Alan Watts, Beat Generation Philosopher And Seminal  Counterculture Figure, Gets His Recorded Works Recycled

The late Alan Watts, a philosopher, scholar, speaker, writer, and seminal figure in the counterculture of the Beat Generation, is getting a new publishing deal more than 50 years after his death.

Independent music publisher Third Side Music (TSM) has signed a new global creative publishing deal with The Alan Watts Organization to foster creative music opportunities with Watts’ trove of 500+ hours of audio commentary, lectures, and radio programing for use in new songs by contemporary artists and in films, TV series, advertising, and other media.

In recent years, Watts recordings, commentaries, and other works have been used in campaigns for major brands such as Volvo, GoPro, Cunard Lines, X-box, Netflix, Uber, and Jack Daniels, among others. Although he was not a songwriter, he’s credited for lyrics on hundreds of songs, and his works have been incorporated into thousands of lyric videos on YouTube and social media.

His words and compelling vocal delivery have sparked a viral TikTok sensation (#alanwatts has been used over 224 million times) and inspired some of the world’s most influential artists and tastemakers, including Harry Styles, who overlaid Watts quote “This sensation of being a separate lonely individual is a hallucination” as part of the intro in his recent tours.

Watts has also been sampled by such artists as Nas, Logic (“The Incredible True Story,” 27 million Spotify streams), INZO (“Overthinker,” more than 43 million YouTube views), and Nuages (“Dreams,” 73 million YouTube views and 20 million Spotify streams).

As one of the first to interpret Eastern philosophy and make it relatable to Western audiences, Watts’ commentaries and aspirational lectures on themes of unity, self-realization, and the spiritual world have proven to be evermore mainstream. He is perhaps best known for a multitude of famous quotes such as, “What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?” and “I wonder, I wonder, what you would do if you had the power to dream at night any dream you wanted to dream.” 

“Way Beyond the West,” his Bay Area radio show that started in the 1950s, is still broadcast on KPFK in Los Angeles. By the early sixties, Watts’ radio talks aired nationally, and the counterculture movement adopted him as a spiritual spokesperson.

“This is a dream come true. We are elated and honored to be entrusted to represent Alan Watts, whose recordings inspire and resonate today more than ever. Our global TSM creative team is excited to develop new music opportunities and work closely with Mark Watts and the Alan Watts Organization to help expose new audiences to his prolific recordings and legacy.,” said Alex Kelman, EVP creative & A&R.

Mark Watts, director and cofounder of the Alan Watts Organization, said: “Working with the wonderful team at Third Side Music brings abundant real-world experience and great talent to our focus on crafting creative relationships with musicians and labels. It will also help us foster conversations in the areas of filmmaking and commercial use. We are excited about the possibilities!”

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