Frequently Asked Questions
A&R, Artist Development and Consulting
How do I get started with Creative Soul?
It’s easy! Just contact us!
Whether you are looking to get started for the first time, have been making music in your own studio and need guidance, or are an old pro ready to make the next best step. Get in touch and let’s talk.
Will you listen to my demo?
While we do accept MP3s by email, we’d much rather get an email with a link to a site where demos are posted. If you’d like a professional critique of your music, we offer consulting services that will help you decide where your songs are from a developmental standpoint. Click here to find out more about our consulting services.
What can I do to get more bookings?
In the old days this used to be as easy as booking a concert at a church, or coffeehouse. Opportunties do exist but you are going to have to be more inventive. House concerts, stage time at local fairs and festivals, and building contacts of people who book venues is your best bet to try and get out there and stay busy. And don’t discount online events such as going live on Facebook or YouTube.
I want to do this as my career, how can I do it?
The key is determination, the ability to sell product and demand concert fees, bookings, smart online marketing, and getting into music licensing. See our video at our YouTube channel on this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtwKb5LPUsM
Determination: Having the will to see things through. Staying with your music when the going gets tough. Thinking of yourself as a creative, artistic person for life. Keeping a focus that in 20 years, you will still be doing this work.
Product Sales: This will mostly be some sort of combination physical/digital product that could include DVDs, T-shirts, Hats, 8x10s, etc., coupled with a limited edition CD or vinyl product with artwork and QR code for digital sales. While there will be some expense to produce your products, the profit from these is usually very good and perpetuates making more product.
Appearance Fees: As a working musician, this is your bread and butter. These can rise from nothing to a set fee you charge, or depending on the venue, a percentage of the door.
Bookings: This will be your main job. You’ll need to be out gigging if you expect this to support you. Successful booking comes from referrals, calling, and word of mouth. It’s not easy, but consistent bookings almost always result in income for your music brand, product sales, and the most important thing: getting your music and message to the world.
Smart Marketing: Where we used to talk about radio, publicity, and other marketing here, now it all starts with a solid web site and smart social media marketing to build an authentic following online. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are a must, and basically FREE to use.
Music Licensing: We saved the best one for last. The exploding world television, film, and advertising and the need for music there must be a key focal point for you as an artist. You need to have great songs, and top production to compete here, which is exactly what we offer!
Find out more about all kinds of ways to Make Music Income at our companion site here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQELt_ElRr3qdiTBwym9QaA?sub_confirmation=1
Can you help someone get signed?
The business of music is changing. Are you sure you even want to be signed to a large label deal?
Many artists are leaving the major label fold because they have just found they can make a better living and have more creative freedom.
Getting a record company to sign you means that you have something they think can sell, that they can be successful with, and will put you to work for them. They look for incredible talent, communication skills with an audience, a good heart, very strong current fan and social base, your streaming numbers, and more.
There’s kind of a joke right now that the kind of artists the labels are most looking for, are the artists who don’t need a label.
Our goal with any artist we consult with, work for, or bring into our organization, is to build a strong music brand, with quality products, that speak a positive message to the world. The end result being a music brand that can walk down any road that God puts in front of them. Major label, indie label, TV, film, advertising, or just getting out there to sing!
We have had many artists meet with major labels after working with us and improving their music, brand, and marketing. Many more though have had national and worldwide radio airplay, built a strong online following, placed music with TV and Film libraries, and touring success as a result of the work we have done together.
We do NOT sign artists to “record deals”. Period.
We provide very high-end artist development, production, and marketing services for the artists and songwriters we work for. We offer the Creative Soul Records label umbrella to the artists we develop and produce. Our label brand is well-known and respected inside the music industry through a multitude of national radio singles, national press releases, music videos, and hundreds of thousands of CDs sold worldwide. Click here to contact us about how we get started with all new artists…
Do you offer consulting on music production, songwriting, or just what my best course is in music?
We have many clients that say, “Wow, if I had only met you years ago, I wouldn’t have spun my wheels and I would have spent my money more wisely.”
We offer many kinds of consultation, coaching, and critique services. Click here to read about those on our Start page.
How do I sell my songs?
You never sell your songs. If you wrote them, no one should ever ask about “buying” your songs.
You own the publishing rights. In some cases, as in signing with a music publisher or music library, they may offer you a deal to become the publisher (meaning they do the work to find uses for the song that bring income from the song.) In this kind of deal, it is common for the publisher to get the publishing side of the song while you as the writer keep the writer side of the song. This is known as a 50/50 deal. If you are self-published and none of your songs are in a deal, you keep both the writer side and the publisher side for 100% of the publishing rights.
How do I copyright my songs?
Go to The Library of Congress and the US Copyright Office. Here you will find all the forms in downloadable form to send your songs to be officially copyrighted.
Many artists prefer to copyright their songs with the US Copyright office before sending them to us.
You can also copyright “collections” of songs to save money.
How do I know I’m good enough?
This is perhaps the hardest question of them all.
Do people say you have an extraordinary gift?
Do you love to make music and play it for others?
Do you have talent in one area of music, and know that if the right “other half” would come along, you’d have something really special?
All these are reasons to pursue music as a hobby, vocation, or dream. But only you can decide if this is where you need to be or where God wants you.
