It’s here!  We are celebrating the release of “Better and Better”

From Dani W’s Invincible EP out now, please welcome the official music video for “Better and Better”!

This single will be performed live this September on the Hawaii tour with starring  Dani W, Mary Bee and Kate Steinway.

Plus join Thursday, 7/20 for a send off show at River Rock lounge in Studio City at 8PM. 

Official Music Video “Better and Better” https://youtu.be/6o2KDm6tOrE 

Subscribe @DanielleWCarter on YouTube

Get on the VIP list for new releases at www.daniellewcarter.com

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Michelle Obama on SOUL MUSIC and on BEING GREAT! (Message from THE WHITE HOUSE)

“Embrace whatever makes you unique, even if it makes other people uncomfortable….Take some risks…Work your butt off…work it until your butt comes off.” – Michelle Obama

The White House gets down too! The First Lady shares stories of Melissa Etheridge, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monae and more people who bare their soul.

Have a beautiful week!

Love,

Dani W Crew 🙂
Performing Artist/Songwriter

#DaniW Project is underway. To join the team making the album with exclusive behind the scenes content, visit us online at http://www.danielleWcarter.com.

Dani W leaks New Video about 1st Studio ALBUM…

Dani W releases NEW details about FIRST STUDIO ALBUM HERE!

Dani W releases details on first studio album!  http://daniellewcarter.com

Dani W releases details on first studio album! http://daniellewcarter.com

 

THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!    Tweet @DanielleWCarter   #DaniWProject  #DaniWmusic  #music

The Dani W Crew  🙂

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Behind the Curtains with Katy Perry, Big Sean, Brandy Clark…

Enjoy this recap of an all star cast seminar below!

Plus, Let’s Get Together Again!  Save the Dates:

I’ll sing if you dance!  More at www.daniellewcarter.com

ASCAP “I CREATE MUSIC” EXPO 2013:  Behind the Curtains

Were you at the ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo this year?  One-on-one listening and feedback sessions with industry executives, peer-to-peer networking, awareness of imperative regulatory lobbying on Capitol Hill and a solid lineup of acclaimed panelists made for an informative and eventful conference.  If you missed it, you can still purchase the online access to the recorded panels through the ASCAP website.

During the Expo, we heard from accomplished A&R executives such as Tina Davis, who discovered Chris Brown, as well as from artists and producers like Stargate, Ne-yo, Katy Perry, Jill Scott and Big Sean.  Some panelists who represented major international publishers even provided their contact information and were seeking song submissions.  Award winning international songwriters graced the panels to recount golden nuggets from their respective career paths.

An overarching theme of advice was to stay focused no matter what; keep developing your authenticity as a writer, artist, producer, or musician so that your songs stand alone and speak for themselves.  As you do so, the dots will continue to connect and shape your career path as you remain open to opportunities and fine tune your instincts.  Each milestone you reach prepares you for the next.

Many attendees enjoyed the interactive co-writing session hosted by artist/songwriter Priscilla Renea, whom ASCAP reported:  wowed last year’s EXPO by performing some of her biggest songs at the closing Writers Jam: “California King Bed” (Rihanna), “Who Says” (Selena Gomez) and “Love Spent” (Madonna).

During Priscilla’s session, attending songwriters gathered in a large conference room and were placed into separate writing teams.  Each group was given the same instrumental track and a limited amount of time to write the best verse possible.  When the writing time ended, each team had the opportunity to present their melody and lyrics on stage.

Priscilla selected the best two verses in the room and recorded them live.  At the end of the session, the entire room listened proudly to the freshly recorded song.  ASCAP has found this to be a way to engage their attendees and to enrich their experiences.  Going forward, this could be an opportunity to not only add value for attendees, but also to leverage their talent through more interactive workshops.

A special feature of the Expo is the final Songwriter’s showcase called “The Writers Jam”.  This year, talent included Stacy Barthe, Brandy Clark, Brett James, and Tom Higgenson from Plain White T’s.  Each artist/songwriter delivered compelling songs one-by-one, in the round, Nashville style.

One showcase favorite at “The Writers Jam” was Brandy Clark, whose descriptive Country lyrics moved many dry eyes to tears.  She gave very little introduction to her songs, demonstrating the principle of “Show, Don’t Tell.”  Overall, the talented lineup of songwriters shared the power of great songs, reminding us why we love what we do.

Take A Long Walk with Jill Scott… (Talented Artist, Mother, Author, Poet, Songwriter & Singer)

It’s 1AM the night before my gig with my Funk Soul band, Illegal Download Collection and my eyes are still bright and alert. I left the Song School after hearing Jill Scott guest speak in Ryan Toby‘s class.  More pics and highlights below…

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SAVE THE DATE:  May 29th – Danielle W. Carter is performing live at Indie Express @ Nola’s Los Angeles 

  • When? Wednesday, May 29th  @ 11PM
  • Where? Nola’s Restaurant, near Downtown LA (734 E. 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA)
  • Featuring? Chris Lee, Chuksingh, Melony Varnado and Luis Lopez.
  • Click on EVENT DETAILS  

Jill Scott keeps it so real.  She calls it like it is.  Jill Scott shared insights from her career journey with us, the next generation of musicians. Here are some summarized inspirational highlights and takeaways below.

