Wednesday, October 31, 2012


If you don't already know I write songs as well as blog posts. I have been enjoying my creativity a lot recently. I wanted to share some of my music with you.

I hope you enjoy. If you need a writer let me know.  Please, share some of your music with me.

Love ya,

Follow me
Sara Jo

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Copyright That: Intro Into Copyrighting

I remember when I first starting thinking I might want to be a songwriter beyond what I wrote for myself I started researching publishing. I had some knowledge about publishing because I grew up fascinated by the music industry. I used to read all “Thank Yous” in the CD jackets. I kept seeing ASCAP and wondered what it was. I learned if I want my money I have to have my publishing in order. So that is what I’m working on right now.

If you spend a lot of time crafting the perfect lyrics and recording your music professionally you most definitely do not want some random guy to take claim of your projects. Many try to prevent this using the poor man’s method. What that does not take into account is how you will get paid for your music. Even if no one else takes credit you are not getting credit for your music. This means no royalties.  Are you trying to work for free? I didn’t think so.

If you pay for studio time do not cut corners after the song is done. Get your publishing together. You will need to register as a songwriter with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC, collectively known as The PROs.  It is the job of The PROs to monitor your royalties and make sure you are paid. These royalties come from radio play, public performances, digital downloads, record sales, streaming, and movie and television licensing.

Another added benefit of joining one of The PROs is they have events which are great networking opportunities. If you are publishing your own music this is a great time to introduce others to your music.

But what if I’m not playing on the radio or television? You will still need to get your music copyrighted. Check out for more information on which forms you need.

If you wish to publish your music you will need to decide whether or not you want to publish under another publishing agency or if you will create your own publishing company. There are pros and cons to each one. Consider if you want the responsibility of find the artists yourself or if you want someone else to plug your songs for you. How does the thought of sharing your royalties sit with you?

Okay, so you have decided you want to start your own publishing company. You will need to come up with some wonderful names for your business, file some paperwork, and start plugging. For more information on all that is required see and Music Publisher Association Make sure you file with your local government as a business. Keep copies of all your paperwork in a safe place.  You will need them come tax time.

Make sure when creating your band’s business plan you factor in the funds you will need for fees.  Each agency has different rates and payment plans.  The amount of money you will spend on publishing is nothing compared to the loss you might feel if you don’t copyright the right way. 

If you are signed up with a PRO, which one is it and what made you decide on that one? What are your experiences?

Much love,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Intro: Working With Artists (Video)

This video is about what managers and other music professionals deal with when working with stubborn artists. If you have been guilty of being one of those stubborn artists you can turn over a new leaf and energize your pursuit to reach the top. Being great means working hard. If you want your manager to work hard for you you need to be willing to work hard for yourself.

Book Review: Bird By Bird By Anne Lamott

Do you ever feel like you were born to write. The words come out of you for a few days and then nothing. Or perhaps the words are stuck in your head. You need some encouragement. I am going to review a few books on writing that might help you.

Many books on writing are about character development, plot, three acts, and other technical stuff. If you are looking for a more personal approach to instruction check out Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. She speaks with passion and compassion. Even if you are seasoned writer you may find this book beneficial, but it is targeted toward those just beginning their journey.

This book covers finding inspiration, the importance of routine, being observant, getting an agent, handling rejection, writing the gusto, dealing with jealousy, and libel. It is easy to read. She doesn't write with the arrogance I have found in some books. Lamott admits her faults.

One chapter is about getting over thinking you need to be a perfectionist. Some writers put down words, read them, decide they are horrible, and give up the craft. Rarely anyone gets out the most brilliant, life changing writing with the first draft. She offers the encouragement writers need.

She speaks of her love for her father, a writer, and his battle with cancer. She tells of the time she had with her best friend, how she would not allow her to make excuses for not writing. Writing is not always to gain fame and fortune from publication. In fact, many published authors do not have fame or fortune. But, they continue to write.  They write everyday.

My favorite line from this book: “Write as if your parents are dead.”

Would I recommend this book to anyone considering a career in writing? Absolutely. It is a good book with a lot of heart. You may find yourself smiling after this book and not being so hard on yourself.

Have you read this book? What do you think of it? What books on writing would you recommend or advise me to stay away from?

Here is an interview with the best selling author.

Thanks for reading,


PS. She also has a book called Joe Jones, which was my Papa's name. Maybe I should read it. Have you?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

51 things I don't like.

51 Things I DON’T LIKE
There is a "That's the ____ I don't like" tag on youtube. I love these videos. Especially when I  agree.

