Whether you write dance songs or ballads, if you're a nonperforming songwriter, you'll need to know how to create and sell music to an artist. Many artists, including Michael Jackson and Avril Lavigne, have performed songs written by other artists. In order to create and sell music to an artist, you need to tailor the song to the artist's sound and pitch the song to the artist and/or his management or label.
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Think of an artist for whom you want to write a song. Consider your songwriting style and strengths. For example, if you are adept at writing country songs, think of country artists such as Kenny Chesney or Taylor Swift.
Write a song that fits the style of the artists for whom you are writing. Make sure it would fit alongside the artist's other songs and at the same time is current. For example, if you wanted to write a song for Beyonce, you would think about her past hits, but be sure not to write a song that sounds like it came out in 1999.
Record a demo of your song. You could record a guitar/vocal or piano/vocal demo. Many artists and producers can make out the potential of a song from a simple demo in which they can hear the melody and hook. Others prefer a recording as close to the final product as possible. Record the best sounding demo you can afford.
Write a letter detailing the elements of the song, why you are aiming this song toward this specific artist and your past accomplishments as a songwriter.
Send the demo to the artist or the artist's label or management. If you don't have the clout to reach certain artists, network with people in the industry and/or hire a songplugger or a lawyer to get your foot in the door.
Negotiate a fee with the artist. Be sure to detail the split in royalties for when the song makes money.
Tips and warnings
- Copyright your music before pitching it to an artist. Make sure your songs are protected.
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