How Ontario-Based Artist SayWeCanFly Is Growing His Career

For this artist spotlight we’re heading up to Ontario, where Braden Barrie is finding independent success as the one-man acoustic act SayWeCanFly.  He’s toured the U.S. and Canada, building a loyal fan base through music intended to inspire power and a never-give-up attitude.  We had a chance to talk to the driven artist about what has helped him along the way, how he’s booked his tours, and why he partners with TuneCore for both Distribution and Publishing Administration

What does being independent mean to you?

Being independent means doing absolutely everything I possibly can to reach my goals and advance my art.  It means that no matter what anyone thinks, says, or does, I will always walk forward and find a way to do what I need to do.  I honestly believe that working for myself and finding the right team of individual people is the most efficient way to work toward where I want to be as an artist, and as a person.  Being independent is cutting out the middle man wherever I can, and finding better and more direct ways to get my music out to the world.

How would you describe the indie scene in Canada? Is it large? Diverse? Is there a real community?

I know so many independent artists, along with myself, who are trying to “make it” in the industry.  It feels to me that in this day and age, unless you truly commit every waking moment to your art, it will be nearly impossible to swim to the top.  There are so many people trying to do the same thing here, that you really need to make yourself stand out in order to catch the attention of others.  That certainly is not to say that there isn’t a very diverse community of talented and passionate musicians over here.  There are constant local shows, and everyone knows everyone in this scene, which makes it feel kind of small.  I really enjoy the Canadian music scene because it’s easy to make friends, and there seems to be respect between artists.

You’ve completed several DIY-booked tours. Can you explain what the process was like (how you chose cities, found venues, etc.)?

I actually had a booking agent (now one of my close friends) start booking my tours.  He found me on Facebook after I played my first show in my hometown, and sent me a message asking if he could book me a little tour through Ontario.  I guess it just comes down to finding the venue and promoter contacts, and sending lots of emails.  It was really nice having someone else take care of this because at that point I really didn’t know anything about this business, or the music scene here.

You’ve worked with Trey from The Icarus Account (another TuneCore Artist)—what was that like? Is it important for you to work with other indie or pro-indie artists? 

I really do think that networking is the key to success in any business or art.  Working with new people and showing interest in their work allows room for friendships and working relationships to develop.  The Icarus Account was one of my inspirations as a kid, so to eventually become friends with these guys through the internet was really cool.  It was nice to create something with a group I looked up to for their independence.

How’s TuneCore part of your team?

TuneCore has literally allowed me to start and continue my career as a musician.  Although I don’t think money should ever be the sole motivation for doing something we love, it is definitely important.  Being a musician and constantly having to create new content gets expensive, and TuneCore has allowed me to make a living out of something I love doing.  This in turn allows me to continue doing it.  I actually found out about TuneCore by asking the guy who worked at my local record shop (when that still existed) how bands put music on iTunes, and I immediately saw an amazing opportunity for my music.

Do you use the trend reports and sales reports in your account to learn from and grow your brand?

One of the first things I do when I wake up (aside from pouring myself a cup of coffee) is open my browser and look at my daily trend report.  This allows me to keep very close track of my song sales, and gauge how SayWeCanFly is doing as a whole on the internet.  If social media numbers are not resulting in song sales, then I know I have to do something different.  It’s an easy way to test new marketing strategies and see the results the next day.  This is one of the most useful tools that we as musicians have access to.  As for sales reports, this is incredibly useful for keeping track of income for tax purposes, which is also an important thing to keep in mind when looking at your music as a business.

Why did you decide to partner with TuneCore for Publishing Administration?

I decided to partner with TuneCore for Publishing Administration to cover all of my bases.  It’s just nice to know online royalties will be taken care of, and also that my songs will automatically be registered with SOCAN.  It simply saves me some worry for a very affordable cost.  It is also nice to know YouTube revenue will be taken care of, and there is no room for any copyright issues because everything is registered and protected under my name.

What one tip would you give to other indie artists looking to grow their careers?

