Interview: Ysanne Spevack, Amazing Artists

Amazing Artists

Amazing Artists Being a US resident, Ysanne Spevack, creative director at Amazing Artists, didn’t have as far to travel as some of the other participants for the recent sync mission.

Despite the ease in getting to the panels and workshops during the week, the British-born Ysanne’s experiences were invaluable in terms of making and cementing relationships and creating new business opportunities.

Organised by the BPI and Music Publishers Association, in conjunction with UKTI, the venture looks to connect British music with US films. We quizzed former Smashing Pumpkins violinist Ysanne on her experiences and why sync is crucial in promoting an artist and their music…

Why did you choose to embark on the recent sync mission? What were your aims when you joined the initiative?

As an artist manager, it’s essential to engage with sync for exposure, and for supplementary revenue streams. I’m developing a new artist, and producing her first studio recordings, so I needed to be a part of the mission to effectively support her.

In addition, I’m the head of licensing for sync for the Amazing Media Group, and pitch music by all of the amazing artists who are a part of the AmazingTunes.com community. There are over 250,000 artists on our platform, mostly new and emerging British musicians, often at the very start of their careers.
My aims were to deepen my existing relationships with music supervisors, to meet new ones, to broaden my understanding of the industry, and to refresh my knowledge so that I remain hyper-current with industry trends. Ultimately it’s so that I remain a trusted source for the music supervisors we serve.

How did you find your recent experiences?

I’ve achieved everything I set out to do. I got to play a pub quiz with a music supervisor friend I’ve known since 2004, but who I’d not hung out with in a casual way for a good few years, thereby having a laugh and organically strengthening our friendship. And I met Dave Stewart and his team, who are ‘cousins’ of my own musical family, but who I’d not met before. And I broadened and refreshed my knowledge of this intricate industry.

What were/will be the best bits/biggest benefits of taking part?

As a US resident, the best bits are probably still to come, as I’ll be having coffee with many of the music supervisors I’ve met at the mission over the upcoming months and years. The relationships and knowledge gained over this week will benefit our community of British new and emerging musicians for many years to come.

Which artists are you currently looking to place? And why does their music work in this sphere?

Amazing non-exclusively represents over 250,000 new and emerging artists who are a part of the AmazingTunes.com community. We treat everyone equally, purely based on the suitability of each track for any pitches we receive from music supervisors.

That said, we also have a record label and an artist management company, and so if a brief comes in for a track that we represent exclusively, of course we’ll make sure to pitch it.

What notable syncs have you recently worked on/helped place?

One of the music supervisors at the LA Sync Mission was looking for a track generated using algorithms, meaning music was made by crunching numbers mathematically using a computer code. It’s for a documentary about this subject, so the brief was extremely specific, with a very tight deadline.

One of our Amazing musicians developed an algorithm with his dad, who is a physicist, and it does exactly this. I was able to turn this challenging brief around within an hour, solving her problem, and hopefully making some friends in the process!

Which types of media are currently offering the most lucrative opportunities?

Marketing budgets always offer the highest value pitches, whether that’s a product like soap, or a movie. But the value of any pitch ultimately relies on the types of music in a catalogue. If you don’t have any music that’s right for a movie trailer, then realistically there’s no point pitching for them. If your track is better suited for a non-scripted TV show, it will have better chances of earning higher revenues if it’s pitched there, even though reality TV budgets are a fraction of trailer budgets.

Are there any current trends in sync? What are proving to be the most popular sounds/musical genres?

Well-known pop songs are always on trend, but outside of that, it varies widely. Every genre of music has its place in something, it’s about matching the right song for the right opportunity. That’s why I’m so fortunate to be able to draw from such a deep catalogue of tracks from British new and emerging artists via AmazingTunes.com

What skills/attributes do artists and publishers need to get into sync and make the most of this area?

It’s about being a trusted source for a music supervisor, so they know they can turn to you at last minute and get the perfect track and to make sure it’s cleared and ready to go. And it’s about having a varied and amazing catalogue of music in every genre so it can be turned around immediately.

How does the future of sync look like?

To be honest, the golden years for sync are already past in terms of budgets, simply because traditional media like movies and television don’t earn the advertising revenue they once did. Consequently, budgets for music have been slashed. However, licensing for sync is still an essential part of any artist’s promotional tool kit, and provides a welcome extra stream of revenue. In terms of new media, I’m betting on VR and AR becoming stable future sources of sync revenue.

Artists can have their music pitched to music supervisors by uploading it to AmazingTunes.com. Every single track added AmazingTunes.com is listened to and could be pitched to music supervisors on approval.

Check out our previous interviews with the BPI’s Chris Tams, Verity Griffiths from Cooking Vinyl and Harriet Moss from Manners McDade on the LA Sync Mission.