Laskow Sivers

I received this email from Taxi president, Michael Laskow. It contains a plug for Taxi, of course, but more importantly, it is a message for songwriters that I think many of us need to hear. It’s been a few years, but the message it just as true today as it was in 2004.

Full disclosure: I am a paying member of Taxi and I get no compensation or benefits from reprinting this email.

Dear Passengers,

I had dinner last night with Derek Sivers from CDBaby. We’ve been friends for years, and get together one or twice a year to just hang out and talk about our companies, our lives, and musicians in general. It’s always refreshing…for lack of a better word.

Derek and I are part of a very small group of people on the planet who deal with large numbers of indie artists and songwriters. Therefore we understand what very few others on Earth would even be aware of.

I think I monopolized the conversation for a while, speaking about my deeply felt frustration that every musician/writer/artist that I’m in contact with isn’t “successful,” when the majority of them could be. Of course, it depends on how each of you defines success.

One thing I’ve come to learn over the years is that most people really don’t have the expectation that they can be a multi-platinum rock star. Some of you do, but not the majority.

Just by staying in touch with you, I’ve come to understand that most of you want some sort of validation that your music is as good as you think it is. That “validation” might be in the form of TV placement, a cut on an album, an indie label deal, and for others, the elusive major label deal.

All those options are wide open, and as you’ve come to know from my letters, Film and TV placements are the easiest. So, why don’t more of you just go for it? We’ve got a fair number of members who’ve belonged to TAXI for years and never submit a single song.

We’ve got huge numbers of people on our “not-yet-members” list who keep thinking about taking the plunge, but they don’t.

We’ve all joined a gym at least once and petered out quickly, but this is MUSIC. You love to make music. Recording music shouldn’t make you sweat, and it won’t give you sore muscles!

I know it’s easier to just do nothing, but in the back of your mind you’re always going to wonder “what if?”

It’s a new year, and it’s becoming a new music industry. Don’t be a brick! Do something. Make forward movement. Take a chance. Take several.

If not TAXI, then form a band, play a gig, or write a song. Don’t be a spectator. Life is SO short. Please don’t spend yours just existing day to day. Accomplish something. Leave some sort of legacy. Feel good about yourself.

I’ve finally gotten this off my chest — whew. Welcome to 2005 kids!

Talk to you soon,


Reprinted with permission from TAXI: the world’s leading independent A&R company helping unsigned bands, artists and songwriters get record deals, publishing deals and placement in films and TV shows.

© 2004 TAXI. All rights reserved.


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