In this episode we spoke with Eric about his career, his hit song "Old Dirt Road", the music industry and use of AI, tips for beginner musicians, how technology will effect music and how to promote and get your songs heard and viral.
Who Is Eric Lee?
Eric Lee is an American Singer-Songwriter. Raised in South Florida, Lee grew up with eclectic tastes in music. With wide-ranging influences — from Dwight Yoakam, Bob Dylan, Eagles, and Dolly Parton; He emotes a unique voice in country music, creating vocally driven songs with heart and soul. His debut single “Same Dirt Road” was released in Nov 2020 and quickly garnered millions of streams, hit no. 38 on the Music Row radio chart and obtained a strong international presence. Inspired by the idea that we’re all connected, no matter where we grow up and what “road” we walk, Lee both co-wrote and produced the release.
THINGS WE DISCUSSED:
👤 Eric’s Backstory & first instrument
🎼 Eric’s hit song “Same Dirt Road”
📈 Going viral on Spotify
🤖 AI generated music and the effects of it
💰 Making money through licensing
🥳 Starting your music career in 2023
📱 Building a career through Social Media
🎧 HOW TO LISTEN ⬇️
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hey what's up guys and welcome to episode 68 of talk for the quickfire podcast where we ask four great questions to unique and interesting people behind the mic today is your host Louis Skupien that's me and let me introduce our special guest for today Eric Lee he's going to be answering some questions today Eric welcome board welcome aboard a top four podcast man please do take a minute to just say hi and introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do before we shoot some questions yeah thank you for having me Louie uh my name is Eric Lee I'm a country music singer um grew up in South Florida I've been you know in the music industry for a very long time uh been producing music uh mainly as my main focus as a career uh for most of my time doing music and then you know the pandemic happened and I stopped being able to work with the clients I've been working with and and so I had a bunch of songs that I've been writing and I thought you know what I'm gonna give it a shot and release it and you know I threw caution to the wind I reached out to one of my favorite mixing Engineers you know in the entire music world named Vince Powell and for those who don't know him he does Chris stapleton's records he does Jack White's records two of my favorite artists and he responded back and he said that he loved the songs and you know he was excited to you know to collaborate with me which blew my mind I mean right there that's a win and so I released my debut single uh same Dirt Road in November of 2020 and the people at Spotify Nashville they liked it shout out to John Marks who was the head of Spotify Nashville at the time and he gave me such a boost you know in my reach you know right out the gate playlisted you know the first three songs I released like on all these editorial playlists and uh yeah and I've just been having a blast from there uh you know playing a bunch of shows in Nashville and I did a small run you know around on the south and that song actually was on a country music radio stations too which was a nice I mean you know nice feeling so yeah yeah that's pretty much uh this is the short my man I tell you what so we we got connected through a mutual friend and I've actually had a good chance to like listen to the music I hadn't heard of you before that connection was made but I love the music you make man it's so good and I just can't wait to ask a few questions about you know you and the music you're doing in the industry so Matt if you're good to go should we jump on to question one absolutely you know let me let out this this puppy out there it's like I thought he'd be good and he's not not he you know he wants to come and go so of course man for the guys who are not on video right now we have a very gorgeous dog called Billy in the room as well who I got to see I wonder if he'll if he'll be good come on come on
dogs you know what are you gonna do all right shoot yeah right so let's let's rewind then so for question one tell us about your backstory man so how did you get into music and what was your first instrument then uh first instrument was guitar but you know I originally wanted to play bass and uh you know I I was living in South Florida and my grandmother you know uh you know she raised me and my brother and she would take me to and from guitar lessons you know every week take me to any concert we wanted to go to you know she was an incredible woman and I remember going to uh this guitar place and you know asking I want to learn bass because I loved a lot of the funk music I was hearing and some cool punk bands I was listening to at the time and he was like kid you don't want to learn guitar I mean you don't want to learn bass if you know guitar you could do bass you know so that was his my impression of his voice and so uh I'm glad I took his advice because now I get to do both in my studio here and so which is where I lay down my music but yeah I I formed many bands you know in South Florida it was you know a great place in my experience to grow up uh I have friends that I consider like family to me till this day and uh man you know uh After High School I went to audio engineering school in Miami and you know got certified in Pro Tools and it was just a nine month program recorded uh you know my old band I was in which I'm not very proud of but you know it was our first it was like a rock record and it wasn't very great but it caught the ear of somebody out out in California and uh you know I've never been you know to La before and we come out and we meet him and you know I was doing that for a little while and then uh got really heavily involved in music production uh you know through that which was great you know that whole process of that old man was kind of like more music school for me right because I learned the ins and outs of the industry I learned how to edit on a professional level right there's only so much you can pick up in school so uh yeah and after you know producing so many records uh you know I fell into the world of music licensing which to anybody doing music uh licensing is going to be the biggest opportunity to make you know to make an income right and because that's the area of the industry that really takes care of uh musicians and artists and producers financially and what's so great about licensing a song is that you get to retain your rights to the music you're just licensing it per you know the use and so that has really paid the bills for quite some time uh in 2018 I had the honor of of uh co-writing and producing a song for a a dear friend of mine colleena Sanders who has an incredible voice and we landed the Super Bowl commercial a Toyota ad and uh it went on to be in the Winter Olympics as well as the women's tennis championship and uh it