Mining for new music
Getting a slice of the pie
Members Music Magazine Issue 51 Members Music Magazine April 2014 Issue 45 September 2012
THE RHYTHM OF NOW
The new British R&B
sly & LUDOVICO EINAUDI robbie Jamaicaâ€™s other golden duo
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Your favourite M magazine is online Make sure you are the first to get breaking industry news, careeer advice and find out about emerging talent. You can also enter exclusive member-only competitions and watch unique video interviews and live sessions. There are also in-depth features that give you the low-down on songwriting and composing, and the story behind the songs. M online is refreshed daily so log on and discover a world of content created and tailored for you and your career.
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14 sounds of the decades
MEMO 2014 is an exciting year for PRS for Music. We are 100 years old and the celebrations have already started with a bang. A photography exhibition at Getty Images gallery in central London featuring many of the society’s most famous members kicked off the anniversary year. Read more on the week of events at the gallery on page 6 and the centenary website prsformusic.com/100years. Our centenary feature highlights a song or composition from each decade, since 1914. Each work tells its own tale of the time, making for a story of continual musical change and ever-evolving technology. PRS for Music has adapted to meet these challenges but its commitment to ensuring members are paid fairly for their music continues to be at its heart. The UK’s seam of songwriting talent always been rich. We talk the art of writing with Gary Kemp and discover that the Spandau Ballet story still has more to tell. Guy Chambers reveals all about his recent chart busting hits with Katy B while you’ll also get the full story on the
Soundtrack to 100 years
new R&B acts currently storming the charts and bringing us the sound of the future. As technology shrinks the world, PRS for Music's overseas membership has grown with international songwriters and composers adding much to the PRS for Music family. Internationally renowned composer Ludovico Einaudi is one of the latest to join. Get to know him on page 20. Looking further ahead, our business pages explore the future challenges and opportunities surrounding copyright in both Europe and with the UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Visit our website for new interviews, career advice, competitions, sessions and much more. If you would like to tell us about your latest project or share your experiences, please get in touch online. After all, this magazine is about you, for you.
24 our r&b
Doing it for themselves
28 gary kemp 24
The sound of my soul
REGULARS 5 members and music
8 money and business 34 i wrote that 36 sound effect 38 picture this 34
m-magazine.co.uk magazine@prsformusic @m_magazinePRS
Editor Paul Nichols
Production & Design Carl English
Associate Editor Anita Awbi Staff Writer Jim Ottewill
Membership Adviser Myles Keller there's more! scan this code whenever you find it in m for exclusive content, extended interviews and much more...
cover: ludovico einaudi by beniamino barrese
CONTRIBUTORS Rosie Blanchard, Olivia Chapman, KaKei Cheng, Laura Driffield, Samantha Ferguson, Eileen Fitches, Ray Luker, John Mottram, Divya Panwar, Tania Pearson, Fiona Raisbeck, Alex Sharman, Sarah Thirtle.
PRS for Music, 29-33 Berners Street, London W1T 3AB T 020 7580 5544 E email@example.com W www.prsformusic.com The printing of M Magazine is managed on behalf of PRS for Music by Cyan Group Ltd, Twickenham. www.cyan-group.com Advertising 020 3225 5200 ISSN 0309-0019© PRS for Music 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed in M are not necessarily those of PRS for Music, nor of the editorial team. PRS for Music accepts no responsibility for the views expressed by contributors to M, nor for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations, nor for errors in contributed articles or advertisements. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. M is printed on paper manufactured using chlorine-free pulps and the raw materials are from fully managed and sustainable forests.
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make music... make money As part for PRS for Music’s centenary celebrations, M magazine got together with the society’s membership team to host a career panel and sync session for members at Getty Images gallery, London. The career panel, entitled Make music, Make Money, assembled experts from across the industry to provide practical advice and offer tips for emerging songwriters and composers looking to take their career to the next level.
interview: teleman Teleman have emerged from the ashes of Pete and the Pirates as a lithe, electronic indie juggernaut, ready to derail the nerd-pop template. A handful of early tracks, such as Steam Train Girl, Cristina and Lady Low, offer emotional wallop and whimsy in equal measure, and carry all the hallmarks of songwriters and musicians who have mastered their craft. Like alt-J and Django Django, they are unrestricted by the longstanding British indie mould, swapping guitars and skinny jeans for a looser sonic palette and a more synthetic production approach. The band, made up of Hiro Amamiya, Peter Cattermoul and brothers Tom and Jonny Sanders, have been
holed up in the studio with former Suede guitar ace turned production whiz Bernard Butler. The fruits of their collaboration, which was part-funded by the PRS for Music Foundation Momentum Fund, will be their debut album Breakfast, due for release on 26 May. We spent a few minutes with Tom before their show supporting Connan Mockasin at Bush Hall, London, to hear about the band’s new sound. He candidly discusses his recording process and reveals what can happen when things go horribly wrong… m-magazine.co.uk/interviews
session: pandr eyez Balancing Ferren’s natural feel-good vibes and persuasive vocal hooks against Tom’s stubborn rhythms and aggressive bass, they’ve come up with a formula that doesn’t stray too far from the mainstream but holds its integrity. Their latest offering, Present EP, is a riotous mix of unassailable production and conflicting melodies, from sultry refrains to sharp raps.
CARL ENGLISH / TOM MARTIN
Opener Don’t Hurt Em kicks off with a sample that could be straight from Dean Blunt’s The Narcissist II, before descending at speed into bass-fuelled mayhem. It’s followed by the pair’s statement of intent – a dreamy, rolling cover of Mariah Carey’s Heartbreaker.
For Pandr Eyez, music is a game of contrasts. The London-based duo navigate the choppier waters of hip-hop and bass to bring a rougher edge to their otherwise pristine pop. Over a handful of self-released EPs, US-born Ferren Gipson and her production partner Tom Lloyd have combined these elements to give us an outsider take on the R&B mode – and so far so good.
With so much ground covered on this EP, it seems that Pandr Eyez have only just begun to find their groove and hit their experimental stride – so we were very excited to have them play at our M magazine/PRS for Music showcase in March. Watch them perform two songs for us at the Getty Images gallery – you won’t be disappointed. m-magazine.co.uk/newmusic/sessions
Chaired by Andy Ellis, PRS for Music’s Education and Outreach Manager, the hour and a half session demystified the world of A&R, sync licensing, contracts, management and promotion. Revered A&R and artist manager James Endeacott (The Strokes, The Libertines, Tindersticks) was joined by media lawyer Pete Bott, PRS for Music’s membership guru Alex Sharman and Kat Kennedy, General Manager at Big Life Management, all of whom took questions from the floor on their specialist areas. We were on hand to film the session and have a two-part video available now on M online for all of you who couldn’t make it along to the session. While you’re there, be sure to check out our video from the World of Sync session we recorded on the same day with Ruth Simmons, MD of Soundlounge. For more than 30 years, Ruth has been looking at ways to make music work better in branding and marketing, arranging sync deals with world leading companies including McDonalds, HSBC, Durex and Pataks. In our session she talks us through the perils and pitfalls for songwriters and composers in the modern sync licensing world and offers essential advice for when those creative executives come knocking. m-magazine.co.uk/makeithappen
win a 32gb kindle fire Celebrate PRS for Music’s centenary by entering our latest member competition - and you could be in with a chance of winning a Kindle Fire 32GB and £100 worth of Amazon vouchers. All you have to do to enter is visit m-magazine.co.uk/competitions, watch PRS for Music’s 100 Years of Music video and answer a simple question. Good luck! Competition closes at the end of April.
sign up for information about becoming a member visit prsformusic.com/joinus
chlöe howl If great songs and youthful exuberance are what some of our favourite pop stars are made of, then 19 year-old Chlöe Howl is ready to stake her claim in music lovers’ hearts. Her songs - including Rumour, No Strings and Paper Heart - offer an antithesis to the battery farm of reality TV, showing that a little personality can go a very long way. A blend of synths and pop hooks, No Strings swaggered up to the world of pop and laid a sloppy kiss on its cheek while Rumour beautifully nails the confusion of being a teenager in the line: ‘I'm just trying to work out how to be like myself’. While her songs have snatches of Lily Allen and Kate Nash, ultimately Chlöe doesn’t sound like anyone but herself. It’s an attitude which saw her nominated for this year’s BRIT Critics Choice Award and should see her go far when her debut album lands this summer. Published by Bucks Music Group chloehowl.com
fka twigs Celebrating New Year’s Eve on a beach in Mexico may be the stuff of party legend but for enigmatic R&B artist FKA Twigs it was an enviable reality. Twigs, real name Tahliah Barnett, ushered in 2014 with a live set at the Young Turks event in Tulum, performing alongside other label talents including The xx, Sampha and Koreless. According to those lucky enough to attend, the setting proved to be the perfect backdrop for her ethereal, experimental sounds. Twigs grew up in Gloucestershire before moving to London and picking up her nickname because of the way her bones crack. It’s a fitting moniker in keeping with the brittle, barely-there atmospherics of her songs. Rumour has it Twigs was a backing dancer in BBC Sound Of 2011 winner Jessie J's video for Do It Like a Dude and also appeared in a BBC comedy sketch before
throwing herself into her music. As the minimal soul sound of her initial releases testify, it’s proved to be a shrewd move, especially after partnering with Venezuelan producer Arca, a studio consultant on Kanye West’s much acclaimed Yeezus album. At times sinister and sliding, her claustrophobic songs unwind like Björk or The Knife at their best, climbing inside your ears and taking up permanent residence. Her self-released debut and EP 2 (on Young Turks) may have been nine months apart, but what she lacks in quantity, Twigs more than makes up for with quality. It’s a talent which has already won her a place in BBC’s Sound of 2014 shortlist and has her earmarked as an artist to keep your ears on over the coming months. Unpublished f-k-a-twigs.tumblr.com
monsieur adi Supporting Beyoncé on the recent European leg of the Mrs Carter tour is a prestigious opportunity many artists would maim for. But the only blood producer and remixer Monsieur Adi shed in landing the gig is from dancefloors with his killer way with a beat. Monsieur Adi (real name Adam Hunt) is an electronic producer, songwriter and remixer who has already chalked up some significant notches on his musical
bedpost. He can boast the likes of Bastille, Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey and A*M*E as collaborators while other connections include Stay Up Late with MNEK and Some Kind Of Love with Electric Youth. These releases both herald a hotly anticipated electronic pop album from Adi later this year. Published by Karma Songs monsieuradi.com
members & music
100 years of great music In March, PRS for Music launched its centenary celebrations in fine style with the opening of its 100 Years of Great Music exhibition at Getty Images gallery in central London.
CARL ENGLISH / GETTY / LUCY SEWILL
The week-long exhibition marked the first in a series of centenary events planned across 2014, including a commission that will be performed by the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo in the summer and the 100 Years of Music concert at the Royal Albert Hall in November. 100 Years of Great Music at Getty featured photographs of many of PRS for Music‘s most notable and prominent songwriters and composer members including Sir John Tavener, Joan Armatrading MBE and Live Aid founders, Bob Geldof KBE and Midge Ure OBE. The opening night was attended by many of the members featured in the exhibition - and the 100 Years of British Music book (see opposite) - including Bob Geldof, Gary Kemp, Cathy Dennis, Guy Chambers, Jazzie B, Squeeze and David Arnold.