  • Connect with musicians who can bring the music to life before you even say a word. Work with people who can give you “water to swim.” Great musicians will make a difference. They give you room to backstroke and doggy paddle.
  • Everything in your body has a point of love. There’s a love ear. The music should start with that before you even say a word. Energy flow will guide you through the journey of a song.
  • As a professional songwriter you can lead and influence the direction of music. If you’re following you can lead. Challenge yourself to reach a better place as a songwriter. Write from a real space. Best songwriters are in country music. Listen to it and follow the stories. You don’t have to write like that.
  • Your culture is imperative. It’s uniquely your own and it still translates and communicates to every human being. You have a taste, a tone. Be specific and honor your culture in your craft. Rep your mix. No one else is like you.
  • Confidence. You never know where it’s going to come from. The first hook Jill wrote was for a song that won a Grammy. She was open to taking on new opportunities as she transitioned from poetry into singing…into songwriting and acting. Explore different talents that you have. It could lead you somewhere new.
  • Whoever you’re in the room with, they need you too. They’re a voice for your story. They should treat you with respect.
  • Take care of business.  Come in the door with your split sheets (form that lays out percentages of song ownership and parties involved). Get them signed before you leave. Keep it on file.
  • Choose your battles.  When you’re working with a major label artist and there’s an unspoken standard percentage the artist requests for just being in the room when you’re writing. Sometimes you give a little away to gain the credits and opportunity. Choose carefully, it’s still your business and therefore your call.  Even with a manager beware of tying yourself to someone who’s not getting you in the room or getting you any work.Be mindful.
  • When you walk into a room full of “competitors,” choose to set a supportive energy in the writing room. If you have a team working together, you create better working conditions. You create an experience for that artist. Set the pace. Don’t allow negativity or competitive people to get in the way of you setting a supportive tone. When you’ve all worked as a team the artist can speak on the success of the entire teamwork experience.

Warning: This next section is for ages 21 and up only. Proceed at your own risk…

How do you get good at performing?
Question back to the room “how many virgins are in the room?” In short, the answer is that you have to start somewhere then it gets easier. Don’t hide behind anyone else. Be original to your truth and perspective.

Back on the Disney track, Jill created an open mic night called “Words and Sounds” in Philly. People paid to play. Musiq Soulchild got his start performing during these talent nights. You keep practicing, you keep getting better. Look at how talented he is now.

What’s your writing ritual?
Deep breathing. Most songs come in her dreams. Jill pays attention and stays present. She doesn’t touch the pen until her hand is already moving. The connection with her pen and paper is the best individual feeling. There’s pressure differences and impressions when you write on paper. There’s bold letters, hand drawn stars and underlying. Typing, unless its been a book typing doesn’t have that same voice. Writing. “It’s not pressure, it’s a privilege.”

How do you find your own voice?
Jill used to listen to one record for a year straight.  She didn’t know she was studying but she learned a great deal. That record was “Under the Cherry Moon” by Prince. Taught her a lot about having multiple voices.

  • When you live inside an emotion, you are a character. You act from a different reference point. There’s a voice to each different emotion. Write from the character point. It will position the voice of your writing. You’re never just one way. Bring out the voices in character. Overall, do your best to honor the truth.
  • As an artist, work with people who move you. It could be a beat you heard on the street that moves you. Write with everyone and create your resume.
  • Manners count. “Please” and “thank you” work.
  • Pay attention to every part of you. You’re not the same at the office as you are on the phone with your mom. Write from the perspective of that character. Gives you versatility.

I hope that you feel inspired by the great insights from Jill Scott, a well accomplished and talented dreamer, poet, singer, songwriter, author and actress.  

Are you doing the things your passionate about daily?  Tell me where you are in your journey.  

We love it when you comment!

Until the next saga, see you at home.  Stay Connected on  Facebook , ReverbNation, Youtube

THANK YOU to The Songwriting School of Los Angeles and to Ryan Toby!

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Remember iRobot and Catch Me If You Can? Behind the scenes with Producer Michel Shane…

Michel is just like us, an inspired person with big dreams that he developed “from the ground up.”

My eyes are still puffy and I’m on my first cup of coffee. Was it worth waking up early? Absolutely!  I’m sitting at Raleigh Studios across from Paramount listening to producer Michel Shane speak about his career and how he turned iRobot and Catch Me If You Can from a script into profitable international artwork.

Danielle attends Hollywood Networking Breakfast

I’m a recording artist, what am I doing at a Film/TV networking event?  Yes, I will leave the acting to the professionals.  I’m here because I find people fascinating.  Everyone has a different purpose and an interesting life with important messages to share.  A room at any networking event is filled with stories and lessons that translate across all industries.  I’m excited to share the “cliff notes” from this intimate talk with Michel Shane!  This is now yours to enjoy!

