How To Prepare Your Music for Global Distribution

The CD or single is recorded and mixing has begun---and you're already starting to think about 'getting it out there'!

To help prepare you for the release, Ed Gertler, an independent music distributor, explains three important things to consider in the Q&A below.

What are ISRC Codes and why are they important?

ISRC (International Sound Recording Codes) are administered by the RIAA and with the advent of digital services, they have grown into something far more important than their original intent. Once an ISRC…

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How to Make a Budget for Your Indie Music Project

WOOOHOOO! Let's make a budget.

Ok, before you go running from the blog, let me say that budgets can be your friend. And believe me I've made friends with a lot of budgets in my time as an indie artist! There's nothing wrong with thinking about the costs of recording and releasing new music (notice I said releasing there too).

At the end of the day, not only do you want to make great music but you want to get it heard right? So then, it's good to think about the entire project---and all the costs from…Read more

Music Licensing: A Resource Round-Up

Music licensing in general is a big topic, and below are a few articles to help you learn more about the common types of licenses out there. Remember you still need take responsibility for learning licensing personally and consult a lawyer when appropriate! 

Good luck!

Overall Licensing:
Music Licensing 101: A Complete Guide for Beginners
ABCs of Songwriter Jargon: A Glossary of Songwriter Terminology
I Want to License Some Songs: The Songwriter's How to Guide

Mechanical Licensing:
So You Got a Cut...Now What? TheRead more
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How To Choose the Best Team to Record With

Me with Vocal Producer Judy Rodman

How exciting- you're getting ready to record new music!!!

Recording on any level means you need to make some decisions about where you'll record, how you'll record and who you'll record with. All these factors will be critical in bringing your art to life and it's important to build the best team for YOU.

Do Your Homework

Take time to visit studios in your local area to meet the people, get a general vibe of the space and ask some questions. Even better, ask if you can watch a…Read more
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Introducing the New U.K. Fan Community!

Thanks to Jonathan Peter Barker (above) there is now a new U.K. and Ireland Fan Community on Facebook to follow and connect with Shantell about music, news and future tours in the region. 

"Country music is becoming popular in the UK and Ireland," said Jonathan. "Shantell is one of a few artists I want to help to become more known here in the area and building a community is a great way to do just that!"

Shantell completed a successful three week U.K. and Irish tour, playing at festivals and major music…

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From a Tuba to the Opry: Meet Larry Paxton (Part 1)

Multi-instrumentalist and arranger Larry Paxton talks about his musical beginnings, being a "tuba dropout", gigging and how he got started in the studio. Paxton (pictured above with me) now plays bass in the Grand Ole Opry house band in Nashville among other musical work.

Watch Part 1 of this exclusive video below and stay tuned for Part 2!


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From Prince to John Mayer: Meet Creator Roger Linn


Roger Playing his LinnStrument

Roger Linn is no ordinary creator. But, I'll get to that in a moment...

As a short background to this exclusive interview, I've always loved the song "Quittin' Time" released in 1989 by Mary Chapin Carpenter. I recently looked up the writers because I was curious. Ah, the benefits of Google!

In any case, I found and contacted one of the writers, Roger Linn, through his website and asked if I might interview him. What followed was not only the story behind a great song, but an…Read more
Dream is free but the hustle is sold separately

Dreams are Free: Hustle is Sold Separately

Recently I was giggling with a good friend and fellow songwriter about what a typical day looks like as an indie artist. This particular day, in addition to my eight hour day job, I...
  • Reviewed and completed a music license for specific TV pitch
  • Reviewed and completed a music license for another company to represent a song of mine
  • Had a conversation with a friend about possible music for her weekly podcasts---and researched typical rates for podcast licenses
  • Followed up on a local play that is…
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5 Resolutions Singer/Songwriters Can Stick To

A few years ago I saw a bumper sticker that said "Increased Happiness by Lowered Expectations."

In my opinion, this little gem of wisdom can be applied to so many areas of life--including our independent music careers. Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't aim high and reach for the stars, but it's also positive to achieve and celebrate small wins. Let's face it, we all have limited time, energy and resources, and what we set out to do should actually be, well doable. So, in keeping with the idea that 1) goals…Read more

Should Music Be Free?

There is a question that we as artists and musicians have to face eventually: Should Music be Free?

Most people who are creators will say 'no' right off the bat, because we value our work and know that there is a cost in creating it (recording, etc.). We also see it as a skill/trade, and we don't expect others to give out their skills for free. In fact, here's a pretty funny video about what happens when you ask non-creative people to do their work for free to put this perspective into context.

  Recently, I…Read more

Shantell Ogden Honored with Songwriter of the Year and Americana Song of the Year at the 2015 IMEA Awards

At the International Music and Entertainment Association (IMEA) awards on October 24, 2015, Nashville-based artist and songwriter Shantell Ogden won two top honors: Songwriter of the Year and Americana Song of the Year for "Ghosts in the Field." The IMEA Awards are presented annually to honor and recognize the best in independent music and entertainment, internationally.

