By Kenny Kerner

JT Na knew early on that he was not meant to be a member of a band. "I grew up classically trained and have been taking piano lessons since I was five years old. When I got to be seventeen or eighteen years old, I realized I wanted to get into the commercial side of music and not the classical side, and that I definitely wanted to consider it as a career."

Na's dad bought him a small Yamaha home keyboard and that enabled JT to experiment with chords and making beats. That was the beginning of Na's pro recording studio that he works in today. "I took a lot of UCLA Extension courses for recording engineering and songwriting but that didn't give me the knowledge or insights that you get from your own experiences. You don't get as much from school as you do by playing around on your own."

At the time that JT got his first keyboard, his neighbor, who was in a local pop band, let him sit in on some of their writing and recording sessions. "That was a real eye-opening experience because I was able to see first hand how music was made. That was very Inspirational to me."

What was not inspirational to him was the concept of a band! JT always fancied himself as a solo musician: "I've always been more of a one-person type of band. Especially with a keyboard and piano and today's technology—you're able to do everything yourself. Also, I know what a challenge and sometimes what a headache it is trying to get everyone to show up on time. So, instead of having to rely on five different people, you're relying on yourself. And this way, if it doesn't happen, it's because you didn't do it."

Not only did JT say "No" to the local band scenario, but he also bypassed the obligatory chase for that elusive recording contract. "I never tried to get an artist deal because I knew I didn't have a singing voice but I did have a knack for production and songwriting. So I just tried to go after what I was good at which was a production deal and a publishing deal."

A few years "into the game," as he puts it, JT started getting serious about pursuing success. He realized that there was a demand for the R&B/pop-Urban/hip hop music that he was writing and so he made a few phone calls to try and open some doors. "I thought the best way to go about it was to get an internship at some record companies so I wound up interning at Edmonds Entertainment—Babyface's production company in Hollywood. I was there for a couple of years which was an invaluable experience and gave me some real insight into the industry. I got to meet a lot of famous people and also made some connections as well. My goal was to network and see what was going on inside the industry."

Armed with the knowledge he gathered from two years as an intern, JT went back into his studio and continued writing. This time, though, he was looking for an outlet for his music. "I heard about TAXI through another member who was getting some action through it so I decided to join. I got a good response from them almost immediately. In fact, one of my songs was played at a recent Road Rally and that led to someone from BMG Publishing to meet with me. Also, all of the deals that I made were because of my membership with TAXI. The music industry is so big and there are just so many areas to cover, that I can't possibly get to all of them on my own. TAXI is another avenue to get your music heard by people that you have no connection with. The connections I made at Babyface's company, though they're good, I realize that they are also limited. My connections with Babyface didn't get anything over to BMG. TAXI just opened more doors for me."

So satisfied is JT with his membership at TAXI that he went out of his way to refer other songwriting friends to the independent A&R company. "I believe in what TAXI is doing so I got a few of my other friends to sign up. I knew that a company that's been around for so many years had to have credibility.

With songs placed in television shows and in movies, and with other deals still pending, JT Na is just a few months away from receiving his first royalty checks—and he's looking forward to it. His advice to others looking for an outlet for their music is simple: "If you're thinking about joining TAXI—Go for it! They will definitely get your music heard by people in the industry that you can't reach."

We, of course, echo JT's sentiments exactly: GO FOR IT!

See How TAXI Works

"Your dedication and hard work never ceases to amaze me."
— Jimmy Clark,
TAXI Member

"I've tried others, but they're nowhere near as good as TAXI."
— Firoz Sanullah,
TAXI Member

"The Road Rally was the most productive weekend of my music career."
— Dean Person,
TAXI Member

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