The week continued with an event for music publisher members on Friday 7 March with X-Press 2’s Diesel providing the soundtrack. PRS for Music’s Creator Voice initiative was behind the following Monday event with politicians including Prime Minister David Cameron’s Intellectual Property Advisor Mike Weatherley in attendance. The next evening saw licensees invited to the gallery to network, view the photos and listen to the swing band sounds of the Masquerading Troubadours. The exhibition, which was one of the most popular in Getty Images gallery’s recent history, culminated in the Make Music, Make Money membership panel event and a live showcase from M magazine featuring world champion beatboxer Shlomo and upcoming duo Pandr Eyez. See page 4. Clockwise from top: Sir Bob Geldof; The Masquerading
To find out more about the centenary, and to keep up to date with more celebrations visit prsformusic.com/100years.
Troubadours; peermusic’s Nigel Elderton with Bill Martin; Jazzie B; Chuka Umunna MP with PRS Chairman Guy Fletcher; Glenn Tilbrook and Cathy Dennis.
visit: www.m-magazine.co.uk want to get involved? email: firstname.lastname@example.org
peter callander Mitch Murray remembers his songwriting partner:
From Sir Edward Elgar to Adele, great composers and songwriters have been at the heart of the UK’s musical landscape for the last century. To celebrate these important creators and commemorate the century of support PRS for Music has provided for music creators, the society has commissioned the hardback book, 100 Years of British Music. The book features new photographs by Lucy Sewill together with a selection of rare and unseen pictures from the archives. One hundred luminaries have been chosen to appear, from composers of film music, opera, symphonies and stage shows, to the songwriters behind the greatest rock and pop hits of the last 100 years.
When George Gershwin suddenly died back in 1938, the novelist John O’Hara wrote, ‘They tell me Gershwin is dead, but I don’t have to believe it if I don’t want to.’
The result is a unique living history of PRS for Music and its members, which celebrates their vital contribution to British culture.
With the passing of Peter Callander, I think I finally understand what O’Hara was on about. Peter is simply not the type to be dead.
The book is due to be released in June so you’ll be able to pre-order your copy soon. Find out more at prsformusic.com/100years
Peter Callander was a vibrant personality and a remarkable combination of talents. He was a shrewd and fiery negotiator, an outspoken advocate of copyright promotion and protection and in my opinion, one of the world’s best lyricists. As writers, our international number one hits included The Ballad Of Bonnie and Clyde, Billy, Don’t Be A Hero and The Night Chicago Died. Collaborating with Geoff Stephens, Peter topped the US Charts with Daddy, Don’t You Walk So Fast. For many years, Peter and I were writing partners, business partners and PRS Board colleagues. We were also great friends and playmates.
Pictured above: clockwise from top: Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, Barry Mason and Les Reed, Dizzee Rascal, Steve Mac
He leaves behind his devoted wife, Connie and their son, Jason.
and Wayne Hector. (All photographed by Lucy Sewill).
discover new music PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music Biennial 2014 is in full swing with performances across the UK featuring composers as diverse as Lau, Mary-Anne Kennedy (right) and Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa. The ambitious year-long programme consists of 20 new commissions across all genres, from classical and chamber opera to jazz, folk and electronic. Its aim is to reach new audiences for contemporary music and encourage ideas for short works no longer than 15 minutes duration, which can be performed in a range of diverse settings. Throughout April and May, Gwilym Simcock will be performing his classical-jazz fusion piece Natural Supernatural, while Matthew Herbert’s
20 Pianos will receive its debut in May. Later that month, composer Stephen Montague will unveil his Tales from the Commonwealth, a new children’s work for six musicians and narrator based on tales sent in by children from different countries across the commonwealth. Other highlights include Samuel Bordoli’s Grind, which blends skateboarding, choral singing and the unique acoustics of skate parks. It will be premiered on 1 June at the Transition Extreme Skatepark in Aberdeen. Two weekend showcases – at London’s Southbank Centre from 4 to 6 July and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music at Glasgow Concert Halls from 1 to 2 August –
will showcase all 20 works. They will be recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and will also be available to download from NMC Recordings. For the full biennial programme and to watch video interviews with the composers please visit newmusicbiennial.com m51_april 2014_7
money & business
working more closely with dcms MM: We aren’t convinced there is a huge need for change here. I believe passionately that the creative industries are going to be a growing part of what Britain stands for. It is the fastest growing part of our business sector and music has a critical role to play within that. You can be assured that we don’t want to do anything that would be detrimental to your sector in all its many guises – not just the well known artists but all the songwriters and composers who write the music that makes our films the best in the world and that make our advertising the best in the world.
PRS for Music, in partnership with BASCA, recently held a session with Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, offering members the opportunity to speak directly to the minister about their work and learn about the government’s copyright infringement policies. Beforehand Robert Ashcroft, PRS for Music ’s Chief Executive, put a few questions to Miller, to explore how the organisation can work more closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the future.
Robert Ashcroft: We are all concerned about the future of the music industry in this country. What do you think the government can do to help the creative industries to grow? Maria Miller: The creative industries are the fastest growing sector of British industry, and the music industry is a very successful part of that. I think that while the government clearly has a role, the industry has its part to play too. It must ensure it can sustain itself for the future. The government can support your industry, whether that’s through initiatives like the export fund, which we set up last year, or the work of the Arts Council. The role of government is to ensure that intellectual property is dealt with properly and isn’t undermined. I know there is a great deal of concern at the moment around this. We also need to help ensure exports in this sector are remunerated correctly. This isn’t an issue particular to the music industry – I think remuneration from emerging markets is still quite difficult across the board. So we will always work with UK Trade & Investment to find ways to smooth that out in the future. 8_april 2014_m51
There is a sense that the very concept of copyright is itself under attack RA: By and large, the music industry does not go looking for handouts. What we’re looking for is a framework of law. MM: That’s why it’s important for us to have Mike Weatherley MP in our team – his hands-on experience and knowledge is vital. We always ensure that the music industry’s thoughts and concerns are at the forefront of our minds. RA: We very much welcome his contribution and have detected a change in the direction of the breeze just recently. You will appreciate that for a number of years we’ve had the Gower, Hooper and Hargreaves reports and now we have the Copyright Consultation. There is a sense that the very concept of copyright, which has served us since 1710 with the Statute of Anne and has survived all the technological changes since, is itself under attack.
RA: We certainly welcome your support in this area. We’ve looked at this and see there isn’t one single solution. But one thing that concerns us is consumer awareness of piracy. We’ve put forward a solution we call traffic lights, which highlights the licence status of websites with a green tick or a red cross. The system would inform people at the point of search whether something is legitimate or not. We welcome very much Ed Vaizey’s support for this in parliament. But what else do we need to do to bring this forward from the good idea stage to practical reality? MM: Clearly it is a good idea and the vast majority of research would suggest that consumers in this country do not want to break the law. Perhaps over time people have become used to accessing music without paying for it and not realising they are actually breaking the law. Peeling these people off is our first job. Then we’ll be left with the hardcore infringers and I’m sure our anti-piracy unit can help us in that respect. With regards to the traffic light system – I think it’s a good way forward but ultimately it’s going to be about working with those search engines and other stakeholders who might be able to amalgamate it. RA: There’s a big search engine that tends to be a bit resistant to the idea. Is there anything you can do to help? MM: I have an interest across the board in a number of these issues, particularly with search engines. I have been doing a lot of work with them recently around child abuse and filtering systems. So we have a good working relationship and a good track record of introducing industry-led solutions rather than heavy handed government solutions. So I’m very happy to work with you on this and encourage collaboration with search engines on this matter.
digital pressure point The music industry needs to take more action to address the tension between the cost of streaming and the value returned to creators, Chris Butler, Head of Publishing at Music Sales Group and Chairman of the Music Publishers Association has said. Butler made the comments as part of the panel discussion Digital Disruption – revenues, consolidation and competition at the recent Westminster Media Forum. Also on the panel, Mark Foster, Managing Director of Deezer (UK & Ireland), and Mark Williamson from Spotify, were keen to highlight the growth of their respective online services and the work they’d done to increase access to new music. Deezer’s representative said that the service currently offers access to its catalogue at £9.99 per month but is looking to introduce offers to increase the attractiveness of its service without songwriters and publishers losing out.
He described the current online environment as ‘fairly toxic’ and called on Google - ‘the biggest kid in the playground’ – and other large companies to take more action to prevent unlicensed content being accessed. ‘Big brands clearly want to align themselves with our products, but I think they could do with being a little more careful in the way in which they do that,’ Butler explained. ‘A recent report suggests that £250m of advertising spend appeared alongside unlicensed creative content. This spend encourages unlicensed access and returns precisely nothing to creatives.’
However, Butler warned: ‘There obviously is a tension here between services who want to provide more for less and creators who are asked to give more for less, and it seems unfortunate to me that perhaps publishers and creators are being used here as the experiment. I can’t think of another industry where they would effectively be recompensed simply by the revenues that come in. Any other physical goods market would refuse to supply to that environment.’
Mark Foster said that the big challenge for his company is the increasingly fragmented licensing landscape across Europe. ‘Somebody told me that in Europe alone, to get all our publishing licenses in place, we have to have 37 separate negotiations, some of that is with collective licensing bodies, like PRS for Music, with which we have a very close relationship… But increasingly, as partners seek to withdraw their rights to establish their own licensing model, it makes a very tough negotiating licensing environment.’
He stated that the licensing process needs to be ‘more streamlined and less costly’ to enable services to invest more in improving their business. While certain panel members spoke of the opportunities created by online, Butler said that the industry should be careful to ensure it does not impact the strength of the UK’s copyright framework. ‘There is, of course, a powerful and well funded lobby advocating the weakening of copyright, often cloaked in the language of digital freedom or paradoxically presented as being in support of creativity. Our biggest challenge is to advance the case for a strong copyright regime in the underpinning of everything we do.’
uk music survey needs you UK Music is calling on PRS for Music members to contribute to an economic study of the music industry. The study will measure the economic contribution of music in terms of Gross Added Value (GVA), exports and employment, and will provide data for policymakers and stakeholders both in the industry and across
the big numbers
Combined years of experience across PRS for Music staff (March 2014)
PRS’ public house annual tariff for live piano performances - 1920s (equivalent to around £1,285
in today’s money).
PRS first distribution in 1917
PRS for Music Heritage Awards presented since 2009
your next paydays
the wider economy. It’s the first time that such a survey has been shared with all PRS for Music songwriters, composers and publishers.
Members are urged to visit ukmusic.org to take part and be in with a chance of winning five Apple iPods.
31 July m51_april 2014_9
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THE NEW GOLD STANDARD IN STRINGS:
money & business sync review
Who? Spirit Music Group What? Life Is Strange, Main Man and Ballrooms of Mars by T Rex Where? Dallas Buyers Club motion picture
Pete Shane, Senior Vice President of Creative Services at Spirit Music, explains how the three T Rex tracks he placed in the Oscar-nominated Dallas Buyers Club helped define the voice of the film’s lead characters.
