Anything and everything -- for a song
Entrepreneur links up big studios, little-known artists
The long hours notwithstanding, Eddins calls running Luke Hits his dream job.
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(CNN) -- Call him the "Song Bounty Hunter" or the "Human Google." Just call him.
Or e-mail him, or mail him, or simply drop by his tiny one-bedroom apartment/office in Hollywood, California, a block from Melrose Boulevard. Around the clock, Luke Eddins says he's on the job and on call for aspiring bands, studio executives and the like.
Eddins' company -- Luke Hits, an entirely one-man show -- hooks up talented underground musicians with entertainment studios seeking a perfect (and, preferably, inexpensive) ditty for their next movie, television show or commercial.
"The goal is ... to help the smallest of the small guys, and link them with the biggest of the big guys -- with the blockbuster films, with the commercials that ... everyone sees," Eddins said. "The [musicians] would have no other links to Hollywood."
Since its founding in 2002, Luke Hits has placed musical tracks from artists worldwide in films such as "Barbershop 2," "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" and "The Ring;" TV shows including "Gilmore Girls" and "The Shield;" and commercials for Miller Beer, Dove and other products.
Such matches have helped strengthen Eddins' foothold in Hollywood. He has arduous hours and a modest income, but he is not complaining -- especially with candy in arm's reach and "schwag" (paraphernalia sent by bands) on display.
To the contrary, he's happy to be pursuing his dream.
"If I had all the money in the world, I'd still like to do this -- I would still listen to music and ... help these bands out," he said. "I took a big risk in starting this company, and I am loving it so far."
No rest for the busy
Eddins said he sometimes gets four hours of sleep -- total -- during a given Monday-through-Friday stretch. Most of that time is spent online, on the road and on the phone conversing with artists and studio types to pitch, finalize and talk strategy. He notes one upside, especially in traffic-clogged Southern California: a "24-inch commute" to his desk.
Unlike some agencies, Eddins said he does not charge bands to represent them until a deal is reached. Meanwhile, he is deluged daily by CDs of varying genres and quality.
On a given day, he might get a request from a studio looking for a song that sounds like U2 or Metallica or Mariah Carey. Eddins then compiles a CD with tracks from various artists, then passes it along, sometimes dropping it off a few hours (or, occasionally after an all-nighter) of the call coming in.
"The studios don't want to pay top dollar for these major label artists. At the same time, they don't want the monotonous, generic sounding stuff," he explained. "This is real music, from real artists that might just happen to sound like a very expensive artist."
Success is relative
Eddins said that he makes enough to pay his bills and save some money, but isn't yet living the high life.
The goal is ... to help the smallest of the small guys, and link them with the biggest of the big guys.
-- Luke Eddins
And his income likely won't be regular anytime soon, given that Luke Hits is a service for musicians and entertainment executives and not a library. Eddins doesn't own rights to the songs he markets.
Still, Eddins considers himself fortunate, thankful for the assistance he has been given, the increasing receptiveness of studios and bands, and his business's growth.
"[The studios] trust my ear, they trust me to filter [the options] so it comes down to only a few songs," Eddins said.
"I guess I am going to just continue to get less and less sleep, [as] I have no plans of hiring people and trying to grow the company."
Excited, if uncertain
That lack of a growth plan keeps Eddins busy doing everything from faxing contracts back-and-forth, to shuttling CDs to the post office and around the area, to attending live shows, to producing an occasional tune.
He credits the Internet for making "my life possible," by connecting him with musicians and entertainment executives.
Eddins' apartment/office is full of mail, much of it CDs or "schwag" from musicians worldwide.
"There is no way I could have done this, or they could have found out about me, prior to the Internet," he said.
Eddins says he listens to every song he receives, keeping an ear out for tracks he enjoys and that could be marketable in Hollywood.
"I sift through to find the diamonds in the rough. Once I find a song, I scream loudly, I am very excited," he said with a laugh.
Having taken "baby steps" the last three years, Eddins says he has no clue where he and Luke Hits will be 10 years from now. Reveling in his independence -- avoiding the "headaches" of hiring employees and handpicking projects -- he says he's content to take everything day by day.
"Not a lot of people wake up ... as excited about what they do," Eddins said. "I just want to continue doing what I'm doing, and hopefully find more gems out there."
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