Taxi Music is an independent A&R company that specializes in talent scouting and the commercial and artistic development of artists. It is based in Calabasas, CA. The company was established on the 15th of January, 1992 by Micheal Laskow, an engineer/producer in the 1970’s and 1980’s, in Woodland Hills, California.
Taxi helps artists and songwriters get their music out to recording labels, Ad agencies, music publishers, music libraries, Film and TV music supervisors, video game companies, among others. In this way, it connects artists to the music and entertainment industry.
As a producer, Laskow has worked with a lot of great artists, including Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Melanie, Cheap Trick, and many more.
It is from working with these artists that he identified a common problem among the many unsigned artists and songwriters he worked with. They would all spend a lot of time and financial muscle on coming up with demos that couldn’t even be heard by the top executives in the music industry.
That’s why he started Taxi Music; to help the unsigned artist to get discovered and signed to various recording labels.
He started Taxi in a one-bedroom apartment with seed capital from his best pal in college, Micheal Lubeger. After a few years of struggling, Taxi managed to break even and went on to pioneer the concept of independent A&R companies. Back then, such companies were just entities of recording labels. He brought something new to the table.
Some of its key features are;
Taxi acts as an intermediary between the various firms and the artists and composers. The artists and songwriters submit their work with Taxi music then their panel of professionals carefully analyze the work to determine if they fit what the firms are looking for.
Great A&R team
Taxi has an A&R team made up of professionals in the music industry. This means that all the music you send in will be heard by a pro in that genre. This is why a majority of the top recording labels and music publishers use Taxi to find new talent to sign.
When using Taxi’s music services, an artist is able to get expert feedback on their work from the pro panelists. This helps the artist improve their work and increase their chances of getting signed to a recording label.
Wide range of opportunities
Members registered with Taxi music are given access to more than 100 different opportunities every month. These openings are of different varieties like Rock, Modern Rock, Jazz, Pop, Country, Adult Contemporary, Film/TV, Instrumental and more.
Taxi provides a long list of contacts that can help an artist grow in the music industry. It is up to the artists to find them and impress them with their creations. The only downside is that Taxi music does not allow you to share the contacts you have cultivated through their services as it goes against their terms and conditions.
The Taxi A&R Dispatch
This is considered as an upgrade to the Taxi membership program. With it, you will get short notice instrumental requests from various music libraries that Taxi handles. However, this plan is only good for the robust instrumental composer that is already getting good forward deals from Taxi.
The annual convention
Members of Taxi music are given 2 free tickets for their annual conference. This gives the artists an opportunity to grow their networks and meet with music producers, supervisors of recording labels and the A&R executive panelists.
How it Works
Taxi works by informing the artists, songwriters and composers of the opportunities available to them.
Various recording labels, Ad agencies, music publishers, music libraries and film and TV supervisors inform Taxi Music of the type of songs, instrumental tracks and artists they require from them. Taxi then informs its members about these requests.
When a member sees a match for their work, they forward it to the Taxi A&R executives for review. The A&R executive team then carefully analyzes the work submitted to determine whether it is what was requested by the interested party. If it matches the needed work, the selected piece is sent to the respective party for consideration.
If the work impresses the interested entity, they will get in touch with the member who sent it in to negotiate the price for the work. If it doesn’t work for them, they will inform Taxi who, in turn, will inform you of the reason your work was turned down.
To join Taxi music, you have to pay about 300 dollars annually for their annual membership plan. For subsequent years, members have to part with 200 dollars annually as membership renewal charges.
It also costs a further 5 dollars to submit each work for review by the A&R executive panel for consideration. Taxi claims that this ensures that artists and songwriters only submit work that is worthy of consideration by the A&R executives.
If you wish for your song to be uploaded to the Taxi music website, you are required to pay a fee of 2$ for every song. There is a further additional charge of 5$ for scanning the photos of the album.
To access the Taxi A&R dispatch plan, you will have to pay about 0.5 dollars daily on top of the yearly subscriptions paid.
Only existing members have the option of upgrading to Taxi dispatch, which is done by placing a call to +1818-222-2464.
Pros of Taxi music
- Your music is heard by music industry professionals. Taxi is globally recognized and respected, which is why most pros listen to music from them.
- You are made aware of what the industry requires and when it is needed.
- The annual TAXI convention gives you an opportunity to mingle with and listen to the industry’s top professionals. You may even get lucky and get signed to a record label if you impress the various supervisors present during this event.
- It provides professional feedback, which allows you to improve on your weaknesses. The A&R team is purely comprised of professionals whose feedback will help up your game.
- It saves you the time of having to develop contacts as it avails a much easier way of engaging the industry. Taxi music provides a ready contact base that you can take advantage of.
- Taxi lets you keep all the cash you get after you strike a deal. It does not require you to give them a cut from the pay you get after they connect you with the Ad agencies, record label, or TV and Films supervisors. Whatever you earn is completely yours to keep.
- It has a full-year money-back guarantee policy. When you are not satisfied with the services accorded to you by Taxi music, you can lodge a complaint and be refunded your money at any time.
Cons of Taxi music
- Only a few of the many registered users are able to get deals from this service. Close to 600 out of the 10000 users have been able to get their songs placed. Because of the many users present, only those with exceptional talent get offers. This is, therefore, a disadvantage to budding artists as some may get discouraged and give up on their dreams.
- Taxi music cannot get your musical wok placed directly. It only forwards your work to the interested party who has the final say on whether to accept or reject your work.
- It is an expensive service. The 300$ required to register is too high. Furthermore, Taxi music has many upsells which add to the cost of accessing its services
- Paying for feedback. Essentially, by paying to submit your work for review by the A&R executives and waiting for the critique, you are paying for the feedback.
Taxi Music is a relatively good platform for artists that are looking to make it big in the entertainment industry. It has made it possible for musicians from across the globe to get connected to record labels, music publishers and Advertising agencies from the comfort of their own homes.
Plus, Taxi music serves as a gateway for the up and coming artists to get in touch with the decision-makers in the music industry. By providing professional feedback to the budding artist, Taxi music raises the quality of music available in the industry.
In this way, Taxi Music can save you a lot of time and financial resources if you are an artist looking for a breakthrough in this industry.
Its biggest problem, though, is its prohibitive cost. The membership fee is really exorbitant, especially to budding artists and songwriters. Plus, the numerous upsells one is required to buy to access the services are a discouragement to many people.
Other than that, I believe Taxi offers fantastic services and is a worthy try.