If you intend to be a great songwriter or artist, you need the right tools. Not hammers or nails or drills (Oh, my!) but the tools of the trade. Here is my list;


You really have to want it so bad you can taste it.  The path will be incredibly tough and crowded with other songwriters and artists seeking the same goals. You have to want it more than them.


When everyone else packs up and goes home, you stay in that practice room or writers’ room and give it one more try. Take it from the top one more time! You need to be the first one to arrive, the last to leave and the one who works smartest while you’re there. You have to possess an attitude of “Never Surrender” and word “No” has to mean absolutely nothing to you.

Here’s a quick Grammy story for you (more to come in future posts).  As I was arriving back at my hotel from dinner the night after the awards, who should I see sitting in the lobby making a business phone call but my friend, Scott Borchetta, President of Big Machine Label Group. He interrupted the call to say hello and ask about one of my clients.  After a very brief conversation I stepped away and heard him continue on the phone,  “I know it’s late…” The best never rest.


Oh, yeah, there’s that.  But talent alone won’t move the needle. All of the other tools must be used wisely and at just the right time to make your career a success.


Yep, you knew it was coming but it’s true.  You need a team. If for no other reason than this; you will never be as good an artist or songwriter as you can be if you are spending valuable time and energy on aspects of your career that are not in your area of expertise.

My favorite example is, “When does an artist need a manager?  When you’re onstage singing your heart out and forget a line to your own song because you were thinking, ‘I forgot to call the club owner about next week’s gig.'” Team.


My late friend, the legendary Cowboy Jack Clement was one of a kind.  During our lunches at Sunset Grill he would offer wisdom and insight about the business.  One of my favorite lines was, “When all else fails, get lucky.” And though there is a certain amount of luck in our business, you must be present (in the game) to win. No ticket, no bingo card, no completed and mailed entry form, no chance at the prize.

No one can give you the first three tools.  You have to get them for yourself.  But if you’re looking for someone to assist you and be on your team, why don’t we find out if I can assist you. With the last one, luck, stay positive.

Step One: #TakeTheTwenty

Step Two: Reach out to me.  chris@chriskeaton.com