Poop In My Fingernails is just one of the songs on the spotify playlist for the artist The Toilet Bowl Cleaners. Alongside it you’ll find a plethora of fecal centric and fecal adjacent tunes.
“The Toilet Bowl Cleaners” is the brainchild of Matt Farley, singer songwriter. With a catalogue of 20,000 songs, he’s no slouch.
In an age where many musicians have claimed there’s no way to make a living from releasing music to streaming platforms, Farley has found a way. Last year he earned US$56,000 from streaming plus another $23,000 for writing custom songs for clients. “All that, and I rarely had to leave my suburban basement” he told Bob Lefsetz.
Farley releases music under eighty different pseudonyms or aliases. He is an example of quantity over quality. None of his songs are the sort of thing you would expect to be a hit, although some of them are very popular with specific niche audiences. As you can imagine young boys love singing poop related songs at any opportunity and I’ve got to admit I chuckled a bit listening to them too.
He has a system of self promotion that supports his focus on numbers. In his email signature he has a link titled “Click here to listen to my 300+ best songs on Spotify!” and his website outlines his “foolproof way to earn a million dollars” by encouraging 1 million people to listen to his whole playlist. Apparently listening to the whole 8 hour playlist will earn Farley $1. So again he’s looking for volume.
To tell his story he actually made a film called Local Legends that explains much of his philosophy and career.
With his college friend Tom Scalzo, Farley formed a band called Moes Haven and released 25 albums in the 2000s. As he examined the songs that had sold most on iTunes he discovered it was the ones with silly titles like “Shut Up Your Monkey”. So began his mission to record songs with titles that people might just be searching for.
He has done much of this while holding down a day job from 2000-2017. He would get his 40hrs work done across 3 days, leaving him the rest of the week to make music.
If Matt Farley can produce this volume of music and make a living from it, does it encourage you to reconsider why you’re still waiting to release your first song until you can guarantee that it’s going to be a platinum hit?
It seems to me his philosophy is to write, write more and then keep writing. There’s an excellent chance that every song he writes will appeal to someone (especially with catchy titles like “Happy Birthday Matthew”).
With each extra song he increases his odds of producing a song that appeals to his current audience and earns him the attention of even more listeners.