A few months ago I made a post saying that most Artistes do covers the wrong way and I also said that it is possible to blow with cover of someone’s song. In this post I will share a few insights that will help your cover career lol.
This is a very technical and sensitive subject but I will try as much as possible not to bore you with too many details so I don’t steer up unnecessary argument on this post. As matter of fact in most platforms where this subject of song covers are discussed, there’s always varrying opinions. My focus basically on this post is to show you the right way to gain Influence with covers.
First of all, let me establish that there’s a world of difference between a Cover, a Remix and a Karaoke. I will explain a bit of the difference so you understand where you fall in.
A cover is a remake of a song done by another artiste. It often require a change in sound, genre, key, instrumentation but uses the original lyrics of the song. In some cases, there might be addition of new lyrics to the song but most importantly, it should reflect the original lyrics of the song. This is what a real cover is.
The purpose of creating the cover idea basically is to try to create a version of a song in other genre and style that can favorably compete with the original song and even get a viral appeal. In doing this, the original song is distorted, the genre of the original song is changed, the sound and instrumentation are also altered. This is the original idea of what a cover is.
Now if you truly want to gain Influence through a Cover of somebody’s song, this is how to do it. Listen the purpose of a cover is not just for you to show that you can sing the song better than the owner. I hear some of you say you want to do a cover, and you take the original song and sing exactly the same thing on the same beat and genre that the original was done. That’s called a Karaokee. It has no comercial relevance or value especially for an emerging Artiste
Why should a SINACH, HILLSONG, TU BABA etc give you attention if all you did as a cover of their song was just to repeat what they already did? Now I know a lot of big Artistes do covers exactly as the original song, they still get acknowledged by the owner but hey! They already got Influence and the reason for their cover is different from yours.
Question is why do you do those covers? If it is for Influence, then do it right. Follow the recommendations I gave. Covers done right can blow you. I have never seen a copy cat Karaokee cover blow an emerging Artistes before. But there are many hit songs in the world that were done as covers. Popular example is I’LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU by WHITHNEY HOUSTON, the song was a cover done in different genre and style. The original was done by Dolly Parton.
Have you imagined doing SINACH’S “WAY MAKER” on a Raggae beat and sound? Can you imagine taking a HillSong song and do it in a traditional African sound? That’s how to cover a song and gain Influence and also attract the attention of the original owner. You can actually get the original owner feature on your own version because of how well your version is.
Be Intentional, be strategic in your covers, covers can be a blessing to your career and ministry if you dare to do it right. Again it is important to note that you don’t just limit your cover to only songs that are popular, you can cover songs that are not popular and your version becomes a HIT. There are many examples of this. Mario Ese did this. Uptil now many of you still don’t know that Chris Shalom is the original owner of “YOU ARE THE REASON”. Mario Ese heard did song, it wasn’t popular and did a cover, his version Blow, now everyone accredit him as the owner of the song.
A good cover version can comfortably carry your name as the publisher without landing you a lawsuit if you commit to paying royalty to the original owner. This is why Forbes could refer to Michael Smith as the publisher of way maker. I actually think there’s no much difference in Michael Smith version though to earn him such honor. But basically if your cover has a different genre and style, you can put your name on it without necessarily acknowledging the owner on it as long as you pay royalty.
A Remix is different. In a Remix, you use sample from the original song, like a voice of the original singer, the original instrumentation and style etc. You may have a completely different lyrics or a mix of the original and your own lyrics. I hear some of you do song and have the original owners voice in the chorus and you call it Cover. No sir, that’s a Remix and Everytime you publish a Remix song, you must acknowledge the original owner.
Now when next you want to do a Cover, do it right because your version can even blow more than the original. Covers can gain you Influence fast because it’s already has an audience and market but it won’t be valuable if you simply do a copy of what the original owner did.
Amachree Ikijana Alex
Celebrity Music Coach
Music Content, Influence and Business Coach.