Jeffrey James - An Adventure in the Nashville Songwriters Scene, Publishing Deals, & Working Towards Songwriting Mastery

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How many songs do you have to write to start getting to the good stuff? This episode features Nashville based R&B/Alt-Pop/Singer-Songwriter Jeffrey James. In this conversation we discuss reaching mastery in songwriting, the Nashville music scene and songwriters rounds, building your business team, publishing, collaborations, and much more. We dive into Jeffrey’s story about growing up playing basketball in Indiana to moving to Nashville to attend Belmont University, and his journey to getting a manager, booking agent, attorney, publishing deal with Sony/ATV Publishing.

Jeffrey James released the EP “UNSAID” in 2017, and we dive into this EP, which was released by South by Sea, and what people can expect from these songs. We also discuss him venturing into collaborations with EDM artists, and getting his song placed in the TV show “Nashville.” Jeffrey James shares all kinds of great and wonderful lessons with you in this conversation. This was the first time on the podcast where we really got to dive into the Nashville songwriter’s rounds, and Jeffrey had some great insight to share on the benefits of being part of them and how to get into that circuit. We really dive into what it takes to reaching songwriter mastery, and his pursuit of continued success in songwriter. You’ll learn about how he built his team, and much more.

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Highlights from this Episode
Nashville Music Scene (03:40)
Experience in NOLA (05:15)
Cold Blood Collaboration (06:05)
Publishing Deals (07:40)
Unsaid EP (12:30)
What happens to the unused songs (14:34)
Jeffrey’s favorite memories of a small town (15:35)
Lessons learned from small town community (18:35)
Jesus Christ Superstar experience (20:20)
Choir experience (22:55)
The book of guitar playing (24:20)
What made Jeffrey decide to do music professionally (25:40)
Who inspired Jeffrey (27:25)
Reason for moving to Nashville (28:10)
Songwriters rounds (31:50)
Nashville Co-Writing culture (39:00)
Co-Writing do’s and don’ts (40:05)
Jeffrey’s writing process (41:53)
Advice for writer’s block (43:29)
What was Jeffrey’s life before his label deal (44:50)
Moment when Jeffrey felt comfortable in his career (49:55)
The team behind the music (53:15)
How to know when you know you’ve found your voice (55:55)
What changed for Jeffrey (1:01:55)
Jeffrey James being featured on Nashville (1:03:30)
Collaborations in the music career (1:05:55)
Jeffrey’s advice on content (1:08:08)
What to expect (1:11:05)
Advice for the aspiring songwriter (1:11:50)
Behind the scenes questions (1:13:24)

  •             Funny Fan Encounters
  •             Superpowers
  •             Success
  •             First Concert & First Album
  •             First 90 / Last 90
  •             Favorite Media
  •             Favorite Apps
  •             Mentors
  •             Night of drinks with anyone
  •             Time Travel

Making it to Jeffrey James (1:21:30)

Quotes from Jeffrey James
Just be nice man, people talk.”
“As big as Nashville is, it’s still a small city.”
“You start out and you’re just replication the music you know, and you do that until you find your own voice.”
“At that point it wasn’t about people hearing me, I needed to perform.”
“You grow thick skin by preforming in front of people who aren’t necessary there to hear you.”
“If they love you that night, they won’t have any problem booking you.”                 
“The best way to get a good lyric it to get the crappy ones out.”
 “If you hear yourself talking the most, then shut up for a bit.”
“No one wants to write with the guy who uses all of his own music.”
“I gravity towards content that I can connect with my life.”
“People are coming to be without me having to swim against the current.”
“I knew what I thought was good, and the music I was making didn’t add up to that.”
“We are in the ages of singles.”
“As long as I can put out music, I will put out music.”
“I’m still finding the balance between release things and promoting them.”
“Keep writing, and don’t hold too many songs close to your heart.”
“Every song you write before you write 200 songs is crap.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Eric Olson
Gabe Simon
Tungevaag & Raaben
Emily Kopp
Michael McDonald
Randy Dease
Antonio Benderas

Places & Things
Unsaid EP
South By Sea
Les Miserables
Jesus Christ Superstar
Hal Lenard Guitar Method
The Beatles
Doobie Brothers
Belmont University
Full Sail University
Fly South
Walls EP
Criminal Minds
Finding Carter
I Zombie
SouthWest Airlines

Jeffrey James’ Definition of Making It
“It changes every year.”

Keep in touch with Jeffrey James

Help us create more content & become a subscriber on patreon - & we will create more podcasts, blogs, lessons, & videos that help you get one step closer to making it

Help us create more content & become a subscriber on patreon - & we will create more podcasts, blogs, lessons, & videos that help you get one step closer to making it