Music Speaker Profile: Travis McFetridge

Written by Rory Burbeck | March 6, 2014

SXSW 2014 Music Speaker: Travis McFetridge

Very briefly, what do you do and what is your session about?

My session is called “Anatomy of a Placement” and includes hit making hip-hop producer Sonny Digital (2 Chainz “Birthday Song” ft. Kanye West, Future “Same Damn Time”, Y.C. “Racks”), attorney Sandra Brown (Akon’s official Attorney), Rico Brooks (Manager - Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, Que). This session will show us what it takes to create and secure a placement with a major label recording artist starting from the studio session in which the producer, artist, songwriters make the song all the way to when myself, the music publisher is involved and secures the copyright with PRO’s, copyright office, major label, etc.

How/why did you get started in the music industry?

My passion for music was instilled in me when I was young by my father who is a studio musician. As a sophomore at Fordham University Lincoln Center Manhattan I obtained my first internship in the A&R department of A&M Records. From there I never looked back and interned at Capitol Records, Epic Records, Warner Bros. Records, Virgin Records and finally got my first real gig as Sr. Coordinator of Publicity at Elektra Records during my last semester in college.

How many years have you attended/spoke at SXSW in the past? If this is your first time at SXSW, what are you expecting?

I’ve been lucky enough to attend SXSW four times in a row. This will be my third time speaking on a panel. I am truly blessed and thankful to be able to share my knowledge of the music business with others at a forum as great as SXSW.

Best thing that’s happened in music in the last year?

Eminem’s new album The Marshall Mathers LP2 finally dropping! Eminem’s 8th album proves he is still on top and better than ever. You can’t keep a good man down!

Favorite new app/service/tech development in music?

The SXSW iPhone App is incredible it helps me keep my SXSW schedule together.

What’s the biggest issue facing the music business today? Can it be overcome?

Overcoming digital piracy and illegal downloading of music. It can be overcome by labels developing real talented acts which consumers will ultimately invest in. Creating quality music which people will still want to buy.

What’s the last live show you saw that floored you?

Billy Joel live at Madison Square Garden, February 3rd of this year. Though we had a snow storm in NY the same day nothing stopped me from making the show on time. Billy is my favorite songwriter of all time and perhaps one of the best musicians of my generation. At 65 he still sounds amazing!

Favorite moment/weirdest thing you saw from a past SXSW?

My favorite moment at SXSW was when I saw the Alabama Shakes live at Stubbs for the first time during SXSW 2012. The weirdest thing I ever saw was A$AP Rocky and his crew getting into an altercation with the crowd at their Vice Party set during SXSW 2012.

What artist(s) are you most looking forward to seeing perform at SXSW 2014?

Que who just recently signed to Atlantic Records and whose current hit single “OG Bobby Johnson” is climbing up the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B Singles Chart.

Tacos or BBQ?

The Salt Lick BBQ every time I come to Austin!! The best darn BBQ in the United States hands down. Go for the Rancher Plate where you can sample all of the meats available!

Hear Travis McFetridge on the Anatomy of a Track Placement panel on Friday, March 14th at 12:30pm in ACC Ballroom E.

Photo courtesy of the speaker