On Monday, September 19, Belmont hosted a convocation event entitled, “Pitching 101: Get It Heard,” in the Johnson Theater. Belmont welcomed song pluggers Laura Alexander, Lee Krabel, Kenley Flynn and Matt Turner as panelists to speak on the process of pitching songs in the country music industry. The panelists shared their experiences and gave advice on pitching songs to artists. They also engaged with students by answering questions regarding the process of pitching and what kind of songs pluggers are looking for today.
During the event, Alexander discussed the “crazy ride” she has experienced working in the music business. She shared the importance of researching and developing an ear for what artists are looking for and being able to categorize songwriters and song types She also shared that one of the main goals as publishers is to have relationships with artists as they are the ones that make the decisions.
Turner gave great insight that the best songwriters sometimes write the crappiest songs, but they have to write and write and write to get to the great ones. He also agreed with Alexander that the primary part of the song pluggers’ job is to research the artist. He emphasized that one must disregard what they like for what the artist likes and understand which artist fits the song format. Turner then advised students that their job is to meet the young, up and coming producers and build relationships with them to get their foot in the door.
Krabel spoke on the importance of going to venues around Nashville to become acquainted with industry faces and names.
Kenley emphasized the importance of “moments” in a song, whether they be lyrics or melodies. He told students to “get weird with it,” and if they meet the right person, they can break through the noise of the streaming world and make a name for themselves.
Alexander, Krabel, Flynn and Turner described Belmont as a great place for students to build relationships with the people that will eventually be working along side them. They were introduced by Madison Sundquist, senior music business major and the session was moderated by Katie Braile, sophomore audio engineering major.