1.     I’m talking to you on the phone and you talking to everyone else.
2.     You ask me a question and you start talking to someone else.
3.     I tell you I don’t eat salad and you like what if you do this… NO, I DON’T EAT SALAD.
4.     Same with tea.
5.     People use my stuff and don’t put anything back. UGGGGGGGGGH. I gotta be your maid?
6.     When my friend say one thing to me and another to another friend when they know good and well we all best friends. How you think we don’t speak.
7.     You giving  out the same platitudes about relationships and you jump from boy to boy.
8.     You call me saying you coming to get me and you don’t show up. I ain’t believing you till you in my face.
9.     You cooking then you start playing with your pet and go back to cooking? I wash my hands when I cook, when I go in the bathroom, before I eat, before I do my makeup, after I shower (yes), when I take out the trash, when pick stuff off the ground. I am always washing my hands.
10.  When people have never talked to you and assume they know you and furthermore assume you are stuck up and have the nerve to call you judgmental.  I’m the nicest person. I don’t talk much. That don’t mean I’m judging you. I ain’t thinking bout you. 

 You still reading? Thanks, love.

11. You wake up in the morning and the first thing out your mouth is something nasty about somebody. Can you be appreciative for your life?
12. People who ridicule other people’s religion.
13. People who assume you young, you don’t have aches and pains. “You don’t look sick.” What sick look like?
14. People who lick their fingers and then hand me the paper they just touched.
15.  I am here offering to help you and you telling everyone “I just don’t have anyone to help me. I’m all on my own.”
16. People who like to make fun of their family. I hate that. Especially women who make fun of their husbands. That makes me wanna kick em into traffic. What you marry him for if you knew he was like that? A wife is suppose to honor her husband.
17. Trifflin women complaining they can’t find a good man. So many men have told me they were about to approach a girl when she did some nastiness and he had to walk away. Act like you have some sense.
18. Females who always talking bout “I hate drama” and they causing it.
19. When you tell someone they got your order wrong and they get an attitude with you. I wasn’t rude with you, what’s your problem? I’m sure someone would love to take your job.
20. Folks who judge people based on how much money you make or what they think you make. I don’t mind being judged, but base it on my character after you’ve made an attempt to get to know me.

21.  People who want everyone to support their efforts but don’t support anyone else’s until they make it. Now you wanna be a part of the movement. Shaddup.
22. People who try to be slick nasty. You wanna be mean do it to my face and tell me exactly how you feel. Don’t act like I’m too dumb to know you’ve insulted me. I’m a smart cookie.
24. People who say she was asking for it when a woman has been raped because she was wearing revealing clothing.
25. Women who taunt men by smacking them all around knowing he can’t hit back. So when he hit you he’ll be wrong but I won’t sympathize with you cuz you don’t put your hands on anyone if you don’t want it back.
26. Parents who care more about what other folks think then how their children feel.
27. Parents who got time to spend with everyone else but not their own kids.
28. You cute but your child a hot mess.
29. You got money for toys but not nan book in the house. Kids can’t read.
30. Parents who ridicule their kids for being overweight from eating. You buy the groceries.
31. Parents who cuss their kids. Kill yoself.
32. People always putting all their sexual business out there then wanna get upset when folks got something to say. That’s the image you created for yourself. You wanna talk about how promiscuous you are be ready to be ridiculed. It happens. Is it right, maybe not, but you ain’t new to this.
33. People who think somebody always competing with them. Girls in particular especially when they like the same guy. That girl don’t even notice you.
34. “Oh she think she cute.” Is she suppose to think she ugly? Is she suppose to have low self-esteem. You don’t think you’re cute. That’s the issue.
35. People who gotta put other folk down to put themselves up.
36. Chipped nails for days on end.
37. You got thousand dollar bags but no college fund for the babies.
38. A stank attitude for no reason.
39. Always wanting to be paid for the little work you do but never wanting to pay others for their services which require a lot of work. (Talking to you musicians out there. My producer friends want you to stop begging.)
40. Employees sitting down on their cells but the restaurant is nasty.
41. I was with you all day and you barely noticed me but when I get home you wanna call or text.
42. You got money for party after party but not to invest in your career. Then you complain because you ain’t made it yet.
43. You can’t say thank you when I hold the door open for you? Kill yoself. This is basic stuff.  And then you gotta an attitude when I let it close on you.
44. Old people with no manners complaining bout young people. You set the example.
45. Drinking and driving like you the only life on the road.
46. You smoking near the entrance and then you blow smoke in my face.
47. ODed on cologne. When I start sneezing you look at me like I’m rude.
48. When I ask you for my money you borrowed you look at me like I’m wrong.
49. You make more money than me and you always asking “can I have this?’
50. You say “nobody’s perfect” as an excuse not to apologize when you know you are wrong. And then you wanna be automatically forgiven. When someone points out the error of your ways they judging. And yet you want everyone to apologize to you. 
51. When people yell throw the store like everyone wanna hear they conversation. And it's usually them cussing and being disrespectful. Leave the vulgar language for the house or club. Especially when old people are around. 

What don't you like?
I would love to know.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

In My Own Words: Original Soul

Who is in your band? Right now I am a solo artist. However, I have done collaborations with a host of emcees, singers, poets, and producers.

How do you get along? I try to make every artist that I work with feel like they are at home when they are in my studio. The easier you are to work with in the studio, the better the harmony is. I haven’t always been the perfect person to work with because I have had to realize that every artist will not function the same way I would behind the mic and the controls. But as I’ve grown into a level of maturity, and in 20 years of making music, I’ve tried to develop a system that works well for me and that I think would work well for any artist I work with.

