Robbie Hancock Kitchener, ON Canada
Robbie called us up recently to tell us about his exciting news. He was recently offered a Non-Exclusive deal for five of his songs with a Music Library that he was introduced to at a TAXI Road Rally! Robbie said that he cannot take all the credit for his success because he owes a lot of it to his fellow friend and TAXI member Andy Gabrys, who has helped him master his craft with his mentoring and the production knowledge he has shared with Robbie. He also gives credit to Robin Frederick, who inspired him enough to give him the confidence he needed to get to the next level, and guess what, it worked! He was offered another Non-Exclusive deal after that boost of confidence! We can smell more juicy deals coming your way in 2015, Robbie!
“The thing about TAXI is that they give you real opportunities and all you have to do is have the courage to take the first steps, and put in the time and the work. As the experienced fellow members say, ‘It's a numbers game,' and they are right. The three most valuable things that I have learned from the other successful members in this family oriented community are: Watch every episode of TAXI TV, spend time posting your music and connecting with members in the TAXI Forum and go to the Road Rally. I have never experienced a musical community more supportive of each other in my life. It is truly special and I am so glad to be a part of it. Thank you, Michael Laskow, and all the TAXI staff!” Thank you for the kind words and great tips, Robbie. You're doing all the right stuff, and it's no surprise that you're getting deals!
John Finbury Haverhill, MA
John just joined TAXI in September of 2014, and he has already been pulled into the Film & TV world. He just signed over a handful of songs to a Music Library after getting his '80s tunes forwarded via a TAXI Listing. John joined TAXI to try to place his Brazilian Jazz music, but shortly noticed that there was an opportunity to submit his long forgotten 15ips reel-to-reel 8 and 16 track recordings he made in the 1980s. He quickly digitized them and submitted them to the appropriate listing. It was only a matter of days until he got the call from a great Music Library! And that's inspired him to compose and record more music. He also confessed, “I have another career, and six months ago I didn't know what Internet-based A&R was, and had never heard of TAXI. I only climbed on the learning curve of music self-promotion because I decided to do a little ‘vanity/legacy project' and record an EP of some of my original Jazz tunes this past summer.” It seems like this was all meant to be for John and we couldn't be more excited for him and his fast-paced success now that he's actually in the music industry.
He also added, “The last time I was in the studio and looked in this direction was in 1981. Back then I blindly and unsuccessfully sent out cassettes of my songs to publishers and record companies. It is truly remarkable that now, 33 years later, music professionals are buying my old songs and listening to my new ones! Many thanks to TAXI for making this possible, and a note of earnest appreciation to Michael for taking my due diligence phone call and validating and encouraging this deal.”
We are very happy for you, John. Congratulations again!
Bill Gordon Miami, FL
Everyone should know who Bill Gordon is by now. He is a long-time TAXI member who has been with us from the very beginning. He also has had a very successful career in music and it never seems to be slowing down for him. I don’t think we can count all the placements he’s gotten, but we’re always very happy when he lets us know about his most recent successes. Last summer, he signed a 14-track Jazz and R&B deal with a Music Library we’ve had a very successful relationship with. Another publisher picked up a couple more of his tracks this past autumn. Most recently, one of the Libraries placed his song “Blues Jays Dancing” on ABC’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. last month! And Bill said this is “All thanks to TAXI and the Rally.” Another well-deserved tip of the hat to you Bill!
Bill said, “Joining TAXI 20 years ago was one of the best things I’ve ever done as a lifelong working musician. Not only have the many deals resulted in nearly half my income, but the astounding array of brilliant people met, and the invaluable lessons learned are perhaps even more important. People who dismiss TAXI don’t know what they’re talking about, for it is indeed the rare industry entity whose name can be used in the same sentence with the word honorable.”
Lenny Macaluso Tarpon Springs, FL
Lenny recently got his first placement when his song “Ain’t Nobody Home” got placed in CBS’s hit show Criminal Minds. It was a quite a thrill for Lenny because the song was actually recorded 40 years ago with his band, The Lenny Mack Band. Lenny gives TAXI credit for connecting him with a first class Film/TV Music Publisher, which ended up also signing a Publishing Deal for several more of Lenny’s songs. How cool is that? His music has also been heard on NBC’s Believe and FX’s Legit this year, all of which are a direct result of being a TAXI member! Congratulations Lenny, we think this is just the beginning of some great placements to come for you!
