Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Welcome to 2013!

Here we are, in the second week of the second month of the new year. Many people make verbal resolutions on, or around January 1st. Usually they involve health (dropping a few lb's, eating better, exercising more), family (spend more time with spouse/significant other...or maybe...find a significant other!), and finances (save more, spend less).

These are all great. But there's something missing. Something that is vitally important for us as songwriters, artists, producers, and aspiring music industry professionals - our musical, creative, career aspirations. 

No matter what your current level (beginner, intermediate, pro), TAXI can help you get to the next level. And that's why goals are so important.

In setting your musical goals, it's important to understand where you're at now. For example:

- If you are a lyricist, a great goal would be to find two 'music people' who could put your words to music.
- If you've written some songs, but have no idea how they might fit in the marketplace, a great goal would be to submit those songs to the appropriate TAXI listings and learn to polish them as the TAXI staff suggests.
- If you currently write 3 complete songs a year (words, melody, and music), a great goal would be to write 10 this year.
- Based on how many forwards you received last year, increase that number for this year's goal.
- Based on how many deals you signed in 2012, increase that number.
- Based on how many relationships you developed in 2012, increase that number.

Dream big.

But don't stop there. Develop a plan. Be strategic.

Here's my personal plan:

I know that getting cuts with major label artists is very, very difficult these days. Thankfully, TAXI has put me in contact with industry pros who are either pitching my songs to the majors, or who've already signed my material. However, that process took over a year to develop. That's over a year of writing songs that were rejected. Close, but not quite there. Good, but not great. Great, but not hits. Hits, but not smashes. You get the point.

So for me, getting major label placements is on my goal list for 2013.

But that's not it. Even though I consider that to be, in the hierarchy of my career, the pinnacle; it's not the only thing. Why? Because there's numerous factors beyond my control in placements, and it takes awhile to make any $ that way.


I've also concurrently been developing relationships with some very active film/TV publishers. (Thank you, TAXI!) After they hear, and sign many of your songs/tracks/cues, they start coming to you directly. So in any given day you might get an email asking for pop songs, then an email from a different publisher asking for drums/bass instrumentals. Then another is doing a licensing deal. And yet another is paying you XXX dollars up front to use your songs on a genre-specific collection (as well as paying royalties). {All of these things, & more have happened to me and many others in TAXI}

The beauty there is that the film/TV stuff pays a lot quicker (though on average, not as much), BUT it's easier to get those placements. And then it's just a numbers game - more placements, more compensation.

The point here is that every day when you go to write or produce music, you've got your goals out in front of you.

It's a focal point.

The reason to do that is this:  When an opportunity presents itself, you can easily see whether or not it fits your plan, your goals. If it does, do it. If not, let it pass.

Sure, writing a dub-step-hillbilly-trance infused-disco song might be fun (or would it?), but if doesn't fit what you're trying to accomplish - it's wise to do what will keep you on track in accomplishing your goals!

Remember, what we are developing here is a career in music, and that takes time. Don't get discouraged, don't quit!

To say, 'I want a #1 hit' in 2013 is an awesome goal, but how are you going to go about that? Do you have a plan? Do you have relationships with labels, A&R* (*if you are a member of TAXI, that answer is 'yes!')? And most importantly, do you have a SMASH?!

What's stopping you?
Most likely, it's what inhibits most people from ever creating goals - the fear of failure.

The hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said it best, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

So gird yourself up with courage, focus, and determination. Don't wait, it's not too late to make that goal for 2013. Grab a pen and paper...right now...and get to work on your plan for this year!

TAXI is making my dreams come true. Come along with me on this journey, there's always room for more passengers at TAXI! This isn't about me. It's about us. All of us. Working together. With TAXI.

I don't work for TAXI, but TAXI works for me!


  1. Hey James :)

    Great post and everything is so very true :)

    I'm at the very beginning of my plan to become a really good lyricist and make a really good living from it, with Taxi's help. My singer/songwriter hubby is also at the start of his TV/Film/etc career plan.
    I have very clear and definite goals, for the first six months, for the year 2013 and then beyond.

    I want so much for my plan to be a working lyricist to work, and I know that with Taxi's help, and the help and encouragement of my fellow Taxi members and forum friends, it will work !

    So thank you James, as always, for the extra encouragement. You, like many other successful Taxi members, are extremely generous in giving your time and learning to those coming up the hill behind you :)

    Sláinte !

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  3. Excelente reflexión y a empezar el año con fuerza y nuevos relatos.



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