by Kenny Kerner

The youngest of four children, Spanish-born Miguel Alonso, moved to Mexico with his family at age 12. Music was always a big part of his upbringing (his mother was in the same choir as Placido Domingo's mother) and so by his early teens, he had already been dabbling with piano and guitar for some eight years. "Music was always played in my house by my brothers--first classical music then rock & roll. My father played folk songs so I truly got a total exposure to all kinds of music."

Having gained a professional appreciation for music at the Mexican Conservatory of Music, Miguel soon moved to Minneapolis where he continued his serious studies in composition and orchestration. In the early-Eighties, Miguel and his wife made the trip to Los Angeles where he again enrolled in college (this time it was Cal. State Northridge) for more training. "I don't have my musical degree complete," the artist confesses, "because I studied bits and pieces at different colleges and universities around the country."

Degree or not, Alonso scored his first jingle for a Spanish advertising company in 1984, just three years after settling in the City of Angels. From then on, there was no turning back. To date, he has scored music for movies and documentaries, including a Jacques Cousteau series called Planet Water and an HBO horror-movie. Alonso explains his incredible succeses this way:

Name: Miguel Alanso
Residence: Apache Junction, AZ
Age: 44
Occupation: Composer
Joined TAXI: 1998
Songs Forwarded: 14
Deals: One Pending

"I started doing little voiceovers for radio and TV but never had an agent. So I had to take advantage of the Hollywood community and I started giving out pieces of my music for these people to hear. There were a lot of advertising execs in the studios so I gave them some of my music and one of them hired me to write my first jingle. From there, it was pretty much word of mouth."

At this point in his career, Miguel Alonso clearly proved that with some talent and some perseverence, you could work wonders. So where does TAXI enter the picture? And why would someone who already achieved success on his own, need help? Let's find out:

"I had been taking out small ads advertising my talents and services. Then, after registering some materials with the Library of Congress in 1997, I received a letter from TAXI but left it on my desk for a couple of months. When you register songs and music that way, you always receive a multitude of letters offering to record your music and get it placed. I guess the copyright office sells their lists of people copyrighting songs. Anyway, I finally got around to opening their letter and the first thing that attracted me was that it didn't promise me anything! I thought this was good because there was no catch. They were being honest. They let you keep trtying over and over again to submit your music. Then, I called the California Chamber of Commerce and got an incredible reference. So I joined."

Miguel sent in his first demo and, as fate would have it, the song was forwarded. But the artist is very realistic and makes a distinction between getting a song forwarded and actually concluding a deal: "Although I haven't actually made a deal yet, I want to keep pursuing this avenue through TAXI because it's a very good deal--especially now, with all of the added areas of song placement--like on cable channels and the Internet. And the critiques from the TAXI screeners really help me a lot, also."

Miguel's submissions to TAXI are almost exclusively master quality tapes. So how would a critique help in these cases? Surely you can't expect him to keep re-recording the same song every time someone makes a new comment! What up? "I have my own recording studio and have been sending in songs in almost every category--rock, gospel, classical. I don't take the same songs back into the studio and change them but I do keep all of the critiques and study them when I'm writing and recording my next batch of songs. That's how I use that valuable advice. These critiques are very professional and they make me more aware of how to better pitch my music to a particular listing. they are helping me a lot. They're very honest and sometimes they hurt your ego, but I always take a lot of their advice."

Alonso's advice to other songwriters and composers is straight to the point" "If you're serious about this career in music, considering the cost of advertising your songs and your talents, TAXI is by far one of the best places to go to expose your music. It's worked for me over the years."

Right on, Miguel. And by the way--it's been working for thousands of others, too. Thanks for your input and continued success.


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"I've received great value from the screeners."
— Mike Rawlins,
TAXI Member

"Taxi costs a fraction of a songplugging company."
— Jimmy Clark,
TAXI Member