In this special March series, I asked music industry professionals to share their advice on what DIY artists need to know before we go knocking on their door. I’ve got no-frills, straightforward insight on various aspects of the music industry from the people that have spent years in it.
Today we hear from TYLER BACON, founder of POSITION MUSIC, a music publishing and film/TV licensing company based in Los Angeles. Since 1999, Tyler has developed artists and producers by connecting their songs to ads, TV shows and films, offering valuable exposure for an artist and, let’s be honest, a decent paycheck. Getting your music in film/TV is a huge milestone for an indie artist, but how do you cut through the noise? Does it pay to write like a sellout? Tyler shares what’s on his radar…
EVERYTHING ARTISTS WANT TO KNOW… from TYLER BACON, founder of Position Music
I find that the cream rises to the top. Quality songs and artists can find homes pretty easily. We’re always looking and listening. We have 2 full-time A&R guys that are always trying to find artists that we think we can add value to what they are doing. It’s becoming very common for us to do single song deals, rather than always feeling a need to make a full album. I like the concept of dating. We’ll sign one or a couple of songs from an artist/writer and if can have some success with that it often leads to more.
For us we need a good song, good recording/production and a good voice. We don’t often take rough demos and then figure out how to get it recorded. An indie artist most often needs to take those steps of getting a good recording done to get started with us. It’s so much easier now to find those opportunities. However, once we start doing a few songs and seeing success we will often fund future recordings.
The heart of what we do is get songs licensed for Film/TV. There definitely are types of songs and artists that work better than others in this area. However, I encourage artists to concentrate on writing good songs more than chasing what they think can be licensed. Compelling usually finds a home somewhere. It’s so easy for things to feel unauthentic when overtly trying to be something.