We were lucky enough to be involved in this project very early on. From the beginning the filmmakers explained to us they were capturing Oscar performances and you could tell there was something really special going on. In the case of T Rex, we’re fortunate enough to be working with the publishing as well as the masters for the catalogue from The Slider record going forward. It makes licensing very easy, especially for independent film. I find that independent filmmakers like to take a risk and dig deeper into catalogues. Sometimes they know they can’t get 20th Century Boy or Children of the Revolution, but they really want the Marc Bolan sound. That’s when we dig in and help find songs that get across whatever emotion or dialogue they are trying to enhance. That’s pretty much what happened in this case. Knowing the story and the film, it all made perfect sense to use T Rex. We got specific scene information and went back and forth a few times but the whole process was pretty simple – it’s great when you work with directors and filmmakers who know what they want. If you listen to Life Is Strange, Main Man and Ballrooms of Mars, they are all cut
very similar in terms of sonics and overall vibe. Lyrically they were on point so they slotted seamlessly into the picture. Marc inspired so many people. He had a huge influence on music and people in general – he encouraged them to be themselves and to shine. This attitude chimed with the Dallas Buyers Club main character who needed to express himself in the way he did. Like Marc, he threw caution to the wind and was always larger than life. I think there’s a parallel in the state of mind. We hoped the film would be massive and it is. We knew the performances and direction were thrilling. The message of the story was so important to get out there and when art can tell a story in such a way that so many people take notice, it’s a win for everyone. There are certain projects that you get involved in and you just get that feeling. You know instantly when it’s something special – and that’s why we were so eager and anxious and excited to be even a little part of this project. For us it was kismet. spiritmusicgroup.com
copyright framework boosts industry
The UK’s strong copyright framework was ‘fundamental’ to the music industry’s return to growth in 2013, the BPI’s Geoff Taylor (above) has said. Taylor made the comments during a presentation at the recent Westminster Media Forum’s Next Steps for the UK Music Industry session. He said that while 10 years ago industry commentators were discussing the demise of the music business, recent BPI figures showed a positive return to growth in 2013. Total music industry revenues increased to £730.4m from £716.8m in 2012 with digital music sales accounting for more than half of all music industry trade revenues. ‘It’s a very significant moment because as soon as 50 percent or more of your business is digital and in absolute terms more of your revenues come from digital, as long as your digital growth rates are higher than the speed at which CD declines, you are going to be a growing business, and we’ve reached that point,’ he said. The UK’s strong copyright infrastructure, alongside innovative record company marketing strategies and an ever-increasing number of music services, was cited as one of 10 key drivers supporting the positive trend. ‘It’s what’s enabled us to licence more than 70 services in the UK, more than any other country. It’s also given the stability and confidence for people to invest in music and in digital services in the UK, which is the foundation for why we do so well in terms of exports,’ Taylor said. m51_april 2014_11
money & business copyright is a human right
Earlier this year, the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC) opened a landmark office in Beijing. The mission of this new Asia-Pacific outpost is to coordinate the protection and promotion of songwriter and composer interests throughout the region. Olivier Hinnewinkel, Director General of CISAC, talked to us more about the organisation’s activities and get a sense of the current climate for copyright in China - a country renowned for its rampant piracy. Hinnewinkel explains how the whole Asia-Pacific region is bringing new opportunities for rightsholders and collecting societies, and how CISAC is working with the Chinese authorities to help implement a new copyright law.
We need to ensure that creators know their rights and fight for them CCTV, the country’s biggest television station, has created a copyright department to ensure the music they use is actually being declared. There is a lot of piracy, but I think there is a strong will from the government to change this attitude and ensure that copyright is better understood and implemented in the future. That said, we also have to be realistic. Few artists know about copyright over there. Few people who have to implement the law, such as the police, understand the issues, and it will take some time for copyright to be fully implemented.
What’s the copyright climate like in China at the moment? They are currently reviewing copyright law over there. From the highest ranking Chinese authorities it is clear that China no longer wants to be perceived as a country of piracy and instead wants to be seen as copyright friendly. Why did you decide to set up an office there? A year ago, we thought it was the right time to become involved in this and bring our expertise in international copyright law to China. When I first joined CISAC two and a half years ago I was coming from Asia, where I had lived for six years. It made sense to me to move our regional office from Singapore to Beijing, where I knew we could lobby the institutions, the government and the copyright department to make sure we had the best possible version of copyright law, which could be implemented by 2015. You touched on the culture of piracy in China. How significant is this for the rest of the world? This issue is not only pertinent to the creative industries. China is seen as the country that copies everything – there are even fake Apple stores in Shanghai. However, things are changing. 12_april 2014_m51
How important is the Chinese market? Well, the Asia-Pacific region, which includes several countries from Australia to India, represents 18.6 percent of the overall CISAC revenue. For the first time, this region’s revenue is going to overtake the US. It is a developing market that will bear fruit and this is where growth will be. Copyright is certainly being challenged but, very often in developing regions, it is not very well understood. What is the potential for overseas songwriters in China? There is great potential for revenue in the short and medium-term if a new copyright law is passed in 2015. But you need three things for copyright to be effective: first you need a law; then you need to implement that law; and finally you need respect for the law. But as I’ve seen in the past, when China decides something, it all moves very quickly. How popular is overseas repertoire in China? In an audiovisual capacity – meaning cinema – the majority of music is internally produced, the same with radio. But we should not underestimate the culture of new media in China. Some outsiders think that access to new media is not
possible but this is not the case. There are media services that are just as powerful as Google, satisfying a population of more than one billion. These certainly give access to foreign content and I think that, as well as trying to ensure the licensing of concerts, radio stations, TV channels, we should also partner with the Baidus of the world – those Chinese digital service providers that have a far more interesting reach. What does the CISAC office hope to achieve? When you decide to open shop in Beijing, the political capital of China, you know you are there for lobbying purposes. We are working with government but also collective rights management organisations so we can help them develop expertise. Another aspect of our work is to raise awareness with Chinese creators themselves. Everything is connected. If creators understand their rights, they will claim their rights and open up the debate, which will have consequences for foreign creators who are also getting played in China. What are the biggest international challenges to copyright in 2014? Copyright is being challenged all over the world. We are being very active in Europe, in Brussels, and we are very active in all the hotspots including Africa and Latin America. But I have to say, it’s about ensuring that politicians understand the economic value of the creative industries. Once they do understand this, and recognise how many jobs they bring, it’s then about ensuring that creators know their rights and fight for them. What are CISAC’s views on the current EU copyright debate, and how do you see that unfolding? It surprises me that the directive [on best practices for collecting societies] has been barely voted through and we now have a consultation on copyright that has come out of nowhere. I have a lot to say about it, because it not only opens debate on how to manage copyright law but it also opens debate on copyright itself. When you look at what I just said about China, Brussels has a responsibility to Europe, but it goes beyond Europe – if Brussels damages the notion of copyright in Europe it will have far-reaching consequences. So they have a big responsibility. It’s very interesting to see they are challenging rules on copyright which, from the CISAC perspective, are absolutely fine in Europe. So why discuss this? Copyright is a human right; there is no reason for more discussion around its validity. cisac.org
euro elections bring copyright opportunities We spend some time with Conservative MEP Sajjad Haider Karim to learn why the upcoming European elections are a big deal for UK songwriters, composers and publishers.
make your vote count The PRS Directors’ Ballot is now open. The Electoral Reform Services will send details of candidates standing to all members eligible to vote, together with ballot paper and codes for online voting. If you are eligible to vote, please look out for this correspondence. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday 15 May 2014. The results of the ballot will be announced at the PRS Annual General Meeting, which takes place on the afternoon of Thursday 29 May at 30 Euston Square. For more information about the event please visit prsformusic.com/prs-agm
streaming growth You have been an MEP for nearly 10 years and will run again in the upcoming elections. Why are the European elections (22 May in the UK) so important? The upcoming European elections will decide which direction the EU takes on a number of key issues, such as addressing the problem of economic growth and boosting the single market. Voters will not just be making a choice about which political party they choose, but they will also be sending a clear message about what direction they want the EU as a whole to take. What do the elections mean for the UK music industry? The world is changing, and we need to ensure we are well-equipped across all sectors of our economy to meet the future challenges. This is particularly true in the music industry, which has global reach and very 21st century problems to overcome. The next parliament will be integral to finding the solutions for these challenges - so having the right approach is going to be key for the next five years. I believe that Conservative MEPs and our counterparts in Westminster recognise the importance of a well-functioning, single digital market for music, and we will be fighting to achieve this as a priority for 2014 onwards. One of the key outcomes was the Collective Rights Management (CRM) Directive, which could have a significant impact on PRS for Music members. Why do you think it was important? I was a key member of the committee which scrutinised this legislation and I am
pleased by what my colleagues and I have achieved. The CRM Directive will lay the foundations for a dynamic single market, serving consumers, rightsholders and the organisations supporting their work. However, more importantly, it will ensure that rightsholders have a greater say in the operation - and can hold to account - the collecting societies which represent them. Late last year the European Commission published a review of the EU’s copyright rules. What are your thoughts on that review? I believe it is essential that we keep updating and modernising EU copyright rules to ensure that consumers and creators are getting the best deal. If kept up to date, copyright is an effective tool that will support innovation and creation across our borders and strengthen the digital single market. We must ensure that all voices are heard when we contemplate how to improve things, as some solutions will inevitably work better than others. Find out more about the upcoming European elections at elections2014.eu/en
Sajjad Haider Karim is a Conservative Member of the European Parliament (MEP) representing the North West of England. He was the first British Muslim elected to the European Parliament in 2004, was reelected in 2009 and is standing again in the 2014 elections.
Streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer helped ‘access services’ account for a quarter of the entertainment market in 2013, new figures show. According to statistics in the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) Yearbook, access models include music services alongside the likes of video streaming service Netflix and in-app purchases for games such as Angry Birds. Their share of entertainment revenues grew to 26 percent in 2013 while online sales accounted for a 60 percent share (£5.3bn) of the market, ERA figures revealed. Kim Bayley, ERA Director General, said: ‘This is stark evidence of the revolution in entertainment consumption being driven by entertainment retailers. The fact that 60p in the entertainment pound is now spent online and 26p in the pound is for access to content rather than ownership is a testament to the huge investment and technological ingenuity of retailers in providing consumers with new ways to enjoy the music, video and games they love.’ ERA cited a series of significant moments over the last 12 months in the ongoing take up of access services. These include bloom.fm and Musicqubed launching mass market music streaming services at sub-£5 price points and Spotify forming alliances with Vodafone and The Times. Further findings from the research revealed that while the number of independent music stores in the UK is still 12 percent lower than the 2008 figure, the indies have increased their share of the physical album market from 2.4 percent to 4.5 percent. Vinyl album sales in these outlets increased from 75,700 in 2008 to 368,300 in 2013. m51_april 2014_13
OF SONG Global hits, technological upheaval, piracy: ask anyone to name the biggest story in British music over the last decade and they’ll mention one of these headline grabbers. But none of this is really news, as a quick glance through the PRS for Music archives can reveal. The same factors have been shaping the industry for a hundred years or more, littering the past with amazing artistry, dizzying financial rewards and a few failed ventures. To mark the centenary of PRS for Music, we’ve scoured the society’s records to uncover British music’s most performed works over the last 100 years. Through these songs – their writers, publishers and audiences – we can trace the resilience and ingenuity of the industry, and find familiarity at every turn. Buried within dusty financial ledgers and fading songwriter pledges, a new history unfolds. We learn how the music business has been dogged by change, market struggle and artistic friction from the very beginning. We also discover how PRS for Music has adapted to meet these pressures.
