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A Story Behind Music Placement with Respect Music and Anthony Salari

Here at Sonicbids, we’re a curious people. When we heard that Singer/Songwriter Anthony Salari got his song, “Stupid Pretty Girl”, on Jane By Design via Respect Music, we wanted to know more. Good thing that we’re also a sharing people – read on to see what we learned from Sharon Dean, Director of Respect Music and Salari himself!

Anthony, congrats! How’d you get involved in music placement?

Salari: I worked at it for many years! I really just tried to make unique, catchy music and basically looked for opportunities to get it into decision makers’ hands. Actually, the first recognition I ever received was through a Sonicbids songwriting contest. The first place prize was studio time at a place in Nashville. I won it with a totally green bedroom recording and it gave me some confidence to pursue other opportunities, which eventually lead to my Respect deal. 

Sharon, as a music publisher, how do you select music that you’ll eventually place?

Dean: We have a listening session every two weeks. One week before the session, all of the new music is given to four members of staff who spend time listening to the new submissions in their own time and without conferring to any anyone else in the team. Each member of staff brings the ones that they think are suitable to the final session. The best songs/compositions always shine through.

So what type of music typically works best for placement?

Dean: It depends what type of sync it is. Most genres can work, though jazz is difficult. The music submitted has to be broadcast quality. Upbeat positive music works for ads, for example. Anything with reference to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol is a no-no. So if there is a great song with these references then it is always good to have a “clean” version.

Anthony, why do you think your song “Stupid Pretty Girl” was a good fit for placement?

Salari: Honestly, I feel that through the spectrum of emotions television shows and movies need music to represent, there are places for all kinds of music.  With that said, most times the music needs to be super-catchy in some way. There needs to be something in it that makes people stop and notice: a cool lyric, different melody, anything that makes it stand apart. The music supervisors have told me there are sometimes hundreds of songs selected to choose from for a single show, and that’s after being funneled down from 2 or 3 other rounds of possible considerations. Competition is fierce; force others to love your music!

Sharon, you pitched Anthony Salari’s song to Jane By Design. How does a pitch like that work?

Dean: We submitted the song to the supervisor and she came back to us to say that she loved the song and was considering it for the show. The producer got to hear it and even set it as her personal ringtone. A few weeks later, we received and email from the supervisor saying that they wanted to use the song and we negotiated a sync fee. After that, it all happened very quickly. We cleared both sides for publishing and master within hours. 24/7 availability for clearance is imperative – that’s what we are good at. We then rush released the song “Stupid Pretty Girl” out on the Respect Music label and signed a worldwide digital distribution deal with Absolute.

That sounds like a crazy, but awesome time for everyone involved. What happened after that?

Dean: [Well,] the great thing was that Antony was also invited to the wrap show for Jane By Design. He met the cast and the crew. We believe this placement will lead in to many more opportunities for this truly talented artist.  His YouTube hits have tripled in a week. We have also monetized his YouTube channel. He is a truly exceptional songwriter and this song will work for many years. So go and buy it on iTunes.

Anthony, what’s the #1 thing an artist needs to know about working with music publishers and getting their music placed?

Salari: Have complete belief and confidence in your music - get it to the point where you are amazed by how frick’n cool it is. Love and appreciate the fact that you’re making music and doing what you’re passionate about. Others will be totally jealous of your coolness. Forget the haters.  Apply that level of dedication into getting other people to hear your work. To paraphrase a line in Jurassic Park, “Nature finds a way,” well, music will find a way, too.


Jun 28, 2012 06:23 AM

Tess Cychosz

A chat in NYC with Art vs Science on breaking into the US, beer and more

Tess: So I actually saw you guys last year in New York when you played at CMJ (and for the record, it’s very clear you are not an anti-social band). Did you feel like your presence at that festival and conference help you come back and play to a bigger crowd?

Jim: Yeah, the shows last time were a bit harder because there were smaller venues and lots of shows with fewer people. And now coming back this time we’ve seen there are a lot more people and I like to attribute it to all the hard work we put in last time.

Dan M (commenting on Big Gigantic, who was on stage at that moment): This sounds like the theme song in Street Fighter when they’re playing in Las Vegas! This guy is playing saxophone! Anyway, just wanted to point that out.

Tess: Ok, one last business question and we got a couple fun questions for you guys. You obviously put on an incredible live performance. You’re really animated and get the crowd going. Do you have any tips for other bands that are playing in front of a new audience that might not know who they are?

Dan M: Yes. If you’re going to try to get people into your music, you have to be into your own music. You can’t expect other people to dance if you’re not getting into it yourself. And you can’t do it in a fake way. You have to do it in a very genuine way, (laughing) or in a very, very believable fake way.

Jim: Yeah, you have to be a really good actor or really into it.

Dan M: Like, if a show’s not going well for me and I can’t look people in the eyes and go: “Yeah, everyone yeah! Make some noise…” Wait, I never say: “make some noise.” That’s on the black list.

Jim: But if we’re not playing to a big room and no one knows us or is even really paying attention to us, we just start looking at each other and vibing off of each other. Though, I think we’re pretty lucky that when we put in a bit of effort…

Dan M: …that doesn’t really happen.

