When Jordan Davis decided to move to Nashville from his hometown of Shreveport, LA, he not only had talent and passion for writing songs, but he had an uncle and a brother working on Music Row who are professional songwriters. While they gave him advice and confidence to seriously pursue his craft, he was able to make his own connections that led to his deal with ole.
“About six months before they offered me the deal, I was playing guitar around a campfire where I knew they [ole execs and other industry] were there. I was, let’s say, ‘over-served,’ and when I played, I screwed up my songs. I blew it! But when I got back to town, I had an email from Ben Strain saying, ‘Oh, we were all kinda drunk!’ And he invited me into his office to play some songs.” The deal quickly followed.
Davis’ arrangement is a publishing deal, which includes past and future songs. Like most traditional songwriting deals, he was initially given a place to write and a salary draw, which allows him to focus on writing. “I never really wanted to be an artist,” he said, “I came up here to write songs.” But ole is developing Davis as a performing artist as well as a songwriter.
“I screwed up my songs. I blew it! But when I got back to town, I had an email...”
“I had a couple other publishing offers before this, but my mind was made up on ole. We had become friends, and I just love the way the company does stuff. It’s a huge company, but one of the smallest publishing companies on The Row. And like the overall Nashville music community, everybody knows everybody and everyone truly supports one another as artists.”
The way the deal is structured, Davis is still being shopped to labels. “What’s so cool about ole is that they have the ability to get me a record deal, get me on the road and allow my music to develop. We have been in talks with producers for recording an EP. They pay for this upfront, and a label can then buy the masters from ole. My publisher is my manager/ publisher/stylist.”
While Davis notes that other, larger companies offered similar financial arrangements, “ole had a better grip on the sound I was going for. I had a lot of bad meetings before good ones, and I wrote a lot of bad songs before I wrote good ones. If you want to write songs for a living—and not just country—you have to be in Nashville!”