As artists, we often find songs that we enjoy, and that we want to put our own spin on. Making a cover version of another’s song is fairly common and can be a fun creative process.
Some artists are exclusively cover artists, some do a mix of covers and originals, and some prefer to do only original music.
If you are thinking about doing a cover song, here are some of our top tips:
1. Make it your own – Put your own spin on the song. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the original. What do you like most about the song? How does the song bring out what you do best?
2. Check legal rights – Check the legal rights required to record and release a song composed by someone else. The rights may be different for different territories, and on different platforms, so make sure that what you are doing constitutes fair use, or you have permission.
3. Find your niche – If you’re doing many covers, think of how you can artistically tie them together. Is Carnatic versions of pop songs your thing? Do you like mood covers? Consistency is important, especially as an artist, so think of ways to connect all your covers together.
4. Find the right formats for where you want to share – Whether you are looking at audio only or audio and video, different platforms have different formats. Instagram works better with vertical video formats, while Youtube is optimized for horizontal formats. Spotify and Apple are great for audio only releases. Try to get your music out to as many places as possible.
5. Tag the original artists and composer – Artists are always happy to know they’ve inspired other performances, so always make sure you tag the original artist and composer. If they like your version, they may even share it, and you may find new audiences!