“Big Picture” Highlights

– The gift of youth is to ask for what you want fearlessly.
– Be thorough. Michel got his law degree and used it to his advantage to build credibility in the industry.  When he started in the business, he read a 75 page contract and came back with questions before signing with a big wig UK lawyer.  That big wig now runs a hedge fund and they are still friends today because of Michel’s ability to dive into and understand the details of the business.
– Right place, right time is a key to success.  Have the knowledge to support your luck.  Preparation meets opportunity.
– If you say it enough times, people start believing you.
– Why pay more, every dollar spent matters.
– You will have people who are not your friend.  That’s okay.
– “Catch Me If You Can” took nine years to make. He’s still getting DVD revenues.  If his revenues are still significant, imagine how much the other guys are making.  Possibilities are huge.  Believe in your projects!

Financing and Funding
– Market is bouncing back. Used to make pre-sales in order to get funding for movies (pre-sales would account for about 40%).  When market crashed distributors stopped buying.  Now equity from investors has taken the place of largely funding by pre-sales.
Veronica Mars has raised 4MM via crowd funding. It’s brilliant. Free money. You give someone some merchandise and you get free money. It will probably start getting regulated to include investors receiving a percentage of earnings, especially now that larger companies are receiving funding this way as well.
– Equity is the hardest money to come by.  However, there are lots of wealthy investors and a lot of boring business proposals.  Thus, there is an opportunity to make your business stand out.  There is still incentive to invest in films.  Wealthy investors still like the opportunity to enjoy the perks of investing in a project that allows them to meet celebrities in person.

More Tricks of the Trade

– Read 5,000 scripts.  Study your craft.

-Understand how much you can sell your film for. Then make your cost lower so you can make a profit.  As creators, we can tend to overestimate the value of our work.  Get a realistic market price perspective.
– Another way to get your movie funded, focus on talent to make a quality film. When those actors make it, you can leverage their notability to get funding.
– Film commissions and states offer funding for a limited time. This is another way to get your project made.
– Tv is fast versus film. What takes ten years in film takes two in TV.  Netflix is essentially TV. It has as many subscribers as HBO. It’s all about story. Pitch stories that are interesting.
– All the banks have entertainment departments. It’s a high interest quick return for them. There’s no magic or special secret to getting a movie made. You should be proud that you’ve been able to take something and make it happen whether it makes one cent or millions of dollars.

Determination Pays Off
– There was a period of time that was challenging.  Michel like has a family to support. Wife asked when are you going to get a real job and take your heads out of the clouds? He laughed and said “what else am I qualified to do?” Keep pushing for your vision to come to life.
– Negotiate. Even cash flow timing is negotiable. For example, if an investor is going to recoup 100% of money plus interest.  You can still negotiate the timing of who gets paid back when. Once investor gets the initial investment plus interest back, you could receive profit first then investor gets an additional 25%. Otherwise, you may not see a dollar of profit for some time.  Structure your earnings. That’s part of the negotiation.
– Put periods and commas in the right place. Otherwise, it can be detrimental. Get a good lawyer.
– In earlier days, he would read ten scripts a week. Now Michel chooses scripts that he can fight for today and for years down the line.

Persistence and Intuition 
– He was approached by someone with a good movie concept.  Four years later, they started pre production. Unfortunately, because the wrong actor was hired, they had to start over.  Never know how long a project could take and for what reason.  Allow time and planning.
– Partners are valuable. They can keep you humble and can keep your perspective in line.
– Michel enjoys being hands up until it’s time to shoot.  He’s a problem solver.  Know your strengths and what you enjoy and do that part of it.
– Trust your instincts. Always listen to your little voice.  Michel has always gotten in trouble when he hasn’t listened.
– Audi and FedEx spent money to integrate their brands into the film iRobot. This can be part of your strategy from the beginning. Usually you’ll go through the brand’s agency.
– Trust but verify when it comes to everything and everyone.
– If you make a brilliant movie you’re set. Sometimes movies fail up. One film is met with great expectations, but upon release is not so good. Meanwhile you’re working on your next film.  You’re second movie allows people to forgive you for failing on your first.
– Go to your core audience and build it slow. You’re numbers will tell the success story. You can’t beat word of mouth.

100 Million Good Deeds

– Most importantly, remember to GIVE BACK!  Michel shared a tragic and touching story which began the Emily Shane Foundation.  Read more and you can join the global mission to do 100 Million Good Deeds.

The theme of my week is “Showing Up.”   I never know what opportunities could come about from stepping outside of my immediate line of work.  What takeaways hit home for you?

 

VISIT ME ONLINE & JOIN THE MAILING LIST HERE 

Stay Connected on Facebook, ReverbNation, SoundCloud, YouTube and Twitter!  Geez so many ways!

NEXT LIVE PERFORMANCE IS Friday, May 3, 2013 @ 8PM.  Universal Bar & Grill.  Join us for drinks and new songs!

WE LOVE IT WHEN YOU COMMENT!  TELL US:

What topics or events are you interested in learning more about?

If you’re looking to build some relationships in the Film/TV industry, you can join Hollywood Networking Breakfasts next month.   Every month they have an interesting speaker and attendees, many of who have nice accomplishments and are still active writing, producing, acting and financing projects.  Check out the site for the list of previous speakers.  Very impressive!