The Artist Camp: Multiple Points Of Contact

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Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

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Gaining access (and keeping access) to an artist is kind of like rock climbing- you always want to have more than one point of contact with the mountain. It’s a dangerous thing to be hanging by one hand- if that one rock gives way or that hand slips… bye, bye.

Likewise, if your only point of contact with an artist is her producer, what happens if she switches producers? What happens if you have a light point of contact with the artist herself, but she starts letting her A&R person book all her cowrites because she’s too busy out on the road? Bye, bye. You might’ve just fallen off the mountain.

This kind of stuff has happened to me, so I’ve learned the hard way not to rely on only one point of contact with the artist. Nowadays, if I’m targeting an artist or a project, I try to secure multiple points of contact. If I know the A&R person, I try to develop a contact with the producer as well. If I’m writing with an artist, I’ll suggest a 3-way cowrite with one of her other regular cowriters. Bascially, I want to surround the artist. I want to dig in deeper than a tick in a dog’s ear so there’s no way they can scratch or shake me off!

Of course, you want to balance the time you spend surrounding one artist with taking time to develop other points of contact in other artists’ camps. Just like you want to have more than one point of contact with an artist, you want to be in more than one artist’s camp. Think of it as diversifying your portfolio. After all, most new artists aren’t very successful. What happens if the ONE artist you’ve invested all your time in fails? Bye, bye.

God Bless,

Brent

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As a way to say “thank you” to all of you who subscribe to Man vs. Row by email, I’m going to give away some cool stuff in July (2014). If you subscribe to MvR, I’ll send you a free report, “10 Things The Pro Knows.” I’ll also send you the guitar/vocal of “Crickets,” which is the title track of Joe Nichols’ current album. You’ll get to hear the song as Joe heard it when he decided to record it. You’ll also receive the lyric file of the song- and this lyric file includes “Baxter’s Boneyard” – all the lines that DIDN’T make it into the song (see if you agree with our choices). It’s something nobody else has seen, and I think it’s pretty cool. But, again, this gift is only for those who subscribe to Man vs. Row by E-MAIL. These gifts will be sent by email, so if I don’t have your email address, I can’t send it to you. God Bless!

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Anything you’d like to add or ask?  Leave a comment!  Are there any topics  you’d like to see addressed in a future MvR post?  Thanks!

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4 thoughts on “The Artist Camp: Multiple Points Of Contact”

  1. Great read, Brent! Question: say you do have an in with an artist’s camp (you know, like you “know a guy”); how do you get your song to the right person without stepping on any toes?

    1. Hello, Mae!
      Thanks for subscribing- I appreciate it. It’s a good question, but I don’t think there’s a simple answer for you. Ideally, you would build an honest friendship with this person (though you don’t have to be best friends), and he or she would hear your songs in a you’re-not-asking-for-anything kinda way, and would become a fan. Hopefully, they’d offer to help you if they could. Barring that, you just have to approach it gently. The relationship is more important than one pitch. Seek to add value. Is there some way you can help this person? Giving has a way of coming back around.

      If this person is actively helping this artist look for songs, it’s easier for you. If you’re an unknown writer, maybe you can let them know you have ONE song you thin would be good for that artist- and if he or she listens and agrees, would they mind passing it along?
      Hope that helps!
      God bless,
      Brent

      1. Thanks so much for the reply! I really appreciate the insight. All of that makes so much sense that it kind of seems like a silly question now. Always great to remember a lot of life is much simpler than we make it out to be. Thanks again!

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