This past weekend I met a songwriter and once again, they mentioned that they do not put out their music because they don't want others to steal from them. After a little conversation, I discovered the real reason is that they did not feel confident in the own creations.
We are songwriters. That makes us artists. When an artist wants to make a living being an artist, we have to generate income from our art. That means we have to have a product and someone to "purchase" it. I put purchase in quotations because nowadays most people don't have to pay to listen to music. But if a listener takes the time to listen to and enjoy your music, they have "bought" it.
A painter paints and sells their paintings. A sculptor sculpts and sells there sculptures. Every creation is different and has a value. Not everything is going to be a hit or masterpiece, but it does have value.
What if the painter and sculptor never show anyone their work? What if they just created the art and hid it in the closet? Hiding your work will not help you grow as an artist, nor will it help you build your reputation/brand as an artist, and it will not help you be successful.
Remember this: Create, Display, Modify.
Create your art to the best of your current abilities. Never stop learning. Never stop improving your craft.
Display your art for feedback from the market (music consumers, bands, artists, tv/film, etc). If the market consumes it, you have a good product. If it stays on the shelf, replace with a better product or define your market to make sure the right people are seeing it.
Modify your art for success. Write, release, rewrite, re-release.
Copyright protection is not an excuse for not putting your art out to the world. If you have your works on a digital file, you have metadata related to that file that is relevant to your copyright. If you have a great piece of art that needs higher levels of protection, you can always register with US Copyright Office.
Every market and every genre in music is very crowded. You've got to know your market! Your responsibility is to know who will buy your product and to deliver it to them. Know what the competition is doing so you can release comparable or better quality products.
As my mentor, Rick Barker (www.musicindustryblueprint.com), says, "You can have the best hamburgers in the world, but if you open up shop in a town of vegetarians, you just screwed yourself."
If confidence is an issue for not releasing your art, hire a professional mentor before releasing your art. Criticism from a mentor is constructive and will help you grow. Criticism from the market can be a bit harsh to swallow. Either way, don't sit on your art; create, display, modify.
You can do this. I'm here for you if you need me. Or, go take Rick's assessment at the above link. Cheers!
#FeelTheLove #inspire #educate #songwriter
P.S. If you're frustrated as a songwriter/artist for whatever reason, call or text me. (813) 336-1102. I'll get you on the right track.
Who is the best country band in Florida?
I get asked all the time what my goals are with my career. One of my answers is to be a household name for country music here in Florida! I love Florida and it's why I chose to focus my career on Floridians instead of running off to Nashville like all the other wannabes.
So who is the best country band in Florida? First, let's take a gander at what it takes to be a damn-good, rip-roaring, party-starting country band!
That's right! I chose Florida Country over Nashville Country.
In my career so far, I have noticed a few things that make me say, "That band is damn good!"
First is that the sound needs to be under control. Blasting the audience away with a wall of sound is not the best thing for a country band (or any band, for that matter). If you want to be taken seriously as a band, make sure to pay attention to what the audience is hearing. I suggest having a quality sound engineer be a part of live shows.
Keep playing music! Huge lulls in the music to say something clever or shamelessly promote merch and social media is a buzz killer and an opportunity for the audience to realize they're tired and want to go home. Basically, if the music stops, so does the party. If something needs to be said, make it quick and start playing again. I've noted that silence leaves the audience anticipating what is coming next. Sometimes there is no need to say anything at all. Announcements and shameless promotion can wait until breaks.
Interact with the audience! Bring them into the show. If somebody isn't paying attention, ask them for a request, play their request, and then thank them with a free goodie from the merch table. It doesn't have to be an expensive item. A simple sticker will bring a smile to someone's face and make them pay attention to the music.
Speaking of playing requests, it is really important to the audience that the band gives them what they want! It's not about the band at all. As an entertainer, I have noticed that some bands only care about their setlist and their show. Let me say that if Garth Brooks can stop in the middle of a song to care about (and play) what one single fan wants to hear, so can any band out there.
In a live show, it's about the fans, period.
Those are just a few notes on live performance that I have noticed gain the compliments and affection of new and existing fans. How do you know if you are performing well and gaining that affection? There are many things that can be observed from the bandstand (as long as the stage lighting isn't blinding) that can indicate you are doing well. Here are a few...
But is it enough to just perform well?
It isn't enough to just perform well. It's important, but to be the best country music band in Florida, more has to be done!
