- Posted on Monday, July 14, 4:54 pm
In this interview, we caught up with Anthony Carter from T. Carter Music (website www.tcartermusic.com). Tony composes music that is specifically created for the special moments of wedding ceremonies and receptions. In other words, brides are no longer limited to “off the shelf” commercial music, and can now enjoy music composed specifically for weddings. His work came to our attention when realizing that "A Mother's Song" was by far the most popular Mother-Son dance on our Pinterest Board with 706 re-pins and 142 likes. T. Carter Music's YouTube channel recently surpassed over 20 million views.
Carter, based in Indiana, is a full-time middle school math teacher with a passion for music and songwriting. After picking up guitar in high school, Tony composed and performed a beautiful song called "This Ring" for his own wedding. As will be discussed in the interview, "This Ring" was the launchpad for subsequent wedding compositions and the T. Carter Music business. More recently, Tony has been composing and performing Christian rock. He is also excited for the upcoming arrival of a third child - his first girl!
We encourage you to learn more about T. Carter Music in the interview below, and to consider supporting this talented independent musical artist by patronizing his online store.
What inspired you to start composing wedding music?- The first wedding song that I ever wrote was "This Ring" and I composed it for my own wedding in June of 2001. After my wedding, I rarely played the guitar and instead focused on motorcycle racing. It wasn't until about 2005 when my wife asked me if I would perform our wedding song for her. I did so, and she thought that other couples might be interested in using the song for their weddings. After about 6 months, my wife convinced me to demo "This Ring" and send it to Nashville for professional recording. The track turned out well, but I still didn't know what to do with it. I held on to it for a couple months before getting the idea to create a small website and sell home-burned CDs of "This Ring." After a couple months of minimal traffic and sales, I was featured on a large wedding website and that's when sales really took off!
Once "This Ring" started selling, I figured that there must be an audience of brides and grooms to-be seeking original wedding songs or unique songs that weren't being used all the time.
What is your artistic process for composing wedding music?- I write all of the melodies, lyrics, and such. I'm very specific about the approach and I generally write on my acoustic guitar. Sometimes a song will start with a title and other times it will start with a melody that I've been humming. I go through about 20-30 lyric drafts for each song before I'm happy. It usually takes me a month or two to hammer out all the lyrics and eliminate what may sound cheesy.
Historically what have been your top-selling singles?- "Daddy's Angel" (a Father-Daughter Dance) and "A Mother's Song" (a Mother-Son Dance) are my best sellers. It's funny though, I didn't want to write a Father-Daugher song at all. My wife made me do it. I thought there was too much competition and my song would be overshadowed by songs like "Butterfly Kisses" and "I Loved Her First." Even after recording "Daddy's Angel," I had major doubts. It wasn't until after posting it on YouTube that I realized that my song could compete. And it's done very well. I think people get tired of hearing the same old songs and that is how they find me and what I offer.
What are the differences between your compositions and commercially available alternatives? - I think the production and quality is very similar since I use the same musicians and studios that major labels use. The main difference is that my lyrics focus specifically on the bride, groom, or guest. Also, I don't receive any radio play or mass advertisement so it's much harder to get exposure for my songs. This is the main reason I have to charge more for my music. I have a lot of money invested in the website, studio costs, and physical CDs.
Do you have any tips for couples planning a wedding? - Don't be limited on your musical selections. It's your wedding, don't feel obligated to follow any rules. Mix it up and just have fun!
Do you have any current songs or projects?- I have not written any new wedding songs for a while. Right now I'm focusing on writing Christian rock songs. That is where my heart is. I've been blessed and I definitely want to give back. These songs feature me as the "artist" which is something new to me since my wedding songs are sung by Nashville studio singers. I have 2 songs on iTunes ("Put it in Drive," and "Reign Down on Me"). I don't care about making any money with these songs - it's more of a testimony and offering.
Where can brides, grooms, event planners and DJs purchase your unique compositions?- My CDs are available directly from my website or from Amazon. Sheet music and MP3 downloads are only available from my official website at: www.tcartermusic.com.
Note from Ambient DJs- We advise brides-to-be and fellow wedding professionals to explore T. Carter Music for unique songs that can make your wedding even more memorable. Tony has even composed a song for the lighting of the unity candle at a wedding ceremony called "Here We Stand." T. Carter provides discounts on products to professional wedding DJs.
To Learn More About T. Carter Music
To get connected with T. Carter Music, visit these following sites:
About Ambient DJ Service
Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey. We specialize in providing customized music and entertainment services for clients who care deeply about music. Our owner-operator DJ Gregg Ambient is the author of "The Bride's Guide to Selecting the Perfect Wedding DJ" available on Amazon as either an ebook or hard copy. For more info, visit us on the web at www.ambientdj.com
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