by Kenny Kerner

If you don't believe that dreams can come true, you need to read this story. If you're still skeptical about the power of TAXI, you need to read this story. If you're unsure about what good can come from attending the annual Road Rally, you must read this story.

What you are about to read really happened. It's a fairytale that came to life. Brian Allan is a thirty year-old singer/songwriter living in Fife, Scotland. He joined TAXI less than a year ago but was too busy writing and recording to submit even a single song to the listings. Therefore, he had no songs forwarded to anyone.

On his own, Allan managed to place several dozen songs in movie soundtracks in the UK and also got some of his music on the radio. But nothing really substantial. With the year winding down, Brian made plans to attend the TAXI Road Rally in an effort to network and take advantage of his membership. He arrived in Los Angeles with a definite list of which panels he'd attend and a serious plan of attack.

Name: Brian Allan
Residence: Fife, Scotland
Age: 30
Occupation: Singer/Songwriter
Joined Taxi: 2001
Deals: 5 CD Recording Deal
& 3 year Publishing
Deal with
2KSounds/EMI Music
How did you hear about TAXI in Scotland?

BA: I had a friend in Canada who joined a couple of years ago and told me about it. One day while I was surfing the Internet, I came across a UK Web site that had a link to TAXI and, remembering what my friend told me, went to their Web site to check them out. I saw some of the contacts that they had and the convention was coming up so I joined right away.

And that's when you started sending in your music?

BA: No. I never sent in nothin'. I just sent in my membership fee. I got 24 of my songs in three different movie soundtracks in the UK and have been working at least 12 hours a day, six days a week. So I didn't have any time to send in anything to a TAXI listing. So I figured I'd just go to the convention.

What was your plan when you got to the Road Rally?

BA: Well, I basically wanted to network and meet people. I just watched the panels that were of interest to me. The rest of the time I spent meeting other writers and producers. I met a girl named Amy Powers who is also a TAXI member. She's written for Barbra Streisand, Take That, Brian McKnight, Alabama, Diamond Rio--and she was there looking for a collaborator.
I attended the Publishers panel and Laura Becker (who used to be on TAXI's A&R staff ņed.) was there representing 2KSounds/EMI. She was brutally honest when she was critiquing the demos. If a song sucked, she would say that it sucked. I wanted to speak with her because if my music was shit I wanted to know it. So I approached her and offered to take her to lunch or dinner if she'd be able to listen to my music so we could talk about it. She just kinda put my CD into her box with all the rest of the CDs. I gave her my business card and mentioned Amy's name. Amy, as it turned out, had a cut she got through TAXI for a 2KSounds/EMI artist. That mention led Laura to write a note on my card to call me next week for lunch.

Had she listened to your music when you called?

BA: The CD had seven songs on it. One of them she didn't like. Her exact words were that 'six of them were hits and two of them will be international smashes.' I asked her to please repeat that. This was way better than having lunch!

Brian continued e-mailing Laura hoping to cement his newfound relationship. He left her with yet another CD filled with songs and, soon after, was invited to meet the label President, Michael Blakey, who listened to Allan's songs and also invited the singer/songwriter back to the office the next day.
Allan came back for a second time, on a Saturday, and was asked to delay his flight back home to Scotland for a week. At the President's request, Brian was to return early the following week to perform live.

BA: When I got to their offices, I was asked to play for the CEO, John Gideon; Michael Blakey, and Laura Becker, the head of Publishing and A&R. I went ahead and played them 10 songs live using my 7-string guitar. I had a 12-string but broke five of them so I could only use the seven remaining strings. When I was done, Michael asked me to step outside for a few minutes and wait, which I did. About one minute later, they called me in. Michael told me that the economy was very bad these days. He said that the music industry was down and that very few artists were getting signed at all. He then said he'd like to give me a recording deal and a publishing deal and, right in front of me, asked me what I wanted.

How has your life changed because of TAXI?

BA: Well, certainly none of this would have happened at all without TAXI. I got a five CD record deal with guarantees that two CDs have to be released. I got a three year publishing deal still keeping 50% of my publishing. They gave me a healthy cash advance, are buying me a house and a car and are taking care of all my immigration expenses. I'm moving to Los Angeles and have a meeting already set up with Christina Aguilera. Nothing would have happened if it weren't for TAXI. It's been like a dream.

Any final thoughts? Comments?

BA: Having spent the last eight years in a musical wilderness, I found a road with a TAXI sign on it. It led me to Los Angeles. The rest, hopefully, will one day be history. Without TAXI I wouldn't have any of these deals. Just going to their Road Rally was worth my airfare alone. The information, the networking, the people were all fantastic. It's like you're part of a family. The connections you make at TAXI are second to none.


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"I can't thank you guys enough for everything you do."
— Peter Elakis,
TAXI Member

"With help from you guys, the music is pouring out and I'm having such fun! Thanks!"
— Willie McCulloch,
TAXI Member

"I received a giant BMI check from TV airplay that I probably wouldn't have earned without TAXI."
— Julie Ann Bailey,
TAXI Member

"You stand behind and assist your members with their songs' best interests at heart."
— Rob Belanger,
TAXI Member