Iowa Music Producer Dan Trilk Shares His Sync Story

basecamp champs licensing basecamp music licensing music producer success stories Feb 25, 2023
Iowan Music Producer Dan Trillk

“I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a musician. When it was time to go out on my own there was nothing else I even considered doing. So I played in bands, recorded records, toured in vans, and waited tables. I had seen some friends' bands getting placements and thought that was cool (especially the checks!). Then my band started getting them. I thought to myself "now here is a great way to make some money and have fun along the way!" After that band dissolved some placements and checks still came but it was a mystery to me as to how that industry worked. It took me many years of investigating on my own, off and on before I stumbled upon a program called Six Figure Songwriting. This is where I met John and Sonnet. And that's really where my journey in sync began. It was a real commitment but there was a roadmap and everything I needed to know. I just had to get to work!”

2Indie LOVES sharing about indie music makers in the community who are finding creative fulfillment in their careers. Producer Dan Trilk sat down with us to answer a few questions.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

I have several different sides to what I do. My solo stuff tends to be acoustic based because that's what I can perform on my own. You could say it's a cross between Neil Young and Willie Nelson. My rock persona "Ol' Big Bear" is like Black keys with a little more edge. I do like to venture into quirky pop, country trap, retro funk and soul.”

What challenges have you faced as an independent music maker, and how have you overcome them?

I think my mindset was my biggest hurdle in the beginning. I just wanted to create music and didn't have any desire to get tied up into the "business" of it. I even avoided it! Now that I'm older I have embraced the reality of it being a business. I find balancing music with family and my job of teaching private music lessons to be the most difficult thing. I am constantly learning new ways to make them gel and flow in and out of each other and love when they intertwine which they often do!”

What has working with Sonnet & John through 2Indie Licensing Basecamp been like?

It has been a total game changer for me. Seriously. I had known that I wanted to get into sync for many years and wasn't having much luck doing it on my own. Now I have dozens of songs repped by 8 different agencies and have landed several placements from movies, ads and television shows. I have a huge community of fellow musicians, writers, producers literally, from all over the world, many who have become incredible friends. I have a monthly goal of submitting to a real brief which is huge for me. I have been exposed to the industry in an up close and personal way and really feel like I'm in the game now. What I have learned from feedback on my writing and production from John, Sonnet has been and continues to be invaluable.”

What advice would you give to other independent artists who are trying to break into sync in the music industry?

Find your community. There are so many incredibly talented and kind people out there that share the same goals. Find the people with the skill sets that compliment yours and then just get to work. Get feedback. Pivot when you need to. Write from the heart. Make sure you love the music you're doing and make a lot of it.”

What's the next exciting music news everyone out there has to look forward to coming from you?

My rock project Ol' Big Bear has a song placed in a movie called ‘Righteous Thieves’ that is being released in select theaters and Amazon Prime on March 10th. The song is "Put Your Money On Me" and it was written with the incredible Cinder Ernst. This will be the third or fourth time this song has been placed.”

“Ol' Big Bear has been teamed up with Cinder "Shine" Ernst for some time now and we are planning to release an EP this year! It's still in the planning stages but most likely this summer.”                     


We are so excited for Dan and his success. He's an inspiration to EVERYONE in the community!

It is so important to have the support you need and to surround yourself with people who hold you accountable to reaching your music industry goals. It's our primary mission: To make true creative fulfillment possible in YOUR music career.

  • Are you an indie artist, songwriter, or producer who wants their music to make an impact on the world? 
  • Do people tell you your music should be in shows, movies or commercials? 
  • Do you want to make money licensing your music for TV & film? 
  • Do you want a song assignment each month from a different sync agency that's looking for new songs to sign? 
  • Do you want to build a winning team?
  • Do you want to feel connected to the music industry like never before?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you'll definitely want to check out our Licensing Basecamp private community. To join this movement for indie music makers, click the link below to get started with your complimentary 30 days.

Music Licensing Basecamp

It's our exclusive online sync community, with weekly live education via Zoom and a monthly song assignment given by a new partner licensing agency each month. In twelve months you'll get over 50 hours of group coaching from Sonnet & John, and learn from 12 different agencies.

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