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How do you get another artist to appear on your record?

by | Apr 30, 2021 | Entertainment Law |

T.I. has done it. Ludacris has done. Janelle Monae has done it. Usher has done it, and Outkast has done it. With similar passions and talent along with drive, ambition and perseverance, all these recording artists with ties to Atlanta have succeeded. And along the way, they did not always do so alone.

During the years of their respective careers, these artists have done what many of their fellow rappers and singers have done. And that is to feature a guest recording artist on their recordings or served as a guest on another artist’s album. But one wonders how so many artists are able to accomplish this. Well, they take a series of steps, some of them social, but many of them on the legal spectrum.

Permission from record company

In perusing record labels and the charts, one consistently observes that many singles no longer are attributed to a single artist anymore. Just look at the charts offered from Billboard, iTunes, Shazam, SoundCloud and Spotify and you will see just how prevalent this practice is.

Artists want to work together. If their record companies cooperate, this is possible. Here are some of the steps to take when you want to have another artist appear on your record:

  • Talk to the other artist. Obviously, you get along and want to collaborate, but will it be realistic to do so? Consider possible obstacles related to record company interference.
  • Contact the artist’s record label in seeking permission. This represents a critical step, and there is no way around it.
  • Understand the significance of the “exclusivity” clause within a recording contract. Do not overlook this. A recording contract requires an artist to only record with his or her own record label, which has exclusive rights to that artist’s music. When an artist wants to appear on another’s record, he or she must negotiate a “sideman” provision.

When taking the proper legal steps, artists signed to different record labels may appear on each other’s albums. Simple steps begin the process, then expect some negotiations, so prepare to discuss the benefits of your project, how it may succeed and with the right marketing approach prove to be a financial bonanza.