Taxi Road Rally 2022: Is Taxi Worth It?



This post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam, episode 256. Is the Taxi Road Rally Worth It (for the D.I.Y. Rock Star): (video: https://bit.ly/256taxiworthitvid and podcast: https://bit.ly/256taxiworthitpod )


 

Hey, I just want to let you know that this is a non-sponsored post. We do NOT receive ANYTHING from Taxi for sharing any of this.


 


To be COMPLETELY honest, we were going to the Taxi Road Rally to try to decide if we were going to continue our—probably! easily! off and on!—twenty-year membership. We are VERY skeptical about the value of their roughly $200 a year membership—where you get to forward songs for review for $5 per pop!—but ALSO where you get to go to the annual Road Rally as part of the membership (along with a complementary guest). –And, as you MAY already know, we’ve had a few songs forwarded over the years, but have NEVER enjoyed the success that we were seeking with them. So, deciding to go—for the FIRST time EVER!—to this event was us asking ourselves if we were going to re-up with them this coming year.


—BUT we HAVE to say that the “free” annual conference is really genius, because what professional conference can you attend annually for $250? So, now that we’ve been, we are extolling the values and, needless to say, will continue our membership.


 

For legal reasons, we will not share any of the content from the sessions, but we will let you know our HONEST opinions on some of the greater and finer points of the conference. (Also, sessions are said to become available at https://www.youtube.com/c/TaxiIndependentAR )



On November 4, the keynote address was given by Michelle Bell, VP of Creative at Roc Nation (and former Taxi intern and song screener). We are paraphrasing the best advice we’ve ever heard for the question:

  • “How do I get to know people?”

Don’t hand them a CD at the stage; instead, sidle up to a person at the bar and ask folks how they got their start? After they talk for about 20 minutes, they will ask you about yourself and THAT'S your chance.


  • Another one of our takeaways from this session is:

“Success is a journey; not a destination.” She said, instead of riding the highs and lows of the music business by taking it all emotionally, she stops and is grateful for each small opportunity and that allows her to believe that she can make more “magic.”



 

November 5, 2022: This is our third beach we’ve visited since we got here: Venice, Santa Monica, and now Malibu. 😬🤷🏽‍♀️🙌🏾




The BEST session so far has been “Composing for Production Music Libraries: Techniques and Strategies" (with Peter Neff). His advice was easy-to-understand, easy-to-implement, and practical; a combination that is very rare in music conference sessions.




 

ANOTHER observation is that the Taxi Founder and CEO, Michael Laskow, is waaaay more entertaining in-person than he is on YouTube.

 

Here is the advice that we shared on

Gab & Jam, 256: Is the Taxi Road Rally Worth It (for the D.I.Y. Rock Star):

(video: https://bit.ly/256taxiworthitvid and podcast: https://bit.ly/256taxiworthitpod )



 

We are at our first ever Taxi Road Rally and here are things that have enlightened/surprised us:


1. Engaged with 1k songwriters!

More than any other music biz conference we’ve been to—including South by Southwest and GearFest—This conference is great to make songwriter friends. —In fact, we’ve met so many talented fellow songwriters that we’re going to share some of them in the blog post that accompanies this episode.


2. Network DIRECTLY with sync professionals

This is a great place to be able to connect DIRECTLY to sync professionals, music supervisors, and music libraries. The folks here are helpful and approachable and actually looking to meet songwriters to use for projects that they’re working on. This is a unique opportunity that we’ve never quite encountered before.




3. Pros are approachable

In fact, there were some mentor sessions set up PRECISELY to give direct feedback on songs, as well as a large session, where music libraries and a music supervisor reviewed pre-submitted material, and offered advice and/or placement right on the spot. We had never been a part of an experience like that before and it was helpful with the next item on our list.


4. Came away with different strategy

What we have learned has helped us strategize our sync placement better. What we’ve learned is that it would best for us to have a separate pool of songs—and sing parts—just for sync, so that we have more flexibility to be taken on by music libraries. We did not understand that this until we hear how these music business professionals work with songwriters and use the songs in what they do. –Here’s a tip we learned from this conference: If you’re a hip hop artist, you want to make sure to NEVER use samples and/or pre-made loops, because music libraries will NOT even bother signing songs that have been already published—especially by other writers. It is simply too much work, so their advice was don’t even use them as you write for placements.


5. Mixed in sightseeing

We were able to experience our trip differently, so that we could enjoy a bit of a vacation WHILE still “doing the work” of learning and networking at the conference. What we did was strategize which sessions to attend and then build in daily trips to locations that we were curious about. So, for instance, we visited 3 different beaches within the 3 different days, tried restaurants unique to the Los Angeles area, but were able to meet and mingle with music industry professionals—which was one of our MAIN goals as we set off on this trip.



6. Final realization

Toward the end of the keynote session, the Taxi Founder has folks stand, whose songs have ever been placed through the service and a good half of the room stood up. THIS was very encouraging for us, because it showed that the company ACTUALLY walks the talk, which helps make taking their advice and re-upping with them much MORE likely.


AGAIN, we weren’t EXPECTING anything worth sharing, so that to have felt as if it is QUITE a benefit was amazing and made us want to encourage other D.I.Y. Rock Star—looking to do what we’re doing—to think about joining (for THIS conference alone)!


 

people we met: