Not even a year ago, we boasted about Hank Jones getting a cool deal with a Boutique Music Licensing Company. Since then, Hank has had some more success, particularly with his song “Born Lonely.” Hank submitted “Born Lonely” to a direct-to-Music Supervisor TAXI listing. The song was forwarded, which resulted in the song getting placed on the CBS television show Vegas! Congratulations, Hank!
We highlighted Juliet Lyons’s music career in the October edition of the Transmitter’s Passenger Profile section. Since then, she’s had even more success! A song that she co-wrote with Dean Taylor and TAXI member Vince Constantino, “You’re My Christmas,” was placed in the final scene of Lifetime’s original Christmas movie Christmas in the City, resulting from a direct connection to a Music Supervisor via a TAXI Listing. The movie aired a total of nine times during December! Juliet said that the icing on the cake was that she and her co-writers got to see their names in the final credits! So cool! Congratulations to you, Dean and Vince!
Speaking of Christmas and Lifetime, Bruce Bergh’s song “Christmastime of the Year” was also placed in Christmas in the City! It’s so cool to have multiple TAXI members’ music placed in a film – all through a direct connection to a Music Supervisor! What’s even cooler is that Bruce’s song was also placed in the Hallmark Channel’s original film Snow Bride, also resulting from a direct-to-supervisor connection through a TAXI listing. What a great season for you, Bruce! Bruce told us that he’s been writing and recording music for over 30 years, but that TAXI has changed the purpose for his writing as well as the way he writes. He said, “Here is the most awesome gift TAXI gave me: motivation. Knowing that a REAL opportunity is dangling right before me is an exciting experience! I have learned to read a listing, formulate the concept, write the music and words, record the tracks, and create a mix within a 24 hour period!” He also shared that prior to joining TAXI, he felt that he’d never “make it” because he knew no one in the music business, but that TAXI has given him an “in.” Cool!
Cheryl Ashton has been a TAXI member for 15 years! Her newest success is having her song “Undeniable” placed on the ABC’s hit TV show, Nashville! The placement came about only a couple days after her song was forwarded to the Music Supervisor via TAXI! Cheryl is also working with a couple of Music Libraries and her work is paying off. Cheryl told us that the critiques she’s received over the years have been very helpful. She also told us that attending the Road Rally has also taught her a lot and has been beneficial to her songwriting career. She actually got her first publishing deal because of attending the Road Rally several years ago! Cheryl shared that the most important thing she has learned over the years is to always be prepared with the correct documentation and song files if someone is interested in signing any of her material. That’s sage advice, Cheryl! Congratulations on the placement!
We know Clark Van Norris loves the Road Rally because of his willingness to help during the event, as well as his recent quote, “I would spend $300 on just the Road Rally, it’s that good!” We love hearing that from our members, and we love hearing about successes that come from attending the Road Rally even more! During the 2012 Road Rally, Clark’s song “The River” was played for the Music Library panel. One of the panelists, a Music Library executive, liked the song quite a bit. Clark followed up with the executive at this past Road Rally. Clark gave the owner his CD, which resulted in Clark receiving a phone call the following Monday after the Rally! In the past two months, three of Clark’s songs have been signed to the Library and there is further discussion about signing more of Clark’s songs as well! Great news, Clark! Congratulations!
The Road Rally continues to prove how beneficial it is through Eric Baum’s recent success with a Music Library. Eric attended a mastering class during Road Rally 2012, which caused him to think about how he could make his tracks more usable for TV. He spent the following year applying what he learned to his songs. At this past Road Rally (November 2013), Eric showed his new material to the class teacher. The speaker liked Eric’s work, and since the speaker happens to work for a Music Library, a deal was struck! Eric now has a couple dozen songs signed to the library! Eric said that he used to write music for himself, but TAXI taught him how smart it is to write what the industry needs. Now he spends his time more productively, and has learned to write for the right audience. He closed by telling us, “The Road Rally also helped me improve my recording techniques. Now my tracks can compete with tracks recorded in million dollar facilities.” That’s awesome, Eric!
