September 13, 2007
Right Before My Eyes
Every time I see the Target commercial called "Brave New Dorm" the song gets stuck in my head. I love the voice of the girl singing it and I wanted to find out who it was.
A quick poke around the internet showed the song comes from a Canadian singer/songwriter named Andrea Revel and it only exists as the 30 second version in the commercial.
Andrea was kind enough to answer my questions about how someone ends up writing a song for a commercial, who ends up owning the rights if it's a hit, etc.
How do you end up writing a song for a Target commercial?
My agent in L.A. asked me to write a song for Target. I had previously co-written a song for Old Navy called "Clap!Shake!Jump!" for the same agent. He gave me two days to write and record it. It's always a panic and crapshoot because there is never a guarantee that my song will be selected.
I was surprised to learn that the song only exists only as the 30 second commercial and wasn't a previously existing song. Does a full-length version of it exist?
No, I was only able to pull off a short song in 2 days. However, I do get quite a lot of requests to make it into a full song.
When you're writing a song for a commercial and it starts sounding amazing, does the thought ever go through your mind, "Oh shit, this song is really good. Maybe I should save this one and start on another one for them"?
Yes, but usually I'm so rushed to get it off to my agent that I don't have much time to dwell on it. I also find that the benefits I reap from handing the song over to the ad agency are worth it because commercial licensing agreements are generous and give me the ability to record albums and tour.
When your agent came to you, what writing parameters were you given?
I was able to watch the commercial, so that helped a lot in the writing process and I knew I had to have something solid in just under thirty seconds. My agent told me to write something rocky and high energy and "Right Before My Eyes" was born.
Who now owns the rights to your song? Would you be able to include a full-length version of it on a future album?
I own the rights. I would be able to include a full-length version in a future album, but I'm not sure if it suits the tone of the present album I'm working on.
Is it at all frustrating to hear your song all over TV and realize that the majority of people hearing it have no idea who it is?
Not really. I find that I only make more fans, especially in the States. I love that people will take the time to find me on the internet.
Have many people like me tracked you down because they were curious about the tune?
Several, particularly on myspace.
You seem very nice. Why when I Google you does Google warn me that your official website might "harm my computer"?
My website is totally safe, I have no idea why Google has tagged my site as harmful. I am rather frustrated and I will have to get around to dealing with it.
For people interested in hearing more of your music, what would you recommend is the best starting place to get acquainted with your stuff?
I have two albums that are quite varied: I recorded 'Mile 0' in 2000 and 'Citysong' in 2004. They can be purchased at www.cdbaby.com/andrearevel. I am presently recording a new album Some of the new songs will be premiering at my myspace page in the next month.
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