Thanks to a two-year-long learning experience, SAINt JHN made a pivot in the music industry.

In an interview with I Am Athlete, the Grammy award-winning artist gave a look into the challenges of working on the publishing side of the business. After writing a song for Usher, the end result was far from what SAINt JHN says is ideal.

“The song came out. Let’s say, at the time, the song streamed 70 million streams. And if you ain’t never did nothing before, that’s a lot,” SAINt JHN told the hosts. “Now, here’s the mathematics — 70 million streams. If I own 20 or 25 percent of the song, and it did 70 million streams, and it’s $3,000 per million stream — so it’s $3,000 times 70. So, $210,000.”

“Let’s say it’s two years it took from inception — meaning when I wrote it — to finally getting it to him to putting it out. And I controlled 25 percent of that.”

In this case, the payout came down to a combination of publishing and performance royalties, with the royalty rate determined by the payment rate set by the streaming platform. SAINt JHN says he received payment for his work through publishing royalties as he is the songwriter for the record.

“So, that $210,000 that that song made had to be bust down. My take on that $210,000 was probably $1,500.”

“If I would’ve put that song out myself and only had 3,000,000 streams, I would’ve made $10,000,” he shared. “I said, ‘I’m done.’ I washed my hands. I was like, ‘This is done.’ You know how hard it is to get these songs on these people who put it out on their own time? The artists who have their own vision for it? For your livelihood to be dependent on somebody else that you don’t control or influence, impact, or have a relationship with, and it’s not even your worth. You’re not even getting paid your weight and salt, walk. Go bet on yourself. So, I just bet on myself.”

While SAINt JHN has made hits for other artists, he’s also created his own such as “Roses” from his album “While the World Was Burning” and “Brown Skin Girl” by Beyoncé, Wizkid, Blue Ivy Carter, and himself.