In light of NSAI Membership Month, we asked a few of our members to share how they've utilized NSAI's community to become better at their craft and connect with other songwriters in their area!
Aren’t blogs the greatest? How else would the wide world learn about the night-life habits of owls or how to appreciate fine art? In fact, the first time I heard about NSAI was through someone’s personal blog. I’ve long-since forgotten the name of it – but that chance internet search was the start of my current songwriting path.
I had been making music for years, playing in bands, writing songs, collaborating with friends, but generally without any foresight as to where I wanted my songwriting to go. Finding NSAI changed that. In the beginning, I really just signed on to get critiques of my songs by people who weren’t part of my comfort zone – I wanted strangers, people who had a wider, more professional sense of music. Those first dozen critiques during my first year of membership helped convince me I was going the right direction. I started reading books NSAI recommended. I signed up for Song Camp and “Spring Training” (now known as the Tin Pan South Songwriting Seminar). I came to Nashville as often as I could and met with mentors, and attended a thousand songwriter rounds. (Any of that sound familiar to you?)
My decision to really dive into songwriting as a potential career path happened at a local NSAI chapter meeting, where a Nashville publisher came to talk about the power of songwriting. I thought ‘Hey, this guy is speaking my language!’ We connected, and continued to meet up every time I came to town. Having a link to the music biz without living in Nashville, L.A. or New York was like holding a precious gem. NSAI provided that opportunity.
I’ve since taken the dive. I moved to Nashville to increase my chances of being at the right place at the right time. I work a lot. I write a lot. I listen a lot. It’s not any more glamorous than when I was working a lot, writing a lot and listening to a lot of music in Pennsylvania, but I’m finding my tribe. People speak ‘song’ here. Each Thursday, NSAI offers the opportunity to meet another songwriter, teacher, artist, music supervisor, and sometimes, another publisher to connect to. I’m still waiting for the moment where someone throws my lyric sheet in the air and jumps over the table to hug me yelling ‘we’re going to go to number one with this baby!’, but I’m grateful for every opportunity. My name is getting known. My face is being seen. My songs are being listened to. NSAI helped give my songwriting voice a whole city of new ears.
Thank you, Random-Forgotten-Blogger, for setting my course.
About Daniel Leathersich
Daniel Leathersich is a Nashville transplant from Berks County, Pennsylvania who connected the dots to songwriting after a decade of writing stories, novels, poems and journal essays - only to realize that music was always on.