Walter Grund had some great successes with Music Libraries in 2013! His second-quarter royalty check in 2013 showed that his music was placed on the Dr. Oz Show, four years after he initially met the owner of the Music Library! Walter also signed 32 classical compositions to a different Music Library, and his Metal instrumentals album to yet another Music Library! Further, Walter and his 15-year-old daughter co-wrote an album and it was also signed to a Music Library! So cool! Walter told us that all of the TAXI resources (TAXI TV, book referrals, the Forum, the Road Rally, the free subscription to Recording Magazine, and helpful members) have helped him learn what the industry is looking for, and have helped him improve his songwriting and production skills. Walter said that although he is busy working as a music teacher, music director, and music engraver, TAXI has helped him build a catalogue of over 300 cues and songs, which are currently signed to eight different music libraries! His hard work is paying off, as the royalties have started come in. Congratulations, Walter!
Adrian Dresar told us that his song “More Than an Arms Reach” was placed in the fourth episode of The CW’s Reign! This placement happened from a TAXI Forward almost four years ago to a successful Music Library. The Library originally signed two of Adrian’s songs, but later signed seven more songs! As a result of his recent placement, Adrian’s fan base has grown and a number of other Libraries have approached him to sign his music as well! Adrian stated, “The constructive criticism from TAXI has helped me to progressively employ more hooks into my songs. Through critiques, I realized I had to tighten up the pitch of my vocals (unfortunately my older tracks do have some off notes that make me cringe). I appreciate the positive feedback too that increased my confidence: I do have the ability to write songs people like!” That’s awesome, Adrian! Nothing feels better than being validated for your hard work and talent.
Ruby Muse recently got forwarded to a Music Library through a TAXI listing that ended up signing a couple of her songs. That resulted in Ruby’s song “Mr. Horizon” getting a placement on the ABC Network’s Ravenswood. Ruby told us that she specifically uses TAXI so that she can gain insight to the music business. Ruby has already learned how to adapt her writing styles and genres to what the industry really needs, and has also found that her previously written material still has a place in the industry too based on the placements she’s received! Ruby said that she and her partner, Malc, feel like they now have ears in the industry to help them get their music heard. She said, “I really appreciate TAXI. I love Michael’s [TAXI’s CEO] enthusiasm, and I am impressed by the whole operation so far. Thanks especially to those who have listened to, critiqued and forwarded our songs – hope to meet you all someday soon!” Three words for you, Ruby: Road Rally 2014!
This past September, we shared Owen Chaim’s success story about getting his Hip-Hop songs signed to a great, Los Angeles-based Production Music Library through a submission and a TAXI Forward. At the time, the deal was brand new, so he hadn’t had any placements yet. Owen reached out to us again just two months later—in November—to let us know that one of his tracks had already been placed in an episode of NBC’s hit TV show, Parenthood! Congratulations, Owen! That was really quick by anybody’s standard, and we hope you get a bunch more of those super fast, primetime, broadcast network placements!
We found out about Patrick and Maia’s (Mad Rapture) recent success from the Publishing Company who signed two of their songs after a TAXI forward! The songs are now being pitched to Film and TV projects. The duo shared with us that one of the things they love about TAXI is that they have access to opportunities that they never knew existed. They also shared that they appreciate having access submitting to a wider range of genres as they are “a bit left-of-center” from the typical Pop genre. They said, “It’s exciting to know our music is being heard by incredibly smart and influential people in the music business who would never hear our tunes otherwise. We also been impressed by how friendly and responsive everyone on the TAXI team has been. You guys clearly are rooting for independent musicians to succeed!”
Brian Wheat posted on the TAXI Forum about a deal he signed with a Music Library. We found out later from him that the deal developed from his very first forward! The Library signed 10 of Brian’s tracks, and has already placed one of his tracks in an episode of “I’m Married to a...”! Brian has also had success with another Library as well after he created his first-ever underscore piece for a listing. The track was forwarded, and the Library contacted Brian less than a week later to offer him a deal! Brian told us, “The thing I love about TAXI is the different genres that are listed. It has expanded my music composition skills into other music styles, which I didn’t realize I had the capability to compose.” Great job, Brian! Congratulations!
Larry Penny (Seven Points, TX) recently shared some very exciting news. A while back, Larry’s song “Kiss That Memory Goodbye” was forwarded to a Los Angeles-based Music Library. Having signed his songs to a couple of companies in Nashville some years ago but with no placements to show thus far, Larry didn’t anticipate that anything would happen with the song. Larry’s luck has changed though! A few weeks ago, the Music Library emailed him to let him know they placed his song in the Paramount Pictures Film Nebraska that will be showing in theaters later this month! So cool! Congratulations, Larry!