Lenny told us, “My experience with TAXI has been nothing but positive in every sense of the word. Considering that I am retired from the music business, and that my catalog is not current, I am quite pleased and surprised that I've had placements. I only wish that I had found TAXI a whole lot sooner!! I think Michael Laskow is a genius for putting this great company together and helping so many songwriters and artists. Michael deserves to be highly commended for his great vision! Thank you TAXI for all of your support!!!”
Thanks for the kind words, Lenny. We appreciate the compliments!
Dan Walker Madbury, NH
Dan didn’t initially tell us about his first placement in a TV show, but he eventually did after we reminded our members how much we appreciate it when they let us know about their success stories. He told us that one of his songs was placed in an episode of CBS’s TV series Stalker, which was aired last month. He also told us that he wasn’t convinced that TAXI was right for him at first, but when he finally became a member he realized what he had been missing out on!
Dan tells us, “But now, I am completely on board and love how I am beginning to focus on the actual listings. I still get distracted by the artist in me, but I find that if I do what TAXI is asking for, my chances at getting a forward are like 100 times greater and in the end it is more rewarding to hear my song on a TV show instead of looking at it on my iTunes playlist. Thanks for all the years and experience you have put into such an exciting career.” Here’s to many more forwards and placements for you, Dan!
Greg Presmanes Atlanta, GA
We just had to include Greg in this newsletter once again because he is on fire!! We just found out that his song “Found Love,” will be used in the Showtime’s hit TV show Shameless, airing on February 1, 2015. Greg’s music keeps getting placed in some of the highest rated TV Shows in the world. Congratulations, Greg, on yet another amazing placement!
He added, “TAXI is the best A&R company in the world! Their connections have placed my music in four major TV shows (Mad Men, NCIS, Aquarius, and Shameless), and one documentary film, The Lesson Plan. It’s a thrill to hear my music on TV and in the movies. I couldn't have placed music with those shows. The music industry people TAXI works with are really the best there is. It’s great to have a partner like TAXI. They actually produce results!”
Thanks for saying such nice things about us, Greg. We’d like to add that your music is great, and the publisher we hooked you up with is aces as well. We can’t do what we do without your awesome music and the hard working publishers we connect our members with. It takes a team!
Michelle McKibbon Toronto, Canada
Michelle’s song “The La La Song (It's a Beautiful Day),” was recently placed in the hit TV show Mistresses, airing on ABC! Yay! This placement came through after a TAXI forward turned into a deal with a great Music Library we work with regularly. Earlier this year, Michelle got her first placement through TAXI, which was in Netflix hit, Hemlock Grove. Michelle seems to be on a roll, and we’re pretty sure we’ll be seeing more placements in the near future.
“TAXI is indispensable because you connect us to people in the industry who are the decision makers who would be difficult to reach directly. But first, you make sure we’re at the level and have the skills we need to compete. My songwriting has definitely gotten better as a result of feedback from TAXI.”
Steve Buckner Morrice, MI
We’re very proud to hear that Steve signed a deal with an awesome Music Library after being a TAXI member for only seven months! That’s relatively fast! He actually got the deal because he got two songs forwarded through two different listings to the same company! They loved his tunes so much they decided to do a deal with him on those songs and sign another 12 tracks! In addition, he has signed a couple of other tracks to two other Music Libraries, all a result of forwards through TAXI. It’s probably just a matter of time until we hear about some juicy placements for Steve!
Steve wanted to tell us, “TAXI has definitely opened some doors that I wouldn't have opened had I not joined! Thank you TAXI! The Road Rally was phenomenal and an eye-opening experience. I think it is only a matter of time now until I get my first placement!"
