SURF Music


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About

SURF Music is a one-stop shop digital tool and marketplace for songwriters, producers and music makers globally to connect, chat, and collaborate and then sell their unreleased music to buyers across the global entertainment industry. We are re-energizing the music industry by providing transparency and accessibility for global music discovery, ...

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Snr PR Strategist
Jonathan Streetman
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Current News

  • 04/29/202404/29/2024

New Disney+ Series House of the Owl Premieres Featuring Music from Japanese Artists

Creator and showrunner David Shin has waited a decade to see his project House of the Owl come to life. The 10-episode drama premiered globally April 24 on Disney+ and Hulu features original music created for the series by Japanese artists. Shin took a new approach to sourcing the music for this series–using SURF Music, the platform bridging the gap between Asian music markets and the West, to find the right collaborators for the project.

“It can’t be overstated how...

Press

  • Business Insider, Highlight, 05/23/2024, 14 music-tech startups helping to shape the business as it's shaken up by AI Text
  • Fast Company, Feature story, 03/19/2024, How Surf Music is helping creators score chart-topping hits Text
  • Fast Company, Mention, 03/19/2024, The most innovative companies with fewer than 50 employees in 2024 Text
  • NxtNow Music, Feature story, 04/30/2024, SURF Music and Japan’s Prestige TV Moment: How SURF Scored Artist Success Text
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News

04/29/2024, New Disney+ Series House of the Owl Premieres Featuring Music from Japanese Artists
04/29/202404/29/2024, New Disney+ Series House of the Owl Premieres Featuring Music from Japanese Artists
Announcement
04/29/2024
Announcement
04/29/2024
SURF Music (discover.surf) provided the show's creator with an efficient and effective workflow for finding and connecting with collaborators, saving him and the rest of the production team precious time to focus on crafting other elements of the show. MORE» More»

Creator and showrunner David Shin has waited a decade to see his project House of the Owl come to life. The 10-episode drama premiered globally April 24 on Disney+ and Hulu features original music created for the series by Japanese artists. Shin took a new approach to sourcing the music for this series–using SURF Music, the platform bridging the gap between Asian music markets and the West, to find the right collaborators for the project.

“It can’t be overstated how important music is for television and film, and finding music with lyrics that matched the storyline and characters was even more important for House of the Owl,” says David Shin, Executive Producer and CEO of ICONIQUE PICTURES and creator of House of the Owl. “Being able to go to SURF with my ideas for an original song and find a composer to bring it to life made everything easier.”

The tracks that will be featured in the series are “Rise” produced by Shayon Daniels and co-written by Shayon Daniels and India Carney and “Aurora” co-produced 2SOUL Music and SUNNY BOY and co-written by 2SOUL Music, SUNNY BOY, and CANCHILD.

SURF Music (discover.surf) provided Shin with an efficient and effective workflow for finding and connecting with collaborators, saving him and the rest of the production team precious time to focus on crafting other elements of the show.

SURF offers a large catalog of music and projects in progress. Content creators can search through the expansive marketplace to find the right music that matches the exact vibe and claim it for exclusive placement. There is also a designated space for creators to connect and collaborate with artists, complete with real-time language translation tools baked in for seamless idea sharing.

“With SURF, I was able to efficiently and quickly sample thousands of unpublished songs, to match the overall creative vision of the series,” explains Shin. “One of the great benefits of SURF is you have all this music in front of you to reference and you can decide what you like and which direction you want to go before jumping into negotiations.”

David Shin has worked in Asia for over 25 years in senior management roles at major film, TV and media companies. The Japanese entertainment industry developed in such a way that left most power in the hands of talent agencies who often prioritized casting talent over the stories. With House of the Owl, Shin believes the opportunities to create premium content out of Japan is enormous, considering the global fascination with everything Japanese.

‘The success of Shogun, Tokyo Vice, and One Piece proved that there is global interest in Japanese stories. We just need globally-minded storytellers to tell them,” explains Shin.

David shares with SURF Music a passion for Japanese music and culture, and his new series provides a massive opportunity to share that with the rest of the world,” says SURF Music CEO Ken Kobori. “SURF Music is proud to play a part in connecting creatives with artists, producers, and composers who can help them tell their stories through compelling music.”

About SURF Music

SURF Music is a one-stop shop digital tool and marketplace for songwriters, producers and music makers globally to connect, chat, and collaborate and then sell their unreleased music to buyers across the global entertainment industry. We are re-energizing the music industry by providing transparency and accessibility for global music discovery, connectivity, and collaboration.

About ICONIQUE PICTURES

ICONIQUE PICTURES is based in Tokyo, Japan and focuses on Japanese and Asian content creation and distribution. With Japan's rich tradition in film, television and other creative works, ICONIQUE PICTURES bridges all aspects of content creation between Japan and the World.

