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Gav Duffy Talks Songwriting Tips and Sync

By Mary Woodcock on 04 Nov 2016

Gav Duffy has had some great success in the music industry, working with major and independent companies such as Polydor Records and A&G Publishing. “I wrote my first song at the age of twelve and haven’t stopped since!”

But Gav doesn’t just work as an artist and songwriter. “I’ve worked in the music industry for over ten years now, in many different roles. In addition to songwriting, I have experience with music PR, management, publishing, and production. I’ve always been attracted to artists and songwriters who take control of their own careers and learn the business side of music too.”

You may have heard some of Gav’s work as he’s had success self-releasing as well as collaborating with other successful artists. One track, written for ‘The Jude’ was synchronised for a Coca-Cola advert and supported in the UK by the likes of BBC Radio 1 and Record of the Day. Further collaborations include that of hip-hop artist Antix, who has millions of streams online and has been recommended by Red Bull Music, Hype Magazine and the Huffington Post amongst others.

Wait, a Coca-Cola sync? Yes, we did say that Gav has had some great success! He explains more about this sync: “For myself, my eyes were really opened some years back when I secured a sync deal for a Coca-Cola TV advert that aired in the US. This was via a publisher before Music Gateway existed but it made me realize that self-releasing artists, without international recognition per se, could still be of interest to music supervisors at all levels.”

Gav has seen the world of sync change, saying that “Attitudes towards synchronisation really changed for writers and artists in the past ten or fifteen years and it’s seen as a much more feasible and attractive revenue stream now.”

Sync isn’t the only thing that has changed for the better. Thanks to the changes in digital technology, there are now more opportunities for collaboration and work. Gav agrees: “Absolutely, there are so many more opportunities now to benefit creatives. If anything, the only issue is that sometimes there can be so much choice for composers/songwriters that it can be overwhelming to know who to work with.”

At Music Gateway, we aim to facilitate this in helping creatives to find one another and start collaborating. Gav also mentioned this, saying that one of the main advantages he found from Music Gateway was the ease and possibility of making new connections.

“I like Music Gateway and felt like there was a gap in the market for this kind of platform for quite a while. Music Gateway is one platform to definitely connect with. Before platforms such as Music Gateway, songwriters were endlessly Googling to research music supervisors and production agencies. Songwriters want to write songs, understandably and need that time for making connections to be minimised or, at least, as ‘lean’ as possible. Music Gateway just makes all that much easier. It’s also a good platform for finding opportunities and connections that are not available to be found via other means. A strong suit is that they constantly update their members with new briefs.”

Gav also would like to offer 3 tips for songwriters who want to improve their craft:

  • Practise, practise, practise (that counts as one, right?)

  • Listen to the songs that you love and study their structure. Are there patterns and common threads that certain artists or genres follow?

  • Be objective. So many creatives can be critical of others’ work but then be more tolerable of their own shortcomings. Critique yourself as if you are critiquing others.

  • He would also like to offer some advice to members of the platform on how to get your profile ready and how to get the most out of it:

“Make sure you take some time aside to build your profile properly. It may seem tedious when websites ask for specific file formats or information but little things like that can sometimes factor in whether you secure a future sync deal or not.”

Often, the more info you can provide, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to get somewhere with your tracks. “In the same way as songwriters enjoy the ease of a website like Music Gateway, the same can be said of the other side and production agencies and music supervisors want things to be simple too.”

What you need to provide in order to achieve this according to Gav:

  • Upload mp3 files (with other formats ready and waiting should they be needed)

  • Don’t forget to have instrumental versions prepared and available.

  • Have a bio, including any interesting work you’ve previously been involved with.

If you have all that prepared correctly, and upload some strong tracks, then you and Music Gateway should be well on your way to nailing a suitable sync deal. Now that you have all the tools and tips you need, you’re ready to start or enhance your Music Gateway profile.