Category Archives: Sync Licensing

Latest News From TuneCore Publishing

It’s been a muggy August here in Brooklyn, but naturally our Music Publishing Administration team in Burbank continue to comfortably work their tails off! Take a look at some of our latest news from our west coast team. If you’re curious about our Music Publishing Administration services, check us out!


Screen_Shot_2015-08-11_at_6.52.22_PMThe incredibly successful reggae band, Stick Figure, was formed by songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, Scott Woodruff. Since 2006, Stick Figure, has released five full-length albums including the TuneCore Music Publishing administered album, Burial GroundBurial Ground reached number #1 on both the iTunes and Billboard Reggae charts, and has gained millions of plays on Spotify since its debut.

After Woodruff formed a live band in 2012, Stick Figure has shared the stage with such reggae artists as Rebelution and Tribal Seeds. Currently, Stick Figure is joining Slightly Stoopid and The Dirty Heads on a U.S national tour and is slated to play the inaugural KAABOO Festival in San Diego this fall.


Cameroon-born, pop singer-songwriter and former member of Prince’s New Power Generation band, Andy Allo, released her newest EP and PledgeMusic funded project, Hello, in April of this year. Hello reached 143% of the goal amount through PledgeMusic, and Allo chose to donate 10% of the excess proceeds to the charity, Invisible Children. Her newest EP, which TuneCore Music Publishing is proud to administer, is the follow-up to her 2012 release, Superconductor, which was executive-produced by Prince.

In addition to being an accomplished musician, Allo also is both an actress and model and has been in various commercials and ad campaigns. Allo also recently surprised fans with an intimate, impromptu performance in a convenience store on an episode of TuneCore’s and Swisher Sweets’ Convenience Store Sessions.


In addition to our Sync & Master Licensing Database, our creative team continuously works to place TuneCore administered copyrights across all visual media. Recent pitches include music for November Criminals starring Ansel Elgort and Chloë Grace Moretz, several TV shows including Red Oaks and Dating Naked, and a trailer for the film, I Smile Back, starring Sarah Silverman.


Basketball_Wives_LABasketball Wives LA – Season 4
“The Wild Life”
Writer: Carlos Sosa
Artist: Outasight
“Hip Hop Jazz Drum Solo”
Writers: Robert Silverman,   Michael Silverman
Artist: Anthem Drums
Tembo_the_Badass_ElephantTembo the Badass Elephant
(video game trailer)

“Dopaminex – Dance of the Sugar plum Fairy (Hip Hop Remix)”
Writer: Med Shaw
Artist: Dopaminex


TuneCore stays current on industry news to make sure we’re the first to know how new legislation and deals will affect our writers. Here are links to recent articles you need to know about:

The Dept. of Justice Said to Be Considering a Baffling New Rule Change for Song Licensing

9 Music Supervisors Sound off on Getting Your Music Into Film & TV

Interview: Jesse Cafiero of Split Screens Chats Publishing & Sync Licensing

Jesse Cafiero is the mastermind behind Bay Area’s Split Screens. Releasing a debut EP in 2012, Split Screens has gone on to release several singles and a full length, Before the Storm, last summer. The pop gems Cafiero create have been described as “sonic landscapes that take in the old and the new, the rough and the smooth.”

A visual collage artist, he’s no stranger to blending, layering and bringing together sounds in order to create something truly unique. As an indie artist, Cafiero took steps early in the development of Split Screens to make sure his royalties were being accounted for and collected. As a TuneCore Publishing Administration artist, he was thrilled to learn that we had landed his single “Close Your Eyes” in a 2015 episode of the long-running Fox series Bones! TuneCore is thankful that Jesse chose us for Publishing Administration, and we’re super proud of his recent accomplishment. We chatted with Jesse about his influences, his art, and the understandable initial naivety that surrounds a complex area like music publishing.

Tell us about you got started making music. 

