Aah Temp Love!
So many clients fall victim to "temp love" and it might persuade us to get as close as possible to the track in order to close the deal. I worked with a very successful composer last year named Mitch Coodley (Soprano's, Victoria Secret, and CBS Sports) His advise on this matter is something I have found to be very beneficial. We did 12 songs based on commercially successful reference tracks. He would suggest a song like Lana Del Rey's "Born To Die" and I would craft a song in that vein. Here's a snippet from one of our email correspondences...
"By the way, my attitude toward using these examples is "STYLE-alike", not sound-alike. You already know this, but some producers like to push the envelop - I don't. So basic flavor and mood, not song rip-off. The good part for you is you can inject your own ideas while being "influenced" by the example."
The term "STYLE-alike" is different then "SOUND-alike" Basic Flavor and mood, not song rip-off. So the song you create would be on a similar playlist as the temp track but it's not a rip-off. This will ensure a unique copyright and absolutely ZERO% of infringement "grey" area.
When I was writing for these songs I would reverse engineer the songs by figuring out the tempo, chord harmony, melodic components, lyric content, etc. Ask yourself questions like - Is the vocal topline more melodic or rhythmic? Is the rhythm section driven by 1/4 notes or 1/8th notes? Is the chord harmony minor in nature or major? What is the mood of the lyrical content, dark, light, sensual, playful etc?
What is the song structure? If there song structure is ABABCB then structure your song the same. Use the same tempo and the elements we discussed above, and be sure that your song wouldn't be compared to the originally at a first listen. This should ensure that you are giving them the essentials of the temp track but with your essence. Hope this helps!
If you or anyone reading this have questions regarding this topic here is my contact information.
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