With her casual grace and quiet confidence, Jennifer Paige seems the type person who can take virtually any excitement in stride. But when her single “Crush” climbed to No. 1 in 16 countries, selling more than 11 million copies worldwide and going 5x-platinum, even Paige admits that the speed of the song’s success caught her by surprise. Paige’s arrival at the top of the charts may have been sudden, but her life in music had been years in the making.
She was introduced to all styles of music at an early age by her music-loving parents, and began playing piano at the age of 8. By 10, she was performing with her older brother in local coffeehouses and restaurants in her hometown of Marietta, Georgia. In high school, Paige studied Voice, Dance and Theater at the prestigious Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
Visit Jennifer’s website at: www.JenniferPaige.com.
Narrator: Speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches, and info marketers unite. The Speaking of Wealth show is your road map to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you’re looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big time personal brand, and become the go to guru, the Speaking of Wealth show is for you. Here is your host, Jason Hartman.
Start of Interview with Jennifer Paige
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome a fantastic up and coming singer/song writer, and that is Jennifer Paige. She is located in Nashville. However, she is a pop music star, not country music. That’s easy to confuse. And what’s great about Jennifer, in addition to her artistry, and her art and her music and her song writing skills and singing skills, is that she is really approaching the music industry like artists need to do today, as a business. She’s thinking about marketing, she’s working on starting her own podcast, and just all kinds of cool stuff. So I thought this would make a great show, and Jennifer welcome. How are you?
Jennifer Paige: I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me here.
Jason Hartman: The pleasure is all mine. So tell us a little bit about when you got, and how you got your start in music. ever, she is a pop music star, not country music. That’s easy to confuse. And what’s great about Jennifer, in addition to her artistry, and her art and her music and her song writing skills and singing skills, is that she is really approaching the music industry like artists need to do today, as a business. She’s thinking about marketing, she’s working on starting her own podcast, and just all kinds of cool stuff. So I thought this would make a great show, and Jennifer welcome. How are you?
Jennifer Paige: I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me here.
Jason Hartman: The pleasure is all mine. So tell us a little bit about when you got, and how you got your start in music, and then your recent success and congratulations on that, by the way.
Jennifer Paige: Thank you. I started about 15 years ago in the industry, and my big debut was a song called Crush. It was a 1998 release and it went number one in 16 countries; it was crazy. It took me from small town Georgia girl to literally traveling to every country you could imagine. I’ve been able to tour and continue making music all of these years and it’s really because of that first release that I had. And since then I’ve had major label deals, indie label deals, and now I’m releasing my own music through my own label. So you’re right; I definitely am trying to focus on marketing and business, and looking at artistry as a business, and I think that’s definitely what you have to do now as a musician.
Jason Hartman: No question about it. What’s great about the world today is that the internet and all of these online services and podcasting and self-publishing, it really has leveled the playing field and democratized access to anybody. That’s a wonderful, wonderful thing. However, with it comes some real responsibility. Authors, artists, speakers, whomever. They’re not going to just get discovered by someone anymore. It’s not going to be like the Whitney Houston story, where she got up and sang in church and someone discovered her. Nowadays you’ve really got to put yourself out there, and you’ve got to show the world your art. And that’s how you get discovered I guess, but to a lesser degree. Tell us what your thoughts are about that, and give us a little education about how the music industry works, if you would.
Jennifer Paige: It’s so true. There’s just too much content out there now to think that the cream is going to rise to the top. It just is so much more than talent. You’ve got to have talent and then you’ve got to know how to get it out there, you’ve got to be on social media, you’ve got to think with a business mind now, whereas I think it used to be, even when I came out you had these teams, you’ve got your manager and your label, and the publicity team and all of that. Loads and loads of money thrown at a project, and now no one’s budgets are what they used to be because the music industry has changed so much. And with the free music, downloads and everything, it’s just changed so much.
Now musicians have got to be more creative than ever, beyond just the creation of the music. So it’s important to think outside of the box and try to really engage with your fans on a personal level. I remember when I first came out it was almost considered corny to be so available to the fans. So that was definitely a mind adjustment I had to make, to say no it’s actually really cool to be really closely in touch with the fans, and respond to their questions, and sing the song that they want to hear, and those kind of things whereas back in the day it was more like glamour, everything had to be so glamourous and your image was so protected. Now it’s like selfies and everything else. It’s changed a lot.
