What’s A Songwriter Split Sheet? Not Having One Can Cost You Big Time
The creative process can sometimes take place within a group of artist or musicians. It’s very common to be in a situation where you have some folks working on the beats/music, and others working on the lyrics. Other times, people get together during a studio session and create music/songs with such a vibe one just cannot deny. When it’s all said and done, and you’re listening to the next hot song, the big question lies. Who was responsible for what portions of the song? When creative collaboration comes about, a songwriter split sheet can help to determine everyone’s fair songwriting share.
What’s Your Split
Split Sheets are a basic music industry document used to show the percentages (or splits) for each writer (lyrics/music) on a collaborated song. For example, if you’re a rapper working with a producer, the song would basically be split 50/50. 50% for you writing the rap lyrics and the producer would get 50% for writing the music/doing the beat. Now if you’re part of a group or band, the percentages would need to be divided amongst the participants based on their agreed contributions. It’s always smart to have these conversations and sign off on split sheets prior to the release of any music, to prevent future liability if someone disagrees or forgets what they contributed during a session. There’s nothing worse than being threatened of legal action over splits for a song.
Update Your Contact Info
If you’re part of a label, Performance Rights Organization like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC, (These companies collect and distribute royalties), or if you split publishing with anyone else, it’s important to clearly list them as well on your split sheet. You also want to include contact info, which most times can include tax identification/social security numbers, and date of birth. Most importantly don’t forget to sign the split sheet to make sure to get the necessary copies for your records.
As odd as it may be to talk about song splits during a great creative session, it’s better to have the conversations early on, and prevent any issues in the future. Songs can be released years after they’re completed and you want to make sure that if you’re entitled to the earnings from a song, that you’re compensated for your contribution.
Jugrnaut is part of production duo Arkatech Beatz (formerly known as The Infinite Arkatechz). Arkatech Beatz is a Grammy nominated hip-hop production team from New York now based in Atlanta. They were affiliated with Loud Records/ Sony Music Entertainment as A&R’s and have produced for artists such as Big Pun, Nas, Raekwon, Jadakiss, The Game, Waka Flocka Flame, Lil Scrappy, Killer Mike, Shawty Lo, Mýa, Alley Boy, Max B and others. The team consists of Jugrnaut & Mike “Trauma” D .