Where did you get your name? My stage name came from The Original Soul Stirrers, as I had some family members that sang with their group in the 60’s…the Sam Cooke era. The music will come from the heart and from a positive mind, so the name Original Soul is one that I feel is befitting for the type of music I want to share with the world.

How would you describe your sound? I do thought-provoking music. Music with a message. There is enough club music and watered-down music out there, and the people are tired of hearing the same old thing. My music is a blend of conscious hip-hop and neo-soul. It’s hip-hop like it should be, like we grew up on, that uses our voice instead of what the industry thinks people should hear.

Why did you get into music? I got into music to make a difference. People are tired of hearing the same old thing on the radio. I’ve always been one to be an advocate for change. It has to start from within. The youth needs to know that there is a life outside of the glamour world.

Who is your favorite independent/underground artist besides yourself? I like the artists that are creative and can make you think, artists that have solid production to back their words. There are so many great artists in DFW, almost too many to name. Many of them I have worked with personally.

What and who inspire your lyrics? I am inspired by artists like Common, The Roots, Conya Doss, Kanye West, because they dare to be different. They speak from the heart and push the envelope of greatness. And then I’m sure they were inspired by artists like The Last Poets, Earth Wind And Fire, the O’Jays, Minnie Ripperton, The Isley brothers, because of their showmanship on stage, and the content of their music.

What are your live performances like? (Example: Laid back, energetic) Picture a coffee house. Dim lit room. Cozy. Packed. Enough room to move in a small circle behind the mic. I’m usually gonna start with no music and spit acapella. Then dive in with some new material, and end with the single I’m pushing at the time. Now, this depends on the venue and the time limit I’m given. It varies by venue. But the concept is generally the same.

Who is the craziest person in the group?Well, when I do invite guests to perform with me, they will usually do their own thing so I kinda know what to expect. Cats like Black Supaman, Pestalance, they bring a different element with their sound, so they will typically be way different than I would on stage, where I’m more laid back and focused on every word coming across and completely understood.

What is a typical studio session like? Usually we try to build on what our next moves are, the music scene as a whole, and vibe off each other’s energy before we even record anything. Or we check out new beats and write something on the spot. If we record something, I’m recording and mixing at the same time, to help speed up the process, plus I’m listening for flaws and additional ideas. And since my studio is in my home, I want you to feel at home when you come to record.
What do you love most about the music scene these days? The music scene is…changing. The thing about it is, the scene will make you grow up quickly because it is not easy to master.

What do you dislike? What I dislike is the fact that Dallas is such a bandwagon city. You should not have to go outside of your own city to get recognition, when you should have sufficient amounts of people in town already supporting you. There is a great lack of support here. No showmanship. No pride in the craft. People are lazy and expect someone else to do the footwork for them. There are also too many ‘cliques’ and people playing favoritism.

What is your songwriting process like? I write a song, with the video in mind. Or, I also imagine certain songs I like, and what they would sound like if I was on the next verse.

Do you do other things besides music? Well, I have plans to start an artist mentoring program, which would teach people how to do music from start to finish; from writing a song to how to conduct themselves in a studio, to how to get shows. I also do professional mastering.

What kind of artists do you want to work with? I’m willing to work with any artist, as whatever message they are pushing has a divine purpose.

What are your fans like? It’s hard to find fans because my music is so different from the Dallas sound. It makes it hard for promoters to put me on shows because they don’t know exactly where to put me on a bill filled with club music.

Who has the most twitter love? Twitter is a work in progress. But I have more Twitter followers than Facebook fans. Go figure.

Who eats the most? LOL, next question.

Who is the worst driver? I trust whoever drives my car. Otherwise I’ll take the wheel and keep it. LOL

When you become millionaires, what fun things will you do with your money? Well, all I know is, becoming a millionaire means investment and becoming debt free before any enjoyment is possible. After that, it’s making sure my family has what they need and want.

What are your favorite websites? I frequent sites such as Reverb Nation and Jango because of the connection that I make with the fans. They are both also very easy sites to upload music and ideal for networking.

Who are the special fans you want to thank? I have several lifelong fans as well as new lifelong fans that really take time to listen to the music and not just say ‘It’s good’. There are also a few fans that have every single album I put out. And of course the fans overseas.

What do you want to accomplish with your music? My message is simple. Speak from the heart, and speak the truth. Be you. If you spend so much time imitating others and what works for others then you forget who YOU are. The people will know the real from the fake. Quick money is not long money. And I didn’t get in the biz to be a one-hit wonder. So I really hope the fans can appreciate a heartfelt message more than anything, and appreciate good music.

Any extra footage or comments? I have three videos currently on YouTube, two of which are on my website.

Where can your fans get your music? Visit Click on ‘Online Store’. All the current music is on sale there, as well as web links to all other online stores, including iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, Amazon, and many more.

Where can music executives contact you? I can be reached via email at Or by phone at 214-236-7149.

Add press kit if desired.

Wanna reach me for your own "In My Own Words?" Check out me out at or email me. 


Sara Jo