Great Advice From Our December “Play For Publisher” Event!

Here are some great lessons from our December Play For A Publisher Event!

We recently had another great “Play For A Publisher” event. Our guest publisher was John Ozier of Ole’ Music in Nashville, Tennessee.  Today, I’d like to share some of the best takeaways from the evening.

Artists and producers are ALWAYS looking for uptempo.

Your song’s first line MUST hook the listener, or they’ll never get to the chorus.

Publishing companies live and die at Top 40 radio.

Find out who’s getting cuts- and work your way into that circle.

Write your truth.  It resonates with people.  For example, Lori McKenna songs are so real and honest that they jump through the speakers.

Publishers love when you can write a great song by yourself.

Not every song has to change the world.  There is space for fun live songs.

He is strategic when looking to add new writers to his company.  No writers at Ole are redundant.  Each is unique and fills a different niche.

Interesting phrasing and musical hooks are very important.

You HAVE to stay relevant to the times.  As much as you can write yourself into this business, you can write yourself out of it.

Radio won’t switch abruptly from one sonic quality to something totally different.  There’s a certain sonic common thread that runs through those radio songs.

Find your lane and do it better than anyone else.  You’re trying to stand out from among thousands of songwriters.

If you were there or watched the replay, what takeaways did YOU get from the session?  Please leave it in the comments!

I want to give another shout-out to all of the writers who joined us for the event. Ya’ll really represented the Songwriting Pro community well!

“Dirty Oar” by Jennifer Stricker, Mark Maxwell
“The Wrong Spirit” by David Micheal, Lauren McLamb
“Mom Life” by Heather Morgan
“Nice Tall Glass” by Marla Rubenstein, Tucker Bouler, Betsy Walter, John Cirillo, Dan Reifsnyder
“Indiana” by Daniel Leathersich, David Micheal
“Vintage” by Dave Quirk, Troy Castellano, Victoria Banks
“Sand” by Todd Dickinson, Jonathan Helfand
“Your Key Still Works” by Jayne Sachs, Joey Ebach
“Be Beautiful” by Donna King
“Beautiful Ever After” by Joe Slyzelia, Donna King, Emily Kroll

If YOU would like to play your song for a legit music publisher, our next Play For A Publisher event is coming right up!  Our next guest is Courtney Allen of BMG Nashville.  Courtney works closely with hit songwriters Travis Meadows, Wynn Varble, Lucie Silvas, and more.  If YOU have the songs, SHE knows what to do with them!


God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,


Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, 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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