Today I booked a one hour video call with Casey Graham, and it was the best decision I made to end this year of 2021. I received a wealth of information, and this post is going to sum it all up.
First of all, I first discovered Casey on YouTube this past Sunday (so, four days ago) by searching information on music publishing. I learned a lot, and I highly suggest you check him out on YouTube if you’re looking to get into the music industry as an artist, writer, or producer.
Now, he asked me what my goal was, and I said I wanted to write songs for placement in TV and Film, which is his area of expertise. He asked if there was anything outside of writing songs that I liked to do that could connect me to my audience. I said I’m working on a book (author) and since I’d naturally attract an audience that looked like me, I know they would love content about natural hair. This is important, to help me be able to create online content around my brand that’s not one dimensional (songwriter) but more so 3D (songwriter, author, “natural hair vlogger”). So, here’s some bullet points summing up the advice Casey gave me:
- You can totally make a good living writing for TV/Film. You just need to be able to write broad content, focusing on emotion. And you need to have a large catalog of songs to maximize your chances of getting placed, and increase the frequency of those placements.
- Sign up for an IMDB account, there’s a free version and a pro version. The pro version will allow you to see how much the overall budget for a particular show is. The general rule of thumb is the show’s music budget is 10% of the overall budget, giving you an idea of how much you could earn with a placement. So, pay the $20/month and get the pro account.
- You should try to connect directly with the music supervisor of a particular show before going through an agent (middle man). The music supervisor’s information can be found using the IMDB pro account as well. This isn’t an easy route but it’s more lucrative. The reason why it isn’t an easy route is because more often than not, the person in charge wants the music supervisor to get the show’s music from either an established music library or publisher that they have an established relationship with. The reason for that is they know by using the music library or publisher, the music is 99.9% likely to be free of any sample clearance issues. That’s a risky bet with an unrepresented music artist/songwriter. Understandably so.
- Learn to produce your own music. TV and Film moves very fast (compared to a performance artist who maybe drops an 8 song project once for the year and then goes on tour to work those 8 songs). So you need to be able to produce dozens of songs and make them available (on Spotify, apple music etc. with no clearance issues) at a fast pace. Studio-producing dozens of songs with an actual producer can get wildly expensive. So, self-producing, or at least laying your own vocals down on a track then going to the studio for mixing/mastering would be better on your pocket in the long run (signed or not). Also, self-producing helps you get more music out there faster based on your own pace instead of depending on the producer’s schedule. Why wait on a studio appointment if you don’t have to? Save time and money and do it yourself.
- Document your process on social media. It’s a good way to get content out there to attract fans to your music.
So, these points were the main takeaways of the call. Of course, this is golden information. But if you need even more guidance, I highly suggest you book a call with Casey and receive more tailored advice to your specific goals.
So, along with writing my first book, my current step is getting my songs produced and distributed on streaming platforms. I have some equipment already, I just need to learn how to work with it.
Are you interested in pursuing music as part of your career? Which lane? Or do you just find this content interesting?
-Bare it all and bloom.