Front and Center: Songtradr Director of Creative Services, Erin Dillon

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Songtradr Director of Creative Services, Erin Dillon

By Leslie Buttonow

At any given time, an artist has finished a new music piece they’re looking to license. At the same time – whether across town, across the country, or across the world – any number of brands, apps, television or film studios are seeking just the right song for their new project. The missing piece of the puzzle for bringing both sides together is Songtradr, an all-in-one, global licensing platform that delivers an efficient way for buyers and sellers to connect. Their client list includes the likes of MTV, Netflix, FOX, Amazon, Microsoft, ABC, Disney, and more.

Erin Dillon is Songtradr’s director of creative services. She enthusiastically digs in to their catalogue of music to perfectly align hand-curated songs with high profile placements. Truly inspired by the music itself, Dillon shares how her background in music supervision and as a trained pianist has helped her to excel for her company and its clients, and what motivates her each day in her role at Songtradr.

To find out more, visit www.songtradr.com.

The WiMN: I see you’re a classically trained pianist. Growing up, did you always aspire to have some type of career in the music industry, or was that just a happy coincidence?

I think on some level I always knew I wanted to work in music; my path always seemed to lead there. As I grew up learning the piano, I also fell in love with movie soundtracks. That was what interested me in music supervision, initially. The idea of putting soundtracks together like a playlist seemed like the best thing in the world!

The WiMN: How did your background as a pianist prepare you for the various roles you’ve held in the industry over the years in music supervision and creative control? 

Knowing the language of music theory allowed a deeper connection in working with composers. I felt it made it easier to relate and mediate between the creative vision of a director versus the musicality a composer brings to a project. And with a trained ear you can give better notes and guidance. This is true not only with composers but when working with up-and-coming artists or new talent.

The WiMN: For young women exploring various careers in the music industry, can you share a little bit about your current position at Songtradr and what that type of job entails? 

At Songtradr, I’m the head of music curation, which is comprised of me bringing in new music as well as keeping up to date with everything currently on our site, which is a lot! I make curated playlists for clients looking for specific types of music, along with licensing and artist relations.

The WiMN: What are some things that motivate you each day in your job?

Hearing from the musicians on our site is always the best part of my day. I love building a rapport with the different people whose music I’m listening to every day. Their successes and difficulties are mine as well. Whenever I get to be the bearer of good news and tell someone their music is going to be licensed, it’s a great day. I also love being excited by music each day. It’s part of my job to keep finding diamonds in the rough and listening to new and unusual stuff. There’s still a spark for me when the challenge of a particular search request comes through and I get to be the one to dig and find it!

The WiMN: Many areas of the music industry are male-dominated. Is that the case for your area? Were there ever any challenges you’ve had to overcome in that regard?

It’s definitely a male-dominated industry overall, but I pride myself in being part of a generation that has come up alongside many women my age. I have many colleagues who inspire me and are truly positive, powerful women. The best part about it is, many of the women I’ve come up with, really have the best intentions for each other. We want to see each other succeed and I believe it’s genuine. I can’t speak to particular challenges, but I will say hard work speaks for itself. Once you’ve put in the work, don’t be afraid to use your voice. If you have an idea or a thought, throw it out there. Trust your gut — a woman’s intuition is one of the most powerful forces on earth!

The WiMN: Any advice for our readers who are musicians and may be exploring licensing their own original music?

The best advice I can give is educate yourself. Do your homework, utilize IMDB, speak to fellow musicians who are in your boat or have had licenses. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Decide what it is you really want to do with your music, then go after it. Celebrate the small victories that will inevitably lead to larger ones.

The WiMN: Are there any particularly exciting projects you’re working on (or recently completed) that you’d like to share?

Songtradr has worked closely with a women’s clothing company called Ardene in the last year. They’ve licensed some awesome music from us – like Bad Bad Hats and Esjay Jones – that really seems to speak to their brand.