Jason Hartman: It sure has, it sure has. You’ve got Ellen taking selfies at the academy awards and Obama doing selfies. It’s a whole new world.
Jennifer Paige: Yeah! Who would have thought?
Jason Hartman: “Who’d a thunk it?” as they say. Is there still some kind of a line that as a celebrity you need to keep some degree of distance? You need to be at a 5. . .To some degree, maybe there’s a lot more, we’ll call it fan intimacy nowadays. Do you still need to be kind of separate? Otherwise they’re not going to view you as a celebrity, right?
Jennifer Paige: You would think so, but honestly it has changed so much that I feel like if you’re not engaging with your fans, people almost take that as a sign that you don’t appreciate your fans. So even legendary stars, I mean obviously there are exceptions to the rule. I think it depends on the style of music you have. If you’re a classic crooner and you’ve been around for ages, people know you as that. But if you’re an up and coming artist, for sure. It’s all about engagement, it’s all about making friends with your fans so they really rally behind you and they want to support you when you need to support the most. It really becomes like a tribe in a way.
Jason Hartman: There’s a great book on that by the way. Seth Godin’s book, Tribes which talks about the importance of that tribe, so it’s great that you recognize that. Do other musicians that you know, people in your industry, do they really recognize this? Is this something that is understood broadly in the industry now, or is it just understood by the smart ones?
Jennifer Paige: I think it’s starting to be more understood, because obviously a lot of people who had careers in music have gone away because they haven’t done that. And if you don’t stay with the times then you’re just going to disappear really. So I think it’s definitely that people are starting to recognize that. Are they doing it? That’s the question. A lot of people are and a lot of people aren’t. So I’m trying to really stay in the grove of what’s really happening and I’m so interested in business. I’ve always been very fascinated by entrepreneurs and business men and business women, people who start something from nothing and build, and build and build.
And that’s really what I’ve done with my music career even starting at such a young age, at like ten I was singing, even before that really. But going to a performing arts high school and then right out of high school going on the road with my first band and from there doing a stint in Las Vegas and moving to California. And so all of those little steps I think definitely led to my success. And I think that’s kind of what it’s about, those little baby steps along the way. You don’t even realize you’re making huge strides in your career and then one day you wake up and boom it happened, and the huge weight of helping it continue to happen.
So that’s kind of where I’m at now, and I just am constantly looking for new opportunities for music now that I own my music, I own my publishing. I can get songs and commercials and TV shows and movies and all kinds of things. It’s so rewarding to be like, oh that’s so cool, I got that song, me and my team we got this awesome show or whatever. It’s really cool to know that you can do that.
Jason Hartman: Gosh, that’s fantastic. I have so many questions for you about this, but first just a comment about what you were talking about. And I think that’s really the key to entrepreneurship, is the idea that as Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great wrote about the great flywheel. And once you get it moving, you have that cumulative effect of all the stuff you’ve done day to day that doesn’t seem to matter much, but you add it all up in a year, two years or three years and you’re like wow. I’ve really got something here, maybe even a lot faster than that, who knows.
Jennifer Paige: Yeah.
Jason Hartman: And so that’s very important. But Jennifer, you say that you’ve always been fascinated by entrepreneurs and business, and I think this is a song idea for you.
Jennifer Paige: Oh yeah, I like where you’re headed.
Jason Hartman: We need a song idea. We’ve certainly got enough books about entrepreneurship, but how about a song about someone who creates something out of nothing and takes the risk for a reprise.
Jennifer Paige: I’m up for the task, I’m up for the task.
Jason Hartman: There you go. I wasn’t able to get Taylor Swift to write a song about me, but maybe you will.
Jennifer Paige: Yeah, there’s always hope. Your song is coming.
Jason Hartman: It’s so interesting that you are in control of your career. That’s just got to be a wonderful, wonderful feeling. I assume that everything you’ve done is self-published, you own all the rights, you alluded to that before. And so you don’t have to vet it with anybody, right? If a movie wants to feature one of your songs you can just say yes and sign a deal with them, right?
