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ML Moseley On Building A Successful Music Career

ML Moseley On Building A Successful Music Career | Ep. 187 | Business Podcast

ML Moseley On Building A Successful Music Career | Ep. 187 | Business Podcast

ML Moseley On Building A Successful Music Career
ML Moseley On Building A Successful Music Career

Summary

ML Moseley is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter out of Valdosta, Georgia.

Based in Atlanta, Moseley has written and co-written over 100 songs and currently has a few released. Following the success of her second single, El Dorado, she is currently working on an upcoming EP to be released this year.

We talk about how she got into singing and what it’s like being an independent music artist.

Links from this episode

Spotify: ML Mosley
Apple Music: ML Mosley
Instagram: ML Mosley

Hello Friends.

Brandon:

Welcome to the Edge today. Our guest is the lady singing the song you just heard?

ML:

Ml Mosley is a singer songwriter who has a incredible voice.

ML:

I was trying to find the words to describe her new hit single and her work, but I couldn’t do anything better than this guy, Michael Stover, who wrote online a review of her work and he said sleek grooves and supple bass tones are one thing, but when accompanied with a gilded lead vocal like that of them elbows, Mosley is slinging in her new single Eldorado.

ML:

They can make a pop fans, greatest fantasy come true.

ML:

El Dorado isn’t necessarily about flexing.

ML:

It’s got a lot of lyrical substance, referencing the toxicity of modern and historical male cultures from a uniquely feminine perspective and yet it’s sonic virtues are probably what brings me back to the song time and time again.

ML:

I got this on my playlist, I played it many times, mary lee shares her journey as an independent artist, what it’s like.

ML:

And I asked her some questions about how do you even come up with songs?

ML:

Musicians are always a magical thing for me and merrily shares these thoughts.

ML:

You’re going to love this episode.

ML:

Here we go Ml Mosley singer and songwriter.

ML:

Welcome to the Edge podcast, your weekly playbook about the inner game of building a successful business, making you a happier, healthier and richer business owner and here’s your host, Brandon White.

ML:

Hi, hey mary lee, how are you?

ML:

I’m doing good, how are you doing?

Brandon:

I’ll never better.

ML:

How is Georgia today?

ML:

It’s really raining outside actually.

ML:

I just got out of class and I had to run through a nice storm to get here but I made it Good Lord, what class were you taking?

Brandon:

It was one of my music business classes.

ML:

I’m still in college.

Brandon:

I met kennesaw state.

ML:

Well that is going to be a great topic for today.

Brandon:

Awesome.

ML:

I really appreciate you joining us.

Brandon:

Yeah, no, thank you so much for having me.

ML:

I’m really excited.

Brandon:

This is like my first interview actually.

ML:

Oh my God, I guess like in person, in person, in this person as we can get right as we can get, definitely.

Brandon:

Yes, I have your new release, El Dorado on my playlist that I have had on one song playlist, just repeat itself.

ML:

It’s really good.

Brandon:

Oh thank you so much.

ML:

I really appreciate it.

Brandon:

Yeah, I listened to your in white line at least that seems to be a different genre than your El Dorado, definitely, definitely.

ML:

Yes, I would agree.

Brandon:

A lot of people actually said it pulled more country, which kind of makes sense considering normally when I talk my accent is very heavy, I’ve had to work on getting rid of it but when I first started and I did, they might line about, I want to say it was about almost two years ago now, It would have been a, it was released last year.

ML:

We started the year before.

Brandon:

So we started in 2019.

ML:

I was more leaning towards country music in the beginning.

Brandon:

I, it was the second song I’d ever written and I was just, I was from, I’m from Valdosta Georgia, so I’m from very deep south.

ML:

I’m from, basically I tell people basically in from florida all the time because I’m literally on the line, so I had this really thick southern accent, I go in there and I, you know, I’ve always wanted to do R and B and kind of pop, but I think it translated more into country music.

ML:

So when I was doing it and when I finished it, you know, and people were saying, oh yes, this sounds so country.

ML:

I was like not what I was going for, so let’s do something different, let’s fix it.

Brandon:

So I tried to work on getting rid of the accent, I’ve worked more towards some more R and B pop area, which is what I think I accomplished through El Dorado.

ML:

So I think so, so how do you, I was talking to a lady the other day from England and she has no accent and she came here when she was eight or 9, how do you get rid of an accent?

Brandon:

A lot of training, a lot of listening to other people speak and well, partially also I’ve had some vocal issues because the way that I grew up speaking was very low and down here and like in the back of my throat.

ML:

So going to vocal therapy and getting rid of that has helped because you have to talk in a higher placements, but if your vocal cords that’s definitely helps because I think a lot of that accent down there is very deep rooted in the back and very low.

Brandon:

So speaking higher pitch has helped just really honestly listening to people, listening to people speak and trying to replicate it and what feels good has worked the best for me I think.

Brandon:

But I still do a whole country very often, if you find me outside this environment you will hear a completely different person speak.

Brandon:

So that’s the other thing, you’re you’re actually the first singer that we’ve that we’ve had on the podcast, so you’re going to probably get a barrage of Brandon questions that that that I wanted to ask many singers for a long time.

Brandon:

So even english and I’m saying that because it’s the accent that’s heavy and a lot of singers are from there but when they sing they don’t have the accent, Why do you think that is?

Brandon:

I think it’s because well you know my background is completely in classical music and I think that if you do come from a classical background you’re really taught the first thing that I was taught and I started training when I was six which is very young was if you’re american, what they teach you is to kind of use a british accent when you’re singing.

Brandon:

So that way it doesn’t sound british at all, but it’s the way you pronounce and I think that it’s really just hard to explain unless you’ve been classically trained, but it’s a lot to do with what’s popular now.

Brandon:

I think that if you know, I hear a lot of bands who are from England who do sound very british and I think that’s the style that they’re going for, but I think it’s more of a stylistic choice when people don’t have an accent at all.

ML:

I know that I was taught to not and it didn’t really work out as you can see in thin white line because I do sound very um country, but I think it’s more stylistic, well that’s interesting.

