Currently, my life is still full of songwriting and shopping my demos. The following topic is an ongoing debate for me. Should the demo version of a song be the perfect demo or is it ok if it still needs a bit of work?
It’s A Demo!
Personally, I agree that ideally the demo should be as detailed and close to perfect as possible. However, most of the time you’re just creating for the sake of creating. It’s not known from the start who you’ll offer the song to later. Any other artists will make their own mark on the track with their own interpretation, so there’s no harm allowing room for this.
However, even if the recording is crap or the production is not fully finished, I believe quality will always show. There are great stories about great songs where the demos they were discovered on were terrible. After all, it’s a demo!
Recently, while looking for inspiration, I “YouTubed” miss Ester Dean. I ran into her demos for Rihanna.
A lot of A&R’s request the song to be submitted as SoundCloud links, rather then receiving files. So, there are countless demo versions of countless hit songs floating around for you to find.
Ester Dean’s demo songs sound a lot like the finished product. However, even she leaves room for the artist to make it their own. Just listen to her version of “Rude Boy”:
How Many People Does It Take To Write A Song?
I’m sure you’ve seen people share these images on social media where they reveal that classic hits were written by 2 writers (like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. However, in today’s music business it suddenly takes about 6 to 8 people to write hits for Beyonce or Justin Bieber.
Despite there hardly being any changed between Ryan Tedder’s demo for Beyonce’s “Halo”. The credit did change: Her name was added.
In today’s situation, earnings from other areas of the music business are challenged. However, music rights are a great pawn in the game. There’s good money to be made when you are credited and so everybody wants in on it.