Jennifer Paige: Yes. It’s really interesting, because one of the big changes that’s happened in the business is that when I first started I did have a publishing deal, which just means basically any time I write a song a company is allowed to pitch it to different artists and try and get them to cut it, and then they also collect the money when it comes in and they pay you. So you can’t go to Italy and get your check from them. So they collect all that stuff for you. It’s really complicated, collecting royalties. So you really do need a company to do that for you. So I had a deal with them.
Jason Hartman: Who is they? Is it BMI or Ascap?
Jennifer Paige: Ascap and BMI are companies that collect money for when a song is played on the radio or you actually hear the song. Publishing company, they do the deals for, basically it’s the song itself. So anytime a record is sold, and things like that, they collect the money from the record labels. It’s really complicated because there’s considered two sides of a song. One side is the master recording, so what the label owns, and then the other side is what the song writer owns. So there are two different people that collect that. In my case, it was Wonder Chappell Music who I had my publishing deal with.
And now I own my own publishing. So I do an admin deal where they still collect on my behalf, but they get a smaller percentage because I can pitch it to people myself. Because I’ve hustled all these years, and now I have contacts of my own so I can just say hey, check this out for this movie or this project or whatever. So it’s cool when you can, obviously in the beginning of your career you need those contacts. You need to make a name for yourself, and a lot of times a publishing deal is a great way to do that. But yeah, now I’m able to do a lot of that stuff myself and it’s very liberating to have grown into the position that I’m in now to where I can control my work a bit more. It’s really cool.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. So with that contract with your publisher, did it have a certain time limit on it and then it expired and you decided to keep the publishing rights for yourself, but to let them still do the administrative work of collections and so forth?
Jennifer Paige: Basically. What they do is they sign you for a certain amount of time or certain songs. In my case it was certain songs that they signed for a certain amount of time. So once that time limit comes up, then you get those songs back. So now I own the songs outright that I did have the publishing deal with. Yeah, it’s like a time limit and certain songs.
Jason Hartman: Tell us if you would Jennifer, how the radio works. I’ve always been curious. Radio stations, obviously they may be a bit of a dying breed, but they’ve been replaced by Pandora, iTunes Radio, and Spotify and all the rest and podcasting. So that’s all changing dramatically, but just good old fashioned terrestrial radio. You mentioned that Ascap collects royalties, and that maybe BMI does.
Jennifer Paige: They do, exactly the same thing.
Jason Hartman: When a radio station plays a song, they have to pay to play the song and then their revenue is obviously they sell advertising.
Jennifer Paige: Exactly.
Jason Hartman: So every time you hear a song, an artist is getting paid then.
Jennifer Paige: They are. But what is really interesting and what a lot of people don’t realize is the artist does not get paid but the songwriter does get paid.
Jason Hartman: Oh, interesting. That’s why someone like Allen Jackson, in Nashville, I’m thinking the country field, but he is such a song writer so he does really, really well.
Jennifer Paige: Yes, yes.
Jason Hartman: That’s really interesting. How did that evolve that way?
Jennifer Paige: Isn’t that crazy? It’s just something in congress and there’s a lot of rules that are being taken to congress now, huge changes happening with how musicians are getting paid. There’s a company called Sound Exchange that does pay the artist. It’s one of the only companies that pays artists for their performances. They handle internet, and then there’s a whole other side of things with BMI and Ascap that handle radio, and even when you go into a store and you hear music over the loud speaker, all of that is tracked. And so there are different companies that keep up with everything.
But back in the day, the artist wasn’t taken care of. And now with Spotify and Pandora and all of that, I’m sure you’ve heard there’s a lot of uproar in the musician community. Because they’re not paying the artist and they’re not paying the songwriters.
Jason Hartman: Well it’s interesting you say that, because I use Pandora and once in a while when I don’t change stations or forward or dislike anything on the music, a notice will come up and say if you’re not listening, please turn it off because we have to pay licensing fees.
Jennifer Paige: Right, and they do pay licensing fees but you wouldn’t believe how small they are. It’s like, I’m guessing, but it’s crazy amounts of spins for like a dollar. So say it’ll be 20 thousand spins for a dollar or something.
Jason Hartman: Wow and a spin is a play.