191Os A songwriters’ dud goes viral Pack Up Your Troubles by George and Felix Powell (Francis, Day & Hunter) A few months after PRS had formed, two English songwriting brothers revisited their drawer of discarded material – marked ‘duds’ – in the hope of reviving a ditty. It was the dawn of the First World War and US publisher Francis, Day and Hunter was offering £100 for the best marching song to amuse the troops. George and Felix dusted down their piano ballad Pack Up Your Troubles, gave it a new, faster rhythm and sent it off for scrutiny. The revamp worked and they bagged first prize in 1915. Soon after, their melody spread around the globe, exported via British troops and helped by civilian word of mouth. As the Great War dragged, the British army hired Felix to sing the song to troops along the Western Front and by 1918 it had crossed No Man’s Land to be sung by German soldiers too.
GETTY / PRS FOR MUSIC ARCHIVES
Back at home, PRS was operating from two small rooms in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. It was gearing up for its first ever royalty distribution of £11,000, which went to 270 songwriters and composers, and 16 publishers, in 1917. One of the society’s main sources of income was cinemas. The public went mad for the silent movies of Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin - and new picture houses were springing up all over the country. Each film needed a pianist who would perform licensed classics and ‘mood music’. Around that time, PRS was also collecting income from bandstands, hotels, cafés and a few corporations too. Among publishers, the rampant piracy of sheet music was biting business, while a new recorded music industry was fledging. Thomas Edison introduced his innovative Diamond Disc Player in 1913, immediately replacing the old cylinder system. This prompted Columbia to issue its first music discs.
Opposite: Early PRS offices Below: Radio at the center of the home; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
192Os Crossing boundaries Song of Hiawatha by Sam Coleridge-Taylor (Novello & Company) Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (below) was a trailblazing composer, way ahead of his time. Dubbed the Lennon or McCartney of the early twentieth century, he was barely out of his teens when he began writing music that would define an era. As a classical composer of British-African descent, he could have quite easily slipped into obscurity, given the pervading social values of the time. But his Song of Hiawatha trilogy of cantatas crossed all boundaries. The piece took the English-speaking world by storm when it was finished in 1900 and its popularity soared until the start of the Second World War. It’s one of the British music industry’s great scandals that Samuel died penniless in 1912, aged 34. His death helped instigate the creation of PRS in 1914 and Samuel’s wife joined the society soon after, collecting royalties on behalf of his estate. In the wider entertainment business, big change was afoot. PRS issued its first radio licence to the BBC in 1923, covering the corporation’s eight new regional wireless telegraph stations. Meanwhile, the film industry was undergoing massive change, marked by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1929 thriller Blackmail, which became the first ‘talkie’ to be screened in the UK. Throughout the decade cinema provided a large chunk of PRS royalties - around 45 percent of all income - with dancehalls, hotels, tea rooms, skating rinks and church halls making up the rest. Records show that PRS’ public houses tariff was charging up to £5 per year for live piano performances (the equivalent of around £1,285 in today’s money). There were also separate charges for a growing number of ‘amplified’ and ‘gramophone’ performances - ranging from six farthings to 10 shillings per night. Very few pubs were licensed back then, but within four decades, all that had changed.
193Os The radio revolution Love is the Sweetest Thing by Ray Noble (Redwood Music) By 1930 there were five million radio sets in the UK and demand was fierce for dance bands and jazz. The BBC had a monopoly back then, but by 1938 the plucky pirate station Radio Luxembourg was muscling in, bringing non-stop ‘light entertainment’ and ‘pop hits’ to front rooms across Britain. Ray Noble was one of those all-round entertainers who were synonymous with the era and purpose-built for both radio and the stage. He could compose, arrange, sing, lead bands and act. He penned many of the dance band hits of the thirties and did his bit to stand up to the American musical invasion, even though he himself moved to New York in 1934. Love is the Sweetest Thing was a massive hit for Ray on both sides of the Atlantic, earning him his first US number one. It success brought him a few Hollywood acting roles, where he played alongside Fred Astaire and Joan Fontain in the 1937 film A Damsel in Distress. But it wasn’t all roses for the entertainment industry. The Great Depression sent sheet music sales into headlong decline, made worse by the plunging demand for records too. Radio had revolutionised home entertainment, making music more accessible and cheaper than ever. People ditched their parlour pianos in their droves and replaced them with wireless sets. PRS, and the rest of the industry, had to act quickly. Recorded and broadcast music were taking over old traditions and there was money to be made if the industry moved fast enough to keep pace. Licensing and collecting fees had always represented two huge tasks for the developing PRS. But by the thirties the situation was starting to get tricky – the society had become so successful at collecting money from all the new performance avenues that were opening up that distributing it became the next big problem. So, during this time, the organisation mushroomed.
Songbook to sync Coronation Scot by Vivian Ellis (Chappell)
‘Songs should be like sneezes — spontaneous.’ Living Doll by Lionel Bart (Lakeview Music)
Renowned songwriter Vivian Ellis joined PRS back in 1926. Shortly after, he wrote a string of successful musicals and pop songs. But he doesn’t register in our most performed list until the forties. The reason? Vivian scored a lucrative sync in 1948.
Fifties’ Britain was a uniquely radical time for the music industry. As the country continued to grapple with the fallout from the Second World War, ideas of upward mobility, social freedom and consumer aspirations were starting to take root. The cross-generational ballads that dictated the early part of the decade slowly became outmoded and cliché. Youngsters were tapping into the latest trans-Atlantic seven-inches and 78s, and began emulating the hedonistic style, sound and spirit of early rock ‘n’ roll. The British teenager was born.
His song Coronation Scot, which was penned 12 years earlier, was picked up by BBC Radio for the hugely successful Paul Temple murder series. The song had been inspired by the ‘clicketyclack’ of a famous express train that Vivian used to ride from his holiday home in Taunton to London Paddington, and provided an atmospheric accompaniment to a suspense-filled crime thriller. Vivian later went on to become a PRS director in 1955, before taking up the post of president in the eighties. During his career he created more than 60 stage musicals and was behind a clutch of popular songs both before and after the Second World War. In the wider industry, there’s no doubt the war and its repercussions dominated the forties. The dawn of the decade brought regulations that massively constricted the music business. Venues suffered a 6pm curfew and BBC Radio was reduced to public announcements and a limited supply of gramophone records.
GETTY / PRS FOR MUSIC ARCHIVES
Luckily, regulations didn’t stick around for long. In fact, the war sparked a boom in all kinds of entertainment – particularly music – and sowed the seeds for the lucrative rock ‘n’ roll era that was to come. The only exception was television, where service was suspended for the entire duration. The forties brought massive changes to the way people lived their lives and music became more integrated than ever before. The huge influx of workers into factories – especially munitions plants and food processing units – increased the demand for musical light relief. Over at PRS, this helped income to grow but power supply problems were hitting the society’s so-called ‘innovative electric calculating machines’ and disrupting royalty calculations.
Find out more about all our centenary celebrations
Back then, the music business was controlled by publishers and songwriters based on Denmark Street, London – our version of the Big Apple’s Tin Pan Alley. In the cafes around the area, upcoming songwriter Lionel Bart would tune into the latest US R&B and rock ‘n’ roll infecting the jukeboxes and wireless sets, turning his hand a new writing style. But he needed a foil. Then in 1958, Lionel discovered fresh-faced teenager Harry Webb in a nearby Soho club. Harry, later Cliff Richard, and his band, The Drifters, were perfect. Lionel had them perform three songs he’d written for a film called Serious Charge, including Living Doll. Lionel later said he wrote the track in 10 minutes, adding: ‘I never spent more than an hour on a tune. Songs should be like sneezes – spontaneous.’ Since its initial release in 1959 the song has clocked up nearly four million sales and earned Lionel an Ivor Novello Award for his troubles. It hit the top spot again when Cliff rerecorded it in 1986 with comedy act The Young Ones for Comic Relief. Lionel’s other songs from the era, including Little White Bull and Big Time, also topped the charts and he became much lauded for his hit musical Oliver! The decade saw a massive rise in television ownership – from three million households in 1954 to nearly 13 million by 1964 - which profoundly altered the way the public interacted with music.
The first Brit invasion She Loves You by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (Sony/ATV) The swinging sixties began in earnest as Britain’s budding pop music industry was yet to blossom. Senior management at PRS were voicing fears over the Americanisation of British cultural life, a sentiment which echoed loudly around the whole UK music industry. But within three years the headlines had changed. Leslie Boosey, then chairman of PRS, proudly announced at the society’s 1963 Annual General Meeting that ‘beat groups’ had changed the fortunes of British music - and new PRS members Paul McCartney and John Lennon were leading the charge. John and Paul wrote She Loves You in the early summer of 1963 while on tour with Roy Orbison and Gerry and the Pacemakers. They recorded it in July that year and by September it was number one. It hit the big time across the Atlantic too, kick starting a severe bout of Beatlemania that was to infect the rest of the decade. It was during this time that foundations were cemented for the British music industry we recognise today. The cult of
youth, rock ‘n’ roll, pirate radio, rising demand for music on TV, the brand new album format, a record industry with a licence to print money… all of these things came to define the business for the next five decades. PRS had to undergo massive transformation in response to these revolutionary forces.
Opposite: Vivian Ellis and Sting at PRS’s 75th anniversary celebrations; Lionel Bart; Below: Paul McCartney and John Lennon
The market for music had changed immeasurably and was increasingly available in recorded and broadcast form, and via mobile portable radios and cassette players. Meanwhile, BBC Radio 1 begun airing in 1967 amid growing popularity for the ultra-hip pirate stations Radio Luxembourg, Radio London and Radio Caroline. The number of businesses playing music mushroomed, helped by the rise of companies providing readymade pop cassettes for background music. During the decade, the society found a new spirit of optimism, defined by a raft of new licences, including the Aircraft Tariff of 1961. By the turn of 1970, PRS had more than five thousand members and a gross income of just over £9.1m – an increase of more than £5.8m in a decade.
Music exchange Love is All Around by Reg Presley (Universal/Dick James Music) Britain’s first family of harmony Night Fever by Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb (Universal Music Publishing) By the time the Bee Gees’ Night Fever ruled the charts, the trio already had an impressive canon of songs behind them. Earlier ballads, including 1967’s To Love Somebody and Massachusetts, had stolen hearts in the UK, US, Europe and Australia, and brought a timeless sensibility to the world of pop. Having started out as a Beatles-inspired, vocal-oriented pop outfit, the Gibbs began to experiment and by the mid-seventies had settled on a more R&B-influenced groove that chimed with a growing underground dance culture. Night Fever, lifted from the Saturday Night Fever movie soundtrack, was their mainstream homage to the disco scene, and became an instant success on its release in 1978. A year later, in response to the UK’s nascent club circuit, PRS launched its first ever DJ licence. PRS underwent massive internal structural change during the seventies, initiated in 1975 by the then little known composer, publisher and solicitor Trevor Lyttleton. His calls for an overhaul of the society’s voting system and member structure eventually ended up in the House of Commons, with disparaging allegations about both sides littering the front pages of the national press. All this activity encouraged PRS to update its constitution and it began publishing yearbooks and news bulletins to keep members ‘in the picture’. Outside the organisation, the British economy was in freefall. From 1975 to 1980 retail prices doubled and the whole music industry had to constantly readjust its costings, licenses and royalty rates to deal with the crisis. Punk was stirring in the suburbs and cities around Britain, offering a narrative for disaffected youngsters who felt outside the political system and underserved by the bloated prog-rock that was consuming the mainstream.