Jim: Yeah. That shit don’t happen.

Click play below to hear the rest of the interview - where I ask the band about some funny stuff. And check out Dan M chugging a beer and the band playing "Parlez-Vous Francais?" here!


Jun 15, 2012 07:07 AM

Tess Cychosz

Interview with Reid Jamieson - Grand Prize Winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest

Reid Jamieson is one of those singer/songwriters who's figured out how to take a classic sound and make it fresh and impactful. The proof?  Reid was named the grand prize winner for Folk in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest March 2012. Since the Session II deadline to submit to this year's  JLSC is upon us, I wanted to learn a bit more about him and see what words of wisdom he might have about being involved in the contest.

Most people pick up the guitar by playing other people's music before writing their own - is that how it worked for you or was there a different experience when you found out you had a talent for songwriting?

I did the usual – played every Beatles song until they were part of me. I grew up painfully shy so songwriting was a nice, controlled way for me to interact with the world. First attempts were not my best, but you have to start somewhere!

Tell me about your JLSC winning song, "Rail." Any story behind the tune?

Rail was written for a train trip I took with the host of a popular radio show here in Canada called Vinyl Cafe. I was just going to perform train/travel themed covers, but my wife (Carolyn Victoria Mill) insisted we create an original for the show too. We sat down with our thoughts on trains – which had more to do with overgrown tracks and the lost potential of urban rail travel (both literal and metaphorical), poured our hearts into it, and by the end of the day we had this driving song about not giving up on yourself. Although we had written together before, this song solidified us as a songwriting team, and had brought us much joy since. Rail will always be very special to us both.

How has winning the Grand Prize for the JLSC Folk category helped you in your musical career over these past few months?

Every artist has to write an elevator pitch, or short bio that you send out when looking for gigs or press, so it certainly helps to add ‘Winner of the JLSC...”. Every little bit helps! And the prizes have filled out my home studio very nicely, so I am better able to cook up the next batch of songs. Having the best tools makes a difference, and there was some pretty great gear from my favourite companies included in the win. My wife wishes one of the sponsors was Fluevog so she could have scored some nice boots for her part in it, but what can you do? ;-)

Any tips you can offer songwriters looking to get exposure in a songwriting contest like JLSC?

Many contests are not worth the entry fee...you really want to stick to really well known ones like the JLSC, otherwise you are just one of a thousand aspiring songwriters to be taken advantage of. It’s becoming big business. But if it is an established contest, even just being a finalist can give you an edge. And if you don’t enter, you won’t win!

What's in store for you that we should be on the look out for – new songs, tour, or a music video at all?
We are very busy writing and recording the next batch of songs, and keen to write for film and television as well. So much music to work on, we will never run out! [We're] saving up for a sabbatical from our day jobs, so we can take a year and focus on music exclusively. Currently working on an animated video for a song we wrote to encourage organ donation, it’s called Gift Of Life. It’s great if you can use your music to make a difference in any way, and that is something I hope to do if I can.

Find out more about Ried Jaimeson via his EPK or his website, www.reidjamieson.com. Find out more about The John Lennon Songwriting Contest and submit your songs here (deadline to Submit is December 15th!).

4 Simple Things to Make Your Summer Tour Less Stressful

You’re ready to hit the road for a little summer touring with your band. Rad. But in your excitement while packing up all your music gear, don’t forget a few simple on-the-road essentials.

Get a Car Inspection.  Assuming your band isn’t quite at the private plane level of its career, you’re likely traveling around in a car or sketchy van for your tour. To avoid a Planes, Trains and Automobiles scenario, pay a visit to your local DMV and make sure your wheels are in working order.

Get a Costco Membership. Depending on where you’re traveling to, you might want to go for Sam’s Club. Either way, one of those mega discount stores might be fifty bucks investment up front, but if you’ll be on the road for more than two weeks and your van has some extra storage, you’d be surprised how much money you’d be able to save by buying bulk.

Get an EZ Pass. If you’re traveling through several different states, this could save you time while traveling, plus it will help you keep track of your total expenses while on the road.

Get a real map.  I know with your fancy iPhone or GPS, maps are a thing of the past. But the truth is, sometimes you lose signal or someone forgets their cell phone car charger. And the worst thing is wasting precious gas driving around aimlessly without a trusty source of direction. And hey, you can probably get one for cheap with your new Costco membership.

What other touring tips do you have to make the road less stressful? Sharing is caring!

May 22, 2012 05:56 AM

Tess Cychosz

We want YOU - Calling all musicians who have served

The Sonicbids office is based in Boston, a city rich in American History, and we’re feeling a little patriotic here since Memorial Day is coming up. While we love our members all the same - whether you’re from South America, Australia or wherever in the world - next week we’d love to recognize our members who have served the Red, White and Blue.

So, tell us who you are! Leave a comment, or tweet at us @sonicbids if you or a member of your band has served for the USA. We’d love to know and we won’t unless you give us a shout.

In the meantime, we'll be warming up our grill and planning our menu for the epic cookout that we're planning on this weekend.