…and why you shouldn’t ignore them!
Making your mark with a cover song can be a sure fire way to get attention and make a name for yourself.
Cover songs drive success.
There have been some amazing cover versions over the years which have gone onto become bigger than the originals. Think of Whitney Houston covering Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” Think of The Beatles putting their own spin on the Isley Brothers “Twist and Shout.” And, more recently, think of Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse turning “Valerie” by the Zutons into a modern classic.
Create an immediate connection to your audience.
A well-chosen cover song can help you reach a new audience helping you with your music marketing and and also show off your skills and music knowledge in a different way. When you’re starting out, people won’t know your nam. But, they’ll know the band or the track title that you’re covering. They give the listener an immediate connection as they’ll know the original. Also, it lets the cover artist put their own musical spin on the track either with new melodies, new lyrics or even just simply covering the track in a totally different style.
Attracting new listeners.
And, when people search in Spotify, Anghami, Apple Music, Youtube and more for the original track, your cover song will appear in the search results. Those sites are swamped with millions and possibly even billions of songs. So, recording a cover song is a neat way of getting that all-important edge to your music and attracting a new audience which could make a huge difference.
Essentially, there are three ways to pick a cover song…
#1 Go topical.
Pick a current chart topper and put your own spin on that. This could be something big in the charts. I could be something that’s recently gone viral or a track you want to cover from your own genre of music.
#2 Go back in time and pick a track that’s been long-lost or forgotten.
You could cover a long-lost jazz track. You can delve through the Beatles’ back catalogue for a lesser-known hit. Or, maybe indulge your inner 80s geek and rework a barely-heard 80s pop hit into a modern day wonder.
#3 Put your own indelible twist on the track.
A great example is when Jonny Cash covered ‘Personal Jesus’ by Depeche Mode, a brilliant flipping of the script.
Other tips include…
Try not to go too obscure. It’s all well and good wanting to raise your profile with a cover song. However, if you’re covering a Peruvian pop song that flopped in 1987, then you’re probably not doing yourself any favours.
Don’t overdo the covers. One, maybe two well-picked covers can make a big difference. They can help you reach a new audience and act as vital music promotion and PR. But, you don’t want to be pigeon-holed as ‘just’ a covers band. The covers should ideally compliment your own body of work.
Hone your cover in the live arena. Practise, practise, practise until it’s perfect and it stands up to the original and then release it.
Please check out the Ma’ana Music website for lots more FREE tips and resources to better your music career