Motivated and driven are two words that perfectly describe the former country frontman of Aces Wyld & entrepreneur, Steven Gerein.
Raised in a small Canadian farming community, Gerein is no stranger to hard work. As a homegrown fan of country music, he decided to follow his passion for the genre and started a band (Aces Wyld) with a few, now lifelong friends he met through Kijiji. Also a songwriter, he used his writing skills to his advantage as the band moved into the studio to record their debut 4-track album–three of which were released as singles and charted on country radio. Now, Gerein is taking his knowledge and years of experience working in the music industry to make a difference for music creators across the globe with SongShop–a platform that connects artists with independent songwriters, so they can turn their catalogues into profit via licensing opportunities.
The idea for SongShop stemmed from a casual conversation between Gerein and one of his bandmates. As Gerein explained, “A bandmate & I were chatting about our next album after soundcheck before a show. We talked about how it would be super cool if we could find someplace online to license songs for some outside cuts.” (Gerein). Later that day, Gerein searched for a platform like this, finding nothing but dead ends or complicated systems that just didn’t seem to be what he was looking for. One thing he did find, however, was interest from several songwriters and artists for such a platform. So Gerein set out to create the platform himself– building the world’s first online pitching & licensing platform for indie creators.
With streaming dominating the way people listen to music, Songwriters are often underpaid. Gerein wanted to change that. As he states, “Today, the average song only makes $43 in its lifetime -with SongShop you can make twice that much the instant your song is licensed.” (Gerein). Moreover, SongShop doesn’t claim any royalties on the songs being licensed via the platform. Therefore allowing songwriters to be paid 100% of their royalties via the performance rights organization they signed up with.
SongShop offers two licensing options:
“A standard license allows the songwriter to grant multiple mechanical licenses on one song at the same time. There is the possibility that one Artist will be recording and releasing the song at the same time as another. Whereas, Exclusive licenses grant the purchaser exclusive rights to the song for a 6-month term. It does not, however, terminate other licenses that may have been purchased previously. It only guarantees no new licenses will be granted on that song during the contract term. The exclusive license holder will have a chance to renew the term before it expires. Once the term expires, the exclusive license will be transferred to a standard license.” (SongShop).
Beyond catalogue promotion and licensing opportunities, SongShop also provides a community space for artists and songwriters to grow and enhance their skills through 1:1 sessions, group coaching and informative blogs. As well, the platform has its own FB group which offers free information and resources about writing, recording, and the business side of the music industry. It’s free for the public to join, even if you aren’t a SongShop member yet. The group has also played a crucial role in creating that authentic community for Artists and Songwriters to network and grow together. So far, the impact SongShop has had on the music industry and songwriting community has been a positive one. As Gerein explains, “I have given tons of Indie Songwriters the chance to get their songs out to Artists that they have never had before. I have had artists reach out to me and tell me how awesome the service is. They had struggled to find their sound before, but they found it on SongShop. I’ve had writers tell me they have been looking for a service like this for years. My new partners have been talking about building a platform like this for the last couple of years and we both believe this is where the music industry is headed.” (Gerein). In 10 years down the line, Gerein has a big vision for what the company will become. As he enthusiastically shares, “I see Songshop being one of the biggest music licensing platforms in the world. I am currently partnering with a publisher in Nashville to bring this to the mainstream market and we have some big goals!” (Gerein). So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for future developments involving SongShop.
“FAQ.” SongShop, 19 July 2020, songshop.ca/faq/. Accessed 1 May 2021.
Steve, Gerein. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, 2021.
Unknown. “Featured: SongShop Logo”. Photo courtesy of Steve Gerein. Accessed 2021.