Dance with Me, Baby & Music Biz with Toni Becker – E109

Toni Becker Interview

Matthew Campbell of My Wedding Songs and singer-songwriter Toni Becker discuss her song “Dance with Me, Baby” and the music biz.

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Show Notes:

  • Dance With Me, Baby Backstory
  • Song’s Perspective
  • Favorite Song Lyrics
  • Playing the Song Live
  • Shared Stories from the Song
  • Listen to the Song
  • Future Release “I’m Here”
  • Selling the Song Direct
  • Copyrights For Single-Use
  • Advice for Independent Artists
  • Custom Wedding Song Service
  • Discover “Dance with Me, Baby”
  • The Future

Toni Becker is a singer-songwriter based in northeast Arkansas. With a deep love for dulcet melodies and a true passion for crafting meaningful lyrics, Toni’s music captivates and resonates with listeners on a deep level. Her talent is best exemplified by her highly acclaimed mother/son dance wedding song, ‘Dance With Me, Baby.’ This heartfelt composition has become the go-to choice for countless moms around the world who have searched tirelessly for the perfect song to dance to with their newly married sons, that perfectly expresses the deep bond they share. ‘Dance With Me, Baby’ has received widespread recognition and praise, earning a coveted spot on popular wedding song curator Matthew Campbell’s My Wedding Songs lists. Additionally, it continues to garner rave reviews on renowned platforms such as The Knot, WeddingWire, and various social media platforms. To learn more about Toni and hear other songs specially crafted for the wedding market, visit www.dancewithmebaby.wedding.”

Welcome everybody to the Wedding Songs Podcast. I am Matt Campbell. Today. I have a very special guest who is a singer-songwriter who wrote a very special mother-son dance.

Her name is Toni Becker. And the song is “Dance With Me, Baby”. Welcome to the show. Toni. Thank you, Matt. It’s really good to be here. It’s nice to see you. Yes, you too. I love having artists on the show because they give a different perspective than here’s this song. Here’s this song. The backstories are awesome.

Dance With Me, Baby Backstory

So speaking of that, you released the song Dance With Me, Baby. Can you tell everybody a little bit of the backstory of the song? Sure. Well, I’m a mom of boys. My husband and I have two beautiful sons. They’re grown up now Ben is 25. He’s an amazing musician in Nashville. Also a producer and podcast producer.

Our son Jackson is 22. He’s an entrepreneur. He just married the love of his life, Alexis, last April. And, they’re expecting their first baby in August. Super exciting. But anyway, years back, maybe five or so, I don’t know, there were a lot of weddings coming up. Their friends were getting married, cousins and whatnot, which got me thinking about, Oh, my kids are going to be…

What would that even look like? It’s not something I personally spent a lot of time dreaming about thinking about. I started thinking about, the mother and son dance. At a wedding reception. I felt like it was really important.

It wasn’t just like a throwaway dance. It was actually kind of a significant moment within the whole chaos of the big wedding. So, I knew that I was going to have to have the perfect song, like, Oh my goodness, I have to have the perfect song well that landed me on the internet, and all of a sudden I’m completely lost at sea.

A bazillion choices. And I listened to so many songs, but none of them really spoke my heart. I didn’t even have any weddings on the horizon, but I was already feeling all the emotions that I would be feeling, at my son’s wedding. During that dance. So I decided to write my own so that I could mark the momentous occasion The transition that’s going on the leaving the cleaving the bitter the sweet, you know Just the letting go and so that’s what “Dance with Me, Baby” started as then.

Song’s Perspective

Is the song more from the Mom’s perspective or is it just an overall? Perspective totally from a mama’s heart And being a mom of boys, it was kind of easy in some ways. It was easy in some ways. It was very hard to get all that emotion out. But no, it’s definitely, straight from a mama’s heart. just with that love for her son and, the weight of the moment on her shoulders and, just giving her an opportunity to say things she might want to say that you always want to say at big occasions like this, but oftentimes it’s too chaotic and you don’t get the moment.

So I gave Mom a moment to make sure that this was said. These important words were said to her son. And I just wanted to make the statement too, that just because this is from a mom’s perspective, not every wedding is the groom with their mom. I want to also say that I also get asked when the bride is the mother dancing with their son, and I think that this would really fit into that scenario as well.

So it would be thinking of the bride dancing with their son or the groom dancing with his mother. So I love that scenario. Yeah, I think It’s got openness to it the way that it was written so that, hopefully even more people than just the mother-son situation can use it. And have that special moment.

Favorite Song Lyrics

Speaking of that, then do you have a favorite lyrics in the song? I really love all the lyrics because I know that in crafting something so targeted. I only have three and a half minutes max to almost put a movie into a little box of three and a half minutes. So knowing that I know that I can’t waste words.

I have to choose words wisely, emotions wisely, to make sure that at the end of that song, it’s perfect. It says exactly what needs to be said. The lyrics start out with the mom inviting a son. For the dance floor, sort of like it starts out with, come over here and take my hand. Let me take a long, long look at you.

Let me breathe in all I can. Let the memories pour like sand. It’s just me and you. Time flies, now here you stand. Looking at you takes my breath away. from the moment your life began to this strong and handsome man on his wedding day. And then it goes into the chorus, so. Yeah. It just gets to me every time. Oh my goodness. I’ve played that a million times, but it still gets to me.

Playing the Song Live

You’re talking about playing it then. Have you actually played that at somebody else’s wedding live? Well, I danced with my son, in April that was just so special. I have not performed it live at anyone’s wedding, but, I’m open to do that for a while. Then we had that on our website that you could, Hey, fly me out. I’ll sing it to you. I’m open to that.

Shared Stories from the Song

I know this has been a very popular mother-son dance. Like I said, has anybody shared this with you? Any special moments that they’ve played? Oh, yes. actually, I have a couple here that.

I just couldn’t have imagined how this was gonna go down, but like I’ve had the most amazing conversations via messenger, text, and even phone calls, talking to these moms from all over the world who have found Dance With Me, Baby. Some of the comments, go like this. One mama said that, after the wedding, it was beautiful.

I purchased the one-time song and had all the men in tears. Many of them came up after the dance with my son and told me it made them cry and it gave them goosebumps Another happy mom of the groom left this review on The Knot. She said, Dance with me baby is as close as a mother will ever come to finding the perfect wedding song for that special dance with her son.

After the first sentence, I knew this was the one. The lyrics were, are simply beautiful. It was so easy to memorize because every word captured so much of what I, as a mother, wanted to convey. The chorus, oh my goodness, dance with me baby, let me hold you in these arms, that used to pick you up and dust you off, and hide you from the storm.

This letting go is beautiful and bittersweet, so Dance With Me, Baby. So true, and our son was beaming and kept asking, Where did you find this? It’s perfect. I know it made him feel as special to me as he is, and will forever and always be. And that’s pretty much in a nutshell the sentiment of every mom that I’ve had the pleasure of talking with.

It’s so special. I love that. Thanks for sharing the stories too. It just really hits home that, it is such a special song for people. Now, of course, because of copyright laws, I’m not allowed to play the song on the podcast.

Listen to the Song

Where can people find the song and listen to the song? Well, on our website, www.dancewithmebaby.wedding, and it’s a wedding, you know, people are used to the com or net, it’s a wedding, it’s important, you will find video clips of the song in different spots of the songs. You can read the lyrics and within that, you can piece together the song. The song doesn’t go into any wild dramatic places.

It’s pretty straightforward. So, people have enough information to know what the song is, and what the song sounds like. So then they’re able to decide if they want to purchase it or not. I just want to tell everybody too, that all of the lyrics are on the site. So that way you can determine if they’re right for you, and your situation.

Absolutely. I think that’s really important that a lot of mothers and grooms don’t realize that you experienced that. Trying to find a song that really captures the way that you feel, because not every wedding is a mother-son. It could be a stepmother. It could be, scenarios of maybe the mother’s past.

Future Release “I’m Here”

So I think that, And somebody else’s stepping in for a mother. So it’s about finding that song. And, I love that, the way that you projected your feelings that I think. It would really highlight. the sentiment for a lot of families that are out there.

Yeah. And, we are always working on new material, for different scenarios. we’re working on a situation where It’s the mother and the daughter dancing apparently when I’m on the blogs and I’m reading, I’m finding that as you probably are too, you know, that’s a big ask. People are like, where’s a song for my mom and I are going to dance because she was a single mom.

She raised me. They want that special moment that vignette of time where it’s honoring that relationship. It’s so special. We’re working on that. and I’ve got a new song that, just Monday, I finished a song that I’m so happy with because as you know, another one of the most, requested types of songs is for a bride whose father has passed.

And so they’ve got to stand it. The song is called I’m Here. And it’s just a way of honoring what everyone’s already feeling in the room, especially the bride whose father is not there. so it just gives you those few moments to honor him and miss him. But the song goes on to encourage her that he’s here.

He’s with her in spirit. I’m so super excited about that. We are just finally getting the final tweaks to that. We’ll probably go and record it next week and should have that available on our website in a couple of weeks. And it’s called I’m Here. I love that idea too because you can play that, you know, everybody thinks of dancing at the reception where I think that you could have a special moment, whether it even be 30 seconds to a minute, whatever that looks like during the ceremony where you’re paying tribute to your father.

I love that idea. Yeah, yeah, it’s, it’s important. A wedding can be very glamorous, and chaotic, and you know, if you’re not careful, you’re going to miss the main things and the most beautiful things that can come out of that wedding and that situation. So, moms will say, I’m so afraid that I’m going to be a pool of tears on a dance floor and I’m like, honey, just let the tears flow.