Whether it is content, formats or productions from international sources coming into Japan or content from Japan that is repurposed or distributed throughout Asia and other parts of the World, ICONIQUE PICTURES sets international standards in production and distribution to provide the best content.

 

Announcement
04/29/2024

03/20/2024, SURF Music named to Fast Company’s annual list of Most Innovative Companies
03/20/202403/20/2024, SURF Music named to Fast Company’s annual list of Most Innovative Companies
Announcement
03/20/2024
Announcement
03/20/2024
SURF Music, the innovative platform bridging the gap between Asian music markets and the West through exclusive placements and borderless music creation and collaboration, has been named to Fast Company’s annual list of the Most Innovative Companies for 2024, solidifying their spot as No. 4 in the “Small and Mighty” category. MORE» More»

TOKYO – SURF Music, the innovative platform bridging the gap between Asian music markets and the West through exclusive placements and borderless music creation and collaboration, has been named to Fast Company’s annual list of the Most Innovative Companies for 2024, solidifying their spot as No. 4 in the “Small and Mighty” category.

This year’s Most Innovative list highlights the likes of Nvidia, OpenAI, and Hybe, among other global giants.

SURF Music finds itself among incredible companies in the Small and Mighty category, including those addressing climate change, improving the tax season experience, and using AI to keep our pets safe. SURF Music earned its inclusion “for discovering a new way for musicians to make money from songs they’ve created.”

“We’re thrilled for SURF Music to be recognized as ‘Small and Mighty’ amidst global giants. This achievement reinforces our belief in the power of music to bridge the East and the West, and that we can only achieve that through transparency and accessibility for global collaboration and creation,” said SURF Music CEO Kenneth Kobori. “It’s not about the size of our company, but the magnitude of our ideas and the impact we strive to make for creators across the music industry.”

Tokyo-based SURF Music has been making waves well beyond Japan’s borders, securing key partnerships with major players in Korea and in the United States. The platform’s user base, which has grown 266% since March 2023, hails from more than 27 countries around the world. SURF Music placed two songs, “New Rise” and “Breakdown Anthem”, by SUPER☆DRAGON, which peaked at #2 on the Oricon charts last week and top 10 in Billboard Hot 100 Japan. The songs were written by SURF collaborators in the UK, Sweden, Korea, and Japan.

“This year’s small and mighty honorees with fewer than 50 employees prove that size is hardly indicative of success and that a company doesn’t need to be large to have an outsize impact,” Fast Company stated in the announcement Tuesday morning.

SURF Music recently returned to SXSW in Austin, TX after garnering an Innovation Award finalist nod in 2023. Kobori took the stage to discuss the ins and outs of the Japanese music industry and explain why songwriters and artists in the West should want to break into this vibrant scene. The hugely popular panel, called Demystifying Japan: The World’s Second Largest Music Market, filled its room in the Austin Convention Center. Kobori was joined by Tamayu Takayama of Copetin and Elisa Watanabe of Ultra Publishing/Helix Records. The discussion was moderated by Jonathan Streetman of Rock Paper Scissors.

About SURF Music

SURF Music is a one-stop shop digital tool and marketplace for songwriters, producers and music makers globally to connect, chat, and collaborate and then sell their unreleased music to buyers across the global entertainment industry. We are re-energizing the music industry by providing transparency and accessibility for global music discovery, connectivity, and collaboration.

About Fast Company

Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at www.fastcompany.com.

Announcement
03/20/2024

02/14/2024, Riding the Wave Again: SURF Music Returns to SXSW After Innovation Award Buzz
02/14/202402/14/2024, Riding the Wave Again: SURF Music Returns to SXSW After Innovation Award Buzz
Announcement
02/14/2024
Announcement
02/14/2024
SURF Music’s Founder and CEO Kenneth Kobori will be appearing on the panel for Demystifying Japan: The World’s Second Largest Music Market on March 11. Kobori will be joined by Tamayu Takayama of Copetin and Elisa Watanabe of Ultra Publishing/Helix Records. MORE» More»

Austin, TX – Tokyo-based SURF Music, the innovative platform bridging the gap between Asian music markets and the West, is making a splash at SXSW 2024 after garnering an Innovation Award finalist nod in 2023. This year they’re not returning as exhibitors – they're taking the stage to discuss the ins and outs of the Japanese music industry, and explain why songwriters and artists in the West should want to break into this vibrant scene.

