Nashville songwriter Lance Carpenter joined Belmont students on Mon., March 28 and spoke on his experiences within the music industry, his success with country hit “Love Me Like You Mean It” and advice he would give to students wishing to pursue a career in songwriting.
“If you’re in this for the money, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons,” Carpenter explains. He stressed the importance of building relationships within the industry and approaching songwriting with a relaxed attitude, “If you walk into it like a business meeting, it’s not going to be fun. Why have a dream job, if it’s not going to be fun?”
When asked about the success found in “Love Me Like You Mean It,” Carpenter relayed the fact that when the song was written, they weren’t trying to write a hit song. In fact, he and his cowriters didn’t even think it was going to be successful, but they enjoyed the writing process and thought it was catchy and conversational.
Carpenter’s advice to students was three basic principles: patience, persistence and alligator skin. Elaborating further, he advised writers to work on their craft every day and understand that improvement takes time. Persistence relates to doing whatever it takes to become good at your skill and using any and all resources available. Alligator skin, however, was one of his most important pieces of advice: “You’re going to hear a lot of No’s,” Carpenter said, “but every No is one step closer to a Yes.” He told students, “the secret of success in this business is showing up and giving yourself the chance to succeed.”