Toby Keith is sharing his wisdom with the next generation of great artists.
It’s so good to see Keith back in the spotlight after taking some time off to battle stomach cancer. After his Las Vegas shows, it seems like Toby Keith is back for good, but regardless of whether we see him on stage or not, videos like this highlight the true force he is in the industry as a whole.
We all know and love Toby Keith for his bigger-than-life personality on stage; when Keith first moved to Nashville to pursue his music career, he was not sure if he would make it as a singer. But he knew he could make it as a songwriter.
With this mentality, his fame was an added bonus, but at his core, Toby Keith calls himself a songwriter. In 2022, he was awarded BMI’s Icon Award, and during his acceptance speech, he touched on his songwriting and how he feels that songwriting is the backbone of the industry.
“The artists that I had were songwriters. They weren’t artists that covered music; they were songwriter artists. Something in my guts, down in my core, said that was what I wanted to do. So I didn’t know if I’d make it as an artist, but I knew that if I wrote as good as the next guy, that somebody might sing one of my songs.”
Keith has fully embodied this philosophy throughout his career, writing a good deal of his produced music and music for others. With his years of industry experience and knowledge, he is passing along pieces of wisdom to those in the thick of making a name for themselves or hoping to one day achieve what he has.
“Most advice I have for songwriters would be to…to just toll away every day.
Most of my catalog was written at a time when I was writing at LEAST four or five days a week. So, you’ve got to have volume, you’ve got to have practice, and you’ve got to keep your chops up, and you’ve got to stay in the middle of the game.”
As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect,” which is exactly what Keith encourages young songwriters to do. Without writing some bad songs, you won’t figure out your style or how you like to approach the art form.
For those young songwriters out there, take Keith’s advice and run with it…you never know what doors will open for you if you keep working at it.