Quick TipsRachel SageRecording artist andFounder of MPress Records

Finding your unique songwriting voice: Write in a journal, religiously. No one else has the same experiences or reactions that you do. Even if you never directly write a song from the observations you make in a notebook, you’re still developing your “voice.” I have hundreds of notebooks full of rambly prose and poems from the last 20 years, and while I’d never show anyone most of it, it’s all part of a process that has helped me get my ideas out of my head and onto the page.
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Finding your unique songwriting
voice: Write in a journal, religiously. No one else has the same experiences or reactions that you do. Even if you never directly write a song from the observations you make in a notebook, you’re still developing your “voice.” I have hundreds of notebooks full of rambly prose and poems from the last 20 years, and while I’d never show anyone most of it, it’s all part of a process that has helped me get my ideas out of my head and onto the page.
Running your own label: Approach the business side as creatively and reverently as you would your musical endeavors, because in my experience, that’s the only way to keep from “burning out.” Dealing with distributors, publicists, retailers, radio folks, and booking agents is no different from cultivating your creative audience. You want to be charismatic, memorable but professional, and try to always consider the other person’s point of view when presenting your work. I find that it requires so many of the same personality “muscles” to stay sharp as a label owner as it does when pursuing music: physical discipline, emotional and spiritual dedication, and a genuine respect for the individuals with whom you’re communicating. Beyond that, remember that there’s always someone excited to work at a label for college credit — so harness those interns!
For more: Visit keyboardmag.com.

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