Brandon:

So you started at six years old, did you know it six years old that you wanted to sing oddly enough?

ML:

Yes, I, so actually when I was six, I was in a kids choir at my church and the choir director came up to my mom I think was about to turn seven, so I say six because I just, that’s what it was, but he went up to my mom and said she’s very young, but I think that you need to go get her vocal lessons, I think that she would do very well.

ML:

And so my mom was like, okay, we certainly didn’t know what was going on and so I got into vocal lessons.

Brandon:

And then over the years originally I started out doing classical music because that’s how you learned techniques learned to do everything, but when I was that young, I just have always had a feeling it’s just the weirdest thing, I think that even before the choir teacher went up to my mom, my grandmother who has been a very big part of my life even saw something in me before then and that’s so young, so I guess I showed some signs of, you know, some something, but they were all very adamant that I do music and I think that I’ve just always, I can’t imagine doing anything else since that age.

Brandon:

I it’s always been music for me.

ML:

So is it is it the singing, I mean you do it all right, you do the singing, you do the song writing, you’ve written both those songs, so or is it performing in front of people or is it all of it?

ML:

It’s honestly, it’s a mix of all of it.

ML:

I didn’t actually start songwriting until I think two years ago actually, which is odd enough, but I it’s really just at first it was the singing and I just love my parents always would make fun of me and say you just love to hear your own voice and I guess that’s what it was at that age, I just love being a vocalist and hearing what I can do and stretching my voice to places I never thought I could and then the performing, I love to be center of attention.

ML:

I do have since I was little, but you know, there’s something about putting on a good show for somebody, because I love a good show and I love the shows that I’ve seen, and I want to do that for somebody, I want to entertain and make somebody laugh, make somebody feel something from the music that I do, and I think that’s what it is for me, the songwriting in the past two years now has become a big focal point that I really love about music, but it really, at that point, it really was not that, so as you’re, as you’re growing up, are you?

Brandon:

I mean, you’re going to school, but you’re pursuing singing all along the way, are you taking voice lessons?

ML:

I, you know, I don’t think people see how much work it takes to be a singer or an artist in that sense, You just, you just think like, oh well there it is, it all happened, you don’t, you don’t really see all the behind the scenes, so, have you been always working with trainers and things like that?

ML:

Yes, I, since I was six, I started out doing vocal lessons about once a week, and then when I got a little bit older, it was about twice a week, and I sing all the time.

ML:

So, you know, I was, I’ve literally, for the last 14, 15 years, I’ve just been singing, working, working on new techniques, working on how to do different things with my voice.

Brandon:

So yes, it’s been a lot of training, a lot of training and you have you been up until two years ago when you started writing, have you just been singing other people’s songs?

Brandon:

Have you been doing other back up vocals?

Brandon:

I mean, I’m trying to figure out how you get to this point, you know, where you’re writing your singing, I assume you’re doing the music as well.

Brandon:

So before two years ago I was doing mainly like covers of music and then I would be asked to perform in different places.

ML:

I went to a lot of different showcases and performed around the United States and really around the East coast because this is, you can’t get very far, I’m honest, I’ve actually never been to the West coast for in fact, but I just did a lot of singing other songs.

ML:

I did a little bit of broadway music that I loved.

Brandon:

I was never on broadway, thank God, but I loved broadway music for a while.

Brandon:

I did shows around my hometown, stuff like that.

Brandon:

And then it kind of transitioned when I moved to Atlanta for college because I go to kennesaw, which is like 30 minutes from Metro Atlanta I think.

Brandon:

And I started working with Jan smith studios, I worked with Heidi Higgins, they’re really renowned in the music industry and I reached out asked that they were, you know, taking any new students, And so they said yes, I met with them and then she’s the one that really got me into the songwriting part, because she’s a very great songwriter and I just kind of started playing around with it, I, you know, there’s a formula to write a song, and so I learned that, and then I just began to fill it in and start writing.

Brandon:

I’ve always been really good at poetry, so I started writing, and then that’s how this became about.

Brandon:

And now I write all my own music.

ML:

So you said you weren’t on broadway?

ML:

Thank God, why do you say, Thank God, the lifestyle of people who are on broadway, I can’t dance.

Brandon:

First of all, I’m learning to dance, but I cannot dance.

ML:

Um and you have to be a really good dancer to be on broadway.

Brandon:

But the lifestyle of people that live on broadway is very demanding.

Brandon:

You know, you do over 100 show, you did way more than every 100 shows every week, and I think it would be very demanding on the voice.

Brandon:

I would love to do broadway, maybe one day, I think that would be an interesting realm to experience, but I’m glad that that is not something that I’ve done thus far, maybe in the future, I’d love to do that.

Brandon:

So here’s a question all along, as you’re growing up, you’re singing, you’re doing these showcases, are they paying you for this?

Brandon:

I’m trying to understand that because a lot of people don’t understand the business of music, which is on my list here, but that’s sort of a good segue.

Brandon:

Although I do want to ask you about the formula for writing songs, So how does this work yourself funded basically all the way through this?

ML:

Oh yeah, self funding.

ML:

My parents are so supportive.

ML:

My family is very supportive of me.

ML:

We honestly, it’s a lot of itself funding and one person actually told me one time, it was like a couple of months ago, I was talking to them about, you know how a lot of it is self funded and the music industry is so tough for people, especially independent artists because it costs a lot of money to do what we do and either you find innovative ways to do it or you’re fronting the bill.

ML:

And so for my family, it’s kind of been because we are from such a small town, there’s not really much opportunity there, opportunity required us to travel, required us to go here, go there, but there we had to pay to get in showcases, stuff like that.

ML:

So yes, it was a lot of and it still is a lot of paying our own way and, you know, I have a full time job now to help me pay for it.

ML:

But it’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of money and the, I mean voice lessons, I can’t imagine you’re cheap.

Brandon:

You’re doing that twice a week.

Brandon:

Then you’re like you said the travel.

Brandon:

So none of these gigs really pay you, You’re really doing it for exposure effectively to get your name and brand out there basically.

Brandon:

That’s pretty much what it was.

ML:

A lot of the showcases were to find representation and I think that, you know, none of them really came of anything either.

