An Interview with Anthony Clint Jr. of Clint Productions
This week I got to interview producer Anthony Clint and learn more about his production process, as well as his approach when pitching music for film and TV licensing. Clint has worked with Grammy-winning producers and artists and his music has been heard on TV networks like Fox Sports, TV One, Showtime and more. He also believes in helping out his fellow musicians and sharing his wisdom, blogging regularly and offering a free music licensing "quickstart" guide on his website www.clintproductions.com.
Here is what he told us!
GOGIRLS: You have been doing audio engineering and production since your teenage years. What have you learned since starting out? What advice do you have for young musicians who want to follow this path?
CLINT: Since I started producing music, I’ve learned that as a producer/engineer I’m basically a creative problem solver. As a producer, my job is to help interpret what the client wants and figure out how to turn it into music that listeners will enjoy listening to. Sometimes the problem solving is more on the technical side, other times it’s more on the creative side.
I would tell young musicians who want to follow a path in music two things.
1) Practice/perfect their craft, learn the business side of their craft, as well as practice patience. Don’t focus on success, but rather focus on being the most skillful producer, engineer, artist, etc. you can be. Success will be the by-product of opportunity meeting preparation, studying your craft and patience.
2) Surround yourself with others in your field who know more than you and those who are already where you want to be. There is always someone who is better or knows more than you, so learn and grow from those people.
GOGIRLS: You grew up in Toledo, went to school in Columbus and later moved to Atlanta. You have clients around the world. How do you feel your location influences your business? How much work do you do in person and how much is online/remote?
CLINT: I believe my location in Atlanta has had a positive influence on my business. It’s a bigger music scene which makes for great networking. There is also a sense of credibility that comes with working out of a major music city such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Nashville & New York. I tend to do most of my recording work with artists in person, but a large portion of my work is done online. That includes collaborations, communicating with clients, paperwork & file transfers. The internet is a powerful tool for my business.
GOGIRLS: How did you get into licensing your music? What made you realize it was a viable source of musical income?
CLINT: My first exposure to music licensing came about during my sophomore year in college when a producer contacted me on Myspace.com. He was looking for a musician to play over some of his tracks that he was preparing to license for TV/film. He told me to check out Taxi.com and look more into music licensing. I signed up with Taxi a few years later and attended this huge annual road rally on music licensing out in Los Angeles. I learned a lot out there and it inspired me to really pursue music licensing as a stream of income.
Fast forward some years later, I landed my first TV placement on The NFL Network. After receiving some royalty checks from that one song being placed, I realized music licensing could definitely be a viable source of musical income.
GOGIRLS: What steps do you take when trying to pitch a song or instrumental piece for placement on film or in tv? Do you create music for an existing opportunity, or do you write the music first and then try to create opportunities for it?
CLINT: Before I had any music licensing deals I would first reach out to different music publishers and supervisors to see if they had a need for music. If the answer was yes, I would then look in my existing catalog to see if I had what they needed. If not, I would try and create what they needed. After I submitted I would forget about it and create more music for whatever else came up at the time.
Now that I have some relationships with music publishers, they usually tell me what they need in the form of briefs. The steps are pretty much the same for me. Search catalog and/or create new tracks, submit, forget and shoot up a prayer that something lands!
GOGIRLS: What is your process like when producing a new artist? What steps do you take to help them find their unique sound?
CLINT: When producing a new artist, my process starts with first listening to their music to decide if it’s something that I’m willing to produce. I then have a meeting and/or having a conversation with the artist to talk about their goals, what sound are they going for, budget, etc. From there I begin creating the music, writing the song in some cases and then ultimately having the artist come into the studio and record the final product.
Helping an artist find their unique sound can take some time and I find it’s one of the hardest tasks for some artist to do. I like to ask the artist what songs inspire them and why. It could be the way the drums are played, the simplicity of the piano…anything really! I pull those elements and build around them musically. Vocally, I listen and study the artist to see what stands out as unique and try to highlight those things in the recording and mixing process.
Please visit Clint's website to find out more about his work and read his blog. He also offers 30 minute to 1 hour consultations that include up to 3 song or beat critiques -- something that may be invaluable for a young producer or artist who wants to hone their craft!