Charles “Chizzy” Stephens – Composer Interview

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    Art Munson
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    1.) Your name?

    Charles “Chizzy” Stephens

    2.) Any credits you care to mention?

    I’ve produced for major artists including Jordan Knight, Jessica Mauboy, Travis Porter, Kalenna Harper and I have worked with major TV brands such as Cartoon Network (Run It Back), Bravo (Shashs Of Sunset), CBS (90210) and more.

    3.) How long have you been writing music?

    I’ve been doing music professionally for about 5 years.

    4.) How did you get started?

    I’ve always been around music, I started playing the trumpet in middle school and continued thru high school. In high school I also taught myself piano.

    5.) How long have you been writing library/production music?

    Just started with library music but I’ve been working with recording artists and licensing my music for TV for about 2 years now.

    6.) Are you making a living wage writing library/production music?

    Yes

    7.) Do you care to give any general figures of annual earnings (low/mid/high 5, 6, 7 figures)?

    5 Figures

    8.) Are you self-taught or have you studied formally?

    I am self taught

    9.) Do you work through music libraries?

    Yes this is something I’ve just started working with.

    9a.) If so are they exclusive and/or non-exclusive libraries?

    Both

    10.) Do you contact music supervisors, music editors or TV production companies directly?

    Time to time, its a 50/50 chance from what I have found so far.

    10a.) If so how do you approach them?

    I usually do my research first and reach out via email. When that doesn’t work I continue to research and see if I have a mutual friend with them or someone they know. 6 Degrees of separation.

    11.) How do you deal with rejection?

    I don’t take it personal and keep it moving.

    12.) How do you feel about re-titling?

    I’m not against, each situation is unique in my opinion.

    13.) What do you have the most success with, royalty free sites or back end PRO royalties?

    So far I’ve had more success with PRO royalties.

    14.) Any tips about writing descriptions, keywords and/or metadata?

    The one tip I would say which is what I did for myself. I just went to major libraries and went about it as if I was looking for music to license and I would make notes of the keywords and metadata they had.

    15.) Any trends you would like to comment on (YouTube Content ID, Internet Royalties)?

    I think the Youtube Content ID thing is good step in the next direction.

    16.) What sort of advice would you give to someone just entering the library/production music world?

    Researching is your best friend!!

    And finally!

    17.) If you were not writing music what would you be doing?

    I’d probably be playing a video game or two haha.

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