What Is ‘Feat.’ in Music?

‘Feat.’ or ‘ft.’ is an abbreviation for the term ‘featuring’. It essentially means that the song includes a short or guest appearance from another musician.

Initially, guest appearances on songs from other musicians went un-credited. A major example of this is Eric Clapton’s guitar performance in the Beatles song ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps.’

However, over time, this convention has changed, and guest appearances have become a fully credited part of the music industry.

In contemporary music, one of the most common sights in music video and song titles is the use of the ‘feat.’ or ‘ft.’ This term is usually used after the name of the main artist or band and before the name of the supporting artist or band.

Featured artists are particularly common in rap music. However, this phenomenon transcends genres and can also be found in rock, electronic, and pop music.

Vocalists are the most common type of musicians who feature on other artists’ songs.

However, it is also common to have instrumentalists act as featured musicians, such as drummers, piano players, and guitar players.

Examples of Songs with Featured Artists

Countless songs include the ‘feat.’ term in the title of the song. These include:

• Endless Love — Lionel Richie, feat. Diana Ross
• Love the Way You Lie – by Eminem, feat. Rihanna
• Crazy in Love – by Beyoncé, feat. Jay-Z
• Under Pressure — Queen, feat. David Bowie
• Empire State of Mind – by Jay-Z, feat. Alicia Keys
• Interstate 80 – by Tom Morello, feat. Slash

Other Known Terms

“And” or “&”

The use of the term ‘and’ indicates that both artists appear on the record, and also played a substantial part in the creation of the song. Essentially, they function as co-producers, co-performers, or co-songwriters.

They can often seem to be interchangeable terms but they certainly have different meanings.

The use of the term ‘feat.’ indicates a guest appearance. The first mentioned artist is the one to who the song is mainly attributed.

For example:

The song ‘Lean On’:
by Major Lazer AND DJ Snake
FEAT

The song Lean On was created by 2 artists and features the singer MØ.

“Vs.”

The term “Vs.” indicates a collaboration between two artists who have equal contributions over a particular musical piece, which usually involves more of a competitive nature.

This term is mostly used when two artists work on two different parts of the song, but they eventually come together, forming a single piece.

It can also mean that two artists are simply collaborating, or it’s a mix of two songs.

For example:

The song ‘Call on Me‘:
by Eric Prydz vs. Retarded Funk Mix

“Rmx”

The term “Rmx” stands for “Remix”, meaning that the track has been altered in some way by another artist. This is an extremely used term, as there are countless remixed tracks out there today.

The alteration can be in many ways, such as improving an older song, using the material from the older song in new content, adapting a song for radio usage, and many more ways.

For example:

The song ‘Alors On Danse
by Stromae Remixed by Dubdogz

Summary

The term “Feat.” or “ft.” is an abbreviation for the term “featuring”. It simply means that the song features a brief or guest appearance by another artist.

Originally, guest appearances on songs from other musicians went un-credited. This convention has changed over time and guest appearances are now fully credited part of the music industry.

Vocalists are the most common type of musician to be featured in songs. However, instrumentalists are also commonly featured, such as drummers, piano players, and guitar players.

There are also other well-known terms like “And”, “Vs.”, and “Rmx”.

Brian Clark is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer. He is passionate about practically all areas of music and he particularly enjoys writing about the music industry.

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