ML:

Great experiences, great ways to get exposure.

ML:

But that’s really kind of all it was just to get my name out there, get people to know who I was.

Brandon:

And honestly the best part of it was just to perform.

Brandon:

That was really the main goal was just get me out there, get me in front of a crowd and let me show them what I got.

Brandon:

And well you found some innovative ways, which I want to talk about because I think you took the picture of your cover in your bedroom with a sheet behind it.

Brandon:

If my research is right.

Brandon:

But do you think that you need, I mean in today’s internet, Youtube Tiktok, by the way, I actually started learning to, I took dance lessons for a while with my wife, but I don’t know why it stopped.

ML:

I think we, I don’t know.

ML:

But then I started to learn how to dance with these Tiktok things the other day.

Brandon:

It was quite interesting.

ML:

But with all this social media and exposure from right there in Georgia that you could reach everyone is the music business the same anymore.

ML:

I mean you hear a lot about Youtube people and you know becoming celebrities and I guess at that point they are becoming popular.

Brandon:

I don’t have celebrities right?

Brandon:

Where but famous do they?

Brandon:

Do you think you need to have that representation?

Brandon:

Is that what you’re doing showcases and things to find these quote unquote managers that have know how to develop the brand or what is that?

Brandon:

I definitely think the music industry has changed and I think anybody that isn’t, it would attest to that.

Brandon:

I think in the past it it really was about talent and how you were, how you performed like your voice, you’re just talent based.

Brandon:

I think now it is about the talent, I think talent creates longevity, but I do think that the industry is looking for people who already have a lot of it made you know, companies record labels, all that used to do artist development for their artists that they would sign and now they kind of expect it to be done before they even think about looking at you and that’s created this new wave of, a lot of companies will specialize in artist development to help artists, A lot of people that you see that are blowing up, they have a lot of training and they have done well on their own and so then they’re being picked up, it’s like you have to create something valuable first before they really key in and look at you and Will sign you or whatever.

ML:

So exposure is really necessary, especially with social media nowadays.

ML:

I mean it’s in your pocket.

Brandon:

You can literally post-1 video that goes viral in five seconds, which is very rare now on Tiktok, I guess it’s not, but you know, you have to have because if you can prove that you’ve done that on your own, then they have basically smooth sailing the rest of the way they’ll help you get to the next level.

Brandon:

You just have to get to their level first.

Brandon:

So what is that next level that they get you once you already have, for lack of a better word, followers, email a big email list.

ML:

I mean, you have all this, what is that next level that they do?

ML:

That’s so magical.

ML:

A lot of it has to do with, you know, they introduce you to people, introduce you to, you know, amazing other artists to collaborate with.

ML:

You know, you get your radio airplay, you have a lot more.

Brandon:

I feel like what it does is it helps people afford To work in the music industry.

ML:

A lot of it is, you know, you get access to its great promotion, you get access to all these things that as an independent artist, you really don’t unless you can find $1 million.

ML:

You don’t have access to.

ML:

So what it does is it takes an artist to, is really good and just right there And it gives you the backing to get to the level that you see most major artists at like Top 10 Billboard level.

ML:

So do you think that you said something about radio, which I love radio?

ML:

I grew up on radio, I’m a little older than you, but radio is, it was always part of my life and it’s really fun and I think podcasting is sort of like radio, but maybe a little bit more intimate.

ML:

Maybe some podcast interrupt with 50 commercials, but we don’t do that.

Brandon:

Is is that important?

Brandon:

Still does that still still hold credibility and do the, is it, is it the old doc?

Brandon:

I don’t know if you remember Casey Kasem used to come on on weekends and do the top billboard charts or is it, I’m at the top of Apple playlist.

Brandon:

Spotify playlist, that type of thing.

Brandon:

I think now, I definitely think depending on who you ask, people would say, you know, radio is, you know, not as big as it used to be anymore.

Brandon:

But I kind of disagree.

Brandon:

I think that there’s a lot of ways that artists can get a lot of exposure through radio.

Brandon:

I think there’s so many people, you know, at least throughout the United States who don’t have Spotify don’t really have apple music and stuff like that.

Brandon:

They do still use the radio.

Brandon:

I think that it still is really important and I do think that Spotify playlist ng all of that good stuff is important as well.

ML:

And I think that The one thing I do see though is that people who are on the top of the Spotify playlists are also being played on hits one radio.

ML:

So I think that they kind of go hand in hand.

Brandon:

I think that a lot of radios will get a lot of what they play off of these playlists.

Brandon:

But I definitely think radio is still a vital thing for artists nowadays.

Brandon:

Let’s talk a little bit more about the business because I don’t understand how artists make money anymore.

Brandon:

I mean I have you on my Apple playlist, I don’t use Spotify music, I use Spotify podcast.

ML:

So are you getting paid every time I play that I, we do get paid for streams, but the pay is about half of a penny.

ML:

So yeah, I know you never really, you don’t think that, I think that there has been strides to help remedy that.

ML:

But honestly a lot of revenue for artists does not come from strings does not at all.

ML:

Unless you have billions of streams.

Brandon:

You’re really not making money.

Brandon:

I think that with thin white line, I haven’t done, I haven’t looked at the analytics for Eldorado recently, but I think for thin white line, I think it has almost 10,000 streams across the board.

Brandon:

I think a little bit more and I think I only made about Less than $40 off of it.

Brandon:

And how much does it cost to record that?

Brandon:

I mean that was a lot of work.

Brandon:

That’s a professional studio, right?

Brandon:

It was, it was, it was a pretty penny.

ML:

It was a couple $1000.

ML:

So I it really, you can’t just be doing streams and think you’re going to be making money off of it because you won’t check out, you will not get paid off on the strings, which is a big thing in the industry.

ML:

I think that a lot of people are pushing to change, which I hope it does because I think that would open a lot of doors for artists and you know, getting that money back.

Brandon:

But where you make the money is live shows touring merchandise.

Brandon:

That’s where the money comes from.

Brandon:

Money doesn’t come from streams, which is unfortunate.

