Yes, It’s Fun Creating a Mood for Donny Loves Jenny. But My Heart Belongs to Custom Songs.

I have been writing and recording a lot of tracks for TV lately. It is great work if you can get it. I thought you might get a kick out of learning about the process of writing and composing for TV and how it compares to writing custom songs. 

How it works. Most of my gigs come through a company called Strike Audio. They have relationships with show producers at networks like A&E, Discovery, and TLC. Strike sends me descriptions of the types of music a show needs and a couple tracks that illustrate the genres they are looking for.

I listen to the tracks and watch the show to get a feel for what it is about. When I am feeling a groove for what they are looking for, I sit down and write and record 5-10 tracks for each request. The show producers pick and choose from what I have written.

The cool stuff. I really enjoy writing in a variety of styles—it stretches my music muscles. Lately, I have been writing a lot of funky stuff for Donny Loves Jenny. And, there have even been a few investigative crime shows in the mix. That work is more like sound design. I have had to sculpt tracks that set the mood for people to do really creepy stuff on screen. That’s been a new challenge!

Why writing a custom song for you and your family is much more rewarding. When I write for TV, the goal is to deliver music that will be a useful element in a show. It’s business. But, truly, I am wired to be soulful and artistic. With Tribute Tunes, I get to go much deeper emotionally. I am writing about a person’s life. It is so much more gratifying to craft music that will make a family and all their friends laugh and weep and touch on every emotion in between.

No doubt, it’s cool for me to see a montage of Jenny McCarthy and Donny Whalberg with my track playing in the background. But, hands down, writing personal soundtracks for my Tribute Tunes clients is more inspiring work—it taps into what I love most about being a songwriter.

Do you have an upcoming eventanniversary, birthday, mitzvah, corporate event, wedding—that would benefit from a custom song? Send me an email and tell me all about it!

Custom Song? Yes. Killer Personal Rap Anthem? Word!

Back in July, we got our first official client through Tribute Tunes. I could not have imagined a more exciting project to launch the business. My client was Andrew—a truly modest, thoughtful, likeable, and intelligent young man.

Andrew and his family wanted an entrance video for his Bar Mitzvah that would showcase his special kind of low-key and oh-so-authentic spark. Thinking completely out-of-the-box, they decided a custom rap song—performed by Andrew—was the vehicle that would capture his charm.

Quote from Andrew's Mom, It was a gigantic hit!  The rap made the party extra special, people were hysterical!

Andrew’s mom gave me great content and anecdotes about Andrew. She wanted the rap to be a funny take on the Bar Mitzvah theme—a bit of a spoof. I had a blast with it! When I forwarded the custom song lyrics to Andrew and his mom, they were totally psyched.

The next step was recording the rap. In all the years I have been writing custom songs, I have never had a client in the studio. I knew that it would be a foreign environment for Andrew—so it was my number one job to make him feel like a rap star and create an atmosphere where he could really have fun with it. Andrew arrived with a great attitude—curious and excited. It paved the way for studio magic!

All of us involved are so proud of the final product. That includes Andrew’s mom, a family friend, and one of Andrew’s teachers who did the background vocals. We had to wait to share the video with you until it debuted at the event—it was a HUGE hit!

Special thanks to the wonderful montage maker Jennifer DelAngelo from Caramel Studios for introducing me to Andrew and his family. And, a shout out to the very talented Nick Freeman in Ridgefield, CT who shot and edited the video.

If this video goes viral, I am pretty sure Custom Rap Songs will be the next big Mitzvah trend!