Monica and I made it to Nashville on Monday in twelve hours. No shows booked here, but this is the place where deals are made, so Tuesday afternoon we hit the street (Music Row, that is) with my two albums. Driving by Chrysalis Music Group, I spotted an open parking space for the Armada, so we stopped and got out. What was I expecting to happen? Exactly what happened.
“We can’t accept any unsolicited music.”
So I asked her who could solicit my songs to her, and she said, one of the performance rights organizations – ASCAP, SESAC, or BMI.
I’m an ASCAP member, so we got back in the Armada, drove down the block to ASCAP, and walked inside.
ASCAP – American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
The receptionist told me that there was a Q & A opportunity with an ASCAP representative on Wednesday morning at 10pm. Perfect. Sign me up.
When I showed up, it was only myself and another songwriter. This in itself was worth the twelve hour drive. 45 minutes of one on one time with a person capable of soliciting my songs to record companies and booking agents, and his office is walking distance to everyone from Chrysalis to Sony Music Group. “If I like your stuff, I’ll knock on every door I can.” There are no ASCAP offices in Texas, not even in Austin. “There isn’t an infrastructure in Austin for the industry.”
You get the sense that they’ve heard all the stories, but they haven’t heard your songs. I gave the representative background on both albums and got his card. Today I’ll email him our press kits and thank him for his time. The next time I’m in town, I’ll stop by ASCAP and talk to him again. This doesn’t guarantee success by any means, but musicians need to be their own facilitators with their music. Make it as easy as possible for member representatives of a performance rights organization to help you out.
Musicians are everywhere in Nashville, but they’re not unlike musicians in other cities. Perhaps more educated with regard to music publishing since it’s a constant topic of conversation, but the game is the same. You have to do things for yourself before a venue will book you or a publisher will knock on your door.
We enjoyed plenty of other attractions in Nashville- Honkkytonkin’ at Robert’s, Shepherd’s pie at The Family Wash, and I scored Neil Young’s “Everbody Knows This is Nowhere” on vinyl at The Groove record store.
For more on Nashville, check out Monica’s post at http://www.cosmopolitician.net
Next Stop: Charlotte, NC