Producer, record label owner, Youtube professor, these are just some of the hats John Fulford wears. We talked with him about his vastly successful career in music licensing, what he looks for when signing artists, how he plans to change the music industry, and more!
John Fulford: I moved to Los Angeles from Gainesville, Florida, where most (not all) musicians were more concerned with their pending college degrees and treated music like a fun afterthought. Soon after moving to LA, I met Steve Aoki, DJ and owner of Dim Mak Records, and discovered a crew of people who were focused 100% on music. Within a year after moving to LA, I had enough sync placements to sustain me full time. That was 10 years ago as of March 24th. Time flies!
KW: What do you look for when signing artists?
JF: Right now I’m looking for that “X Factor”. Something that sets an artist apart from their peers. Do they speak/sing in a foreign language? Are they touring constantly? Things like that. Right now I’m mainly looking for writers who can speak/sing in foreign languages.
KW: Being someone who obviously loves EDM and hip hop, what are your thoughts on these two genres intertwining so much in the mainstream? Who are some of your musical influences?
JF: I think it’s great that someone can make a song on their laptop and achieve worldwide recognition. This is without a doubt the best, most fertile time to be involved with music. My musical influences are Tom Waits, UGK, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the greatest band of all time Hot Water Music.
KW: You’ve had some amazing placements lately, what was it like working on the movie, “Central Intelligence” and seeing your music on that big of a stage?
JF: It was great! I’ve been a Dwayne Johnson fan since the WWF Attitude era. I got to work closely with the music supervisor and director of “Central Intelligence” from initial conception until completion. Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart danced to the song while they were shooting the scene (as opposed to the song being added in post production), so it was a cool thing to be involved with!
KW: We saw that your music was featured in a Honda campaign where they actually used the song title as the theme of the entire campaign. When you are writing music do you keep things such as song titles and lyrics in the back of your head to make your music more pitchable?
JF: Absolutely, we strive to make the best music possible; that when an editor, director, music supervisor, etc. hits the “play” button, they automatically hear something memorable that gets stuck in their head.
KW: You have an awesomely informative Youtube channel, what do you aim to accomplish with “Music Licensing Lifestyle”?
JF: Thanks! I want to interact with musicians all over the world and document my hustle. We’re planning a huge summer party on the Sunset Strip, among other events and cool things. I’m also starting a podcast where I interview film directors, music supervisors, music producers and Youtubers. It all came about very organically.