FAQ - How useful and legitimate are independent A&R agencies such as Taxi?

Keep in mind that, although companies like Taxi provide a legitimate service of shopping your music to industry executives, it will cost you. A few agencies will also include evaluations, live events, news pages and other bells and whistles but it’s best to consult with your manager or attorney to determine whether or not you should sign up for such a service.

Member Comments

Posted by don daley on 2010-03-11 at 1:55:56 pm

taxi_sucks!

Posted by Gary E. Andrews on 2010-03-15 at 4:30:05 am

Sign up for http://www.taxi.com ‘s newsletter and see what they do.

The newsletter shows what companies have a demand for. If you produce broadcast-ready music, their customers may be interested. If you don’t, they’re probably not interested, unless what you produce is so special it can get through the Taxi screeners. The screeners review members’ submissions and, if they think the quality is what their customers are looking for, they forward it. If not, they don’t.

Someone said you can get a refund at the end of one year if you don’t feel it was worth it. I haven’t read that myself so I don’t know. I don’t produce broadcast-ready music so I’m not a member. But I do enjoy reading the newsletter. Sometimes it specifies songs a la artists you know, or songs you know. Sometimes it specifies singer/songwriter style songs.

There’s no magic there, no easy-open door. It’s a matter of supply and demand. They specify the consumer’s demand; you can either supply it, in the opinion of Taxi screeners, or you can’t.

One of the benefits of http://www.songwriter101.com is getting free feedback on your product. If you want to know what members think of its ‘broadcast readiness’ just ask. If you want to know if they think it is a la of any artist you have in mind for it, ask. If you want to know if the lyric or melody or production hooked them enough to want to buy it, ask.

Sometimes their opinion is based on their own tastes. Sometimes it’s based on critical analysis of what they value in a song and whether yours has it. Sometimes its based on 7 seconds of consideration and the mood they’re in that day.

You are, or need to become, the best critic of your product. What do you think of it, based on your tastes, based on how it stands up to the competition, based on how it hooked you, the first listener? Were you really hooked or did you just start writing and it felt good so you accepted what you wrote as a song without really critiquing it for qualities of lyric, of melody, of the ‘prosody’ of lyric and melody, the qualities of the recording, the instrumentation, the production?

Can your product compete in the market? Do you have market research, feedback from consumers, especially those willing to give you their hard-earned money to own a copy of your song? That may be a sign the song has those qualities demanded by large numbers of consumers, and some of Taxi’s customers will want to ‘partner’ with you to use it for their artists, their films, their television show, their commercial ads. If you have no market research, it may be too soon to expect Taxi or a publishing company or Artist & Repertoire (A&R) representative or an artist or record label to be interested. If you’ve sold 10,000 copies yourself, they might be very interested.

If you don’t know the commercial aspects of bringing your art to market, you’re in luck. Start studying now on Songwriter101 to educate yourself about it. Maybe a few months, or a few years from now you WILL have what the market demands.

If it was easy everyone would succeed. As Mitch Ryder and Detroit sing, “It Ain’t Easy!” But it sure is fun.

Posted by Jim Morrison on 2015-05-22 at 3:19:59 pm

Keep in mind that Taxi is a gate keeper. When they say “Your song needs to sound like bla bla band” they mean it. If it doesn’t sound exactly like bla bla band then you just wasted 5 dollars. On top of that, they only allow, sometimes, as little as 1 week to submit your song. So, if you do not have one ready to go, you miss that opportunity.
Taxi’s business model is flawed for the most part. They charge 5 dollars to scan your song for the submission and if that gate keeper thinks for any reason the customer won’t like it, your bounced back and you loose $5.00. Even if the song you sent in is a #1 hit, your still bounced out.
The proper way to run taxi is: You pay the $5.00 to submit, If the gatekeeper thinks it’s a great song, he/she catalogs it using tags in a database. This way if your submission isn’t correct this time, the next customers requirements might trigger your cataloged song to pop up in their search. Then Taxi emails you that they are going to submit your song to the new opportunity and charges another $5.00 for an actual submission to the customer. Taxi doubles their money and you are guaranteed that your song was heard by the client.

I dropped Taxi.