Wet Wet Wet’s 1994 cover of Reg Presley’s Love is All Around stayed at number one in the UK Singles Chart for 15 weeks, propelled by its place in the blockbuster British romcom Four Weddings and a Funeral. It had originally been a top five hit in 1967 for Reg’s band The Troggs, who also reaped success with psych-rock tracks I Can’t Control Myself and With a Girl Like You. But their biggest hit was their cover of Chip Taylor’s Wild Thing, which went on to influence a whole generation of garage and punk bands from Buzzcocks to Iggy Pop, REM and The Ramones. In 1995 Reg picked up three Ivor Novello Awards for Love is All Around – including the coveted gong for Most Performed Work. He reportedly used his royalties to fund research on subjects from alien spacecraft and lost civilisations to crop circles. His findings were revealed in his 2002 conspiracy theory book Wild Things They Don’t Tell Us. PRS and MCPS joined forces in 1998 to become the MCPSPRS Alliance. A year later, US teenager Shawn Fanning launched his illegal file-sharing service Napster. By letting friends swap mp3 tracks, Napster made the casual copying and exchanging of music among friends and family into a global, automated process that threatened the music industry, whose business model was in no way geared, or even prepared, for the digital online age. From day one Napster brought a seismic shift in music consumption that the industry has been adapting to ever since.
Rip-roaring Rickrolling… Never Gonna Give You Up by Matt Aitken, Mike Stock and Pete Waterman (Mike Stock Publishing, Sony/ATV and Matt Aitken Music Publishing)
GETTY / BASCA
For many, the songwriting/production force of Stock, Aitken and Waterman came to define the eighties. Their hedonistic hit factory fired an overwhelming arsenal of ‘candyfloss’ pop to the top of the charts, spawning a glut of one hit wonders and global superstars. They scored more than 100 UK top 40 hits (including 13 number ones), sold 40 million records and earned an estimated £60m with their winning formula of Hi-NRG beats, prosthetic basslines and lovelorn lyrics. Together, the trio rode out the era of the mullet with a brass neck, a canny sense of rhythm and a killer business instinct. Pete later reflected in The Guardian: ‘What we did [was] candyfloss ... but there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you
don’t eat too much of it and you brush your teeth afterwards.’ Their acts – including Bananarama, Sinitta, Kylie Minogue and Dead or Alive - enjoyed ubiquitous success, but it was a young chap from Lancashire who stole the decade’s ‘most performed’ crown. Rick Astley’s first proper release, Never Gonna Give You Up, became the highest-selling UK single of 1987 and topped the charts in 24 other countries. The track made an unexpected comeback in 2007 when internet users began baiting each other to watch the YouTube video by emailing disguised links in emails – the ‘rickrolling’ phenomenon.
Back at PRS, the Berners Street headquarters was groaning under the sheer weight of indexed handwritten cards and data sheets detailing compositions and their performances. By the end of the decade the old computer system, installed decades before, had become obsolete and work started on an ambitious new IT project. In the world of television, big things were afoot. Channel 4 launched in 1982 and by the end of the decade, satellite TV companies opened out the small screen. The record companies weren’t resting on their laurels either. At the start of the decade Sony and Phillips introduced a format that would usher in a new boom time for the business - the compact disc.
The ultimate ear worm Can’t Get You Out of My Head by Rob Davis and Cathy Dennis (Universal/MCA Music) Released in September 2001, Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head went on to become the Australian performer’s biggest hit and one of this century’s most enduring and influential songs. It was written by Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis during their first ever songwriting session together, organised on the advice of music mogul Simon Fuller. Rob was running a drum loop through Cubase and strumming an acoustic guitar while Cathy came up with the main vocal riff. The demo was done and dusted within three hours. Simon heard the track and decided it wasn’t right for S Club 7, the group he was managing at the time. But when Kylie’s A&R Jamie Nelson heard the track he jumped on it. Kylie’s recording became the first song in UK radio history to have 3,000 radio plays in a single week and it hit number one in every European country bar Finland. The song has since sold more than four million copies and won three Ivor Novello Awards. In the wider industry, the record companies, publishers and collecting societies were still reeling from the launch of Napster, which had caught
everyone off guard on its launch in 1999. Litigation came from all sides and the court battles dragged on and on – way after Napster’s creators and its millions of users had ditched the service. It wasn’t until late 2002 that the record companies launched their first digital music services: Sony and Universal’s PressPlay and Warner, BMG and EMI’s MusicNet. Meanwhile iTunes Music Store didn’t open for business in the US until April 2003. Back at PRS, the society was gearing up for the future. The PRS Foundation was launched at the very start of the decade to support the creation of new music across all genres. A year later, MCPS and PRS became the first collecting societies to distribute iTunes royalties to their members. Four years on, they formed the International Copyright Enterprise (ICE) with Swedish collecting society STIM to simplify both national and pan-European music licensing and processing. In 2009, the society signed 12 pan-European licensing deals with Amazon, iTunes, Napster (now legal), Nokia and Spotify.
Someone like Adele Rolling in the Deep by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth (EMI Music Publishing/Universal Music Publishing) We’re not even halfway through the decade but there is one song that looks set to define the era. Adele had already become a UK icon for the songwriting nous and belting vocals on debut album 19 (released 2008) but it was her 2011 set 21, and Rolling in the Deep in particular, that brought international success above and beyond what most industry experts could have ever predicted. A definitive break-up song, Adele went into the studio with songwriter-producer Paul Epworth soon after splitting with her partner. According to Paul, they recorded the demo in just over a day. They went with that initial recording for the album as it carried maximum emotional welly. The cut won the pair numerous Grammy and Ivor Novello Awards and was played more times on US radio and television in 2011 than any other song in the BMI repertoire. Back in the UK, PRS for Music announced that Adele’s music was being tracked in 170 countries - the most regions the society has ever worked in – helped by 150 global agreements and an international network that now represents more than two million music creators. In 2013, the society celebrated the joining of its 100,000th member and announced that, in an industry now worth £3.9bn, it had collected £630.8m for its members in 2012. In the wider industry, take-up of streaming services including Spotify and Deezer have continued to grow, while income from downloads showed signs of slowing. Piracy is still a rampant problem for the global music business and here in the UK music industry body BPI had sent Google more than 50 million take-down requests by the end of 2013, which called for copyright-infringing content removed from the search engine’s results pages.
Opposite: The Bee Gees; Reg Presley at The Ivors Left: Kylie Minogue Above: Adele wins big at the Grammys M51_APRIL 2014_19
CESARE CICCARDINI JOHN WRIGHT
DIGITAL SYMPHONIA Alexandra Coughlan chats to shape-shifting composer Ludovico Einaudi to learn how he’s subverting the classical rulebook and smashing digital sales records. Ludovico Einaudi is big news. He regularly sells out stadiums, nightclubs and concert halls all over the world. He tops charts, breaks digital download records and inspires devotion from legions of fans. Standard, surely, for a big international act these days? Perhaps, but with just one difference: Ludovico is a classical composer.
‘As a publisher that’s the last thing I want. I want music to find an audience. And that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s shallow. Ludovico understands that he needs to connect with his audience, but that doesn’t stop him being experimental. Each of his projects introduces new sounds, new elements, yet he always manages to take his fan base with him.’
Or is he? It’s a question that has dogged the career of a composer and pianist whose meditative, cyclic music has been described – or dismissed – variously as ambient, new age, atmospheric and even easy listening. Sitting somewhere between the hypnotic minimalism of Philip Glass, the lyric al flow of Chopin and the otherworldly soundscapes of Eno or Autechre, Ludovico has championed melody when it is no longer fashionable and sold sincerity where cynicism and disillusionment are the standard currency.
In a stadium, Ludovico and his piano can hold the attention of audiences more used to a three-minute pop song for a whole hour – calm, magnetic, focused. But in person the softly-spoken Italian composer looks much more like an expensive psychologist or business consultant than an artist – thick-rimmed black glasses and black jacket his unchanging uniform.
‘I just always try to write music that I like myself,’ he explains gently. ‘I don’t understand why there is this snobbery. It’s really not necessary to take this moralistic approach to the arts. All that matters is whether music is able to communicate something to the listener - and that can be through an avant-garde piece of atonalism or an incredible tonal piece.’ Chris Butler, worldwide Head of Publishing at Music Sales and Ludovico’s publisher, agrees. ‘There’s this sense that classical music has to be difficult or unapproachable in order to be taken seriously.
The composer spends much of the year on the road, touring all round the world. But when I call he’s at his vineyard home in Piedmont, sitting near his beloved Steinway. What’s on the piano? ‘Bach, always Bach; The Beatles Songbook. But it can be anything – folk music, pop songs, rock music.’ It’s this eclecticism, this uncomplicated love of music in all its forms, which has shaped Ludovico’s distinctive voice, making him one of the few artists to be played both on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 1. And it’s a diversity that doesn’t stop here. You’re as likely to find the composer working on a film score or collaborative dance project as you are writing his own solo works.
All that matters is whether music is able to communicate something to the listener M51_APRIL 2014_21
It’s mystery that attracts me to a project, whether that’s in another artist, an idea or an image
and recreate those sensations but transform them with new forms and shapes. I put all my visions, my emotions, my spirituality into what I write – they are all laid out for people to see. I think if I didn’t people wouldn’t respond in the same way.’ Ludovico gets his own inspiration from other artists, frequently collaborating to produce film scores (notably Shane Meadows’ coming-of-age drama This is England and 2012’s quirky hit Untouchable). ‘It’s mystery that attracts me to a project, whether that’s in another artist, an idea or an image,’ he explains. ‘I have to develop my own work within someone else’s limits – following a story, perhaps, in a film, or using particular rhythms in a ballet. You build a creative dialogue with someone else, and out of that two-way conversation a third thing emerges.’ He credits these collaborations with helping develop a style that has taken him from minimal, solo piano albums to a much more symphonic sound today, most recently enhanced by electronic textures.
‘I don’t like the idea of different categories of music. I don’t like the idea of different categories of people. I’ve spent my whole career being unpredictable and have made a success of it. For me that’s a good sign – a sign of the time, a sign that the rules are changing. I dream about a world in which anybody can listen to any kind of music without genres or boundaries getting in the way.’ It’s a dream that’s quickly becoming a reality, with the rise of digital music exploding the old record shop categories and generating a whole new market for music. Ludovico is the first classical artist whose digital sales outstrip his physical albums – the ‘first classical digital star’, as Butler puts it – something that has begun to influence the way he writes.
Ludovico’s children – his son a film score composer, his daughter a singer songwriter – have also influenced his development. ‘We suggest different music to each other. My son showed my some amazing beatboxers on YouTube recently, and I played him some Stravinsky. But we share a lot of common ground, and our work music feels very connected.’