SURF Music’s Founder and CEO Kenneth Kobori will be appearing on the panel for Demystifying Japan: The World’s Second Largest Music Market on March 11. Kobori will be joined by Tamayu Takayama of Copetin and Elisa Watanabe of Ultra Publishing/Helix Records. The discussion will be moderated by Jonathan Streetman of Rock Paper Scissors.

Add SURF Music's SXSW panel discussion to your schedule and discover:

  • What makes the Japanese music industry so different from the rest of the world on multiple levels, ranging from a larger cultural context all the way down to rights management.
  • How J-Pop artists and other Japanese musicians have figured out how to engage their fandoms enough to make the Japanese music industry the second largest in the world.
  • What compels fans to buy 15+ physical copies of an artist’s CD (still in 2024!).
  • Why global songwriters, producers, and music creators should want to break into this industry, and how a single karaoke hit could mean a steady paycheck for life.
  • And what the Japanese industry can do to speed up its expansion into the global music market.

More about SURF Music

On SURF Music (www.discover.surf), global artists and producers can dive deeper with SURF Sessions. Music creators - from songwriters to track makers - can apply for a session to collaborate with award-winning producers, or start their own public or private sessions and invite others to join. Real-time AI translation, combined with Sessions in-platform file sharing system, knocks down borders and allows for collaboration across the globe. Learn more about SURF Sessions here.

SURF’s Magic Search function, built for A&Rs, music publishers, and managers for projects of all kinds, can create custom playlists to find just the right track for an exclusive placement. Whether you need to match the vibe for a scene in a movie or pick out the perfect track to score a commercial or TV show, Magic Search can find exactly what you need in its extensive catalog of unreleased music. Learn more about Magic Search here.

What: Demystifying Japan: The World’s Second Largest Music Market

Where: Austin Convention Center, Room 18AB

When: 4-5pm CT, March 11, 2024

Who: Kenneth Kobori, SURF Music; Tamayu Takayama, Copetin; Elisa Watanabe of Ultra Publishing/Helix Records; Jonathan Streetman, Rock Paper Scissors (moderator)

Why: This is a chance for songwriters, artists, musicians, producers, A&Rs, music supervisors, and anyone else that is interested to learn more about a truly unique institution inside a larger global market directly from industry experts operating in both the East and the West.

Announcement
02/14/2024

10/10/2023, SURF Music Introduces SURF Sessions, inviting creators to collaborate globally
10/10/202310/10/2023, SURF Music Introduces SURF Sessions, inviting creators to collaborate globally
Announcement
10/10/2023
Announcement
10/10/2023
Bridging the gap between the East and the West, SURF Music has built a reputation for connecting musicians with buyers for exclusive placements across continents. Now, the company has built SURF Sessions, a place music creators can visit every day for new project discovery, file management, and global collaboration. MORE» More»

Bridging the gap between the Asian music markets and the West, SURF Music has built a reputation for connecting musicians with buyers for exclusive placements across continents. Now, the company has built SURF Sessions, a place music creators can visit every day for new project discovery, file management, and global collaboration with real-time language translation tools baked in for seamless idea sharing.

“SURF has always focused on global music discovery, but mostly by helping advertisers, film directors, marketing teams, and businesses discover songwriters and producers, and place their tracks,” explains Ken Kobori, Founder and CEO of SURF Music. “Now we are thrilled to take a step toward helping music makers discover each other and explore the new creative possibilities that they can unlock through borderless collaboration.”

With the launch of SURF Sessions, music creators - from topliners to track makers - can apply for a session to collaborate with award-winning producers, or start their own public or private sessions and invite others to join.

A new project begins in SURF Sessions when a creator has an idea for a track and needs a collaborator. They post a project proposal consisting of a short description of their intentions for the project with a demo or stems. Instrument, mood, and genre tags can also be applied for easy discovery.

Musicians and producers looking for their next project can sift through proposals until they find the perfect match for their skills and interests. 

Once the creator of the proposed project has chosen their collaborators, the power of SURF Sessions’ comprehensive platform for streamlining and managing the creative process takes full effect. Serving as a dynamic cloud-based storage locker, file sharing mode allows each artist to drag and drop their work into organized folders. This feature supports both audio and visual content, so collaborators can even brainstorm and mock up cover art for their tracks. Once they’re happy with the results, creators can export their finished track to any distribution platform, or place it directly onto SURF’s marketplace–maintaining all of their rights to the song.

SURF Music is also introducing a tiered pricing structure to provide a lower barrier to entry for emerging and rising songwriters and producers starting at $19.99/month. From its pinboard of project briefs for creators seeking collaborators to organized file sharing, SURF is built to support both creators and creative teams through their entire creative journey. With SURF Plus, individual creators can place up to 25 tracks on the marketplace, submit five track briefs per month, and enjoy 100GB of file storage. SURF Pro creators enjoy the same features with 500GB of storage and unlimited track briefs and uploads to the marketplace, plus a dedicated account manager and catalog support. SURF Creator Teams is offered with the same tiered Plus (emerging creators) and Pro (established) subscription options.

