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The world is full of great music. More people are cranking out more music of higher quality than ever before. Some catalogs have millions of cuts. But if you’re an artist, do you really want to be a needle in a haystack? And if you’re a supervisor, do you really ...

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Samantha Brickler
(812) 339-1195

CrucialCustom's first placement: Old Navy

CrucialCustom had quite a debut: Music supervisors working with the team at Old Navy needed some music for a holiday ad, one featuring the duo behind Portlandia engaged in an uproarious argument with themselves. The music had to be something old-school, a Burl Ives-esque rendition of one of a handful of Christmas carols.

“After doing some research, we found there weren’t that many options for the sound we were looking for. That’s how we got involved in the custom world,” explains Malia Hall of Mothlight, one of the music supervisors on the project. They turned to CrucialMusic as they had extensive past experience with their indie-focused offerings.

And there was one catch: a 24-hour turnaround, not an unusual timeframe for holiday ads.

The CrucialCustom team helped Mothlight create an online project with all the specs. Composers had a strong reference track to go on, but no visuals to guide them.

That didn’t matter to David Choi, a prolific indie artist who left a successful songwriting stint at Warner/Chappell to launch his own YouTube-powered career. Choi had connected with CrucialMusic, the parent company of CrucialCustom, because of the catalog’s emphasis on indie artists and high-caliber tracks. He was game to try CrucialCustom and this first email opportunity was a perfect fit.

“I’m always into challenges,” reflects Choi. “I did go through a long period when I was really interested in writing music that people needed. Library music was part of that. I see it as a challenge. During my Warner/Chappell days, my job was to craft songs. It’s a good exercise for me to push my boundaries and what I’m comfortable with. Plus, I love Christmas music.” He gave it shot and submitted a demo.

“The turnaround time made it almost like a contest. I’m not that competitive, but it did force me to be as creative as possible in a short amount of time,” says Choi. “It was a good exercise for me. This was the first listing, the first opportunity from Crucial. It went really smoothly.”

He wasn’t alone; many other composers did the same. The results impressed the team at Mothlight: “It was the first time I’ve done custom work with Crucial. It was nice to hear the quality of the demos. Some really good songs came in. That’s always refreshing,” Hall notes. “They came in really fast, which is good because holiday ads work very, very fast.”

CrucialCustom’s platform helped get that work done at the required speed. “There’s a lot of info that has to get passed along from us: the terms, the territory and license info, the creative direction,” says Hall. “The website allows you to input all of that, instead of throwing it into a series of emails. It allowed us to translate what we needed to composers very quickly.”

They selected Choi’s version of “Deck The Halls” This track will now go into Crucial’s catalog , for future carol-seeking music supervisors, while Choi benefits from the artist-friendly agreements, an approach long part of Crucial’s work with composers.