If you are not committed to putting time, effort, money, and practice in, then maybe it’s not for you.
As it is said in Nashville, if you can do anything else other than music (especially if it’s a skill that earns money well), then you may really want to do that other thing.
But if you have a burning desire to make music, and make it part of you, then do it. Make it your life. Make your goal to improve, to learn, to grow, and to dream. It can be a full time pursuit or a part-time one.
No one is ever there…music is a journey. And it is important in this work to be able to enjoy that journey. Making a living in music is an up and down roller coaster ride. But in some ways, you don’t choose music as a life, music chooses you.
What’s the best way to contact people in the music business?
First of all, do your research. You are reading this on the greatest research device ever provided to mankind: The Internet. Use it. Google what you are after. Research the sites like this one that give you information, have the type of music quality you want, and are who you want to talk to, then send them a short, concise, polite email.
This is the best way for everyone, as those who you may want to talk to may be busy. Email presents a great way to get back in touch with you on their time.
Also, go to music conferences and music events and do some old-fashioned networking. It’s how I started and just about everyone else I know really started good relationships with people in the music business.
Without a professional recording you are either just someone with a bad or mediocre demo, or someone who “says” they can sing or write songs.
But a professionally produced artist or songwriter can either put a CD into someone’s hands, or send them to their Spotify page, or their web site and SHOW them they can sing.
If you are an artist and want to be taken seriously by fans or the music business, you need a quality recording.
Will you produce me and/or my music?
Understand that Creative Soul is a “for hire” music production company. Also understand, we are looking for artists and songwriters who are serious and truly want to build a serious brand and do serious things.
We work to help you create a commercially viable music product that will sell and support your music and brand.
We work strictly on a “for hire” basis. We do not work for free or in hopes of you becoming “famous” or getting a recording contract with a large label.
Is it possible you might “make it big” after working with us? Well, that’s ultimately up to God, you and your songs.
But we definitely can help you get to the next level, whether that means from “home-produced” to pro studio, or from dream to reality.
How much does it cost?
Creative Soul is specifically the artist development and production arm of Creative Soul Records. Everything we do for artists is designed for national and international marketplace success, so this is not a bargain basement studio approach. Remember:
- Our process is a full service package include consulting, writing, arranging, complete studio, music, and vocal production, plus photos, design, and guiding the process from songs to CDs coming to your door. We also offer full web development and social media marketing services, as well as high end music video production.
- We are working with the very best that the music industry in Nashville as to offer.
- And our results are quantifiable.
This kind of quality can easily cost $1000-2000 per song.
When we work at a studio for writing, recording, or mixing, or use other musicians and engineers, you pay the cost of studio time, engineers, and musicians as needed.
The good news is you pay as you go, and you can pay in increments instead of having to come up with a huge sum all at once.
Who will play the instruments for my production?
We have access to the finest musicians in Nashville. No matter what your budget is, you can be assured that we will find the best players and singers in Nashville. And these are musicians who may be in the studio for a major label artist one day, and in your session the next. Just working with these folks will help you grow to be a better artist (and you’ll laugh a lot too).
Where will we record?
Most of our recording is done throughout Nashville and all the outlying areas, like Franklin, there are literally hundreds of studios to choose from. Depending on what needs to be done, what your budget is, and what’s available, we could be working in a beautiful multi-million dollar studio facility, at a major record label, or a professional room in a home recording space. Wherever we choose, you’ll be treated to years of experience as well as the best equipment and engineers.
Why is recording in Nashville different than recording in my home area?
Well, if you’ve been reading, you probably know the answer to this. Just by working in the studios with the producers, engineers, and musicians, you get to learn a lot more than you would in your local studio. But more than that, being in Nashville, you’ll feel the synergy of being with people that can help you grow as an artist. Recording here makes it easy to meet with distributors, publicists, songwriters, label folks, non-label folks, and much more.
What if I have a pretty good band here or make my own beats?
We recently began a new division of our label called Creative Soul DIY. You can find more information about that here. It provides guidance and direction at a very, very low price. Find out more here.
Do you only work in Nashville?
We also have amazing studios you can come to in the sunny Orlando, Florida area as well. This is also where we host our in person meetings with Creative Soul Records President and Executive Producer Eric Copeland.
We can write quality songs for you in your style, based on your personal thoughts and ministry. Clients find this to be a VERY effective service. It gives you fresh, original songs tailored just for your voice and style. We can also work with your songs, helping to add a more commercial feel, or help you get it to the next level. For examples, take a listen to our music samples…
What if I have songs but need arrangement help?
We can develop an arrangement that fits you individually, and with the additions of the best musicians in the world, it will sound even better! This has been our major business for 15 years. For examples, take a listen to our music samples…
Can you write melodies to my lyrics?
We call this co-writing. Since we charge for our time, we will be happy to co-write with you, but there will be a charge for our time. Do not mistake this charge for a common bit of bad practice in the music business. You should never pay anyone to “put music to your lyrics”. But usually co-writing and arranging go hand in hand sometimes too, so it all kind of melds together in the project.
I’m a musician, but want to get better, can you help?
By being brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and come to Nashville, you WILL get better. You may go home feeling like you are not as good as other musicians here, but hopefully, you will learn and grow from the experience. You can’t help it. It’s OK to feel like you need to work to be better.