We couldn’t agree more Steve :-)
Steven Guiles San Dimas, CA Steven recently gave us the full layout about how his career has changed since he joined TAXI in 2012. In the last two years, he has had songs placed on ABC's All My Children, FOX's The Mindy Project, AMC's Game of Arms, and many other shows and Indie Films. He told us that relationships with TAXI members have helped in 90% of all of Steven's music placements and income! Steven believes that the key to his success is all the “returns” and feedback he's gotten from TAXI! Without the feedback, he might never have tweaked and improved his songs for the better! “Because of TAXI I, have signed on with seven Music Libraries and have had over 40 placements in the last two years. That's 39 more than I've had in my entire music career spanning 1992-2005.” Congratulations on all of your success, Steven. We can't wait to see where the music takes you in the future!
He added, “I like the friendships I've formed that will last a lifetime. If not for TAXI, I wouldn't have met one of my close friends, Pedro Costa. I can't imagine making music WITHOUT him. Thanks, TAXI!!”
Michael McAllister Cortez, CO We love it when members share their success with other members on the TAXI Forum. Michael recently announced that he finally got his first TV Placement and got even more excited when he got his first royalty check! Six of his tunes got placed in two episodes of the reality TV show Bad Girls Club on Oxygen, which was a result of being offered a Music Library deal last year! As of today, he has music in three different Music Libraries. He said, “It's just a little [the royalties], but after 15 years of statements that say $0.00, it's a milestone for me.” Congratulations, Michael! Keep it up and you will be getting more placements before you know it! Michael also said, “I've been in TAXI for years, but it was only after I took the TAXI music education (i.e. critiques, TAXI TV, Forums, Rally) seriously, that I began to find success. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a supportive and knowledgeable community of hard-working, inspiring, and (a little) crazy musicians like myself."
Randon Purcell Sandy, UT Randon has been a TAXI member for two years now, and he's starting to gain momentum. He recently got one of his tunes forwarded by TAXI, and that resulted in a deal with a Music Library that has now signed eight of his tracks! This is the second deal that he signed through TAXI. The first one came through after Randon submitted a track to a Christmas listing that got forwarded, and the Music Library ended up signing that track as well as a couple of other Christmas tracks and has entire solo album! Congratulations, Randon. We feel a placement coming in your future. Hopefully it will be for this year's holiday season!
Here's what Randon had to say: “My TAXI experience is what keeps me connected, focused, and believing in the possibility of reaching my goals as a musician. Without TAXI, I felt like a single note in a Beethoven symphony, unable to be heard at all, but having something to offer. TAXI gives me the opportunity to get my music out there to real leaders in the industry. The feedback I get is invaluable, and has always led me to make changes for the better.”
Jay Fortunato New York, NY We had just heard from Jay when his song “Thoughts Of You” had been placed in Red Band Society. Then, we found out that the same song was placed again, and this time on CBS's NCIS! Both placements were a result of a publishing deal he singed through a TAXI connection. The NCIS episode aired on October 7 and Jay told us that he felt like the song was written specifically for the scene it was placed in because it all worked together so well. It was clearly meant to be! Jay is really on fire these days, and we congratulate him on these awesome placements he's had gotten in the past few months.“I just wanted to let you know how awesome the placement was on NCIS … they did a great job with the editing and the mix too. I was totally thrilled. Can't thank [the Music Library] and TAXI enough. I think with [the Music Library] and TAXI anything is possible,” Jay said.
Richard Dance Phoenix, AZ Richard Dance has really been on a roll lately! Right after we let you know about his recent successes a few months ago, he got another Music Library deal! He told us that his entire Gulf Coast Funk & Soul CD — totaling 13 tracks — got signed! He made this CD just for the 2013 Road Rally to promote himself, brought multiple copies, and handed it out to peers and industry people alike! Six months later he got a phone call from the Library that wanted to take the whole CD! How cool is that? Keep it up, Richard!
“I have only been a TAXI member for two years, and in that short time, have signed over 100 songs to music libraries. In addition to the production music library world, I also recently got my first film placement in a movie starring Eric Roberts (Julia's brother)! New Music Libraries I haven't even done business with are starting to call me now! If you put in the hard work, remain open to change, and take advantage of all the educational tools TAXI offers, the process definitely works. Then just hold on for the ride...” he said.
