By Kenny Kerner

He befriended Desmond Child, wrote songs with Dave Loggins, John Bettis, Michael J and Siedah Garret and currently manages the foreign catalog of Saban Music. Oh, yeah—he's also a member of TAXI.

At eight years old, Jason Perez watched his cousin playing the piano and thought that it was the coolest thing he'd seen. He was plain fascinated by it. And although nobody in his family was really a musician, it didn't stop Jason from taking lessons. "I lived in Miami and studied piano with Ivan Davis at the University of Miami. He's a world famous pianist."

Jason lived in Miami for about 25 years before visiting Los Angeles and falling in love with it. As he grew up there, he became more and more involved with music, songwriting and publishing. At college, he majored in Music Engineering and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Music.

But from the age of 13, years before college, Jason knew his career would be in music. "I would always read the liner notes on albums and my two favorite writers were always Desmond Child and Diane Warren. All of the songs I liked seemed to be written by them. I got my first keyboard, a Korg M-1 at 13 and wrote my first song called "Thirty Years of Aggression" about the Cuban struggle.

When he turned 18, things got a little more serious for Jason when he got an Akai sampler and bought some more gear. But the defining moment, the instant he knew there was to be no turning back came when he was 19 and got to meet Desmond Child in person: "Desmond was speaking in person at a Grammy in the School seminar one day and I tried to make it to the school to hear him but got there late. I couldn't believe he was actually there. My heart was racing as I ran to the room and saw that he was still there talking with some people. We started talking and became friends. He would listen to my songs and make comments about how I can improve them. To this day we still keep in touch."

Now more inspired than ever before, Jason soon hooked up with a New York-based company called Zig Zag Management. Through their connections, Jason found himself flying to New York and Nashville to meet with new writers and collaborate with them. "I would fly up to New York and stay there for a few weeks writing. My very first writing session was with John Bettis ("One Moment in Time," "Crazy For You"). But nobody told me who he was until five minutes before I walked in to meet him. They also didn't tell me that Dave Loggins was in the room, so I also wound up writing with him. That whole first Nashville experience was great. So I went to Nashville for a few weeks then to New York for a few weeks and when I finally got out to Los Angeles I just fell in love with it and moved out here. In L.A. I wrote with Siedah Garret and Peter Rafelson. For me, Los Angeles was a lot like Miami without the humidity and , as far as I'm concerned, it's the center of the entertainment industry."

So once again we have a situation where the songwriter achieves credibility and success on his own, makes connections on his own, networks on his own, and still becomes a member of TAXI! Why?

"I have friends who have had Number One records that still can't get a decent publishing deal; They can't get a decent advance. There are a lot of writers who have charted many times that still can't get deals. When I moved to Los Angeles I joined a publisher named Saban music—I manage their foreign catalog today—and I went to a dinner by the California Copyright Conference with some workers. John Braheny was sitting right next to me so I asked him if he would be interested in hearing my songs. He suggested that I join TAXI."

Jason thought about it and figured that the price of joining was modest compared to the potential rewards, so he joined for two years. And is he ever glad he did! "I've had great luck and even had some of my songs recorded in French and Spanish. It's crazy. There's a real personal aspect to TAXI. They know who I am by my songs. TAXI gets my songs heard by people who are working and need songs. I can't cultivate relationships with every music supervisor in town. I also have no idea if someone is looking for new material or for a new writer. I don't have the time to do all of this."

Well, we do, Jason. And we're happy to have you as a member! Continued good luck, and don't forget to keep us appraised of all your successes.

See How TAXI Works

"I've grown tremendously with your critiques."
— Andrew Ingkavet,
TAXI Member

"Wow! 6 forwards for one listing! Thanks guys, you made my day (week, month, etc!)"
— Reid Power,
TAXI Member

"We appreciate all that you do and try to do to help us struggling songwriters!"
— Pat Harris,
TAXI Member

"The dedication you have to your members is apparent."
— Tom Kovacs,
TAXI Member