Guild On Tour: Northern Edition

By Will Smith

Photo credit: Andrew Benge

After a series of successful panels across the country, PRS for Music brought How To: Make Your Music Pay to Headrow House in Leeds.  With a focus on songwriting, copyright, and sync, PRS approached the Guild and asked for a music supervisor local to the north for their final panel, and so I found myself popping along the M62 to give my two cents on getting your music licensed in TV and film.

Aimed at the local musical talent, the series of panel and interview events run by PRS are focused on providing guidance and help to music creators and help them gain knowledge and understanding about the music business.  With a packed-out space, it’s clear that the musicians are keen for the help!

The event started with an interview hosted by BASCA with Richard Boardman, Delphic founder turned hit songwriting machine.  Richard’s focus was on his songwriting collective ‘The Six’, and his tips for aspiring songwriters were direct, helpful and refreshingly personal.  His invitation for any and all to email him personally was an indication of the collaborative, friendly feel and set the tone nicely for the rest of the evening.

After a brief break to grab a pint and for the congregation to descend upon Richard with fervent questions, the first panel of the night started, chaired by the event’s organiser, Dan Jones of PRS for Music.  Consisting of Andy Farrow (Northern Music), Helienne Lindvall (Auddly & BASCA), Joe Frankland (PRS Foundation) and Claire Rose (PRS for Music), the panel was there to discuss “How To: Make Your Music Pay”.  

The panelists’ broad backgrounds and specific expertise allowed the attendees a holistic view of locking down the business elements of your music in the digital age, from the live music industry to management.  Snippets of advice such as the liking of discussing songwriting splits in the studio to “discussing a prenup on the first date” (Helienne Lindvall) gave all attending concrete takeaways to apply to their own situation.

With another swift pint consumed, it was the final panel’s time to shine, with Benson Taylor, Rachel Wood (Woodwork Music), Ben McAvoy (WMP) and yours truly taking to the stage.  Again chaired by Dan Jones, the focus was “How To: Place Your Music in Films and TV”, divulging everything attendees want to know about sync and getting music used in film, on TV shows, and in adverts. 

With a variety of background and discipline on the panel, the conversation covered contentious issues such as soundalikes, as well as the differences in syncing for television in the US to the UK.  As the panel’s music supervisor, I was focused on providing information to those in the audience who were interested in getting their tracks licensed (including the best ways to get your music noticed by supervisors), and the rest of the panel took a closer view on composing/creating for specific projects.

The panel’s breadth in this respect became apparent at the drinks after (kindly supplied by PRS for Music), where I was approached by composers and recording artists alike – a reflection of the diversity of musical attendees.  It was apparent that the event had been exceedingly useful for all who came.

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