Brent Magstadt (Pahoa, HI) has had a lot of success with Film & TV Licensing Companies through TAXI forwards over the past few years. One of his recent connections resulted in him landing a “little” Walmart commercial placement! Throughout his membership, Brent has signed multiple tracks to other Film & TV Licensing Firms; he just signed three more of his tracks to another Publishing company as well! Brent said, “There are a multitude of benefits from being involved with TAXI, but the one that always sticks [out] in my mind is ‘focus.’” Brent went on to explain that the help he receives from his fellow TAXI members on the TAXI Forums, the networking opportunities at the Road Rally, and the help of supplied “a la’s” and other details provided in TAXI’s Industry Listings have all helped him focus his songwriting to fit exactly what the industry professionals are looking for! That’s awesome, Brent!
Kevin Pike (Port Crane, NY) recently received his first royalty check for the use of his songs in the TV shows Storage Hunters, Dr. Oz, and Welcome to Myrtle Manor. Kevin’s Music Library relationships have come from different TAXI avenues and in different time frames. For example, the Storage Hunters placement came eight and a half years after a TAXI forward! The Dr. Oz placement came about after Kevin met the owner of a different Music Library at the TAXI Road Rally in 2011. Kevin told us, “Without TAXI, I don’t believe I would be composing music for four libraries. [TAXI] gives you the information you need to succeed... Probably the biggest impact TAXI has had on me as a composer is that it has given me a purpose for my music. People out there (mainly music libraries) actually want me to compose music for them and they value it. That’s a great motivator!” Nice job, Kevin!
We recently heard that Simon Larsson’s (Göteborg, Sweden) band, Bernard Et Bianca, landed a great publishing deal with an awesome Los Angeles-based Publishing Company as a result of a TAXI forward. The publishing deal included all of the songs on the band’s album, as well as all of the instrumental versions of the songs. The company is now working to get the songs placed in Film & TV. Simon told us, “TAXI has opened a whole new world for me, full of opportunities that I did not have before. Since I became a member, less than a year ago, I’ve been writing and finishing more songs than ever [before]!” Awesome Simon! We’re so glad to provide those opportunities to you and your band!
Two years ago, Alyse Black (Austin, TX) was forwarded to a Music Production Company. The company contacted her six months after the forward and signed a few of Alyse’s songs for TV Licensing projects. A year later, the company informed Alyse that one of her songs had been placed in ABC’s The Vineyard! Since then, the company has discussed more opportunities for Alyse to write additional songs for them. Alyse said, “I love the candid feedback I get from TAXI’s [screeners] – both [on how] I [can] improve a particular song or my songwriting on the whole, [and] where I excel from an industry standpoint. [TAXI provides] invaluable feedback for [songwriters] looking to reach any aspect of commercial success with [their] music. I’ve already referred several friends to TAXI.” Thank you, Alyse! We’re looking forward to hearing many more success stories from you!
Stan "JazzStan" Morris It would be difficult to find another member like Stan “JazzStan” Morris who has been so dedicated to sharpening his musical skills through using TAXI. It took Stan 16 years to get a deal from a TAXI forward so you can imagine his excitement about signing some deals with a very well-respected Indie Music Library with many Film & TV placements. The company recently signed Stan’s Christmas Dubstep tracks, as well as a Dubstep rendition of a classic Bach prelude and fugue! We are SO proud of Stan for all of his hard work!
Andy Gabrys has had some incredible successes in this year. For example, a track that Andy wrote and recorded in only four hours for a Dispatch listing was forwarded, which resulted in a Direct-to-Music Supervisor relationship! So far, the Music Supervisor has signed 16 of Andy’s tracks, and has placed several of them in reality TV shows! His music has also been placed in Episodes 3 and 7 of the ABC Family Network’s show The Vineyard! Andy also recently signed a Music Library deal for one of his tracks, and is currently writing more tracks for that Library! Andy said that his TAXI experience has allowed him to make valuable contacts in the music industry, as well as with other TAXI members. He went on to say, “[One of] the best things about TAXI [is] the camaraderie of composers from across the globe, and the chance to meet and trade notes with them both in the TAXI forum and at the TAXI Road Rally... I think its great to be able to live in a small town in the middle of the country and still make relationships to place my music in TV and Film productions. TAXI works!!” Glad to hear that, Andy!
