Steve Booke – Composer Interview

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    Art Munson

    1.) Your name:?

    Steve Booke

    2.) Any credits you care to mention?

    Oprah Winfrey Show, FIFA world cup, MTV, VH1, Discovery, Animal Planet, HGTV, American Pickers, Pitbulls and Parolees

    3.) How long have you been writing music?

    24 years

    4.) How did you get started?

    I had desire to write music that sounded like guitar players/bands that I was into at the time.

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

    4 years

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

    Yes, combined with recording sound alike albums

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

    $15,000 + with production music composing.

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

    I graduated from Berklee, but learned composing on my own.

    9.) Do you work through music libraries?


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


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

    No, not at this time.

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


    11.) How do you deal with rejection?

    I understand that rejection is part of this business. Not everyone will like what you do. When you are first starting out, it can take the wind out of your sails, but over time you learn to just dust yourself off quickly and move on.

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

    I really don’t have an opinion about it either way.

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

    Definitely back end. I have had some bad experiences with royalty free and steer clear of them now.

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

    Have a clear mind when writing this info and try to write from a perspective of someone hearing your song for the first time, not from the composer’s perspective. Stay away from your own opinion of the cue. Of course you will think it’s great. Listen to what you wrote and try and picture the scene that it evokes. Write that as your description.

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

    You Tube users take a lot of music that they do not purchase. This has happened to me in the hundreds! I’m very glad that systems are finally being put into place to track these usages and pay the composers. It’s not foolproof yet, but it’s getting there.

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

    Be a chameleon. Be able to write music in every style of music you can think of. To get a lot of work, listen to pop, dance, hip hop and orchestral. Even if you aren’t into the style, listen enough from an educational standpoint that if asked to compose something in these styles, you will have an idea of the appropriate sounds, grooves, feels and production.

    And finally!

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

    I really can’t see myself doing anything else… but if I had to answer it with something other than that, it would be teaching guitar and gigging.

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