I recently had the pleasure to spend a morning with Nancy Peacock, CEO of Washington Street Publishing. I asked her if she would like to answer some of the questions I've been asking of music industry executives on their viewpoint of image and she was more than happy to. Here's what she had to say:
pS: Briefly tell the reader about what kind of services and work you do with your clients.
NP: As the CEO of Washington Street Publishing, I work with a lot of songwriters, some who are also aspiring recording artists. My company pitches music to artists and to film/TV/commercial projects. We offer consultations and song evaluations with writers and artists. Recently we have expanded our film services to include music supervision, screenplay editing and representation of screenplays and reality show projects.
pS: What role does image play in an artist’s or songwriter’s career?
NP: Image is important for any songwriter or artist who is starting his or her career in Nashville. They should be concerned about the way they present themselves at publisher meetings, special music events on Music Row and their gigs around town. Being well groomed and having a unique image leads to a level of confidence necessary for artist success.
pS: From a publisher’s perspective, why is image so important?
NP: Nashville is unique in that it is like a fraternity for songwriters. You have to find ways to distinguish yourself from the thousands of writers here. While you are climbing that ladder to hit songwriter or artist status, you need to look and act like you are already successful. A positive image attracts positive connections that can make or break your career.
pS: From your experience, what do you see is the most common mistake recording artists or songwriters make in regards to their image?
NP: Too many writers show up at a gig looking like all they did was put on their shoes. Songwriters tend to dress like everyone else – in jeans and a t-shirt. That is perfect attire for writing songs all day or for certain artists who have chosen that “image.” But if you want to be remembered or stand out in the crowd, it would be best to find a performance image.
pS: What one piece of advice would you give a new or established artist pertaining to their image/image development?
NP: Try to have a consultation with an image consultant early in your career. Take pictures of clothes, colors, jewelry, etc. that you like. Work with the image consultant to determine what works best with your body type and skin coloring. Be honest about what you are comfortable wearing. If you can’t afford an image consultation, then attend image workshops to receive an overview. It will save you time and money in the long run to have this information.
pS: Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth!
pS: Is there anything else you would like to include?
NP: Once you find your image that is authentic to you, use it everywhere you go in public. You want not only to be noticed but also remembered, in a good way. Without using names, one well-known songwriter/artist always wore feminine dresses or sundresses when out and about. Whenever I was at a music function around the Row, I could spot her from across the room and know exactly who she was.
Located in Nashville, Washington Street Publishing represents the catalogs of great country songwriters as well as indie pop, rock, R&B artists and bands.