Jesse Cafiero: I’ve been making music practically since I can remember, I started taking piano lessons when I was about 5 or 6 and did that until I started playing bass when I was about 14. A big influence musically in my childhood was my older brother who played a little piano as well. I remember hearing him playing a melody he had come up with and being fascinated hearing something actually being created. I was around 10 at the time and soon after started writing melodies of my own, though it would be a while until I started writing concrete songs.

You’ve played different instruments in numerous bands. What sparked the creation of Split Screens?

Split Screens came about soon after I moved to San Francisco from Boston in 2009. I had been playing as an upright and electric bassist for years and knew I had a separate side to my personality that wanted to get out in the form of singing and being in more of a lead role. It was a slow process for me making that change, I began Split Screens as a solo studio project and then after recording began to get a band together to bring those songs and arrangements to life.

Who do you cite as some of your earliest influences? Conversely, where are you finding inspiration in 2015? 

I’ve always been a big fan of psychedelic, classic rock. Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix were and still are huge influences for me; jazz players like John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans shaped my academic years studying music. I gotta say I’m not as hip to new bands as I should be – in 2015 though, Radiohead still continues to impress me, their records are of the highest caliber of talent combined by incredibly hard work.

At what point did you start looking into music publishing administration options? What was your knowledge of this area beforehand?

I started looking into music publishing soon after my debut EP came out. I was busy writing new music that would be on my next LP and knew with all the songs combined that I had enough variety in the music to get more serious about having my music represented. My knowledge though of music publishing around that time was about the same as a good amount of indie artists starting out…not so much!

What interested you in TuneCore’s Music Publishing Administration services?

I really liked the administration part of it, there’s an ease of mind to uploading songs and having TuneCore take care of the details and coordinating with my performing rights organization (ASCAP). Plus, I certainly was interested in the fact that they pitched your music for sync licensing, though at the time I certainly wasn’t expecting to get a network TV feature!

Tell us how it felt when you found out “Close Your Eyes” would be used in the TV show Bones. 

It was clearly the most exciting thing that had happened to me in quite some time and definitely the biggest thing that had happened to the band thus far. 

When Pete Rogers [TuneCore’s Director of Creative] first hit me up and said that there was a license request for “Close Your Eyes”, I was completely shocked. Just taking a second to think about how a song I wrote alone in my first apartment in San Francisco was going to be on a network TV show was about as surreal a feeling as I’ve ever felt. But as much as that first email was exciting, the sync wasn’t confirmed at the time, it was just ‘looking good’. So then I had to play the waiting game for a few weeks, managing my own expectations in case they chose a different song. When I got the final ‘yes’ closer to the episode’s air time the feeling was just complete relief!

How has the placement affected your career thus far?

It’s been pretty recent that the episode aired so I think that a lot of the benefits from the placement have yet to be seen. It has been really cool getting new fans from around the world and I’ve appreciated that they took the time to find us since it does take some effort from either using Shazam or looking up the episode. As far the means to creating new music it’s been an incredible opportunity. Having the chance to recoup my recording costs for the LP “Close Your Eyes” was on along with putting performance royalty money into the next EP is a big deal. During these times in the music industry it’s pretty brutal out there, and I feel incredibly lucky that this placement happened in the first place!

What advice or insight would you share with independent artists similar to yourself when it comes to the importance of music publishing?

For me I’m kind of the cliche artist that could certainly take some more time learning about the business side of music. The truth is though, if you’re making a record you’ll be proud of, you’re going to put your time and spirit into that and you should make it as easy as possible to collect some money from your effort. Having a team pitching your music is incredibly important, too! There’s so many factors involved with landing a placement, the song fitting the write mood, the mix, the scene, etc. There’s a lot of luck involved but having a publisher with connections certainly helps your chances!

How important to you is the ability to collect international/songwriter royalties?

It’s incredibly important, I feel like especially during this time in the music industry indie artists need to make sure they have every avenue open to make income off their music.

What is in store for you musically in the next year?

My main priority is to finish up writing some new songs I’ve been working on and then getting into the studio to work on the next record! We’ll continue playing shows in the Bay Area and doing short west coast tours, those are really fun! 

