Many people tend to zone out while watching television, but Travis “Kold Kut” Moore found himself honing in as he flipped through the channels one night in 2008. The Recording Arts grad had already built a name for himself as full-time engineer/producer at Indianapolis’s Azmyth Recording studios, working with national hip-hop and pop artists like Mike Posner, Kirko Bangz, and Pretty Ricky. But he saw a new opportunity to further his career in the music business: writing and placing music for television.
“I was watching a show called American Pickers, and I paused my DVR during the credits where it said ‘music provided by,’ and I found a music publishing and licensing company called Jingle Punks,” Travis says. “I looked them up online, saw their credits, and knew I needed to get hooked up with them. I submitted ten songs to them, and within a year I started getting placements.”
Since then, he’s placed songs on several national television programs, including The Voice, Pawn Stars, Catfish: The TV Show, and The Real World. Although Travis was no stranger to music production, his foray into television prompted a shift in his writing process.
“The initial ten songs I submitted to Jingle Punks were all 3-4 minutes long, and they all faded out. But television editors tend to dislike fadeouts,” he says. “They prefer that songs have ‘stingers,’ which are more definitive endings that work better for transitional onscreen changes. The easier you make it for the editors, the higher your probability for placement. Today, most of the songs I write average about 90 seconds long, and I no longer format them for someone to rap or sing to; instead I try to have the music change every four to eight bars.”
Travis (left) with hip-hop artist Kirko Bangz.
In addition to broadening his skills as a music producer and composer, Travis’s television venture has also reinvigorated his overall love for music production as a whole. “I spent a decade trying to get national placements with big recording artists, and for many years I knew I was capable of doing it,” he says. “But that whole game is about being in the right place at the right time. And even after you’ve had big placements on platinum records, there’s no guarantee that will lead to anything else. The world of television is not only much more lucrative, but I really enjoy it. It’s given me a new goal to work toward.”
Today Travis works with several different licensing companies and still remains active in the studio working with both national and local artists. And as he looks back at his decade-long career since graduating from Full Sail, he’s able to appreciate the growth he’s experienced along the way.
“Full Sail was where it all started to make sense for me. I knew I had a passion for producing, but learning engineering and mixing allowed me to take my production even further – not just in making my tracks sound good, but enabling me to work with different kinds of artists and projects,” he says. “And all of that helped contribute to my success in television. Today I’m in a position where I can wear all the hats. And it’s really exciting.”