Richard Flood Salley, SC We were thrilled to find out when Richard told us that his song “Warning Signs” will be used in episode 604 of the CBS hit show, The Good Wife. The reason we're so excited for Richard is because this particular song was recorded in the early 1960s, and he's been sitting on it ever since! It's not even been a full year since Richard joined TAXI, and he was already offered a Publishing Deal after one of his songs was forwarded through us. All of the songs that he's signed to that Publisher are recordings from the early '60s that he really never expected anyone to hear. We're very happy that your music is finally getting heard, Richard. Better late than never! Congratulations, and we look forward to hearing about many more placements!
Richard told us, “What a wonderful break! Signing on with TAXI is the best move I have ever made in my music business experience.”
John Shine Morristown, NJ John Shine and his band The Soul from the '60s decided a couple of years ago to digitize all of their music they had been sitting on to see if anyone could use it. They had been referred to TAXI, so they decided to give us a spin. They didn't think they had much of a chance at success with their old tunes, until they were forwarded to a Record Company/Publisher through TAXI that wanted to sign some of their songs! Recently, they finally got their very first placement! Their song “The Train,” made it into Episode 709 of AMC's iconic show, Mad Men, which will be aired in 2015. We're so thrilled to know that we have helped John Shine and Richard Flood get their music from the '60s out there for millions of people to hear. It is also a good reminder to other members to see that there can always be a place for your music, not matter how old it is! Congratulations, John. We hope that this is just the beginning!
John also said, “It's so different than how we all remember the experience with record companies and producers back in the '60s and '70s. TAXI and the record company they matched us with are what you would wish all music business transactions would be like. Everyone does exactly what they say they will do! Quite a dream come true for four senior citizens...”
Frederick Isaac Lansing, MI We reached out to Frederick Isaac recently when we found out that he just had one of his songs placed in Moments of Clarity, and upcoming Independent Feature Film. Just like several other TAXI members who got placements in the movie, the deal came about from a TAXI listing posted in July of this year. Followed by this good news, Frederick was contacted by a Music Library CEO after one of his tracks was forwarded to them through a TAXI Listing. The Music Library signed the song, and since then they've signed another 25 songs (if not more) to the library! We are sure you'll have some more juicy placements coming up in the near future, Frederick! Congratulations! Frederick adds, “TAXI does exactly what they say they will do. For me, it seems that the main obligation of its members is to not only work very hard on their end of it, but also to acquire the technique of patience. I've been a member for over six years, and this is my first placement.”
Tom Hoy Brantford, Canada We recently found out that member Tom Hoy got a Music Library deal through relationships with fellow members made on the TAXI Forum. He hasn't gotten any placements yet, but he thanks his fellow TAXI members on the Forum for getting this far. Through the Forum he has met other members who have given him effective feedback, which helped him point his music in the right direction. Congratulations, Tom! Make sure to keep us updated when you get your first placement!
“Some people may say that what they like most about TAXI is the Forwards. Even though I love getting a Forward, I would have to say, for me it's the Forum. The wealth of information and the generosity of the members is what's fueling any success I may have had. Although I haven't had a placement yet, I know that it is just a matter of time. As I am retired, time is all I have. If you are a songwriter, TAXI is the only place to be. That's where you will find me!!!”
Bob Mete Earlysville, VA We couldn't help but include Bob Mete again in our Success Stories. He's been on quite a roll! The last time we spoke to him, he had gotten a couple of great TV Placements. But now, one of his dreams has finally come true; he's landed his first Feature Film placement! This is something Bob has been hoping for since he was a teenager! His song “Chance of Snow” is the one that made the cut, and the film it's in is called Any Day, starring Eva Longoria, Tom Arnold, and Kate Walsh. Now, Bob just has to wait for the film to hit theaters so he can finally see his name in a feature Film's credits! Be careful to not choke on your popcorn, Bob ;-) Bob's tunes have already been heard on HBO and Showtime, and a national TV Commercial. And most recently, he also got a placement on Showtime's mega-hit, Ray Donovan, which is one of Bob's favorite shows. Sweet, Bob! That must have felt incredible! Congratulations on all of your achievements. And thank you for always keeping us up-to-date on your placements. We wish more members would follow your example ;-)
He added, “[I am] so grateful for a fantastic Publisher, and for all the great folks at TAXI who made it all possible.”