“Our ultimate goal is to maximize creators’ opportunities to connect, collaborate, and get their music out into the world,” explains Jona Higa, COO at SURF Music. “Now we have the honor of walking alongside songwriters and producers from the very beginning of the process of finding collaborators all the way through the vital creative stage and onto monetization.”


About SURF Music

SURF Music is a one-stop shop digital tool and marketplace for songwriters, producers and music makers globally to connect, chat, and collaborate and then sell their unreleased music to buyers across the global entertainment industry. We are re-energizing the music industry by providing transparency and accessibility for global music discovery, connectivity, and collaboration.

Announcement
10/10/2023

07/05/2023, Busan, South Korea Goes Global With Help Of SURF Music, To Amplify World Expo 2030 Bid
07/05/202307/05/2023, Busan, South Korea Goes Global With Help Of SURF Music, To Amplify World Expo 2030 Bid
Announcement
07/05/2023
Announcement
07/05/2023
The city of Busan looked to SURF Music to find thematic, Olympic-style music to accompany their bid for the World Expo 2030. MORE» More»

The city of Busan looked to SURF Music to find thematic, Olympic-style music to accompany their bid for the World Expo 2030. 

For the city of Busan, South Korea, the World Expo 2030 symbolizes globalization and amplification of their great city to the rest of the world. Busan wanted to connect with the best of Korean entertainment and music to showcase an iconic global sound that would resonate with people of all ages, and support the city's initiatives around Expo candidacy. The city of Busan was connected with SURF Music, a B2B music marketplace for exclusive placements, by advisor and South Korean music producer, songwriter, and artist Shaun Kim, as the go-to place to find the perfect track fast. This led them to discover singer Lee Mujin and songwriter Ben Samama, along with co-writers on the song Peter Hanna and Sky Adams, who commissioned a track specifically for the Expo’s promotion called “Welcome to World Expo.”

“With SURF, advertisers, marketing teams, film directors – you name it – have this new discoverable way to find hidden talents all around the world,” says Kristine Kim, GM of Korea at SURF Music. “The city of Busan is wanting to be recognized on this global scale, and is trusting SURF as a partner at this very vulnerable stage.”

Busan wants to be a stamp in the world, with a goal to be the #1 content city of the world. Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Pyramids in Egypt, Busan wants instant recognition for their transformation and drive toward building up current global technologies and themes, for the better. Hosting of the 2030 World Expo will amplify this, as an international event that serves as a bridge between governments, companies, international organizations, and citizens. Busan’s partnership with SURF will continue through the Expo’s judgment day in November 2023.

SURF Music helped the city of Busan discover and connect with global music artists, producers, and songwriters, willing and able to match the specific needs for their 2030 promotional bid. After submitting a detailed brief of their requests for this commissioned song, SURF returned a playlist of unreleased music by real artists, vying for the chance to work with Busan on this promotional piece. Although their ultimate decision was between two artists, Busan went with “Welcome to World Expo” by Lee Mujin, based on its concept and iconic, catchy sound.

“Busan Metropolitan City, along with SURF Music, which is creating new forms in the music industry, was a delightful and meaningful project to be involved in as the central city of Korea's digital industry,” says Shaun Kim, South Korean Producer and Creative Advisor at SURF. “The Busan Expo project was incredibly enjoyable and innovative, and I am excited for the next project to be carried out with SURF Music!”

AI-search powers the SURF marketplace, featuring unreleased demos by hundreds of global songwriters, producers, and music creators for businesses, and access to creative briefs from labels, ad agencies, and film/tv production companies for artists. From the marketplace, these artists and music creators can manage their catalog via AI song tagging, organize playlists, and submit songs that fit a certain brief, as did Busan’s team and the submitting songwriters and artists for Busan’s World Expo bid. This is all conveniently offered on a monthly subscription basis, greatly simplifying the discovery and usage process.

“We have a hybrid approach to AI, where human interaction is vital to make connections and establish trust between musicians, producers, and businesses or entities searching for music,” says Jona Higa, COO at SURF Music. “Even though we are a digital platform, real musicians making and sharing this music is a vital part to our process in order to showcase what SURF can do versus other competitors.”

About SURF
SURF Music is a digital tool and marketplace for creators to sell their unreleased music to buyers across the global entertainment industry. We are re-energizing the music industry by providing the transparency and accessibility for global music discovery, connectivity, and collaboration.

Announcement
07/05/2023