RaeJean Ferreri, Musician/Songwriter

by Kenny Kerner

Her sister danced with the Philadelphia Ballet and her father was an avid music lover, so it came as no surprise that at ten years of age, RaeJean picked up a guitar and started plucking away. These days, Ms. Ferreri has a degree in Music Composition and a full-time career as a musician/songwriter.

"From the time I was about 12 years old I can remember always writing songs. The very first song I wrote was called 'Love Lights' and it didn't have any chorus. It was like one big verse."

Like most musicians first getting their feet wet, RaeJean opted for the performance route and put writing on the back burner for a while. "I was doing a lot of live stuff and was going all over the place," she recalls. "I'm talking about the Crazy 80s now, where money was coming out of people's ears. We were doing very high-end gigs and traveling a lot."

Name: RaeJean Ferreri
Residence: Long Beach, New York
Occupation: Musician/Songwriter
Joined TAXI: 1998
Songs Forwarded:  12
Deals: MasterSource Music Library  

Ferreri's experiences with the industry were somewhat bizarre--you see, her band was almost signed twice, to different record deals. Here's the story: "One was a deal when I was just about 18 years old but because I wasn't exactly legal yet, the lawyer, who didn't like the deal, recommended to my mother that I not sign. That deal was to have been with Decca Records. Later on, I was in an all-girl band that had lots of label interest and offers, but the band fell apart."

With a working band, a day job and money coming in, RaeJean had little time to herself. And even less time to devote to songwriting. "I really had no choice. I quit my job at the entertainment company and got a little studio set up in the house and started getting a lot more serious about writing tunes. I realized that if I didn't actually make the time to write, that I was never going to write. I was making a lot of money playing live which is why the decision to cut back on gigging was so difficult. I was writing songs more for me than to really get the songs out there. I didn't have the time to send out any of my songs to other people and get serious about it. I would write a song, go into the studio to record it and then not get a chance to get back in for four or five months. Finally, about five years ago, I quit my day job to make time for writing."

Now a serious songwriter, RaeJean encountered the very same problem most new artists face--she was having trouble connecting with people within the industry. "I didn't have a track record so it was hard for me to get to people. I was just another schmuck with a tape. I just couldn't get an audience with anyone. So I figured, what the hell, and I joined TAXI."

Ferreri's decision to join the Independent A&R company was the best she had ever made. "I'm a New Yorker so at first I was suspicious. It sounded too good to be true. I called and asked questions and everyone was very accommodating. By this time I had been writing seriously for a few years so I had a good bunch of songs to send in."

Not too long after joining, Ferreri's "It's Christmas" was forwarded to Marc Ferrari at MasterSource. Coincidentally, James Ingram was also looking at the same song. But while negotiating with MS, the Ingram scenario fell through. Ferreri and Ferrari worked out their differences and began a new working relationship. "We worked out a deal and then Marc asked if I had any other material. I had this song I wrote in 1980 called 'Broken In Two' that was just sitting around doing nothing so I thought I'd send it to him. The song went ballistic. It was licensed for the intro of Rage Against The Machine's 'Guerrilla Radio' video, it was in the movie Crazy in Alabama, also in Road Rage, the NBC Movie of the Week, Another World, The Drew Carrey Show, and a few other independent films. The song was sitting around and, because I really liked it, I recorded a newer version of it and it went crazy."

While waiting for her first big royalty check to be delivered, RaeJean Ferreri advises new songwriters that TAXI was instrumental in helping her fine-tune her material. " TAXI helped me hone my craft and pay a little bit more attention to what I was writing. I rejoined recently because they really help me get my songs out there." Hey, RaeJean--that's what we do! Congratulations on your success--and keep it up.


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