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Selling Songs To Other Artists?


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Hello!

Are there songwriters here that have managed to sell songs to other artists?

I recently had a brief contact with a music business veteran, and he told me my music was singer/songwriter. He said my songs were good and well written, but my music demands me to be the artist.

I love to write my songs in my own style, but I also have a dream of being able to sell songs to oter artists.

I would like to here about your opinions and experiences regarding the difference between "generic pop" and singer/songwriter songs.

If you have actually sold songs to other artists:

- How do you thik about lyrics to make it less personal and more "generic pop"?

- Did you have a specific target artist when writing the song?

- How much effort did you put in the demo?

- Markting, self promotion and contacts with "the industry"?

- Are you constantly in contact with record companies to find out what artists are shopping for songs at the moment?

//Robert

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Noob

Hi, yes, back in 2008 I sold one song to a country artist. The artist received all artist royalties and I received all songwriter royalties. As a woman, I just felt the song was meant for a male artist, so it wasn't so hard for me to part with.

Kaitlyn

:)

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Kaitlyn I'd love to hear more about your story. How the sale came about, how many sales you made etc.

Rob,

My Co and I had the same problem so we are releasing an album of our own stuff BUT we've started to learn and recognise when a song can be written for someone else. It has to be a lot more structured and perhaps more predictable. I have a book by a guy called Jason Blume. He explains it well.

JD

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JamTimeMusic you are bang on the money. Structure aids portability across genres, using vagueness and specifics deliberately to ensure strong emotional content yet applicable to many situations is an art form in itself.

Overall I would say portable songs become structurally more predictable but melody wise it is more vague and less predictable. Language wise it is simple, uses common phrasing and language yet avoids street slang.

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Are there songwriters here that have managed to sell songs to other artists?

I presume you mean successfully 'pitched' to other artists - because I would neither consider nor recommend transferring ownership.

- How do I think about lyrics to make them less personal and more "generic pop"?

I don't generally operate in the arena of 'generic pop'. Artists working in that field generally are 'branded' products in and of themselves such that a) the actual material seems less important than the image they are marketing, and B) they embrace the wisdom of writing their own material and hence maximising income from their own publishing. That's probably why your veteran gave you that specific piece of advice.

The 'personal', I think, must be of a universal order - so that other artists can identify with and deliver the song effectively, and so that their audience can also identify with their message.

- Do I have a specific target artist when writing a song?

Yes - of course. A clear idea of target/targets and their audience is essential.

- How much effort do we put into the demo?

Serious effort. We treat it like a regular conventional recording, using studios, top musicians, and professional production standards, to make it sound as best we can (although, sometimes, we may take care that the performance is not too intimidating for the artist to whom we are shopping it).

- Markting, self promotion and contacts with "the industry"?

Everything depends upon networking and making friends.

- Am I constantly in contact with record companies to find out what artists are shopping for songs at the moment?

No - it doesn't much work like that for us. Individual artists and their management/associates, at least in our field, are the ones who know their proposed project schedules, whether they are likely interested in considering submissions, and what sort of material they may be looking for.

.

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> Are there songwriters here that have managed to sell songs to other artists?

Sell no... Pitch and have them recorded? Yes...

> I recently had a brief contact with a music business veteran, and he told me my music was singer/songwriter. He said my songs were good and well written, but my music demands me to be the artist.

That means the lyrical content and stylistic approach is not generic enough for someone else to capture the emotional content of the song. It is personal to YOU and not others. That doesn't mean that people don't like to listen to them, just that other artist would find it difficult to present them in a believable manner.

> I love to write my songs in my own style, but I also have a dream of being able to sell songs to other artists.

That's great, because without the dream you'll never make it through the low parts of pitching songs.

> I would like to here about your opinions and experiences regarding the difference between "generic pop" and singer/songwriter songs.

I write mostly in the Country Genre, which is an extremely competitive market. It is also written in a different manner than other genre's.

While I have written some pop and "crossover" style stuff, it tends to lean Country, which tends to be more "conversational" lyrically. Pop lyrics tend to be more abstract in the way the lyrics come together. They lean more toward allowing interpretation by the listener and less toward directing them in a "specific" direction. Country tends to direct a listener into a specific line of thought.

Each genre, for the good or bad, have their little lyrical "quirks". Bottom line, a great song is a great song and can cross genre's, irregardless the genre it was written for.

> If you have actually sold [pitched] songs to other artists:

- How do you think about lyrics to make it less personal and more "generic pop"?

I would actually start out by studying the songs that are charting currently. Looking for lyrical and melodic structure. Once you can figure out what makes the songs appealing to the music listening masses, you can begin to form your own idea's about how generic that particular genre will allow your lyrics to be.

- Did you have a specific target artist when writing the song?

I have before, but, unless you are very well connected, you need to aim toward the up and coming artists. Those who are already contracted by a label usually utilize songs written by well known writers that have proven track records and are very well connected. They are also songwriters who typically reserve their songs for artist who are at a higher level in the business.

Up and coming artists, ones not "owned" by a label yet, are looking for that one song that will set them apart from the herd and move their career forward. They don't care who wrote it if it will provide them with what they need to get where they want to go.

- How much effort did you put in the demo?

Always make the best demo you can afford to make. Period!

- Marketing, self promotion and contacts with "the industry"?

I think that goes without saying. The industry is built on networking with those who have already made the necessary contacts.

- Are you constantly in contact with record companies to find out what artists are shopping for songs at the moment?

No.... I sometimes get "tip" sheets and such, but, even those without the connections to get it to the person who actually makes the decision basically don't provide but a one in a million shot. You have to make the connections to get your song heard....

Don't get discouraged! If you love to write and work to hone your craft, anything is possible!

Brad...

maxtor2290

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