If there were a better time to let all the feels out, let all your love out in the form of tears or hugs or whatever. I can’t think of a better one. You know, don’t hold back. This love needs to be just captured. So that’s why I’m so proud to be writing songs for these moments.

That’s one of my favorite things to do as a songwriter is to give people the gift of that treasure. It is a memory forever if you have a song to mark it. I think that that’s, creating those, special songs for those moments.?

Selling the Song Direct

I’m going to switch gears a little bit. I’m going to talk a little bit about the business side of the song because streaming is so popular and so many artists are struggling these days. A lot of people don’t realize that. Recently Spotify announced that any song that doesn’t get a thousand streams is not going to get paid.

And that accounts for about 86 percent of all songs on Spotify. So the number of songs that are actually being paid for is not very many. And then you have, the average song makes $0.003 per song. So even if it gets streamed a thousand times, you just made $3. Wow. Exactly. So, I love the idea you are selling the song directly. Do you have any regrets about doing that after I’ve just explained all of the negatives? No regrets whatsoever because of simply what you already laid out. My husband and I have been in the music industry for many, many years. And so we are very well aware that songwriters in particular, but musicians in general, just have handed away their earning power over to this machine, this system that somebody created somewhere someday that we’ve all just accepted.

And so that’s what we do, but they never make money. And I don’t know why that is we don’t think it’s right that that’s the case. So. When we had, such a beautiful, beautifully recorded song, I just said, Brian, that’s my husband. I want to put this out there. I’m going to, I want to charge $25 for this song.

And that’s the way I want to start doing it because I felt like there, I knew that there was no other song like that out there. What I was blessed to create was so unique and so special in niche or niche or however you say that, that it had value, as every song has value, everyone, but I knew that this had value.

So I thought I’d put it out there. Other moms have to feel like I feel if they listen to it and have to have it. They will probably pay $25 to have it. If not, they won’t. And that’s just the way we’re going to go with this. So, we’re so glad that we did because our model beats the Spotify streaming, the platform, that, streaming model. So we couldn’t be more happy with the way that we chose to do it.

Copyrights For Single-Use

So speaking of that then I understand a couple is gonna buy it once. Hopefully, they only get married once they own it but let’s pretend that I am a wedding planner or I’m a DJ and I’m going to have a hundred weddings potentially during a year or, you know, whatever.

And then I’m going to buy this song. How do the copyrights work when I’m going to have the song for, let’s say five weddings? Well, how we’ve set it up is that it is our copyright agreement that they receive upon purchase most of the time I’m dealing with someone from the wedding party usually the mother of the groom buying it so it states in the copyright agreement that it is for a one wedding event, the $25 purchases for that.

And that it’s not allowed for them to share the mp3 anywhere. but they have to share with their DJ. They can share with their mom, their family, and the DJ because he’s got to play it during the reception. So, but then when it’s in the hands of the DJ, he is not allowed for the copyright to.

Share that song with any other family that, is speaking with him. So, however, we would be happy to speak to DJs and wedding planners to, share some of the proceeds from the sale, any sale that would come from them sharing, the website and the song, with their clients, we’d be happy to consider that work out a situation where they could earn some money from being able to share the song for us. Well, and I think another avenue is if you have five weddings that use the song It’s $25. You could just add that to your fees as a wedding pro.

Well, Because of the way things are set up once that song is released on YouTube fully I no longer can make a living from it. Which is, that’s just the way we’ve carved it up and that’s unfortunate. So that’s why I try to protect it the way I do.

Boy, that might be a full-time job. I didn’t think about that. All of the copyrights. The old days of Napster to make sure that your song doesn’t make it up on Napster. Yeah. Crazy.

Advice for Independent Artists

If another independent artist created a wedding song, what advice would you give to them? Well, a wedding song is a very targeted song. So, like, Dance With Me Baby was easy in some ways, as I said, difficult in others emotionally to write because I have a personal experience with that. I’m a mother of that son who’s getting married when you have a personal connection to the song that you’re writing.

I think you’ll have a wider impact. I think it will be felt that you really personally connect to that song. But even if you don’t have that personal experience, try to make it personal. Talk with people who have experienced what you’re writing about and immerse yourself in the emotion and the storyline, so that you can own that within your lyrics and your melody, There’s a lot that goes into it.

It’s not just a song. You have to record the song. That’s an entirely other, different process and expense. We used top-notch Nashville musicians to get the beautiful product that we created. We’re so proud of it. then you have to market it. You have to put it out there. That’s a whole thing in and of itself.

