Today, after about a YEAR of having my music in three music libraries/licensing companies, I finally received the letter I’ve always been waiting for: one that said a song of mine had been licensed in someone’s project and I got paid for it!!! I’ve finally popped my licensing cherry and hopefully this will be one of many licensing successes to come. Since I’ve been so busy finding my sound, writing a ton and putting together my CD, I haven’t had a chance to get into really pushing my songs for licensing opportunities (which bring in exposure and money!) just yet, but I’m so glad that something was finally used and paid for, and it is always great to receive unexpected checks in the mail.

The statement wasn’t that detailed and just said that the instrumental for “Chocolate Cake” was used in someone’s “video,” but I really want to track down the person who used it to see the song in action–that would be so cool! I also want to send them a thank you note, haha! I can’t wait to get my new music in the licensing world and see how it does, since it’s so different from the first stuff I put out.

In other news, I’ve got to put the pedal to the metal and get a new song done and ready to release because Reverb Nation is doing another sponsored song promotional campaign and if I get selected, I’ll be in the running to win 500 bucks through getting people to vote for me online, and luckily my friends, family and fans have always been wonderful about voting for me in online competitions, so I really hope I can get enough support to win. $500 would cover a significant portion of the costs to record more material, or it could go towards a PR campaign, which I so desperately need to help kickstart things to the next level.

The longer I do this, the more I realize there really is at least a small part time living to be made at it, through finding paid performances, doing sponsored song programs, singing on other people’s demos, and licensing music, in addition to selling music and merch, and if you’re willing to put a lot of time and effort into it, it can be a significant income. You do have to spend the time hustling, but that time spent will bring in money one way or another. That is a really nice thing to know.

So now I just need to finish recording vocals for my album, make the album art, compile the demo, get hard copies of the demo and the album, rehearse for the show in December, prep for my third show at Spence, and start hitting the blogs hard for publicity etc. The exciting part is about to begin!!

Follow me on Twitter for all the up-to-the-minute-updates: twitter.com/jccassis.

Our show at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC on 3/4/09 was awesome. Great crowd, and great venue with great people working there. We had to start without drums since Nicole was coming directly from playing a show that was supposed to end when ours was supposed to begin a mile away, but it just made for an awesome, spontaneous moment when she got to the venue and jumped in on drums in the middle of “Chocolate Cake.” Ah, live performance.

Performing live has brought my attention to something: there really is no such thing as a performance where you can half-ass it or have things be sub-par, unless you want that stuff to end up on the internet, because everything ends up on the internet. So I’m glad that I gave my all in this show as well as the last ones, because my friends were videotaping parts of the show, and now those parts are on YouTube. Here’re some clips from the second show:

Recently, I played another show for the middle school students at my K-12th Grade alma mater, The Spence School in Manhattan. Hands down, this is the best audience I’ve ever had. Two years in a row now, they’ve blown me away with their enthusiasm for my music, and it makes me feel so, so good. Last year I was so excited because after I played they were all so interested in knowing where to get my music etc etc, but this year blew last year away. Here are a few highlights:

-During “You Don’t Have To Worry,” some girls put their arms around each other and began swaying back and forth to the music, spontaneously! There was also clapping along to the beat.

-When I said I was going to play “Chocolate Cake,” there was a cheer like you can’t believe. They were SO excited for it, and this was 9 months after they’d first heard it. Amazing.

-When I sang “Chocolate Cake,” THEY KNEW THE WORDS! They knew ALL the words, and they were dancing and singing along all in unison–it was amazing!

-When I said “I don’t know if you’ve been following what I’ve been up to over the last few months, but if you have, you might know this next one–it’s called ‘Texas Boys,'” they SCREAMED with excitement. They all knew about it, they knew the words, and they wanted to sing along. So I brought a couple of girls up and they sang it with me!

-One of the girls actually made me a customized “Texas Boys” cowgirl hat, complete with a homemade “I ❤ Texas Boys" sign on it. That’s my first fan gift ever! Amazing!

-After the show they all wanted my and Socrates’ autographs, and we each signed a LOT of them. I love that.

So, Spence middle schoolers are the best. If any of you gals are reading this, thanks again! You made my day and I’m so happy you’ve got this old Spencie’s back!
-JC