What Is Feat In Music? (Explained)

What Is Feat In Music? (Explained)
Written by Corey Morgan

What Is “Feat” In Music?

The use of the term “feat” or “featured” to indicate the presence of multiple artists in a single work of music is standard practice in the music industry. The first performer is the song’s primary artist, while the second is a special guest appearance.

The term “featuring” can be loosely translated to imply “with assistance from” or “with the cooperation of.” The first musician on the list is the featured act. A “ft” or “feat” signifies a guest appearance by another artist. This indicates that the featured artist does not take centre stage but may have provided vocals or written lyrics for the song.

For example; Eminem ft Sia – Guts over fear.

When a new singer performs an old song in a new version, and the original performer may or may not be present on the recording, the term “featured” may also be used.

This grouping was established by the music industry so that a well-known performer might feature a lesser-known artist in an upcoming song. Therefore, the new artist becomes linked to the established one, and receives the established one’s level of attention and popularity as a result.

Featuring upcoming artists is most common in the music industry in a bid to promote their popularity and gain a wide fanbase.

An even more glaring example of this is when a song’s title includes the words “presents” or “introducing,” suggesting that a previously unknown musician is being featured in the track.

Why Do Musicians Feature Other Artists?

  • Having guest performers on your album might boost your profile. Picture this as a well-known musician listening to a new song by a lesser-known performer and deciding to give him a chance.
  • Featuring other guest artists brings about diversity. As every artist has their own style, collaborating with another performer incorporates new and creative styles to add to the beauty of your music.
  • Featuring guest appearances also helps artists to compliment each other. For example, if a rap artist wants a catchy chorus or hooks for his song, he will almost certainly hire a vocalist.

Factors To Consider In Featuring An Artist In Your Song

As a promotional strategy, features can help you gain new audiences, strengthen ties to the featured artist, gain exposure through the featured artist’s established platform, and unlock doors that would have remained closed without the feature.

In addition to satisfying consumers’ needs, features allow businesses to break into new markets. This has led to international partnerships, with prominent artists from different countries contributing their talents.

The following paragraphs elaborate on key points to keep in mind while negotiating a feature artist agreement.

  • Fee

Money is vital to the success of the music industry. In most cases, the artist who wants to feature another artist will have to pay a fee. This fee can be structured in a number of different ways, such as a flat rate, a combination of an upfront payment and ongoing royalties, or purely as ongoing royalties.

Before starting the production of the song, it is essential to address and agree upon the proposed fee structure. This will help the headliner figure out what it will take financially to secure the artist’s appearance.

When the cost of a project exceeds the initial estimate or when the artist determines that the feature is not financially viable, it is preferable to abandon it.

  • Rights

You need to think about what rights the featured artist is giving or providing you. It is in everyone’s best interest to have the supporting actor assign his or her copyright in the recording to the lead actor.

Through this task, you will be able to decide how the song is used commercially, performed, and otherwise exploited. If you do not have the rights assigned, you might have trouble making money off of them.

  • Split Sheet

This is a contract establishing who owns the rights to the song’s musical composition. Keep in mind that there are actually two copyrights associated with a song: the recording and the actual song itself.

Lyrics and musical accompaniment (rhythm, instruments, etc.) are considered part of the composition. The ownership of the song is laid forth in the split sheet agreement. It accurately portrays the efforts of everyone involved, from the artists to the producers and songwriters.

Each featured artist is entitled to a share of the song’s ownership based on his or her involvement in its creation. In either case, having a written agreement in place prior to or soon after the creation of the music is recommended.

  • Promotional Services

It was already mentioned that one of the pluses of collaborations is the opportunity to tap into the audience of the featured artist. Therefore, it is crucial to get the featuring artist invested in the song’s release and promotion.

Even if the featured artist was brought in to help the main artist break into uncharted territory, the song’s impact could be diminished if the featured artist did not actively promote and direct his audience to the song. Services and activities for promotion may include, but are not limited to, live concerts, interviews, and TV appearances.

  • Video Recording

This is essential if the musician plans to share a video accompaniment to the song. In the absence of any specific language to the contrary, a featured artist may refuse to appear in the music video or may want more compensation if they do so.

Rather than making assumptions, it is preferable to incorporate this information in the contract and resolve any questions or concerns about it upfront. Instead of having disagreements after the song has already been made, promoted, and released, they can be resolved before the project ever begins.

The foregoing is a summary of major concerns that the parties should examine to enable seamless collaboration between both parties, however, there are other things to consider (such as warranties that the feature artist’s contribution is not infringing on anyone’s right, an indemnity agreement, etc.).

The applicable law, jurisdiction, proper attribution to the featured artist, financial statements, audits, etc., should also be taken into mind.