Eric Campbell's success is based on connecting and collaborating with a fellow TAXI member (Axel Bauer) via the TAXI Forums. Eric and Axel formed a group called “Mom’s Basement,” and together they’ve co-written several songs. Their collaboration must be working because their song, “Too Big For The City,” was forwarded to a Music Library that signed them to a deal. Eric is excited because the Library is now pitching the song to the very TV projects Eric had in mind when he and Axel wrote the song. Eric told us, “I can’t say enough about how valuable the membership is to me. I’ve been pursuing music for a while, but I never felt that I had a trustworthy sounding board. I can’t tell you how many opportunities I’ve chased – only to be left hanging without even the benefit of a definite rejection. Between TAXI’s listings and their A&R department, I’ve been able to focus my sound into something that I know the industry is looking for. I’ve never had that before!!
David Ross Benson success originated back in 2006 after his songs were forwarded to a Publishing Company. The company signed five of David’s songs, which resulted in his songs getting placed on VH1, as well as multiple TV shows in Japan! It took five years, but the royalty payments finally started coming in from BMI just last year. David said, “Thanks to TAXI, I am now a published song writer, and collect royalties from licensing deals!” Congratulations, David!
Brian Watson wrote to us to let us know that he’s recently signed his songs to two incredibly well-connected Music Libraries because of TAXI forwards! Naturally, he was excited about getting more than 50 tracks signed to these companies, but he was even more excited when both of the libraries asked him to write additional material for them! Sounds like it’s the beginning to two very good relationships! Brian shared that one of the best things about TAXI is how it has helped him understand the weird world of music licensing. TAXI has taught him to break out of his comfort zone to write music he might not normally write. That’s really cool, Brian! We’re happy to be a part of your learning experience and your success!
Stan Swiniarksi is a busy guy! Not only does he teach at Berklee College of Music, he also happens to be a very successful songwriter. In this past year alone, Stan has been signed to a new Music Production Library, which has resulted in him writing custom cues for three companies! His music has landed in shows airing on CNBC, A&E, SyFy, Discovery, A&E, TLC, and Oxygen. Not too shabby! Stan told us his goal is to continue to build his relationships with the companies he's working with so he can continue to fill the pipeline with new music upon their requests. Stan said, "A few years back now, I got a Nashville cut with a new artist on Blue Steel Records. This was while I was living full-time in Nashville. It [is] ironic that I had taken the plunge to write and pitch in [Nashville], yet my first success [there] came through TAXI. What I like most about TAXI is that it's the real deal. The variety of opportunities available is really great [because] it allows me to pitch both as a composer and a songwriter, which gives me a wider scope for success."
Kayle Clements wrote Michael Laskow (TAXI's CEO) an email recently that made us beam! It started off like this:
"Hi Michael, I am pretty excited tonight. I just checked my BMI statement and I had three placements on TLC show up tonight. This is my very first placement. After years of dreaming about being a TV composer – tonight it happened. I get that it is just three small placements on reality TV – but it feels like a million bucks!"
Naturally, we're excited that we got to be a part of Kayle's journey to success! The three placements Kayle is referring to originated from a TAXI forward to a Music Library. The Library didn't contact Kayle right away, but Kayle met a fellow TAXI member at the Road Rally who already had an established relationship with that same company. Kayle's new buddy also told the Library about Kayle, which resulted in the company offering him a deal once they heard 10 of his tracks. Those tracks ended up TLC's show Welcome to Myrtle Manor! Kayle left us with the following note: "It took three years of submitting, getting returns, getting forwards, and working to be a better writer. But it works, and I couldn't have done it without TAXI."
Kyle Kniceley shared with us awhile ago that one of his first forwards turned into a deal with a Music Library that resulted in the library signing 70 of Kyle's tracks, meaning that his royalty payments from placements quadrupled from what his first check was! Since then, Kyle has signed tracks over to three additional Music Libraries! Part of his success with Production Music Libraries comes from meeting the Library owners at last year's TAXI Road Rally! Kyle shared, "I've come to find that if you follow every bit of advice and work on your craft that good things will happen. TAXI has offered me opportunities to improve myself, learn about the industry, meet people I would never otherwise meet, and get my music into their hands ... and ears! I plan on continuing this marathon and using TAXI to help my music business grow. Thank you so much!!"