Tag: session musician


Case Study: Background Vocalist

Posted on 24th February, by Chhaya Kapadia in Financial Case Studies, Participant Data. 2 Comments

This financial case study shows the income and expenses from a full-time Background Vocalist who performs regularly as a background singer on network TV, live on tour, and on recordings. She also writes songs and performs and records her own music as a solo artist, and produces records for herself and others.

This artist is part of the regular “music crew” – as a background vocalist – on a live network television program with a house band, appearing on 34 episodes over four seasons. She also tours regularly as a background vocalist for several different featured artists, with performances at concert halls, theaters, opera houses, resorts, and festivals. She has also performed on over 50 recordings as a background vocalist for more than 30 different artists.

This case study gives us a glimpse at the world of a background singer who is both paid for her original work, and is also the recipient of “mailbox” money, or residuals from TV and film appearances and royalties from studio recordings. It also underscores the importance of unions in negotiating fees and administering TV/film residuals and recording royalties.


Money from Music: Where We Live

Posted on 11th September, by Jean Cook in What We're Learning. 1 Comment

How does location impact musicians and composers? Do ‘music cities’ – loosely defined as places where there is a higher concentration of commercial record labels, studios, publishers, or other important commercial industry players – such as Los Angeles, Nashville, or New York offer greater opportunities for artists?

While the over 5,300 respondents of the Money from Music survey lived in all 50 states and also outside the USA, approximately 11% of respondents reported living in the metro areas of Nashville, New York City, or Los Angeles – all cities that have a higher concentration of creative workers [Note 1] compared to the national average.

What is so special about these cities? Do opportunities attributed to location favor artists who play certain roles or are at a certain point in their careers? With the internet making it easy to communicate directly with … Read More »