ALIBI Spotlight - Julia Trainor, Head of Sync A&R

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Julia Trainor

Your Role in 25 Words or Less

To creatively guide ALIBI artists so their music and lyrics have maximum sync potential.

Personal Mantra

Integrity, always.

Favorite ALIBI Site Tip

BPM and Key filters on the left side of the home page. It’s a music supervisor’s dream tool! So often, promo/trailer music supes are asked to beef up an editor’s cut by matching the existing cue’s bpm or key… these two features are essential.

Your Start in Music

Writing songs with my brothers at age 9? Haha! My first real job was as a promotions assistant at radio stations KUPD/KUKQ in Phoenix. From there, I leapt over to Los Angeles for a job with RCA Records during the alternative music explosion. I made my way through the record industry, eventually zinging a bullseye as a trailer music supervisor for 15 years.

Something Surprising About Your Work

The amount of really great songs that come out of production music. You'd be amazed at how many of the songs you hear in promos, in films and in commercials are not "indie bands" or label artists, but are actually songs crafted at libraries like ALIBI. Fortunately, we submit every song and composition to Shazam, so our tracks can be discovered just like a commercial artist! In terms of orchestral music and trailerized songs, production music libraries are pretty much the exclusive providers. It’s funny: the general public thinks it's the film's composers who create these, but anyone working in trailers knows differently.

Coolest Part of Your Job

The limitless nature of this job. There is a consistent need to listen to new music, pay attention to trends and meet new artists and composers. It requires you to be open, interested and connected. And this never ends; there is no “being done,” because there is always a new song, a new sound. What better way to feel alive and present in this world?!

Biggest Challenge Facing the Industry

Business-wise, how to educate creatives on the perils of direct licenses and the need for artists to receive backend PRO payments. On an ethical front, recognizing the need for more composers of color and then acting on that need by hiring them.

Favorite Musical Artist/Act

Hahaha!… no way to answer that one. I own 3,000 CDs, 200 vinyl records, and if you asked me to pair it down to 100 must-keeps, I would cry! I couldn’t do it. I will say in terms of artists that I am most excited about hearing new music from: Finneas (he’s the trifecta as a producer/songwriter/performer), 24kGoldn (great ear for melody) and Black Pumas (I am a sucker for acoustic soul). And if you want to look backwards, perhaps my favorite song ever produced is The Five Stairsteps “O-o-oh Child.” There is so much creativity in the instrumentation and melodies, and how the composition progresses is amazing. I can listen to that 10 times in a row and hear something new every time. And please, that drummer.

Instruments Played

Rhythm guitar. And yes, I can do bar chords!

Random Non-Work Fun Fact About You

I love to snowboard! Gimme that fresh powder.

Creative Call-Out

We recently placed some tracks in

through TBWA/Chiat/ Day. Because that side of the business is growing exponentially, we are putting together an album of songs that are fun and rhythmic, some with a real bratty swagger to them – just the thing to get TikTokers wildin' -- but we're making sure the lyrical content is something brands can work with. It's been a blast threading that needle, but I think stuff like this will be in high demand.

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