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You’re Attending a Songwriter’s Conference and You’re Not a Songwriter? 🤪

How did that happen?

What had happened was, LOL! My good friend, neighbor, and podcast co-host Brad, is a local singer-songwriter in the Orlando area. During one of our recording sessions, he mentioned the Florida Songwriters Association Conference and said it would be great for me as a performing vocalist and pianist to network with the people who attended the conference. I am all about networking because if you don’t know, that is the key to this industry as well as being talented. To be honest, I was on the fence because I had quite a few performances that week, AND I had one scheduled in the middle of the conference. I decided to bite the bullet just a few days before and I went ahead and purchased my ticket.

I was glad my friend would be with me because although networking is key and I know I should do it, as an introvert it can be pretty daunting. Well, I packed up my equipment and made the voyage across town to the event. You know sometimes as a performing vocalist and pianist you end up attending events a little overdressed! And that was totally the case, but it wasn’t the first time and it definitely won’t be the last.

My friend and I arrived early and we picked out a couple of prime seats in the center near the stage. I met a wonderful vocalist and musician who was a songwriter and we discussed our mutual acquaintances. This made me feel a little more comfortable because I felt as though I was out of my element.  Soon after, I met the Executive Director but I had no clue who he was. He was very down-to-earth, hands-on, and welcoming. He shared his contact information with me and I reached out to him later that evening and set up a Zoom meeting for the following week. Networking tip: engage with your new contacts as soon as possible, don’t wait to reach out to them. They may forget you or worse, you may forget them!

Who Attended:

Host of the Florida Song Writers Association Conference at the podium
The Host for the day- Meka

There were many singer-songwriters in the audience as well as DJs, teachers from Fullsail, and people in the industry. I felt a little out of place because I was not any of those things but just a “performing vocalist and pianist”. You see when you end up in situations out of your comfort zone, you just have to roll with it and have a perspective of “What can I learn from this experience? How can I grow?” With that perspective I sat and listened to the speakers. I did have to hop out of the conference halfway through because I had a gig, but I returned after I was done. I could have left midway and just gone home after my gig, but I felt as though I was meant to be there.

The Speakers:

One of my favorite speakers was from the Mechanical Licensing Collective. His presentation and handout were phenomenal! There are many artists out there who don’t know they have royalties because of a bill passed in 2019! They literally have thousands of dollars waiting for them and they have no clue. Because most music on streaming platforms were backed by music companies, those artists received their royalties. However, during the big boom of Indie artists uploading their own songs, there was no way to find them until now! Some of the stories he shared were amazing and very inspiring. If you have music on streaming platforms, be sure to check out the MLC right HERE to register. You can find out if you have royalties coming to you! As a performing vocalist and pianist, I have gone into the studio multiple times. If my name is listed on a track (which it should be) then I could also receive royalties. I would register anyway, you never know!

The second group of speakers was all the way from Germany. Technology is so amazing! Two representatives from a publishing company all the way in Germany took the time to speak at the Florida Songwriters Association Conference. They were so gracious. It was around 2:00 am their time and they stayed up late to impart their wisdom. I learned that Germans prefer to hear songs in English, who knew! This particular publishing company really wants to partner with female score composers. So ladies if you are a score composer, you may want to look into the European market. Children’s music was another popular genre needed in Germany.

Florida Songwriters Association Conference Takeaways:

  • Don’t be afraid to step into rooms that may seem a little intimidating for you. You never know who you will meet or who could be your next partner on a new project. The more I learn and network, the more I realize that partnerships and relationships are key. I am so thankful that Brad invited me along for the ride, I would have never thought to go on my own.
  • If you have ever gone into a studio and recorded music, register with the MLC just in case you have royalties laying around!
  • Don’t be afraid to look outside the American market for opportunities. We all have to explore and find the right market for our music. It may be here in the States, or in a different country, but everyone has a place.

~ Deanna




Hello my name is Deanna! I am a singer, pianist and sound healer in the Orlando area, specializing in entertainment for Weddings and Events. I am also a wife and mom of three boys, so you know there is always dirt everywhere, LOL!