Posted by Gary E. Andrews on 2015-06-26 at 9:04:24 am

Dear Passengers,
Do you have:
Blues Inspired Rock Songs for a Non-Exclusive Placement in an Independent Film?
“Booty Themed” Hip Hop Songs for a Big Hollywood Feature Film?
Alt Rock Songs for a Multi-Platinum Producer?
Retro-Inspired, Contemporary R&B Songs for a Major Label Artist?
If you do, please keep reading to get all the details…
Several BLUES-inspired GARAGE ROCK SONGS with Male Vocals are needed for NON-Exclusive Placements by the Music Supervisor of an Independent Film. Give them rockin’ songs in All-Tempos that could be found on the same playlist as acts like Gary Clark Jr., Patrick Sweany, The Sheepdogs, etc., etc., etc. Please listen to the following references to get yourself in the stylistic ballpark of what this Supervisor is looking for:
“Bright Lights” by Gary Clark Jr.:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFjMeOnqAPI
“Them Shoes” by Patrick Sweaney:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7licGkKp48
“The Way It Is” by The Sheepdogs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmG1Qjs7FpE
Quoting the source: “This will be used as background source music to play in a typical dive bar as the characters shoot pool and drink whiskey. We need both Up-Tempo and Down-Tempo options to play in a variety of scenes. It should sit in the background well as there will likely be a lot of dialog during these scenes.”
Please submit gritty, down ‘n’ dirty Songs with rockin’ guitar riffs, solid hooks, engaging melodies, and a beefy chorus. Your vocal should be solid and sound like it’s a good match for this type of rough-edged Rock. Lyric themes can vary, but should be something you’d typically hear in this genre. You’d be smart to avoid references to specific brands, places, dates, times, and names.
TAXI Tip: Because this is an Indie Film, the estimated license fee is only $100. But it’s notable that the Music Supervisor for this film also works on some really big TV shows, so this could be a great way for the Supervisor to get to know you and your music.
This is a Non-Exclusive, Direct-to-Music Supervisor pitch, so you’ll keep 100% of the sync fee and any applicable performance royalties if you nail a placement in this film. Plus you’ll also keep 100% of your Publishing and Master ownership. You must own or control your Master and Copyright to pitch for this opportunity. Please submit one to three Songs online or per CD, include lyrics. All Songs will be screened on a Yes/No basis. No full critiques. Please submit 1-3 songs no later than 11:59PM (PDT), on Monday, July 6th, 2015. TAXI #U150706BR


Join and Submit to this Listing


“BOOTY-THEMED,” CONTEMPORARY HIP-HOP SONGS with Male Vocals are needed for NON-Exclusive Placements by an A-List Music Supervisor for a Big Budget Feature Film. Give them energetic, Mid-Tempo Songs that sound like they could be heard on the same twerk-friendly playlist as artists like Major Lazer, Big Sean, Bubba Sparxxx, etc., etc., etc. Please listen to the following references to get yourself in the stylistic ballpark of what they need:
“Bubble Butt” by Major Lazer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSaYQc3z7us
“Dance (A$$)” by Big Sean:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD408qDmxV8
“Ms New Booty” by Bubba Sparxx:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUelCwxVt6M
Give them bouncy, rhythmically engaging songs that sound like a true Hip-Hop record, with a simple hook-driven arrangement and song structure. Your vocals should be contemporary and current sounding, with a rhythmic quality that’s loaded with creative, street-smart language. “Booty-based” lyric themes are needed for this pitch, but other than the obvious need to include booty-licious references, you’d be wise to avoid references to specific names, places, dates, times, brands, and overt profanity.
All submissions should be full-length—like a radio hit – approximately 3 to 4 minutes long, with a great bottom-end (no pun intended) on your mix. Do NOT copy or rip off the referenced acts or songs in any way shape or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Also, please avoid any material with unauthorized samples of other artists’ music, sounds, or any other form of media. Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine).
The estimated license fee for this is $1000, depending on the ultimate use. This is a Non-Exclusive, Direct-to-Music Supervisor pitch, so you’ll keep 100% of the sync fee and your Master and Publishing rights, plus you’ll also get 100% of any applicable performance royalties. You must own or control the Master Recording and Copyright to pitch for this opportunity. All songs will be screened on a Yes/No basis. No full critiques. Please submit 1-3 songs no later than 11:59PM (PDT), on Monday, June 29th, 2015. TAXI #U150629HH


Join and Submit to this Listing


CONTEMPORARY ALT ROCK SONGS with Male Vocals are needed by a Multi-Platinum, Grammy Award Winning Record Producer for artists he’s currently working with. Please submit infectious, Mid-to-Up-Tempo Songs that would appeal to the fans of acts like Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday, etc., etc., etc. Give him radio-friendly Alt Rock songs with highly engaging hooks, catchy melodies, and great lyrics that anyone can relate to. A vocal performance that’s strong enough to help sell the producer and artists on the idea of cutting your song is a plus. Acoustic demos will work for this pitch, but your recording quality (even for stripped-down demos) needs to be clean, clear, well balanced, and good enough to represent your song well. Please submit one to three Songs online or per CD, include lyrics. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI and must be received no later than Monday, June 29, 2015. TAXI #S150629AR


Join and Submit to this Listing


RETRO-INSPIRED, CONTEMPORARY R&B SONGS with Male Vocals are needed by the VP of A&R at a Major Record Label for a very talented artist working on a brand new record. Please submit fresh, Mid-to-Up-Tempo Songs that would instantly appeal to the fans of acts like Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars, John Legend, etc., etc., etc. Quoting the source: “They’re ideally looking for the next ‘Uptown Funk’ or ‘Blurred Lines’ for this young, but really talented artist.” Give them emotionally upbeat, single-worthy songs that are full of radio appeal, with a rhythmically engaging and melodically catchy approach. Songs should be filled with great hooks, with an outstanding chorus that’s screams “radio hit!” Your demo production should be competitive to get them excited about cutting your song, with a recording quality that’s clean, clear, well balanced, and good enough to represent your song well. Please submit one to three Songs online or per CD, include lyrics. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI and must be received no later than Monday, June 29, 2015. TAXI #S150629RB

Posted by Gary E. Andrews on 2015-06-26 at 9:06:08 am

Above is an example of a TAXI communication of what its customers are looking for. June 26, 2015

You need to be logged in to post comments.