Jennifer Paige: Whereas back in the day for radio, it’s totally way more respectable. It’s still not crazy, you have to have many, many spins to make money. It’s totally different for what’s happening with Spotify and Pandora which is why the musician community is like in an uproar because obviously they won’t be able to continue to create music if they’re not getting paid. Because it is a job. At the end of the day everybody has to pay their bills, and so if they’re not making money as an artist, when that’s played and now they’re not being paid as a songwriter, where’s the money? Touring? Well not everybody can tour because it’s extremely expensive to tour. So you have to have a built in fan base to tour or you’re not really going to be making enough money to pay your expenses. It’s a really tricky game and there’s a lot of changes coming down the line.
Jason Hartman: I have read articles about bands making a lot of money touring. Can you tell us how touring works a little bit?
Jennifer Paige: Yeah, basically it’s up to the band to pay for their expenses, and sometimes a label will pay for that upfront and the artist doesn’t have to pay for it. So that’s just a big expense for the label to take on. And then other times, if it’s say a small US tour where they’re hitting ten cities and they’re playing little pubs and shacks and little venues, then it’s a little less expensive but of course there’s less people in the building so they’re going to be making less money as well.
And if you’re not a big star, you’re not going to be able to charge a lot of money so you might get like ten or fifteen bucks for a ticket, whatever’s left over has to pay the band and then the artist at the end of the day, after gas is paid, meals are paid, per diems are paid, then they make that money. So it’s also a tricky thing because if people don’t show up at the show, then the artist is the one at the end of the day who’s either coming out of pocket or just not making any money.
Jason Hartman: How does the deal work, and you may not know this actually, this may be a little bit outside of your area of expertise, but I’ve always wondered how the deal works with the venue. Is that a revenue share probably with some sort of a minimum guarantee, and then is the money in ticket sales or is it really in t-shirts and swag? And then there’s of course vending and food and concession, and I have a feeling the artists don’t participate in that at all.
Jennifer Paige: They don’t, yeah. But they do, obviously the merch is for the artist and usually the venue will take a percentage of that. But as far as the other stuff like ticket sales, it really depends on your popularity. So somebody like Bruce Springsteen who always sells out and legendary people like that.
Jason Hartman: Even now?
Jennifer Paige: Oh yeah, oh yeah. He’s got such a huge following. He’s a road dog, so he’s got real true believers. And there are a lot of artists out there, especially the older generation. But the newer generation, they’re having a harder time filling seats just because it’s changed so much. So the older generation definitely has more power, and because of that power they have the opportunity to negotiate better deals for themselves. So it really depends on your popularity what your deal looks like.
Jason Hartman: I’ve always wondered, Jennifer, what the lives of some of these artists that have been around for a long time is like, what it’s like financially. Is there a website you can go to that tells you their income?
Jennifer Paige: Not that I know of.
Jason Hartman: I’ve always wondered, you talked about Bruce Springsteen, I’ve always wondered how much does someone like Rod Stuart make nowadays? Because he was huge a long time ago, and he’s had a long career. And I’ve also thought, you listen to the radio and The Beegees come on, and I’m like my god are you kidding? They must be raking it in thirty years later.
Jennifer Paige: Now you know, it comes down to did they write the songs or didn’t they?
Jason Hartman: Right, yeah. I didn’t know that before. Wow.
Jennifer Paige: That’s a huge thing. If they wrote the songs, then they are doing just fine. You do not need to worry about them.
Jason Hartman: Being a songwriter… that surprises me. I thought the money really went to the star. How does that work out maybe five years later or ten years later? The performer isn’t maybe performing, at least not that song as much, but the writer is still collecting royalties. The writers are the rich ones aren’t they?
Jennifer Paige: They are. They really are, unless you hit a certain stage where you’re really worldwide known and you’ve hit a level where people really do know you and they know how to find you, they want to buy your t-shirts, they want to… unless you’re a super star. Basically it’s a safer bet to be a songwriter. A lot of artists are songwriters for other artists as well. I am a songwriter for other artists as well because it’s almost like a retirement plan.
Jason Hartman: It’s an annuity. That’s fantastic. How many songs have you written? Or at least, I guess we should quantify, I’m sure you’ve got a whole lot in your drawer, but how many songs have you written that are… what do you call them, active?