My best advice to anyone is to learn, observe, and stay active.  People are constantly on the internet, which means musicians need to be there as well.  The MOST important thing to me is interacting with the people who listen to my music after they hear it.  Grow a relationship with your followers, and allow them to become your friends.  Remember how important they are, and make sure they always know it. Keep your content fresh, and don’t take a day off unless you feel like you can afford it.  If you aren’t tweeting people about your music, someone else is tweeting those people about theirs.

What (or who) has helped you along the way?

My followers have been the biggest help so far. They show me that my music actually means something to someone, which truly gives me a reason to continue.  As much as writing songs makes me feel better about my existence on this earth, it still became a whole different story when I realized people actually wanted to hear what I had to say.  My friends have been incredibly supportive as well, and if they hadn’t driven me on my first few tours and been willing to come on my adventures, I don’t know where I would be.  I also believe that goal setting and positive thinking are the source of longevity.  Letting negativity or doubt come between you and your passion is dangerous.

You’re currently recording your first full length album. What can fans expect?

I really do feel like this album is the one I have been waiting to record for years.  I actually answered these questions right after getting back from the studio, and I have to say, I have never felt so connected to my art as I have since I started tracking this album.  The record contains 16 songs, and tells my story.  I really like that writing songs makes me vulnerable to others. I like being honest with everyone about the mistakes I have made, the struggles I have faced, and the darkness I have overcome.  I really just wrote about the thoughts and events that being a human being on this earth has presented me with so far.

I’m bringing this one back to acoustic roots, and I guess I could describe it using the word “emo.”  I really hope everyone likes it, and I will of course be releasing it through TuneCore.  Thanks again for allowing me to work for myself and grow closer to my goals as an artist in the music business.

New Music Tuesday: April 29, 2014

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?


Keep Up
Chad Jones




River of Dreams
Josh Garrison


Music Takes You
Christopher Ambrose


Misfits 2
Social Club
Hip Hop/Rap


Alex Holt and Free Worship


Set You Free
Shane Piasecki


Ink on the Walls
Doe Paoro


Wildest Horses


Take My Breath Away


The Space Between the Telephone Lines
Juliane Jones


Children of Promise
Andrew  Ehrenzeller

#TCVideoFridays – April 25th, 2014

Let’s face it, we all want to be outside right now.  But before you run out the door and start the weekend early, check out some of the TuneCore Artists we’re all about this week…

Julie Brown, “The Homecoming Queen’s Got A Gun!”


Gondola, “We Are The Map” 

Mark Rosas, “Higher”

Fat Joe, “If It Ain’t About Money (feat. Trey Songz)”

Ashley Wineland, “Red White and Blue”

PGR BOyz, “Married 2A Boss”

Tom and Hebron, “Zoyugo!”

Dawn Richard, “’86”

Diane Cluck, “Sarah”

How We’re Helping Songwriters Get Their Music in Film, TV & More

An Interview with Pete Rogers, Creative at TuneCore Music Publishing Administration.

TuneCore Music Publishing Administration’s mission is to offer songwriters and publishers a simple, more viable solution for managing the rights to their compositions.  With 100+ years of combined experience, our in-house staff excels at registering, licensing, pitching, and processing royalties due for songwriters’ compositions.  One of the most exciting revenue opportunities for songwriters is in synchronization licensing, and TuneCore Music Publishing’s Creative department is dedicated to helping songwriters get their music placed in film, TV, commercials and more.

We asked Pete Rogers, Creative, to tell us a little about his role at TuneCore, what songwriters can do to have a better chance of getting noticed by Music Supervisors, and what exposure songwriters gain from the TuneCore Sync & Master Licensing Database.

What does the Creative team do at TuneCore Music Publishing Administration? 

The Creative team is tasked with securing synchronization licenses for the TuneCore administered copyrights.  In effect, we help our songwriters by placing their music in TV shows, films, trailers, and more.  Sync uses are a great way for songwriters to gain exposure and drive sales in addition to generating backend performance revenue that we collect around the world.  To maximize earnings, our in-house licensing staff will also negotiate use of the master recording if it is distributed by TuneCore.

