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Confessions of a Songwriter

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Writing Songs, Getting Published and Music Copyrights

CleverJoe and I go back. Way back. I guess we've known each other a good 21 years, at least. (Although he'd probably tell you it feels like longer.) When he asked me personally to contribute to this site, I, of course, was happy to oblige. After all, it's not everyday that a guy gets to do something like this for, well, a cartoon character.

Now, I know that this site is primarily about gear, and it's a place for musician/performer types to network and gather information about the Canadian and International music scenes. A sort of, 'cyber hangout,' if you will. Anyway, Clev suggested that, when writing this column, I shouldn't come at it from a strict musician-type angle per se, but rather I use it to talk about music industry type stuff that could potentially be of interest to people visiting the site. More specifically, he thought it would be interesting to have my take on things, because, while I am a singer and a musician, my most recent area of employment has been songwriting.

Professional songwriter. I guess I can call myself that. I mean, am I one of the fortunate few who have been paid to write songs? Yes. Have I had any songs recorded by recording artists? Yes. Would you know any of the songs I've had recorded? Probably not. To date, they've all been by artists on smaller, independent record labels. But, hey! I'm in the game!

I moved from my home in my native Canada to Nashville, Tennessee four years ago. My plans were:

  • Mission 1: within the first year and a half, to sign a publishing deal, and
  • Mission 2: within the next year and a half, to sign a record deal.
  • Well, so far, Mission 1 accomplished. Mission 2...we're workin' on it.

    In these columns, I'm going to talk about a variety of things. Most of them musical. (Although, I did have a really cool piece on bungee cord weaving prepared...)

    Throughout, I'm probably going to reference stuff that I've done along my musical journey, (as sordid as some of it is), and talk about things like live performance, music publishing, being 'on the road,' where to find guitar strings at 9:29 p.m. in Manitouwadge, Ontario, etc.

    Maybe you'll find similarities between my trek and yours. Really, we're all on the same road.

    Next Article:
    How Music Publishing Works

    Austin tells you what you need to know about music publishing, copyrights, and salsa stains.

    Austin Smith is trekking down the songwriter's path in Nashville, Tennessee. Austin will be contributing regular articles to Cleverjoe's until he finally gets that elusive recording contract, at which point we hope he won't forget the little people.


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