FAQ - Can a performing rights organization shop my music around to record labels and publishers?

We don’t shop deals for affiliates as a general practice, but if we hear something that is extraordinary, we certainly make our friends in the A&R community aware of the artist.

- J.W. Johnson, Artist Relations Executive & Songwriter101 Faculty Member

Member Comments

Posted by babatunde raimi-lawal on 2004-12-06 at 7:52:07 pm

i want to ask a question, i don’t know how you would feel about it,but pls, just give me any information that u can about it.
if i write lyrics for a song can u guys give the lyrics to pepole who can make it into a song and give to artist for recording.pls i really, really want to know.
my name is babatunde raimi-lawal
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by Jimi Heath on 2004-12-07 at 5:19:28 pm

I can answer that.  The answer is, NOPE.  It’s YOUR job as a lyricist to find a cowriter.

Posted by david parker on 2005-01-04 at 11:59:28 pm

yes i was wondering the same thing as far as would a performing rights organization shop my music around to record labels and publishers… but my real question is… i recently filled out my application with BMI and nowhere on the application did it ask for an accompanying cd or website to listen to my music… does the music itself not affect being accepted by BMI… or did i overlook something in the application?

Posted by LaJohn "Smooth D." Manoy on 2005-01-10 at 9:14:49 pm

You do not have to send in your music in order to be accepted to BMI. They take you’re word that you have a work that is being publically performed as in it is on a cd or you have it on a website for people to listen to it - they just dont require you to send anything in.  To my knowledge it is very unlikely they will shop your music around for you - they do have showcases and can refer to seminars/conferences that you may have access to making contacts. ASCAP is more stringent with their approval process and may require you to send in something plus you have fees as a writer and/or publisher whereas BMI does not for writers and just a one-time fee of $150 to become a publisher.

Posted by DeCarlo Frierson on 2005-01-12 at 1:00:34 am

Good evening to all who view this submission. I am a Singer/ Songwriter and would like to know how I can get a Songwriter’s Publishing Deal…This is the question that has been looming over me…I am currently in the process of looking for Producers and I have submitted my works to the Library of Congress for Copyrights’ purposes, but in the meantime, before I can hammer out a deal with a record company…How Can I Score A Deal As A Songwriter?

By the Way…My name is DeCarlo and I have recently joined…Any responses would be helpful…THANKS…:)

Posted by david parker on 2005-01-14 at 7:28:51 am

that’s funny i had the same question… and also, what good if any would it do then, to be accepted by BMI if all i am is a songwriter with a product and no outside representation or publishing company?
or basically, what can you tell me should be my next step as a songwriter, after producing a “shop-able” or “sell-able” product…

Posted by david parker on 2005-01-14 at 7:28:57 am

that’s funny i had the same question… and also, what good if any would it do then, to be accepted by BMI if all i am is a songwriter with a product and no outside representation or publishing company?
or basically, what can you tell me should be my next step as a songwriter, after producing a “shop-able” or “sell-able” product…

Posted by DeCarlo Frierson on 2005-01-18 at 7:50:21 pm

David…Thanx for responding…I’m looking into my question right. I’m still doing research on this… I will keep you posted once I find out something new..


Posted by Nancy Lee Cunningham on 2005-01-29 at 9:25:34 pm

I am a songwriter and in the next few weeks, I will have three professionally produced demo CDs that I need to shop around. After copywriting, I believe my next step is to try and contact A&R people at various publishing companies. Can I expect to get through to these individuals and if I am successful, will they give me some kind of code for my shipment to them? Also, suppose they are interested—what happens then?I really need advice and would appreciate any help that you can give me. Thanks!


Posted by jehovahhendrickson on 2005-02-02 at 3:18:42 am

Dear JW Johnson, I wish You to remmeber That I am a Performing singer songwriter a solo recording artist that is in need of Qualified & valuable Representation.  My Style is said to Be Unique of Performers Like cat stevens, tom petty, bob dylan, and others.  I was awarded a Comdation award by the Musicians Institute in Hollywood and rollingstone magazine.  More recently I was welcomed to perform at the gibson venue and other Locations to play for people like elija wood of the lord of the rings, as well as other actors from th saints & soldiers film.  I am of very limited funds today i had to pawn my gibson les paul just to send a entry in for the Kauai contest what Can You do to Help?  thanks Jehovah

Posted by david parker on 2005-02-03 at 2:33:22 am

that’s kind of straying from the question a little isn’t it?

