The moody major-to-minor piano chord that parallels Matthew McConaughey’s contemplative monologue in Lincoln Motors’ TV campaign for the MKC model SUV? The handiwork of British Columbia-based multi-instrumentalist Andrew Judah, who, when not performing his own indie pop-rock — he just released his second album, Monster, independently — moonlights as a composer for hire.
How did you land the Lincoln ad?
Through music house Ring the Alarm. Music houses hire a number of freelance writers — 10 or 15 — and gather tracks to compete for the spot.
Has the commercial increased interest in your work?
I’ve had people ask for that specific vibe … and for that piece, but I’m not allowed to sell or give it away. Lincoln owns it.
But you earn royalties every time the ad airs?
Oh, yes. Residuals through AFM and BMI. It’s not as much as people think — I would guess $15,000 to $20,000. Winning one spot doesn’t sustain you for a super-long time, but it definitely pays the bills. I can’t even imagine what they paid Matthew McConaughey.
This article first appeared in the Nov. 1 issue of Billboard.