Jason Davis - A Lifetime of Songwriting and Entrepreneurship at the Highest Level

Ep.074 Cover - Jason Davis.jpg

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Jason Davis is a serial entrepreneur, A&R, and expert in artist development. He’s a co-founder and president of multiple companies including One One 7, Radar Label Group, and Awaken Records. He has worked with artists such as P. Diddy, Boyz II Men, Jay-Z, Dolly Parton, Lonestar, and many more. He wrote his first Billboard #1 single at 23 years old, which was a song called “Captured,” performed by Aaron Benward. In this episode, we talk about Jason’s journey in the music business and what it takes to be a songwriter at the highest level. From this journey, someone can learn many valuable lessons on how to get started as an artist, to have an amazing work ethic, how much you should be writing, and much more.
 
To learn more about Jason Davis check out https://oneone7.com/, https://www.awakenrecordings.com/, https://www.radarlabelgroup.com/, and http://fcmgt.com/.

Highlights from this Episode
[3:08] Time in Delray Beach, FL
[4:25] Advantages and Disadvantages of living in a major music market
[7:29] Current Projects Jason Davis is involved in
[13:20] Narrowing your focus when first starting out
[20:25] Where Jason’s journey began as a musician
[27:27] Process for Booking Shows
[30:28] Writing the #1 Song “Captured” with Aaron Benward
[41:33] The journey after writing a #1 song
[45:50] Pitching a song to an A&R
[49:30] Time management and working on your craft for Songwriters
[54:37] Sharing a story from your perspective
[55:52] Getting to writing with artists on a bigger scale
[1:03:44] Defining your WHY and purpose to your music
[1:10:18] Finding the right people that don’t give up on you
[1:19:15] Working and getting involved with Care for Kids
[1:22:04] Getting to know Jason Davis

Quotes from Jason Davis
“We have a habit of looking at someone that’s become very successful and not processing it’s taken them 20 to 30 years to get to where they are.”
“It’s about having a very concentrated laser beam focus on one thing at a time.”
“Focus on one thing to become great at.”  
“When music is done at the highest level, and only the highest level...it’s a glimpse of how good the music in heaven is.”
“It was more about growing and the journey, than getting people’s approval.”
“The door just cracked open, and I’m not going backwards.”
“The only thing I can do is work to have a relationship with you, and then I have permission to play you a song.”
“(You) should be writing a little bit every single day.”
“Challenge yourself to write and finish at least one song a week.”
“Dare to be crazy creative.”
“You should be studying the Top 20 to 50 songs.”
“You should be studying the song titles and song content.”
“Anyone on the other side of a 10 to 11 year journey to success, will tell you the 10 to 11 years didn’t really take that long.”
“If you play your cards right, and work hard, you can sustain that success for a lifetime.”
“How do we make the best possible music here on earth?”
“Usually once an artist meets the right people, it’s still a 2, 3, 4 year journey.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
Awaken Records
Austin French
Rising Star (TV Show)
First Company Management
Newsboys
Ryan Stevenson
7eventh Time Down
Radar Label Group
Jimmy Eat World
Neon Trees
Plain White T’s
Unlikely Candidates
Ariana Grande
Justin Bieber
Michael Jackson
CTK Management
Dolly Parton
Will Smith
Paradigm Agency
Aaron Benward
Mandy Moore
And the Writers Is… (Podcast)
[BOOK]
Your Love Pursues by Jason Davis  
The Bible 
All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman
The Operator by David Geffen
To Be Loved by Berry Gordy
Virgin King by Richard Branson
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Piero Melograni

Jason Davis’ Definition of Making It:
“Making music at the highest level it can be made.”

Related Articles & Episodes:
1. Emily Kopp - Touring, Licensing, and Backpacking the World
2. Jeffrey James - An Adventure in the Nashville Songwriter Scene
3. Mark Samuels - A 20 Year Journey & Counting as an Independent Record Label
4. Oliver Wood - An Adventure with Musical Greats, Independence, and Creative Freedom

Keep in touch:
chris.goyzueta@gmail.com
www.makingitwithchrisg.com
https://www.instagram.com/chrisgoyzueta/
https://www.facebook.com/makingitwithchrisg

Credits:
Host: Chris Goyzueta (Chris G.)
Producer: Jason Trosclair
Executive Producer: ONElive Creative Agency  
Music: Emily Kopp

Oliver Wood of the Wood Brothers - An Adventure with Musical Greats, Independence, and Creative Freedom

