Dearest Tonemillers, we get it. As much as you’ve enjoyed enriching yourselves with our interviews speaking with interesting individuals ranging from beatboxers to music documentary makers, you’re currently still unemployed. “Tonemamas, we need career advice!” you’re yelling at us from your screens. We heard you, and so we’re inviting you to get out of your leisure wear and instead don a business suit as we tell you straight up how to get your music placed in TV and movies with Pamela Pagano, head of OML sync and Over the View Radio.
Wearing your blazer with 80’s shoulder pads? Us too. Now let’s dive straight in:
Pamela’s tips for Tonemillers: When Submitting Music…
- Make your submission as readable as possible: Don’t send a bunch of songs, it’s so confusing! And don’t send a lot of different links or files – make it easy and send the right music.
- Don’t send demos: Whoever’s receiving your track wants to listen to the final version. Don’t attach an explanation with your track, people don’t have that kind of patience.
- Don’t expect them to listen for a specific moment: By 10-20 seconds into the track I have already determined the mood, style, and if it’s a good production and so on.
- Don’t send too long songs: For this purpose, send the radio edit.
- Make sure you have all the right material: It’s important to have an instrumental version of the song, because sometimes that’s all that’s needed for a scene. Also make sure to have the lyrics in case the music supervisor is looking for specific lyrical content.
- Have your affairs in order: Make sure to have all your songs registered with a PRO.
- Know that you’re submitting to a publisher. (Ehrmm, okey, this one seemed a little obvious, but maybe the Tonemamas are just geniuses… oh well.)
Alright Tonemillers, take a screenshot and let’s continue. Moving on to the next important question: “What are you actually looking for when signing an artist? Is there anything specific that can make it or break it?” Cue another well-organized, delightfully numbered list!
Pamela’s tips for Tonemillers: General Advice
- Do your research: As I’m a small boutique company, I am style-focused. All my artists are in the electro-pop sphere. If you’re a big publisher you can have a big library with lots of genres – that doesn’t work for OML sync. So do your research before submitting.
- Social Media followers and streaming numbers: From the publishing side, numbers are not important. From the business side, labels want to see numbers. Conclusion: Know what you’re after and strategize accordingly.
- Image: The image of the artist is very important, it needs to be interesting and fit with the style.
- Photo/cover art: If I don’t like the photo, or don’t think it fits the music, it can be a dealbreaker for me. It tells me something about the artist’s taste if the photo completely doesn’t match the music.
We hope you’re paying attention Tonemillers! These are some goodies. Now a question for all the self-published independent artists out there: “Is it worth it getting a publisher?” Pamela’s answer is a loud and clear YES:
Pamela’s tips for Tonemillers: Why You Should Work With a Publisher
- Focus on your music: If you want to be an artist, you need to focus on creating your music, you can’t spend all the time it takes to manage yourself – there are professionals that can do this for you.
- You’re not losing money:A lot of artists are afraid of giving up part of their intellectual property or rights and so on but it’s not true. They can literally have someone who is working for free that is actually just working on pushing your song. And you still get paid the composer part when opportunities arise, an income stream that most likely wouldn’t have appeared if it wasn’t for the publisher.
- We’re not all the same:There are so many different ways to work among the sync agencies and publishers around the world, so again- do your research and know who you’re potentially working with.
Now you’re probably thinking,“Who is this Pamela Pagano and why is she giving such good advice?”
Pamela laughs and rolls her eyes: “Well where to begin? It’s a pretty long story!”
It is a long story, so let us give you the quick version of the Italian’s professional life: Daughter of a choreographer, started a career as a dancer when only 18 years old, spent 15 years on tour in Italy in musical theater and on TV. (That’s quite a rich summary!)
“This is where I learnt discipline, as a dancer you have to have strength in body and mind. It has taught me alot about my current work”, she speaks of her background.
After this period in her life she released a few albums as a singer in an electro-pop band and then decided to stop being a performer but work behind the scene and founding her own record label.
“My work as a performer has been very important to me, because I can understand the artist and trust my intuition about who’s in front of me and whether I should move on with the project or not.”
Eventually Pamela packed her bag and moved to London where she’s currently residing. Here she has started her own publishing company specialized in sync; OML Sync. OML is what Pamla describes as a boutique company – a small and personal company. But don’t be mistaken by the size of the company, Pamela collaborates with some major players, she’s currently on the BMG sync team and has placed her music in a lot of TV series for the 2021 season. “My mission is to highlight interesting artists from all over the world!”
Any last advice Pamela has for Tonemillers?
“Never give up! You can change your point of view and do more than you think. We’re currently living in a fast-changing world so don’t be so stuck on a narrow path of one thing – branch out! Develop yourself and develop other opportunities and say yes to the chances life offers. I didn’t know at the beginning of my career as a dancer that I’d be working as a publisher.”
Some of OML’s current artists: MAJESKA (US) @Majeska Music, HEGE (UK) @hegemusic, MOLTENO (UK) @moltenomusic, FRENCH CONCESSION (Australia) @french_concession, UNICAT (Germany) @unicat.music, NEA EINI (Sweden) @neaeini