Jacy Dawn has been living the dream of being an up and coming country music star. That dream recently got a little closer to reality when Dawn was asked to write a song for a mid level Canadian country singer . Dawn’s song will be the second single off of Jasmine Paige’s new CD. Dawn’s song now appears on a CD with other songs written by some of the best known songwriters from Nashville.
Dawn’s good fortune came in a roundabout way.
Dawn went to a Laurie Morgan concert at Indian Ranch in Webster Massachusetts, and she gave a CD to Morgan at a meet and greet. A few days late, Dawn received a call from Morgan’s musical director Mark
Oliverius, who was producing Jasmine Paige’s album He asked Dawn if she had any songs that would fit the style of music he was recording.. Dawn sent several songs to Oliverius then Dawn found out a few days later that Paige had cut her song “Life In Your Fast Lane.”
Dawn found out about the song placement at a later Laurie Morgan concert at the Grand Ole Opry when she ran into Oliverius back stage. “It was really a cool way for me to find out,” Dawn said, “because I was back stage at the Opry. It was always one of my dreams to be back there.”
Paige, a Canadian, will release her CD north of the border, and if it charts wel, it will bcome available in the United States.
“Life In Your Fast Lane” is a fun, up tempo song that uses a car metaphor. The lyrics describe a young woman’s need to slow her suitor down so he can join her at her pace. Dawn got the idea from a friend who mentioned a man who drove by her so fast she had to sarcastically quip “How’s Life In Your Fast Lane.” Dawn took the idea to her co-writer, Mike Valeras.
Dawn has never met Jasmine Paige and she only met Oliverius by circumstance. Dawn noted that it is hard to get songs heard by singers unless you have a publishing deal and or have people who believe in you.
“It’s cool because the other writers are big hit writers, and we were the ones who got the single on it, so I’m really excited.” Liz Rose(Taylor Swift), Jeffrey Steele(Rascal Flatts) and Craig Wiseman(Toby Keith) all have cuts on the new Jasmine Paige. Paige does not write, so Oliverius had to commission songwriters. Dawn’s song will be the second single, the single that gets pushed after the first single introduces the singer to radio.
Hearing her song recorded by another artist was awesome and mind blowing. “When I actually heard it off the album it was like the best feeling in the world.,” Dawn said. “I just felt so lucky that I had an opportunity to do something like this. Usually, it takes writers years to even get” to write for an independent artist.
Dawn said she feels blessed that Paige’s producer believed in her song enough to want to record it and that Paige’s management believed in it enough to release it as a single. Dawn moved from Chelmsford to Nashville a year ago, but she was going down to Nashville for the previous five years to write with other songwriters. Dawn said that songwriting deals are harder to come by than a record deal.
“There’s so many writers in Nashville. It’s very, very difficult to get a publishing deal here. I know writers who are in their 40s who’ve just gotten their first one. I know writers who are in their 20s who just got one. I just depends,” she said.
Dawn has received her first royalty check. She photocopied it and framed it. “It was a small amount,” she said. “It was under a thousand dollars. That was only for the pressing of her album. We’ll get royalties off of radio play.” If Paige becomes a big star, and if Dawn’s song becomes a big hit single, Dawn will see some serious money. Dawn’s music is registered through BMI who are the people who forward the checks to songwriters. She has been registered with them for two years.
Dawn became a songwriter when she took a year off from singing due to some calluses on her vocal chords. She wanted to stay in music, so she turned to writing. People she knew in Nashville were also writers and she would go down every three months on writing appointments. Those writing partnerships forced Dawn to become a Nashville resident because it was costing her a fortune in flights and motel rooms. Dawn’s first writing partnership was with The Roys, a brother and sister duo who are big on the Nashville scene.
Dawn’s song placement on the Jasmine Paige CD could very likely lead to future opportunities. Listeners and music industry insiders will see her in the credits with the big name writers and could seek her out for fresh material for other artists. “It’s all about who you know and if you’re in the right place at the right time,” she said. “It’s a hundred percent networking.”
When asked if she’d rather be known as a singer, or, being a well paid songwriter, Dawn said “If I was known as a singer, I’d want it to be because of songs that I’ve written, so I guess a little bit of both. I never ever gone into music to have anything to do with the money. You could tell that by the day I opened the check for the song because it was under a thousand dollars, and it could have been a check for a million dollars, and I think it probably would have meant the same to me because it wasn’t about that. It was just about achieving something I wanted to do my whole life.”
Jilly Martin, another Chelmsford transplant; Mark Oliverius; Jeff Batson; and Mike Valeras are among her writing partners. Dawn has had success as an opener for big name country stars even before she got more involved with writing. Yet, the Nashville experience has not changed her as a person. Dawn is still the same girl from Chelmsford. When she comes home for a visit, she still appears on her old cable TV show and she even waitresses at a restaurant she worked at when she was younger.
Jacy Dawn and Jilly Martin will appear at the Princeton Station Ballroom in Chelmsford, Mass on April 9th On August 1 she’s opening for Tanya Tucker at Indian Ranch in Webster, Mass. She’ll be playing in North Carolina in June, and she has some shows in Nashville throughout the spring and summer.