Ep.070 Cover Oliver Wood of the Wood Brothers

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Get ready to embark on a beautiful creative adventure. One of the things I preach the most is the Malcolm Gladwell theory of 10,000 hours. If you’re fully present, and dedicate 10,000 hours of your time into something, you’ll reach a level of greatness. When I first started the podcast, it was a 90 day experiment that turned into a passion, and maybe one could say I finally found my lane. Now, I’m trying to hit my 10,000 hours as quickly as possible as a podcaster, teacher, mentor, and public speaker. When it comes to songwriting and music, I always teach my students that they should be investing as many hours as they can on improving their craft, and to collaborate with others that will help elevate their skill as a musician and songwriter. This week, I launched a new group project where students get chosen at random to spend a week with a group of 4 to 5 people as writing partners and come up with an original song. This was a project inspired by Oliver Wood. When I think of Oliver, I think of someone that has been on a creative adventure of music as musician and songwriter. His journey and stories are a tale of greatness.

Oliver Wood is one of the founders of The Wood Brothers, along with his brother, Chris Wood. After several years on their own path, they discovered their musical bond and have been on a wonderful journey ever since their first release in 2006. On February 2nd, 2018, The Wood Brothers are releasing their sixth album ‘One Drop of Truth,’ which dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles, and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of the album’s opening track “River Takes The Town” gives way to The Band-esque Americana soul of “Happiness Jones.” The stream of consciousness ballad “Strange As It Seems” floats on a cloud of ethereal beauty, standing in stark contrast to “Sky High”—a Saturday night barnburner built upon stinging slide guitar funk. “Seasick Emotions” is rife with emotional turmoil, yet “Sparkling Wine” is jaunty and carefree. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers’ most dynamic recording to date.

In this conversation, Oliver Wood discusses the new album, along with some stories of his mentor Tinsley Ellis, his father, and advice for aspiring musicians and songwriters. Oliver Wood has had such a wonderful career, and in this episode, he shares some of his stories and lessons from those adventures.  

Get the new album "One Drop of Truth"

Highlights from this Episode
[3:06] Musical Influences and New Orleans Music
[4:32] Making of the New Album “One Drop of Truth”
[7:40] What Oliver is most excited about with the new album
[8:37] Self Producing Albums
[11:40] If he were creating a Music Business program for Songwriters
[17:38] Being mentored and learning the business with Tinsley Ellis
[19:26] The moments that inspired The Wood Brothers
[23:38] Lesson that took Oliver the longest to learn

Quotes from Oliver Wood
“Put yourself in it 100%, and don’t compromise things.”
“Get your pure idea recorded.”
“Half of it is just a motivation thing and a confidence thing, or lack thereof. And you just have to overcome that.”
“You learn things by doing them.”
“Write songs, and write a lot of them. And listen to songs, listen to a lot of them.”
“There has to be something that promotes individuality.”
“Students need to be encouraged to find their own voice.”
“Group projects are great, because we learn from each other.”
“Just stay in the moment and don’t worry about things. Especially when it comes to music.”
“The best part is made when you’re not thinking about anything.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
The Wood Brothers
Stevie Wonder
Prince
Tinsley Ellis
Freddie King
Derek Trucks
Chris Wood
Medeski, Martin, and Wood
Blue Note Records
Norah Jones
Zac Brown
Thirty Tigers

Oliver Wood’s Definition of Making It:
“If you’re doing what you love, you’ve made it.”

Get in touch with The Wood Brothers
http://thewoodbros.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thewoodbrothers
https://www.instagram.com/thewoodbros/
https://twitter.com/thewoodbrothers

Go See The Wood Brothers Live
Upcoming 2018 Tour Dates:

Jan. 25 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theatre
Jan. 26 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
Jan. 27 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
Jan. 28 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
Jan. 30 - Albany, NY - The Egg
Jan. 31 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
Feb. 1 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
Feb. 2 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
Feb. 3 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Feb. 9 - Miami Beach, FL - Groundup Music Festival
Feb. 21 - Phoenix, AZ - MIM Music Theater
Feb. 22 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
Feb. 23 - Los Angeles, CA - Fonda Theatre
Feb. 24 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
Feb. 25 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
Feb. 27 - Arcata, CA - Kate Buchanan Room
Feb. 28 - Ashland, OR - Southern Oregon University
Mar. 1 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
Mar. 2 - Seattle, WA - Neptune
Mar. 3 - Seattle, WA - Neptune
Mar. 15 - Birmingham, AL - Iron City
Mar. 16 - Chattanooga, TN - Robert Kirk Walker Theatre
Mar. 17 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
Apr. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
Apr. 12 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
Apr. 13 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
Apr. 14 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
Apr. 15 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
Apr. 17 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Ballroom
Apr. 18 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark
Apr. 19 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue
Apr. 20 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theater
Apr. 21 - Brevard, NC - Songsmith Gathering
Apr. 22 - Charlotte, NC - Tuck Fest
May 25 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
May 27 - Cumberland, MD - DelFest

