When I started with my music I was very young; I had thousands of dreams and although I was convinced I could go far, until that moment I was just making music. Although making the best music and being convinced of what we have is an important part to be successful, you need much more to make it work.
It was the year 2015 and I already had the first demo of what would be a test EP of 6 songs to which I was willing to give all the budget and time that I had at hand. Then I started to reach out to producers in hopes to open doors.
Well, I had to crash into the wall a few times, which many musicians of the world have come across. After I had reached out to a bunch of great labels their reply was as simple as, “If we have not asked you to send us your material or if you do not come with a producer or manager that work with us, do not send us anything. If you do, we will not listen to it.” And this hurt me deeply.
For a moment I shut down, I will not lie to you. The market was showing me how closed it was and how much time had been lost and the little budget I used ultimately helped me achieve nothing. But I was wrong.
If we review what they told me, they were not giving me a negative statement but a conditional one. And if the market worked with that conditional, then they were at the same time giving me a clue to find the solution.
I then put together a database of hundreds of producers and managers with whom I would like to work and I started to shoot personalized emails at them, explaining to each one the reason why I would like to work with them.
I received a lot of silence and many negatives replies, but I also started receiving good comments. Music is art and, as such, we cannot expect everyone to like it. We have to make sure that we are doing the best job possible so that when our target producer listens to it, it is our best version and we have a better chance at being successful.
The light of hope for my project was closer than I thought. I eventually received a message from the great Mark Needham, producer of great bands like Fleetwood Mac, The Killers, and Imagine Dragons, among others. He told me that he liked the demo he had received and would gladly work with me. I had taken a BIG step on the right path! But still, nothing was set in stone.
Mark is the man who supported me to make my dreams come true. Life that year gave me, through those beautiful coincidences, the chance to meet him in person at a Napa café in California and I swear that at 30 years old, it was one of the best moments of my life!
By June of 2016 we finished mixing my first EP. My bank account was again at zero dollars, but my heart was beating like a million dollars. I had achieved it, my hope and desire led me to find success. But there was still the most important stage left, to get people and the world to value my music and, most importantly, to assign the value that I was believing it had.
I started then to send my music to many brands around the world. I knew it was very complicated to place my music in advertising, series, movies, etc., since the advertising agencies and production companies already have exclusive contracts with audio houses. So, I decided to go directly to the brands with which my music would fit well. At this point, it was December of 2016 and 6 months after I finished the EP and I thought , “well, I tried, but this is not working”.
However, such insistence had managed to penetrate a transnational brand, and 9 months after I sent my music to all the brands, in March of 2017, I received the best email I have ever received in my life. My song, “Where You Belong,” had been chosen as the new corporate song worldwide for Movistar and O2 and would have presence and adaptations in 19 countries. It would sound on TV, radio, at events, it would be the new ringtone preloaded on the new cell phones sold by the brand and used on their social networks! On the one hand, all the investment I had made would pay off but I was also achieving distribution.
Reviewing the details of my experience, I realized that the global songs of the previous years had been “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees and “Human” by The Killers; not a simple competition!
The best thing of all is that I had not signed with any record labels, which is why I did not have to pay any percentage for the rights session contract and synchronization of my music.
The relationship with the transnational company was so good that this year they communicated with me to renew the original contract for another year and when they heard my new single, they decided that they loved it and bought that as well.
With this, “Where You Belong” and “What I Just Said” have become not only singles that have achieved a lot of streams in the channels of both brands, with more than 35 million streams, but this distribution affected also my channels, like Spotify that today has more than 170,000 streams.
There are many obstacles on the way, yes, but starting with a clear objective helped me to achieve my goal. Something is clear, I did not send my music to all the brands or to all the producers in the world; I sent it to those who aligned perfectly with my goals and made sense with the journey I wanted my music to make. So, you ask me if you can make your own success too? The answer is, “definitely yes, but come up with a project in which you create clear objectives and fight to surround yourself with the right people and reach the right allies”. If you are persistent and constantly work toward your goal, I have no doubts you will be just as successful.