What’s up, friends!

Today on the blog, I wanted to tell you about something new and exciting I’ve been working on here at Full Circle for you… Song Stories!

One of the main reasons I started the Full Circle Music Academy was to pull back the curtain and give you a real look at the music industry and how you can make it in music, and so song stories are a fun new way to do that! 

I wanted to kick us off by going all the way back to the beginning and telling you about the FIRST song that put me on the map as a songwriter in any meaningful capacity.

That is the song Born Again by Newsboys – which was not actually always Born Again by Newsboys…

It actually started as an idea that my co-writer and I had written for this independent band we were working with at the time.

We did a demo for it and somehow (I don’t even remember how) it got into the hands of Wes Campbell, who manages the Newsboys.

So we ended up putting a vocal on it with Michael Tait 🎤

At the time, he was kind of trying out for the band.

The idea of Tait being a singer for the Newsboys was kind of weird because I grew up listening to Newsboys and DC Talk, which he was a part of. But in a way, it was kind of like working with two of my heroes at the same time.

Anyways, we ended up working with him on the song, and he sounded incredible on it.

About halfway through the process I ended up moving down to Nashville into a house with Michael Tait and Juan Otero who was the other co-producer at the time and co-writer on the song. We all just ended up living in a house together and working on the record that really all spawned from that one song. 🏠 🎧

One particularly cool thing that happened in the process of writing the song itself was with the chorus.

I think we originally just had the chorus land on “This is who I am.”

And then Wes had this crazy idea…

What if it ended with “I’ve been born again?”

My first though was like yeah that rhymes and sings well. It gave an extra punch at the end of the chorus, so I figured, yeah let’s do it you know.

I had no idea how important that change was at the time.

Sometimes, you don’t realize in the moment how big two little words can be for a song.

I think in hindsight the change was 100% the right call. The song hit #1 and had a much bigger song title than just “This Is Who I Am.”

This is also a good lesson…

Sometimes your song is literally just like ONE small turn, tweak, or twist away from being a MASSIVE HIT.

Everything else in the song we kept exactly the same.

Just that ONE change that Wes made, which really was genius intuition, ended up making this my first #1 record.

I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was at the time with how quickly it happened.

I was probably 20 at the time and had my first #1 before even being a fully legal adult, which is NUTS because a lot of people move to Nashville.

I honestly think I took it for granted back then. I know how hard it is to achieve those rare milestones.

Anyways, by producing that #1, it turned into producing pretty much the entire record that song was on and co-writing a good chunk of it too.

Like I said, it was the thing that put me on the map.

All of a sudden, label guys would call me and want to have coffee so they could have me write for artists that they were working with, which eventually turned into producing songs for some of those artists too.

So this song was really what set me on my way.

I think a big lesson to take away from this story is that even if you have something that’s really GOOD, it might just be one small tweak away from being GREAT.

So be open to that.

Related to that, the other thing I would say is to be open to making a song better through outside suggestions.

If I’m honest, I think at the time, me and the other original co-writer on the song were actually kind of bummed out that we were having to make a change on it because the song was like our baby…

But in hindsight, it was totally the right change to make, and it would have not been nearly the song that it was had we not made that change and listened to an outside suggestion.

Now, not every outside suggestion is going to be good like that. You do have to filter them.

If you’re getting a piece of feedback from somebody who you really respect, then yeah, you may take it and run with it. 

But, you know, if you’re showing it to your mom or your husband or your boyfriend or your girlfriend or some other person who’s in your circle but doesn’t necessarily know a lot about music, you don’t always need to take their suggestions as gospel truth, because after all, what they say is really just one person’s opinion.

Knowing when to take suggestions might be one of the biggest skills that you can learn and embrace.

Anyways, once again, I want to encourage you to keep an open mind today as you keep chasing your musical dreams.

You never know, that one change or that one song could be what puts you on the map!

Keep up the great work, friends!


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