Brandon:

I find it a little ironic, you know, there was a business case study, it was a long time ago, it was on the Grateful Dead and Grateful Dead allowed people as I’m sure, you know, to record their concerts and they could record their, if you went to a Grateful Dead Court concert, you could hold your recorder right there play it and they were bootlegs and because they had realized that the money wasn’t in the music or in the album, the music was in the tour and the merchandise.

Brandon:

And it, I find it ironic, that’s where the music industry finds itself now, because I don’t think there’s a lot of money in the buying an album and I don’t even know if that’s a concept, Is it?

Brandon:

It’s really about singles in many ways.

ML:

Yeah, I think that it definitely it’s become very single space.

Brandon:

I think that’s kind of what we’re taught now is that single Cell and if you can do well on a single, you’re fine.

Brandon:

I think there is still very much a lot of beauty and a full album and I think people still love the idea of full albums and, you know, the artwork that goes into that.

Brandon:

But yeah, it’s very singles driven now, very single driven.

Brandon:

I think all that artwork mary lee got minimized because like, you don’t get this album jacket anymore and you don’t get to pull out that piece that has the lyrics, right?

Brandon:

You get this little 250 by 250 if you’re lucky, depending on the screen, you are graphic and it’s not a lot of real estate, It’s not a big experience, like it used to be.

ML:

So, it’s really interesting to see how that, how that evolving.

ML:

So for you, does that mean, you know, you came out with their one single, you’re coming out, you came out with your other one, Eldorado.

ML:

Do you have to do an album now?

ML:

Like, what’s next in this, in your journey to basically become a full time artist?

ML:

I assume that that’s your goal.

ML:

Yes that’s pretty much the goal for me.

ML:

I think that I love the succession of single single and then E.

ML:

P.

ML:

I think that E.

Brandon:

P.

Brandon:

S are still a really good way for artists to get their art out without having to spend the money on making a full bowl album.

Brandon:

So for me I think now my work and what I’m doing is working towards getting an E.

ML:

P.

ML:

Out which is about either four or five songs you know in one.

ML:

So that way it gives people a good taste of what I can do.

ML:

That’s kind of what’s next for me, not necessarily a full album, a full album.

ML:

Be so fun to do.

ML:

I think I think I have enough material for a full album.

ML:

However it does cost a lot of money and you know being an independent artists you know I might make no money off a stream.

ML:

So I’m kind of just working what I got and beneficially.

ML:

I think that it is more beneficial for me to do an E.

Brandon:

P.

Brandon:

Next than it would be to do a full blown album.

Brandon:

Especially because I’m kind of the artist that like you said there used to be so much that you got with these albums.

Brandon:

Like you know, let the presentation when you opened one up everything.

Brandon:

I know that if I had an album I would want to have that even if it’s not what’s in trend even if it’s not what’s in style.

Brandon:

I want that experience when I was younger.

Brandon:

That’s what I got to experience. So I think I’m going to hold that off and we’re just going to do E. P. Next get some more music out there. Hopefully then it becomes after that. Just study more music coming out right now.

Brandon:

It’s really just about affording it.

Brandon:

And for our listeners and me because you explained it, you said ep is three or four songs.

ML:

What is that?

Brandon:

Like a mini album basically.

ML:

So it’s like it’s called an Ep but an extended play so it’s not a single but it’s not a full blown album. So it can be anywhere from four to like 10 songs usually in albums over 10.

Brandon:

You could basically call it a mini album.

Brandon:

That’s really honestly what it is Now.

Brandon:

Do you write the music for your songs too?

ML:

I so in writing a song there is writing the lyrics, writing the melody and then the music behind it.

ML:

I do lyrics and melody.

Brandon:

I don’t necessarily do the music. I think I leave that up to more of the producers who I work with. I work with really great producer out of Nashville. His name is frank, he is so artistic and so I’m so grateful to work with him but he has such a great mind in meeting me.

Brandon:

I know what I want these these songs to sound like, as weird as that is. I hear them all in my head. They all lived there and he’s really good at translating that into the actual music behind what I’m saying.

Brandon:

So you mentioned earlier there’s a formula to write a song.

ML:

Mhm.

ML:

Can you explain what that it seems to me that there’s a lot of there’s a lot of pain suffering, life lessons and I mean, most songs come from pain, let’s just be honest.

ML:

Other than like singing kumbaya, maybe some other songs that I can remember.

ML:

I don’t I mean, are they uplifting and motivational?

ML:

Yes, but you can tell that the that the writer or the singer, the artist has experienced some sort of trauma that has spark this.

Brandon:

So, is that where you write from?

ML:

I mean how does how do you, do you sit down?

ML:

I’m a right.

ML:

Her meaning, I write a newsletter, I write articles, haven’t written a book yet trying to work on that.

ML:

But do you have to get in this?

ML:

Is it the same thing where you sort of have to get in this frame or do you take in the shower and you you’re like, I got it.

ML:

Yeah.

ML:

So for every writer, I guess it’s different for me personally, it’s basically like the shower I’m literally I’m seeing all the time. So I in my kitchen everywhere. And then for me, I will just get this idea that comes to my head.

Brandon:

I’ll get a hook for a song that just keeps playing in my head and I’m like, okay, that sounds really good, let’s see what we can do with that.

Brandon:

So, I sit down and most writers, you’ll find people who write with pre made tracks behind the music though, right?

Brandon:

That way, you’ll find writers who play guitar, play piano, and you can write that way while I can play a little bit of piano and a little bit of guitar. I’m not great at it, and I think that it kind of limits me into what I can do there. So, for me, I just I get this hook in my head and I sit down at my computer and I open up my word document and I just start writing and I have like a metronome to count the time and count the beats to keep it to that.

Brandon:

But I just kind of sit down and I, and I write and I, you know, I start out if I have a hook, all right, the hook in the chorus, and then once I’ve got that finished, I’ll start with the 1st, 1st or second verse, which everyone comes first, then you got a bridge, and then kind of goes up the course again.

Brandon:

But I kind of just sit down and I’m able to do something that’s really cool.

Brandon:

I’m able to create melodies in my head, which is kind of the hardest part.

