SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

April 10, 2013

The perfect 'promposal'

Danvers musician pens customized songs that do the asking for you

DANVERS — For countless lovelorn teens with little or no musical talent in search of the perfect prom proposal, Danvers musician Matthew Farley and his “band,” The Prom Song Singers, have just the tune that might win them a date to the big dance.

Last year, Farley, 34, came up with the idea to record prom proposals with different names. Over the course of a month, he created 500 songs with common girls names like Hannah, Angela, Janie and Abby, to sell on the popular music service iTunes.

“They are basically customized songs for people who have yet to ask for them,” Farley said.

Somehow, hundreds of boys found it, downloaded the song and used it to make a prom proposal video called a “promposal.” Some teens have even posted these videos to YouTube.

“Katie, will you go to the prom with me, to the prom, to the prom, to the prom with me,” lip-syncs a young man in one video as he sits at a piano while his friends pop up in the background to sing backup.

Last prom season, Farley, who creates music in his basement and has his own production company called Motern Media, sold about 2,500 prom songs on iTunes. He netted more than $1,500 for his efforts.

So far, Farley has stumbled upon at least 40 different videos of the prom song posted on YouTube. One of the first videos he found got 14,000 views on the site.

After graduating from Bishop Fenwick in 1996, Farley became an English major at Providence College, graduating in 2000. In college, he and a friend would churn out songs on a small four-track system. Their serious songs in the style of Bob Dylan did not sell well.

“We would write silly songs, and the sillier the title of the song, the more apt it was to sell,” Farley said.

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