Peer to Peer with Nick Laborda Licensing Manager for VP Records

Let’s get into sync!  The world of sync, samples and clearances can be difficult to navigate if you are in the field.  Music supervisors, producers and beat makers work closely with the sync department at record labels.  We sat down with Nicolas Laborda who helped us understand what he does and why it’s so important.

VP:  The world of ‘sync’ is very niche.  How did you get into this field, and what is your role at VP Records?

NL:  I thought it would be an interesting role so I applied for the position. I’ve been the licensing manager at VP for almost 2.5 years and am responsible for sync requests, sample requests, compilation requests, and other miscellaneous licensing requests that come my way – as well as other duties outside of licensing requests. I’ve learned a lot and continue growing in my role. Thank to John McQueeney and VP Records for the opportunity.

VP:  For readers who may not know, what a sync is and how is a sync is used – what is the difference between a sync and a sample?

NL:  A sync is when audio / music is aligned with visuals / videos. Some examples are commercials / ads, TV shows, and movies. A sample is a segment taken from a recording and used in a new piece of music. It can be replayed / re-recorded or taken from the actual master recording. If the master recording is not used in the new song, then only the publishing side will have to be cleared.

VP:  What are some of your favorite syncs / samples cleared from the VP Records and or Greensleeves catalog?

NL:  One of my favorite syncs so far has been The Congos’ “Fisherman” in Nope (TV Series on Netflix). I thought it was a really good movie and the song fit well in the scene. My other favorite syncs have been the ones where the music supervisors have reached out last minute looking for alternatives and they have picked tracks that I’ve pitched. It feels good being able to offer what they’re looking for and have it stick.

One of my favorite samples cleared so far has been Reggie Stepper’s “Drum Pan Sound” in Nas’ “Bokeem Woodbine” Nas is one of my favorite rappers so it’s cool that I was able to play a part in the clearance for one of his songs on his album. It’s a great song and the sample was utilized well. Hopefully there’s more Nas sample clearances in the future!

VP:  Do you have a playlist and if yes, what are 3 songs you are streaming right now?!

NL:  I’ve been listening to Total Reggae: Summer Vibes on the VP Records Spotify page, as well as Mozzy’s new album Children Of The Slums, Roddy Ricch’s new single “Survivor’s Remorse,” a few other new tracks, and always keeping 90’s/00’s hip hop in rotation as well. That reminds me to start making playlists again!