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I finally learn a lesson

I don’t understand people sometimes.

I was working with a singer for the last couple of years and suddenly out the blue he sends me an email warning me to remove all of his vocals from my compositions. He made it sound very legal although I knew he didn’t have the financial backing to follow up. Apparently his impetus was that he had decided on his own to make compact disc copies for sale which were eventually not to his liking and when I declined to buy them from him he decided to quit unless I paid him $1,000 dollars.

We had stated from the outset that this was not a commercial project (although nothing was signed legally) and any proceeds would be divided 50/50 even though I was doing most of the work in composing, arranging and recording my own songs. Hence I decided to grant his request and proceeded to remove his vocals rather than succumb to extortion.

Not more than 3 days later he had a change of heart and decided he wanted back in except that I know better and the type of person who does this sort of thing will do it again. I did not respond to his email.

This is the third time this has happened to me with a singer. The first time it was someone from my church who suddenly heard the quality of the work I was doing and wanted payment. The second time was an ex-professional musician who wanted to take my recordings away and have them remastered because he couldn’t have his voice handled by just anyone.

Some people in this world aren’t principled and I have made the mistake of assuming that they are honorable and stand by their word. I was wrong.

I would like to think that I have never deliberately turned the tables on anyone in my life although I am not perfect and the unfortunate lesson I have had to draw from this is that I need to have a higher level of mistrust of people’s intentions and their loyalty.


  1. In business, people have the opportunity to reveal their true nature with the excuse that "it's just business." No, integrity either exists in you or it does not. As you learned, the best thing to do is simply avoid people like this.

    1. you are so right in this Ally. I am a hard nut to crack...

  2. I'd suggest that it's impossible to avoid people "like this." How can you possibly know? You've tried several times. Instead, you do need to have a signed agreement, always. The main reason we need these in relationships (business and otherwise) is that memories are short and we need to document the agreed rules of engagement as well as what to do when disputes and break ups occur.

    It's too bad, especially for what would otherwise just be a fun and gratifying activity, but with performers we also add ego, a powerful emotion.

    1. yes and I know you are going through what must be a trying time for you Emma. I hope things are going to be amicable when it comes to financial divisions...

    2. Thank you for your kind thoughts Joanna. At the moment we're doing pretty well, actually. I'm sure there will be more ups and downs but that's life. I'm looking forward to further breaking out of my mold. Liftoff is currently scheduled for April 15th. "T minus 5 weeks and counting!"


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