Credit split issue

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jpmorgan
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Credit split issue

Post by jpmorgan » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:34 pm

Hi Guys,

this is a first for me so hoping someone with more experience can offer their thoughts

Long story short

In March I played a gig with an up and coming country singer in Scotland. I know the county scene in Scotland isn’t as big a thing as in USA, however, she’s working hard and doing well.
She heard one of my songs and loved it. She asked to meet with me along with her father (manager). I did, and they said they are trying to get funding to record a 4th studio album, they have good songs but they think they are missing “thee” song to help take them to the next level. They thought my song was going to be a single.
This was a first for me as a writer so I was delighted.
Just last week their funding was approved and they will be recording in October.

I messaged her to congratulate her on this, and after a little chat, she asked if I would mind if she wrote a chorus for the song? This is the first time there’s been any mention of co-write/re-write in 7 months, with regular contact between us both. Up till now they have loved the song.

My issue is, I find this all a bit suspicious. I feel like she’s trying to get writing credits.

The reason I think this is because the song doesn’t have, or need a chorus, it’s written with the title as a refrain. It’s a very emotional ballad and the structure helps to make the lyrics the focus of the song, it’s the whole reason the song works.
I don’t want a chorus in the song. But, I feel I could miss the opportunity to have my first song cut.

Do you have experience of this? Any advice?



Thanks
John

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Re: Credit split issue

Post by johnnyrowing » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:15 am

Hopefully others will chime in with some thoughts/wisdom.

It sounds like a great opportunity is right before you.

You have an artist that likes your song. The artist is working hard and starting to enjoy some success. That is good news. Establishing relationships with hardworking artists is the ideal scenario for songwriters. If they like 1 of your songs maybe they will like 2. Having your songs performed/cut is better than not.

They want to cut one of your tracks but modify it a bit. That seems reasonable. They are creative and want to put out work that represents their goals/desires/vision/etc.

They will be writing a chorus. So, they will want to split the songwriting credit. Their contributions are important. They should get co-write credit. Give them 50/50, if that's what they want.

A song needs an artist and artists need songs. There will some give and take when one meets another. I bet something better/great will come out of the collaboration. After you hear the chorus, you might be completely blown away. Or . . . maybe you won't . . . but . . . that's why you write other songs or co-write again with the same artist until y'all get it right.

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Re: Credit split issue

Post by kyliecouper » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:39 am

I agree with Johnny. I think you have a great opportunity in front of you!

A couple of things to consider:

Maybe you will have to give up some percentage now, but this may lead you to further amazing opportunities.
Maybe the artist will really enjoy co-writing with you and will ask you to co-write a whole lot more tracks for her album.
So you might end up with 50% of 5-10 tracks.

Maybe other artists might hear that song and love it. They might think "wow! I really want to work with that songwriter!"

Maybe you could go into the studio with the artist when she is recording. When you're having lunch at the studio, you might meet another artist who you really gel with, and start another co-write project.

Maybe an A&R person will hear the song and love it. Maybe they have another similar artist who is looking for a songwriter like you.

I just read somewhere recently, that it's often the opportunity that leads to the opportunity.

I know it's hard to give up a piece of your "baby", but is it better to have a smaller percentage of a song that is actually recorded and out in the world, or 100% of a song that is just on your hard drive?

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Re: Credit split issue

Post by gregorym » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:55 am

I don't have a lot of experience with this, but I thought I would chime in. I agree with Johnny and Kylie. Roll with it, see where it takes you. It's a great opportunity. I cherish working with great musicians. I find that I like their ideas better than mine, a lot of the time. Of course, that could be because I think my writing is kind of stale at times. I do the same things over and over (musically), that's me. Back in the 90's, I tried to but myself in the shoes (or minds) of writers that I worked, when I was learning how to write. Sometimes I would have an out of body experience and that leads to very good music. And I'm rambling again. Whatever decision you make, you can always write more songs. Good luck and best wishes!

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Re: Credit split issue

Post by jaywilliams » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:17 am

Hi John -

I'll add one more voice to the chorus.

Take the slightly longer view and don't focus so much on just this one collaboration.

Getting into a great creative groove with someone can take time and there's always some degree of give and take involved.

Give a little, get a little, give a lot, get a lot, that kind of thing.

On the other hand if you're convinced in your core that *any* changes to your song would weaken not strengthen the track then walk away now and find someone else to collab with.

Best of luck!

Jay :)
see you at the top!

James Hagarty dba Jay Williams Productions
Web: jaywilliamsproductions.com
Songtradr: jay.williams.productions
SoundCloud: jay-williams-productions

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Re: Credit split issue

Post by melodymessiah » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:44 pm

i agree with the rest. do you have chart ambitions with your songs? have you noticed that practically ALL hits today have choruses? could the singer be right that it needs a chorus even if you don't think so? it's very easy to love your songs to the point that you don't wanna change it, but it may also so prevent you from opportunities. cowriting can open up doors that would otherwise be closed to you. if you pass on this, are you going to wait for another artist to fall in love with your song as it is? how long do you think that is gonna take, if it happens at all? if you want other artists to cut your songs, the first thing you need to let go is your ego ;)

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Re: Credit split issue

Post by VanderBoegh » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:08 am

Take the deal. Let her add the chorus and take a percentage of the writing credit. An artist cut is a great opportunity you don't want to pass up.

That is.... assuming the "up and coming" part means she's the real thing and is gonna make it to the next level. If not, then it probably doesn't matter either way.

~~Matt

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