Brandon:

It’s easy to sit down and write lyrics because it’s basically poetry but I just kind of I have a lot going on up here in my head and music just is something that just comes easily and solemn, just able to write these songs, I can get songs done and like 30 minutes if I have a solid idea of where I want to go.

Brandon:

So how do you figure out this melody that I mean you have to come up with a melody that’s unique I guess at some level, do you just hear it and then write it like it just comes to you out of this someplace?

Brandon:

Yeah, pretty much.

Brandon:

That’s a way to explain it.

Brandon:

Yeah, I would say that’s the best way I know how to explain it.

ML:

It’s really hard.

ML:

I never know I talked to frank who I worked with often and Heidi who also is with me and I play every song that I write for her, I talked to them about it.

ML:

But really it’s just mir and it’s all in my l in my head and that’s just the oddest way to explain that and I wish I had a better way of saying, oh no, I created this way, I have a piano and I just work out a melody.

Brandon:

But I just I guess I just sing so much and they just ill just keep singing and it just comes out, what are you singing things you make up, are you singing other people’s songs or just like things that make up, like I will just saying random things throughout the day, like I could just be making dinner and my kitchen and just singing random riffs and runs and stuff like that and those turn into words and then those turn into just hooks that I build off of, so like for El Dorado I’ll use that one as an example, I actually wrote that one in my car, I was going back home from Atlanta to Valdosta and I started writing it in my car but I think I was just kind of had the radio off, I do that often because I just kind of like to sing my way everywhere as odd as that is as well, but I was just kind of singing, messing around and I sang, I’ve read something I think earlier that day about El Dorado, which is actually a really cool story about a historical event, our our place you could say and so I just started singing, can get to your maid of go and that’s kind of how it began and then I recorded that on my on my phone because I record everything if I find something that sticks, I recorded immediately and I just kind of kept building off of it and then if I would create more of it, I would record more of it and so eventually by the time I had gotten home in that three hour drive, I completed the chorus and now it’s time to start working on the versus yeah, that’s really pretty.

Brandon:

I don’t know how like, I don’t know how humans do that, how you do that.

Brandon:

Like you’re sitting here talking, you just turn that turn that into like magic.

Brandon:

Thank you.

ML:

I don’t know, I do it either.

Brandon:

It’s a gift.

Brandon:

I think.

Brandon:

So are you are you scared that that might turn off because you can’t put it into a process?

Brandon:

I’m kind of the person that’s like I write, I think that there are people that definitely have better processes than I do and they get songs out very, very quickly.

Brandon:

I think that I am slow slow writer because I do it that way.

Brandon:

But I think that the songs that I write are really good and I think they have their own life to it and I there is I guess the fear that you know, maybe one day I’ll kind of wake up and just not know how to write a song anymore.

ML:

But I’ve had such a wild imagination since I was little and I think that is really what helps me.

Brandon:

I’m just able to create, I’m always creating in my head, I always have ideas for what I’m doing.

Brandon:

So I’m not really worried that it’s gonna stop.

ML:

I’m just worried more that I’m going to go a couple weeks and not find anything immediately to write off of.

ML:

But I always kind of get past that writer’s block.

ML:

But that’s kind of the most difficult part is just, maybe I’ll go a week and I’ll be singing and I won’t find anything.

ML:

I’m gonna write everything down I’m doing, but it won’t translate into a full song, which is okay.

Brandon:

But I don’t think that every writing session has to be successful enough to where you get a full song out of it.

ML:

I think that me singing and me writing down these things that come to my head, get me closer to a good song.

ML:

Are you pure in the sense that you’re now at a point where you won’t sing what you don’t write or will you sing somebody else’s song?

Brandon:

You know, I’ve thought about that a lot.

Brandon:

I think that there is, you need to writing my own music.

Brandon:

And I think that I, I’m really blessed with this gift too.

Brandon:

Right.

Brandon:

And I want everything that I say to be authentic to me.

Brandon:

And in that I’ve kind of come to a place where I write my own music, I love my own music.

Brandon:

Would I write what I sing somebody else’s songs that they’ve written, possibly?

Brandon:

I probably would, but they’re good songs and if they mean something to me, but if something doesn’t initially strike me as I can feel myself singing that I know that that song belongs to me, I’m not going to sing it.

ML:

So I’m thinking of Elton john right now.

Brandon:

Right.

Brandon:

Elton john wrote the music that famous his partner forever wrote the lyrics or was it the other way?

Brandon:

I can’t remember.

Brandon:

But would you, so you’re not opposed to having someone else write the music and you sing it as long as you can feel it because if you can’t feel it, then the audience really won’t, it won’t be the same sound.

Brandon:

Is that right?

Brandon:

It won’t be the same.

Brandon:

I think that I do music because I’m an artist and I love what I write and it helps me get my emotions out and helps me tell a story that I think is important to tell?

Brandon:

And I think that if it’s not authentic to me in that if I have a song and I can’t immediately relate to it And I immediately don’t say yes, like I, I can feel myself singing that song like that is authentic to me, that I’m not going to sing it if that makes any sense.

ML:

Like I, I will be open to singing other people’s songs that they write for me.

ML:

I’ve written with so many other people and we’ve written really great songs together.

ML:

But I think it just comes down to, does it feel right, Does this feel like it is right for me?

ML:

And does it feel like it is right for the audience that I am singing too.

ML:

I have another question where you were talking, I totally forgot it.

ML:

That happens sometimes and then but you but oh, but you don’t have, there’s no real big issue because you do the song and the melody that someone else would write the quote unquote music.

Brandon:

That doesn’t that doesn’t bother me.

Brandon:

No, no, because I I think in that sense, I’ve written the words, I’ve written how I want my voice to sound.

Brandon:

I think that at that part I do need someone to come behind me and be like, okay, I hear the melody, the music sounding like this.

Brandon:

Like, I think that I prefer letting somebody else handle that part if I just do the lyrics and the melody.

Brandon:

Do you think singing and songwriting is a form of therapy for yourself?

Brandon:

Yes.

Brandon:

And yeah, I would say that I would say that it’s not only a form of therapy, but it’s a little bit more than that.

