Songtradr's Dave Curtin on Broken Record, Coachella, and TikTok's Ride With Fleetwood Mac

Plus, the video for Paolo Nutini's 'Iron Sky'

Dave Curtin joined music licensing marketplace Songtradr last April as vice president of U.S. partnerships, where he's charged with growing the company's U.S. footprint.

Curtin's unique ability to complement content with music, across all screens, is perfectly paired with Songtradr's platform, which provides the necessary tools essential for easy discovery and licensing.

With Sontradr's acquisition of the U.K.'s Big Sync, Curtin has the ability to create original music, license music from artists signed to major labels and publishers, or find emerging artists from around the globe and create the perfect match, whether it's for a digital creator, media company or brand.

Curtin came to Songtradr from Walt Disney Studios, where he was a part of the Disney Music Group Studio Division and was responsible for matching consumer brands with music and artists.

We caught up with Dave for our Liner Notes series to learn more about his musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work he's proud of and admired.

Dave, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

Grew up in Los Angeles, now live in Malibu.

Your earliest musical memory.

AM radio in my dad's car (93 KHJ), and Fleetwood Mac, the Stones and Stevie Wonder by the pool ('70s). We always had music on at home, and my dad was in the restaurant and nightclub business … so it was always around me from my early days. My high school walls were covered with posters of Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Jimi Hendrix, along with surfing and skateboarding magazine covers. True SoCal style.

Your first concert.

Elton John and the Rolling Stones at Dodger Stadium. Amazing. On my father's shoulders the entire time. I was 10!

Your favorite bands/musicians.

Way too many. Bob Marley, Zeppelin, Sade, Prince, War on Drugs, Florence & The Machine, and everything COACHELLA!

How you get your music these days.

Spotify, Shazam and SiriusXM

Your favorite place to see a concert.


Your favorite music video.

Paolo Nutini "Iron Sky," Abbey Road session. Incredible, effortless performance. And he has a killer band! 

Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.

Broken Record, of course. Rick Rubin is an awesome host and gets amazing guests. Song Exploder is a close second—so good as a podcast, it's now on Netflix!

A recent project you're proud of.

Licensing a big commercial song for an agency partner. It was a little challenging to get the creative approved, but we did. Spot hasn't launched yet, but when it does it should be great. Can't go into too much detail here. Worked on a fun Super Bowl spot as well for Hellmann's mayo that used an emerging artist from our Songtradr platform.

Someone else's project that you admired recently.

TikTok's use of Fleetwood Mac for Ocean Spray ... All the stars really aligned for them on that one! They pivoted pretty quickly and got Mick and Stevie in the commercial.

How musicians should approach working with brands.

Openly. Collaboratively.

How brands should approach working with musicians.

With good creative.

What music can do that nothing else can.

Touches emotions. Takes you to a place and time.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music world.

Surfing and running a taco stand on the beach. With live music, of course.

Liner Notes is our weekly interview series, publishing every Monday, where we chat with folks in the music industry about their creative inspirations, their favorite bands and musicians, and generally what music means to them. For more about Liner Notes, and our Clio Music program, please get in touch.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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