blew my mind and it was such a beautiful piece I thought it was just going to be some car ad and it ended up being such an uplifting piece of uh you know a paralympic athlete who's won many many uh gold medals and so uh just blew my mind and so anybody watching this uh and if you're a musician I highly recommend you know looking at some pitching companies that will pitch your music for licensing opportunities many of the Distributors do that as well uh you know like people like just you know Distributors like CD Baby and tune core and things like that but I'm currently with a great company uh run by these two women uh named think music and uh shout out to those those two right there awesome stuff man and um so what was it an acoustic guitar was it a classical guitar he starts with and you know for me I I started with a um with a classical guitar and uh some some instruments kind of have like a bit of a backstory to them so mine was passed down from from my Grandad who sadly passed away and I get to kind of play it now for my grandma who just you know she just loves it so what were your first instrument obviously like you said guitar does your one have kind of like a little story behind it or anything and like where did you get it and from from where yeah and you know first off like you know how how amazing is that to have an instrument from your grandfather you know I I have an instrument from uh my grandfather-in-law actually he gave me a prized possession of his his 1970s Martin in 1970 Martin acoustic which I'll show you in a moment uh but um my dad gave me my my first acoustic guitar he you know he's a you know great player I've been playing in bands uh you know his whole life and uh you know but my first instrument that I really played a ton was an electric guitar and uh the the you know that same guy you know at the at the tutorial shop you know sold me this guitar that was very complicated and not really my style at all but it was a Jackson electric guitar with a Floyd Rose Bridge like you know the stuff that like the hair metal bands yeah yeah and so and so it was a it's an it's a guitar you know not not like really Downing down uh putting down anything you know but man it's uh you know it was so funny and it's a very complicated guitar to to restring for a beginner right and so oddly enough that was my first guitar that that I would play on and I remember I would just crank up the guitar I had like a Mesa Boogie uh you know stack in my room and I would just like jam to like all these records you know and it was so and I'd always like dream of playing some big shows and stuff and and so it was it's cool man like I you know I played uh you know not too long ago Whiskey Jam and it was it was a packed house that night in like Whiskey Jam is a great big event in Nashville where right you know a ton of great uh country music artists up and coming or you know who've become these huge stars have all came through there and so that was it was nice to get to experience that too and I hope to play some even bigger shows but uh yeah that was that was the start let me show you this uh 1970 Mark yeah let's have a look I want to see this thing seen oh shiny yeah shout out to uh my grandfather Cisco grandfather oh wow
you know it's pretty sweet that is so good yes it's really beautiful sounding guitar and he kept it in mint condition but uh man that sounded absolutely beautiful even just that little bit wow it's so amazing it's amazing how just guitars can produce this kind of thing and it's always just sounds so amazing yeah well it's a that's a riff from my uh new single truck stop which just came out a few weeks ago which that's been fun to promote uh I got a bunch of songs coming out this year uh but yeah you know I've recorded everything in this room and then I collaborate uh with a bunch of incredible musicians in in Nashville primarily for lap steel and some live drums uh but man you know it's it's amazing what you can do with technology right you can just I can just use this microphone you know and just play play my acoustic and then and then you know have a pro tool session and send that to another musician and then get it all mixed down it's pretty cool it certainly is a man oh I can't wait to see the the stuff that's coming out soon but yeah we're talking about the songs now then so question two why do you think old dirt road exploded like it did did you expect to do as well as it did and what do you think makes a song go viral in a sense I know you mentioned kind of about having like contacts in Spotify so yeah just tell us a bit about that sort of the growth rate of this song yeah well you know when Same Day Road came out it was the the message of the song is is very much focused on on unity and you know there's so much division going on in my country right now and hell all over the world and um you know I feel like there's so many people uh in positions of power you know that have platforms uh that basically are perpetuating so many conversations without any Nuance right and it's tearing us apart and then you know the few are essentially uh you know Conquering the many right and so uh you know that that's kind of where my mind has been at you know when I when I started releasing these songs I'm just I meet so many people not only all over this country but all over the world you know I've traveled all over the USA and you know you come to find out that most people are incredible and most people are loving and you know they're mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and and uh you know it but the thing about you know what's going on you know especially with how rapidly social media works with these headlines we're so quick to demonize each other and then that doesn't solve anything you know what I mean and so that's where my heart was at writing that that song is is wanting to encourage people to to you know to remember hey it's the same dirt road where we are where we all grow up and um you know we're all in this together you know which is I know is a cliche thing to say and uh what's so great about country music is that it has people think it's it's niche but it's not you know I mean it's it's this genre that really appeals to so many people um because it's so heavily focused on songwriting and at that right there allows for such a human connection and so these songs you started pouring out of me and that one uh really received well because it came out during such a time where everybody was you know in lockdown and having cabin fever and typing away on their keyboards bickering back and forth in comments sections not getting anywhere productive and uh you know I felt like the people at Spotify you know initially and people at country radio stations they really liked it they liked the message they want to put the energy out there like I did so uh that's that's kind of the reason so how do you find people who like that for example is there a certain way like if there's a