Madison, WI-based singer/songwriter Emilie Brandt planted the seeds for her music career in high school when she befriended Tom Carrillo. The fellow musician went on to become her manager. Post-high school, Carrillo built a relationship with Round Hill Music, a Nashville outfit with an emphasis on music publishing. He negotiated a Round Hill synch rep deal for Brandt and her songs have been featured in MTV’s Finding Carter and Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules.
“Tom [Carrillo] was in contact with Round Hill and made it happen,” the singer says of scoring her synch rep deal. “He also knew the people at Finding Carter. They were looking for a specific sound and we sent them some of my songs. They liked a few and used them. We’re trying to get more placements now. I’m a baby in the business and still learning about the music industry. I take every opportunity I can.”
“They were looking for a specific sound and we sent them some of my songs.”
A synch rep agreement involves a third party that uses its savvy and industry connections to gain placement for an artist’s music. As Brandt observes, this value can sometimes be indirect. “It’s great, if only to get my name out there,” she says. “People who may not know my music get the chance to hear it. This is a huge opportunity and I’m very excited about the future. If I could go back and tell my Taylor-Swift-covering middle-school self that this is where I’d be, I would never have believed it.”
Currently Brandt is working on new material, which will be released as an EP or full-length album––it remains to be decided––towards the end of the year. “We’re working with several producers,” she says of the upcoming release. “I love collaborating with a variety of people. My eyes have been opened to different writing styles by the opportunities that have come from so many angles.”
Emilie Brandt plays occasional Madison and Milwaukee dates, but is increasingly hitting various Chicago venues. On July 9 she played the Windy City’s Lincoln Hall, a 500-capacity theater. All three of the songs on her 2015 self-titled EP were ultimately released as singles.
Photo by Ariel Kassulke
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