Dan – Composer Interview

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    Art Munson
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    1.) Your name?

    Dan

    2.) Any credits you care to mention?

    Various spots on TV in The UK & US including America’s Got Talent, I Didn’t know I was Pregnant, plus many commercials for all sorts of products.

    3.) How long have you been writing music?

    Since I was about 11, which makes it 17 years now.

    4.) How did you get started?

    Very briefly…As a kid, I loved playing keyboards and experimenting with all the things you could do with them, which led to getting into recording/computer music, studying at University and eventually doing it for work.

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

    For about 4-5 years

    6.) Are you making a living wage?

    Yes.

    7.) Do you care to give any general figures of earnings (low/mid/high 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 figures)?

    In US$, right? Low 6 figures

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

    Both – I’ve always studied music through school/college/university as well as being taught piano but all my production skills, guitar playing and anything else there might be is self taught.

    9.) Do you work through music libraries?

    Yes, predominantly

    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?

    No

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

    11.) How do you deal with rejection?

    Obviously it’s never nice but it’s part of the business. The way that I look at it is that more often than not, being accepted or rejected is down to one person’s opinion and it’s inevitable that not everyone will like your music, so I try to move on as quickly as possible, while understanding what I can learn from being rejected. Plus, we’re so fortunate to live in a time where there are countless opportunities to get your music used. In some ways it’s never been easier to make a living as a composer, in my opinion.

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

    I’m OK with it. I only really work with one library that re-titles and I completely understand why they do it and it seems to work pretty well.

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

    Royalty free sites

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

    Try to keep descriptions brief while including enough relevant information. Use a thesaurus for help with keywords

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

    I’ve had nothing but trouble from all of the YouTube Content ID stuff. I just opt out wherever possible

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

    Try to write lots of tracks, while keeping the quality high. Work out what you’re good at writing and focus primarily on that, whether it’s investing in the right equipment for that style of music or just writing more in one style than anything else. It’s great to write in different styles but don’t do it for the sake of it. If you really want to make a living as a composer, you’ve got to be business minded as well as musically minded. And finally, don’t fear rejection – it’s inevitable, so just try to learn and improve as a result of it.

    And finally!

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

    For work?? I have no idea – racing driver, astronaut, global sports star – any of those would be fine 😉

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