Navigating the industry

Feasterville’s Daidone family is helping musicians through Code 3 Records Artist Services while making music of its own

Musical family: The Daidone family is (from L) Kathleen, Dan, Dino and Dominic. Code 3 Records Artist Services, based out of the Daidones’ Feasterville home, helps musicians license their music and access all royalties due to them. Samantha Bambino / Times Photo

Throughout his 25 years as a musician, Dan Daidone has learned a thing or two about the industry. From writing and recording to performing in front of crowds in Puerto Rico, those decades transformed the Fairless Hills native and Pennsbury High School alum into the seasoned professional seen today.

But one lesson in particular proved to be the most valuable – how to actually make money off his craft.

This was achieved with the help of his wife Kathleen, of Feasterville, who signed Dan up with various agencies to get his beloved music licensed. After some trial and error in the beginning, the pair eventually saw money trickling in, with Dan’s creations landing spots on Showtime, Comedy Central and MTV.

Currently, the Daidones are sharing their expertise with musicians all over the world through Code 3 Records Artist Services. Based out of their Feasterville home on Orchard Lane, the company, established in June 2017, helps artists navigate the complex world of royalties and look for opportunities to expand their brand.

Ultimately, Code 3 makes sure artists completely own their music and are registered with all the relevant agencies, ensuring they have access all the revenue that’s due to them – something many struggle with in the 21st-century digital landscape.

“Code 3 is really about working with artists that are self-published, that do their own recording, distributing, pretty much everything artists do now. Code 3 actually helps them with the process,” Kathleen said. “We get them registered with agencies that they can license music through and collect royalties. So it’s about metadata and spreadsheets…not interesting.”

“It’s basically all the boring stuff that artists don’t want to do that they have to do in order to get all the money that is owed to them worldwide,” Dan added.

Still, this “boring stuff,” which the Daidones said is often the last thing most artists think about, is necessary for anyone looking to enjoy a full-time career in music.

“We figured, if I’m not signing my own things up, then 99 percent of bands are doing the same thing. They’re spending time making music, but they’re not signing themselves up for these agencies that they need to in order to get their money,” Dan said. “So that’s when we started saying, ‘Why don’t we do it for them? Let’s charge a fee and we’ll provide a service for them.’”

To date, Code 3 has aided approximately 50 artists from across the United States, Israel, Vancouver and the United Kingdom with copyright registration, social media marketing plugs, production assistance, sync placement opportunities and more.

Artists on the Code 3 roster include Sleepy Gonzales, who got its music placed by the Daidones in an indie film shown at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, and Jimmy Sweet from Los Angeles, California, who recently sold out the Hard Rock Cafe in London.

The Daidones work with each artist for 12 months and serve all genres, from heavy metal and hip-hop to classical. Their basement/home recording studio is chock-full of manilla folders, neatly organized to keep track of each musician’s paperwork.

According to Kathleen, Code 3 largely attracts its clientbase through word of mouth, though this wasn’t always the case. When the company first launched, Dan sought out artists he believed had potential and offered Code 3’s services to them. More often than not, the individuals he approached hadn’t thought once about licensing their songs.

In Kathleen’s opinion, Dan has a “really great ear for music.” Her statement is evident after listening to the album Blue Lights Sparkle, which Dan released this year with his band The Commute.

“It’s a modern rock, indie rock, grungy kind of feel,” he said.

Diligently following in Dan’s talented footsteps are his sons Dino and Dominic, who are going into fourth and third grade at Joseph E. Ferderbar Elementary School, respectively. Earlier this month, Dominic released his first single “Hot Dog Song” under the name AT-AT, which his brother brainstormed based on the four-legged combat vehicle in Star Wars.

“Dom came up with the idea for the ‘Hot Dog Song’ and then we kind of fleshed it out together, put some drums to it,” Dan said. “A lot of it was him just sort of singing. He likes to sing and he was sitting on the couch, and as he was singing, I would remember some of the lyrics that he was coming up with and I’d write them down.”

“There were some creative differences,” Kathleen chimed in with a laugh. “They went back and forth for a couple months.”

The catchy track, which states Dominic’s love for the food and all the condiments he enjoys on it, was recorded in the Daidones’ basement. The music video, available on YouTube, was filmed in the backyard and at a Trenton Thunder game, and was shot and edited by Dan, depicting his youngest son in a hot dog costume and Dino as a chef.

Now, one question remains – will there be a sequel to “Hot Dog Song?” Dominic said he isn’t sure just yet.

“You may want to branch out from the food, start singing some blues or something,” Dan suggested.

But whether or not a “Hamburger Song” is on the horizon, he and Kathleen are bursting with pride over their children’s early musical ambitions, with Dino learning the drums and Dominic the piano.

“We’re trying to keep the music lineage going,” he said.

Visit code3records.com for information on Code 3 Records Artist Services.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com