Jennifer Paige: Cut. We call them cut, yeah. It’s hard to say. I’ve had four releases of my own, so four albums worth of solo material. I’ve done several projects with many other artists. I have a band called Paige & Palermo that came out last year. It’s a duo with me and a guy named Cory Palermo. We put out two Eps last year, and I have many cuts from other artists as well. So I would say I have about maybe 100 songs floating out there that have been cut, and then I’ve got several others, hundreds probably of songs that have never been cut and are just songs that I used for film and television, for commercials last year, I did several commercials and different things like that.
So there’s always a use for a song even if it’s not on an album, and maybe people around the world don’t know the song but there’s always music playing if you really stop to notice. Any time you go in a store, a restaurant, all that stuff, when you’re grocery shopping or you’re at TJ Max, there’s always music playing and a lot of times its music that you don’t even know. Well, that’s all business. It’s all stuff that people have to write and release.
Jason Hartman: So you have 100 songs that have been cut, and you’re getting royalties on all of those, right?
Jennifer Paige: Right. Exactly.
Jason Hartman: Unbelievable. Fantastic. And writing is where the money is, that’s great to know that. We didn’t know that probably. I bet that surprised a lot of people listening.
Jennifer Paige: It usually does.
Jason Hartman: That really surprised me. So tell us about your podcast.
Jennifer Paige: I’m really excited about this. Because I started at such a young age and I was really naïve. Like I said I was straight out of Georgia, just out of high school. I did have talent, and I think that was kind of obvious. My life was definitely following a certain path without me forcing it, just started having opportunities. I was always seeking opportunities. My first band I found out of a newspaper, out of an article. So that’s basically how I hustled. When I moved to California I did the same thing. I picked up local papers and I found hey, who’s doing what? And who can I send a demo tape to? And how can I sing on people’s songs that they’ve written and make money and pay my rent that way?
So I was kind of a hustler early on. I knew basic things to do. But then when all of the deals started coming my way and I met managers and producers and attorneys, and all this stuff and I was asked to choose, I really had a hard time. I didn’t know who was telling me the truth,
who was legit and who was not. And obviously people had recommended, but all of these people were new in my life. How do you trust the people that you’re just meeting? You just kind of have to go on gut. And I was so young, and I really didn’t have anyone to turn to.
And so I made a lot of mistakes. And I did follow my gut on certain things and I didn’t on other things. And the things that I didn’t follow my gut on a lot of times came back to bite me. So I think I knew more than I realized but I didn’t trust my own instincts early on.
Jason Hartman: Well, women are known for having much better intuition than men, so trust that.
Jennifer Paige: Yeah, I should have trusted my intuition because I would have been a little safer. But all that has led me to where I am now. And I’m building this podcast that’s releasing in a few weeks…
Jason Hartman: What’s it called? How do you name a podcast for a singer?
Jennifer Paige: It’s called The Breakthrough Artist.
Jason Hartman: Okay, great.
Jennifer Paige: It’s for up and coming artists. It’s for people who are interested in the behind the scenes, for music lovers, fans… and I’m interviewing artists because there’s a lot of people talking about the music industry but it’s not usually the artists. It’s usually the business people behind the artists like attorneys and they’ve got books out there and stuff like that. I read a lot of those books, and they weren’t that helpful to me because it was a different language altogether.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, they’re too esoteric. They don’t apply.
Jennifer Paige: They really are. Until you’re being presented with that deal, and then please go get an attorney. If you’re being presented with that deal do not buy the book. Go get an attorney so that somebody can actually help you. There wasn’t a lot of help out there for me, so I’ve created this podcast for people who were in my shoes and just need advice from artists I’m interviewing, cool people in the business, label people, advertising people, and just sharing the knowledge that I’ve learned and then also getting knowledge from cool people who have done really cool things.
Jason Hartman: That’s fantastic. Do you have any visions of… because I see Jennifer, a really awesome business opportunity here, that you can become a guru that basically trains musicians and artists, and is that in the cards for you? It sounds like it’s a perfect fit.
Jennifer Paige: Yeah, I’m really passionate about helping young artists. I think as I get a little
bit older and I’ve met so many young artists that are coming up through songwriting basically, a lot of times labels will send artists to Nashville or to LA or wherever and they’ll have a writing trip. And so I’ll be one of the people that they call and say hey, will you write with my artist, so and so? We’ve got a new record coming out and we need the single. And then I get close to these artists and then I never see them again. And so I know what road lies ahead for them. Sometimes I keep in touch and sometimes I’m able to help, and that has shown me that I’m really interested in helping people who are there. So we’ll see where it heads, but I’m really passionate about sharing the information, and yeah I’m sure it’s going to turn into something beyond my imagination at this point. Which is to help artists.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, I see a coaching program in the works, and books…
Jennifer Paige: I love it, I love it.
