Up Close: Taxi


World’s Leading Independent A&R Company: Launched by Michael Laskow in 1992, TAXI is renowned throughout the music industry as the “world’s leading independent A&R company.” With nearly 10,000 members in more than 100 countries, the multifaceted organization has helped connect countless artists and songwriters to the powers that be at every major and hundreds of indie labels, including A&M, Atlantic, BMG, Capitol, Columbia, EMI, Epic, Geffen, Island Def Jam, Jive, Interscope, Sony and Warner Bros. Thousands of TAXI members have signed deals to license their music to TV networks and top film companies.

TAXI Does the Driving: On the 1st and 15th of each month, and now with additional daily updates, TAXI sends its members approximately 125 opportunities per month from major and indie label A&R departments, producers, publishers, music libraries and top film & TV music supervisors. TAXI’s team of industry experts pre-screens music from its members, then forwards the best and most appropriate material directly to the person or company that requested it. Members, who pay $299 for their first year and an annual renewal fee of $199, receive feedback in two ways: 1) when they submit for specific listings and 2) via requested custom critiques.


Accept No Substitutes/The Road Rally: In recent years, numerous TAXI copycats have arisen that run listings, then split submission fees with the listing party. One in particular has taken TAXI’s industry listings, made minor edits, and run them as their own. “Companies like that are the reason musicians always have to worry about getting ripped off, and the only way to know the difference is to do your homework,” Laskow says. Realizing that many industry conventions were poorly organized, uninformative and gave musicians few opportunities to meet industry people, Laskow created The TAXI Road Rally. It’s a free, annual members-only convention that lasts three days and includes 15-20 panels, plus 90 breakout classes on every imaginable subject, with plenty of opportunities to meet industry professionals, including one-on-one mentor sessions and six open mics. The next Road Rally is Nov. 6-9 in Los Angeles.


By Jonathan Widran