musician kind of listening who's kind of thinking along the lines of oh yeah I'd like to try and do something else so I think I've got like a really unique property with what I'm doing or something that's different or just done really well what's the kind of the right way or right approach to kind of finding someone like that to help you out especially if you're like a beginner hmm um well let me think about this well it's interesting because I came at this like a beginner and I meet you know because I've been producing music you know for a while and I haven't really been thinking about the artist's perspective so a lot of what I did uh was honestly I was a beginner and it was really a stroke of luck and the right timing because the social the state of social media and the way Spotify did things at that time was different than the way that it happens today and so you know like John Marks was when he was there he was the last guy that kind of shot from the hip and he's you know known for if if he hears something that he likes he'll give it a shot you know and I really think I've always been appreciative uh specifically obviously to him but of that mindset because I believe art is meant to be human it's meant for human curation um and so you know but it's interesting what happens with with algorithms you know and so uh but for people looking to do it uh it seems that today it's much different than it was when I I was releasing music just you know in it when I first released My First Single it's a little different yeah and so uh anybody's guess would be as good as mine at this point because I feel like a lot of content creators are struggling at this point because it's like always evolving and a lot of people feel like they keep moving the goal posts you know and it's different for each account it's different for each for each person and so I I do believe that we're in an interesting time we're in a transitionary time with technology and and software how it's rapidly changing and I do think we're going to get to a place where it becomes a standard again for a little while but I think that people just need to you know do their research on the current state of of of like how for example for me when I was releasing my first few songs I was looking at how other successful artists were promoting their music online and then I saw and I thought about well how can I do that my own way maybe even better and how could I utilize uh you know social media at the time and I I even had a little bit of a budget uh to boost my posts and to run some social media ads and and uh watched a ton of videos and listened to experts on on that but it's not the same technique that I use doesn't work the same way as today and so anybody watching it's it's really you know one it's all about having the song and and the you know your artistic Vision really locked down into you got to really develop a strategy that is effective and relevant for the current time that we're in which who knows what what that will be tomorrow but you got to try you got to take your shot and you know all I can say is you know hey we're all feeling it you talk to anybody you talk to somebody with a million followers and they are frustrated uh with trying to figure out their reach as well you know because we we've all gotten accustomed to you know the good old days of social media and so I don't know you know uh that's my answer that's my real my realistic response yeah I mean it's it's funny it's a completely different ballpark nowadays than what it was like a few years ago and I do think the kind of competitive side of that has become really like it's just everything's getting filtered down and watered down now it's just so much competition out there in everything and yeah like you said I mean it's so much easier to when when you start out with these kind of social media things it tends to be a lot easier at the beginning to kind of go viral and pick up that following when they start to bring in more of the sort of pay-to-play stuff I think that's where you start kind of start to lose the organic side of things but just something I want to ask you as well now actually because we're kind of talking about the future of music and where things are going then I've been seeing a lot about the kind of the AI generated stuff recently so I'm just wondering like what are your thoughts on that is that something that's going to be really prevalent do you think in the future of music and in the future if it is prevalent and it is taking over and kind of filtering down the industry and stuff how do you think the actual kind of organic and real people can actually beat this sort of thing and stay true to themselves yeah so
so they got this and uh with at least in my friend group and I love to comment on a post by metaverse with a three there they're pretty big technology technology account they comment on a lot of AI stuff and uh I left a comment that said they posted something about you know they put they made a post about Kanye West covering very popular songs and it was all AI generated somebody created a model of Kanye West's voice and applied it to a Frank Ocean song in in a Drake song and so on and so forth and listen for fun if without considering the big picture sure that's fun but having you know a perspective that in an opinion that I that I have I commented human beings are constantly finding ways to devalue the contributions of other human beings that's what I commented and it got a bunch of likes and a few like hate responses you know for you know I think younger people who just like you know they feel like oh it's not that serious you know what I mean it's it's nothing but but I don't really think I think that there are two types of people right and I think that you know there there are people that are focused solely on capitalizing on an opportunity and I get it that's the world we live in it's not only in this country but the thing about it is is Art is such a gift to human beings it's something that is exclusive to human beings and I think we are doing ourselves a massive disservice by taking that away from us think about it because I believe and this is just my opinion that art is something that can only be created by another human being it has to be human expression for it to be considered art I think somebody who creates an AI generated artistic artistic or anybody who creates AI content AI art whether it's image or music I think they have more in common with um with somebody who like a business entity who is commissioning something else to create an art piece rather than an artist themselves yeah when you think about that and the interesting thing is is that they're not even commissioning another human being to create this art and so what we're witnessing is you know a a drastic impact on the balance between art and commerce it is a huge shift and the thing about AI is that its sole focus is Commerce nothing more and so I I think I think like throughout the you know the 1900s you know I feel so old sayings
