NARIP Panel: Mock Negotiation and ABCs of a Music Producer Deal 

NARIP Panel: Mock Negotiation and ABCs of a Music Producer Deal 


This program is a recording of NARIP’s panel with producer-manager Rico Brooks, music & entertainment attorney David Prasse, producer-label owner Tanner Hendon.


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Photo (L-R): Sean McPherson, NARIP Atlanta Co-Executive Director & Panel Moderator, Primary Talent Buyer at Smith’s Olde Bar, Favorite Son Artist Management; Tanner Hendon, Producer and Founder, Madison Records; music & entertainment attorney David W. Prasse, Esq.; Adella Thomas Management CEO Rico Brooks


This audio program is a recording of NARIP’s panel discussion with top experts producer-manager Rico Brooks, music and entertainment attorney David Prasse, Esq. and producer-label owner Tanner Hendon. They discuss key areas of a music producer agreement and negotiate a deal LIVE.  In this program they give you the inside track on major deal points, what they mean and what leverage you have to negotiate the best possible deal. Most importantly, you will hear HOW a producer deal is negotiated and hear the process.

Topics Discussed:

  • Logistics: Where song is recorded, artist approvals, producer deliverables.
  • Master Recording: Who will own and control it?  What does this include?  Exclusive rights to manufacture, distribute and issue master use licenses.
  • Splits: Is producer also a songwriter?  What percentage, if any, is producer entitled to of the song’s copyright?
  • Fees:How, what and when will producer be paid?  Up-front and back-end compensation.
  • Credit: What specific credit will producer receive?
  • General Clauses, Terms & Options: Original work, indemnification and more.

Also to be discussed:

  • Producer advance vs. recording fund. Did you know it all comes out of the artist’s recording fund? Producer royalty.  Did you know it all comes out of the artist’s royalty?
  • Recoupment
  • Controlled Composition Clause: what you need to know if your producer is also your co-writer. What does the artist’s recording agreement say?  This affects the producer’s royalty, royalty accountings, mechanical royalties, CD reductions, “fake” free goods and much more.
  • Assignment
  • Learn what to ask for and what to avoid in your next deal

This program includes two optional PDF documents, these include:

Document #1: 12-page sample music producer form agreement (PDF)

Document #2:

  • Fact pattern for music producer deal mock negotiation
  • Important deal points to be negotiated
  • Tanner’s Top Producing Tips
  • Rico Brooks’ Top 5 Tips on Building a Career as a Music Producer
  • David W. Prasse’s Producer Agreement Notes
  • Hot Button Issues For Producer / Artist Agreements
  • Negotiating a Music Producer Agreement: 7 Key Issues

PROGRAM DATE: May 15, 2019 in Atlanta
PROGRAM TIME: 1 hour, 55 minutes, 58 seconds (1:55:58)
QUESTIONS? Call 818-769-7007 or contact NARIP


Rico Brooks As CEO of Adella Thomas Management, Rico Brooks, he oversees the music careers of some of the most notable names in the industry including platinum-selling producer Sonny Digital, international producers Bobby Johnson and iBeatz as well as hit-makers B Wheezy Beatz, D. Rich, Fukk12, duo Ro & Smoke, XL, Chase Millie songwriter/producer Tasha Catour.  Brooks got his start in music as a sales associate of Peppermint Music and his start in management helping to shape the careers of various Hip-hop artists as a manager, then President of Block Entertainment.  With plans on developing a career in Movie Production, Branding and Strategic Marketing, the future holds limitless opportunities for this respected entrepreneur.


Tanner Hendon Tanner Hendon is an Atlanta native musician, producer, and owner and founder of Atlanta based record label – Madison Records. From an early age, Tanner was drawn to music. After teaching himself to play drums, bass, guitar, and keys, he began to play with artists in the Atlanta music scene, as well as record original music in his home studio. He later formed his own band in which he played drums, and by the time he was 17 he had toured the country several times over, opening for acts such as Velvet Revolver, Tantric, Rehab, and more. In 2011, he acquired a studio in Chamblee, GA formerly known as Exocet Studios. Around that same time, the world famous Southern Tracks Studios, located in Atlanta was closing down. After a world wide hunt for a mixing console, Tanner ended up buying the SSL console from Southern Tracks on which super producer Brendan O’Brien recorded so many famous albums (Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Train, and many more). With the new studio complete, Tanner began to produce artists which eventually led to launching his label – Madison Records. Madison Records has a very diverse roster of artists including Atlanta’s own Chelsea Shag, as well as Tony Lewis from the famous 80s group The Outfield, who had their mega-hit “Your Love”. In addition to producing and running the label, Tanner continues to tour and play live shows with his band Like Machines, as well as filling in on drums for artists such as Paul Rodgers (Bad Company), Night Ranger, Magnets & Ghosts, Collective Soul, and more. Tanner and his family are also part owners of one of Atlanta’s staple venues Smith’s Olde Bar, and are strong supporters of The Recording Academy and Georgia Music Partners.

David Prasse, Esq. David W. Prasse is an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, representing music and creative clients, including several nationally recognized artists, producers, managers, labels, publishing companies, web companies, music and television industry executives, music venues and a high end boutique car company. He received his law degree from Georgia State University and his undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia.  He has been a guest speaker and taught publishing and music business classes at Georgia State University. He has spoken on panels at SXSW, The Atlantis Music Conference, Athfest and continuing legal education seminars for attorneys.  During undergrad he was a talent buyer for UGA, booking shows with attendances between 350 to over 14,000. After college he managed bands on independent and major labels. He worked for a Sony label during law school and spent a couple of years working for a boutique entertainment law firm in Atlanta before starting his own practice in 1999. In 2007 he started an independent rock label, Slush Fund, with an old friend in New York.



Sean McPherson, NARIP Atlanta Co-Executive Director and Panel Moderator, Primary Talent Buyer at Smith’s Olde Bar, Favorite Son Artist Management

Sean Mcpherson is a record producer, artist manager, concert promoter and talent buyer. He started in the music business at Chicago Trax Recording Studios owned by Reid Hyams and Al Jorgensen of Ministry. After graduating he worked in NYC at Battery (Zomba) and Chung King Studios, working with such artists as Faith Hill, David Bowie and Sixpence None the Richer. He then took a job at Parkview Recording with legendary house producer Lenny Fontana and mixed records for Crystal Waters, Byron Stingley and C&C Music Factory. He joined a band called Zerochance which brought him to Atlanta. Zerochance signed to Red Carpet Music in 2005 and has shared the Stage with Sheryl Crow, The Calling, Uncle Cracker, Stroke 9, Cheyenne Kimball, Ashley Simpson and others. In the past 10 years Sean founded and operated East Atlanta Recording and is now assistant talent buyer at Smiths Olde Bar where he has booked acts such as Drivin ‘N’ Cryin, Matt Nathanson, and Shovels and Rope. Sean manages 3 groups for Favorite Son Artist Mgmt (The Head, The Judies, and Blackfoot Gypsies). His productions have been released by Universal, Brash Records and Slushfund Recordings. He co-produced several songs with Jody Stephens from Big Star and Mitch Easter (REM, Pavement, Ben Folds).

Special thanks Chris Fragale for hosting this event at Atlanta Institute of Music & Media.

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