For the last many weeks, I’ve been working on writing and recording the rest of the tracks for my upcoming debut album, “Four on the Floor.” I want to have at least 12 tracks on the album, and of course I want them to be as good as they can possibly be since I’ll be starting to push this material to bloggers and other press and internet radio and potential and existing fans etc etc, so I’m taking my time and trying to make it perfect while also hurrying and trying to get it out so I can start promoting it and hopefully start seeing the fruits of that promotion.

Right now, as you know, I’ve got six tracks finished and posted on jccassis.com (click on “music”). I have one more track that’s ready to be finished in the studio but there was a technical snafu I have to go back and fix. Then there are three tracks that are ready for vocals, one track I’m not sure about, and two songs I’ve written but not started the recordings for. So I’ve got to decide what to do with the track I’m not sure about, record vocals for all 6 songs that don’t have them recorded yet, and make tracks for two more songs. That’s a fair amount of work, but if I’m diligent about it I should be able to get it done over the next couple of weeks. Then it will be time to take everything to the studio to be mixed and mastered, then FINALLY the album will be done, I’ll cull a demo from it, and start sending them both out into the world. Of course I’ve also got to make album art for it and get some hard copies printed up to give out and sell, but at least all the creative work will be done for a while.

Happily, I’m VERY inspired to write these days so I’m confident I will continue to come out with new material a fair amount even when this album is finished and released, but my goals for right now are 1) to have a demo to give to industry contacts, 2) to have an album to send to reviewers/bloggers/give to potential fans/sell at shows/be my presence on iTunes and all other digital retailers, and 3) be finished with this album so I can spend the vast majority of the next few months promoting the hell out of it and hopefully get somewhere with it. It will be a LOT of work. I’ve got to get it all over internet radio, try to get it licensed for use in film & TV, get as much press for it as possible, make music videos for some of the songs, try to make as many new fans as possible through social networks and shows, and on and on and on. But I can’t start any of this until the album is done, so that’s what I’m trying to make happen right now. Once it’s done though, I hope I can count on you to help me get the word out! 🙂

p.s. I also got accepted into a songwriting workshop at the Songwriters Hall of Fame starting next week, so I’m hoping that will give me even more insight into writing hit songs as well as get me connected to some great industry contacts. Lady Gaga met her producer through a Songwriters Hall of Fame showcase event the story goes, so I can’t help but be a little excited about what opportunities this might bring about for me… 🙂 The first assignment is to write a song for an artist of your choosing that a publisher or record label would want, so of course I picked Britney Spears, and the song I wrote is REALLY good and REALLY in her style so I REALLY hope they like it! 🙂

Ok. Some things that have happened since last entry:

1. Finished two new songs (though I’ll prolly tweak or re-record vocals before I say the album’s totally done), which are, as always, at jccassis.bandcamp.com. People are lovin’ them so far and I’m really proud.

2. Got one more song almost done, then time to keep going with more. I have some really awesome ideas for new songs to write that I’m really excited about. I think my voice as a performer/artist will be clearer and clearer the more music I put out. Yay.

3.Performed at Cat’s birthday party in SoHo at this fab loft with backing tracks and a kickass sound system. Everyone at the party loved it. Added mad people to the mailing list and possibly found a new male backup dancer!

4. Surpassed 10,000 friends on myspace! Yes! So nice to have people listening to the music and liking it and asking me to come play in their cities. I wish I could now but it’ll be a little while!

5. There are a lot of music marketing programs and services offered out there, and it’s easy to think everything being sold on the internet that’s not from some big name retailer is a scam, but there’s a money back guarantee, and either way it’s a tax deduction, so I’m probably going to do the Musicians Mastermind program and see if it gets me the kind of results it promises.

6. Really excited about performing in Union Square this summer. Gotta find out about permits and make that happen. A weekly gig in Union Square would really help me get out there to new audiences I think. And maybe creating my own street residency would lead to a club residency somewhere!

7. Really excited to see that some indie labels with big successful artists accept demos and listen to everything they get. Now, we’ll see if my demo is in good enough shape to get heard and get interest, but at least there are people who can help your career to whom you can have access.

Looking forward to hopefully making a good living off of music soon!!

p.s. Performance footage from the dance parade coming soon…

I have this annoying tic where as soon as I think of something I should do to try to get more exposure for my music, I think something self-defeatist like, “No, that wouldn’t help. It would never get the results I really want.” Then I have to remind myself, “Bullshit, JC, you haven’t even tried it! Why don’t you try it?” I remind myself that of course it hasn’t worked yet, because I haven’t tried it yet. But maybe if I gave it a real, honest, effort-filled shot, it would!

People are always talking about how hard it is to become a star in any field. “Sure that person succeeded,” they’ll say, “but for every person who succeeds, do you know how many people fail at that? A lot!” True, but what I want to know is: how many of those people who failed really, really tried, and gave it their all, and kept trying until they had absolutely exhausted their options? None, I think. Because I don’t think there really is a way to exhaust your options. If you run out of money, go make some more. If you run out of friends, go make some more. If you run out of jail, you better keep runnin’, baby!

My latest idea for what I’m going to try to get more exposure for my music is YouTube cover videos. There are a bunch of people on YouTube who’ve done them (Esmee Denters being the best-known) and some of them have gotten some great opportunities out of them. But all of the good ones who’ve made lots of videos have gotten hundreds of thousands if not millions of views, which is way more than I’ve gotten so far with my original music. And of course the idea is if you can get people to watch you sing covers, maybe they’ll watch your videos for your original music, too. Can’t hurt. And some of these people went from being total unknowns to being signed to major labels in a year to two years. Not bad at all!

For my cover videos, I’m going to do some of the all-time most watched songs, some of the most popular and searched-for songs of the moment, some classics, some of my personal favorites, and keep going as long as I can/need to to get where I want to go. The average person might fail at this because they might not do it at all or they might not do it long enough, but I’m going to do it and do it as long as I need to to get the results I want, and that’s what’ll make the difference. That, and picking the right songs and singing the hell out of them.