"It is a true honor to be recognized at the IMEA awards this year!" said Shantell. "As an artist and songwriter, it means so much to know…Read more

What You Wanna Know: Top 5 Questions About Nashville

I seem to do a lot of mentoring and coaching of other artists. This isn’t because I feel like I have this all figured out in building a music career, not even close. It’s mostly because I know how hard it is, first hand. I’ve been on this road for 17 years now. And, I also know how frustrating it can be to not have any help as an indie artist when you are trying to figure out the next step.
When I get asked questions from young artists, or artists new to Nashville, I can guarantee I will be asked at least…Read more

Backstage with Eddie Bayers: Part 2


A 40 year veteran in the music industry in Nashville, Eddie Bayers is Nashville royalty. Beyond playing in the Grand Ole Opry as the house drummer, Bayers has played on hundreds of hit records (300 Gold and Platinum) since moving to Nashville in 1972 (full list here).

Recently Bayers was recognized by Berklee College of Music as an "American Master" for his generosity and deep commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of young musicians, providing them opportunities to grow as artists and…Read more

Proud to Be #2!

Break out the chocolate!

I just found out "Blossom in the Dust" from my new album Ghosts in the Field hit #2 on the Americana/Country Song Chart by the Roots Music Report! It's the highest rising single I've ever had as an artist, and I'm really really excited about it!

The song is about second chances, and although I didn't write it (Joe Doyle, Jon Henderson and Mallary Hope did), it really touched my heart and I knew it was a story I needed to share.

I want to thank all the stations who supported me as well…Read more
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Morning Music: Good Day Utah TV Appearance

On Thursday, July 30, I performed on the Good Day Utah Morning Show on Fox 13!!!

The anchors Kelly Chapman and Kerri Cronk were so sweet to us---and it was so much fun to watch them behind-the-scenes! These ladies have it down to the second and even read prompters while walking from set to set in heels. What pros!

The band (Bill D and Scott Monson) and I played three tunes, "Ghosts in the Field," "Just a Little" and "Til My John Wayne Comes Along." And, as Bill always says, "No one got hurt." Great times!

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Joining the SESAC Family!

Me with ET Brown at SESAC

Today I'm thrilled to announce that I have become a SESAC artist and songwriter! For those of you not in the music biz, SESAC is a performing rights organization that collects royalties for writers and publishers, and represents our interests with lawmakers as well. My new publishing company at SESAC will be called 'Homestead Hits' to honor my rural roots and the fact I'm setting up a new home at SESAC to write what I hope will be many hits! 

“We’re very happy to welcome Shantell to…Read more

Backstage with Eddie Bayers: 'American Master' Musician- Part 1

Eddie Bayers in his 'office' on the Grand Ole Opry

As a 16-year-old Eddie Bayers became an orphan, and it was then he started the long road to making a living as a musician.

It's been an interesting journey at times, but now he sits in one of the most exclusive seats in the musical world as the drummer in the house band at the Grand Ole Opry. Beyond that, he's busy doing session work around Nashville. In fact, Bayers has played on literally hundreds of hit records (300 Gold and Platinum) since moving to…Read more

2015 CMA Fest Instant Replay!


Michael Boris, Bill DiLuigi, Manuel and me

CMA Music Fest 2015 was a total blur and a total blast!

A few of my favorite moments include:

- Performing at Manuel's Couture. You probably know him best as the American fashion designer behind dressing stars like Elvis, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, etc. We (Michael Boris and Bill DiLuigi) had a great time performing and he is such a sweet man, I just had to kiss him on the cheek! :)

- Interview with Boots the Podcast- Had a fun interview with John Thompson for a hip…Read more
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Our First #1 Hit Song!

In early May, Marcum Stewart, Bill DiLuigi and I celebrated our first #1 hit song- "Me Before You", recorded by Marcum on his Put It In Drive album. The song was the fastest rising tune in chart history on the European HotDisc Top 40 Chart.

We celebrated with a backyard BBQ in Nashville with family and a few close friends, and then Marcum treated us to an acoustic version of the song on the back porch. It was just the right way to mark an important milestone in our careers.

I'm incredibly grateful and blessed…Read more

Excited to be a Card-Carrying Member!

Today I took an exciting step in my music career by joining the Country Music Association (CMA)!

Brenden Oliver from the membership department even took a moment to welcome me in person during a very busy time of year (they are getting ready for CMA Music Fest in June).

"At CMA, we love welcoming new members into our Country Music family!" said Brenden. "It’s great to meet a member face to face and hear what they’ve got going on in their world. We’re excited to have Shantell as one of our newest members!"

It's…Read more