Tuesday 15 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Nash bridges

Nash bridges

It all starts with a song, but where does the song start? For some OKC songwriters, it’s a Nashville-based nonprofit.

Alyssa Grimley April 5th, 2013

Ever think about what percent of a song purchase actually goes to the artist? Local songwriter Curtis Stover makes it his business to, as a coordinator for the Oklahoma City chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

curtisstoverCurtis Stover - Photo: Mark Hancock
“It was organized in the ’50s because there was no one looking out for [songwriters] on the congressional level, and yet, how much we were paid was determined by Congress,” Stover said. “You see the need for the lobbying up there at the national level.”

The NSAI is involved with songwriters at both the legal and professional level. Members of the OKC chapter meet once a month at the Rodeo Opry, 2221 Exchange, to collaborate and critique each others’ work.

“At the local level, we give a chance for our local peers to get feedback,” Stover said. “It’s also a chance to get together, to find people to co-write with.”

He emphasized the benefits of joining the nonprofit, which costs $200 for the first year and $150 for each renewal.

“As a paid member, you get to send 12 songs in a year for critique by professional songwriters in Nashville,” he said, noting that independently sending songs to Nashville, Tenn., can be expensive, ranging from $50 to $75 each.

Members also have access to more than 140 hours of podcasts on numerous aspects of the music industry via the organization’s website; can have one-on-one sessions with professional songwriters in Music City, USA; and get to audition at The Bluebird Café, a famed music venue normally available exclusively to Nashville residents.

Russell Stover, Curtis Stover and Matthew Hoggard
Photo: Mark Hancock
More than country

While Nashville is the world capital of country music, Stover said the NSAI isn’t just about that genre.

“People hear ‘Nashville’ and they immediately think of country,” he said. “That’s only part of it.”

Stover said the NSAI has evolved alongside the ever-changing music industry. Its local chapters provide musicians with educational materials and contacts.

Matthew Hoggard, an OKC songwriter and NSAI chapter coordinator, said he has benefitted greatly from honing his skills in the group.

“I’ve built a network in Nashville. It’s a good way to meet industry people,” Hoggard said. “The biggest advantage is getting to work with other songwriters and artists who all have the same goal. Being around other writers, learning from them — it’s on-the-job training.”

No one is born a songwriter, but if you’re a budding musical talent, Stover has some advice: Learn to accept criticism.

“It’s one of the hardest things for young people to do,” he said. “We need to get past being in love with what we write and look at how to make it better.” —Alyssa Grimley

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