The Songwriter Who Cried “Hit!”

Man vs Row

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.

Please protect the authority of your word.

Make your word mean something. If people can’t trust your word, they’ll keep you at a distance.  Don’t be like the songwriter who cried “hit.” Don’t overhype accomplishments which are not… accomplished yet. Protect the value of your word, or people will stop investing in you and your career.

I know a person who always has some deal that’s huge and a “done deal.” Some deal that’s going to make us both a lot of money, etc. But not one of these deals (record deals, cuts, hit singles, etc.) have actually happened. And it’s not just big things- small things like “demoing our song tomorrow” rarely materialize. As a result, I just don’t get excited about any “big news.” I don’t know if this person is just trying to speak their wishes into existence or if they’re just naive… but either way, I just don’t believe this person anymore.

No, I don’t share this to complain.

I’m sharing this to beg you NOT to be this person.

This person is nice and has potential, but I can’t and won’t recommend that any of my contacts work with them. I simply don’t trust this person enough. I don’t want this person either looking like a fool or a fraud to my contacts. It hurts my credibility if I vouch for them. I just can’t afford that.

It’s true that if enough people THINK you’re a hot property, then you ARE a hot property in Nashville. But you can’t be dishonest. The wheels turn slowly here, and people have plenty of time to jump back off your bandwagon when they realize they can’t believe anything you say. It’s fine to promote yourself and highlight your accomplishments, but be honest with people.

Please, protect the value of your word.

What do you think?  Have you had dealings with people like this?  What was the result?  Do you still work with them?  I’d love to hear from you!

God Bless,



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5 thoughts on “The Songwriter Who Cried “Hit!””

  1. Oh boy, have I ever. Most recently I wasted months, almost a year, on this person, supposedly a manager, who turned out to be worthless.
    Thing is, the time wasted was entirely my own fault. I have met so many people over the years, and knew early on, that this person had issues with respect to speaking the truth.
    Hope, however, is a potent idea. I so needed someone to assist me in getting myself and my music out there. So, I hung on, until eventually crazy got so thick, I had to call it.

  2. As a father who is trying to learn as much as I can about the music world and business – i find it daunting. Its through blogs like yours Brent that find valuable. My spider sense tells me when I shouldnt trust people, but as a trusting person, I know I will be taken advantage of. I still believe that success will come to those who work the hardest and are willing to be true to themselves Here is a great quote from a respected health and fitness guru Craig Ballantyne – “Success is simple once you accept how hard it is”…Once you accept how difficult it’s going to be only then will you be mentally willing to accept the challenges that it will require, such as sacrifice, dedication, preparation, planning, honesty, and perseverance. Once you accept that, then it’s a simple process of doing the work and going through your transformation. You just put your head down and do it.

    Thanks for your post Brent and looking forward to watching you achieve your goals!

  3. That’s a common problem in the music industry on both sides of the fence. There are more than a few less than honest studio owners, sound engineers, songpluggers, artist managers and music attorneys in and out of Nashville, L.A. and N.Y.C.
    They’re either interested in taking your money or keeping your money. Oh, the stories I could tell about aspiring singers and their families being fleeced for large sums of money. New writers inevitably think their songs are better than they really are and when some shady studio owner wants to take them for $$$ to cut songs that shouuldn’t be cut, they tell them oh, this is a hit song! Aspiring singers who sound like a dying donkey are told they can sing and of course they believe it and then it’s off to the studio to cut 12 sides and hey you really need a tour bus. Yes, I’ve seen several buses sold to singers who didn’t stand a chance in hell of ever making it. And then there are those people like the one you mention who may or man not have an agenda. Here is my advice for aspiring singers. First, find a reputable voice coach and develop your voice. When you’re ready don’t go to Nashville, L.A. or N.Y.C. looking for a deal. Start touring and develop a large fan base willing to pay money to see you and buy your c.d.’s I can assure you that if you have a large fan following willing to spend money on you then the labels will come looking for you. Songwriters be aware that it takes a lot of time and work to get to the point where your songs can compete with seasoned pro songwriters . Spend your time and money on improving your songwriting and developing meaningful relationships with those people who have the ability to get your songs heard and cut. The cold hard facts are these. Less than 1 in a 100 songs are listened to a second time by A&R people. I would also venture to say that even among pro seasoned songwriters the numbers are just as low for getting a meaningful cut that will generate income. You’re songs must be better than other songwriters to get a cut. Pro songwriting is tough and not for the weak of heart and easily discouraged.

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