Interview By Kim Coco
Introduce yourself to our readers. Tell us the name of your Production Music Company based out of LA and who you are!
Ok! My name is George Mathews, aka ‘FM’ which stands for – Fingaz McGee. That name was given to me many years ago by a rapper during a studio session while I was making beats because I’m a keyboard based music producer. I own a production music company called SmashCoast Music.
So George, can you break it down for our readers and explain exactly what Sync Licensing is? Tell the artists, the producers, the managers, the rising music entrepreneurs & moguls of the Hip Hop world, what exactly does SmashCoast music do & your mission?
Simply put, a music synchronization license, also known as a sync license, is a music license granted by the owner or composer of a particular piece of work. This license allows a licensee or purchaser, the right to use the music in a visual piece, such as a movie, video game, or commercial placement. I’m a music producer and a creative, so I tend to run things a little differently than most other sync licensing companies. Most of them are based on the idea of getting as many placements as possible with the sole intent of making money. I’m still a creative and will always be a creative first so SCM is geared towards benefitting the creator… the artist, the producer, the composer. Not only does SCM seek out licensing opportunities for Indie artists but one of the most valuable things SCM offers for the artist when getting a placement on a network TV show or even a commercial is the EXPOSURE. You’ve gotta remember the audience for a national ad or popular show can be huge, so placements give them that exposure for a larger fan base, much larger than what they’d get just using social media. Our mission is not only to obtain music licensing opportunities for our creatives, but also help create that buzz and give them a bigger platform to launch their careers. Compared to a record deal, music licensing is relatively risk free. Royalties are paid directly to the creatives via their PRO (performance rights organization) and synchronization payments are paid to them directly as well. I really encourage anyone out there with music on their computer to look into music sync licensing.
SmashCoast Music was Established in 2009 & has been responsible for literally thousands of music placements on hundreds of television shows, as well as films, commercials and advertisements. Most of your placements are with major networks like : ViacomCBS * ABC * NBC * Fox * Bravo * E!. Some of SCM’s most notable TV and film placements include : Love & Hip Hop ATL, NYC, Empire, Ozark, A Million Little Things, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Glee, Wolverine just to name a few.
George, take us back in time . How did SmashCoast Music get started and what was SCM first major music placement that put SCM on the map? A: Oh wow. Well, the first placement ever was MTV’s The Real World – Season 2. That was really the first network TV show that actively sought out Indie music for their show. I got to be a part of that first wave of guys. I think it was 2007 so I’ve been doing this for a while now. It was an instrumental beat actually. Bunin-Murray Productions and MTV are pretty much responsible for putting me on the map first.
Aside from Movies, where can artists actually get their music placed?
All areas of media uses music in some way. SmashCoast has had music placements in Film, Advertising and Television. Artists can get their music placed in any one of these areas or all of them.
George , tell the readers : What are the benefits of Music licensing for artists? And can you tell us the importance of Sync licensing in the Urban Space?
Well the benefits of music licensing besides the great exposure and a massive audience is the income! The back end royalties can be long term! If a producers music is placed In a popular TV show, let’s say for example like Love & Hip Hop or Keeping up with The Kardashian’s, or an artist’s song is used as a featured placement or a theme, the long-term royalties can be pretty substantial, as well as the up-front sync payment. Also, licensing is important now more than ever in the urban space because it really teaches a new creative how to be more organized, how to pitch and deliver music correctly to clients and broadens ones understanding of how to value and monetize their music. #NoFreeBeats!
George, tell us a bit about your background with producing music. You’ve actually become so well respected in the music industry that you’ve earned the name The Producer Whisper. What led you into the industry in the first place?
Ok so my background, I’ve always been around music. I started playing piano by ear at around 5 years old. I never would have dreamed I would be doing music licensing for TV & Film but as a kid I would learn melodies from TV theme songs by ear, cartoons, etc. I would hear those Melodies and re- create them, just from hearing them. I started singing in HS and was even a member of a singing group for some years. I even did some vocal coaching for a while. I hadn’t really given any serious thought to me being a music producer at this point. I was known around town as a singer/songwriter that could play keys. But one day I was introduced to this guy named Steve Valenzuela. A friend of mine took me to his house one day and he had just bought this brand new keyboard (Ensoniq ASR-10) and asked me if I knew how to use… I didn’t. Steve told me take it home and see what I could do with it. It was so crazy to me at the time because I barely knew this guy but here, he gave me this $2500 keyboard to borrow. So I took it home that night and started fooling around with it. I did in fact make a beat. I think it may have been the worst beat you’ll ever hear in your life BUT- that night, using that keyboard – was really the VERY FIRST TIME I realized that I was actually able to put music together. I had a baseline, strings, drums and a piano going at the same time… I was hooked! Steve is really responsible for me finding out that I could be a music producer. The Producer Whisperer is my way of always paying it forward. I often think about what I would be doing to this day if Steve had never loaned me that keyboard and took a chance on me. Knowing him, he’d probably say it was no big deal, but it really was. Sometimes all you need is that one person to take a chance on you.
