The deals, they are a’changing.
A song is typically defined by its melody and lyrics. A producer is not entitled to a songwriting credit under this precedent, no matter how heavily involved they were in the composition itself or its arrangements.
Take George Martin, for instance. While the “fifth Beatle” is largely credited for shaping the band’s sound in the studio (see: the sorrowful strings in “Yesterday”), he’s not listed as a songwriter on any of their records. John Lennon and Paul McCartney share that spot due to their distinct role in writing melodies and lyrics.
Exceptions to this rule have existed for decades — from Phil Spector to Quincy Jones — but they’ve become more common in recent years, as the recording process has evolved and electronic producers have become a major part of pop music.
Benny Blanco is a perfect example. The award-winning producer has received a songwriting credit on many hit singles (Katy Perry, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran), drawing a clear parallel between his composition work and a record’s overall success rate.
This is why it is important for you and your producer to discuss and determine songwriting credits before you begin working on a project. It is also important that you keep track of songwriting credits on a split sheet to avoid potential conflicts in the future.
Interested in learning more? Check out or blog post: Producers, Placements & Publishing.
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