I love vocals. I do, and to me, it completely changes the vibe of the track. But, finding a good vocalist is a pain, especially if you’re on a budget. Therefore, I’ll give you a few tips on how to find vocalists based on royalty terms…
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. To find a good vocalist, you need to be willing to either spend money or time looking for a good one. There are a bunch of good well-paid vocalists, but there are also a bunch of vocalists that would be willing to do it for royalties as well, which is always a good solution for us producers. The best way to find the latter ones is by looking for cover songs on Youtube. Avoid covers with LOTS of plays and go for more of the ‘second-page’ covers since they tend to be more acceptive (I tend to look for unsigned and lower than 10k subs). Find their email on their about page, Instagram, or leave a comment asking for it, and bam!
2. It’s important to find a vocalist that suits your track. While House vocalists suit better with R&B, Soul, Blues covers (more ‘slapped’ and ‘soulful’ vocals), Trance/Future Bass/Melodic House vocalists tend to match better with acoustic/folk singers since they have more ‘ethereal’ vocals. Therefore, understand the kind of vocal you want FIRST, find a song that has the kind of vocal you want, and then look for covers of that song. Here’s an example of a ‘slapped’ vocal:
3. When approaching a potential vocalist for a collab, I recommend you to do the following: “Hello, how are you?”, “Two-line intro” to show your credits, a Streaming link of your song (finished, not necessarily mixed), a Spotify/youtube playlist of the kind of vocal you want for your track, and lastly whether you want lyrics and vocal or just vocal. This way, you can not only show them your track but also make them aware of what you’re expecting in terms of vocal.
4. After/if they answer you accepting your collab, which happens around 20-40% of the time, make sure to show your terms for the vocal collab. Deadlines, royalty splits (if they haven’t asked you already for an upfront payment), how you like to work, and a better way to communicate (normally via Whatsapp). Again, this way you avoid surprises in the future and make sure everyone is aligned from the beginning.
You can read the full workflow that I’ve been using to find amazing vocalists in this post that I’ve released in my past newsletters.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
Do you know what kind of vocals would suit your tracks? If not, listen to the following songs and try to understand the difference in the way the vocalists sings, how he/she pronounces the words, breathes, etc:
1. Halsey – Sorry: I like this song for trance songs since she sings softly, holding the last vowels (etherealness), but also pushing the vocal to higher tones (important for choruses);
2. Amy Winehouse – Stronger Than Me: I look for Amy’s covers for house music as the vocals are more soulful and ‘slapped’ (she doesn’t hold the vowels for too long as Halsey does).