and Rob Khurana
month's Passenger Profile is just a little different from most. Rob
Khurana began playing as a musician when he was about 16 years old
and, for the most part, journeyed through his share of local teenage
bands performing cover songs.
that didn't last very long at all. About a year later, Rob began writing
original material and turned his thoughts toward building up a home
recording studio. "I've always focused on my music as long as I can
remember," the Canadian revealed, "to the point where I now have an
eight-track studio with a Mac computer, Yamaha O2R mixing console,
and lots of outboard gear."
different about this story? Well, here it is: throughout his career
as a writer, Rob never really tried interfacing with the industry
in an attempt to secure a recording contract. No packages. No press
kits. No live showcases. No disappointing form letters of rejection.
You see, Rob and his co-writing partner, Guy Maisonneuve, were so
bent on becoming solid song craftsmen, that they completely bypassed
the shopping stages and focused totally on attempting to write excellent
straight years, Rob and Guy worked at their craft without ever asking
anyone at all for feedback. Pretty strange, dontcha think? Then, about
three and a half years ago, the duo realized (by comparing some of
their material to that of other local musicians) that they were, in
fact, writing some timely music. "At first," Rob added, "we were focusing
on regular songs--with lyrics and music, but about a year and a half
ago we started working on instrumental music as well. That's the most
satisfying for us because there are really no boundaries to it. So
we began working on writing music for film and television."
||2 CD's with OneMusic
writing music on a full-time basis, the duo faced a more serious problem.
What does one do when he has plenty of good material but no outlet
for it? "We thought about entering some of the songwriting contests,"
Rob continued, "just to get some feedback, finally. And that's about
the time we started noticing all of those TAXI ads in the magazines.
We didn't know of any other Canadians who were members so we just
called up and Doug [Minnick] told us that TAXI had some 200-300 Canadian
writers that were members. We knew that $300 wasn't a lot of money
for the services they offered, so we went for it."
At this point
in the column, I would usually begin describing the member's experiences
with TAXI, but Rob beat me to the punch. In fact, he began raving
about the company's benefits so that I couldn't even sneak a word
in anywhere. Because he was so sincere and appreciative of the many
things that came along with his annual membership, I've decided to
just let Rob tell you for himself:
at TAXI as a way to build our skills and hone our craft over time.
And they taught us that. The critiques are all well-written and well
thought out. They really gave us a lot of direction in improving--not
only lyrically and musically, but with respect to our instrumental
music, as well.
submitted about 75 times so far, and we learned something new with
every critique we received. I remember the story Ralph Murphy [ASCAP]
told at last year's Road Rally--about the 7 a.m. rule--if someone
can't figure out the meaning of your song in two minutes on the way
to work, then you've got a problem. We learned that we need to get
our song's message across to everyone and not be too oblique with
knew that we weren't going to move to L.A. and start knocking on doors
without having any connections. TAXI is like our agent. We have somebody
looking out for our interests.
Rally itself was the best two and a half days we spent in many years.
TAXI really went beyond the call of duty. It astounds me. It's like
they have an obsession to help people. Anyone you call at that company
will help you out immediately. Believe me, TAXI could charge a lot
more for their membership if they wanted."
share some of the valuable information he's learned since turning
full-time writer, Rob passed along these sage words of wisdom to fledgling
songwriters: "I think you need to always be persistent. I learned
that at the Road Rally from Randy Bachman. That alone should speak
volumes to people. You should always be trying to improve your skills.
And take the critiques seriously. These are the same people that will
be listening to your music in the industry. If you, yourself don't
grow, it's difficult to become a part of the industry."
attitude, you can bet Rob Khurana will be around for a long time to
come. Still writing. Still learning and always getting better.