‘I grew up with vinyl. Then the CD came along and suddenly music changed because an album could contain so much more music than a record. Similarly, Mozart’s concertos or Bach’s cantatas were written for a specific purpose and were written to a particular length,’ Ludovico says.
But with the proliferation of digital music – Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, SoundCloud – will this next generation of composers be able to make a living as their father has done? It’s a problem Chris Butler takes very seriously. ‘It’s absolutely still possible to make a living as a composer, but you need to have an audience. You also need infrastructure.
‘Digital music changes everything. The only time limit you have to take into account is human concentration. You can write a threeminute piece or one of three hours. Now we as artists have the opportunity to take back the authority, to decide for ourselves what the limits should be.’
‘From a publisher’s perspective there’s no point having all this artistic success unless you’ve got structures in place to help you capitalise on that. Ludovico has just joined us to help assure his commercial future – to turn artistic success into the income he needs to survive.’
But with so many possibilities, so many traditions and sound palettes to choose from, how does Ludovico go about composing? ‘I generally sit at the piano. An initial idea might emerge from improvising, but then I write it down and go through a long process to develop it and explore all its possibilities.
However, for the composer himself, priorities are a little different. ‘Success for me is not about how much money you can make; it’s about connecting with people through music. That’s what fascinates me, what makes me want to sit down to compose. How can I bring out emotions in someone they never knew they had?’
‘I’ll only stop once it feels mature and complete – it can take days, and at other times it’s quite quick. When I’m touring of course it’s harder. If ideas come I’ll generally sketch them down and save them to work on later.’
For an artist so digitally active, Ludovico is surprisingly insistent on the value of the concert hall, the live musical experience. ‘I want to invent new forms of listening to a concert, to get audiences involved in different ways. Just look at what theatre companies are doing now – using unusual spaces, getting people walking around. I want now to start exploring that interaction between theatre and music, to combine different modes of expression to take my music into new territories.
Many listeners speak of the ‘spiritual’ quality of Ludovico’s music and respond very intensely to its shifting, evolving patterns and song-like melodies. ‘It’s something that is very mysterious to me,’ the composer says. GETTY
‘During the nineties I wanted to discover what the essence of my music, my language, was. So I took everything away and distilled it right down. After that I began slowly to add elements back in around that core, building different colours and textures alongside the piano. Recently it has become more layered and dimensional, and harmonically much bolder.’
‘There’s certainly no recipe. Every time I write music I search for something truthful and just hope, eventually, that I will find it. I delve into memories, things that have given me inspiration. I try
‘There’s a magic to a live performance, and it’s a magic that bewitches and transforms the performer as well. As an artist I embrace digital change and innovation, but I hope we never lose that – it’s what music is all about.’
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OUR R&B Chantelle Fiddy takes a look at the new generation of cross-pollinating songwriters and producers who are pulling pop into fresh shapes.
As the door closed on another great year for British music, trusty tipsters promised us that 2014 would be the year of alt-R&B – and so far, they haven’t been wrong. Blurring the lines of pop, electro and soul, a glut of artists are proving it’s an exciting time for anyone fusing the old swing of the last decade with a futuristic promise. The influential BBC Sound of 2014 poll, nominated and voted for by 170 industry pundits, featured Sam Smith, Ella Eyre, Banks, Sampha, FKA Twigs, MNEK and Kelela – all of whom are creating out of the box R&B of sorts. In a double whammy, the BBC’s poll winner, Sam Smith, also nabbed the coveted BRITs Critics’ Choice Award. Across the blogosphere, other tips that mattered included Joel Compass, Javeon, Lulu James, Kwabs, Sasha Keable and Rainy Milo.
TYRONE LEBON CREDIT
George Ergatoudis, Head of Music at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, proclaimed in an accompanying poll interview that one of the dominant styles for 2014 would be ‘indie R&B’ - R&B made with an independent, experimental mindset. So where did this new, all-conquering sound bubble up from? ‘I think it’s been building for a while,’ says Hattie Collins, music editor at i-D Magazine. ‘[Canadian rapper] Drake kickstarted the rapR&B wave [back in 2009] and then [other North American artists] Frank Ocean and The Weeknd came through. Now acts like Miguel and Future are delivering their own take on R&B.
‘It took a little time, but the UK is certainly playing catch-up; there are some amazing British acts offering an alternate to the R&B convo; Joel Compass, Kyan, Raleigh Ritchie… Girls too, notably Tanika and Sinead Harnett. Whether it’s the year remains to be seen, but there does seem to be a massive deluge of soul/ R&B/altR&B acts coming through.’ We’re all pretty aware by now that the trend for all things urban creeping into the mainstream is nothing new. But, with the rap-led Brit signings now seemingly on the back burner (fresh PMR signing Meridian Dan aside), this twist in sound isn’t an overnight turn-oftaste we’re witnessing: it’s a generational movement. It’s Aaliyah over Madonna; Sade rings a bell while Maxine Nightingale probably doesn’t; Alexander O’Neale is a very, very distant memory compared to Amy Winehouse or Mr Ocean. Let’s take upcoming Londoner MNEK by way of example. Where his inspirations are concerned, he cites Janet Jackson, Jam & Lewis (who he’s recently worked with), Bobby Brown and Calvin Harris. Looking at the refixes posted regularly to his SoundCloud page, it’s Atomic Kitten, George Michael, J-Lo and Kylie who are getting his soulful onceover. ‘A lot of artists I’ve interviewed recently - Jess Glynne, A*M*E, Sinead Harnett and MNEK spring to mind - will reference nineties R&B without a doubt,’ Hattie says. ‘But then most artists under
Main image: Javeon
With producers in the UK leading the charge, itâ€™s never been a better time for new vocalists to breakthrough and create that all important tipping point for their careers M51_APRIL 2014_25
Clockwise from left: Kwabs, Raleigh Ritchie, Sinead Harnett
the age of 25, and particularly teenagers, can’t converse about musical influences without mentioning [US R&B heavyweights] Aaliyah, SWV and our own, Eternal and the Honeyz. I guess a lot of these artists grew up with parents who were in their 20s and 30s in the nineties so they were submerged in the sound of their parent’s playlists; Usher, Mary J, Total, Aaliyah, Jodeci et al would have played a big part in their formative years.’ But MNEK, despite his youth (he’s only 19 but has been published since he was 14), has been whetting people’s appetites for a hot minute. He’s collaborated with Rudimental (with whom he shares a studio in east London) and fellow-R&B soulstress Syron on their early online release Spoons. Rudimental’s album track Baby is also among his writing credits along with his now Grammy-nominated Need U (100%) by Duke Dumont. As well as notching up another top five recently with Gorgon City’s Ready For Your Love, on which he features, there’s also a chart-topping single penned for The Saturdays (All Fired Up) and production work for PMR’s sweet-souled boy, Javeon (Lovesong) in the bag.
SARAH GINN OLIVER SMITH OLLIE GROVE // ADRIAN LAMBERT
‘I’d describe the scene as alternative R&B as it’s not the straightforward R&B I grew up on,’ says Javeon. ‘It’s new, fresh, electronic and most importantly it feels like ours, as opposed to a rip off of what you might hear in the States… My main influences are Usher, Jodeci, Craig David and the whole UKG [UK garage] movement.’ Sonically speaking, the use of vocals in grime and dubstep compositions a few years back unwittingly sowed the seeds for this new angle.
This twist in sound isn’t an overnight turn-of-taste: it’s a generational movement
Sadie Ama’s contribution to Terror Danjah’s So Sure (featuring Kano), actually won her fourth place on the BBC Sound Poll back in 2007. Jamie Woon, who’s responsible for production on LA native Banks’ boundaryshattering track, This Is What It Feels Like, offered an alternative R&B twist on his own album, Moonwriting, released over three years ago. Unwittingly, the Breakage remix of his debut single Wayfaring Stranger, also born back in 2007, was the first time such vocals were - as far as I’m aware - ever used on a dubstep beat. Picking up the baton, it was the respective success of acts like Jamie Woon, Katy B and even the less obvious Joy Orbison, which have led to the achievements of Disclosure, Rudimental, Naughty Boy, James Blake and co. And while all the above undeniably drew on wide-spanning dance back catalogues, the R&B influence doesn’t go amiss. But there’s another pattern – and reality - to recognise here too; current state of play within the music industry suggests most acts (who aren’t releasing directly off the back of a TV show) are in desperate need of an entry point. Sometimes this will come off the back of an undeniably amazing single, perhaps after releasing countless warm-up tracks, maybe as a result of relentless touring, a very well received mixtape or as the rare result of a major label blowing the budget on your behalf. More commonly, this entry point is now achieved through collaboration. With producers in the UK leading the current chart charge, it’s never been a better time for new vocalists to breakthrough and create that all important tipping point, allowing them, in turn, to launch successful solo careers. It was an initially unknown Sam Smith who was heard on two of last year’s best singles - Naughty Boy’s La La La and Disclosure’s Latch. If you really need convincing just look at Rudimental’s album features; Sinead Harnett, John Newman, Foxes, Angel Haze, MNEK, Syron, Becky Hill, Emeli Sande, Alex Clare and Ella Eyre – now all of whom are (thankfully) on their way to becoming household names. Ella Eyre also worked with Tinie Tempah and Bastille before finding herself sat among the BBC poll’s top 15 and sharing Rudimental’s BRIT for Waiting All Night.
Clockwise from Left: Syron, MNEK, Duke Dumont, Sampha Right: A*M*E
Alt-R&B is new, fresh,electronic and, most importantly, it feels like ours Further proof that collaboration is key is producer-songwriter-vocalist du jour Sampha. He shot to attention following credits on Drake’s third studio album, Nothing Was the Same, and a show-stealing performance of Too Much on Late Night With Fallon. But this is no newfound friendship. A quick YouTube search later and you’ll find footage of SBTRKT, Sampha and Drake getting electronically inspired at a Young Turks club night in Toronto back in 2011. Another of Sampha’s collaborators, Jessie Ware, showcased her own Sade-esque R&B edge oh so well on her debut album Devotion. If Jessie’s Instagram is anything to go by, sessions with Miguel, Dev Hynes and Tourist along with previous contributors Jimmy Napes and Julio Bashmore promise a striking follow up that delves deeper into new wave R&B. Jessie can also currently be heard on label homie Julio Bashmore’s vintage Chicago house inspired release, Peppermint. Knowing, that at the other end of the sonic spectrum he produced Devotion’s Big Pun sampling album cut, 110%, also shows the diversity producers are looking achieve today. ‘Working with the likes of Cyril Hahn hasn’t changed my sound…’ says Javeon of their recent collaborative outing Breaking. ‘But it’s nice to come together on a collaboration, creating something new for the both of us, and our fans. It’s exciting that we can do that without having any pressure of continuing the sound individually.’ This teamwork can also be found on the live circuit. You’ll be able to catch Javeon on a number of tours over the new few months – slots are lined up with Ella Eyre, Clean Bandit and his PMR label crew, where he’ll join mates Cyril Hahn and T Williams for a UK tour.