ML:

I think, because I am so creative, you know, I dip my fingers into a lot of different things.

ML:

I think it’s an outlet For my creativity and you know, I when I was, I think 11, I used to write books like I would write novels like in my room just on my computer, I don’t even have access to most of them now, but I would do that and tell stories that way.

ML:

And I think this is another way for me to tell a story and tell it in a way that makes me feel good about it and can hopefully affect somebody else.

Brandon:

So definitely it is a therapy for me and that I’m able to kind of get my emotions out because I’m the type of person I like to hold my emotions in.

Brandon:

It’s very not healthy for you at all.

Brandon:

But I do that because I am who I am.

ML:

And I think it’s been a great way for me to get that out in the most raw way that I can.

Brandon:

But it also allows me to tell stories that I have been just living in my head that I want to tell.

Brandon:

What type of novels were you writing at that age.

Brandon:

I don’t even know.

Brandon:

Um, just anything that hey, I would write, I write love stories.

Brandon:

I would write historical fiction.

Brandon:

I’m a history major at university.

Brandon:

I’ve always loved history.

Brandon:

So I write historical fiction.

Brandon:

I just loved writing as much as I could write.

Brandon:

I just would have stories after stories and I just write cute little love stories and like I actually have one quite a couple writing competitions.

Brandon:

I won the Georgia authors contest I think in my freshman year of high school and also when I was in fourth grade, I want to say, so I just, I write a lot, but that’s, that’s a skill that I think what I’m hearing from you is, and I think this is true in almost everything you do in life.

ML:

If you keep doing it, there’s a saying that I have merely that in business, you have to believe, you can do the thing, you’re not sure you can do and you only understand that if you are in business or an artist or anything right, and you have this confidence that even though you might not get it right first, but you have this confidence, this belief, even if you have doubts at the whole same time that you’ll eventually get there.

Brandon:

Oh yeah, 100%.

Brandon:

I think that is the biggest thing I like that quote, I like that saying, because I think that’s the biggest thing in anything that you do, because one thing that I’ve always, you know, grown up hearing nothing is guaranteed.

Brandon:

It’s all about how you put your mind to it.

Brandon:

If you put your mind to something, you can do it and you can accomplish it.

Brandon:

And I think that’s been the biggest thing for me because I struggle a lot with doubting myself and doubting what I’m doing.

ML:

But if I sit here full force and say no, I’m not going to doubt myself, I’m going to do it and I’m going to do it.

ML:

Well then that just kind of, that’s how I’ve done what I’ve done, I just kind of go through everything, even if I’m like, oh might not be able to do that one, no, I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it no matter what I personally feel.

ML:

So that’s the self talk that you have.

ML:

Oh yeah, it’s, you know, you can, for five minutes you can have a pity party saying, oh, I don’t know if that’s going to work out and I will, I do that all the time.

ML:

But eventually I just kind of like, no, okay, you’ve had your five minutes of doubt.

ML:

Now let’s get it done and let’s just, let’s, let’s move on, just keep going, get it done, do it.

ML:

And eventually it will happen if you put your mind to it.

ML:

How have you approached making things not or accepting that not everything will be perfect.

ML:

Oh, that is a tough one because I am the biggest perfections that I know and I think that has been instilled in me from a young age.

ML:

I, my parents are really hard working people and so I’m a hard worker and result of them.

ML:

And so for the longest time, you know, I really struggled doing a lot of things artistically because it’s not perfect, then I don’t want anybody else to see it.

ML:

Nobody can see what I’m doing unless I have approved it.

Brandon:

And it’s very hard, especially when you’re an artist because not everything is going to be perfect.

Brandon:

But I had somebody tell me one time people don’t want perfect.

Brandon:

People want, especially in music and art.

Brandon:

People want the raw and the real and the mess ups and the vocal cracks and everything because it shows that you’re real and that you’re just like them and that you how hard you work.

Brandon:

And so in realizing that I’ve been very much more lax on myself and just taking it day by day and realizing, okay, you want everything to be perfect, but that’s not reality.

Brandon:

So let’s just get something that you’re happy with and if you can look at it and say that you’re happy with it and you can sit there and post it and you can sit there and do this, you can sit there and release it, whatever.

ML:

It’s good enough.

Brandon:

That’s been the main thing.

Brandon:

You know, anytime I would ever see, you know, there are those people that exist on the internet in your life that are just always so negative.

Brandon:

They exist everywhere.

Brandon:

If I ever have a comment that was like, oh, this isn’t good like or something like that.

ML:

It used to really stick with me and I would want to delete whatever I just posted immediately.

ML:

But now I kind of go by what I just said.

ML:

If I liked it enough to post it and if I liked it enough to put myself out there, then it’s staying and I did a good job and it is good if it’s good in my eyes, it’s good.

Brandon:

Yeah, I think hurt people hurt people 100%, Oh my God.

Brandon:

And as an artist, you really have to have tough skin because I think one of the things that helped me in life is I realized that there are, I think there’s like 7.9 billion people on the planet now merrily and they’re all not going to like me and candidly, I’m not going to like them or I’m not going to like all of them.

Brandon:

So if we can accept that, then our expectations are adjusted and I’m sure with you, there’s a lot of people who wish they had a good voice and who wish they could sing and you know, so jealousy in this world sort of an ugly thing that rears its head.

Brandon:

How do you respond to those comments when you get them?

Brandon:

No, I actually don’t.

Brandon:

I most of the time I delete them.

Brandon:

But my mom funnily enough, my mom uses my social media because she doesn’t want to get her own.

Brandon:

So she’s on my instagram, she’s on my facebook, everything just so she can keep up with what I’m doing.

Brandon:

And every time I get like a negative comment or a negative message, she’ll send it to me and be like, who is this?

Brandon:

Why are they saying this?

Brandon:

Can you not respond to it?

Brandon:

And I just say I text her back, I’m like, no, it’s really not that good to you all.

Brandon:

I think it’s kind of funny, you know, I’ve gotten to the point I guess in my life where I think that stuff that people say that’s negative.

