Five Questions with Singer/Songwriter Caroline Cavanaugh

Singer/Songwriter Caroline Cavanaugh

This week we would like you to meet one of our Individual Creator Members, Singer/Songwriter Caroline Cavanaugh.

1. What was the inspiration behind becoming a singer/songwriter? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
I think being a creative person is inherent – it’s almost something that chooses you, rather than you choosing it! As far as writing songs and playing guitar, my dad gave me my first acoustic (that I still play on all of our recordings!) when I was 11 yrs old. I taught myself how to play with a book then started writing my own songs a couple of years later.
My favorite part of the creative process is that it is different almost every time. Sometimes I will be struck with lyrics while walking through the city or about to land in an airplane, then the chords come the next day and the rest of the music follows, for instance. It’s never replicated.

2. Can you take us through your process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
The process is always changing and never replicated – each song/project is different (and sometimes that is even on purpose to try different methods). Everything I do does not make money. That is the last thing that comes into mind, to be honest. I think it would taint my song writing if that was the inspiration or focus. Also, I am very picky about what I/we release, so there are plenty of songs that will never see the light of day.

3. When did you first become aware of copyright and why?
When I attended graduate school (UCP) in Portugal for Management in the Creative Industries, copyright law was a part of our curriculum. It was so eye opening! I wrote my graduate thesis on the impact of copyright on the creative industries.

4. What is the best piece of advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
Register your work with the US Copyright Office before you release it to the public! You can still release your music online and otherwise even before it has gone through the review/processing. It gives you the peace of mind that you need in an ever changing landscape (due to the internet, online sharing, etc) and it’s totally affordable.

5. What is your biggest copyright-related challenge?
Monitoring usage/plays of our songs, how we are paid. Luckily, there are great companies online who do this such as Sound Exchange ( and SongTrust ( to help us out!

Caroline Cavanaugh performs as ‘Moi Cava‘, Singer/songwriter originally from Detroit, MI, currently living in New York, NY
Caroline is “very excited about the new direction of our first full length album ‘Escapisms’ due out in May of this year. Sonically, it’s a bit of a departure from the EP in that I began to work with different artists and production, which is always great to change things up. And of course, I will be registering all songs with the U.S. Copyright Office before it’s release!”

*Homepage slider photo taken by John Kerfoot of Tri-foot Productions, 2017

Are you one of our Individual Creator Members? Participate in our Creator Spotlight series! Please email us at And if you aren’t already a member of the Alliance, you can join today by completing our Individual Creator Members membership form!

get blog updates