Pitch List gets a new perspective this week with a very special guest: President and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music Nashville, Ben Vaughn! This publishing powerhouse chats with podcast host Chris Lindsey about getting his start on Music Row while still in college at Belmont University, the top qualities he looks for in a new writer and even answers some of YOUR burning questions about the music business. Plus a few vintage Chris Lindsey stories from “back in the day” (as Vaughn puts it), from being on national television together to old-school titles like “Mama Bought a Hog.”
Vaughn’s songwriting advice proves to be tremendously valuable when the two talk about some of the qualities Vaughn looks for in a new writer when he’s considering signing them. “It’s not about the one song that a songwriter’s gonna write, it’s about the hundreds of songs they’re gonna write. What I’m looking for is that thread of talent and uniqueness among a body of work,” Vaughn explains.
And when it comes to actually getting signed, persistence is critical. “You have to recognize that you’re gonna hear ‘no’ about 98% of the time, and that’s even if you’re successful. So you’re doing this for that 2% of ‘yes’ that turns into songs that become timeless,” Vaughn says. “It doesn’t ever get easy. So, you have to love what you’re doing. If you don’t love the grind, you don’t need to do it. Every part of this process is challenging.”