Brandon:

So it’s funny, you can say what you want, but a lot of times nowadays, especially with social media, people just hide behind a screen like I don’t know who you are, you can have this opinion of me, but you don’t know who I am, you never met me.

Brandon:

You see what I present to you.

Brandon:

So no, I never respond to them.

Brandon:

I do delete them if I, if they’re bad, but sometimes I’ll just leave them up just for fun because I think it says more about them than it does about me.

Brandon:

No, I totally agree.

Brandon:

So you’re in college, what year are you now?

Brandon:

I am a junior in college now, which is crazy.

Brandon:

I can’t believe I’m a junior, but life happens and I think it was smart to get your college degree.

ML:

I think a lot of people sort of take the gamble and I don’t have that might growing up with a single mom.

Brandon:

I think it was always an insurance policy in many ways as you think about if something doesn’t go right or as you’ve planned it and then you always have in the background, I think importantly for you, as you understand the business of the music industry because there’s a, there’s this, you’re getting half a cent a stream.

Brandon:

I think the math doesn’t add up, so going back just real quick to the business so you do live events and you can do artists, artists get a portion of ticket sales, but they don’t get all those ticket sales.

ML:

Is that really how you how you will make a living in the future is you make the hit singles, you get promoted and then you go on tour and that’s where your quote unquote income is really made.

ML:

Yeah, so it depends a lot actually on the deals that are made when you if you’re an independent artist and your booking shows, you make a majority of ticket sales and stuff like that because you’re by yourself, you’re not really underneath the label or anything.

ML:

Of course, there is deals made with the venue and the venue does take a good percentage of that.

ML:

But as a major artist for most major artists nowadays, you know, they sign these deals and it’s really dependent on what they sign.

ML:

You know, some labels will take majority of what they make on tour if you signed a bad deal.

ML:

But most we’ll get a good percentage.

ML:

There is a percentage that goes to a label and we’ll go to all that good stuff.

Brandon:

The venue whatever.

ML:

But yeah, as a artist touring is the biggest way that you’ll make your money because a lot of tourists come out making so much money.

Brandon:

Yeah, I just I mean, what would be a Fair percentage do you know what that percentage is, like?

Brandon:

Is it 20%, 30%, 50% as an independent artist.

ML:

I assume you get most of it other than the venue takes.

ML:

There are the door money.

Brandon:

I’m honestly not too sure there are statistics.

ML:

I have seen them.

ML:

I have studied them.

ML:

I just are not coming to me at the top of my head, I want to say one time and I could be completely wrong.

ML:

I saw a deal that somebody did where the artist got 70% of touring revenue.

ML:

It was either 70% of for revenue and merchandise or Something else, but it was 70% and then the label got the rest and then often other times it could be different and you could get Like 90% of your merchandise but only get 30% of your touring and all the money made from there.

ML:

So are you ready for that lifestyle because you’ve, you’ve been in Georgia a lot.

ML:

You’ve done the East coast for the showcase is touring The best that I can tell people are on tour for like 200-plus days.

Brandon:

I mean, I’ll be honest, I don’t even know how that you help people do it.

Brandon:

I mean much, I don’t know how your voice last that long.

Brandon:

We went to a comedian the other night and this guy super, he’s so funny.

Brandon:

But you know, he’s going from just like a band from Vegas to California to to hear or any of these artists?

Brandon:

I mean that is a really grueling life.

ML:

Is that something that you’re excited about?

ML:

How do you think about that?

ML:

I think that while it is grueling and while I am nervous about that, because I do hope that that is something that I am able to do and I know that that’s something that I’ll do in the future.

Brandon:

I’m nervous because it is a lot on your voice doing that many shows traveling that much.

Brandon:

However, I’m more excited about getting that experience and seeing people and going and playing for people and perform for people than I am worried about the lifestyle that it would, you know, that would ensue.

Brandon:

I think that for me, it’s more about who I get to reach and how far I get to go and what I get to see more so than me being home for an extended period of time.

Brandon:

You know, I, I think I’ve, I’ve always known that that’s a possibility for my future and I’ve always been very excited about it.

Brandon:

I’ve always been very excited.

Brandon:

I love traveling anyway, my goal one day is to go to every country, which probably won’t happen, but go to most of them.

ML:

So I think that in that I think that it’s really exciting, it’s really terrifying to oh my gosh, so terrifying to think that that will be my life one day, but I’m more so excited that that will be my life one day and that’s what I’ll get to do and that’s what I get paid to do and that’s where I’ll make my money.

ML:

Yeah, I think it could be cool.

ML:

I mean living in a tour bus, Oh yeah, so exactly how you know living in different hotels cannot wait food service every night.

ML:

I won’t have to cook anything.

ML:

That’s what I’m most excited about that is that is that is absolutely true.

ML:

So how do you take care of your voice?

ML:

No.

ML:

Oh my gosh, let me tell you in every way that I possibly can.

ML:

So I, because I’ve been doing this for so long, I’ve had a lot of different opinions on how you should take care of your voice.

Brandon:

And one thing that was big for me was changing how I talked and talking at a higher placement.

Brandon:

That’s been helpful, but just warming up every day, making sure that my voice is ready to go if I’m feeling sick, I don’t sing, not singing too loudly in the car because you know, if you sing too loudly, it will hurt your vocal boards and stuff like that.

Brandon:

Just really paying attention to what I’m feeling like and how I sound.

Brandon:

I steam my voice every night with a personal steamer steam like you breathe in steam, breathing in steam, it helps you stay hydrated, it brings moisture directly to the vocal cords.

Brandon:

It’s the only way to bring moisture directly to the vocal cords.

Brandon:

So I do that every night, I drink a lot of hot tea if I’m especially if I’m feeling kind of groggy and my throat is hurting, just really making sure that I’m singing in a healthy placement and not screaming, not singing too low in the back of my throat and not abusing my vocal chords in any way.

Brandon:

Another way that I take care of it is I’m actually, I’m now vegan, I’ve been vegan for over a year now, I want to say, because dairy actually really messes with your vocal cords, it creates a lot of mucus.

Brandon:

So if you’re having a lot of mucus, that might be because of dairy.

Brandon:

So I took out dairy meat just happened to follow.

