SongCircle Music: What Goes Around Comes Around
by Sammy Kaufman (Communications), published October 4th 2010
With every passing day it seems as if another handful of artists decide to step into the fray of pursuing a career as a professional musician. Although not one of the most promising career choices, the chance of getting that big break is not as hard as it used to be. With the music industry in a state of transformation over the past few years aspiring artists have realized there is no longer a single road to success. In fact, many musicians are producing, recording and distributing their work entirely on their own. But does the journey to the top really have to be alone?
The masterminds behind Songcircle Music don’t think so. For the past twenty years SongCircle Music (previously known as New York Songwriter’s Circle) has been the hidden musical gem of the lower west side. To many, SongCircle won’t ring any bells but in actuality they’re responsible for helping launch the careers of Kate Voegele, Company of Thieves, Vanessa Carlton, Gavin DeGraw and Norah Jones.
So why haven’t we’ve heard of them before? Well, artist director, Tina Shafer, points out that the Songwriter’s Circle was a ‘self-contained music company’. ‘Many artists were discovered at the Circle but were taken out of the community because we did not have the infrastructure to keep them,’ continues Shafer, ‘It was like I had this great furnished living room and people kept walking out with my tables and chairs’. Thankfully for Tina and the rest of the team at SongCircle Music a recent label services and distribution agreement with EMI will prevent any of their artists from getting away. The Circle is now in a position to finally offer the artists they’ve nurtured and guided a record deal with SongCircle/EMI.
Although, SongCircle is known mostly for their songwriting contests, which have become a feeding ground for talent scouts, the Circle is first and foremost a community for artists, by artists. Today, the heart of SongCircle Music is its newly renovated website which provides all of the necessary tools for any musician looking to break into the industry. Not only does it offer social networking services to interact with a community of hundreds, but the opportunity to upload your own music to be ranked and charted on the site. In addition, premium members have access to educational series, networking industry parties, as well as entry within the infamous songwriting contest and submission to the showcases based in major U.S. cities including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles.
In short, SongCircle Music is the mentor so many young musicians desperately need. There is no shortage of talented artists but instead, a lack of knowledge and experience to guide their careers to success. The Circle provides a comfortable environment in which inexperienced musicians can seek advice, market their music or even find fellow artists to tour with. Currently, SongCircle Music has launched their 5th Annual Songwriting Competition and is accepting submissions through October 31st. So whether you’re just beginning your musical career or are just still looking for that one big break here’s your chance to start your journey as a part of the Circle.