver that product or do it yourself. Build audience market share around that product. Repeat the process.

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