What are some recent placements you’ve facilitated for TuneCore Songwriters?

We had a really great month-long feature on ESPN for The Specktators, an amazing hip-hop group from Michigan, and we’re excited about an upcoming placement in Sean McNamara’s new film Hoovey.  (You can see some more recent placements here.)

Tell us about your background.

I started my career in the Creative department at a major label here in Burbank before coming over to TuneCore.  It was always my dream to work in the business side of music, so I’m thrilled to be working with the high caliber songwriters we represent.

How do you work with Music Supervisors?

The Creative team works closely with film, television, trailer, video game and advertising Music Supervisors to make sure our catalog of compositions is always fresh in their minds for potential opportunities.  We suggest song ideas for upcoming projects when they reach out, and we’re also in frequent contact with them to keep current on new and returning licensing opportunities.

What is the TuneCore Sync & Master Licensing Database?  How do artists and songwriters get their compositions in the database?

We built an online destination for Music Supervisors to search, listen to and request licensing quotes on the compositions we administer.   It’s a fantastic resource for Music Supervisors to access the amazing TuneCore music in conjunction with the proactive outreach the Creative team provides.  Songwriters’ administered compositions are included in the database if they are currently distributed by TuneCore.

What are Music Supervisors looking for in a song?

Music Supervisors are looking for all kinds of things—that’s part of what makes this industry exciting!  We have conversations about licensing everything from singer-songwriter music to Middle Eastern hip-hop to classical to heavy metal.

What 3 tips would you give a songwriter looking to get a Music Supervisor’s attention?

1.  Maintain a social media presence so Music Supervisors can see how actively engaged your fan base is.  High fan engagement could tip the scales in favor of one song being selected over another.

2.  Create a cappella and instrumental versions of your songs before the session is wrapped.  You can also have our partners at Universal Mastering Studios create these versions during the mastering process.

3.  Create clean or alternate versions of songs that include profanity so you’re not limiting yourself to R-rated projects only.

What happens if a TuneCore Songwriter is approached directly about a sync licensing opportunity?  How is TuneCore’s Creative team involved?

Having TuneCore administer your copyrights allows you to take advantage of our wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to negotiating the most favorable licensing terms on your behalf.  By notifying us when licensing opportunities arise, we as professionals will not only negotiate and issue the license, but we will also submit cue sheets to the societies worldwide so our songwriters can benefit from the performance revenues these uses generate.

So, why should a songwriter partner with TuneCore Music Publishing Administration for sync licensing opportunities? 

TuneCore has been a trusted industry leader in distribution for years, and that reputation precedes us in publishing administration and licensing as well.  The Creative team gives a songwriter’s music the attention it deserves when it comes to royalty collection, pitching and licensing.  Our commission structure is among the most songwriter-friendly in the business, and the best part of all is that songwriters maintain ownership of their copyrights.

(Editor’s Note: Interested in learning more about TuneCore Music Publishing Administration?  See what services we provide to our songwriters.)

New Music Tuesday: April 22, 2014

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?


No Limits
Boyce Avenue


Struggle Pretty
Penny & Sparrow


Night, Cloud
Luke Howard


Songs About the Unspeakable
We Plants Are Happy Plants


Just the Thing
Meredith O’Connor


Tom and Hebron

#TCVideoFridays – April 18th, 2014

It’s officially spring, but before you go out to enjoy the swell weather make sure you update your playlist!  Might we suggest starting with these brilliant #TCVideoFridays artists?

Breedlove, “New York City Rooftop”

Dikta, “Breaking The Waves”

Supercell, “World Is Mine (feat. Hatsune Miku)”

Sharon Needles, “Dressed To Kill”

P3CULIAR, “Menea (feat. Cakes Da Killa)”

Awkwafina, “NYC Bitche$”

Louis XIV, “God Killed The Queen”

Chanel West Coast, “I Love Money”

Best Coast, “When I’m With You”

Andrew W.K., “Star Party Animal (feat. Lil Bub)”