Gus Caveda – Composer Interview

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    Art Munson
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    1.) Your name?

    Gus Caveda

    2.) Any credits you care to mention?

    I’ve had songs placed on several networks including ABC, CW, Bravo TLC, MTV, Discovery and History Channel. I’ve also had songs place on a couple of indie films including “Hell or High Water” and “The Awakened”.

    3.) How long have you been writing music?

    Over 25 years

    4.) How did you get started?

    I started playing guitar at age 10. By the time I was 14, I was playing local hotels (and bars with my dad in tow) around the Miami Beach area as a soloist and later in several local bands. In the mid 80’s I was signed to Atlantic records with a Freestyle band. That later led to writing and producing music for other Artists and eventually writing for film and TV.

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

    I started about 4 years ago, but got serious about developing a significant catalog about 2 ½ years ago.

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

    Not yet, but working on it.

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

    In the low 4 figures.

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

    I studied classical guitar at age 12, but mostly have picked up what I know by listening and watching other musicians.

    9.) Do you work through music libraries?

    Yes

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

    Right now it’s about 50/50

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

    No, but would like to start networking this way soon.

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

    n/a

    11.) How do you deal with rejection?

    Not a problem. What usually gets rejected from one library will find a home somewhere else. This business is all about having what the client needs when they need it.

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

    It’s worked fine for me up until now, but I can see where it might become a problem later. Also I’m not too thrilled with exclusive libraries that are still re-titling. I don’t see the point in that.

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

    Back-end for sure, but RF come in very handy in between quarterly payments from the PRO’s.

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

    In today’s over-saturated music market, it is imperative you use good keywords to stand out. But make sure they are relevant to the music and style.

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

    Unfortunately the fees being paid by online services are a joke. Considering the amount of ears (and eyes) that are visiting these sites, songwriters should be seeing more money than the pennies filtering down right now.

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

    Production music is one of the few areas of the music business that can “almost” guarantee you success, but you have to be into it for the long haul. Write as much as you can, but write as good as you can.

    And finally!

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

    Making movies, writing scripts, or any other art form that involves “calling up the muse”…

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