A crowd of Belmont students and songwriters listened to the inspiring highs and poignant lows of Carly Pearce’s story as she recounted the path she took from aspiring songwriter to chart-topping country artist.
Pearce hosted a discussion in the Johnson Theater Tuesday afternoon where she discussed her experiences in the music industry and her journey as a songwriter.
In struggling for years to find the right label and a team of producers she synergized with, Pearce experienced firsthand the frustrations a lot of aspiring songwriters might find themselves intimidated by. Passing along advice to Belmont students, Pearce stressed that a successful career as a musician is earned through careful management and hard work at every turn.
“Understand that you are your manager now,” Pearce said. “It never gets easier, and the workload only gets larger.”
After working with busbee, a high-profile producer who has worked alongside the likes of Maren Morris and Blake Shelton, Pearce has grown to value working with people who respect her artistic vision and career goals, rather than simply valuing her for her ability to get radio play.
“He didn’t care that I had a song working at the moment,” Pearce said. “It’s not about a song. It’s about seeing an artist, seeing a work ethic, seeing a career, and seeing a partner.”
With years of experience in the music industry, Pearce also noted that she has seen positive change start to develop in terms of diversity and equality.
“Ten years ago, I was turned away at the door for being female,” Pearce said. “More than ever, you’re seeing women on the charts, and you’re seeing women doing amazing things … Over the next five years, I think it’s going to be even better.”
Overall, Pearce focused on the fact that there’s no one, definitive way to make it in the music industry. Ultimately, it’s about knowing who you are and keeping your artistic value defined, she said.
“Let your expectations of how you’re going to get into this industry go out the window,” Pearce said. “I’m surprised every day by different things.”
This article written by Justin Wagner.