we saw a balance between art and commerce you know uh we so we so we saw a balance between uh you know art yeah just to say that again we saw a balance between art and commerce sometimes yeah sure we got the fast food of Music uh but I feel like uh what it's gonna listen the Train's already left the station and so I'm not going to sit here and and in the back in the sidelines and point and say how bad that is I think that to piggyback on that third question I think that we as artists have no other choice but to try to learn about it stay ahead of the curve and be some of the first to use it in a way that works for us but with Integrity I think that we can use AI in the promotion of our music I would thoroughly encourage other artists and songwriters not to use it when creating their own art because uh I think it's doing themselves a disservice and I think it devalues music as a whole that being said I just saw a post on Instagram that stated uh we're gonna see a ton of AI generated music this year and I don't doubt it and so does it enrich Society does it enrich human beings I don't think so at all I think that we are cutting off our noses to spot our faces and you know but I'm I'm 36 man you know so I'm looking at this differently than than somebody who is like 18 14 I mean that's all people know and these people are maybe generating AI art and they think that they're an artist and that's it's interesting it is interesting and I think the way I sort of see it is like the thing that it loses in that sort of pursuit of Commerce and this AI generator stuff it's like you say Arts music is Art but if we take like actual paintings and like some of the Legends of history and stuff you can see it people love it so much because there's so much passion that's gone into that and there's so much Vision that's come from a person and that's so different from something that can just be generated and I think that's why the value of these things is so so high as well like these things go for Millions but when you start doing this stuff that's so solely focused on Commerce and it becomes so mainstream stream and it just floods the system the individual value of like each one of them goes down and it's it's a bit like for example it's a stupid example but if you take like the kind of verification badge on Instagram or something or Twitter in the old days like even a few weeks ago or something that was usually like a sign of someone who's very special in some way wasn't it now that they've monetized that everyone's got it the actual value of it's gone down and that's exactly what's going to happen with this music industry too and art and everything I think that's already happening we can clearly see that can't we it we can I think you nailed it and me as a person who's dedicated my entire life to music one I feel extremely grateful to have done that and to really been a part of a time of Music where you know I I really got to experience an incredible time of music and and make some songs that I'm very proud of and collaborate in other songs that I'm very proud of and I think there's examples of of rising technology and music by the way that is rather impressive I was just at The NAMM conference in Anaheim and they had many many uh rooms showcasing mixing and Dolby Atmos where you can hear the music on top of you behind you on the sides in front of you and that I I you know a lot of mixing Engineers will disagree personally I think that is a great thing to look forward to in the future because it makes music Innovative again I think it's this it it's what stereo was to people who had only heard Music In Mono previously you know what I mean and I so I think it's I think that kind of technology is really good I think AI is very good for something like the medical industry absolutely yeah but in regards to Art I think that I yeah it sounds like we're in agreement um but yeah you know it's interesting I I would see people you know they'd get really upset over that simple comment you know people get really upset over on the internet and I'm not even being that I didn't say anything that controversial but it was interesting some of the the messages I was getting and you know I would just say that you know I just want people to really think about the big picture and think about what a gift it is to push the human mind and to really express yourself right that's what art is it's an expression of us as human beings and to to just have to hit a button and have a AI create the majority of it or all of it I mean I just feel bad for for people who are gonna really miss out on on that gift definitely but also that's kind of off putting to new people who want to go into the industry like if you've got a real passion for like making music or something and you're thinking well I want to go into this as a profession now and I want to make my music and stuff and I don't want to do it through AI I want to do it like this they're going to start thinking oh well how competitive is this now and they might be deterred from it and think well I better go and do this and play the safe card instead and not follow their passion and it's just that's where AI just kills it but also that may well be its Achilles heel in the future too because maybe people are actually going to start to realize how valuable the kind of honest creators are versus like just these button pushers who are just making things solely for the purpose of just having that you know that income and that Commerce side of things and then they're going to start going back to you know doing full circle and thinking well with the industry now with all this stuff actually we want to hear some real stuff now so maybe maybe that'll be the Achilles heel of it too I I like to believe man I'm hoping so one thing I was trying to remember I wanted to say is that a lot of these people really like angrily championing championing uh AI we'll say oh we're just gonna push human beings to like you know find more meaningful jobs and you know do more valuable things with their life and I'd ask them okay what are those jobs where where are they and they say well I don't know but someone's gonna think of it and I go real okay that that seems pretty naively optimistic uh you know I feel like you know statistically speaking not to get super dark but every time unemployment Rises one percent at least I think in this country like I think it's like 20 or 30 000 people die statistically or something crazy like and so I I just feel like you know I just want to encourage people to really think more about the macro side of things you know it's easy though I mean times are hard right and it's very competitive out there and everyone's trying to survive and everyone's trying to do what they can but it's you know at the end of the day you say you know the Achilles healed man it's it's I think at the end what what's what is the world going to look like