Occasionally, I have to deliver bad news. And I suffer. I find such conversations very difficult.
Our recording studio gets very busy and I have limited time to respond to all of the requests that we receive to work with artists. Needless to say, we have to be very selective with new artists as the amount of time and effort must be well spent.
Sometimes we have to say no to someone during the discovery process of preproduction. I hate doing that as it usually means a disconnect in communication. This happened over the week-end.
We work with artists. Artists that are active and committed with a track record in performance. We will sometimes take on development work with unproven artists that have significant potential. However, we never take on spec work for songwriters.
So the situation I found myself in on Saturday was talking to a songwriter who wanted to produce a commercial quality project to sell songs. It took me almost 4 hours to communicate a few key points:
- We work with active artists not songwriters so I could not move forward with this project
- Songwriters do not need commercial quality productions to sell their songs to the market
- The market for such material is highly competitive and the ability to earn income from such activities is very limited
- Clear and realistic objectives should be thought out before starting any major recording project
I also had to have a discussion with the songwriter on talent and vocal ability. Musicians generally have a bit of a blind eye to the quality and potential of their own talent.
A difficult discussion. I did try to help as much as I could under the circumstances. I have a friend who is an active songwriter and he has pitched songs to artists like Reba McEntire. He will be a good contact for this songwriter to learn more about the market and how to approach it.