I’ve also been working on expanding my collage art and engraining it with another stop-motion music video. The one I made for our single “Stand Alone” (featured belowgot a great response and it’s always fun to meld visual art and music whenever possible!

Latest News From TuneCore Publishing

This summer sure is flying by! But as always, our team in Burbank, CA has been working away at collecting songwriter royalties and pitching on behalf of our TuneCore Publishing Administration Artists. Check out this month’s songwriter highlights, pitches and placements/licenses below.


TuneCore Music Publishing is thrilled to be working with raw blues/roots musician, Xavier Dphrepaulezz, known by his stage name, Fantastic Negrito. After suffering through a disastrous record deal and recovering from a near fatal car accident, the resilient musician has penned his unique experience of “making it” and losing it all on his self-titled EP.

This past January, Fantastic Negrito defeated thousands of entries to win the NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert Contest with the submission of his song, “Lost in a Crowd”, performed in a freight elevator in his native Oakland, CA.

His upcoming July 24th release, Fantastic Negrito Deluxe EP, features two preFantastic Negritoviously unreleased songs as well as every song from the original self-titled EP. Also included is the single, “An Honest Man”, which was selected as the theme song for the Amazon original drama, Hand of God. Fantastic Negrito has several summer tour dates planned including a stop at Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco.

Kansas raised and New York based singer-songwriter, Katie Buchanan, released her newest album and third release administered by TuneCore Music Publishing, Glow, earlier this year. Drawing from influences such as Fiona Apple and John Mayer, Buchanan pushes the confines of the singer-songwriter genre by creating her own unique style of folk/pop and blues inspired music.

Buchanan’s vocal and instrumental skill paired with her ability to write poKatie Buchananwerful, emotional songs gives this musician an invaluable edge. With this array of talent, it’s not surprising that the entirety of Glow was written, produced, and performed by Buchanan. Additionally, her music has been featured on sites like No Depression and Guitar World Magazine.


In addition to our Sync & Master Licensing Database, our creative team continuously works to place TuneCore administered copyrights across all visual media. Recent pitches include music for Beyond Deceit starring Josh Duhamel, several TV shows including Unforgettable and Damien, and sports programs like NASCAR on Fox.


Dancing WIth The Stars

Dancing With The Stars
“Hey Pachuco”
Writer: Eddie Nichols
Artist: Royal Crown Revue

Double Daddy

Double Daddy
“Butcher in the Sky”
Writer: David Jones
Artist: David Thomas Jones

NHL Playoffs Promotion

NHL Playoff Promos
“The City Surf”
Writer: Jamin Winans
Artist: Jamin Winans


TuneCore stays current on industry news to make sure we’re the first to know how new legislation and deals will affect our writers. Here are links to recent articles you need to know about:

How to Make Money with Your Music on YouTube

SESAC Buys the Harry Fox Agency


TuneCore Sync Placements in Q2 2015

You probably already know TuneCore is about more than just selling your music online. On top of our suite of Artist Services, we’re continually building on our Music Publishing Administration services. Helping independent artists collect royalties transparently is rewarding – we love knowing that this revenue is allowing musicians and songwriters of all genres continue their musical journey.

Additionally, we’re extremely proud of our TuneCore Artists who get their music out to the world in the form of synchronization licensing. From TV shows and movies to video games and advertisements, sync placements are one of the most sought-after successes among independent artists. That’s why moving forward, in an effort to celebrate and showcase these licenses, we’ll be sharing highlights from each quarter here on the TuneCore Blog! If you’ve been interested in TuneCore’s Music Publishing Administration, peruse through these placements to see what our team has been up to:

Furious 7
Song Title: “Hamdulilah”
Writer: Yassin Alsalman
Artist: The Narcy featuring Shadia Mansour

Huggies Diapers (Commercial)
Song Title: “Hug (We All Need a Hug)”
Writer/Artist: Ben Sands

Better Call Saul
Song Title: “Milestones”
Writer: Jasper Wijnands
Artist: Shook

Batkid Begins (Trailer)
Song Title: “The Aviators”
Writer/Artist: Helen Jane-Long

