Centricity Blog

Demos

Posted August 26, 2010 by in Uncategorized

So as a publisher I get songs from out writers everyday on various forms of completion- we then decide on which ones we really need to focus on and spend some time making sure they sound great for whatever specific purpose we move towards. We try to do this in a cost effective and time efficient manner.  One huge mis-conception is that you have to spend a ton of money to make your demo pitch-able.   In my opinion, here are a couple quick points for you to focus on when making the decisions.

* Know who/what your pitching to.  It is so key to be specific in your demo creation and pitch.  Some people just fir songs out there hoping someone will catch the vision of the tune and want to cut it.  This can work but is so much more difficult.  When I know that a specific artist(let’s say Point Of Grace) is looking for new songs, my song strategy is as follows.  Female vocal, 3 part harmony, family /life issues,open lyrics about faith, probably need uptempo pop style for radio etc…  So knowing who I am pitching to will really help me hone in on the songs in our catalog that will fit that artist, and hopefully give me a better shot at landing a cut.

*Quality of your demo-  Do not spend too much money on your demo production! Please do not go pay $1500 bucks for a 4 piece band to create a mediocre track.  I would much rather spend $100 on a killer vocalist singing over a piano or guitar track.  A bad vocal performance will hurt a first impression immensely. With technology today you can accomplish so much-teach yourself the basics if you can or have some one help you-programs like garage band,pro-tools,reason, can really take your stuff to the next level. Again, a warning though-Sometimes an over-produced demo can take away from the heart and feel of a song.  Also, many artists like to imagine their spin on what the production might sound like, and you don’t want to give them “demo lock”(where they can’t hear past the first version they heard of the tune).  A great song will shine through- Give it space in your demo to breathe.

*Sending your songs- Always label(song name,writer,email etc.)- always ask how they want to receive it-either hard copy,mp3,zip files, download links, cassette tape :) .  And you don’t need to tell the story behind the song exhaustively .  Let the song speak for itself.  And give the folks time o listen, some people who we pitch to get tons of songs everyday, so it takes a time to cycle through them sometime.

I know this is a cloud level fly-over- but hopefully it helps if this is something you are passionate about. Have a great day!

About The Author: Conor Farley

Conor Farley did not go to Belmont University, but works in the music business anyway. Go figure. After stints in promotion and marketing at Provident, he settled into an A&R there and later at Word, where he signed Leeland, Brandon Heath, and Meredith Andrews and worked on records by Third Day, Michael W. Smith, and Point Of Grace. He came to Centricity to head up its publishing operation, serving the company's artists by pitching songs and facilitating song writing. Conor's hobbies include mowing, surfing, applying the management lessons of The Office U.K.'s David Brent, and performing with the "Caren Seidle Seven," though he did not specify whether as a singer or a dancer. He is fond also of Nick Hornby books, a sign of his good taste and intelligence.

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