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Vocalist/songwriter help :-)
Old 16th September 2011
Here for the gear

Vocalist/songwriter help :-)

I wonder if anyone can advise with this please?

My friend is a vocalist and songwriter.
Until now she didn't offer a professional session vocalist/songwriting service but had a page on the internet with some of her songs on.
Here she was contacted by a producer who liked her voice and wanted an acapella for a dance track.
She agreed to this and supplied the vocals only for the experience..i.e there was no payment or rights.
From here she then wrote lyrics for the producer as well as supply vocals for further tracks.. again free of charge to get her name around, something I guess most people start off doing.
But after word getting around and other producers hearing and liking her voice, she is now being asked regularly for vocals and lyrics which she writes and records herself and is still not getting paid and there has been no mention of royalties for the songs she has done.
As I say, initially she wanted the experience and exposure because she theoretically was a 'nobody' and needed to make a name for herself, which is all well and good but there comes a time when she should be being paid for her work. One of her songs has appeared on an album owned by Sony Music but recieved nothing from this.
She wants a career in singing and songwriting and I believe is very good at what she does. She thinks she is doing the right thing in not asking for any payment while she is building contacts and getting her name around but I am worried she will be ripped off.
Do you have any advice I could pass on?
Old 16th September 2011
Lives for gear
AwwDeOhh's Avatar

The problem with doing things for free, is that you become the "go-to" person for free work.
Always charge, even if it's a smallish amount, or backend royalties... if you don't put a value on your [her] work, than it is without value.

If it's worth using for someone elses' financial gain, than it's worth paying for. if they want it, they'll pay for it... otherwise they wouldn't have a need for it [her].

Nothing to be done for the work that's already out the door.. but i'd advise her to consult with a lawyer to draft up a simple contract. (not extremely expensive.. you don't need the lawyer on retainer.. just an hour or two of their time. Make absolute sure that it's an entertainment lawyer, and they've done this kind of work before)

chalk it up to lesson learned.
Old 17th September 2011
Here for the gear

Thanks AwwDeeOhh, i'll let her know. Very wise words!
Thanks again!

Dale : )
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