Posted by derrick j. hines on 2005-02-08 at 11:25:24 pm

New member here. I am a performing songwriter currently in a genre-melding rock band in Charlotte, NC. We have just had VH1 use sections of our material in a recent special: “The Secret Childhood of Michael Jackson”. This is the second time this has happened- the first was for “Childstar   Babylon”. My question is: What are some of the ways we can take advantage of this? We’ve had some major label interest (totally outside of the VH1 thing) but it’s mostly been fan based and not business based. Most have really enjoyed our stuff, but seem to feel as though we’d fit better in the UK market. This is all lovely, but I just don’t know what we have to do to convince an American company to take a chance on us.
Any suggestions?

Posted by derrick j. hines on 2005-02-08 at 11:28:26 pm

Oh, the name of the band is baleen.

Our attorney says to just keep plugging away, but we feel the need to do something extra- or at least try to seeing as how he has invested a lot of time into us, not to mention the fact that we’re all in love with this band.

Posted by LaSaun D. Forrest on 2005-02-09 at 1:21:08 am

Hi I am an aspiring recording gospel solo artist. I recently finished my demo CD and I have gotten the lyric and sound recording coypyrights done. I have the neccesary paperwork to register with BMI, Where do I go from here?  I would appreciate any guidance from this point on.

How do I find out what record companies are soliciting new artist, etc…. How do I find workshops to attend….for songwriters etc…?  I just need some good advice from this point, thanks.


Posted by Mauro Ramirez on 2005-02-23 at 11:39:37 pm

Hi, new member here. What exactly does a publishing company such as Warner/Chappell do?

Posted by Leonardo on 2005-03-13 at 5:41:01 pm

HI, I have someone offering his service as an administrator of my publishing. He is asking for 25%. Should I specifiy a fix period of time lenght for this contract?.
and what will happend it is expire, lets say 5 years. Does teh “administrator” still gets a percentage of everything I wrote during the time we had an agreement?

Posted by stephanie on 2005-03-15 at 10:30:25 pm

A friend and I just started our own publishing company and are accepting demos. Feel free to email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) As far as the administrator asking for 25%, I think that might be a little much but I’m not a lawyer. Usually when you have a term contract with someone, the material they had a hand in during the signed term still applies after the term.

Posted by MBarne4908 on 2016-04-11 at 3:13:14 pm

For those of you trying to get responses on these and more questions. You should remember that any career has many members of a team that do many different things.

“CO-WRITERS” and artists, abilities and political contacts you must have to even get into the game to begin with. The way to a career is most often co-writing as that is a way to get people more involved in the songs you are attempting to work. Having artists involved are a way to get actual movement on a song. Most artists now record only their own material. So teaming up with them is essential.

A PUBLISHER is a next step, but understand that they are besiged by people wanting publishers so they are very selective in who they even listen to in the first place. Working with people with existing publishing deals are the way into these situations. Publishers are the bridge between the labels, artists, producers. etc.
Nowaday the deals come AFTER the writer has done a lot more personal ground work and often don’t even come until someone has commercial activity. The big ones like Sony, Warner, EMI, are going to have the highest access but also the hardest to get into.
Smaller and independent publishers, might be a more realistic pathway, but those might not have the political muscle to get songs to the level they need to be.

PROs, like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC. are COLLECTION agencies that collect and monitor music and the commercial applications.

Producers, labels, have many guises, from the small mom and pop organizations to the major movers and shakers. But all are overwhelmed by the thousands and thousands of writers and millions of songs. You must have patience and do a lot of ground work to even get to the starting gate.

Finding groups, artists and writers in your own areas to interact with and build your relationships, writing, performing skills as well as your political skills are the first step. Everything is something you work up to. Read along to posts on this site. You will learn much. And if you ask your own questions you will get answers and help in your direction and journey.

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