ML:

I don’t know why I decided to do that, but I don’t eat dairy at all.

Brandon:

I don’t think I’ve had milk cheese any of that in over two years now.

ML:

So I’ve tried to stay healthy, doing that, just staying hydrated, just making sure that I feel fine.

Brandon:

I feel okay if I ever feel iffy about something, if I’m like, oh, my voice sounds like not great today, don’t sing and if it sounds really bad, get a second opinion in the past.

Brandon:

I’ve actually had a vocal nodule that I’m finally healed from, thank goodness, but I had to go to an NT and get a video camera down my throat to look at my book boards.

Brandon:

So I do that and now I do that, like every couple of months I go and get it looked at just to make sure we’re doing good in that area.

Brandon:

So that’s pretty much it it’s a lot to take care of.

Brandon:

But it’s become a lifestyle at this point.

ML:

I mean I’m just asking really it’s it’s interesting because that is your asset.

Brandon:

I mean that’s your biggest asset.

Brandon:

one last quick question before we move on to your three tips for fellow artists out there.

ML:

What is the quick formula for the songwriting because we skipped over that.

Brandon:

Is It is it three courses and six lines each verses or so for a song it’s basically you can have like an intro have to but it’s really just core it you know it’s it’s verse chorus verse chorus bridge and then you can go into another chorus.

Brandon:

That’s pretty much the formula when you learn how to navigate that.

Brandon:

You learn how to write a song.

Brandon:

So if you learn how to write a really good chorus then you’ve got most song finished.

Brandon:

So it’s really just about learning that and connecting all of them.

Brandon:

Well thanks for sharing that.

Brandon:

That was I was not going to let you go today without getting that.

ML:

Yeah no problem.

ML:

So what would be your three H.

ML:

P.

ML:

T.

ML:

S high performance tips for fellow independent artists out there who are trying to build their business because you are you are the ceo of your your brand.

Brandon:

Exactly.

Brandon:

I actually wrote these down.

ML:

So my number one would be find trustworthy people to have in your corner.

Brandon:

The biggest thing for me when moving up to Atlanta, knowing nobody was finding people that I can trust and finding people who could be a mentor to me and could help me navigate things because you don’t learn everything at night and you don’t know everything.

Brandon:

So finding people who do learning from them is the biggest thing that you can do.

Brandon:

Just definitely, you can also bounce ideas off of them because they know what they’re doing and they’ve been there.

ML:

So definitely find people in your corner that can help you grow.

Brandon:

That’s for anything.

ML:

The next one would be never be afraid to reach out to somebody.

Brandon:

Another thing that I’m fortunate that I was good at it very young because my parents would make me call like delivery people on the phone and you know, order stuff on my own, which I’m very thankful they did that because now I’m not afraid to call somebody and not afraid to email somebody reach out, but you need to be able to assert yourself, reach out the worst you can get from that exchange as a no and a lot of times people are waiting for people to reach out to them and say, hey, will you work with me, the best things that the best things I’ve ever done, The best people I’ve ever worked with, I’ve reached out to and said, hey I’m here, I would like to work with you, this is who I am.

ML:

This is what I’ve got.

ML:

What can you do for me?

Brandon:

So learn how to reach out to people, learn how to talk to people and then the next one and we kind of covered this earlier.

Brandon:

Do not listen to negativity at all because it comes from all corners can come from anywhere.

Brandon:

And like I said, if you liked it enough to do it, if you liked it enough to post it and if you liked it enough to put yourself out there and do it, then it is good and nobody else’s opinion matters but you and at the end of the day you can go to bed and say, I’m happy with what I did today and I’m happy with what I presented today, then that is good enough and nobody else’s opinion matters.

Brandon:

But you’re, I love those three.

Brandon:

Thank you.

Brandon:

Where can listeners, where’s the best place for listeners to find you and support your music?

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

So the best place to find me and follow me would probably be my instagram is at Ml Mosley music.

Brandon:

I also have a facebook that and a youtube channel that are both under Ml Mostly my twitter is Ml, mostly with two wives at the end.

ML:

Those are really great places to reach me.

Brandon:

Keep up with me.

Brandon:

Also my apple music Spotify, I’m under Ml Mosley, definitely a great place to go stream my music listen to what I’ve got and keep up with me.

Brandon:

Well, thank you so much everybody who’s listening, Go out and grab mary Elise song El Dorado and are thin white line music on apple or Spotify.

ML:

Really thanks for joining us.

Brandon:

You have a beautiful voice and I know that there’s some great things for you in the future.

ML:

Thank you so much.

Brandon:

I really appreciate it.

Brandon:

Thank you so much for having me.

Brandon:

Thanks for being generous with your time and joining us for this episode of the edge.

ML:

Before you go, a quick question, are you the type of person who wants to get 100% out of your time?

ML:

Talent and ideas.

ML:

If so.

ML:

You’ll love our monthly edge newsletter.

Brandon:

It’s a monthly playbook about the inner game of building a successful business.

ML:

In each newsletter, we pull back the curtain on our business and show you exactly what’s happening.

ML:

The real numbers, real conversion rates, lessons learned from failed and successful strategies and How we’re investing the money we make from our business to outperform the general stock market.

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We lay out what we’re doing to get 75% conversion rates on our product pages.

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How we’re optimizing our facebook instagram and other paid ads to get our leads under $3.87. The results from our email A. B. Tests results from strategies. I test to get more done in less time that allows me to ride my bike 100 plus miles a week workout, spend time with the vet and still successfully run our business.

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How I’m investing the money we make from our business that has led a retirement account to average 20% over the last 10 years. The exact stocks, ETFC, cryptocurrencies and other investments were buying each and every month and tons of other actionable information.

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Imagine the time and money you’ll save by having this holy grail of business intelligence. You can take all of it, apply it to your life as an entrepreneur to avoid costly mistakes and be happier, healthier. Ian, richer as a fellow entrepreneur who’s aiming for nothing short of success, you owe it to yourself to subscribe, check out the special offer with bonuses for you as a listener at edge newsletter dot com.

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Again, that’s E g e newsletter dot com

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