Blog Post

Studio Microphone

Songs! Songs Man!

on 25 November 2015, 10:32 AM
  • zac
  • songwriting
  • career

Songs. Music. Still gets me. I love and sometimes hate it. I am continuously intrigued with the idea of music making, writing, playing, singing...
How it's done. Why? For money, right? Kidding. For the love of it, right?

Hovering over all of it is that question: What is a hit?

How do you write one? Well, here you go. I will now clear my throat and give to you, the formula for writing a hit song...

Of course, that's a total lie. There is no formula. If there was, I wouldn't have a job.
Funny, I don't actually think of what I do as a job. I had a paper route once. That's a job.
Worked as a law clerk, loaded and delivered railroad ties, knocked mortar off bricks at a construction site so they could be reused, thawed frozen pipes. Was a night watchman, sold insurance to truck drivers for legal fees, negotiated with D.A.s on behalf of truck drivers (conflict of interest? You decide.). I worked at a movie theater for a while, mostly for the popcorn and pickles. Those were jobs.

Luckily for me: I've been able to maintain a career in the business of singing, playing, writing and producing music for over 20 years.

Finding something that rhymes with "love." That's not a job.
I've written songs for my own band, The Nixons, who signed to MCA Records in the mid '90s and toured and released albums for over a decade. I've written songs for artists ranging from Carrie Underwood to 3 Doors Down. I've produced artists on major labels, indie labels and no label at all.
Most recently I have focused on writing and producing from my studio in Nashville, TN.
I can tell you the one thing you DO need: a good recording of your song. Of most the songs I turn in to my publishing company, I have recorded or put together a great sounding demo. The conversation in Nashville these days is all about how some folks in town produce demos that sound as good (if not better) than some master recordings. I can tell you that I believe the reason for that is that the people involved in making major label albums are also involved in making great demos, and are attainable. They work on massive projects but you can still find 'em if you know where and how to look.

I've developed relationships with a vast array of musicians, studio engineers, mix engineers, mastering engineers, producers, writers and music executives. I use them for my demos. We will be using some of those folks here at to make your demo.

There are amazing careers that continue out there for tons of folks in the music biz. Tours. T-shirts. Albums. Spotlights in arenas, clubs and stadiums. But here is the absolute truth.

It all starts with a song.

Keep writing y'all. Keep rockin'.