Let’s talk about covers and remakes. Every listener of EDM recognizes melodies and lyrics from a song of the past. A bunch of radio hits are covers. Producers of every level can make them without trouble and the community’s opinions are divided. That raises questions. We’re wondering what the background is about this phenomenon. What are the rules? Why do producers make them? What do listeners think about them? You’ll understand much more about this subject after reading this article.
How to produce a fair cover according to the rules?
Every original song contains a lot of creative choices of the artist and is protected by copyrights. But not every part or element is protected. It’s quite impossible to check every song if there’s a protected sample processed. As a producer you need to ask permission from the copyright owner(s) to use a sample or vocal. This is not only a matter of decency and respect, it keeps you out of trouble. A good example is ‘Whenever’ by Kris Kross Amsterdam, The Boy Next Door and Conor Maynard. This group made the song and needed to wait for permission before they could release the song.
Covers vs. Remixes
Covers are similar to remixes, but the difference is very important. A producer creates a cover with a melody, chord or lyric from a well-known song and adds his own elements. The difference is that the producer doesn’t need to ask permission to the executive artist, but to the composer, lyricist and publisher. In most cases, these three parties all own 1/3 of the copyrights. Getting permission is much easier this way. Using the original vocals makes it more official, then it becomes a remix. If a cover sounds exactly like the original, you don’t need to expect permission. The composer, lyricist and publisher have all rights. So it’s important to give credits on Spotify!
It’s easy, but be aware
So yes, it’s quite easy to make a fair cover. Just be sure that you arranged everything. The artist who covers won’t earn that much from this creation and a lot of attention goes to the copyright owners. Sometimes people start making deals about splitting the copyrights because a new composition has been made. Besides that, a well-made cover mostly looks good on your Spotify.
Why do artists cover other artist’s songs?
Recreating tracks or being inspired by someone else’s song is a common thing in every corner of the music industry. Many fans keep saying that the original is way better than the cover or some nostalgic tracks are not allowed to be touched for a remake. In our opinion, the cover must be in line with the existing song.
Promoting your sound
Artists are creative people. They want to share their sound with the world in every way possible. No matter if it’s by accident or intention, sometimes you create a track which sounds similar to an existing one. It’s a very good opportunity to promote your sound and deliver music with a recognizable layer.
“A discography with more than 25% filled with covered songs is not credible.”Framed Network Music
Later on in a career, artists start developing a new taste of music. Their sound evolves even more when they get inspired by the sounds of the past. A lot of covers are made to show the fans what kind of song artists inspire them to make music. This is a great way to show respect to other artists who might have been an important part to their career. It also shows followers the music influence that made them the artist they are today.
Making covers could be a part of a strategy; for promotion and brand awareness. Imagine: you finished a few tracks and they’re ready to release. It could be useful to attract new listeners by posting a cover as a free download. Nothing wrong with that and pretty smart. But you don’t want to overdo it. Right?
Not the right way
In our opinion release strategies can be a bit tricky. It’s okay to release a few covers but don’t release an overload of recreated tracks. An observing listener hears a lot of music from the past in a different format. It seems like record labels and artists are claiming outdated copyrights of songs to use for themselves. Just one note: we’re outsiders, we don’t know all the details and we don’t speak about names. Just keep in mind to be real to yourself and your followers. For us, a discography with more than 25% filled with covered songs is not credible.
What are the thoughts of the community?
A fan’s voice is loud, but not one-sided. That is because people’s interpretation contains a lot of variety. We asked our fans about covers and remakes as well, thanks a lot for all comments!
“I think remakes are extremely valuable from an educational perspective!” – @redlinersmusic_
We totally agree with that! A producer of every level could learn about music made in past. We need to remember that a lot of genres and hit styles are inspired by historical music. Certain styles are evolving by the time.
“Generic Slap House covers and remixes are saturating the market so quickly… It’s not unique anymore.” – @ddreymusic
The paragraph about strategies and credibility we’ve written connects with this statement very well. Releasing covers is a thing at the moment and it’s part of an ongoing trend which we think won’t last long. To be honest the term Slap House is new for us, but we agree. If the instrumental productions are similar to each other, then the fun is over pretty fast. It seems like artists are exchanging formats and just put a different vocal on it.
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“It gives me a nostalgic feeling!” – @ritesh.baswal
It does, for sure! A nostalgic feeling could be described as a feeling of desire. Sometimes a song just needs to be revamped to tell the story much longer, like a legacy. This is also a part of respect.
“Covers and remakes have much more potential because of all new technologies!” – @ritesh.baswal
This is a really good one. Just imagine: what if all the EDM hits from 7-8 years ago would have been made today. We think that every song would sound different. Because of all new plugins and other possibilities of the present, the old classics are equipped with the next generation sounds.