I I definitely I don't know you know there I there's pros and cons with with everything so to speak and I think that we're definitely in a transitionary period and hopefully you know governments think of ways of legislation that protect copyright that you know uh maybe there's requirements I don't I just think that we need to think about the human aspect of things I I that it's the reason why we're living art is emotion it's the it's the full purpose of of of living life so well we're so there's so much division in the world and stuff and honestly you can comment anything if it has your opinion behind it there's gonna be those people who reply to it and message and you're that and your opinion starts and all of this there's unlimited amounts of them but the thing is music brings people together and that kind of is like the Band-Aid on on that division because everyone can you know everyone loves music it's just that everyone loves music and that's what brings people together when you murder the soul of music by flooding it with Commerce and losing its core characteristics then we get more divided because of that it's gonna get worse folks before it can get better 100 percent yeah it's I I think you were right about that I mean I would even say it's a fundamental need even past uh human beings like I just walked out of my bedroom and I had music playing in there and my cat and and dog they love music and the cat was right underneath how did you know that just outs Avengers how do you know you can just see the the cat sprawling out around the speaker uh loving what it's hearing I mean specifically the cat I've really noticed Maybe Call Me Crazy But there have been studies there have been studies too man where you know you look it up on YouTube where they'll play different kinds of music uh to to plant life you know that's growing and the the effects are different sound waves wow very real thing frequencies the way it interacts you know there there's types of uh Sonic treatment you know that that vibrates through our bodies and you know contributes to Health in certain ways I'm no expert but I do think that music is a very fundamental healing uh important expression of human beings you know and so I but the few I just want people to be just remember this is that this is another example of the few trying to conquer the many and a lot of people might feel empowered by AI right now but big picture it's only going to work out for the few at the end of the day and they will find a way just to they will find a way just like they always do to to change things and to where it it's only going to benefit the people on top at the end of the day right now I feel like it's interesting they're saying oh you know download chat GPT and interact with it and tell it things it's learning from us we are all working for this system we are all contributing to teaching it and so I just want people to be really clear and I hope that this video reaches more people so that we don't let it Let each other get taken advantage of and get played as fools absolutely no that is it's a really important topic this has been a great little chat party I've Loved this but yeah let's dig into so how you actually kind of make a bit of money the right way then so we're talking about the licensing side of things then so obviously I've seen that you did a lot of music licensing for TV film and ads you know it's on the website and stuff I was wondering if you could tell us a bit about how these deals actually come about do you have to reach out to them or do they come to you and do you have any tips for landing these types of deals so that was something I completely felt you know that fell into my lap uh one of my best friends this man Frank Palazzolo we used to be uh Neighbors at an apartment community and uh you know we'd hang out we'd grab some beers and as he he he was growing into the music supervisor world he used to be an assistant um for Universal and then uh for a really big time music supervisor and now he's independent doing his own thing and we'd always say you know because he he would see me growing as a music producer and getting better at doing that and yeah he'd always say man we gotta write a song together I bet you we could you know with our powers combined we could really create you know some songs that that land and and so the first song we we made together uh with his sort of input as far as you know making a song have the qualities of of a licensable you know we were trying to get a movie trailer at the time right and so we we made that song and uh you know he sent it around to you know a few buddies and it landed so it's a very it was a very lucky situation it was a it was a universal uh movie uh picture actually uh for a trailer that it landed and so wow it was the most money I'd ever made in doing music trailers can pay a lot of money and what's amazing is uh you retain your rights and so uh for anybody looking to get into that industry there are conferences uh that you can look up that I'll have to send to you maybe to to put in the link in the YouTube section or something but honestly look up music pitching companies there's a ton out there they take a commission uh some are more fair than others and uh I think that ultimately it is you know if you're if you've got the goods and you're producing music that is great for movie trailers or great for the background of a television show or uh great for uh you know even at the you know in a montage in a movie or something I think that uh it can take care of of you financially much much better than then uh you know the music streaming royalties will will ever take care of you you know I mean they say for every million streams you get around four or five grand uh depending on the state of numerous factors at like the streaming companies such as Spotify and apple music and so uh it takes a lot man you know you have to legitimately become a celebrity today to make a living a good living uh being a music artist you have to that is you have to be clear on that a lot of people say oh I don't I don't want to be a celebrity no you you have to essentially be realistic about that about that reality because uh it is it is really the only way you're going to make enough money uh because the touring opportunities and the merchandising opportunities will not arrive unless you're generating the numbers through Tick Tock and which leads to Spotify and so anybody watching this you have to do an insane amount of research and development and then most importantly you know you've got to have the songs and you've got to have the recordings in the in the right place and you know and then now more than ever it's a one-person show I mean I learned how to do how to use DaVinci Resolve uh I'm not a movie editor but I had to edit my first music video myself and color correct it myself and so my knowledge of music production and Pro Tools trans translated you know into video editing and you know a