Five Questions with Lindsay Ray

Linsey Ray

Maine native Lindsey Ray began her career as a solo artist, independently releasing her Picture Perfect EP in 2009, followed by a full-length album, Goodbye From California, in 2010.  Lindsey then went on to write for other artists, including Mariah Carey, Demi Lovato, Deana Carter, Jocelyn Alice, Muddy Magnolias and Daniel Skye among others, as well as collaborating with DJ Tiesto on his Club Life Volume 1: Las Vegas album on the song “Slumber”.  

Lindsey’s songs have been licensed worldwide in TV/Film/Advertising starting with her breakout national Target ad in 2008. Her songs have powered top brands including Lexus, McDonald’s, T-Mobile, Applebee’s, Best Buy, JC Penney, XBOX, Yoplait, and Virgin Mobile to name a few. Her songs have been featured in promos and television shows on a wide range of networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, USA, MTV, HBO and many others. Lindsey’s songs have also been used in movie trailers as well as the films themselves. Most notably, Lindsey co-wrote Mariah Carey’s “Almost Home” featured as the end title track to Disney’s OZ: The Great and Powerful.


Q: How did you get into writing music for sync?

A: Well the first song I had that was in sync was a song I wrote with Tim Myers and he was already affiliated with a licensing company that did really well with placements in film and TV. So I kind of cheated a little bit because I wrote with Tim and we wrote a giant target commercial and that opened up a bunch of doors for me. So that sort of started the ball rolling.

Q: Do you need to spend a lot of money on your recordings?

A: I think it depends on what kind of sound you are going for and what your capability is on your own. If you want to spend the money and download logic and learn how to use it, it’s very user friendly so you can do that. If it’s beyond your means and you have a sound you need to go elsewhere for, you may need to hire a producer. Then cut them in on publishing or cut them in on the master side if you don’t have any money to pay for the recording upfront. There is lots of ways you can work it.

Q: You said the master side and you said the publishing side, what do you mean?

A: For every song, half of the song is the publishing side and half of the song is the mastering side if you own the recording. If you are signed to a record label then the label would own the master but if you are independant, like I am, then you can own your pub and your master. When a song is licensed the money that they pay you… they pay you half the money for publishing and half the money for the master. So it’s good to own both if you can. And if you need to play around with paying somebody and you don’t have the money upfront that’s a good way to cut them in and you can give the producer a piece of the master.

Q: Do you have any rules when you write?

A: When I write for sync I have rules. The rule is that it always needs to be positive. Either empowering or something that is just a feel good vibe. You don’t want to use words like “don’t.” You don’t want to say anything that sounds negative or victim-y because that just generally isn’t what an ad is trying to go for. Just start paying attention to commercials and you’ll notice that it is always a happy-feeling, a good vibe, or encouragement.

Q: How important is collaborating?

A: I think that also depends on your level of expertise and ability. I think for me, I like to do half and half. I think it is really important to maintain writing on my own and make sure I can still do that. But, I also think collaboration is really important. You learn a lot from your collaborators. How they write. What their style is like. You can just grow a lot as a songwriter when you collaborate. So I think both are equally important.

Q: What is the one tip that you can give a new songwriter?

A: “Don’t stop believing.” But seriously, don’t give up. If you really love it just keep going!