Let's face it, when the music starts, most people do not know who is on stage. That's why it has to be announced many, many, many times! Play well and pound it into their heads who is playing such wonderful music.
The same goes for off-stage performance. Most people are not going to Google and searching for a specific band. Instead, their search phrase will look something like this...
"Best Country Band (city) Florida"
...or something along those lines. Who shows up when the enter button is pushed? A presence on top booking sites is crucial. A review from a local blogger is crucial. Paying attention to a band/artist website's search ranking and SEO is crucial.
Too many great talents brush these points off and say, "I don't know how." Then they will continue to ignore the problem and they will miss out on many opportunities to grow their brand. There are many people out there that can help accomplish anything a band or artist isn't good at. Build a team of pros and get these things done!
Here are a few back of the house things to pay attention to:
So who's the best country band in Florida?
It will be the one who does all of these things and more very effectively! Grind, grit, and a whole lot of passion will help, but that's just the start. Good luck out there!
Please leave a comment below and share this with your friends! Please go to iTunes and download all my music! #FeelTheLove
Chances are that if you've been out to one of my shows here recently in 2018, you have heard me say, "This is Florida Country music," once or twice. That may or may not have caused you to ask, "What the hell is Florida Country music?"
I've been asked this a few times directly and so I'd like to go ahead and just lay this answer out there for all you fine folks. Be careful when you stand up and walk around 'cuz I'm about to drop some knowledge!
Florida Country Music is country music crafted for the Floridian and the Florida-country-music-lover's lifestyle. I like to say that my newest album concept, "Four Wheel Dr.", will define Florida Country by setting a solid example of the Florida Country sound.
So what is Florida Country music? Glad you asked!
From the beaches to the woods, from Key West to the Florida-Bama line, and from the marinas to the honky-tonks, there are so many country music fans in Florida! And we're all proud as hell, are we not? Even those that are not native Floridian love to come to Florida and enjoy this amazing piece of paradise. And we all love to have music right along side whatever activity we are engaging in. It's a staple! There are island sounds, rock and roll riffs, and country rhythms filling our ears with every wave that crashes, fish that's pulled out of the deep blue, cold one that's cracked, boot that's stomped on the hardwood, and with every shotgun blast that rings out the nature of Florida Country.
Florida Country is true to it's roots. What are those roots? Southern Rock, Rock, Reggae and what is now considered traditional country music. Where it gets fun is that we're gonna stick all that in a blender, put it on frappe, pour some rum in that shit, and then pour that in our cup. Boom! Florida Country music is here!
Most of ya'll reading this might be saying, "Like Kenny Chesney?" Yes, but Kenny Chesney is such a megastar that he is pretty much a sub-genre of country all on his own. I love that guy. Some of ya'll might be asking, "Oh, like Zac Brown Band?!" Yes, but Zac Brown Band does such an eclectic mix of music that some of their tunes fit the Florida Country sound while others do not. I love those guys too. Point is, these amazing artists are the closest thing to Florida Country out there in my opinion. Or rather, they are the most popular.
If you love rock, country, island music, and love when it's mixed together, you are a Florida Country fan!
If you fit any of these following descriptions, you are a Florida Country fan!
I think that about covers the basics of what makes the Florida Country Music fan. Feel free to add one I missed to the comments below!
Thank you guys for reading! Please give us a like and share on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Make sure the hashtag #FeelTheLove!
I want to know where ya'll want me to come play! Please let me know in the comments or hit me up if you want to hire me for an event! firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the latest single on iTunes and Spotify! "Tonight I'm Drinking Alone"
Disclaimer: If you find a typo, feel free to raz me relentlessly in the comments. Don't actually poor rum into your country music, radios, and iPods don't like that kinda thing. Drink responsibly. No party fouls.
Share, share, share the news! Florida Country Music is here and we're damn proud of our state!!
...just tell your story.
I guess it's just that simple!
2018 has a been a record breaking year thus far. How about for you? I played zero shows before March last year and so far this year, we've booked 18 dates. What a blessing!
Here are a couple highlights so far:
It really doesn't take much to make a country boy happy! Give him a cold beer, pat him on the butt and tell him his songs are good and you'll see him smile.
Shifting in 4 wheel low....
