Songwriting

How I get my music on iTunes and Spotify

One of my priorities when I started releasing music was getting it on Spotify and iTunes. I did a fair amount of research looking into the different options and concluded that DistroKid is the best option by far.

DistroKid costs $19.99/year for a single artist account, which allows you to publish as much music as you want to basically every platform, and you get all the royalties. That’s a pretty great deal when compared with the per album upfront fees and percentage of royalties charged by other companies.

DistroKid also offers a number of genuinely useful unique features, like automatic access to Spotify for Artists and the ability to upload lyrics to iTunes. Most new features are applied to all accounts for free.

You get paid in dollars and you need a PayPal account, but it’s straightforward to withdraw earnings. The stats and reports are very clear.

Why should you consider anything else?

I can think of three main reasons why you might be better off going with another company:

  1. You’re only ever going to put out one release. Sure, you’d miss out on all the great Distrokid-only features, but if you know for sure that you won’t be releasing music regularly then a one-time flat cost is better than an annual charge.
  2. You want on-demand CD printing. Some companies offer this. But I found it better overall to use DistroKid for digital and get CDs printed with a commercial print company.
  3. You want to include extra services like PRS registration. There are some extra services that DistroKid don’t offer, but nothing that swayed me. My priority was just getting the music on digital services and DistroKid does that better than anyone.

Sign-up code

I would be recommending DistroKid anyway, but if you sign up via this link, you get 7% off and I get $5.

‘We Come to Hear Your Word’ on BBC Radio 4

My song ‘We Come to Hear Your Word‘ appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Sunday Worship’ this morning. The episode was from London School of Theology. The always-amazing Geraldine Latty and Carey Luce were leading with the LST choir.

It was a great service overall, and I really enjoyed the arrangement of my song. They took it faster than the ‘Songs for Sundays‘ version and gave it great atmospheric drive. That’s a bit more like how I lead the song at Kings, although with some added Gospel verve.

If you’re able to access BBC iPlayer, you can listen to the service online for a month. ‘We Come to Hear Your Word’ comes in at 17:25 on the recording.

On the Resound Songwriting Podcast

I had the honour of joining Joel on the Resound Worship Songwriting Podcast this month. In the regular ‘Dissect a Classic’ slot we critique the song ‘There is a Redeemer’, and then we trade reflections on our experiences at the Calvin Worship Symposium last month.

  • Find Episode 40 here (currently at the top!)

Resound release ‘Worship the Lord’

Resound Worship have released a full version of my song Worship the Lord (Psalm 100) today.

I’ve been using this one at Kings since mid-2016, but it’s taken a while to get the arrangement right and then we were all focussed on the ‘Songs for Sundays’ album.

I really like the new arrangement. It’s a little slower than I usually lead it but that gives it a greater sense of majesty. I’ll probably try it this way.

As always, Resound have produced loads of resources for the song. You can get hold of the piano score, instrument parts, backing track, audio file, lyric video and more here.

Many thanks to Joel Payne for all his work on it, and to Andy Clark for the lead vocal.

My 2017 in Songwriting

Here are the songs I finished and recorded in 2017:

1. A Call to Night Worshippers (Psalm 134)

I was working on this version of Psalm 134 as the year started. I really love how the recording turned out. I finally released it as part of the King’s Church Durham Psalms Project in November.

2. We Come To Hear Your Word

At the start of the year Joel at Resound Worship invited us to write for what became the ‘Songs for Sundays’ album. I knew I wanted to write something engaging with the Word and this song came together over a series of Monday mornings through January and February.

3. We Believe In One God (Unshakeable)

Also for ‘Songs for Sundays’. I had the Nicene Creed on my wall and decided to give it a go. Lots of input from the Resound team later, and I’m really pleased with how it shaped up.

4. Jungle Adventure

My colleague Fay asked me to write a theme for the KCD Holiday Club. Inspiration finally struck a few days before the event started. I’ve had lots of complaints about how catchy it is, so apologies if it now gets stuck in your head all Christmas.

5. Jesus Is With Us Now

My first Christmas song! Once again, Fay asked me if I could write something for our all-age Carol Service. Once again, something came together the week before.

That’s the most songs I’ve ever finished in a year, and there are actually four more coming into land. The thread seems to be that I get songs finished if someone else asks me to write them. Do feel free to put in your requests and hopefully 2018 will be just as productive!

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