lot of patience and YouTube tutorials man you know it it works out so yeah I hope that answers some of the questions it certainly does man and it's funny kind of listening to you talking about that too because so I've played tennis since four years old and I've always said to people yeah so I've always said to people that I kind of wish almost sometimes I had like a sport that was just a bit more simple I didn't have to be so sort of profound and so many factors because like let's put it this way in tennis and I found this out the hard way a lot of times you have to have everything in place if you have a weakness it gets cranked open and that's you have to move well you have to be able to survive hours on end for days on end on on the courts you have to have the strength you have to have the weapons you have to have the mental game you have to have everything and it kind of sounds a bit like that in the music industry too you have to have to you have to be able to play it you have to be able to edit it you have to be able to do the damn marketing and the promotion you have to have the voice in a lot of cases too so I mean for sure it's tough isn't it but yeah last question about that so do you have any tips for upcoming musicians looking to get into the industry and get known perhaps something you didn't know at the time that would have helped you in your journey we had to talk about the future of things too so like what do you think is going to be very important for them in the future coming up so much um but you know sadly you know just to start with is the majority of the industry does not care about your live performance um for the most part I mean they say that they do but at the end of the day if you have a song that is generating Revenue if you are going viral on social media I'm just getting rid of this thing here sorry you have a song that is generating Revenue if you are in some way generating money that is all the industry has come to care about and we have to be very very real about it and there will be people that will say no sure certainly not and they they be lying because that that is the truth that is what we see time and time again it is all about are you succeeding you know are you generating the numbers and so you got to be very clear that if you want to be an artist um or if you want to be a songwriter songwriters especially they they have a very difficult time because songwriting royalties don't generate a living wage um unless you have you have to be pumping out hits multiple hits a year to be making a living anywhere close to to be uh to making a living um it's gotten so bad that you know songwriters are now asking for uh cut of the recording of the songs royalties as well the recording of the song which is called the master um but yeah you have to be you have to do an insane amount of research uh and develop yourself and be realistic in work smart and hard you know I see a lot of people uh coming to Nashville and they'll go to Nashville and they'll be obsessed with doing writers rounds after writers rounds you know the writers rounds are basically like open mics but they're not open mics they're they're curated and they're hell of singers everything I mean every night you go what's so incredible about Nashville is that that you know it is definitely the music Capital right now in at least in the USA and you know for a while there it was it was Los Angeles and now it's undoubtedly Nashville and LA's still trying to I feel like find its you know it's what what's going to be the cultural movement in music that happens to put La back on the map but it's definitely Nashville and so I would say uh you know and that doesn't necessarily mean in my opinion that you have to move to Nashville but it might you know because I I feel like a lot of people moved to Nashville and they get caught up with oh I'm gonna sing my songs because we all have the desire to be in front of people we want to perform I love it it's my favorite thing in the world but I have to be very strategic about when I do that because you know your time is valuable and most most importantly if I'm putting a band together I get to pay all those guys and I gotta think to myself if it's coming out of my pocket is the opportunity worth it and so if you're an artist these days I really think that we all have to make peace with the internet is essentially the main focus of everybody in the industry it's it's all the industry cares about and not to be cynical but it's just the plain truth is that they are you making money are you generating or you know you have to be viral you have to that's essentially it or you have to be co-writing a bunch of hits if you're being if you're gonna be a songwriter and if you're a songwriter these days I highly recommend you also should be a producer you should be learning how to produce music and so because so that you can participate in you know the recording and those royalties as well so that is essentially I will say work smart that used to be work smart not hard now it's work smart and hard I just came up with that you know so work smart just kidding work smart and hard is essentially what it's becoming absolutely yeah um I couldn't agree more and it's definitely a case of going like you said you need to get viral you need to have multiple hits and someone who I met uh Leah Hart she's a singer from Ireland she started on Tick Tock she didn't start with the Spotify stuff she didn't start with the Instagram stuff that stuff kind of boosted it all so she started on Tick Tock went viral on Tick Tock Time and Time time again and then everything else around that started to really benefit from it so if you were kind of like speaking to someone young nowadays he kind of really wants to do this would you say it's almost a safer bet to just start on social media and kind of gauge the response but four sorts of committing to something a bit more competitive like the spotifys and the sort of the big music industry stuff oh well it happened on social media because now curators of Spotify or apple music they will only really consider it they they are watching they have even algorithms I I believe that look at uh so there's something called what is it called it is the stream it's it's basically this the the tick tock to Spotify stream or river or something like that basically especially in 2021 22 uh you know used to be able to just be in here and play acoustic guitar and then that kind of content got stale everybody got over it you know so you have to be really creative in especially for musicians it is hard you know because how do you just write a great song and ask somebody to listen to it these days right especially when the algorithm generally sends it out to a generic batch of people unless you are boosting your post that is only when that's the only time when you can actually Target an audience when you say boost in your post you mean with the the kind of the revenue out of the ad stuff um