Answered by Michael Laskow, TAXI CEO
I am SO frustrated with your company. I've got a really high percentage of forwards, but I haven't heard back from any of the companies you've sent my music to, and my renewal date is coming up. I don't know what I should do.

I feel like six months is plenty of time for these companies to make up their minds, but I'm afraid that if I don't renew, that I'll be missing out on other great opportunities. Give me some hope!


— Frustrated in Frankfurt

Dear Frustrated,

We hear this a lot, and we wish we could force the companies to react faster, but we can't! We hear of dozens, if not scores of these incidents where a member doesn't renew out of frustration, then they get a call from a publisher six months after their membership ran out, and the pub wants to sign a half dozen of the member's songs.

The publisher (or music library) may actually listen to your song the week they get it from us and put it in the "I like it" pile. Trouble often is that they may be many months away from doing the project they need it for, and wait until then to make the final determination. Meanwhile, you're ripping your hair out.

So... you don't renew your membership out of frustration, only to realize that if THAT company loved your music, many others that you didn't pitch to during the interim might have as well. In the end, your frustration got the better of you, and cost you some choice opportunities.

The music business is an industry that rewards people who are in it for the long haul, and who understand that patience is truly a virtue. I know this sounds like a ploy to keep you enrolled with TAXI, but it's not. We see these EXACT scenarios play out every week around here, and I appreciate that your question gave me the opportunity to address it in front of your fellow members.

— Thank you,

Michael




When I see requests for song submissions, a lot of time they will be gender specific. If I have a demo of which all songs are sung by a male, but they are gender neutral tunes, can I submit those for ones in which you reference female artists, etc.?

— Thanks,

Steve Coplin


Hi Steve,

Great question! It's not a "law" that you need to match the gender, but in my opinion, it really helps, especially in Country music. I think it makes it easier for the artist on the receiving end to sing along with the demo, and imagine themselves doing the song.

Like I said, it's not a hard and fast rule, but it does make sense to do your best to eliminate every possible obstacle you can. In a perfect world, you could even find out the key the artist you are pitching to prefers, and send your demo in that key. I realize that one is often not possible, but when it is, I'd do it!

— Thanks for the question,

Michael




I read the opening quip in the 2/15 listings about the phone conversation you had with the former member. It would be very humorous if it weren't so typical of many young songwriters (and some disgruntled older ones). I, too, am frustrated but I'm aware of the realities of the music business. The perception that there is "a lot of crap" being played on the radio nowadays comes from fact that many of those songs are "in-house" projects, i.e., they are written by the artists themselves or by or with a producer. They already have a following so they don't have to get past the gatekeepers like publishers and producers. Outside, non-performing writers, like some Country writers, usually write better crafted and more compelling lyrics because they have to get past these gatekeepers and the bar is usually pretty high. The bottom line is that ANY writer who has a hit song is resonating with a large audience. That's not easy. If it were, everyone would have a hit.

TAXI doesn't promise you a hit. They only promise that they can get your song listened to by influential people in the industry if your songs fits the listing. And they deliver just that. For that I am grateful.


— Sincerely,

Lee Kweller


Dear Lee,

I really appreciate the kind words and the very keen observation. I hope all of our members read your letter!

— Thanks,

Michael




If a song of mine was forwarded to a particular listing, does that mean I shouldn't submit it to other listings?

— Thanks,

Timothy Reardon


Dear Timothy,

Quite the contrary — I'd take that as your cue that the song is great, and submit it to other similar listings. Strike while the iron is hot.

A word of caution though — don't go nuts, thinking the songs is so amazing that it will get forwarded every time you submit it. Remember, it has to be great AND right on target for the pitch.

We get quite a few complaints from our members saying that they feel that the listings are too pigeon-holed, but that's the way the industry works. All the top publishers' tip sheets read like our listings because the industry pros don't want to waste their time pitching to opportunities that are too vague, i.e., "Looking for great songs."

Of course, you'd want to know what gender (if applicable), what genre, what tempo, what decade or style (when applicable), etc. All of these road signs may seem like they're pigeon-holing your music, but in truth, they're dramatically increasing your chances of success by pointing you in exactly the right direction.

— All the best,

Michael




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TAXI
5010 N. Parkway Calabasas #200,
Calabasas, CA 91302

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