Debbie Z Entertainment, LLC
Since moving to Nashville in 1984, Debbie has done many things in the music business. She began working at Digital Recorders, while performing at different venues in town and singing demos for songwriters and publishers.
She went from there to working as a production assistant for the then
independent producer, Doug Johnson. One day she walked in with a song she found that became a number one song for Doug Stone called “Come In Out of the Pain”. After that, Doug Johnson insisted she started listening for hit songs full time. Debbie continued finding many songs that Doug cut on various artists he was working with. One in particular was ACM song of the Year, “I Love the Way You Love Me”, performed by John Michael Montgomery.
In 1991 when Doug went to Epic Records to head the A&R division, he took Debbie with him as his right arm in the song search department.
She brought in many songs there as well. For instance, a few of Collin Raye’s biggest hits, “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It”, “Somebody Else’s Moon”, and “On the Verge” were DebbieZ finds. In 4 years, she went from A&R consultant to Sr. Director/A&R and was a very integral part of the huge success of Epic Records. She found and signed The Kinleys to the label. The Kinleys first single, “Please”, made history at the time by being the highest charted debut single by a female group or duo in R&R history. The song also garnered a Grammy nomination and led to the ACM Best Duo or Group award. While working with the Kinleys she brought her songwriting expertise to the table by co-writing their top 10 hit “Just Between You and Me
In October 1996, Debbie left Epic records to head the A&R department at Irving Azoff’s independent record label Giant Records. There, she signed Blake Shelton and The Wilkinsons. Blake had a 5 week #1 record on his very first single. A song Debbie found for him called “Austin”, Debbie set Blake on the path to stardom. He’s gone on to have major success with his platinum album sales and being one of the most visible popular artists in the industry. The Wilkinsons also made chart history with the highest chart entry at the time by a debut single on the R&R country chart. Both The Wilkinsons and The Kinleys have achieved platinum status.
Her next challenge was managing the career of Blake Shelton. With a huge hit to start off Blake’s career, Debbie helped guide Blake for the next 18 months. Blake took off like a rocket and was nominated for ACM’s new vocalist of the year in both 2001 and 2002. After a whirlwind few years, Debbie decided that going back to her true love of songs and songwriters would complete her full circle trip. Starting Zavitson Music Group in 2005 with her then, producer, songwriter husband Russ, Debbie had garnered cuts on artists such as Brooks & Dunn, Reba McIntire, Blake Shelton, Josh Thompson, Chris Young and others.
In 2012 Debbie stepped out on her own to represent songwriters and publishers with Debbie Z Entertainment. She can cherry pick from the most successful publishing companies and songwriters to represent the best songs in the business. This independence also allows her to build a new publishing company, developing aspiring songwriters and artists to help them acquire their dreams of success.
Have you ever thought: “Wow I think I have a really good song. If only I could get a legitimate publisher to listen?”
Through GSC’s affordable Publisher Online Pitch service you can have your song or songs heard by a reputable publisher from wherever in the world you live and without the expensive cost of travel.
One of the most important elements of this service is that you will be connecting with a publisher, creating a relationship with this publisher and learning the pitching process professional songwriters utilize every day.
Here are the details!
At GSC we always want you to know the real journey of a song from the pen to the publisher. With that in mind we want you to be aware of these facts.
1. Paying to Pitch a Song: GSC wants you to know that professional songwriters do not pay to have their songs heard by a publisher. Professional songwriters have worked years at developing their songwriting craft and earning the respect of the publishing community which earns them the opportunity to have their songs heard.
2. The Demo: GSC wants you to know…If you had a publishing deal and was a staff writer for the featured publisher, this publisher would hear your songs every day in their most simple form of a guitar vocal or keyboard vocal. If you were pitching your songs to a producer, artist, manager etc then you will need fully produced and well produced demo’s for these types of pitches.
3. The Listening Process: GSC wants you to know…Often, when a publisher is listening for songs for a project or artist, they can usually tell if it is a song they would be interested in for that project in less than 30 seconds. Through the POP event the publisher will be listening through the first verse and chorus in its entirety. However, in the future should you pitch a song to a publisher in their office and they turn your song off after only the first half of the first verse, we want you to know that is a normal part of the process.
4. Pitch Ready Songs: The reality is that some of your songs may not be ready for pitching to a publisher. However, there is much to be learned through the pitching process.
5. The Follow Up: If the publisher should take your song for consideration, we will be excited with you and it does happen! Below is the GSC recommended follow up process. Correct follow up is essential for success.
a. If your song is taken by the publisher you will be provided with the publishers contact email address for follow up.
b. If you do not hear from the publisher within 5 to 7 business days of them taking your song. We recommend you email the publisher, thank them for participating in the GSC POP program, thank them for their interest in your song and list the TITLE of the song as a reminder and ask if they should need anything further.
c. If you do not hear from the publisher within three weeks, make a phone call to the publisher office. You will most likely be leaving a message. If so, just leave your name, contact number and that you are following up on your song and list the title.
d. If the publisher does not return your call, do not call again. Simply send a physical thank you card, thanking them for their interest, recognizing that they are a busy industry professional and that you hope to have the opportunity to play them more songs in the future.
At GSC we know it would be disappointing to have your song taken by a publisher and then not hear from them. Unfortunately, this process is part of the song pitching process. Thoughtful and professional follow up is essential to success and is appreciated by busy, overworked publishers. They won’t forget your professionalism. Sometimes you may not hear from the publisher who took your song for months and then out of the blue, when they are ready and working on the project, you get the call. Many times I have kept a member’s song for over a year and then gave them a call for the just right opportunity. Songs will often be pitched over and over again for years before they land on just the right project.