yes I'm talking about advertising on Instagram or Facebook um it's you know I believe on Instagram it's called boosting a post or on Tick Tock you can hit promote and you used to be able to make so you get so much bang out of your book you know just a year ago um now it is it has become so expensive for so many reasons that we don't have time to go over I'm sure um I just want to be respectful and I don't want to bore people but there's a ton of videos you can watch as to why that is but uh yes I believe it is the it's not just a suggestion it is the only way to get people on Spotify to consider you because uh they are all about the algorithm currently that is it algorithm is King and on all platforms uh even uh Distributors are now saying uh like for example I was seeing an I won't name I won't call them by name to call them out but there's another like popular music distributor um that's an independent music distributor that says the moment you release your song on social media that is your release date don't they say don't wait for uh you know the song to drop on Spotify start dropping it on social media and I pretty much I personally take issue with that because I feel like I I I'm sure they'll they you know they they're coming from a very knowledgeable perspective but I think that we have such a uh a society that wants instant gratification they want everything that they hear now and because it's so difficult to retain an audience in general how is the audience that likes your pre-released song you know that isn't available on Spotify yet how are they going to remember to to look that up and what are the chances of you posting a follow-up video that that those people are actually going to see so in my humble opinion I I like to wait until the song is available before I start promoting it because I know I know that whenever I see a song that I like I'm going to want to hear that song right away or if if I like it I'm going to want to add it to my library so uh that's Pro it's currently the the state of things and uh you know we can have conversations on whether we like it or we don't like it uh it just is what it is and so we you know you you have to be great at marketing to be an artist it's so much it's always been about an artist's personality for sure and you look at a lot of artists that came out you know through the generations and you're and you think and you look back objectively and you're like man why did that artist get really big they didn't really have like an insane voice but they had personality that really resonated with people but there's still always that balance they still had to have the goods musically now it's it is really going to be about how good are you on camera every single day like you know you used to be able to be an artist and focus on the music and you know and and be and curate an image that you liked that is Artistic and and have some mystery that left people wanting more yeah uh nowadays I don't think how are we going to get these profound artists that unite people you know how yeah because that's what some of the biggest artists in the world used to do now with the algorithm feeding people what they already want people find themselves in Echo Chambers you know we don't we don't come together about about meaningful things and so that's just my humble opinion but not to be but but the solution is this in my opinion the solution would be if we really want to fix this thing I say we organize a a mass strike on social media and we basically demand an ethical uh system that that that that basically contributes to a brighter future a bigger picture uh but I mean most people uh you know no matter how much good it would do unfortunately we're so addicted to these things that I don't think that we would come to you know I do you know what's interesting too is that when you think about the one thing we most likely could all agree on is that how much we are so frustrated with these and not I'm not calling out this company but how frustrated we are with our smart devices we're also frustrated we all share that same frustration with social media technology we are it is it is stressing us all out um and I think that we we could all unite like this imagine if we all planned the entire month of May we're taking a strike imagine what that would do to a drop in ad revenue for all the major platforms and we all delete these apps from our phone and uh that that is my opinion of what a big picture solution would be because a month of that you'd see all these you know these these videos coming out from all the you know social media reps and they'd be saying well now we have systems that are really thinking about ethical uh treatment of of our content creators and we're you know they would do something about about this I believe toxic situation that people are feeling like we're all in because it definitely doesn't serve I feel like it's not serving content creators I don't think it's ultimately serving the many uh but you know but for somebody just trying to come up I would say please don't stress about this you know happiness is a state of mind you know security and peace you know within yourself is so important and just think about the work take it one day at a time and have fun doing it and if it works you know essentially nowadays we're all asking to win the lottery somebody one of my good friends Tom Rhodes was was talking to me about this a few weeks ago he's a great songwriter and he was saying it's come to the fact that we're all just trying to win the lottery and the odds of that of of winning the lottery are not not very good so try to figure try to really focus and get clear on what things are in your control and you know no matter how young or old you are you know just take it one day at a time have fun you know do as much research as you can and you know try to enjoy the process man that is some killer advice right there totally totally agree with that spot on Mana I've got nothing to add to that it's absolutely brilliant I would love to have a a social media strike I mean if it will ever happen that would be brilliant but then we can man