I am not a social media maven by anybody’s stretch of the imagination. So, you just have to get it out there. I have to say, Matt, you helped with My Wedding Songs is the vehicle through which we have had the most success. And profit-wise and in every way exposure-wise through your taking our song taking a chance on an independent artist and promoting it like you have that’s been so special and we are so thankful.

But, you know, so there’s the marketing I’m so glad we created a website or something whereby we can kind of streamline the process of sales and tech support. I’ve had to become a tech support person, which is hilarious. You’re dealing in technology.

It’s not a CD you’re sending out. It’s an MP3, a digital download. So there’s tech support. Not everyone is savvy. So, I’ve had to be hit by a tech support person. And, then you just, you know, you have to be willing to put legs to the, to the thing that you created. Cause it’s going to take work.

It’s not going to sell itself. Thanks for the kudos, but I’m thankful for you doing all of the other marketing, like the press releases, and yeah. You know, if you’re an artist, so many artists don’t reach out to publishers, I don’t want to put myself on a pedestal, but anybody that’s in the wedding industry, the podcasts, everything, you have to be out there marketing,

As I said, 86 percent of all songs streamed get less than a thousand streams. So it’s, it’s all about making those connections. And, you forget when you work at home writing and producing whatever, even as artists, you forget that you have to be out there selling. Like you said, absolutely.

You have to. In today’s market. more than ever. It’s but you know, on the other hand, it’s like it gives Brian and I great pleasure to know that the little box that they used to have you in has been kind of blown open with the entrance of the Internet and social media. You have more of an opportunity to at least try to get your stuff out there.

Whereas back in the day, it was all, if this record company didn’t pick you up, I mean, think of how limited our choices were back then. So, it’s a learning curve that goes with it, but it’s imperative. You have to, great info. I noticed on your website that you offer custom wedding songs.

Custom Wedding Song Service

Can you tell everybody a little bit more about that process? Yes, we are super excited about that. We use our son, Ben, who I said earlier is a songwriter in Nashville. He’s so good. you can look him up, Ben Becker Music, and listen to all of his amazing writing. He also used to work for a popular songwriting, personalized songwriting company, but he almost felt too limited there because he just wanted to branch out on his own.

So we use him and, he’s also got a song on our website already called Here Comes the Bride. Which would be perfect for a first look, bridal entrance or, first dance. So he’s already got one up there. And he’s got, samples of songs that he’s written personalized songs. So, what would happen in that process is he would contact you and he would get your story that you want set to a song, your very own personal story set to a song, like what’s better than that?

He is a good listener because he has to be a songwriter. He’s going to listen closely to your details. He’s going to, inspire you to give him more emotion and more detail so that he can craft the best, product for you. there’s communication throughout the process. also like the style, like what style of music do you like?

Some people tend to think that the personalized songs have to be, or will tend to be slow dance or country vibe, but he is so expansive in his range of styles of music. So if it’s rhythm and blues, if it’s, hip hop, or all the more current styles, you can have that personal story set to your favorite style of music.

So with all the communication at some point, he’ll take what he’s been given and write, an amazing personalized song for you. In about two weeks, you’ll receive the MP3 of it. And, I think we’re running a sale right now on it. But, it’s, it’s a hundred percent genuine, treasure. It’s like no other. It’s just so wonderful. So it’s a hundred percent genuine.

Discover “Dance with Me, Baby”

I know we already talked about the website, but if somebody wants to sample the song and purchase a song, do they just do everything through your website? Or are there other places that they can check out as well? Well on YouTube, we’ve got a couple of videos out, but they’re also on our website.

I’ll stick to the website. The website is www.dancewithmebaby.wedding. And on there, you can listen to and watch video clips of different places within the song. You can also read the lyrics, so you can pretty much decide, you know, you can tell what the song is doing from beginning to end. so you get the lyrics on the website, and you get the charts.

If you have a band that wants to perform the song rather than just play the song, you’ll find information on the personalized, songwriting there, you can hear, the other songs that we’ll be putting up, the, Here Comes the Bride, I’m Here.

You can communicate with us there, through the little chat window. So everything is on the website that they’re frequently asked questions to help our customers just, you know, get the best out of what they’re looking for in the wedding realm. Awesome. Just to kind of close things out.

The Future

Is there something that we didn’t cover today that you wanted to talk about? I would like to tell everyone to, stay tuned because we really want to write beautiful music for your special story and give you that beautiful backdrop for a memory that you’ll cherish forever.

And within the wedding realm, there are so many targeted moments that can be captured in a song and, you know, I would love to write another mother-son. Dance wedding song, not just have dance with me baby out there. I mean, we’re pretty motivated with the response that we’ve gotten just to keep giving people more options.

So just stay tuned to what we’re up to on there on the website. Awesome. Well, thanks Toni, for being on the podcast today. Everybody check out the song Dance With Me, Baby. Stay tuned for next week for another interview on the podcast. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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