CMB 015 Rethinking Songwriting with Robbie Seay

[alert type="success"]UPDATE Sept, 2015: This post was originally written as the launch post for the CMB Podcast in 2013 at christianmusicblog.com. Though the site has since gone through various changes, the content in the interview is evergreen! Enjoy![/alert] This is a very special edition of the CMB podcast...

In this episode, we discuss the launch of the new site, we introduce our very first "New Music Segment" with Stephen Bradley, and, for the feature segment, I share a conversation I had with Robbie Seay of the Robbie Seay Band.

It's CMB Launch Weekend!

I am pleased to tell you, that at the time of this episode being published, the all-new christianmusicblog.com is going live.

Back in the fall of last year, I was thinking through and praying about some things, and felt the strong urge to start a podcast and a new website for Christian musicians. So, back in March of this year, I launched the podcast, and put up a simple landing page to gather folks who were interested in being a part.

Listen to or download the podcast here, and check out the detailed show notes below....

[powerpress]

June 15th was the launch date we chose, and folks have been signing up each day since those first podcast sessions. It's been quite the learning experience, but a very rewarding one, as folks like you have been e-mailing me with your encouragements.

I'm very thankful for my web-developer, Robert Povelones of rpdesignlab.com. He's worked with me on a few different websites, including my own personal blog natefancher.com, and he's hands-down an awesome designer (and a great guy in general).

He has put loads of hours into the new site, making sure that you have the best online experience possible. So, here's a big thank you to Robert.

I also want to thank everyone who has been a part of these early days of CMB. Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, support, e-mails, and even the constructive criticism. It's been awesome.

Big Launch Giveaway

From June 15th through July 15th, we're heavily promoting the new site with a very special giveaway; and this isn't your typical giveaway.

We'll be calling it the Big Launch Giveaway. To help spread the word about all that God is up to with CMB, we'll be doing a drawing for a $200 gift certificate to Sweetwater.

You can actually increase your chances to win as you promote the launch of CMB. Things like writing a blog post on your own blog, tweeting, sharing on Facebook, etc… There will be several options for you to increase your chances.

I can speak in this mic till I'm blue in the face, and it won't come close to the impact you guys can make just from sharing the new launch with your friends on social media. Only you guys can generate buzz…

Sign up for the drawing here.

(Sorry to those of you reading this in the future after the giveaway is closed... But no worries - more great giveaways to come!)

New Music Segment

Stephen Bradley is my go-to-guy for discovering new music that inspires me in my music making. We did an interview with him on the podcast in session 10 about his blog, and was inspired to hear all that's happening through his work to promote new Christian artists who need to be discovered.

Today, he introduces us to the following artists...

Pilgrim

Pilgrim is one-man-band, Josh White. Great stuff. Especially if you're a fan of new wave electronic music. His sound is fresh and challenging if you're looking to push the envelope in your own creativity. [check it out]

JGivens

JGivens, as Stephen mentioned, is all about gospel proclamation. Another great artist to put in your holy hip-hop playlist. [check it out]

Ghost Ship

Just released on Tooth and Nail this week, Ghost Ship, of Mars Hill Music in Seattle, is making a tremendous impact with their music. Get their brand new album, The Good King, at iTunes. [check it out]

It's so important to stay freshly inspired as an artist. And one way to do that is to discover new music. That's why we'll be doing these new music segments each month with Stephen. Make sure you check out his site and visit him on Facebook.

Rethinking Songwriting with Robbie Seay

Today, we have Robbie Seay of the Robbie Seay Band in the feature segment of the CMB Podcast.

Based out of the Houston area, the Robbie Seay Band has released more than 10 original projects; most of them independently.

You might be familiar with the well known song "Song of Hope (Heaven Come Down)" from their album Give Yourself Away. The song charted at No. 7 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart.

Here are a few of the things we discussed:

  • his story starting out as a worship leader in college
  • rediscovering the psalms
  • how music didn't define the psalmists
  • how he has redefined his songwriting process
  • King David as a model for songwriting
  • The album, Rich and Poor
  • 13 years of his life at Ecclesia, and how it affected his music
  • music rooted in the local church
  • taking a break and seeing what life is like without a guitar in your hand
  • rich mullins and songwriting
  • How RSB wrote songs together
  • co-writing with non-songwriters
  • writing for a specific demographic
  • stop thinking about music in terms of "where this can take me"
  • changes in the music industry
  • what's so great about EPs?
  • what's next for the Robbie Seay Band

Links for Robbie Seay

Other Links to Check Out

Here's the e-mail from Wesley (a fellow CMB-ite). Thanks for your question man!

Here's my question for Robbie: It's one thing to write from the soul and create good art. But it's something else entirely to try and write for a specific market, you could think of it like a radio single.

How do you write for a certain demographic without giving away the art of it all, and without copying someone else? I think it's important to write songs that have a broad appeal to serve as a gateway to the other stuff that really comes from the heart, you know the unadulterated, unfiltered stuff.

Much appreciated...

Of course Robbie's answer was insightful and instructive. This is an extremely important topic for us to discuss as Christian music makers.

Along these lines, I also mentioned that I would include a link to a part of my conversation with Robbie that didn't make it in this episode due to time restraints. I've created a different post entirely with the video and some additional thoughts on this particular topic.

Here's the post.

Does Songwriting Define You?

As Robbie mentioned, King David didn't think about the next record or tour. He simply lived and sought to honor God. Songs flowed naturally out of his life, as he poured his experiences through the filter of creativity.

Are you living enough life to have anything to say? King David sure did...

But here's the question:

What is the heading over your life? We see what King David's was; and it was not songwriting:

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

Lastly... Any thoughts?

One of the many things that jumped out to me was the idea of co-writing with non-songwriters. Have you ever done that?

As I've said many times, I want CMB to be an active community where these things are discussed with each other. So what are your thoughts?

Don't be shy! Leave us a comment below!

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