Updated: Aug 28, 2019
This was one of those weeks for me where friends and business got too tangled up and became a temporary mess.
I found myself surprisingly hurt by this. Maybe because expectations between friends vs. expectations between business connections are not always the same. Sometimes we expect more from our friends, probably because they are our friends.
At the end of the day, the why and the how doesn't matter. I've seen this so many times, people get desperate, words get miss-heard, things get said that shouldn't be said.
Having been in music for over 10 years, I have worked with some pretty successful people and I have learned a lot from them on how to not just be a good songwriter and producer, but also how to be a good person.
Here are some of my lessons.
1. Give people a chance.
One of my friends has had over 15 #1 hits in the last 10 years. The thing I admire most about her is that she still writes 5 days a week, sometimes 2 times a day, with anyone. Doesn't matter if that person has a deal or not, if they are good she will write with them. She knows that money and success are not a guarantee for writing a hit song, sometimes it's that person who is still struggling that has more to say than anyone else.
So, don't assume you are ever more or less that anyone in the industry, and if you are in the position to give someone a chance, do it.
2. Be Thankful.
You can't expect to always work with the same people, sometimes you only share a small part of the road to success with someone, but be thankful for the people who join in with you, however long or short the journey is. Once you are on that stage, accepting that Grammy, think of all the people who got you there.
3. Leave the EGO at home.
Whether you are in a co-write, a studio, a board room or you're sitting in an A&R's office, the music industry is based on collaboration and it's a give and take. You can't expect to do a co-write where only your ideas end up on the song, you listen to each other and pick the best idea for each scenario. It's hard when you feel shot down in a meeting or co-write, and if you feel you need to fight for an idea, by all means, fight for it, but you also have to be able to see what is best for the situation.
4. Help people grow.
I love introducing my friends to each other, making connections between business people and artists and helping people grow. People who are supposed to meet each other, will eventually meet each other, so why not play a part in that anyway? There is no point in holding your cards so close to your chest that only you can see them, this is an industry of people, so share in the wealth, help each other grow, be the example of how you would want to be treated.
5. Don't get jaded.
Hard one, when your friend steals your gig, when your artists never pays you, when your producer disappears in thin air, when you think you have a solid contract but someone's fancy lawyer finds a way to kick you out, trust me, I've seen it all. It's not fun, it never is, but don't let a few bad apples change how you see the world and your place in it. Don't assume every next person you work with is someone with bad intentions, be open, but be informed, and always protect yourself, so you can walk through life as open and free as when you started.
And...last but not least....don't be an asshole. Be thankful for the people along the way who have supported you and helped you become the person that you are.