Aaron Watson - A focused and rebellious country music artist, with more to prove.
Prove your lyrical worth, get out from under that cover.
"He isn’t interested in what someone else thinks he should do".
Many singers get their start in country music by covering other artist songs. Not just any songs, but ones that are proven hits. Is this common practice effective? I have read articles that say “cover songs are a great marketing scheme”. There was a time when I believed that myself. Until I started working with Country Music Vibe. My entire perspective regarding cover songs changed.
At this point, it had a direct legal implication on who would qualify to be promoted by Country Music Vibe. Not many people realize that there is a legal issue with promoting songs, that qualify as “cover” songs. If you do not have legal permission from the owner of a particular song, do not cover it. Yes, it may sound great on social media, but there are even limits to posting it on social media platforms. In the long run, singing cover songs have little value to an artist.
As I continued to search for qualified artists, I ran into the same problem. There was a limit to the amount of original songs that were being recorded. I had no use for the artists that wanted to join Country Music Vibe. I can’t legally and morally promote an artist, that makes their living covering other artist’s music. In addition, there are other value added services that I am offering that requires an artist to have an original song.
Can anyone write their own music anymore?
There were some artists, that could do both. They could sing cover songs, and write their own. Therefore, I focused on these particular artists. Eventually it became easy for artists to promote themselves singing cover songs. I started questioning if these artists really wanted to make it in the country music industry. A label will not give you a second glance, if you do not stick out from the crowd. If everyone sounds the same, then what is the use in signing anyone new? Even the artists that have already made it to the big time, will tell you that “success is in the words, you write”. It is true, that professional singers will seek out professional songwriters. There may be a limit to an artist’s ability to write songs.
“Words and Music baby, words and music”.
We already mentioned that an artist cannot be successful by covering another artist’s music. Sooner than later, the artist will need to put both elements together. An artist must combine original words and music. Write your own lyrics, or have a professional write them for you. There are reputable organizations, that will connect you with professional songwriters. You may be saying to yourself “Who is this guy, what does he know about singing country music”? Actually, there is a lot I don’t know about singing or writing country music. However, there are many legal guidelines that I am familiar with, that prevents me from posting anything I do not have written permission to use.
When someone takes illegally copies music that doesn’t legally belong to them, It frustrates me. I think back to the artists that have paved the way for the success of musicians today. Some of them, got rotten deals, just because they didn’t have someone looking over their back. If I put myself in their shoes, I probably would have jumped at any deal. For most musicians, it’s about the love of music. The money is just a benefit from your hard work. I can relate, as I have a passion for country music.
This topic may or may not interest you. Though, when I came up with the idea for the content in this article, I was thinking about the artists that this subject applies too. I think about all of the artists that I have turned away, because all they had to show for their singing ability was a cover song. I lost track of how many hours that I have spent just researching artists that have no original work to refer too. No wonder why the music industry is suffering. Yes, there is more to the downward trend of the music industry then an artist recording a cover song. I believe I have covered that topic too.
Is this only one man’s opinion, or does anyone else out there share the same views? There are most likely thousands of artists throughout the world, that feel the same way. Everyone who works hard for their money, can understand where I am coming from. I have had conversations with musicians about this very subject. We seem to be on the same page, regarding the use of cover songs. “They are not a great marketing scheme and should be avoided”.
It is our hope that this article published by Country Music Vibe will make a difference. If you won’t take our word for it, consider the perspective of an artist that is “hard working” and a “total professional” when it comes to his career.
We had an opportunity to interview one of country music most talented artist. His name is Aaron Watson.
Aaron Watson isn’t interested in what someone else thinks he should do. He is an artist with a rebellious spirit. That is why it was better to go to someone for feedback, that would tell you like it is. We have no idea, how he will respond to the questions provided. However, considering the topic for today’s interview, we know we will get the straight up answers that you will need to make the best decision possible.
CMV: It is an honor to interview you today. We certainly have enjoyed your music over the years, and consider you to be one of the top performers in country music today. Thank you for giving us this opportunity.
Aaron: Happy to get a chance to talk to you.
CMV: We wanted to start out by getting your perspective regarding another artist covering your music. Under certain conditions, having an artist with a great voice, covering my songs would be a compliment. It shows that the artist truly appreciates, my work. I believe that there is a line that can be crossed and that is when it frustrates me. How do you feel, about an artist covering one of your songs?
Aaron: What is it they say? Something like the best form of flattery is imitation. I’m always humbled when another artist chooses to cover one of my songs.
CMV: What do you think about people using covers as a way to get exposure?
Aaron: People have been doing covers forever. I cover a George Strait song as part of my live show. I think it is a great way to pay respect to your musical influences.
CMV: Do you have any advice for an artist that is trying to make it in the country music industry?
"It is part of who he is'.
Aaron: Twenty years ago, I made a trip to Nashville and met with some of the big label presidents. I came home to Texas and was having coffee with Dad and he asked me how it went. I shook my head and told him that it had not gone well. That they didn’t like my songs and didn’t think I had what it took to make it. I will never forget, he took a sip of coffee, looked at me and said “that’s what they told Willie, all those years ago. He made it when he was about 40.” I was around 20 at the time. I asked him if he meant it would take me 20 years to get there. He took another sip and said, “if you want it bad enough.” I will never forget it. I think a lot of time people in this industry are looking to become an overnight success. My advice would be to approach it with a great work ethic.
CMV: One more thought, before we conclude. I noticed on your bio, that it mentions that you are a rebel of sorts. How do you feel about artists that want to change the sound of country music? To be more specific, there has been a backlash from traditional country singers. They state that the traditional country sound is dead. If you want to be a successful country music artist, then you better change your style of country. Do you it is necessary to adapt to the current sound of country music?
Aaron: One thing I love about this genre is that there is something for everyone. Our business model has always been staying true to our brand of music. We play country music and that has never changed.
CMV: Are there any projects that you are currently working on, that you would like for your fans to know about?
Aaron: Coming off of our first top 10 at radio with “Outta Style” we are really excited about the new one “Run Wild Horses”. It’s a true love song that I wrote for my wife. So many songs these days are about love that doesn’t last. This one is 2 chords and sexy and is about putting my wife up on a pedestal.
CMV: We were very happy to have this opportunity to interview you Aaron. We hope that we will will have an a chance in the future to catch up with you and find out what has transpired since our last conversation. Take care.
You have varying opinions or points of view regarding cover music. However, we are on the same page that being a successful artist is going to take hard work. A star is not born over night. If you are determined to sing cover songs, that you have to take in the legal factors. You might be able to get away with on You Tube, or live in concert, but it will not take you where you want to go. You will always stay at the bottom of the pack, if you continue to make cover songs a way of life. Seek out legal advice, before making cover songs a way of life.