Front and Center: Red Temple Music Co-founder, Danica Lynch

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Red Temple Music Co-founder, Danica Lynch

DanicaFrom managing, to publishing, booking, promoting, marketing and more, there are countless positions in the music business. Today, we’re pleased to feature a woman who has experience in almost all of these roles: the multi-talented Danica Lynch.

Married to hard rock guitarist George Lynch, Mrs. Lynch manages her husband’s musical catalog of 35 years which includes Dokken, Lynch Mob, solo releases and more.

Danica Lynch’s expertise also lies heavily in music publishing. She co-founded her own company, Red Temple Music, a boutique publishing agency home to a number of writers and composers. Lynch and her colleagues provide music for TV, film and more. Lynch even finds the time to work on her husband’s documentary film, Shadowtrain.

A true music business jill-of-all-trades , the WiMN are pleased to share some insight from the one and only Danica Lynch.

Learn more about Danica Lynch and Red Temple Music at redtemplemusic.com.

WiMN: How long have you worked in the music industry and how did you get your start?

DL: My exposure to the industry began when I got involved in my husband’s business about 10 years ago. The fact that he’s a lifetime professional musician gave me the opportunity to involve myself in all aspects of the music industry; touring, accounting, publishing, management, marketing, merchandising, licensing and copyright.

WiMN: Can you tell us about some of your favorite roles you’ve held in the industry? Any that might be a least favorite?

DL: I don’t really have a least favorite as I find all areas of the music business fascinating and challenging. Throughout the different areas of the music business that I have worked in, I am most familiar and comfortable with publishing, licensing and handling of the registration of music. This is an area of expertise that I enjoy most–although I do still enjoy setting up tours. I am also currently working towards earning my degree in music business, which continues to bring me knowledge in this ever-changing industry.

WiMN: Can you tell us how you started working in music publishing?

DL: I started with hands-on experience from working with my husband’s catalog, which is extensive and spans over 35 years and hundreds of songs. I have continued to manage his catalog and current musical endeavors, in addition to handling the licensing and publishing for a few other artists.

WiMN: Tell us about your music agency, Red Temple Music. What does Red Temple do? What have been some of your favorite moments or projects to be a part of?

DL: Red Temple Music is a boutique agency which licenses music for TV, film, gaming and more. I license existing songs from our catalog and we also create original music for specific projects as well. I must say that I have had a great time working with a few companies. My favorite moments are getting to work with the producers directly and helping with music supervision, while watching the songwriters in our studio create music for the project. It is really cool!

WiMN: You’ve recently been working on a documentary film created by your husband called Shadowtrain. What is the film about? What is it like to shift from working with music to film?
DL: We are filming among the natural landscapes of the Western U.S. and telling the stories of Native Americans living on reservations. The band Shadowtrain travels through these places playing music while uncovering and discussing history, politics and spirituality with notable thinkers, artists, Native American medicine men, clergy and activists.  You can read more about the documentary at shadowtrainmovie.com.

The mechanics of filmmaking are very similar to making a record, in the sense that you’re utilizing specific technology to tell a story and paint a picture. Although I’ve learned some about the process of filmmaking over the last couple of years–what I’ve really learned is just how much there is to learn.

WiMN: If you could share one piece of advice about the music industry, what would that be?

DL: The music industry is a big world. Whatever your passion is, follow it and never give up.

WiMN: What is an interesting and little known fact about you?

DL: I’m afraid of heights, but I like to fly planes and have been working to get my pilot’s license.

WiMN: Can you share your experience as a woman in the industry? Have there been challenges?

DL: As a woman I’ve definitely experienced resistance in my attempt to work my way into the industry. It seems like women have to be more knowledgeable and ambitious to overcome obstacles.

WiMN: Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for women aspiring to enter the music industry?

DL: Though it may seem tough at times for some women, remember to always follow your passion and eventually you will become whom you desire to be. It may not be overnight, but it will happen!