“My [SoundCloud] notifications suddenly went haywire,” Rob Collins says. That’s how he found out that his song Crevice had been used to soundtrack the BuzzFeed video “How to Piss Off Every New Yorker in 36 Seconds“.
In his mind, all he’d done was “write a catchy tune and tag it ‘instrumental’ and ‘punk’.” But by tagging his songs, he’d made them easier to discover. And discoverability can go a long way. Rob says the exposure led to “a lot more plays and comments from people that aren’t my friends,” on SoundCloud.
Rob made his songs easily distributable by using a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. In addition to being a musician, Rob is also a photographer (which explains the amazing self portrait he sent us to use for this story). He’s been using Creative Commons for his images “for years.” It just made sense that he would also use it as a means to control how his songs are used and shared: “I’m a big believer in sharing creativity but also more than aware that sometimes trust can be abused. Creative Commons is a great way of making it clear how I would like my work [to be] used…[it] gives me a feeling of some security.” The attribution component drives traffic back to his SoundCloud profile.
Although he misses the collaborative aspects of being in a band, Rob “currently just make[s] music at home for himself.” When asked about the act of creating, he echoes fellow creator Steven O’Brien’s sentiments: “My advice for music and most things is, if you like doing something, do it because of that – then everything else is a bonus.” Even if his song hadn’t been used, he’d still “like it… and be happy about it.”
Here’s a set Rob recently uploaded. It’s a fantasy punk album, but needs vocals. Drop him a message if you think you can provide some: