This is a guest post by Nick Battle. He is a publisher, producer, songwriter, artist, radio host , author and speaker as well as a great friend. At present he runs a small music publishing company, manages the record producer Kipper (Sting's Brand New Day, Sacred Love, etc.) as well as the actress Elizabeth McGovern’s band, Sadie & The Hotheads, known to US audiences as Cora Crawley of the hugely successful series Downton Abbey. He has also just had a #1 on the U.K. charts with Ant & Dec. Nick Is based in the U.K..
- The best songs come snaking out of the air, and we are the happy vessels through which they flow.
- Sure you can sit right down to try and craft a song-dress it up for the artist you have in mind...a little like a tailor with some silk...but the best songs are gifts. Simple as that.
- Never contrive. Always seek to innovate and not replicate.
- And be honest with yourself.
- Don't let the good blind you from the great.
- Be intuitive both with your music but also with the people you work with.
- Don't give away a share of a song unless someone has really earned the right to participate.
- The old adage, 'add a word, take a third,' is not only anachronistic, but plain theft.
- Always remember whoever owns the rights to your songs also controls what happens to them and where the money goes.
- Be smart. Get sound advice. Work hard and stay humble.
-Nick Battle (Chorleywood, England)
P.S. Nick and I both share a need to reach out to our respective communities (call it an age thing), and we each have organizations close to our hearts. Nick started the Gravel Road Trust to help the bereaved after the death of his first wife Lynn. I have been serving on the board and as a client service volunteer at Graceworks in my adopted home of Franklin, Tennessee. Hope you'll check them both out. Thanks!