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My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:16 pm
by TerrellBurt
Hey all! As I approach my fifth Road Rally in two weeks (I can't wait!), I wanted to give an update on my journey with TAXI so far.

I joined TAXI in September of 2014 as sort of a last resort. I had heard about TAXI numerous times before, but always stayed away because I thought that it was a scam. In 2005-2006, I had intentionally set out on a path to create music as an indie artist with the hopes of gaining the attention of an indie or major label and eventually getting signed. I had loved music my entire life, so dedicating my life to it only felt right. This was before the whole ownership craze that is now prevalent among Hip Hop artists and moguls. Getting signed was the end all be all back then and if you didn't reach that destination in your career, you had failed by my own limited standard of success.

And I was doing everything right, so I thought, on a shoestring budget to build a buzz in Orlando. My work ethic was unmatched. I was performing throughout the entire state of Florida almost every weekend (sometimes even out of state), I was promoting my music on Myspace and Facebook before they "blew" up, was gaining local fame (went inside of a random convenience store once and the cashier was like "You're a Christian rapper right? You performed at my church a few weeks ago. Good stuff man!"), etc. But the dots just weren't connecting for me.

So after 7-8 years of doing this non-stop and not receiving a ROI on all the work that I was putting in, I wanted to throw in the towel. Many of my creative friends in the same age bracket as myself were in the same boat. We were all getting older and eventually wanting to start families. It was time to drop this precious Hip Hop hobby of mine and plan for the future. I was in school and working full time the entire time, so the future wasn't entirely scary, but music was always my number one priority and now I had to give it up.

But something inside of me wouldn't let me just stop so easily. That's how you know when you're meant for something. Maybe there was a different path that I could take to monetize from my work. Maybe I could write for other artists and for film/TV? I started daydreaming about all of the possibilities. One of my old tweets from 2012 alluded to this. It's still crazy to me to look back on this! ... 38912?s=12

Fast forward to 2014, after browsing and lurking on the TAXI forums for a whole year, I decided to take the leap and officially join and boy, I am so glad that I did! My songwriting was gradually developing prior to TAXI, but TAXI really helped me strengthen my songwriting by writing for the listings. TAXI taught me not to be afraid to make the kind of music that influences me. I know that the word "versatile" is frowned upon, but I finally had an outlet for my Hip Hop songs and my 1950's/1960's Doo Wop/Soul songs as well. I was still performing here and there back then (not anymore though), but now my weekends were spent working on my craft and on TAXI listings instead of driving to and from events, and now I have seen the fruit of my labor!

To date, my music has been placed in over 50 cable and network TV shows, promos, and films (a credits list is available on my website)! My catalog is currently at 126 signed songs between 14 different music libraries! It's small compared to people who do instrumental cues, but I feel like I am at the right amount of output given that I still work a full time job and have other time consuming obligations. This past summer I received my biggest royalty to check to date and that allowed me to pay my rent for that month! Late last year, I received a check for a sync fee large enough for the entire security deposit on my condo! I don't say these things to brag, but to prove that TAXI actually works if you're willing to put in the time and effort! And the crazy part about all of this is that I still feel like I haven't even scratched the surface! I still feel like I have so much to do and so much to offer.

Not to sound cliche, but don't give up! TAXI taught me how to dream again and has given me some lifelong friends/collaborators in the process. Thank you Michael Laskow and to all of the wonderful staff members that continue to help me reach my dreams and goals!

Re: My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:05 pm
by ResonantTone

Thanks for sharing this awesome story! As someone that's just 8 months in, it's nice to hear that things are really working out for you long-term! Every single song of yours that I have heard sounds top notch, and I can only imagine things will keeping getting better for ya.

Stoked about the Rally as well. We'll definitely have to meet up in person at some point!


Re: My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:12 pm
by cassmcentee
Thanks For Sharing Terrell! +1 :D

Re: My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:05 pm
by jdkotaska
Congrats on all of the success you've made for yourself. I'm a bit of a fan of your work, as well -- haven't heard anything yet that I didn't like. (I sure wouldn't mind doing a collaboration sometime if I came up with a worthy track to pitch.) Keep it up!

Re: My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:13 am
by VanderBoegh
Yo Terrell! What can I say, except, "you da man!" I loved reading this, and after all these years of working together, was surprised to know that I didn't know your full backstory. It was great reading. Very human, intimate, prophetic, and inspiring.

Looking forward to making hundreds of more songs together in the years to come.


Re: My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:30 am
by SteveBaruah
Talent is always going to be rewarded, mate. And you've got bags of it. Thanks for the collabs and here's to the next five!

Re: My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:53 pm
by LyricsMatter
It couldn't have happened to a nicer person! 👊

Congratulations on your well-deserved achievements, Terrell!

All the best!


Re: My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:24 pm
by superkons
Thank you for sharing your story, Terrell, it was very inspirational!

Re: My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:59 pm
by jaywilliams
Congrats Terrell!

It is kind of you to share your story with us, hope to say hi at the Rally I know there will be a lot going on so if we miss each other I'll see you online!

Jay :)

Re: My Five Year Plan (Sept 2014-Oct 2019)

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:58 am
by songmaster
Congrats Terrell! What a great story! It is good for all of us to hear how your kind of persistence can eventually pay off. Only those who give up will never know how close they were. Thanks for sharing.