And they’re taking us seriously over the pond; Disclosure, Dev Hynes and Jamie Woon’s production for US acts aside, Little Mix, who recently adopted greater R&B pop sensibilities, have taken the top spot on the iTunes album charts. Grammy nominated British producer Duke Dumont and coproducer Jax Jones’ latest chart assault cleverly re-imagines a Whitney Houston sample, and notably, was personally cleared by My Love Is Your Love writers Wyclef Jean and Jerry Duplessis – the first time a Whitney sample been used since her tragic passing two years ago. ‘I don’t think dance will calm down,’ concludes Hattie. ‘Even if it’s less prominent in a commercial sense, which I doubt it will be, it’ll continue to have a cultural stranglehold. Kids just want to rave to house right now it seems; or at least have house within the music policy of the night they’re at.’ But even if you don’t want your R&B over house or forward-thinking beats, there’s candy for your ears also. For R&B purists who miss the swing of the late nineties and early noughties, be prepared. If Cassie, Lil Mo, Brandy, Jade and co were on your CD player then you need to hear Katy B’s Crying For No Reason (Morri$ Remix), some younger listeners could mistake this for a new sound - but it’s as throwback as British R&B’s got. And there are no complaints here.
Find out about more about our dance music initiative prsformusic.com/amplify M51_APRIL 2014_27
Main image: Gary Kemp
21st century soul boy Spandau Ballet’s chief songwriter Gary Kemp lets Jim Ottewill in on his songwriting secrets… ‘David Bowie’s performance of Starman on Top of the Pops was a turning point. That was when music became something not just in my head, but in my groin.’ It’s an all-encompassing musical epiphany but unsurprising for a man as infatuated with the art of songwriting as Spandau Ballet’s guitarist and chief writer Gary Kemp.
Ever since Bowie locked eyes with him as a kid through his TV screen, Gary’s obsession with the magic of pop music has only grown and grown. From Spandau’s early days dancing at Steve Strange’s Blitz Club to mega-stardom with hits like Gold and True and beyond, he’s spent more than 30 years helping set the benchmark for the styles and sounds of modern pop. Soul Boys of the Western World 2014 is shaping up to be a big year for Gary and the band. After 25 million record sales, six multi-platinum albums, 23 hit singles and an infamous publishing court wrangle, Spandau Ballet’s story is now being committed to celluloid. Soul Boys of the Western World, directed by George Hencken and due for release in the UK later this year, uses rare archive footage to document the trials and tribulations of a group who all the girls wanted to bed and all the boys wanted to be.
‘I’m really pleased with it,’ says Gary. ‘It’s the story of a band, warts and all. It’s a story of the friendship of a group of working class kids who ended up selling records all over the world, had amazing success, then smashed each other up in court. It’s a film we wanted those people who don’t even care about or know the band to enjoy. I’m hoping we’ve achieved that.’ Early years For Gary, and his brother Martin (who, when not acting, plays bass in Spandau Ballet), their first run-ins with music all started in Islington in London where they grew up. ‘The first music I remember was from the pub next door,’ he recalls. ‘The sound of the family upright piano played every evening and came into my bedroom through the wall.’ It was the start of a rapid musical education. Gary saved all his pocket money and Saturday job wages to afford his first records while he was famously bought a recording device by Trevor Huddleston, the Bishop of Stepney, after impressing him with his musical abilities. While he went on to form a pub-rock band during his teens, it was an all important Sex Pistols gig he attended with future Spandau manager Steve Dagger and band member Steve Norman which led to him seeking a more futuristic sound.
David Bowieâ€™s performance of Starman on Top of the Pops was a turning point. That was when music became something not just in my head, but in my groin. M51_APRIL 2014_29
ears y 0 0 1 er e For ov we hav oat r h at t g evin i l e r n bee hard r o f n o irritati ces i o v g workin Friend rsB #Singe
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YEARS L LEN C E O F E XC E
‘We went to see the Sex Pistols play at Screen on the Green in August 1976,’ Gary explained. ‘Obviously they blew us away but the way people were dressed was just as important. Siouxsie Sioux, the Clash and the Buzzcocks all played too. The following day I was meant to rehearse with the pub rock group. I went in and resigned.’ Spandau Ballet were later formed at school and led by Gary and Steve Norman, alongside Tony Hadley, John Keeble and later Martin. The band experimented with various sounds and styles before falling into London’s Blitz Club in Soho and the excitement of the capital’s new club scene. It proved to be another pivotal moment for the band. ‘We changed our sound, bought synths and started playing electronic dance music. We played event gigs as we knew our audience wasn’t interested in attending regular pubs. So we performed on HMS Belfast and in cinemas before Janet Street Porter filmed a TV documentary about us. Within a few weeks we were signed and went straight into the charts with a top five record.’ Taking on the charts While early success came with 1980 debut single To Cut a Long Story Short and an early association with the eyeliner and glitter of the New Romantics, it wasn’t until Gary shrugged off worries about being fashion conscious that he says he found his songwriting feet. It was the slick pop of third album True in 1983 that not only marked a new musical chapter for the band, but heralded their entrance into the elite club of global stardom. He says: ‘I felt an absolute sense of relief. All I wanted to do was write great songs. We couldn’t have been a cult band forever or worry what club London wanted us to do. Let me just sit down and write some songs from my heart. ‘I wrote the True album and went to record it in Nassau in the Bahamas to get some flavour of the blue-eyed soul music. Steve Norman started playing the saxophone. We kind of invented a sound and from then on, I found it much easier to write.’ Gold and True If the playing of your song is counted as attending an event, then Gary Kemp has probably been to more weddings, eighties night clubs and Olympic celebrations than any other songwriter.
‘Gold, always believe in your soul…’ opens one of British pop’s most-loved choruses while the statistics around True are jaw-dropping. The song has been performed on North American radio five million times and has featured in numerous films including John Hughes’ first movie Sixteen Candles and sung by Steve Buscemi in The Wedding Singer. It’s also been sampled and adapted by the likes of PM Dawn, Black Eyed Peas and Nelly, illustrating its strength and global appeal. Did Gary feel it would be a hit from the moment he wrote it? ‘I felt really good about True and Through the Barricades,’ he says. ‘I remember thinking with the latter that it was a special song. I liked True but it wasn’t until I started recording it and discovered the backing vocal that I believed in it in the same way.’
It’s a wonderful feeling to know you’ve nailed it and your thoughts and songs represent millions of people on a bigger stage M51_APRIL 2014_31
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PRS for Music does a great job collecting money and distributing it to you in the form of your royalties. The Musicians’ Union offers valuable advice and services to musicians. But who looks solely after the interests and rights of songwriters and composers?
That’s where BASCA steps in. BASCA is a single, powerful voice for all songwriters and composers, across all genres. We’re an independent, professional, not-for-profit association driven to ensure that our members’ needs are always taken into account when it really matters. We work for fair copyright law, the best possible royalty returns and for wider recognition of the priceless contribution that music makes to our culture and society.
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BASCA membership benefits include: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Free insurance: Professional and Standard members are automatically insured for £1m Public Liability plus equipment insurance Discounts, offers and more: Specially negotiated discounts from our partners, including magazine and media subscription offers from Music Week and Record of The Day Free legal service & tax helpline CELEBRATION BASCA owns and organises the Ivor Novello Awards, the British Composer Awards and the Gold Badge Awards. As a BASCA member, you can take advantage of special industry ticket prices TRAINING Acquire new skills, improve your knowledge and make new contacts through our range of development seminars
INFORMATION Quarterly digital magazine and e-newsletters jam-packed full of in-depth interviews, articles, opportunities and features. Our website includes professional advice and online resources, including specimen contracts COMMUNITY Career development seminars, social events, networking sessions, master classes and songwriting critiques are all part of the BASCA calendar LOBBYING We make sure that your interests are correctly represented in the press, in UK government and in Europe
BASCA, British Music House, 26 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LR
For me, writing is a place to go on my own, to solve problems and to get in touch with myself
While the band’s popularity has endured, it certainly hit a peak in the mid-eighties after True and Live Aid. According to Gary, groups who achieve such phenomenal success as Spandau can only ride the wave when it happens. He explains: ‘All bands have their optimum moment when they are absolutely in the moment. That can’t last forever. There’s only a short window when they represent their time. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you’ve nailed it and your thoughts and songs represent millions of people on a bigger stage.’ Penning the hits Gary’s songwriting career was celebrated by the music industry back in 2012 when he received the Outstanding Song Collection prize at the Ivor Novello Awards. But even for an artist with such an accolade and wealthy back catalogue, the creative process can still be a tricky one.
The court case is obviously still a sore point for Gary but he’s philosophical about the past. ‘I regret the whole upset. We spent so long apart and wasted so much time and potential. I wish I had reached out sooner and tried to stop it happening. But it is part of our story and makes for a damn good movie.’
Clockwise from left: Spandau Ballet; with brother Martin onstage; writing at home.
While Gary’s CV shows that he’s been busy writing prose, music for other artists and acting, he sounds energised about the Spandau Ballet film to the point where the group are heading back into the studio later this year. ‘I’m in the process of writing new songs right now and I’m really excited about it. At the heart of it all, I’m a geezer in Spandau Ballet. Even though we had a long hiatus, when we got back together, it felt like home. That’s what I made, what I’m part of and who I am.’
‘You’re very nervous when you write a song,’ he explains. ‘You like it for personal reasons but the hardest thing is playing it to other members of the band. They’re much more objective. They don’t hear your arrangements in their heads.’
DANNY NORTH / GETTY
For Gary, songwriting is a personal, cathartic act and something to help release the stress of the everyday. ‘It’s easier to write a song on your own. You feel what the lyrics should be about when you’re writing the melody. Often other people come along and don’t have the same mindset. For me, writing is a place to go on my own, to solve problems and to get in touch with myself.’ Once More and beyond Spandua Ballet’s latest album Once More was released back in 2009 to mark their reunion. Mainly featuring re-recordings and two newly written songs, the songwriting process was a way of healing the band’s wounds after their public fall out in the courts. ‘On Once More, I started writing the music, then I decided to get Steve Norman to come over. He was one of the guys who took me to court over publishing so it was really an olive branch. He came round and did a fantastic job of the lyrics.’
i wrote that
The face of pop music wouldn’t look the same without the songwriting skills of Guy Chambers. After learning his trade with Julian Cope and World Party in the mid-eighties, Guy has become a go-to collaborator for chart success, sprinkling his songwriting magic over Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and, most recently, British underground raverturned pop star Katy B... Guy talks us through his collaboration with Katy B and Rinse FM founder and producer Geeneus which led to their recent top five hit Crying for No Reason. I met Katy B through Guy Moot, the president of EMI. Back then he was our shared publisher. I liked Katy’s music before we met. Her vocal style and lyrics are refreshing, intelligent, and also very English. She’s very true to her London roots. I met her and Rinse FM’s DJ Geeneus and we got on really well. The recording process was a normal one for me but not for her. We wrote Crying for No Reason at the piano and she’d never written a song like that before. She’s used to writing to tracks, which is common these days. They were also at my Primrose Hill studio, which, at that point for the pair of them, was quite novel. My studio was then the polar opposite to Geeneus’ in that there are many instruments! At that point he had very few, but made most of his tracks in the box. I did visit G’s studio and wrote [previous single] 5am there. It was basic then, but you can make records with one microphone, a keyboard and some software. Loads of records are made like that. Why not? It’s all about the strength of the song, the lyric, the melody and vocal delivery and it always will be. We wrote Crying for No Reason at the Steinway in my studio the same way I’d write with Robbie Williams. We started at the beginning and worked logically through the song. It’s very pleasing for me to write like that. It’s that old maxim of ‘if the song sounds good with just piano and voice, it’s probably strong and has a chance’. 34_april 2014_m51
The session only took a couple of hours. Katy wrote the lyrics and chorus. I did the music and helped with some of the melodies. Geeneus took the piano and vocal tracks and worked on the production. It took some weeks to get it exactly how he wanted but the next time I heard the song it was finished. It’s not always like that. When I work with Robbie, I produce as well so see through the entire process. I wouldn’t have produced Crying for No Reason like G. He’s given it a modern slant. But it’s great. I really like what he does. With artists you sometimes catch them when they need to write something confessional. In the session, Katy obviously wanted to sing something very emotional. It’s all about timing and luckily for me the chords I played made her feel a certain way. She wanted to write something emotive and not another club track, which they’re great at. They came to me hoping to write something more old-fashioned – classic is another word if you’re being nice to me!
