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Soundcheque: helping aspiring music-makers find success

Chris Martin of Coldplay Ed Potton, The Times Last updated at 12:01AM, Novem er 2! 201" Nosedivin# re$ord sales, insultin#ly tiny royalties, the ear%pit of a saturated mar&et ' it(s not the rosiest time to e an up%and%$omin# musi$ian) *ma#ine, thou#h, if there +as an or#anisation that paired son#+riters and $omposers +ith produ$ers of film, T,, video #ames and $ommer$ials and didn(t trouser most of the pro$eedsEnter .ound$he/ue ' motto 0helpin# musi$ ma&ers ma&e it1) 2nly nine months after laun$hin#, it has more than 1,000 musi$ians on its oo&s ' in$ludin# +riters for Adele and Mi$hael Nyman ' providin# musi$ for $lients in$ludin# 33C and .&y, plus "4,000 li&es on 5a$e oo&, 16,000 follo+ers on T+itter and rin#in# endorsements from Chris Martin of Coldplay 70a #enuinely rilliant idea18, the film%

ma&er 9i$hard Curtis, the presenter Lauren Laverne and the film dire$tor Ed#ar :ri#ht) .ound$he/ue CE2, Laura :est$ott, a sin#er +ith the London Philharmoni$ $hoir and a former P9 mana#er at The Times, $ame up +ith the idea after hearin# horror stories a out her friends( pu lishin# deals) Many of them, she dis$overed, had si#ned a+ay up to 60 per $ent of their ri#hts and royalties) 0* thou#ht that +as very unfair,1 :est$ott says) 0They +ere ein# shafted)1 At a out the same time, in her ;o as a $ontent editor at Ne+s Corp in Ne+ <or&, :est$ott had to use li rary musi$, and dis$overed that its 0reputation for ein# dire1 +as +ell deserved: the ma;ority +as insipid, Mu=a&%style #uff) The #ame +as afoot) :est$ott, no+ a$& in London, de$ided to try and 0$reate a platform +here real musi$ $ould e used and musi$ians $ould #et paid1) .ound$he/ue is a $ross et+een a re$ruitment $onsultant for musi$ians and an online musi$ li rary, offerin# more than >,000 tra$&s, from or$hestral musi$ to hip% hop, 0eerie1 to 0mani$1 and $aterin# to ud#ets from mi$ro to me#a) There are other su$$essful online li raries out there, su$h as ?iller Tra$&s, and Audio Net+or&, +hi$h pays a small fee to $omposers +hen they su mit musi$ ut also ta&e a share of their pu lishin# ri#hts) .ound$he/ue ta&es 20 per $ent of a musi$ian(s fee +hen they #et a ;o ut lets them retain all of their pu lishin# ri#hts) :here it stands alone, ho+ever, is the proa$tive role it plays in introdu$in# $omposers to emer#in# film%ma&ers and other produ$ers in sear$h of musi$) :est$ott has for#ed lin&s +ith the 3ritish 5ilm *nstitute, the 9aindan$e 5ilm 5estival and $harities in$ludin# the Prin$e(s Trust, and found +or& for musi$ians +ith everyone from Nissan to refu#ee filmma&ers in ?enya) .ound$he/ue +ill also host a sta#e at the Latitude festival ne@t summer, providin# a pu li$ platform for its artists) 0* $an(t e totally sure ut * thin& +e(re uni/ue,1 :est$ott says) The idea +as $ertainly a hit +ith her former $ollea#ues at the Ne+ <or& Choral .o$iety, +ho helped #ive the pro;e$t some early momentum) 0*f you thin&: 200 people in a $hoir, all sharin# +ith their friends ' it ;ust sno+ alled,1 :est$ott says) Anli&e Audio Net+or&, .ound$he/ue lets its artists remain anonymous) 0Musi$ians are mostly e@trovert ut $omposers and son#+riters are mostly introverts, *(ve found, so they really li&e the anonymity,1 she says) They $an, of $ourse, have a named $redit on their +or& if they +ant one) .o +hat ne@t- :est$ott is ullish) Ber ultimate aim, she says, is 0to sha&e up the musi$ pu lishin# industry) .ome ody needs to do somethin# a out it) *(m not sayin# *(m the ri#ht person ut *(m #oin# to #ive it a #oC1 sound$he/ue)$om