Yesterday I had the chance to attend the WORLD’S LARGEST #1 PARTY hosted by Nashville Songwriters Association International. Once a year Nashville’s music industry gathers together at NSAI under a big white tent, complete with food and drinks, to honor and celebrate the songwriters of the past year that have written a number one hit. As we see the decline of cds and the increase of mp3s, we find people really have to write #1s to get cut by an artist. Well, these people have done it!
As a songwriter in the crowd, on this side of a #1, I watched as the names were called. I stood there hoping to be one of them one day. You heard one name more than any other Bobby Pinson. Bobby was called up at least four times for songs like All I Wanna Do and Already Gone, both songs taken to #1 by Sugarland. He has definitely had a good year!!!! One thing I noticed was there were only four women called… four. Out of a whole year, where are all the women? I grabbed two of them for a photo – Hillary Lindsey (So Small, Carrie Underwood) and Jennifer Adan (She Wouldn’t Be Gone, Blake Shelton). You go girls!
This party proved to be a great networking event. If you are in town and you hear of Music Row events… GO! You have no choice! These events draw people from all corners of the industry – from artists, to songwriters, to publishers, to song-pluggers, to label executives, and more!! You have to get out there and meet people. Don’t be nervous about not knowing anyone or not having the time, what are you doing here in Nashville that you can’t find the time!? If you are here for music, cut the excuses and get out there! As you make your way through the crowd you will inevitably know someone and they will introduce you to their friends and the web of contacts naturally continues to grow!
Nashville Songwriters Association International’s motto, It All Begins With A Song, is a great saying to remember. This party, the artists that sang the song, the musicians that play the song on tour, the musicians that recorded it in the studio, the studio, the record label, the publishers, etc… wouldn’t exist if the songwriter was not listening to the creative voice inside telling them to write such great songs. Events like these encourage Nashville to come together and celebrate music and the heartbeats of the writers behind the song.
For a complete list of the number one hits of 2008 and 2009 visit these links. Billboard has certified the information to be true. If you want to be a part of the industry you have to know the industry. Start here, figure out which songs, writers, and artists are being acknowledged. Study their stories and learn from their mistakes. One day you could be called up to that stage to be honored for your number one hit. It all starts with a song.