Songtradr Success Story

You’ll find it in Songtradr’s core values. “We relentlessly search for diamonds in the rough”. This may sound like a corporate cliché, but every once in a while you truly do find a diamond.

When I first discovered Carter’s music, I was combing through a Songtradr Deal. For those who don’t know, curating a Songtradr deal consists of sifting through hundreds of tracks a day for weeks. I was on the tail end of a ‘tagging bender’ as we like to call it at HQ, my brain reduced to mush when I heard a song that stopped me in my tracks. The lovechild of Alt-J, Gotye, and Portugal. The Man. Dark and brooding but impossibly intoxicating.

There was no picture or artist listed, which means it could have been easily scanned over as an unfinished track. If I didn’t have my Nespresso Intensio that morning would I have had the energy to chase down the mystery man behind this song? I don’t know. But this song was so special, I had to find out who made it.

 

The song

Before

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After 

A couple emails later, we had a gorgeous track photo uploaded and a thoroughly tagged song which always makes our team very excited.

 

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A couple months later

We had two major licenses for Carter, one massive placement in the gritty Netflix show, “On My Block” and a sync in Freeform’s popular drama, “Famous In Love”!

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The Backstory

Carter, born Jamey Reso, was raised by a music-obsessed family in the tiny, 600,000 person South American country called Suriname. Most of the music stemming from here is aligned to very cultural, traditional sounds. You’ve probably never heard of a musician from Suriname because there simply aren’t many who have made it to the stage Carter has reached.

Despite his upbringing, Jamey wasn’t very interested in music until his Uncle Maarten, inspired him to play. He never turned back. 

Jamey’s father wasn’t around much, so Maarten became somewhat of a de facto father figure. He was the “shining star” of the family according to Jamey – a truly gifted guitarist whose dream was to make music with his nieces and nephews. Maarten always told Jamey that if he ever had a son he would name him “Carter” because “it sounds so cool”. Jamey practiced obsessively to impress him and fulfill Maarten’s dream. Unfortunately, they never had the opportunity.

As soon as Jamey progressed, Maarten tragically passed away. Jamey made it his mission to pursue music and live on as Maarten’s spiritual son. He adopted the name, Carter.

The Music

In 2013, Carter recorded his first solo track and released it anonymously, nervous that his tender age of 19 and nationality would affect what listeners thought of his songs. Also worrying him, Carter’s songs were recorded in English, rather than the native tongue, Dutch. To his surprise, the track quickly became a hit in Suriname, topping the charts on three local radio stations.

Carter continued to work on his music until an awesome opportunity came to him in 2016. His friend, Kenzo, was working on a short film and asked him to soundtrack the movie. Carter sent over a demo. Kenzo was so blown away by what he heard that he scrapped the whole movie and decided to make a Music Video instead. It was around this time, Carter met his musical partner, Pierre. The trio put their heads together on storyboarding the music video. What they came up with inspired Carter’s EP, “Tranga”, which has been captivating the Songtradr offices and music supervisors alike!

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Photo by Raies Wolfram

The Placements

I was lucky enough to be the one to break the news to him about the huge Netflix sync, one of the great perks of this job!

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Circulating that quote through the office brought a smile to everyone’s faces.

 

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Carter is the first Surinamese musician to have his music synced to mainstream American television. The future looks impossibly bright for this rising young artist and we are so excited to have played a key role.

Despite being booked to the gills with interviews and press events in Suriname, Carter did have the time to send us a quick message:

“This is freaking legendary.”

 

Listen to Carter here >

 


Kyle Warner

Music lover, writer, content creator. Here for all of your music needs.

8 Comments

Dave Spark · July 19, 2018 at 6:56 pm

Nice to hear a success story now and then.
Perhaps we can all dream of placing great deals but you need a little luck as well as a lot of talent.

Kanish Puniya · July 19, 2018 at 6:58 pm

Hello sir my name is kanish puniya my age 19 year old city Jaipur rajsthan

PLUS · July 19, 2018 at 7:51 pm

Dope article. #motivation

Gregory Bainathsah · July 20, 2018 at 12:20 pm

We’re all proud of him!

Anthony Lazaro · July 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Wow. This will get me pumped up for the next 6 months at least. It’s also great being able to associate names and faces to the efficient but impersonal platform’s interface 🙂

Kurt Werren · July 22, 2018 at 11:30 am

Hi Kyle. Congrats to you discovering Carter. A great find. How about you check out Sandmoon on Songtradr, indie pop/folk band from Beirut, Lebanon? We believe that songs like “Shiny Star” and “Temptation” could be great assets for any tv series or ad campaigns. Think of “Shiny Star” as being the sound of a Dior perfume ad…. I’d be happy to discuss with you how to proceed via email. Best regards, Kurt.

Jason Donnelly · July 26, 2018 at 7:09 pm

Sorry I had typos in the above and wanted to correct them. Please delete my fist comment. Anyway here goes… I love a good success story. This is great. A couple things I’d like to add for your readers that might be helpful. Netflix placements are great for exposure. As for payouts Netflix can be not so great. Mostly because well Netflix is a subscription service and it doesn’t have any advertising. I know because I have several placements in Netflix. Major networks obviously will pay a lot more in terms of sync royalties. You could however sometimes negotiate a decent sync fee (which is a separate fee you can charge , a one time flat fee) with a Netflix show production company IF they really wanted to use the song. Also the show’s budget is a factor. The more important thing about landing a Netflix placement is the exposure. This is what I really want your readers to know because I made this mistake once and I’ll never do it again. Make sure you own the rights to your masters and release your music on your own through a distributor so that you can also get your songs registered with Shazam. You’ll find that thousands of people will want to know who did that song they really liked in On My Block. You might have credits at the end which is great but sometimes it’s not the case. Either way it doesn’t matter you still want to release that tune and make it available for streaming and download through all the major retailers. People love to Shazam songs immediately upon hearing them if they really like the song. You want that song to pop up in Shazam so you can sell your songs to the listeners and collect mechanicals. Mechanicals will start to add up in addition to your sync royalties. It seems obvious but there are so many artists out there who do not release their tracks publicly they just send them to publishing companies. Sync deals are great but there are other revenue streams out there to be had. Youtube is huge and I’m glad Carter has a nice Youtube page. A lot of his fans will go there to find out more about him. Youtube just announced a new merch feature too so now you can sell T shirts and stickers as well. It all adds up. It’s the only way to survive in this industry. You have to be prepared when those sync deals come through or you will miss out on potential revenue.

NURUL · August 14, 2018 at 4:48 am

Great. Who is Carter?

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