Gav Duffy has been working in the industry for over 10 years. With his rich experience (having secured a sync deal for Coca-Cola in the past) and passion, dating all the way back from him being a little kid, the creative continues to grow. Now, not only is Duffy developing in music but also in management, publishing, and even production. We catch up with Gav to discuss sync deals, ways songwriters can improve their craft and his opinion on how digital technology is continuously helping creatives.
#1 Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
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. In regards to writing, I have been lucky enough to work 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!
#2 How’re you enjoying the platform, what benefits have you noticed so far?
I like Music Gateway and felt like there was a gap in the market for this kind of platform for quite a while. 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. 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.
#3 As a composer/songwriter, how has the change in digital technology helped benefit creatives? Do you feel you have more opportunities to connect and work?
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. From my research, Music Gateway is one platform to definitely connect with. Other sites that can help in a songwriter’s journey are Media Match, who can help connect songwriters interested in collaborating amongst many things, and Sentric Music, which is an online publisher. A key factor for these sites is their communication; a strong suit of Music Gateway is that they constantly update their members with new briefs. And for those songwriters who are also artists and want to release their music, you have places like Tunecore that are so easy to use – and surprisingly inexpensive.
#4 In your opinion, what are 3 ways a songwriter can improve their craft?
Interesting, I’m not the biggest believer in writing the formulaic three-minute pop track. Some people chase that and may, of course, be quite successful but that’s not what music or any art form is about for me. I would suggest songwriters improve their craft through
– Practice, 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.
#5 You’ve done quite a few projects, are any of the results being released anytime soon for people to check out?
Many are out there already for people to check out. You may have heard some of my work without realising hopefully. I’ve self-released in addition to collaborating with successful artists. The track that was synchronised for the Coca-Cola advert was written for The Jude, and that track was also supported in the UK by the likes of BBC Radio 1 and Record of the Day. My 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.
#6 What are the main advantages for you with running projects through the platform as opposed to working with existing connections?
In short, I would say ease and the possibility of making new connections. Before platforms such as Music Gateway, songwriters were endlessly Googling to research music supervisors and production agencies. IMDB was another channel that people used to discover what music supervisor worked on what production and, although useful, this took time. 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.
#7 What goals did you have when you first joined the site, have your needs been met?
My goals were to set up my profile in full, make sure I was connected in with the newsletter process and start getting some sync deals. I’ve yet to find the perfect fit but I’m pretty close and glad that there is a channel for me to use for such opportunities.
#8 What advice would you give to other members looking to utilise the site to aid their career?
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. 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.
They usually want mp3 files uploaded (with other formats ready and waiting should they be needed), a bio including any interesting work you’ve previously been involved with and, most importantly, don’t forget to have instrumental versions prepared and available also. 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.
If you’d like help in regards to developing your career or equally if you’d like to connect with people like Gav, sign up to Music Gateway today!