Where Have All the Cuts Gone

WHERE HAVE ALL THE CUTS GONE? 
                        By: MAB 
A common question among songwriters in today’s marketplace is “WHERE HAVE ALL THE CUTS GONE” (getting songs recorded by major and independent artists.) They run into brick walls everywhere they turn. “NO UNSOLICITED MATERIAL” with every publisher, and song plugger. “NO! NO, NO!’ being told to them when they approach artists, producers, industry people when they try to show up with their CD or draw attention to their web site or download. 
  
First of all, It has NEVER been THAT easy to get cuts. There has always been a hierarchy. There is an old adage, “It’s who you know.” This is not really true in the music business. It’s WHO KNOWS YOU AND HOW THEY KNOW YOU.” We all know hundreds of people, hit writers, producers, publishers, label people. We run into each other at number one parties, Holiday events, etc. Just because we share a space at the food table doesn’t mean we can “run a CD over to their office.” 
There is a pecking order and etiquette. 
  
Hit artist, writers, producers, label people, have worked YEARS to build and nurture relationships, to build friendships, and EARNING their place at the table. They have worked their way up, learned the craft, the business, and BUILT lifelong FRIENDSHIPS. All of us move to town, after leaving behind family, friends, financial security, start ALL OVER IN LIFE, and work at it. They start new lives often AFTER OTHER LIVES, careers, friends, relatives. And it is one of the toughest things to do in life. The competition is incredibly fierce, the landscape constantly changes, and everything you’ve built could be brought down by a label or company folding, your contacts losing THEIR deals, in the blink of an eye. 
  
Think of your job and life. How long it took you to get there What you had to go through. The hard times spent barely getting by. Now how many of you, would accept someone you don’t know coming up to you and saying? “I don’t like my job, but yours looks like fun. And I don’t want to work like you did to get there. So you don’t mind moving over. Letting me take your contacts, your relationships and make YOUR money do you?” Yet, that is what people on the outside are constantly trying to say. Doesn’t work that way. 
  
Why is it so hard? It’s supposed to be. Most people that try to do this are NOT REALLY ANY GOOD. Also they can’t observe the RULES. So many are flakes, unpleasant people, or just not there. If you are really on your game, your reputations will precede you. If not, that will precede you too. 
  
In the 2000’s, when the “LAWSUIT LOTTERY” got into high gear, everyone who got a hit song was suddenly sued for copyright infringement by all kinds of people they had never heard of. Now this is a hot bone of contention, among writers. EVERYONE THINKS THEY HAVE HAD SOMETHING STOLEN. The reality is that WE ALL JUST WRITE THE SAME STUFF. My opinion is that most song theft is a myth and most is accidental or subconscious. The only real copyright cases are one major artist suing another and most are over some very strange things, and usually settled out of court. But unknowns sure think that writers and artists sit around scouring the Internet for ideas from people who barely could write their way out of a paper bag. Nonsense. 
But the industry effect is that they simply quit listening to anybody they didn’t know. 
  
The other reason is that artists NOW WRITE THEIR OWN SONGS. Their inner circles, publishers, co-writers, friends, producers publishing companies, provide material. And they start writing at 13-14 years old. Putting their songs down on camera phones, putting them on the Internet. They have THEIR OWN EMOTIONS, STORIES, and EXPERIENCES. They don’t NEED OR WANT people to put words in their mouths. And these artists who come to a music center, LA, New York or Nashville are building relationships (that word again) that start from the beginning. They have people with them through loves, breakups, career and life ups and downs. And they are around for YEARS before anything tangible happens. They are climbing the ladder, learning the ropes. Most wash out. So expecting someone to take songs from someone they don’t know? Pure folly. 
  
                                                                                WHAT TO DO 
If you are a writer looking to get someone to record your songs, you better GET OUT OF THE LIVING ROOM. You better get support and befriend people in YOUR HOMETOWN. There are artists playing coffee houses, writers shows, open mic nights. They have web sites, but you are going to have to MEET THEM FIRST. If you are not willing to do that, WHY SHOULD THEY BE INTERESTED IN YOU? 

While the Internet is a great tool, it will NEVER take the place of face to face meetings. Too many viruses, hacking, identity theft, to rely just upon the Net to do your work for you. And HOW ARE YOU GETOING TO GET KNOWN ON THE NET ALONE? There are ONE BILLION SONGS A MONTH UPLOADED. Thirty to fifty million artists. You Tube uploads SEVENTY FIVE MILES OF CONTENT AN HOUR! How is someone going to find you? Through your “Friends?” (Overestimated numbers on social media that are mostly people just “LIKING” you so you will “LIKE” them back to build their numbers.) 

The “STARS OF TOMORROW” are probably in your neighborhood today. The next “The VOICE” contestant. The “NEXT BIG THING.” 
Sure, there are “pitch and placement” services and they have various degrees of success. For me the more intermediaries you put in the middle of actually KNOWING someone, becoming their good friends and ACTUAL SUPPORTERS, the further away from reality you get. 
If you want to GET IN THE GAME. Gonna have to GET IN THE GAME. Internet and living room in your pajamas, AIN’T IT! 
  

WHERE HAVE ALL THE CUTS GONE? 
                        By: MAB 
A common question among songwriters in today’s marketplace is “WHERE HAVE ALL THE CUTS GONE” (getting songs recorded by major and independent artists.) They run into brick walls everywhere they turn. “NO UNSOLICITED MATERIAL” with every publisher, and song plugger. “NO! NO, NO!’ being told to them when they approach artists, producers, industry people when they try to show up with their CD or draw attention to their web site or download. 
  
First of all, It has NEVER been THAT easy to get cuts. There has always been a hierarchy. There is an old adage, “It’s who you know.” This is not really true in the music business. It’s WHO KNOWS YOU AND HOW THEY KNOW YOU.” We all know hundreds of people, hit writers, producers, publishers, label people. We run into each other at number one parties, Holiday events, etc. Just because we share a space at the food table doesn’t mean we can “run a CD over to their office.” 
There is a pecking order and etiquette. 
  
Hit artist, writers, producers, label people, have worked YEARS to build and nurture relationships, to build friendships, and EARNING their place at the table. They have worked their way up, learned the craft, the business, and BUILT lifelong FRIENDSHIPS. All of us move to town, after leaving behind family, friends, financial security, start ALL OVER IN LIFE, and work at it. They start new lives often AFTER OTHER LIVES, careers, friends, relatives. And it is one of the toughest things to do in life. The competition is incredibly fierce, the landscape constantly changes, and everything you’ve built could be brought down by a label or company folding, your contacts losing THEIR deals, in the blink of an eye. 
  
Think of your job and life. How long it took you to get there What you had to go through. The hard times spent barely getting by. Now how many of you, would accept someone you don’t know coming up to you and saying? “I don’t like my job, but yours looks like fun. And I don’t want to work like you did to get there. So you don’t mind moving over. Letting me take your contacts, your relationships and make YOUR money do you?” Yet, that is what people on the outside are constantly trying to say. Doesn’t work that way. 
  
Why is it so hard? It’s supposed to be. Most people that try to do this are NOT REALLY ANY GOOD. Also they can’t observe the RULES. So many are flakes, unpleasant people, or just not there. If you are really on your game, your reputations will precede you. If not, that will precede you too. 
  
In the 2000’s, when the “LAWSUIT LOTTERY” got into high gear, everyone who got a hit song was suddenly sued for copyright infringement by all kinds of people they had never heard of. Now this is a hot bone of contention, among writers. EVERYONE THINKS THEY HAVE HAD SOMETHING STOLEN. The reality is that WE ALL JUST WRITE THE SAME STUFF. My opinion is that most song theft is a myth and most is accidental or subconscious. The only real copyright cases are one major artist suing another and most are over some very strange things, and usually settled out of court. But unknowns sure think that writers and artists sit around scouring the Internet for ideas from people who barely could write their way out of a paper bag. Nonsense. 
But the industry effect is that they simply quit listening to anybody they didn’t know. 
  
The other reason is that artists NOW WRITE THEIR OWN SONGS. Their inner circles, publishers, co-writers, friends, producers publishing companies, provide material. And they start writing at 13-14 years old. Putting their songs down on camera phones, putting them on the Internet. They have THEIR OWN EMOTIONS, STORIES, and EXPERIENCES. They don’t NEED OR WANT people to put words in their mouths. And these artists who come to a music center, LA, New York or Nashville are building relationships (that word again) that start from the beginning. They have people with them through loves, breakups, career and life ups and downs. And they are around for YEARS before anything tangible happens. They are climbing the ladder, learning the ropes. Most wash out. So expecting someone to take songs from someone they don’t know? Pure folly. 
  
                                                                                WHAT TO DO 
If you are a writer looking to get someone to record your songs, you better GET OUT OF THE LIVING ROOM. You better got support and befriend people in YOUR HOMETOWN. There are artists playing coffee houses, writers shows, open mic nights. They have web sites, but you are going to have to MEET THEM FIRST. If you are not willing to do that, WHY SHOULD THEY BE INTERESTED IN YOU? 

While the Internet is a great tool, it will NEVER take the place of face to face meetings. Too many viruses, hacking, identity theft, to rely just upon the Net to do your work for you. And HOW ARE YOU GETOING TO GET KNOWN ON THE NET ALONE? There are ONE BILLION SONGS A MONTH UPLOADED. Thirty to fifty million artists. You Tube uploads SEVENTY FIVE MILES OF CONTENT AN HOUR! How is someone going to find you? Through your “Friends?” (Overestimated numbers on social media that are mostly people just “LIKING” you so you will “LIKE” them back to build their numbers.) 

The “STARS OF TOMORROW” are probably in your neighborhood today. The next “The VOICE” contestant. The “NEXT BIG THING.” 
Sure, there are “pitch and placement” services and they have various degrees of success. For me the more intermediaries you put in the middle of actually KNOWING someone, becoming their good friends and ACTUAL SUPPORTERS, the further away from reality you get. 
If you want to GET IN THE GAME. Gonna have to GET IN THE GAME. Internet and living room in your pajamas, AIN’T IT! 
  

MAB

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