Focus (Trailer)
Song Title: “Lisboa Mulata”
Writer: Pedro Goncalves
Artist: Dead Combo

American Idol
Song Title: “When the Moment Comes”
Writer: Erin Sidney
Artist: Mia Dyson

Once Upon a Time
Song Title: “Black Wolf’s Inn”
Writer/Artist: Derek Fiechter

Monday Night Football
Song Title: “Diamonds”
Writers: Joel Bruyere, Christopher Greenwood, Trevor McNevan
Artist: Manafest featuring Trevor McNevan

Song Title: “Close Your Eyes”
Writer: Jesse Cafiero
Artist: Split Screens

Criminal Minds
Song Title: “Ghosts In Control”
Writer: Braden Palmer
Artist: Detuned Kytes

NCIS: New Orleans
Song Title: “Winning”
Writer: Deandre Way
Artist: Soulja Boy

Song Title: “Fascination of You”
Writer: Darron Grose
Artist: John Turk

Song Title: “Thunder In Your Heart”
Writer: Lenny Macaluso
Artist: Stan Bush

Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory
Song Title: “Static”
Writers: Matthew Duda, Patrick Duda
Artist: Packy

Song Title: “Status Update”
Writer: Thomas Sturm
Artist: SsasS

Interview: Braden Palmer Discusses Licensing for TV & More

Braden Palmer has been led an interesting and busy life in the music industry. Growing up in a family of musicians and falling in love with rock music at an early age, the Minnesota-native’s talents have taken him everywhere from Snoop Dogg’s studio, to scoring films in LA, and back to his home state where he runs his own label.

Having used TuneCore for both Distribution and Music Publishing Administration, Palmer has had to learn first hand how to build a network and run his own business. With the help of TuneCore and his project, Detuned Kytes, he was able to enjoy a recent sync license placement on the season finale of the hit CBS crime drama Criminal Minds. We got a chance to chat with Braden about his career, his influences, licensing and more:

When did you know you wanted to begin creating music?

As far back as I can remember.  I grew up in a musical family, so I started performing as early as nine years old and recorded my first album at the age of 12.  Creating and writing music has been the main outlet for me for most of my life.

Tell us about your initial entrance to the music industry and your involvement in hip hop.

I had been recording for several years in my bedroom as a young kid and after graduating high school I started my first ‘real’ music project called Detuned Kytes – I wrote and recorded a full album called Everything Is Gone, which was a limited product. I only had 1,000 copies printed and released and will most likely never re-release it, but in 2009 I decided to fully start my own record label, StuckHog Studios; I turned a machine barn on my family farm into an official recording studio.

Within the first year of having a ‘real’ place to record in, I wrote and produced two more full Detuned Kytes albums and began doing musical scores for film soundtracks.  By the year 2012 I had released five full-length Detuned Kytes albums and had been producing music for several hip hop artists based out of Minneapolis, MN.  Once I tapped into my ability of producing hip hop, I met Baby Eazy-E, (son of Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright, founder of N.W.A). I eventually became really good friends with him and decided it was time to move to Los Angeles to really pursue a larger step in my career. Two weeks after moving to L.A. I found myself in Snoop Dogg’s recording studio working with legendary L.A. producer DJ Battlecat.

Given the way you’ve moved within the industry, when was it that publishing became something you needed to learn about? What attracted you to TuneCore Publishing Administration? 

Music is my passion, but with most things that are taken seriously and looked at as a potential career, there are business needs that must be met.  Once I officially had the idea and products for StuckHog Studios under my belt, I needed to take the correct business steps as well. Copyrighting, trademarking, incorporating, etc. – I never understood publishing very well until I was absolutely forced to.  Like most things in the universe, if you’re open to learning about it and feel a sense of urgency, the perfect tools come unexpectedly to help move things forward.

I had finished most vital business steps and needed to figure out publishing when I received an update from TuneCore about their Music Publishing Administration offering.  Since I have always remained independent, this offer seemed like something that was necessary without having to involve several other parties and/or companies with extra fees.  TuneCore helped keep it simple and efficient, only asking for a proposed 10% for publishing deals once made as an administrator.

