What are the requirements for selecting Artist Roles?

In a release, there are several roles that can be assigned according to the function that every person, organization, or ensemble has executed during its development:

Primary Artist. The name(s) of the principal artist(s) or band(s) who participate in the release. This is the only role strictly mandatory in every release. 

Using “Various Artists” as Primary Artist. When a release includes four or more Primary Artists, the Primary Artist at the album level should be marked as “Various Artists”. However, each artist must always be independently identified on their respective tracks. The translation of "Various Artists" is accepted, but only if it is consistent with the language of the content. 

    • When not to use “Various Artists”. It should never be used when a release has less than four primary artists; it cannot be used either at the track level or to group several featuring artists. This tag can not be used at the track level and can not be combined with other primary artists’ names. It is generally preferable to avoid the use of too many primary artists’ names at this level. Variations or abbreviations of “Various Artists” (i.e.: “V/A”, “VA”, “Various”, “Various Artist”) must be avoided. Please, do not confuse the role with “performer” or “featuring artist”.

Performer. The singer(s) and/or the instrumentalist(s) who have participated in the recording of the release of each track. This role should be assigned to the people who interpret the music heard on each track or in the entire release. Instruments per se should never be mentioned in the metadata. Nevertheless, in jazz and classical releases, the performers can be named with their respective instruments on the cover art.

Producer. This is the person that manages the sound recording. Frequently can be the person who leads to achieving the main concept for the production. This role can be displayed on the cover art as long as it is justified all along with the release.

Remixer. This is the role to be assigned to the person who re-edits or adds new elements to a pre-existing recording. Its use demands that the term "Remix" is used in the version field at the track and/or album level - depending on if it is a one-track single or not. If the remixer is known, the name must be included in the version field along with the expression “Remix” (i.e.: “Flume Remix”). Please note that a remixer is not the same as the mixer of an album; in case the mixer or sound engineer must be included as a producer instead.

Composer. This role should be assigned to the people who have composed the music on the track or the album. In regular releases it can only be used at the track level, when the release is a single, the role must be reflected at the track and album level. Since every time more channels are requesting this role as mandatory for distributing content to their platforms we recommend adding it as much as possible.

Lyricist. The people who have made the lyrics of the track.

  • When to use the “Lyricist” role. As we said with composers, it is highly advisable to use it whenever possible since every time more channels are requesting this role as mandatory for publishing content - especially when the song is based on a literary text. In those cases, it should be assigned to the original writer of the latter.

  • When not to use the “Lyricist” role. If the song has no actual spoken words - that means instrumental tracks or with voices that sing no words. In those cases, the track must be marked as “no linguistic content” in the language field.

Publisher. This role should be assigned to the entity that owns all distribution rights of the release. 

Featuring. The artists who accompany the primary artist in the release. Both primaries and featuring artists compose the “Display artists”, which are the main highlighted roles at a track level.

    • Attributions. The use of this role does not imply that the featuring artist has participated as a composer, which means that its competence develops at a secondary level.

    • Conditionals. If the featuring artists appear in the cover art, they must figure at the album level. If it is single, it should be at the album and track level. The featuring artist, if displayed on the cover art, must always be accompanying the primary artist.

    • Album conditional. If there are featured artists at the album level, they must be reflected on each track. In the case of being more than one featuring artist at the album level, each featuring artist must appear in the corresponding track instead of appearing at the album level.

With. This role has the same value as the featuring artist role. In this way, either of the roles can be chosen to go along with the primary artist. 

    • When not to use the “With” role. In popular music (non-classical), this role can not be used to add the music band of the primary artist who accompanies the recording of the release. E.g. “Glenn Miller with His Big Band”. 

 

 

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