“When will my songs be licensed?!”
We hear this a lot…and don’t think we don’t get it. You’ve lovingly slaved over your musical creations and when the finished master is finally back in your hands, you upload the tracks, instrumentals, lyrics, enter the song details, tag…then sit back and wait…and wait…and…well, you get the idea.
So while that darned question hovers irritatingly over your head like the proverbial raincloud, the answer remains elusive. Why? Well because you, talented as you are, may be asking the wrong question!
It’s not what you want to hear, yes. But the truth is, that particular question keeps the utterer passive, not proactive. And here, friend, is where the answer lies.
Try this question on for size.
“What can I do to get my song licensed?”
As a rule, music doesn’t get licensed by accident. It takes passion, persistence, patience and preparation, even for the most successful artists.
Certainly there are many paths to success. Some are born into family stardom (see: Cyrus, Miley), some ooze charisma even before they shave (see: Bieber, Justin), and some tread tirelessly, playing gig after gig, crafting recording after recording until they catch that big break as in the iconic French rock band, Phoenix and that by far, is the norm when we’re talking ways to the ‘top’.
What’s the one thing they all have in common?
Answer: They work their friggin’ pants off.
Phoenix, a band with more hits than a UFC middleweight, had a long, long path to stardom. They formed in 2000 and released their debut album United, which spawned two minor hits and a couple syncs, but nothing major in terms of commercial success. 2004 saw the release of Alphabetical to meagre critical acclaim.
From 2005, Phoenix released album after album, toured relentlessly, traversing 3 continents and playing 150 dates. One could say they were beyond determined.
In 2009, Phoenix finally cracked the big time with one of the most coveted licensing spots in TV, The Super Bowl. Their first true hit album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, produced the major hit “1901”, which was subsequently licensed for a Champion Green Bay Packers Super Bowl commercial and was viewed by millions nationwide. From there came opportunities to play mega shows like Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and some of the biggest music festivals in the world like Coachella, Austin City Limits and Outside Lands.
What we’re saying, is have faith. Lightning can strike at any moment but your job as a music creator, is to be prepared. Even though we actively pitch music every day, ultimately it’s your energy, your search for opportunities and their conversion into tangible progress, which is essential to propelling your career forward.
So fly onward and upward, fellow phoenixes!
Photo by Xaviateur