Artist credits – How to credit the other people in your music

It’s not always just you or your band on a record. When there are extra people involved you need to credit them and this guide will show you the ‘Who’ and the ‘How’.

Collaboration is a core part of what makes a lot of music so great. If band members didn’t come together they wouldn’t create their sound. If producers and rappers didn’t work together you’d have songs with bones but no meat.

Of course, unless you are in a band together then people often won’t know when someone else have involved, or at least who else. When you upload your music it’s important to know how to credit the people involved so that everyone involved in the magic is correctly acknowledged.

Here are all of the credits you should know and understand:

Primary Artist

The Primary Artist is the main artist or group behind the track. So if you’re a producer releasing your own production, you are the Primary Artist. Likewise if you are in a band, or are a singer-songwriter, or is the main artist or entity behind the music.

Primary Artists must be listed first, before any other artist. They must also be credited in both the track and release metadata. Any listing of the Primary Artist must be identical, including spelling and capitalisation.

There can be more than one Primary Artist. In the cases of a collaboration, for example 2 producers working on the same track where neither is the main artist over the other, then you must list both/all primary artists in separate columns.

Any primary artist credited in the artwork must be credited in the release metadata.

Featuring Artist

This is used any time you get another artist to feature on your track.

When you have a featuring artist credited on a track you also need to credit them in the track title, like so:

Your Track Name (feat. Artist Name)

The ‘feat.’ needs to be left without a capital letter and must have a period after it. Then list the artist name after as usual.

Featuring artists are usually for a small role such as featuring on a verse, singing the chorus, or contributing the music.

If there is more than one artist featured then use an ampersand – this thing: ‘&’ – to separate them. If there are more than 2 featuring artists then separate them all with a comma except the last 2 which should be separated by an ampersand. For example:

Your Track Name (feat. First Artist & Second Artist)
Your Track Name (feat. First Artist, Second Artist & Third Artist)

You can not list the same artist as Primary Artists as well as featuring.

If you are releasing your track as a single then the featuring artist will need to be credited the same in the release title as the track title. They must also be included in the release title if they are on every track in the release.

With Artist

‘With’ Artist credits are very similar to Featuring Artists and they also must be credited in the track title. However, a ‘with’ often implies that the artist has an equal share or role in the music.

A ‘with’ artist credit must be in the track title as well. However, it doesn’t need capitilisation or a period like featuring artists do. So they look like this:

Your Track Name (with Artist Name)

If a track contains both ‘with’ and ‘featuring’ artists then the featuring role must always come first. For example:

Your Track Name (feat. First Artist) [with Second Artist]

As with Featuring Artist releases, you must credit ‘with’ artists in the release title as well as the track title if they feature on all tracks in a release or if it is a single.

Remixer

If you’re uploading a remix version of one of your tracks then you need to credit the remixer on your track. As with Featuring and With Artists remixers will also need to be credited in the track title.

The original artist whose track has been remixed must be credited as Primary Artist still.

The remixer must also be credited in the track title with a capital letter like this:

Your Track Name (Artist Name Remix)

Remixers must also be credited in the release title if it’s a single or if they remix every track on the release.

Producer

Producers are simple. If your track has a producer then they need to be listed in the metadata and formatted with capitals in their name as usual.

You can not credit producers anywhere in the track or release titles. Producers must be credited in the metadata only.

Composer

For classical music releases the Composer must be listed where applicable. The only time the original composer would not be credited is if there is no documented composer for the piece anywhere.

Composers must be credited in the artist role metadata in full. Here’s an example using one of history’s most notorious composers:

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ✔
  • Mozart ✖
  • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus ✖

Composers must also be credited in the C Line with the same formatting as above. The year of the composition must also be listed, or in the case of multiple compositions then the earliest composition year must be listed.

Performer

A performer credit is for someone, often a singer, who has performed on the track.

This is often used in the case of jazz arrangements where the band performers are credited. Live performances also often feature performers who should be credited.

DJ

If there is a mix on your release then you will need to credit the DJ. If it is not your own content that is being mixed then remember that you must have copyright permissions for all music used in the mix.

Albums with a collection of tracks mixed together or compiled by a single DJ or artist must credit the DJ on album as well as the tracks. They must also be listed as the Primary Artist.

Conductor

This most often applies to the conductor of the orchestra that has been recorded for a track. They must be the conductor present for the version of the recording that is being uploaded.

That’s not to say Conductor couldn’t be used outside of an orchestra piece, but it’s rare that you’ll have some conducting a hip hop beat or a guitar band.

Lyricist

Would you believe it, this is where you credit the person who wrote the lyrics if it wasn’t the Primary Artist themselves.

Arranger

The Arranger is the person who has helped to structure the song or composition. This most often applies to classical pieces, though if someone helped you arrange your track and you want to credit them; this is how!

Orchestra

This is where you list the name of an orchestra if there was one that played on a track.

If the track is just a piece played by an orchestra, rather than an orchestra playing on a track, then we recommend you list them as the primary artist in that case.

Actor

In the case of a voice actor providing narration or spoken word on your track, you must credit them as ‘Actor’.


And that’s all you need to know to make sure all the people who helped your music become what it is get credited correctly!

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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