As podcast creator Brandon Harrington knows, surviving the music industry is never easy. With his weekly podcast Surviving the Music Industry, he delves into the different journeys that each guest has taken to move from survivor to thriver. The acclaimed series of conversations begins its third season on May 1, debuting with guests Walker Hayes and Jeff Hyde. Subscribe and connect here.
Through each of the successful songwriters, musicians, and recording artists, Surviving The Music Industry has hosted a bevy of experienced and insightful guests.
Harrington shares some of the wisdom that’s been shared on the podcast:
1: Love what you do and do what you love. Pretty basic, right? But these people have to to do what they are supposed to do. They feel they can’t live another day without doing what they love. They will pull over on the side of the road to write a hook for a song. They won’t go to sleep unless a project is finished. The level of passion that these creators have, sets them apart.
2: Do what you love even if nobody ever listens or pays attention. I think about Lori Mckenna’s story. She was discovered at an open mic night in Boston. Then one flight later, and then a short meeting she got her first cut with Faith Hill. I truly believe that if she was never discovered, she still would have written “Humble and Kind” at her kitchen table and perform it for her next open mic.
3: “Find your tribe.” Brandy Clark, Michael McAnally Baum, and Josh Osborne all shared this same advice. I’ll take it a step further. It takes a tribe to build your empire. Either way you say it, you can’t do what you do alone.
4: If you want it, go get it. Every city (Nashville, L.A., Atlanta, N.Y.) has, what they believe, a standard time to “make it”. Nashville has this fable that they believe it’s a 10 year town. If it really takes you 10 years to get the job you want. Whether its a guitar player, songwriter, manager, etc. Do you really want that job? Artist Walker Hayes got his first pub deal in about a year in moving to Nashville. Faithe Dillman, started at Interscope Records as an intern and in about 2 years she was Interscope’s International Marketing Coordinator. You can’t sit and wait for these things to come to you. Go get it!
5. Be a servant. Artist manager, Nick Barre made me aware of this. His purpose is to serve his artist and to help them be the best artist they can be. Session player(s) Derek Wells and Eddie Bayers had the same thoughts of serving the song. To raise someone else up or to shine a light on something else and not your own agenda has been a pattern of all my guests. Except one…things are not going well for her.
6. One shot? Why not 2 or 3? To hear someone say that “This is your only shot,” is pretty immature. I’ve had countless conversations where guests have had 2, 3, countless redemptive chances in their career. Famed legendary pedal steeliest Lloyd Green, left Nashville early in his career because of failed attempts to make it. Luckily he and his family moved back and he has become one of the most celebrated instrumentalist and one of Chet Atkins’ A-Team members. Josh Osborne, the songwriter behind “Body Like A Backroad” and others, has had crazy publishing deals that were stripped of him. The entire industry turned their backs on chart hitting artist, Walker Hayes. Don’t limit yourself to one chance, because your second could be part of your success story.
7. “If you’re sleeping, you’re not stressed enough” This is one of my favorite quotes from season 3 and it’s from Girllia Marketing CEO Jennie Smythe. She basically boot strapped her company into the success that is now. Reping actors like Chris Hensworth, and bands and artists like Nickleback, Brandy Clark, Kid Rock, Sugarland and others. David Macias, President of Thirty Tigers has an apartment in his office so he can make phone calls to China and work through the night. He was let go from Arista Records and about a decade later his business’ net worth is over 14 million dollars. Nobody gives you what you want. You work for it with little sleep.
Look out for the debut of Season 3 on May 1, with new episodes every Tuesday. Subscribe and catch up on previous seasons here: