was more than kind enough to share about his experience on Music Xray:
During all the months that I spent composing, performing and producing my solo EP Etherati, I never gave much consideration to what
I should do with the material after I was done. But within a week after I uploaded the final mixes to the web that became my singular focus.
As the album gained traction it became clear that my position in the online charts was a useful tool but a limited measure of success.
I started looking for ways to extend my reach and get my music in front of not just more people, but the right people. The people
who would get most out of the experience. All music is not for everybody, and there are literally millions of artists competing
for each listener's attention. So I used market research to identify my core demographics and the music they liked.
I rotated ads on social networks and measured their engagement in my music. The results inspired confidence but in real terms not
Having limited bandwidth and a limited window of opportunity during which I could leverage the chart momentum,
I decided to enlist the services of multiple vendors to see if I could improve my position. I started campaigns with the
largest, most well established A&R companies and worked my way down, submitting for every opportunity that looked remotely promising.
I submitted for labels
, film & TV licensing
, FM radio
I braced for an avalanche of rejection, and that's exactly what I got, and I paid a considerable price for the privilege.
I had some success in the form of college radio, online plays and blog coverage, but the cost was prohibitive relative to the exposure.
At the end of the day I still had a sense that I might have more luck if I could get the music in front of the right people,
but that the odds were long due to the sheer volume of applicants. I'm a programmer as well as a musician and I convinced
myself that I simply needed to improve my signal-to-noise ratio, an optimization problem, and keep trying. At that point,
I decided to allocate the remainder of my submission funds to Music Xray, the only vendor in my survey even attempting to develop a solution to that problem.
That turned out be the right decision and a major inflection point in my career. Within days, I received an email indicating that my flagship song
had been matched by their software. It had been matched with other songs previously selected by the
legendary producer Stuart Epps
, and he had an opportunity posted up on the site that I may not have noticed and
probably would not have responded to where it not for that email. I paid the submission fee just for the talking points. Imagine my surprise
when I got another email a week later indicating he had selected my song for further development and provided some very encouraging feedback,
including the words "very strong vocals, well done". I just about fell out of my chair. Within days we were chatting online, in all seriousness,
about the viability and funding required for him to produce my next album. That conversation may have been inconsequential for him because he is
an industry luminary and this is his business, but for me, it was quite remarkable.
It was also an experience that I would repeat, to some extent, a few months later when I submitted for an opportunity to work with one of the
most prolific and highly regarded producers in the world, Ron Nevison. My interaction with Ron started with The Mistress, and he responded
right away so I followed up with Falling
and The Turk
to see if I could pique his interest.
He responded with glowing feedback on the guitar work for all three submissions, which he characterized as "amazing", and constructive feedback on
vocals and song structure, before he realized they were all from the same artist. A few weeks later I was on the phone with Ron discussing the
funding and logistics of what it would take to record my next album. It was nothing short of surreal.
My success with Music Xray was not limited to dialogs with producers and speculations about recordings, either.
Largely, due to my experience in the theater, one of the things I have always endeavored to produce is music that has a strong sense of atmosphere.
In my mind, I associate every musical element with images, thoughts and feelings, and it is my goal to evoke a similar experience for the
listener from their own vantage. Television and film producers need evocative music to compliment their work, and I like to imagine my music
fulfilling that need, but the music must precisely capture the atmosphere they are hoping to convey. The odds are exceptionally low and the potential
payoff is considerable. It's another variation on the signal-to-noise optimization problem.
It's also another area where the Music Xray system shines, and I've been one of the benefactors of the payoff.
Shortly after my initial success with The Mistress, my song Falling was selected for a TV & Film licensing opportunity with
Upper 11 / Universal
through a Music Xray posting by Tony Meola.
That song has a very specific ambience, with vocals that are somewhat understated on top of jazz-inflected acoustic guitar
work frosted with Latin-style lead work. It captures a time and place in my life in a way that probably only makes sense to me,
but in this particular case it happened to line up with what the producer has in mind. Somehow Music Xray, through a combination of
technology and smart business, managed to tie it all together. It wasn't an isolated experience, either. Will Griggs,
now the Director of Marketing and Music Placement at Atrium Music Group
, was looking for 80's sounding metal ala Motorhead.
He found what he was looking for in The Mistress (and it's a good thing, too, because he does not like to get upstaged by that other song). The instrumental songs on the album were also very well received and are currently residing in multiple song catalogs where they are waiting for
the right person looking for the right scene to come along.
Of course you can't really measure success on anybody else's terms but your own, and I'm not really sure how to define it for myself.
But I am certain that I've got an abundance of it now, and that I'm not the only one. Not only do I enjoy the company of the great
musicians on their wall, the Music Xray team has succeeded in developing game-changing technology and a brilliant business model to support it.
They deserve to be recognized for what they've accomplished because it flat-out kicks ass.
Nice job, guys. Seriously, great work.
Check out Matthew's music here
, and find out how his great music shines through.