Steve LeslieNashville, Tennessee, United States
SNG Music, LLP
I get to write songs for a living. Enough said! Everyday I exercise my creative potential. I’m doing the thing I always dreamed I would do. Living a writer’s life is the best way to spend your time.
I’ve been writing songs for a living since 1992 and teach others to do the same. I give individual lessons and also teach at Belmont University in Nashville.
One of my very first songs, “Let it Rain”, recorded by Mark Chestnutt, rose to #2 on the Billboard chart. Country greats like Kenny Rogers and George Strait record my songs. I won a Grammy Award for writing the title cut on Ricky Skagg’s 2004 Best Bluegrass Album of the year.
Although I am the only employee, no one succeeds in a vacuum. I have great relationships with music business professionals, artists and co-writers. Together we make it happen.
Being a songwriter is such a fulfilling job. Everyday I have the opportunity to exercise my creative potential. And I get to share that enthusiasm by teaching others to do the same.
I’ve worked other jobs, like retail and restaurant, but they were just to feed my ambition to write. I’ve always made my living singing songs, playing guitar, writing songs, and teaching. I knew that if I didn’t express myself creatively, I would never be happy.
Working for yourself has great rewards, but you must also be self-motivated. If you go into this crazy business for the money, you will be greatly disappointed. If you go into it because of a deep desire to live an authentic life, you will be greatly rewarded. Try to keep making a little music in the money biz.
My income varies greatly due to the economy and the nature of the business. Some years I make over $150,000, others only $40,000. That’s why you don’t run out and buy a boat the first time you hear your song on the radio. Maybe after the second time…
Success generally takes a long time, if it happens at all. Keep your overhead low, your head in the clouds, and your feet on the ground. Marrying the right person helps too! My wife believes in me and has been through the ups, downs and in-betweens with me.
I look forward to providing you the reality check of being a songwriter you’re looking for!