Music Supervisor launches Houston’s Springboard South Music Festival

Barry Coffing's inside peek at TV and film music licensing, and Houston's newest music fest. Photo:

HOUSTON, April 30, 2012 - Barry Coffing is a music and film industry veteran who recently transplanted to Houston from Los Angeles. It didn’t take long for this entrepreneurial dynamo to get plugged into the local scene as a director for the Houston chapter of NARIP (The National Association of Recording Industry Professionals). But Coffing is not one to glue his feet to the floor. He is in the process of launching a brand new music extravaganza, which he’s dubbed the Springboard South Music Festival, and that will take place this weekend, May 4, 5, and 6.

Springboard South aspires to do just what its name implies: to serve as a springboard for independent artists, catapulting them onto a stage to perform before industry executives who then critique, advise, and network with them. Artists booked to perform so far include:

  • Jacinta, of Sydney, Australia
  • Vital, of San Francisco, California
  • Jerad Finck, of Spokane, Washington
  • The Strive, of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Michelle Buzz, of Nashville, Tennessee
  • Soul Fruit, of Tucson, Arizona

Not to mention, a slew of Houston’s own talent is on board, including Castlelights, Staci’s Edge, Chase Hamblin, Sheila Marshall, and August 83. Springboard is also teaming up with GoGirls Music to present a special stage featuring independent female singer-songwriters. These include none other than Michelle Cowan, who recently showcased with SeeTalkGrow.

A very artist-friendly event, each performing musician and band will receive a 30-minute one-on-one consultation with an industry expert equipped to counsel these musicians on every aspect of the music business, ranging from songwriting to artist development. They’ll also receive a year-long NARIP membership, and of course, the opportunity to pitch their songs to film and television executives through none other than Coffing’s own company,

Originally based out of California, and now out of Texas, takes its name from the title of a pivotal specialist in the music and film industry: namely, the music supervisor. Headquartered in cyberspace, is a web-based platform that allows musicians to create free artist profiles and upload WAV recordings of their music, making those recordings and information accessible to prospective licensees hunting for songs to place in film and television.

Once recordings of their compositions are uploaded, artists can fill in searchable details about each song. Details include genre, mood, instrumentation, BPMs, and lyrics, all of which make it easier for supervisors to find what they’re looking for on the site and analyze the works they’re interested in.

What exactly is the job description of a music supervisor?

“A music supervisor can be a lot of different things,” Coffing explains. “On a big production it can be anything from ‘Find me one song,’ or ‘Handle some paperwork,’ to ‘You’re in charge of finding a composer for the film, finding all the songs, doing all the clearance, and hiring the entire music team,’ (which can include music editors, record producers, and songwriters).”

Obviously, from a musician or artist manager’s perspective, music supervisors are very advantageous people to know. And there will be a good selection of them this year at Springboard South.

Held at CITYCENTRE off Town and Country Boulevard just east of downtown Houston, Springboard South also presents an interesting opportunity for brand awareness. Sponsors will be highly visible and able to interact with music creators, their social networking fans, and the posh crowd that naturally gravitates toward the area. Coffing recently told SeeTalkGrow’s Jennifer Grassman that live webcasting and other social media functionality will be integrated and heavily utilized throughout the weekend long lollapalooza.

The venue itself provides a unique stage for these festivities. Being something of a self-contained community in and of itself, with a smorgasbord of upscale shops, restaurants, and trendy residential lofts, CITYCENTRE boasts its own luxury hotel and conference facility in Hotel Sorella, rumored to be the place where many of Springboard South’s out of town bands and industry pros are lodging.

Representatives from will be present at Springboard South to help musicians get plugged into the world of music licensing. This writer will also be on-site taking in the activities and talking to the business gurus in attendance. We’ll be catching up with Coffing, Madalyn Sklar of GoGirls, and of course, Michelle Cowan when she performs on Saturday afternoon. Stay tuned for a follow up article complete with videos.

SeeTalkGrow Interview with Music Supervisor, Barry Coffing:

Springboard South Music Festival, May 4, 5, & 6:

Official Website
Springboard South Event Schedule

About Jennifer Grassman:

Singer, songwriter and pianist, Jennifer Grassman is an award-winning recording artist and founder of SeeTalkGrow, a 100% online music, film, technology, and communications conference. Subscribe by RSS feed and read more at or Follow Jennifer in this column and at her music column, The Business of Being Diva here in Washington Times Communities. Also keep in touch via @JGrassman@SeeTalkGrow, and and


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Jennifer Grassman

Jennifer Grassman is a singer, songstress and pianist who inadvertently became a music industry trailblazer in the wake of the digital revolution. In addition to penning her quirky music industry column, "The Business of Being Diva," Jennifer writes songs and performs concert tours. Jennifer’s accomplishments include being nominated Houston’s best female vocalist and best songwriter and was named best keyboardist in the 2010 Houston Press Music Awards. She assisted in a campaign that raised more than $100,000 for CrimeStoppers and was commended by musician Tori Amos for her charitable efforts on behalf of domestic-abuse victims.  Jennifer has released three CDs, the most recent of which, "Serpent Tales & Nightingales," received accolades from Christianity Today, the Houston Chronicle and Brian Ray and the guitarist of Paul McCartney's band. You can check out Jennifer’s music at, like her on Facebook and tweet her at

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