Get all the info and tickets here. 

Neal Casal of Chris Robinson Brotherhood Shares Stories from his 30+ Year Career

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What’s your definition of Making It? That's the last question I ask every guest on the show. When I think of making it, I think of longevity. It's not about what you can do in a year, but it's about what you can do in 20, 30, 40+ years of life. A lot of our guests have talked about focusing on the long game. One of the most common answers to this question besides getting paid to do what you love, is that making it is a constant pursuit that never really ends. When I think of "Making It," I think of people like Neal Casal. You'll hear his answer to this question at the end of this conversation.

Neal Casal has built a 30+ year career as a guitarist and singer-songwriter, who has released 10 original albums, toured and recorded with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, and many more. Currently Neal is performing with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood who’s releasing a new album, Barefoot in the Head, on July 21st, 2017. He also performs with Hard Working Americans and Circles Around the Sun. Neal is a photographer whose work can be seen on his instagram channel and tumblr pages. He has shot album covers for Ryan Adams, Tift Merritt,  and many more, and has performed on many albums as a sessions guitarist. In the last 6 years, he has released 9 albums between all the bands he’s currently playing with. He’s been able to build a beautiful long career, with so much more on the horizon.

In this conversation we go through Neal’s backstory, talk about the new album, how Circles Around the Sun got started, his time with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, and much more. I could’ve probably gone to speak with Neal for another two hours, but this episode is a great intro to his life’s journey so far.  

Support the Show & use our Amazon Banner for your next Purchase. Thank you! 

Check out the new album: Barefoot in the Head

Highlights from this Episode
New album details (06:05)
Reasons for a favorite record (08:39)
Writing process for the band (11:15)
Photography collection of the album (13:10)
First time picking up an instrument (13:55)
First time seeing Grateful Dead (16:16)
Circles around the sun project (18:35)
What’s next for the project (21:25)
Formation of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood (24:45)
Photo album of time with Ryan Adams (26:30)
Story of Starsky and Hutch (29:00)
Facebook question (31:15)
Making it to Neal (34:40)

Quotes from Neal Casal
“All roads lead back to my bedroom and a acoustic guitar in my hand.”
“You can dance to it, but also check in or check out.”
“It’s an interesting group, interesting people.”
“You have to be patient and develop your music slowly.”
“Their hobbies for other people, but they’re my life.”
“You always have to practice and keep your skills up.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
People

Grateful Dead
Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Jerry Garcia Band
Ryan Adams

Places & Things
Madison Square Garden
Meadowlands
Nassau Coliseum
Giants Stadium
Circles Around The Sun
Black Crowes
Beachwood Sparks
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
Owen Wilson
Vince Vaughn

Get in Touch with Neal Casal
http://www.nealcasal.com/
https://www.instagram.com/nealcasal/
http://chrisrobinsonbrotherhood.com/
https://www.facebook.com/circlesaroundthesunband/

Neal Casal Definition of Making It
“I’ve already done that many times over. All I wanted to do was live a life with music and art at the center of it and I’ve been doing that for many years.”

Support the show for as little as $1/month on Patreon and get a ton of more content. 
https://www.patreon.com/makingitwithchrisg

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

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

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.

Support the Show & use our Amazon Banner for your next Purchase. Thank you! 

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
People

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
Incubus
311
The Beatles
Doobie Brothers
Belmont University
Full Sail University
NACA
ASCAP
UTA
Fly South
Walls EP
Criminal Minds
Finding Carter
Nashville
I Zombie
SouthWest Airlines
BPM App

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

Keep in touch with Jeffrey James
http://jeffreyjames.com/
https://www.instagram.com/jeffreyjamesofficial/
https://twitter.com/jeffreyjames
https://soundcloud.com/jeffreyjamesmusic

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