What advice do you have for indie artists like yourself when it comes to music publishing and getting a better understanding of it all? 

Do your research.  Read blogs, articles and visit numerous publishing company websites; really get a full understanding of what it involves and how to avoid problematic outcomes.  If you are involved in a contractual agreement, really look through it thoroughly and if you don’t understand it, legal help may be necessary. A small fee here or there will save major headache in terms of dealing with lawsuits.

If you’re truly considering making music your career and you know full-heartedly that it is possible, publishing WILL need to happen at some point.  It’s great if you can just be an artist and have managers or a label that handles most of the grunt work.  But in my case, I am completely independent so not only am I the artist, I have to be the business man, too.

How important has it been to be able to collect all the royalties owed to you?

Royalties and other TuneCore offers have helped me pinpoint exactly what is most effective when writing/releasing.  Each project I’ve worked on has a multitude of different outcomes.  For years I simply released an album and let it do its work. It spreads on its own until larger opportunities come and catapult it towards more success. As long as you believe in your art, it may only have a couple downloads a month, but always stay determined and confident that everything will pay off. Eventually it does if you continue to work hard.

Tell us about how it feels to land a sync placement on a major television series. 

It was a great feeling to receive this opportunity.  I have written several scores for film soundtracks, but never something for a major network (CBS) with such an outreach.

How has your career been impacted by having your song featured on Criminal Minds

My career has suddenly taken a more serious turn.  People who never knew I was making music, or those who knew but never took it seriously, are now suddenly looking more closely.  My fan base has grown and since the airing of the season finale, I have received a lot of publicity and a number of amazing opportunities.  It definitely gave me the extra push I was needing.  It came at the perfect time.

Between your two current projects, Detuned Kytes & LaHa, what inspires to you to write songs?

Everyday life and occurrences inspire me most. As humans we have good days, bad days, down days and surreal days, so I gather from all experiences and environments and write according to how I truly feel and how I think the listener could relate.  Some songs are personal and others are simply for experimenting with other realities. I’ve never been able to stick to just one way of writing or one style.  I’m always in search of different styles, sounds and recording methods.  Detuned Kytes represents how quickly I change from genre to genre.  One day I feel like writing industrial metal and the next I feel like writing Stevie Wonder type love songs, or sometimes just making noise until it structures itself into something cool.

I’m constantly trying to match a sound with a feeling, tapping into what the music feels like or what the music makes me feel like.  It’s part of me. As for LaHa, its a more personal, relatable project that is much more marketable and mainstream.  I think LaHa expresses the maturity and musical knowledge I have gained in the last ten years.

Tell us about the decision to move from L.A. back to your home state of Minnesota.

I decided to move to L.A. for a year and see where it took me. When the year was up, I just simply packed up and headed back home to take the knowledge I had gained and put it to use in my new outlook.  I love L.A. and all of its creative energy, but I’m really a quiet, independent person who needs grounding and peaceful surroundings in order to fully comprehend my actions and future decisions.

Although there are plenty of recording studios and opportunity in Los Angeles, I still really wanted to build a new, bigger and better StuckHog recording studio and pick up where I left off and really take the next step.  Minnesota has a really great music scene and I feel like I could really reveal that to the rest of the world.  Being a local, I felt the need to stay home and stay closest to my roots.

While they may be different for each project, what do you credit as some of your biggest musical influences?

The first album I ever got from my older brother was Nevermind by Nirvana. Being about five or six years old, I remember having a cardboard cut-out of a guitar and lip-syncing the entire album out my bedroom window, imagining a sea of people in my driveway.

One major artist that I respect in every way and broadened my outlook on music was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Further Down The Spiral was the first album I bought with my own money one day while shopping with my dad at a local record store.  I went home, popped it in and it changed my life instantly. From that moment on I bought, wore, watched, lived and breathed everything NIN.  Once I saw NIN live, there was no doubt in my mind that I absolutely needed to make music for the rest of my life, and [Trent] really taught me a lot about staying true to myself, staying creative and expressing the importance of art.

