Monday, July 25, 2011

Song Writing Agents

            If you are at the point where you have your songs ready to be pushed to a record label or publishing company, you are going to want to find a songwriting agent. Most publishing companies or record labels won’t take unsolicited material. That means unless a representative or agent is bringing them the songs, they won’t look at them. In a sense for the record and publishing companies, it acts like a filter. If the agent doesn’t deem you worthy, why would the publisher or record label?
            Before you begin you need to have good recordings of your songs. You’ll also need to write a query letter to the agent telling them who you are, what you do, and why you are writing them. Most importantly, you need to make sure you own all the copyrights to your music or have licenses for any borrowed material that your music contains. There is a whole process to doing so. But what is more important is that you understand what a songwriting or music agent does.
            Independent A&R representative Zane Tobin has an explanation as to what he does with music that is submitted. In Zane Tobin's page, he explains what he does and what he needs from the artist. Essentially he requests MP3’s and pictures and bios if you are a band. If you aren’t a band and are a songwriter only, you don’t need a photo because the image isn’t really important. If he approves of your music, which he will listen to for free, he will then shop your music around to publishers or record labels for a monthly fee. This fee lasts as long as you want it to or until you get signed.
            Finding the people you want to represent you depends on what genre you are writing for. I’m spending much more of my time writing “art music” which would require me to find a composer representative. Columbia Artist Management Inc., or CAMIis another good place to find or contact people who represent artist. Most of their artists are classical performers or people that work outside the vernacular or popular music world. The webpage shows what artists they represent. The Songwriter Agency is another webpage that also shows what artists they represent, what genres they work in, and also gives you a contacts page, which provides you with information on how to contact the agents that work there.
            So in order to get your music pushed to the big publishers and record labels, you’ll need to do a few things. First you’ll need to write have good demos of your music recorded. You don’t need a lot, just 3-4 of you better works. You’ll also need to find a songwriting agent or some type of A&R representative. Make sure before you send them material that they work in the genre you write for or accept any kind of genre. Next, write them a query letter and package it with your demo CD, bio, experience and anything else they might require from you. Don’t forget to make sure you own all the copyrights to the material you submit. Remember that if you don’t get accepted at one place, doesn’t mean you won’t at another. Have back up plans ready.


  1. Do people in the music industry ever scour Youtube for new songs? I heard that some do and some don't.

    1. I'll put it this way; you get 10 million views for anything and people in high-places are paying attention to you and will be in touch.

      If you got it, you really got it; flaunt it and go for it.

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  11. Close to 4k views and the labels call because of this song and video
    Good luck and congrats in advance to you all see you on top

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  15. An agency that has accepted my song wants $500 to create the demo and then 25% of the royalties if they successfully secure a publisher. This appeals to me because I cannot afford to pay a monthly agent fee. Is this legit?

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  17. If there are anybody looking for any songwriters, please hit me up! I am willing to work with you, as I am an excellent gospel rapper, singer, songwriter and audio producer. I will not write out a whole essay because my resume below this writing speaks for itself.

    Duron Donte Gaskins
    New Haven, CT. 06511 Moniker: Duron G.
    (203) 580 4077. Record Label: None
    Objective: Motivated gospel rap artist/poet, singer-songwriter, music producer & public speaker with a natural flow, passion, delivery and storytelling rhyme scheme looking to showcase talents while changing lives through spoken word evens until I obtain a position in the music industry.

    Summary: Solid work ethic, team oriented, resilient, optimistic, hustler, charming, musical, 14+ years of poetical/lyrical inspiration since late 2001, determined, multi-tasker and logical thinker.

    Concepts for Adaptive Learning (computer course) 11/02/2015 – 11/18/2015
    • Word, Excel, Power Point & Publisher
    Gateway Community College 01/26/2014 – 05/18/2014
    • Class I Piano + English 101 (courses completed)

    Spoken Word Performances & Events:
    Perform(ed) at the following events: Role(s): Local Artist/Youth Leader & Speaker
     Lighthouse Point Park (New Haven, CT – 08/2015) [25th Year Wedding Anniversary]
     The New Haven Hill Annual Reunion Summer Collection;
    • Roberto Clemente Park (New Haven, CT–08/2014+08/2015)[Hosted: DJ Prime/Radio]
     Waterbury Youth Services & United Way events;
    • Saint Mary’s Hospital (Waterbury, CT – 06/30/2015) [Republican-American news article]
    • The Lyceum Resource & Conference Center (Hartford, CT-04/09/2015)[PSC Housing news]
     National Association of Education of Homeless Children & Youth [NAEHCY];
    • Youth Continuum + New Haven Graffiti Wall film project (New Haven, CT – 06/2014)
    • Burroughs Community Center (Bridgeport, CT – 06/2014)
     New Haven Rising & YCL/New Elm City Dream (New Haven, CT 2014 – Present)
    • The People’s Center [Free 2 Spit/Poetry Slam/street march performances][Yale Daily news]
    • CPUSA’s 30th National Convention (Chicago, IL – 06/15/2014)
     Vertical Church (West Haven, CT)/Church On The Rock (New Haven, CT – 2014)
     Sam Ash (New Haven, CT) Lyric Hall (New Haven, CT) Stella Blues (New Haven, CT)

    Additional Music Skills:
    • Improved vocalist & semi experienced in standard piano/keyboard lessons
    • Audio Engineering (FL Studio 10, BTV Solo & The Akai Professional MPK Mini Keyboard)
    • Completed over 40+ songs (self-written) & co-songwriter/Have great connections
    • Drummer at Liberty Christian Center (New Haven, CT) [06/2015 – 01/2016]

    DJ Prime Priority One Sounds (203) 507-1690
    Jay Klemundt United Way (860) 882-3849
    Patricia Julianelle NAEHCY (202) 436-9087

    Certificates & Awards:
    • Concepts for Adaptive Learning Certificate of Completion 11/18/2015
    • 123 Breakout Youth Speaker (2015) Certificate of Excellence 11/03/2015
    • Church On The Rock XL Youth Ministry Excellence Award 06/17/2015
    • Connecticut YCL USA New Members/New Leader’s Day Award 06/14/2015

  18. Great blessings upon eveyone always

  19. Anyone can drop off a Demo at a Publishing House

    or a Leading Recording Company, So simply that's

    all a so called Pitching Agent will do to cover his

    arse in most cases thats all he or her will do so

    unless you are a brilliant writer you are wasting

    your money

    Trouble is 99.9 per cent think they are ready and

    the truth is they haven't even begun