By Jimi Heath
..."Although I know my music is commercially very sellable, it is not easily pigeonholed. The music I'm making at the minute is sort of like hip-hop done by a hardcore punk band with the Beatles as session musicians, in that its got the funkiness and production and overall sounds of hip hop but is progressive in its ideas, has a strong vein and sort of sounds like the Beatles strangely. Now I don't think there ever will be, or has been a listing on TAXI saying the above, so is it worth it?"

- Dr. Colossus (TAXI Forums)

Dear Dr. Colossus:

There's no question that the industry operates using a pigeonhole system. When they see that a particular style is successful, they often do their best to find more artists and material in that same style so they can capitalize on what the market seems to want.

That being said, it also makes for a stale music industry, stale radio stations, and I'm sure it has contributed to the current sorry state that the music industry is in.

My take on your question is that to make yourself desirable to the industry it's a safe bet to mimic the styles that are out there but go 15 degrees to the left or right of center so you can bring the listening audience something's that palatable yet not stale.

The reason the industry is so hung up on pigeonholing music is that radio stations are so tightly formatted. If you're music doesn't fit neatly in the radio stations format, you won't get airplay therefore the labels can't make money with you. It's the age-old conundrum that all of our members are faced with—do they make incredibly creative music that could be world changing and define an entire new genre while risking commercial success? Or do they stifle their creative juices and make music that's just like everybody else?

Faced with that dilemma, it seems reasonable to stay close to the pigeonholes but put some incredibly creative icing on the cake so you stand a good chance of meeting with commercial success but can still exercise your creative muscle.

..."When I become a TAXI member and join Broadjam, and let's say co-write a tune, would it be permissible for me to submit that tune to a listing, even though the other co-writer isn't a member of TAXI or Broadjam?

- SilkyTofu (TAXI Forums)

Dear Silky,

...or should I call you Tofu?

The answer is that you can submit anything that you write or co-write as long as you're a TAXI member. The co-writer does not have to be a TAXI member. And as far as belonging to Broadjam goes, that has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on what you can submit to TAXI. Think of them as nothing more than the telephone company that provides you with the wire to transmit your music.

..."Does TAXI work well in the Christian Music Industry? ...I live in Asia, how can TAXI help me since I am so far away?"

- Vienna (TAXI Forums)

Dear Vienna,

Of course we work well in the CCM Industry. For the last decade we've had many strong relationships at virtually all the top contemporary Christian labels and some of the best gospel labels as well.

As to your question regarding TAXI's ability to help you even though you live in Asia... Absolutely. We have members in 55 countries all over the world and they find that TAXI is the only viable route for them to take to get their music to the American market without moving here and spending years developing contacts.

Please address questions to:

5010 N. Parkway Calabasas #200,
Calabasas, CA 91302

or e-mail to:

All letters submitted become the property of TAXI and can be edited for length, spelling, grammar and sentence syntax. Basically, we can do whatever we want!

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