I mean I mean it would be here's the thing it would be effective it would in it when you think about because money is basically when you affect these companies uh profit margins that is when change happens and nothing does that more than a strike but man I mean we're looking at this stuff and if you take like the the verification thing that they've just brought out I think I read that they're set to make 1.7 billion a year already just and can I just say just from fixing a very real problem that they had because I'm getting fake accounts made of me at the moment and they're messaging my friends trying to scam them and they've managed to monetize that so I mean we're dealing with a behemoth in marketing and and getting people's money so it's it's a tough one I want people to think about this perspective right for the past few years before a year or two ago uh for the the decade plus that Instagram for example and Facebook has been running you know they would encourage their users to run ads to build your following so that you can always communicate to your followers yeah so I got to experience that for a very small amount of time I started with like no followers I started running you know very strategic uh you know ads to reach country music listeners right that's what that's basically what you can do and it was so much more affordable than it was today I build my following and then about a year and a half ago basically now they say oh your follower count no longer matters anymore for all content creators only a very very small percentage of your following is gonna see your content unless the algorithm the algorithm deems that it's gaining attention of this uh we'll call it the for you page of Instagram because it's not going out to you just your following anymore it's going out to a generic ever-changing algorithm yeah and it's interesting because what I do is country music there's people that hate country music right so how was that you know so I know that you know I don't take that like whenever I don't get engagement on my stuff I don't take that to heart as like oh what I'm doing is it good enough it's just the system is not you know meant it's it's it's it's not really ideal right now but what I really want people to consider is a fundamental line of trust has been broken between you know so we'll say schmitta Smalls certain social media companies uh has been broken because they essentially have people invest their time invest their money to build a following and then they said oh screw you times have changed times are changing your following doesn't matter anymore oh but but please keep running ads please keep doing that and why would we why I I won't do it I will not spend a dime anymore dude I do not do it um because you know I feel like it's a big scam and I feel like I shouldn't have to I should be able to just communicate uh to the people that have opted to to follow and support my music you know and it's a bummer because I used to get messages from people all over the world and now I know like a lot of people they they're not seeing my posts they're not seeing my content they're not and a lot of content creators are stuck in the same same thing and then you get certain people that you know are all fired up about it you know online they say well your content just isn't good enough you know bro and and uh make better content or you know all sorts of stuff and I I just think that in my opinion yes the fundamental line of trust has been broken we'll say with certain companies and it has to be remedied man because it isn't right and it definitely isn't respecting the content creators who have contributed to really boosting the platform and this verification thing I agree with you I think it's another another just money grab you know unfortunately but that's just where Society is headed and so I I tell people don't be a sucker you know and just take it one day at a time focus on the things you can control and you know at least nowadays you know I saw a tick tock video where people are saying now uh the algorithm is focusing on long form um videos and the best videos essentially went and so in many ways it will become more and more competitive but at least we're not going to get bombarded with these like really spammy uh five second videos that are outrageous so I guess that's a kind of a win but I'm still fourth strike man
I love it man I I just gotta shout out the shmatter that's brilliant I love it that's how you know this guy's involved in licenses he's got both parties I love it dude this way you could post the video without a you know complaint there oh too good um man so I mean that's our four questions done for today but just one last little trivia question then for you my dude so yeah brother if you could pick any singer from Pastor present to sing something with who would it be and why
many but you know okay I'm just gonna there's so many but if I can only pick one uh I would say I was thinking about who are the best I've got like a top five best female singers best male singers I would just try to do a list but the top female singer in my humble opinion is undoubtedly Whitney Houston and I would absolutely have loved to have just even been a fly on the wall in the studio man she's just written so many I mean when you hear her vote her her recordings and you hear her voice that's not that's not auto-tune you know you hear uh you hear that what you hear in those recordings is like Peak human uh the pushing of a vocal like the the the basically the the Pinnacle of of talent and skill and hard work on somebody's the vocal craft that combined with the songs that she's saying man that that would be amazing uh present would love to collaborate though with uh you know Dave Cobb incredible music producer Chris Stapleton uh Casey Musgraves um you know there's so many people I'd love to collaborate with uh but yeah man but if I had to pick one man you know yeah I was just thinking I just I can't just pick one but I was just thinking I had the thought like if you listen to uh The Greatest Love of All you know try not to get a lump in your throat listening to that that song which is kind of a funny American Psycho reference but it's like I don't know for anybody who seen that movie will know what I'm talking about but man you know it is a beautiful beautiful song with an incredible sentiment so one of my personal favorites so yeah that's my answer excellent stuff my man so well like I said that has been before and uh a fair few more questions done for today and uh before we wrap this up let's get the promotion stuff done Shameless plug moment for Eric Lee here so man where can we find your music your social media and just send my dudes wherever that they can find your stuff yeah on social media it's at Eric Lee music I got a website ericleed.live um where you know I try to keep everything up to date uh you know I'm planning on releasing a bunch more music uh you know so keep an eye on my pages follow me you know I guess there's an alert Bell that that you can hit that guarantees uh you'll you'll actually get updates from me uh but yeah I'm all over the place I'm on YouTube as well and uh you know hey request me in your town in your in your city in your country I would love to come visit and uh yeah that's basically that great stuff Eric thank you so much for joining me today for the talk for podcast it has been an absolute pleasure having you on my man Pleasures all mine Louie thank you for having me no worries dude and thank you guys for listening this has been episode 68 and if you'd like to listen to our past episodes go and have a look at our Channel and if you'd like to listening for our future ones make sure to hit that subscribe button and spread some love by leaving a like and a comment signing off for now