Answered by Michael Laskow, TAXI CEO
I'm a fairly new TAXI member (since April) and have been forwarded for three listings, but have never heard back from anyone. I was really excited to get some of my music forwarded, but am disappointed nothing has come of it. What would be your advice, besides "don't give up"? I realize it takes some of these A&R guys a while to respond, just wondering your thoughts. I do really enjoy the critiques.

— Thanks! Todd Mathis, Columbia, SC

Hi Todd,

That's what it really boils down to... patience is a virtue. While the companies do in fact ask us to find them music, it typically takes them next to forever to go through it, and it's torture for our members. From the member perspective, it's, "Hey, my music is on your desk!"

From their perspective it's, "Yes it is, but so is the music from music attorneys I know, and managers, and publishers, etc."

Without TAXI, you probably wouldn't know of the opportunities, and because of TAXI, your music is on the very same desk as the other people with the inside track—something that most of our members never experience without us.

Diane Warren (arguably the most successful songwriter of the last two decades) once told me that she writes a hundred songs before she feels that she's got one worth pitching, and it takes a hundred pitches before she gets a cut. And SHE's the top of the heap!

I know it's frustrating, but the most productive thing you can do is focus on moving forward with other pitches and get lots of your songs on lots of desks in hope that one or two of them call you when THEY'RE ready to move on it.

People who have been doing this professionally for some period of time learn that they must keep writing and pitching, and not wait by the phone for a call about something they forwarded last week. It's hard to keep that perspective because nothing is more important to you than what is happening with your music, but for the person on the receiving end, they've got lots to listen to, and tons of other responsibilities besides listening to music.

A&R people typically spend less than 10% of their time in the office listening because they've got to babysit two or three other albums that are already in progress and a myriad of other daily tasks.

Music library people may actually listen to your music the day they get it, but put it on a shelf, awaiting a day six to nine months off when they are ready to assemble their next CD.

I know it's frustrating, but the most productive thing you can do is focus on moving forward with other pitches and get lots of your songs on lots of desks in hope that one or two of them call you when THEY'RE ready to move on it.

Here's a post from our message board that I saw today to show you that you're not alone, and that the long wait is typical.

— Warm regards, Michael

Message Board Post

9 months at TAXI.

Thread Started on Oct. 16, 2006, 5:01pm .

So... after lurking through these pages for quite a while I thought I'd chuck my two-cent piece on the pile..

Nine months at TAXI and how has it been?.

Well I started out making it difficult for myself—although I have a good home studio I cannot mix well enough so I have to keep going to professional studios to finish tracking and mixing and if I don't keep my head on my shoulders it's going to cost me a lot of time and money. For nothing..

I'm 40, gave up gigging and chasing the dream long ago and am content writing my four-chord turnarounds. I started with TAXI and only two professionally recorded songs. I have submitted them so often I think the reviewers are praying I'll get a deal so they don't have to listen to them any more. (Have new songs now, guys, relax!).

My forward rate is about 40%. I got real excited with my first forward and cooled off when I heard nothing. Still a great feeling to get a forward, though. Me, an insignificant three-chord trickster in the middle of Africa, and some L.A. dude with years of experience forwards me. It's no record deal, but s**t it makes me feel good..

And then out of the blue an e-mail from a publishing company. A contract. Registration, publishing. Wow. I know. Nothing will come of this either (glass half empty? ed.). But second best for me is being on a library's books. And seeing as how I've have hit second or first best so rarely in my life, I have to regard the last nine months as all good stuff. No record deal, no licensing, no world tour, but lots of happy vibes in Africa.

— Liam Kelly, Johannesburg, South Africa

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