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How To Read The Tea Leaves and Predict Sync Trends

To an outsider, predicting the future in music taste might seem like witchcraft. It’s significantly easier than you might think. Predicting the trends isn’t magic if you know what to look out for. For example…as we are coming and going and coming out again of this pandemic, popular requests were for things like… ”we are all in this together.” Or as politics divides us, it was about “coming together” and “spreading the love.” Taking cues from the social climate is an excellent way of increasing the odds in your favor. Certain tried and true trends always seem to be in favor. Uptempo, fun, edgy, positive lyrics, good energy…sure that’s easy enough. And writing with that in mind will always up your percentages of getting placements…but there is a whole other layer of why what works, and when…(excellent alliteration)…:)…Valentine's Day music is curated in October, Christmas in July, Halloween in May…Super Bowl spots are curated as early as September. Every two years, there are searches around the Olympics. So music about triumph, defying the odds, and "gold" is always good to have in your catalog. Here are 5 consistent trends to impress your friends, and use that voodoo to do what you do. (Rhyme intentional)…Oh yeah! Stop skipping the commercials and always have your Shazam app ready to go!

By: Justin Gray Founder/Chairman MDIIO Gritty/Swagger (Sports/Video Games) - Keep in mind that music supervisors are ALWAYS looking for stuff to replace big hits. So to find a gem that ticks all the same boxes will go a long way to making a case for your song. If you can put together something authentic that has the energy of Rag n Bone Man and Run The Jewels with a hard-hitting beat like “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar, and you are in rare air. Bonus points if you keep the lyrics clean and sample-free. Female MC’s are even a bigger get. Check out Sampa The Great and Lizzo. Extra bonus for Latin tinged or infused. Female Empowerment (Movie Trailers/Advertising) - There are not enough amazing women voices driving the narrative. We need more. It’s unfortunately a small club, but when it’s nailed, it has a seismic impact. Think of Andra Day's “Rise Up” or Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” to name a couple. But there are a few others (less known) to mention including Olly Anna and Little Simz…a real favorite of mine personally is MisterWives “Superbloom.” Go listen to that and tell me it doesn’t give you goosebumps. Sad, Minimal, Moody, and Emotive (Television and Film, Theme Songs) - Don’t worry…there is a spot for those inclined to be a little less energetic and a little more introspective. Thinking about the power of a beautiful scene perfectly punctuated with just the right emotion, you start to understand why this is such a needed vibe. There is a TON OF TELEVISION and FILM being made at the moment. More music is getting licensed than ever…and every single music supervisor is interested in uncovering a hidden indie and exposing its beauty to a viewer. Careers have been made on the right placement in a show for film. So get sad and dark…it’s totally cool. Great reference points for this are artists like Michael Kiwanuka, Lewis Capaldi and the current reigning queen of darkness Billie Eilish, extra bonus points for making it relationship-ish but not about love. Soulful, Funky, Retro (Advertising and Film) - There is literally nothing like feeling that toe-tapping energy of that super fun bop! But it’s not just about mimicking the style of that classic 60’ and 70’s retro-soul, it’s about recreating the whole experience. Using plugins to help recapture the sonics is a big part of it. There are so many people that do it impeccably…bonus points if you can add a little modern flair to it as well…Great examples of this include “Sugar” by Chaka Khan, “Feel It Still” by Portugal The Man, and “Get Up!” By Retro City AllStars. Make music like this, and even your parents will love it! Good Vibes, Positive Message (Advertising, Television, Promos) - Good vibes all the time! Keep the lyric light and easily memorable, with an uplifting message. Avoid lyrics like “can’t” or “don’t.” And generally speaking, nothing negative at all. Instead of writing a lyric like “ I won’t give up,” think about flipping it to “I will keep going.” Same message, just a positive flip on lyrical tip. Some super popular songs that crush it in this vibe are “Steal My Sunshine” by Len, “Best Friend” by Sofi Tukker, and basically anything by One Republic. Parting thought: It really doesn’t matter what style of music you excel in. The word is a melting pot. There is a space for everyone and every sound. Rock, Hip Hop, Pop, Emotional, Latin…literally whatever. Even clever covers can be an incredibly lucrative business. Like serious cha-ching!!! Check out Haley Reinhart’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love” and tell me that you wouldn’t be happy with almost 300m streams. Shazam, Listen, Research, and apply all of that information into your songs…Yes…great music is emotional…but there is a science to it as well. Every new track will get you closer to accomplishing your goal! I guarantee it! Have a great week, and keep writing those hits!


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