There's been something I've been wanting to write about and I hope this doesn't come off preachy. I took a solid vacation to the Caribbean on board the amazing Caribbean Princess for just about 2 weeks. I know! It was so amazing! However, I really got a perspective on just how spoiled some people can be. Here we are on a luxury cruise liner, being waited on hand and foot, and all I hear is complaining coming from so many different directions. Some folks were just down right miserable enough to tell my 1 year old to keep it down when he was running in the hallway at 11am.
Well I ain't keeping it down. It's plain and simple. I felt amazingly blessed to even have the opportunity to be on that ship and I couldn't believe that some could do nothing but focus on the negativity. Really?
Two words come to mind; be grateful! In the words of Larry The Cable Guy, "You oughta be grateful for what the good Lord give ya!"
Here's the challenge... before you go complaining the next time you feel like it, stop, look around, and count your blessings. Then go ahead and complain if you still feel like it.
Shifting back to 4 Wheel High...
In 2015 I made a decision to pursue music full-time. Then, I was still in the Navy so full-time was gonna wait until May 8th, 2016, but my babe and I decided that was the move I was gonna make with my future. I'm happy to report that in 2015, my music biz made a very small amount. It's about 4 figures. Now, I'm happy to report that because in 2016, I more than doubled that number. It's just about 5 figures. In 2017? Yep! I doubled that number again!! It's still 5 figures, but it's much better! In 2018, if everything continues on the track its going, I could triple that number. Wow! God is good. So it hard work and a vision.
I'm here to tell you that dreams come true with those three things; God, hard work, vision. You can do whatever you want. Don't settle for less than you deserve. You deserve to be happy. I made the decision to be happy rather than comfortable. Now, I'm building to the point where I can be happy and comfortable.
YOU CAN DO IT TOO! All you gotta do is believe in yourself and your dream. Go get it!
Ya'll #FeelTheLove, go download all my music, come to a show and bring a friend with ya!
And stay in touch with the latest and greatest news and upcoming events!
Recently tried singing this song on video because I get a lot of requests for it while I'm out playing gigs. I love the song and the deep character that Jamey Johnson has in his voice while he performs this song. "In Color" was written by Jamey, James Otto, and Lee Thomas Miller. You can read more about this Grammy nominated, 2009 CMA Song of the Year here.
Why do you love this song? Leave a comment below.
New music coming soon! "Tonight I'm Drinking Alone" will be released to the public in just a few short days! Be sure to check it out on iTunes, Amazon, and where ever music is sold online.
Stay tuned! Thank you so much for being a fan and being a part of my journey as a songwriter and artist.
A recent development in my new music project is that "Tonight I'm Drinking Alone" will be the first single released from the upcoming album "Four Wheel Dr." due to be released in 2018! Mr. Rob Shaffer will sit at the helm in the Producer chair, but I will sit closely to assist him as coproducer. Rob also plays lead guitar for me in my band. Find more about Rob here.
Our plan is to release a few singles in a row from this new album plan. "Tonight I'm Drinking Alone" will be the first and "Four Wheel Dr." will be coming at you in February 2018.
I wrote "Tonight I'm Drinking Alone" after trying to go to bed one night a couple months ago. The words started flowing as I was drifting off to sleep. I had to get up, grab a pen, and start writing as they came. I had to do a few rewrites, but it stayed pretty true to the original write.
"Four Wheel Dr." was written with Mike Chinn, who I met in Nashville, but we actually wrote the song in St. Petersburg. Mike and I have had some great success with writing together.
It's all coming at you soon! I really hope you enjoy this first single "Tonight I'm Drinking Alone". I will let you know as soon as it's ready! But here's a little preview of the production progress.
Please share with your friends!
For a limited time, I am making it free to download my album on Soundcloud! This is a huge THANK YOU for all the support you have given me since I released it on Memorial Day 2016. I couldn't do it without you all and with your continued support, I am going to keep it going by starting a campaign for "Four Wheel Dr." Your feedback on this single has been amazing so it's my desire to bring you a fully produced version of the song!
There's really nothing like having a weekly tradition with my favorite baby boy! Donut Dursday is something I started simply because I love donuts, but it has certainly caught on and is a weekly thing at the White House. It's simple, it's cheap, it's fun, and it brings the family together.
I think in this fast pace day and age we live in, anything that brings the family together and puts smiles on faces is something to hold on to!
Spread the love! Enjoy Donut Dursday with us! Post pictures of your Donut Dursday, tag @gregwhitejrmusic on Facebook and Instagram and your next Donut Dursday could be on me!
Thank you guys so much for the support of this new single!