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Old 16th October 2019
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by zeroesandones View Post
Hi Guys and Gals,

New poster here. I know music law can be a tricky and complex thing, but if anybody can shed some light on an issue I'm having, that would be fantastic.

So I wrote a song lyrics/chords/basic melody. I sent on a demo with my vocals, not great vocals mind you but to give a sense of timing and feel. Anyway the singer I sent the song onto, did a fantastic job which I knew she would. I wrote it for her to sing. Definitely put her own stamp on the song. Unfortunately due the singers reluctance to play live and also not wanting to contribute financially to the recording of track, I've had to work with another singer.

The original singer isn't too pleased, very attached to the song. Whilst acknowledging the song is mine, she feels her contribution was major. Does her contribution claim get undercut if she doesn't appear on the final recording. The singer I'm working with now is more of a natural type of singer, while the original singer has a high voice, almost operatic at times.
Good points by others. But let me also point out the bold above.

You either pay the singer an upfront fee for the vocal or you work out a backend deal of some kind (a backend royalty payment, partial ownership of the song, or an IOU of some kind or other you both agree on).

Asking a demo singer or feature vocalist to pay for recording fees is unheard of, the absolute reverse of the correct direction of who's supposed to pay who for what. You're the customer here, employing the services of a singer to complete your work for you. The customer is who pays. This request of yours is without question what tipped the scale in the "isn't too pleased" direction and set off the domino effect of ensuing issues and bad vibes.

Also worth noting, even if you don't use a demo singer's vocal, you still pay them for their work. You don't get mad at them for not fronting their own money, cut them from the song, and then also not pay them. Bad business, bad vibes. Consider this a learning experience on doing people right.