So George, Kim Williams is a major key player on the SmashCoast team. Some would even say she’s like your right hand. Explain to the readers who Kimberley Williams is, her role and her importance in all things SmashCoast?
Kim Williams is not KINDA like my right hand. Kimberley Williams IS MY RIGHT HAND. Kim was actually a performer, an artist herself first and she has also been on the corporate side of America. Kim is the Head of Sync Licensing for SmashCoast Music. The reason WHY Kim is the Head of Sync Licensing in the first place is because the things that she does, she does WAY better than I can do! Look- Kim is important for sure on the business end of things like the legal side. She oversees all of our business stuff, the documents and legal paperwork but more importantly, she is the queen of creating and maintaining good relationships. It’s because of her that we are as successful as we are because when it comes to those relationships, she is a powerhouse. But aside from the business end of things, Kim is really important to our artists. The thing with Kim Williams is, she actually really cares about the artist. She is way beyond anything any manager would do. I mean – I help the artists too, but Kim has this really big heart and genuinely cares about the artists well-being and success. Artists tend to recognize that Kim is genuine and they feel her energy. She’s invaluable man. I couldn’t do any of this without her.
GRL PWR is your first Ever EP. What’s the significance of the Album GRL PWR to SmashCoast Music?
GRL PWR is our all female album HIGHLIGHTING some of the female artists on the team. It’s feel good. It’s positive. GRL PWR is all about female empowerment, strength and independence.
How can artists send submission to SmashCoast Music? What does SCM look for in potential artists?
They can go directly to Smashcoast.com and submit at INFO. We check all submissions. The artists do need to have their PRO in order. Make sure music is mixed before you send it. And SCM is actually open to ALL genres of music. We aren’t limited to any genre because our roster currently has a little bit of everything. Rock, Pop, Hip Hop, R &B, EDM, you name it.
Ms. Kimberley Williams. You are a very successful woman in a mostly male dominant industry. What are 3 important things that you think other young ladies should know before getting into the business end of the music?
1. I always tell females sync licensing is not always glamorous. While there are perks, it’s not all events, live shows and after-parties. There is a lot of hanging around in dark recording studios late at night and maad paperwork – BUT on the flip side, building lasting relationships and seeing folks you help, shine in their careers is exciting and a very powerful feeling.
2. You have to have a passion for education. A lot of people don’t understand the backend of things and the music industry changes every day. Educate yourself and do your research. You can search anything and everything in this day and age.
3. You have to have persistence. You have put yourself out there in the right places and at the right times. Be fearless in all situations because we are just as powerful as the guys. Don’t worry ladies. I think our time is coming,
George: Women are more focused and organized than us men and that’s your superpower over us!
George and Kim- What does the future hold for SmashCoast Music?
George: We have plans to become a fully functioning Indie Record Label with the ability to sign artists and give advances. The same cool benefits as a traditional label but without the risks. The focus will be sync licensing with Indie Artists. For the artists and producers that sign with us, there will be a focus on connecting their music to major brands, networks, radio, music festivals, travel, visual’s. We have built these relationships that cultivated over the years and we can expand our brand better because of it to service our artists. I’m still producing & creating music. I am working with a new Breakout artist named Taequan Black. He is one of the only artists I’ve ever worked with who is as diverse as I am musically. He’s the most open-minded recording artist I have ever worked with. He’s young, but very mature and has a good understanding of music licensing and the music business. He makes clean music that’s still very dope and can work with just about anyone. This kid’s got a blue collar work ethic! We just finished and dropped his first EP titled “Pacific Coast” on which I produced all of the tracks myself. The EP is currently being pitched to TV and Film and is also available now on all platforms.
Kim: On the business end of things, we will continue to help monetize the artist catalogs that we have been entrusted to pitch while also continuing to build relationships and partnerships with major brands and sync companies. We are really excited about our new affiliations with major entities like Viacom and Mass Appeal Records – Sync division, who commissioned music from us because we have such a diverse roster and can provide custom music for a specific need. While TV & Film may have shut down for a short time, things are starting back up again very soon and the ad world is stronger than ever. I believe that we are sitting on the tip of a major sync-licensing boom! SmashCoast music will be right there as the GO-TO when it comes to urban licensing – This is only the beginning.
Last but not least… Kim & George Whose got the better Pizza? NY or LA?
Ok come on! That’s easy! It’s NYC
Where can our readers find you on social media. Plug yourself in so we know how to find you for features, collaborations and all things Smashcoast?
New Album: Pacific Coast – Tequan Black for download on All of the following platforms
Official Music Platforms – Soundcloud/ Amazon Music/ Itunes/ Spotify/ Apple Music/ YouTube Music/ iheartRadio/ Deezer PlayMusic- @TaequanBlack Official Video: https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=pPocNXfS05w&feature=share
SOAP by TaequanBlack
Taequan Black Spotify
Kimberley Williams IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10017106/
Kimberley Williams LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberleywilliams07/
George Mathews IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3609449/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
George Mathews LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/george-fm-mathews-04a25b35/