Hooray, hooray! I have a few more hours to celebrate this newest step forward in my music endeavors, and then it's back to work. I still have a long ways to go. I just signed a production agreement with a producer named Mark Neill. Thanks to the funds raised on my Kickstarter campaign, and a sweet Lord taking care of me, I am able to work with a Grammy-winning producer like him. I feel honored. I also feel motivated to work my butt off to prove myself to this guy and to everyone who donated. Before now, this music process has been slower than a turtle. But now, it's going to go CRAZY fast. WooWEE!
I thought I'd share a "behind-the-scenes" look at how I picked this producer. I like to document this stuff, so when I'm 80, I can come back to this blog and remember what a crazy person I was. :P
The search for a producer felt a bit like grasping at straws at first. I realize that I live in Nashville, where every other person you meet is a producer, so I shouldn't have a problem finding one. But finding THE one was a bit trying. There are so many different ways one can go, and there's no one right way to do this business. Many people had many different opinions about what route I should take, and that grew slightly daunting. But I knew it was a decision I had to make with MY gut, not anyone else's.
I started with one producer I was really hoping would work with me. I spoke with him some, and he was interested, at first. It became obvious that my interest in him was far greater than his interest in me, so that fizzled out. Yes, the music business IS a lot like dating.
So I made a few calls to some other Nashville-based producers who I knew had great reputations. While I was doing that, I also was doing something kind of ridiculous. My "Hail Mary pass," if you will. I decided to Google some albums that I really like and see who produced them. I would then search for that producer's contact information online. If I found it, I would send them info about myself and see if I'd get a bite.
I didn't really expect anything from this. I was emailing the most fancy producers I could possibly find. And as a general rule, fancy producers produce fancy artists with fancy budgets on fancy record labels. Basically, not me.
I sent out about 10 of these emails, overall. Two people responded. The first one was an email from an assistant of an assistant who said, in a nutshell, "I'm sorry, you will not be able to afford him."
I hadn't even given him my budget yet. THAT'S how expensive he was.
Then, I received a call from a guy named Mark Neill. I had found his email address because I was looking up who produced The Black Keys' "Brothers" album, one of my favorites. I also found out that he's from South Georgia, same as me. And then I read some interviews he did where he talked about loving and understanding southern music and southern culture and history, and I thought YEAH! THAT'S my dude!
To make a long story short, he called me 2 hours after I emailed him. We talked about South Georgia and farming and soul music and lots of other awesomeness. He then asked me how in blue blazes I found him, and I had to admit to him that it was through Google. ha. He then told me that he is moving his studio (Soil of The South Studios) from San Diego, BACK to South Georgia. Sa-weet!
I then sent him some more of my songs, talked with his business partner, talked a little more about vision and ideas, talked money, went and met them in person, got offered a contract, took contract to my lawyer, after lawyer approval, we both signed it, and then well, there ya go. It was quite quick, the whole process.
I've already said this a gazillion times, but I am so excited. Creative meetings start this month. Recording in April. Release should be this summer.
Here goes nothin'!