Depeche Mode was another major influence on me.  Dave Gahan and Martin Gore’s chemistry is so special. Their darkness and spirituality through noise captivated me as a youth and really gave me something to relate to. Other influences include Jim Morrison, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Ministry, Jane’s Addiction, Radiohead, The Beach Boys, The Eagles and many more.

Beyond the sync placement, how else has TuneCore been a part of your musical journey?

TuneCore has helped me in many ways.  The most important thing I had to figure out when starting StuckHog Studios was how I was going to distribute and make [my music] available digitally all over the web.  There are several companies I considered using at the time, but TuneCore seemed the most advanced and user-friendly.  Once I joined, I could then release albums through iTunes which was major, because it helped get my music to places that I couldn’t do on my own.  TuneCore is always offering new services, stores and features that keep them relevant to fans and the artists. Not only does TuneCore help me get my music out there, they’re helping me get paid for it as well, haha!

Got any big plans for the rest of 2015/early 2016?

The next year will be another busy one, but an important one for the rest of my career.  I feel like this is the year that my music is taking another step towards greater success.  I will be releasing the debut LaHa album entitled Barbaric Minds of Future Times, a new Detuned Kytes album called Broken News, shooting several music videos for both projects and really concentrating on taking the entire experience live and begin performing a lot more. I’ve been working with many hip hop artists, too.  Laying a good foundation for future producing projects.  I plan on keeping StuckHog Studios growing in the direction of what I’ve always dreamed of it being and continuing to allow the freedom of creation from project to project.

Latest News From TuneCore Music Publishing

Greetings from Burbank! We’re popping in mid-month to give you the latest happenings from our Music Publishing Administration office – songwriter highlights, sync and creative, placements and news. Check out below what we’ve been up to, and if you haven’t looked into what TuneCore has to offer, read more about our Music Publishing Administration services!


Former Stars of Track and Field front man, Kevin Calaba, formed AirLands in 2014. Calaba collaborated with producer airlandsTony Lash (Elliot Smith, The Dandy Warhols) and drummer Benjamin Weikel (Modest Mouse, The Hello Sequence) to create AirLands’ self-titled debut album which was released earlier this year.

Airlands’ lead single, “Love & Exhale”, quickly gained momentum and was featured on Google Play’s Antenna Sampler as well as Spotify’s New Music Tuesday. With their Peter Gabriel-meets-Bon Iver-meets-The National vibe, this atmospheric post-indie band frequently play shows around the Brooklyn area and have attracted a strong New York fan base.

Throughout singer/songwriter Ari Hest’s impressive 15 year career he has released eight albums and three EPs. After leaving Columbia ari_hestRecords, Hest started a project entitled “52” where he released a new song every Monday for a year. Additionally, Hest scored the film, DreamRiders, in 2008.

Hest has toured the world, as a headliner and opener for artists such as Ani DiFranco and Suzanne Vega. Currently, he has several tour dates booked nationwide including dates with his Brazilian music inspired side project, Bluebirds of Paradise.


In addition to our Sync & Master Licensing Database, our creative team continuously works to place TuneCore administered copyrights across all visual media. Recent pitches include music for several TV shows including Quantico and The Catch, a video game trailer for Trial Fusions, and Dirty Grandpa starring Zac Efron.


am_idol-1American Idol
“When The Moment Comes”
Writer: Erin Sydney
Artist: Mia Dyson


huggiesHuggies Diapers
“Hug (Everybody Needs a Hug)”
Writer: Ben Sands
Artist: Ben Sands


focus-1Focus (Trailer)
“Misboa Mulata”
Writer: Pedro Goncalves
Artist: Dead Combo



TuneCore stays current on industry news to make sure we’re the first to know how new legislation and deals will affect our writers. Here are links to recent articles you need to know about:

From Around The Web:
Judge Explains Why Pandora Must Pay 2.5 Percent of Revenue to BMI

From the TuneCore Blog:
Interview: Music Supervisor Amanda Krieg Thomas Talks Sync Licensing

TuneCore Partners With TapInfluence: Helping Artists Connect With Brands