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I have the same name as another singer-songwriter


emuhunter

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My name is Will Johnson, there's another guy who I think's WAAY cool that I hadn't heard of before I decided (for poops and giggles) to look myself up on iTunes.

I want to post my upcoming album on there, BUT I'm worried about how I'm going to steer people towards me and not this other guy. He's fantastic I think by the way, don't get me wrong. However he's more established as an artist, and is also in a similar genre to mine.

Any advice?

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If he is already established, you might not be able to use your name on your music. I'm not sure how it works with legal names, but that is how it works with business names. I would imagine it is simular... maybe add a Jr. or Sr. to the end of your name or something. It is up to you.

 

--Stefan

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The name I go by in everyday life is Tom Major.

 

Unfortunately (in at least some ways), David Bowie decided to use that name (I've heard it was old time slang for heroin) for one of the recurring characters in his songs.

 

I could live with that -- except that a bunch of people whose name isn't Tom Major decided to start calling themselves Major Tom -- and some of them are real jerks. (I crossed paths with a guy who called himself that at AOL when one of my friends sent an email to him thinking it was me; the guy went off on him, a total freakstorm, claimed he'd written 'the book' on AOL and he had pull and he'd get my buddy kicked off, etc, etc. A real nut job.)

 

Anyhow, on top of that, there were already a couple of Tom Major's, one bass player and the other a drummer, IIRC, one playing with Bo Diddley and the other playing with one of the Tonight Show bands.

 

So I decided to adopt my business name, TK Major, and that's been a lot better. (Except for some UNIX arcana, the "tk classes, major and minor" or somesuch. But I finally beat them out, for the most part, in Google. ;) Must tick off the *NIX guys. :D )

 

 

Consider a middle initial, just plain initials, or even a nickname.

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If he is already established, you might not be able to use your name on your music. I'm not sure how it works with legal names, but that is how it works with business names. I would imagine it is simular... maybe add a Jr. or Sr. to the end of your name or something. It is up to you.


--Stefan

 

 

I'm pretty sure you have a legal right to your own name. I remember hearing about a dude who's last name was Slaughter who reached the rank of Sargeant who was not able to sue Hasbro for the Sargeant Slaughter character, though.

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Do like Major Tom did. This is great excuse to come up with kickass stage name.

 

Maybe do that thing when people move the words in their name around to spell something different. What's that called again?

 

W I L L J O H N S O N

 

John Willson

 

J. Winn Lowhills

 

Jonn Sowhill

 

Jo W. Hollison

 

Jon Winsllow

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I say change your name. Not legally or anything. (I'm sure a lot of people would be happy to have a name like Will Johnson--short, easy to pronounce, a bit less of a target for potential ridicule than some other names). But for your musical endeavors, you'd probably benefit from something that's more unique. That guy you mentioned probably isn't the only one besides you named Will Johnson. It's a very common name. I'm guessing there are probably many other musicians, producers, or songwriters out there who you could be mistaken for. Better to pick another name, (doesn't have to be radically different from your real one) then do a google search for it, and if no one pops up (or if a few people pop up that have nothing to do with your field), then it's yours to keep.

 

Funny David Bowie got mentioned here, because he's a perfect example of what we're talking about. His real name is David Jones, but he changed it to Bowie, because he didn't want to be confused with that guy from the Monkees. So performers do this sort of thing all the time.

 

I've been fortunate enough to have been given a name that although not exceptionally unique, I've met no one in my life who shares it, and I'm pretty much the only one who pops up in Google when I've done a search (so far). So I think I've lucked out in that respect. Although I think it would be sort of fun to pick a stage name if I ever had to.

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El Ton Juan is pretty classy.

 

:thu:

 

and let's not forget Gym Maori Sun

 

and no, you can't copyright or trademark a person's legal name. if i legally change my name to Bob Dylan, Mr. Dylan is out of luck. or if my name is already Bob Dylan, he's out of luck.

 

of course ... i would hate to deal with the pissed off people when they show up at my site and get ME instead of Bob ...

 

generally speaking, most people who come in second in the name game tend to change their performing (not necessarily legal) names to avoid confusion

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You could use instead a band name or moniker, like Conor Oberst is better know as "Bright Eyes", or Jeff Mangum's recording project is better known as "Neutral Milk Hotel", etc.

 

Think about the coolest band name ever, and use it as a moniker. Being the only member of your band is cool: no one will disagree with the bandname!

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You could use instead a band name or moniker, like Conor Oberst is better know as "Bright Eyes", or Jeff Mangum's recording project is better known as "Neutral Milk Hotel", etc.


Think about the coolest band name ever, and use it as a moniker. Being the only member of your band is cool: no one will disagree with the bandname!

 

 

That's what I do, although I didn't do it to avoid confusion with anybody else. I just thought using a band name would be more interesting than my own name. And it's probably easier for other people to remember.

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I had a similar decision to make, which is why I decided to go with Eddy Boston. Now I just have to worry about Mary Baker Eddy (from Boston, the founder of the Christian Science religion) stealing my web search hits.

 

Micheal J. Fox's original name was Micheal Douglas. You can see why he changed it. It's actually kind of fun having a stage name.

 

Sincerely,

Ed Sullivan

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I was thinking of using my screen name (Samilyn) as my artist name. After googling...NOT! Found a couple of rather....erm...shall we say.... "out of the box" people on MySpace with the same name.

 

One is a bisexual and the other is heavily into vampire goth. :eek:

 

Fortunately, no other entertainer uses my real name and the web hits come to my sites and nobody else's.

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