cheyenne_h on 05/29/2018 at 02:13PM
Monkey Warhol is an artist from Minneapolis who collaborates with kids and has dropped two CC BY albums on FMA. He was recently approached by a big company to do a jingle for a commercial. Below, we talk about what that was like, what he's working on now, and his advice for anyone who gets commissioned by a large company to make music. Here's our interview!
FMA: When you uploaded your music to FMA, what were your goals?
Monkey Warhol: I didn't really have any goals or expectations other than (hopefully) getting my music heard!!! From my experience, it seems that whenever you upload tracks to any sort of music site, you usually get a couple curiosity listens and then crickets. Not saying you should expect anything more from a music-hosting site (heck, they're already hosting my music for free so I have no right to complain), but what's been wonderful about Free Music Archive is that it feels like an "Online Community" in that my tracks have been picked up and incorporated into other people's projects. It’s flattering and amazing to see how my music has become part of someone else's vision! Blows my mind! KA-BOOM!
FMA: Was it surprising to be solicited by a big company for music licensing?
MW: Definitely! As an independent artist, the biggest surprise was that my music could somehow catch the ear and attention of a "big company". Not necessarily due to the music itself, but more that it actually managed to find its way through the loopholes and reach various "decision makers" within an organization. It's super encouraging and gives me (and hopefully others) a nice bit of confidence to know that it can be done.
FMA: What would you tell a musician who was going through this process for the first time?
MW: There's a fine line between business and art. Obviously, have fun and be creative, but at the end of the day you're supporting THEIR vision (not vice versa) so have a great attitude, excellent work ethic, and a quick turnaround! Also if the company you're dealing with is big enough, find an entertainment attorney. I think contracts and all the legal mumble-jumble is designed specifically to confuse the average person.
FMA: Do you plan to pursue more music options like this in the future?
MW: I'd love to if they'd have me. I don't watch much TV, but Mama Warhol will call me from time to time and say, "I heard your song on TV!" It's funny; I've been making music for 25+ years, yet all of a sudden, I'm "legit" because my song appeared on TV. The "90s Alternative Rocker" in me shakes his head at what I've become.
MW: It's basically more of the same... I've got some pop songs, some electronic instrumentals, and a few experimental ideas. The Darwin LP was a compilation of tracks from the first 3 Monkey Warhol EPs with a couple random tunes thrown in and Hannah Banana is basically a collection of tracks from EP4 through EP6 with a couple random tracks thrown in. I tried to make it flow like an album and I'm really proud of everything on there. I still like it when I give it a listen, which either means the album is decent, or I have poor taste in music. Probably a little bit of both, eh? Please download it and give it a listen... if anything, it's the right price.
FMA: Finally, what's the story behind "Bongo Booty"? That video is ridiculous!
MW: Thanks! "Bongo Booty" is the sonic sensation of what happens when you collaborate with a 6-year old! Basically, I wrote a little tune called "Lovely Lady" a few years ago with my daughter and my son wanted his own anthem. So, we sat down and came up with "Bongo Booty."
As for the video, I thought it would be funny to make a video where the running joke would be that you can't tell if someone is playing butts or bongos. (Yes, nothing but highbrow deep philosophical analysis here.) I ran the idea by my video collaborated-artist-buddy Gigi Ranchero, he loved it, and here we are! To be honest, all the credit for the video really goes to him. I just showed up and hung out around a green screen. Our kids (aka "Unicorn Festival") are in there, and I'm the mangy old rocker in a do-rag!
Click below for music videos!