Brighton-based songwriter, producer, vocalist and music composer Jonny White has had previous music composition clients that include Channel 4 and Dirt and Glory Media. We discussed with White on how the platform has helped him to further develop (and hopefully increase his clientele, tips on how to successfully enter the field of top line melody writing and so much more.
#1 Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I am a songwriter, music producer and vocalist. I have had my tracks placed with a variety of media agencies and UK and European TV channels including Channel 4, France 2, La Une and Sky Italia. I have played solo and with various bands which have toured across the UK and Europe. I currently front Escapades a Brighton based indie-pop band. In the last 3 years, I have focused my work on writing songs for artists, composing music for advertising briefs and producing and remixing tracks for other bands and artists.
#2 What made you want to pursue a music career?
Since I have started producing, remixing and writing for other artists I have loved working with so many talented individuals and bands from different musical backgrounds. No day is ever the same when you are composing music for different briefs and within different musical genres. As soon as I got my first guitar aged 12 and learnt the simple but undeniably brilliant chord sequence to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit I knew that making a career out of music was something I had to do.
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#3 How’re you enjoying the platform, what benefits have you noticed so far?
The Music Gateway platform is fantastic for connecting with music industry professionals and allowing the user to apply for opportunities which are matched to the skills you have. You do not need to have an impressive array of industry contacts to have a successful career in music if you join the site because the project owners will commission you to work for them based purely on the quality of your pitch and the music you have on your profile. I also like the clarity of the platform in terms of knowing in advance what the payment, royalty split etc will be if you are selected to work on a project. I have secured a range of composition, production and recording work with a variety of really talented artists and songwriters on the site and in particular it has been great working with fellow Music Gateway members Donna Karein (SongwriterDee) and the CountryClubMartiniCrew.
#4 You wear many hats in the industry, including songwriter, producer, vocalist and composer. Has the platform helped you excel in these skills in any way?
The Music Gateway platform has helped me to further develop (and hopefully my clients would say excel :) in my songwriting and production skills. Working with incredibly talented vocalists who have a more extensive vocal range than myself means I can write vocal melodies which push their vocals further than I would be able to go if I were singing on the track. Consequently the finished tracks have greater 'hit potential'. I love the collaborative approach to songwriting and producing which the site offers which can range from swapping ideas for composing the perfect beat, bass line, synth part etc for the track to debating which lyrics sound great and which need rewriting.
#5 What tip would you give others who want to enter into the field of top line melody writing, is there something composers must be aware of when writing for small or major briefs?
For top line melody writing it is so important to understand exactly what the client wants both in terms of lyrical content and the vocal's tone and to make sure this is reflected in your writing. If you have the opportunity to contact the owner of the brief, ask more questions of what they are looking for as they often have to condense a range of ideas into a short written description. I once successfully pitched for a brief by doing exactly this as the music supervisor replied to my email and said "we forgot to mention in the description that our client wants something similar to this track'. This extra piece of information gave me a massive advantage over everyone who had pitched just based on the brief's written description.
#6 What are the main advantages for you with running projects through the platform as opposed to working with existing connections?
Running projects through Music Gateway is fantastic because you open your collaboration opportunities up to a far wider net of talented artists than you would ordinarily be able to do through just approaching existing connections. Having a range of artists submit demo vocals enables me to not only pick the artist which I think would best suit the project but often their unique vocal delivery leads me to change the instrumentation on the track and it ends up taking an exciting new musical direction.
#7 What advice would you give to other members looking to utilise the site to aid their career?
Make sure your profile clearly lists your skills and the services you can offer as this will mean the site matches the opportunities which are most suitable for you. Include only your best songs as they will be what potential clients and collaborators judge you on (3 great sounding, polished compositions are far better than 10 poorly recorded, badly mixed tracks). And finally be punctual, professional and polite in all communications with potential clients because even in the music industry in late 2016 good manners can take you a long way!
If you'd like help in regards to developing your career or equally if you'd like to connect with people like Jonny ,sign up to Music Gateway today!