Ed has been a TAXI member for 7 years now, and his success has been growing steadily year by year. Most recently, he got a track into a Music Library through a TAXI Dispatch listing, and he’s expecting to have more tracks signed to them in the near future. Ed has also had his track, “Football Funk” placed in a national Coke Zero radio advertising campaign, as well as couple of MAJOR films, including the Oscar award-winning film The Blind Side and Scooby Doo, the Mystery Begins. Ed has had great success through other TAXI connections, which have helped him get placements in ABC’s Revenge and in Greek on ABC Family. Nice going, Ed! We’re certain we’ll see many more great placements from you in the future, and thanks for being a loyal member for 7 years!
“I continue to use and recommend TAXI to other composers and songwriters. I tell musicians that TAXI will motivate you to write music and teach you a ton about the industry. If a track is not forwarded, you will still likely get valuable information about making it better. A review recently found a digital click in a track that I missed! Keep in mind, many returned tracks will get used in the future with other clients and pitching. It may not be the track for one usage, but great for another. My advice is to keep a healthy psychological distance between you and your tracks. Your latest ‘masterwork’ may not sound so good in a few weeks. Of course, another, even more ‘amazing’ piece, will inevitably replace it. Before you know it, you will have hundreds of titles in your own library. It’s a game of numbers and pennies that all add up to real dollars on your PRO statement. I have had tracks on multiple TV networks in one evening. There is nothing like sitting in a theater, waiting for your name in the credits. You will know you are a media composer when you have written actual ‘elevator music’ used in an elevator, or write a waltz with a dog barking. I have, and I’ve been paid for it!”
Gotta say, Ed, we’ve probably heard about tens of thousands of placements by our members over the years, but yours is the first waltz with a barking dog!
David is 11 months and 80 Forwards into his TAXI membership and he wanted to tell us about his experience so far. He just recently completed his first “loop” of submitting a cue, getting it forwarded and being offered a deal just three days after the submission. Unfortunately at that time, the ball was already rolling and he had just signed the cue to a Music Library through another TAXI Forward! But the Music Supervisor who just missed the track wanted to hear something else instead, so he started writing and sending cues on a daily basis. Today he’s signed over 100 tracks to the Supervisor and now he finally got his first placement on A&E’s Walhburgers! David is also working with another Music Library and his music is actively being pitched to TV Shows.
He also said, “TAXI is the center of my five-year business plan. It’s bringing discipline and focus to my work on a daily basis. I would have never written 200 cues in a year without TAXI listings! It helps me being a better composer ... and it works! Now I know. One year down... four to go... the exciting part begins.” Patience is a virtue, and your focus is enviable, David. Keep up the great work and congratulations on your first placement!
We recently found out through the TAXI Forum that Kevin’s track “The Freaky Flayday” was finally picked up for a placement in an episode of TLC’s Honey Boo Boo. The song is to be featured on their Halloween special this fall and is the co-main title theme song of the episode! Kevin also has music on other 22 different TV episodes, on shows such as Dr. Oz, Storage Hunters, Welcome to Myrtle Manor, and America Now. TAXI has been a huge part of Kevin’s success, and he told us that a majority of his placements were a direct result of TAXI Forwards and from networking at the Road Rally. Congratulations, Kevin!
He also said, “Without the knowledge and connections that TAXI has provided, I doubt I would be as far as I am now. Michael Laskow and TAXI has helped me find a place for my music!”
We had just been notified that one of Richard’s tunes was placed in an upcoming Indie Feature Film Moments Of Clarity when he also reached out to us to tell us all about it. This particular placement is a direct result of a TAXI Forward, and the entire deal was finished only 3 DAYS after it was submitted! How awesome! Richard also has over 90 tracks in an Australian Music Library. He connected with them and got offered a deal with after meeting the owner and becoming close friends with him at the TAXI Road Rally in 2012. Way to go, Richard, and congratulations on this awesome placement!
Richard adds, “Getting your music into Film and TV can get very complex and convoluted. However, TAXI Independent A&R has built and refined a system over many years that works efficiently to help get that done for you. If you take advantage of the educational tools TAXI gives you, network with other members, attend the annual Road Rally, and work hard, the system definitely works. Just trust the process, learn as you go, and keep writing and submitting."
Eric reached out to us recently to let us know about the different placements and deals he has landed in the past few months. One of the placements he got was directly through TAXI and a popular Music Library that signed his track. Now he also has a couple of other TV placements as a result of a Publishing Deal he just signed after being referred to the company at the Mentor Lunch at the Road Rally! His music can now be heard on Access Hollywood and various shows on the E! channel! Thanks for following up with us, Eric, and congratulations on your deal and placements!
Eric said, “The best part of TAXI is the Road Rally! There's no better convention for networking and learning about the business. I also like the feedback I get from submissions. The high standards of the reviews make sure you can compete with the best.”
Singer/Songwriters Helen Austin and Paul Otten were both on the Successful Members panel at TAXI’s 2011 Road Rally. They were also invited to play a private showcase in TAXI founder Michael Laskow’s hotel room. Michael invited seven songwriters to play for each other, hoping they’d meet and end up collaborating.
“I could just hear how some of these talented people would sound together, so we held a little ‘mini showcase’ in my hotel room, and sure enough, some magic happened,” reports Laskow.
“It all started in Michael Laskow’s hotel room, but that’s all we’re saying about that particular Friday night,” jokes Helen Austin. “From there, Paul and I became Facebook friends and that was it, until a year or so later when I wanted a producer for a new song, ‘Colour It,’ that I had just written. I saw that Paul [Otten] had done lots of collaborations, and even though I had never enjoyed co writing, I asked him to help me with this.”
Helen adds, “I loved what he did, so I asked him to produce another song, this time adding his vocals to mine. That song was ‘This Road With You,’ which has been placed in IKEA ads, MTV’s Catfish, and ABC’s The Vineyard.”
When my publisher heard that song and a few more that Paul and I wrote together, he got really excited and said that we should be a band. The name Big Little Lions came about because Paul is really tall and I am… not! From there we have been steadily writing and released our debut EP, Paper Cage, in May.
“I never imagined co-writing could be so much fun and we both enjoy writing over email as you can’t see the looks on each other’s face when we don’t like something :) This summer Paul is coming to Canada where we’re playing a bunch of live gigs, and then we head to Ohio where will play some more. This is the first time we will have seen each other since that hotel room encounter nearly three years ago!”
Paul adds, “TAXI’s Road Rally is such a great experience, and it’s collaborations like this one—born at the 2011 Rally—that make it all worthwhile. The connections we make with other like-minded songwriters are the most valuable part of the conference in my opinion. Michael and lots of other TAXI members are always preaching about the friendships, the collaboration, and overall community vibe at the Rally. But it’s not until you experience it for yourself that you truly understand what they’re talking about.”
Congratulations on your big win, Helen and Paul. We’re tickled pink that we were able to introduce you, and you’ve come so far so in little more than two and half years. We’re sure there are many more exciting things for the two of you on the road ahead.
“Having TAXI is like having a contact placed DEEP in the music industry. The opportunities TAXI provides for this land-locked Ohioan are priceless. TAXI is the whole package, though, and not just a ‘contact.’ There is a whole community of wonderful and supportive TAXI members in the Forums. There is a wealth of information on TAXI TV. Having direct access to Michael’s knowledge and opinions there (as well as his guests) is wonderful. Plus, we’ve got the Road Rally! All these TAXI Tools add up to some serious Artist SELF Development. But for me the most beneficial thing about TAXI is the focus this whole package provides. The focus to provide specific music. The focus to become ‘excellent enough’ to be forwarded. There is no way I could ever have placements on prominent cable TV shows like this without TAXI. TAXI IS awesome!”