In pursuit a music career there are obvious reasons for anyone to call L.A., New York or Nashville home.
So what about the rest of us?
A West Coast company called TAXI is working to bring the majority of Americans the music metropolises’ big-time opportunities.
TAXI is the world’s largest A&R company. For the uninitiated, A&R stands for “artists and repertoire,” and is the record label division responsible for talent scouting and artistic development. The bottom line of breaking into the music business and landing a record deal has always involved impressing the A&R rep.
I have spent a great deal of time investigating opportunities outside of major markets. TAXI has great opportunities and is a very legitimate source.
Like many folks, I’ve watched the early season “American Idol” auditions for years. We experience an endless procession of kids who think they have talent, only to discover an unprecedented degree of humiliation.
That scenario unfortunately applies to the majority of singers and songwriters. There is a fine line between good and great. Most don’t have what it takes to convince someone to invest millions of dollars and potentially make them a star.
Michael Lasko is CEO and founder of TAXI. Lasko has worked with Eric Clapton, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Cheap Trick to name a few. He wanted to create opportunities for talented songwriters who couldn’t get a break.
So how can this help you if you are an aspiring musician?
TAXI has built its reputation throughout the film, television and music industry as a seasoned representative of talented songwriters from around the world.
If you are an aspiring songwriter, this is a great opportunity. TAXI publishes a list of industry opportunities twice a month for its members.
TAXI screens submissions, chooses the best and forwards them to the source of the opportunity. If your song is chosen, a representative of the film, television or music company contacts you directly. TAXI is only a liaison and does not share in the negotiations or profit.
Lasko told me that five to 10 percent of the company’s monthly opportunities are Christian-based.
He said the two greatest mistakes artists make when pitching their material are misunderstanding their writing genre and spending too much time on production and too little time on song craft.
He also recommends that artists consider removing vocal tracks from their songs and submit for instrumental opportunities.
That’s why TAXI has a staff of music screeners well-known to industry insiders. Most submission requests include professional critiques. Although you may not get an opportunity, you will receive feedback from the best in the industry. The screeners are seasoned and extensively trained to offer constructive, beneficial feedback.
TAXI requires you to copyright your material before each and every submission.
There is annual fee of $299.95 and a small fee for each submission. Although it is a modest investment, TAXI’s reputation prompted me to investigate it further.
There are scams out there. TAXI is not one of them.
If you are truly talented, I believe this will a well-spent $300.
Editor’s note: This is the third installment of Abbie Stancato’s series “So You Wanna Be a Star?” looking at the inner workings of the music business. Next week Abbie will discuss legal issues in the music business with Nashville music attorney James Randolph Smith.