Interview With Singer/Songwriter David M. Bailey
David M. Bailey played music throughout college but stopped to pursue a corporate career. On July 4, 1996, doctors said he had a malignant brain tumor and would be dead by Christmas. David says he chose to make that day his new birthday, left his job, and turned to music as a healing process. With a desire to live more passionately, he returned to his first love - songwriting. 300 concerts, 40 states, and 7 albums later, David, his songs, and his passion are alive and well. David tours full time and continues releasing CDs. He's been featured on CBS News/ 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, Fox/Health, NPR and in newspapers across the country. He was a 1999 Kerrville New Folk finalist and received many other songwriting awards and accolades. Yet he's happiest when he's sharing his music. David's songs reflect hope and healing. They tell stories of people he's met and inspire his fans, including me!
[Revenge Productions] How did you figure out how to get started?
David Bailey It sounds cliché to say, but you just gotta get out there. I played at our local church; at our campus support group; at a pottery shop. I scouted places to play and dropped off a press kit with a recording. It's hard to create a draw. So, I looked for opportunities to play where people were gathered for another reason.
[Revenge Productions] How did you find them?
David Bailey Conferences are good for that and hunting out those opportunities is just a matter of being alert. There's an industry of people who manufacture shoes. They have annual conferences. Farmers who use certain tractors meet once a year. Everybody has some type of annual meeting and everyone knows somebody that goes to these whether it's your uncle's neighbor or your father's colleague. I got a good business card, a decent recording, a photo and one page bio to say 'this is who I am.’
[Revenge Productions] How does this help you?
David Bailey If you do one concert for a group of 1000 people and they represent [other groups] from across the country, invitations from all these places start trickling in. One really good concert in front of a group of people that come from all over will create not just the word of mouth, but actual invitations to come to their own places.
[Revenge Productions] How do you use your website?
David Bailey For an independent performing songwriter, there is no better tool. On my site we have a signup for a newsletter, which I send out about once a month with all the songs, lyrics, and tour schedule. My site is sort of a command center for people who want to know what's going on day to day. My newsletters are posted on there. I have my treatment history for folks interested in where I've been medically, all the albums and how to order them. I make sure that new photos are posted. Anyone who writes to me gets the newsletter. I write them, not in a "newsy" way but more like I'm writing a personal letter to a friend. I try to create a sense of togetherness. It's cool that we are all are sort of in this together. I really feel that way about the people who have been supporting me.
[Revenge Productions] Why do you plan to stay independent?
David Bailey There was a time when I thought getting a major record label deal was the pinnacle. Individuals who've been a part of it changed my mind. An artist friend signed to a subsidiary of a major got $12,000 up front and had to pay that back through sales. Then they would make 60 cents a record, and that was good. I couldn't imagine after the time and expense of making a CD, walking away with just 60 cents per sale.
I asked David if the promotion and clout of being on a large label was worth giving up control of what you say and how you say it. He answered with a big NO!!! He loves being in control. So far he's doing well, thank God! David wants to help people face their own challenges with his music. His numerous fans prove he's succeeding!
Learn more about David Bailey by visiting www.davidmbailey.com. Visit Revenge Productions at http://www.outersound.com/revenge/monthly.html
Reprinted with permission from the November 2002 Edition of Daylle’s Music Resource Newsletter.