Jason Hartman: And it’s great. You have such a heart for giving and helping, and that’s awesome. One of the best ways to give is really through entrepreneurship. It’s the ultimate win/win scenario, and the ultimate exchange of value. It just works so beautifully and places, times around the world that have not had that have suffered, they’ve become smaller, people have become oppressed. So this is all just great stuff. It’s really good. Jennifer, I’m curious about how you write a song. I’ve thought of song ideas before; I have no talent in this area, but I did have a garage band when I was a teenager. You sit down to try and write a song with a blank sheet of paper… how do you do that? And I’m curious specifically, do you or does anybody in your industry use or see any value in songwriting software?
Jennifer Paige: I don’t think so. Not anyone I know anyway. Obviously there’s cool programs like Pro Tools and Logic that you create music in and a lot of times there’s really cool sounds and stuff that you can get through those kind of programs.
Jason Hartman: I was referring to the lyrics.
Jennifer Paige: Yeah, lyrically I don’t know anyone who uses software. I know people who will pull out a rhyming dictionary every now and then. But as far as writing a song, for me it usually comes in a melody. I started as a singer and then grew into a songwriter. For me, I hear melodies first. And then I’ll usually get a title, and then from that title, or a basic idea for a song, and then from there I’ll build it out. Whether it be from a melody for a verse that pops into my head first, or it may be a chorus idea, name or something. And then really you just fill in the blanks.
What I’ve kind of grown into and learned over the years is that the chorus is the part that everybody needs to be able to sing along with. So it’s not about being esoteric or about being artsy-fartsy and taking yourself too seriously. You’ve got to get something that people want to hear and want to sing, and can feel. Music is such a healing powerful thing, really. And it’s got to be something that people can relate to lyrically or it’s just not going to connect.
Jason Hartman: Yeah. Well, I hate to put you on the spot, but do you want to give us a little sample?
Jennifer Paige: Oh, yeah. I totally will. Okay, so… well I don’t know if this is a really popular song but it’s the song that popped into my head just now. It’s a classic old school song, and it’s a little positive, so… we’ll see what happens, okay?
Jason Hartman: Okay, go for it.
Jennifer Paige: “Smile though your heart is breaking, smile even though it’s aching. When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by. If you smile through your fears and sorrows, smile then maybe tomorrow the sun will come shining through if you just smile. Just smile… ” Ta-da!
Jason Hartman: Woohoo! Yay! I wish I had an applause track for you, because you deserve it. Beautiful voice, by the way.
Jennifer Paige: Thank you so much. That might be a first.
Jason Hartman: To do it on a podcast?
Jennifer Paige: Yeah!
Jason Hartman: Well when you told me you were doing a podcast, I instantly thought that a musicians podcast would be where you would just play your music.
Jennifer Paige: Right, oh okay.
Jason Hartman: I don’t really consume those types of podcasts, so I guess you could take it from many angles, right?
Jennifer Paige: Yeah, definitely. My goal would be to be able to really feature artist’s music as well. So what we’re going to be doing is interviewing lots of artists and then definitely highlighting that artist as well. So at the end of the show we’ll play their music and we’ll definitely mention where they’re going to be touring and stuff like that. But the ultimate goal is really to shed light on behind the scenes of what’s really going on in the music industry and just help the next generation of artists so that they’re not making a lot of the same mistakes that a lot of us made.
And then there’s tons of people who are just music lovers and they’ve always been interested in how it works. So that’s really my main couple goals is to really focus on those things.
Jason Hartman: I just want to run an idea by you and see how applicable this is in the music industry as we kind of wrap up here.
Jennifer Paige: I love it.
Jason Hartman: When we talk about song writing, and I look at some of the popular pop artists nowadays, Katie Perry, Lady Gaga, I guess Taylor Swift would be one too. But I almost kind of think of her as a little bit country.
Jennifer Paige: Your girlfriend Taylor Swift?
Jason Hartman: There you go. Hey, I’m not that obsessed.
Jennifer Paige: Okay good.
