Check item#3: Do you have the legal ownership of the song?
Just because you wrote the song does not mean you have legal ownership of the song. These two can be very different in the eyes of copyright laws. Legal ownership means that you are recognized by your government as the legal owner of the work. The official evidence of ownership is simply a copyright certificate.
Before submitting your songs to an artist, you need to register it to your government copyright office. There are however two forms of copyright in music industry.
1.) Copyright of music and lyrics
2.) Copyright of sound recording
As a songwriter, you should only be applying for a copyright of music and lyrics. This is usually form PA in the copyright forms. Form SR is for sound recording. But in some instances, you might also be creating a demo of your own song. So in this case, you own the demo sound recording copyright and you need to file a separate copyright for that (sound recording copyright Form SR). You can read the following useful references relating to copyright application:
a.) Copyright Mistakes to Avoid in Music Production & Songwriting
b.) How to Submit Sound Recording Copyright Application
c.) Understanding the Sound Recording Copyright Registration Process
Ways to Submit your Song Demo to an Artist
OK so you have complied with all the requisites as discussed in the previous section. It’s now the time to actually send your song demo to an artist. This is often the trickiest stage. Luckily there is a lot of ways you can do this. Let’s illustrate them one by one.
1.) You can visit the artist official website and look for contact information relating to submitting the demo. This can be difficult because not all of them accepts demo from the public. Some artist might accept provided you comply with some procedures.
2.) You can search in the Internet for the manager representing the artist. The manager has the power to recommend songs to an artist.Get in touch first with the artist manager.
3.) Some artist has very friendly attitude towards the public in social networks. So you might want to become one of their fans or followers and personally send them a message or post on theair official page that you want to submit a demo. You can get a reply.
4.) If you have some budget, you search in the Internet for an entertainment lawyer specializing in submitting song demos to an artist producer, manager or directly to the artist. You will pay the lawyer for these services. Be sure to check the entertainment lawyer background and ensure that he/she knows the artist well.
5.) Artist may be very difficult to reach or contact personally by either email or in any other ways but not their producers. The record producers are very easy to contact. Simply buy one of the artist albums to get to know the producer. And then search their name in Google. Most likely they have their own website or a social networking profile. Contact them and ask for procedures on submitting a demo. They can be very polite to reply.
6.) Some artist are singer-songwriters. If they are songwriters, they are represented by a music publisher. Find out their music publisher and then submit songs first to the publisher. You will know this information by performing a song copyright search.
The music publishers have the power to recommend songs to the artist label. As a songwriter, you can join with the publisher so that you can easily recommend songs to an artist you like.
7.) In artist social circles, they have close friends. Probably you can befriend their close friends first. Once you get to know them, you might want them to hear your song demo. If they like it, tell them to submit that song demo to the artist. If the song is great, the artist would probably like it and have it included in their future albums. There is a lot of songs submitted in this way, the key is knowing the right person to submit.
Content last updated on July 23, 2012