In the run up to the Production Music Awards 2022, Lucas Friedmann of London Sync took some time to tell us about his approach to Composer relationships and how we might look towards the tech industries for a blueprint on how to better nurture and develop these connections…
“It’s something that is often overlooked, but I believe that strong connections with the composers we work with is an important factor in creating a successful music catalogue. Composers, writers and singers are the life, blood and soul of what we do and so they should be treated like the rock stars of our business that they are. By getting to know their backgrounds and what makes them tick, you can start to forge long-standing relationships and collaborations that can pave the way to world-class compositions.
I spend a large portion of my week chatting to all of the people who contribute music to our catalogue. It’s a part of my job that I really enjoy and I love to hear about their lives, where they are from and, of course, their musical influences. As I remember well from my time as a freelance composer, there were many days spent working alone in my home studio and having a gossip with your publisher can be a welcome distraction. Not only do you have a lot of shared musical influences, but you can also geek out about compressors, preamps, guitars and synths too!
Every composer and musician we work with has a unique style and character to their writing, as well as areas they are particularly skilled in. We try to tap into this as much as possible. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, we can encourage them to maximise their potential, help them to achieve their goals and guide them to what will likely be popular in the marketplace. Positive collaborations between composer and publisher translates into confident writing and strong compositions, both of which our clients can really pick up on. I also believe it’s important to be transparent about how you plan to market their work. As well as regular one-to-one phone calls with the composers we work with, we also email them frequently, giving them a round-up of what’s been happening and keeping them in the loop with our latest achievements and any significant news. We like to be open and honest about our successes and failures, as well as our plans for the future. All of these steps help the composers feel included and a part of the journey together.
My connection to the TV industry as a broadcast editor for 25 years means that, not only do we know where to sell their music, we also understand what works in the edit suite and we are able to relay that back to the composers. Not just with regards to genre, but also how a track is arranged and presented. It’s our responsibility as a publisher to make sure the compositions we represent are being discovered by the world’s media professionals and placed in programmes, adverts and films. We’ve found that fostering a meaningful connection and rapport with the composers we collaborate with is one the many ways to help us achieve that. Above all else, the relationship should be based on trust in both directions and I feel we definitely have that with the people we work with.
I believe that the creative industry (music included) can learn a lot from other industries like tech in regard to how people we work with are treated. In all aspects of their policies, from management training and employee benefits to safeguarding positive mental health, the tech industries are the market leaders in how they manage their talent. In the media industry, we can do much more to step up to the plate. Now more than ever, with everyone’s working patterns changing and more people working from home, it’s our responsibility as an employer to make sure that the team that we work with are getting what they need. What better place to start than to treat the composers with the rock star status they deserve. Anything we can do to promote a ‘people first’ ethos within the creative industry is a positive step in the right direction.”
Lucas Friedmann – London Sync