There are two common issues that I run into on a daily basis with artist/songwriters that I work with.
I would be in a much better position to make money for them if they did 2 simple things:
- type their lyrics when they either write or record them;
- mix down instrumental versions their songs during mixdowns.
Often when I ask songwriters to send me their lyrics I get a response like “LOL, you’re kidding right”. For whatever reason this seems to be an impossible task for most of the writers that I work with.
What they don’t seem to understand is that I am extremely limited in my ability to get songs placed in film & television without having lyrics on hand. Lyrics are often requested by those in the TV and Film industry when they are placing music into their projects. If I can’t supply those lyrics upon demand I will most likely lose that placement.
Network television always wants to see the lyrics. For these reasons I only pitch songs that I have lyrics to. In my situation I believe this problem exists because I am signing songwriters with a big back catalog that they have never typed the lyrics for. It seems like an overwhelming task to go back and type them.
When I write lyrics I use a notepad and then prior to recording I type them. When I talk to people these days it seems like they are using their smartphones to type up their lyrics but because phones only last a year or so they lost the lyrics to their older songs… “Oh, those lyrics were 2 phones ago”.
I learned very early in my career that you should always mix down instrumental versions of every song when you are in the studio mixing your album. There are many things that can be done with instrumentals.
If you have a TV appearance you may need them. If you are performing live without a band you will need them. If a music supervisor is interested in using your song without the vocals for their TV or film project you will need them.
As someone who pitches music for film & TV for my clients I need to have those instrumentals on hand. It is not acceptable to tell a music supervisor that I don’t have the instrumental but if they can wait a few hours, days or weeks that I could get it to them.
If you want to be successful in this industry these 2 simple things can help you a lot in the long run. Type your lyrics, print them, save them and if you have a publishing or publishing administration deal provide them to your publisher.
When you are mixing down recordings always mix down an instrumental version. Have it on hand. Provide it to your label. By doing these two things you will have a much better chance at having your songs placed in film, television, advertising and video games.