The best moment was sitting with her at the piano and seeing her sing her heart out. It’s always very moving to see someone unearthing their emotions in front of you. indie mentality and don’t accept the word ‘no’. I really like and respect people who work and think like that.
I’m always quite cautious when predicting whether a song will be a hit. But we all had a good feeling about it. There are so many factors which play into success. Release date, amount of money the record company wants to spend, profile, TV slots, whether BBC Radio 1 want to play it. But luckily with Katy, nearly every box got ticked. Everybody decided together at the same time that the song was really good and it was her chance to shine.
The best moment was sitting with her at the piano and seeing her sing her heart out. It’s always very moving to see someone unearthing their emotions in front of you. It’s just the two of you sharing that. You’re then thinking, ‘Wow – she’s really gone somewhere with this lyric’. She’s unearthed some demons. Then you think she’s going to sing this as part of her career forever. It’s always quite moving when you realise it could happen, especially after it just starts with the two of you at the piano. That’s the best bit.
Sony has done a great job, as have Katy’s great team at Rinse FM. I really like the way they work. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to work with her. Rinse have a great reputation for doing things in a refreshing way. They have an
Crying for No Reason Written by Guy Chambers, Kathleen Brian, Gordon Warren. UK publishers: Kobalt Music Services, Ammunition Promotions, EMI Music Publishing.
I am a Camera are Mancunian Francesca Ross and Northern-Irish Londoner Ian Watt. The electro-pop outfit have worked hard over the last 12 months, releasing their own material, covering the Pet Shop Boys’ Rent and remixing the likes of Lana Del Rey, Tanika and Zebra Katz. Forthcoming single Lost in Love perfectly captures their moody electronic pop and is taken from their debut LP, currently being prepared for a 2014 release. Ian talks us through his favourite tracks: the first music i remember hearing was… The Demon Seed soundtrack. My dad worked night shifts in a factory so my mum would let me sit up late with her to keep her company and we’d watch scary movies. There was one film called Demon Seed [directed by Donald Cammell and featuring Julie Christie] about an evil computer that terrorises someone in their home. I remained behind a cushion for most of it but the weird electronic noises were incredible. It also led me to believe as a child that all electronic keyboards and drum machines were evil.
the first record i ever bought was… Drowning In Berlin by the Mobiles. I remember watching Top of the Pops thinking this song sounded like it was from the future with the cold synths and hard drums. I also bought ABBA’s Super Trouper the following day. That pretty much still sums up my musical taste.
the last great record i listened to was… John Grant’s Pale Green Ghosts. He should have won Best International Male at the BRIT Awards. The Gus Gus production and his vocal are a match made in heaven.
the song i wish i’d written is… My Thief by Elvis Costello with Burt Bacharach. It’s a masterclass on how to write about heartbreak. Plus if I’d written it, I’d feel dead clever.
the song that makes me want to dance is… Kym Simms’ Too Blind To See It. It still sounds fresh and this is the track I put on if I’m having a shit day. It’s all about the bounce.
the song that makes me cry is… Nina Simone’s My Father. I came across this song not long after my father passed away. It makes me think of him and the dreams he never fulfilled.
the song that i know all the words to is… Prince’s Gett Off. Simply because it’s ridiculous and brilliant.
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the song i want played at my funeral is… Ghosts by Japan. To hell with all this let’s wear summer colours and celebrate someone’s life. I want folks bawling and crying at my funeral. Hopefully someone will throw themselves on my coffin for the drama of it all. iamacameraofficial.com
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sixty seconds BOB STANLEY Bob Stanley is an acclaimed songwriter, DJ and author. Alongside childhood friends Pete Wiggs and Sarah Cracknell, he is one third of electronic pop act Saint Etienne. The trio have enjoyed a successful music career for more than 20 years with hits including He’s on the Phone. Last year, Bob published Yeah Yeah Yeah, The Story of Modern Pop via Faber and continues to work as a musician and writer. Can you remember the first songs which made you fall in love with pop? My parents’ singles from the fifties by acts like The Shadows, Dwayne Eddie, Johnny and the Hurricanes. The first records I remember really loving were like Rock n roll Part 2 - although we’re not really allowed to talk about that! - Metal Guru and Mama Weer All Crazee Now from the seventies. That’s when I first became aware of the charts. It was a big deal as music wasn’t everywhere like it is now. How did you get into writing music? I bought a guitar when I was 19, then a Korg MS10. I messed about and made noises but I now know that Juan Atkins bought a similar device which is how he helped create techno. He must have persevered more than I did! I never thought I was gonna be in a group. Forming one was entirely down to changes in technology. I heard Beat Dis by Bomb the Bass and thought I could have a go at doing this. Everything was more accessible. There was no chance until samplers came in.
How long did Yeah Yeah Yeah… take to write? Five years. It’s something I’d had in the back of my mind since I first read books on pop’s history. I’d always imagined how I would write it, divide it into chapters and see where artists would fit. Once I’d done that, it was just a question of writing it chronologically, revising, then relying on some trusted friends to tell me whether I was completely wrong about Sly and the Family Stone or whoever. What was the most exciting discovery you made while researching the book? That so much of it happened by accident. Acid Tracks by Phuture happened because they couldn’t work out how to use a 303. It made a squiggly noise, they thought it sounded good and decided to make a record from it. But even things like why Strings of Life by Rhythm is Rhythm sounds like it was mastered off a cassette. That’s because it was and there isn’t a better version. Many things are down to cheap technology and accident, all the way through the whole story. It’ll be interesting to see how much that’s still possible now that analogue is disappearing into digital.
Read the full Bob Stanley interview online
How do you think your love of music has informed your own songwriting? Obviously as more time goes by, the weight of the past becomes greater than the possibilities ahead. No one talks about the music of the future and how it might sound because it feels like we’re already there. When we started, changing technology around house and techno at the start of the nineties was very exciting. Me and Pete loved it as well as the Beach Boys and Joe Meek so it didn’t feel complicated to marry them back then. It feels harder the more time goes by. Do you still get excited by pop music? Yeah. I recently really liked the East India Youth and Connan Mockasin albums. But if I was 15, they’d probably mean more to me on a level which I can’t tap into any longer. I’m too old. Most people don’t think anything about pop music when they’re approaching 50, let alone the philosophical weight of it. Is there any value in The X Factor? It’s all about taking control of the charts rather than anything to do with music so that’s quite depressing. Bleeding Love is a good record but you have to watch many seasons of The X Factor to get to it. If that’s all that comes out of it, it’s not worth it.
The most depressing thing is the amount of air time it takes up. This is music TV for the last ten years, which could have been about interesting new acts coming through. The only thing you can hope is that it will end and be replaced by something better. Perhaps a new version of Top of the Pops, although that keeps getting swept under the carpet. It seems obvious that if people want to sit down on a Saturday night and watch amateur singers, they’ll sit down and watch professionals doing a better job. It’s not being snobbish. It could be Gary Barlow! But Cowell will probably end up making it. Can you ever grow out of pop music? When I was at NME in the eighties, Danny Kelly told me; ‘you don’t grow out of music, you grow into it’. I’ve taken that with me ever since. I’ll be into music for three or four years, then discover something else. It doesn’t mean I’m discarding what happened before. There’ll always be new sounds to find. bobstanley.co.uk m51_april 2014_37
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Welcome, you wonderful, unnatural toy, To this august society’s employ!
Find out more about all our centenary celebrations
On 1 June 1966, Sir Alan Herbert, PRS’s Vice-President, celebrated the arrival of the society’s first ever computer with a musical flourish: Welcome, you wonderful, unnatural toy, To this august society’s employ! Without your like, it seems, this age can’t act: No bank can add – though they can still subtract. Our minds are still as mighty, rather more, But everything’s more muddled than before, And we present our lives to a machine Simply to ask it what they hell they mean. Yet, lest conceit exceed its proper span, Always remember you were made by man.
Sir Alan delivered his ode in front of BBC television cameras and microphones. It was quickly followed by a witty riposte from the machine itself: paper tape began to pour out, tapes revolved and perforated ‘punch cards’ were swallowed whole. Seconds later the computer’s comeback appeared on the print tray (composer and veteran member Vivian Ellis had penned the verse). The whole ceremony was aired on two BBC news programmes that night and the next morning’s Today radio show. But that wasn’t the end of it. The ICT 1902 model computer went on to transform the way the society processed performance data and it paved the way for a brand new Computer Department at Copyright House, Berners Street. The machine stayed faithful to the society until the mid-eighties when it was decommissioned to make room for a larger, faster system.
The Check’s in the Mail–Literally! Jacqueline Van Bierk – TAXI Member
love color, especially pink ;-) I love writing music and performing with my band. I love to do the things people say are impossible, and I never take “No,” for an answer. I’m a dreamer, a believer and I am most definitely stubborn. I never really bought into the “struggling musician” mentality. I knew there had to be a way to turn my talent into a full-time career. I've been writing music for a very long time, and had tons of songs sitting on my computer with no purpose; they just didn't fit my band’s style. A friend told me about TAXI and brought me to their free, members-only convention, the Road Rally. Like many musicians, I was skeptical but thought, “Well, I’ve been asking for a sign, so I’d better go.”
I signed up with TAXI and started writing for specific music industry requests. All of the sudden I had a purpose, became very focused, and was finishing a lot more songs and tracks because I had targets and deadlines.
Getting Paid to Do What You Love
I've become a much better musician and songwriter, and I’ve made friends with talented and established collaborators I've met through TAXI. Now I’m signed to two major music libraries, and my music is on two huge daytime TV shows, and several more.
The wealth of information there just blew me away. Everything that previously seemed so "far out of reach," was now within my grasp.
There's nothing more gratifying and inspiring than getting checks in the mail for doing what you love. Seriously, I never thought I would be writing for the TV shows I now write for. I’m so grateful my friend encouraged me to join TAXI. If I hadn’t, I’d probably still have a computer filled with “brilliant little orphans” that might have never been heard.
I Spent More on Coffee!
There are so many opportunities right in front of us that sometimes we don’t see them. I was spending more on coffee than what a TAXI membership costs. I used every excuse possible to delay joining. Ironically, I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren’t for TAXI and all the great friends I’ve made on its Forum and at the Road Rally. And this is just the beginning. If our purpose in life is to do what we truly love, then I’m living my dream. What’s stopping you? Call TAXI now!
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800-917-0406 www. tax i . co m
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