Jason Hartman: I just want a darn song. It probably won’t be flattering either.
Jennifer Paige: Okay, we’ll make that happen.
Jason Hartman: But you look at these artists, and I have read business books, literally, and I can’t remember the titles of them, that have mentioned Lady Gaga and how her music is formulaic in a good way, saying that it works. In the world of business and internet marketing a common practice is for marketers to decide what to publish or for authors to decide what to publish based on keyword research.
And I look at a song like Katy Perry’s song California Girls, and you just know that whenever she tours in California or whenever she’s on tour and someone who’s from California, they’re just loving that song. And you almost think, how much does the artist… and I know this has a negative connotation, but how much is the artist kind of pandering to… and I’m not saying that in a negative way, I’m saying they’re doing good research and being good business people. But do you ever think about doing that? Keyword research of what would be the next hit based on demand or common situations or things like that?
Jennifer Paige: It’s a smart thought. It really is. And there’s certain people who are definitely… I don’t think they’re actually seeking the key words; I’ve never seen anybody do that although there may be people out there doing it. But as far as thinking what will sell, I think they’re definitely doing that, especially Dr. Luke who is the producer of many, many Katy Perry songs and lots of huge stars that are on the radio now.
He definitely has a formula. His sound is a lot of the artist’s sound so he has created an entire generation of sound with what he’s come up with. So it goes down to the kick drum sound and the kind of pad he uses. It’s very formulated. It goes across from Katy Perry to the next artist, and the next artist, and the next artist. So we hear that sound and we’ve heard it before and it was something we liked and it was a hit. And so it was proven.
So definitely, there are producers out there doing that. And I think the artists that have had success, once you taste a little success you start to be able to recognize it a little sooner, and you start to know okay, well that worked. I’m going to do a little bit more of that. And it’s because people are responding to it. I think that’s just natural. But yeah, I think the more experience you have the more you realize that it’s about creating something that people want to hear.
Jason Hartman: Good stuff. Well, that’s really interesting. I watched recently a documentary on an old timer, but a song writer whose probably done very well with his royalties and that’s Paul Williams.
Jennifer Paige: Oh yeah, he’s so fine.
Jason Hartman: I’ll tell you, I remember in elementary school one of my friend’s families was friends with him and I met him several times as a kid. And I didn’t know what a big deal he was then. He wrote a lot of The Carpenter’s songs and many others. And just wow, what a smash.
Jennifer Paige: Did you know that he even has a new song out with Daft Punk?
Jason Hartman: No, no.
Jennifer Paige: Yeah, like his career is fascinating. He’s done so many things and he’s still going.
Jason Hartman: That’s been forty some odd years probably, right?
Jennifer Paige: Yeah, he’s legendary.
Jason Hartman: Well I hope you get to the point of being legendary. I think you will; you’re approaching this from all the right angles. Jennifer, give out your website and tell people where they can find you and find your upcoming podcast.
Jennifer Paige: My website is Jenniferpaige.com. And that’s where all my social links are, and if you sign up for the newsletter you’ll get a free song. And also just information about the podcast which is coming out on July 29th.
Jason Hartman: Excellent. Well congratulations to you Jennifer, and I wish you much success. This has been one of the more interesting interviews. I know I learned so much, and I’m sure our listeners did.
Jennifer Paige: Thank you so much. That’s so great to hear.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, it really has been. And the music industry, it’s kind of hidden, you know? People don’t know a lot of these things. At least I didn’t.
Jennifer Paige: It’s true. It’s a big secret.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, it really is and you’re going to help a lot of upcoming artists, I know, with your podcast and with all the work you do. So congratulations, and continued success, and thanks for joining us today Jennifer Paige.
Jennifer Paige: Thank you so much.
Narrator: Copyright the Hartman Media Company. For publication rights and interviews please Email [email protected] This show offers very general information. Opinions of guests are their own. Nothing contained herein should be considered personalized, personal, financial, investment, legal or tax advice. Every investor strategy and goals are unique. You should consult with a licensed real estate broker or agent or other licensed investment, tax and/or legal advisor before relying on any information contained herein. Information is not guaranteed. Please call 714-820-4200 and visit www.JasonHartman.com for additional disclaimers, disclosures and questions.
Transcribed by Ralph
The Speaking of Wealth Team