I think it is important to build and staff platforms that specifically address music creators from marginalized communities, which is why I want to ensure support for Black music creators, Latin music creators, LGBT music creators, and disabled music creators at The MLC.
Being intentional in recognizing and supplementing historically disadvantaged groups means to do the work to understand how these creators are often under/mis-represented, left behind, overshadowed, and disconnected (especially when it comes to the music business education and career resources gap that ultimately contributes to marginalized music creators being disproportionately overrepresented in unclaimed royalties pools).
Some firms have begun to announce Black music divisions. I am here for that.
Let’s not forget that since 1909, when music first earned federal copyright protection, the default for everything in society was White. We do not need to callout a “White music division” when the way in which all industries operate is to center whiteness. The de facto MO when we hear “mainstream” is that the audience is the White masses.
These types of platforms give firms a dedicated channel through which partnerships can be forged in marginalized communities where we can reach marginalized creators to effectively communicate opportunities to advance their careers. It also creates a two-way pipeline for receiving input that can be applied to improve the firm’s communications and operations to better serve these communities with nuance.
I fully support Black music divisions at music companies; and yes this term is important and intentional, just like Black Music Month, which is this month of June.
The term “urban music” no longer reflects the demographic of the creators who create within the genres that are typically encompassed in the term “urban” (R&B and Hip Hop). Music creators of all racial and ethnic makeup create “urban music”. The intent of the term was to specifically focus on Black artists. But there are Black artists who create pop, country, rock, and EDM. These artists are underrepresented within those genres and are often dismissed to “shouldn’t you be making urban music?”
The urban music category was intended to represent music made by Black artists from the inner-city. It was to create a platform and ensure resources were allocated to Black artists, but that isn’t accomplished when #1 everybody makes Hip Hop (eg G Eazy, Macklemore) and R&B (eg JoJo, Justin Beiber), #2 Black artists are not being prioritized in non-urban genres (e.g. edm, country, rock, pop), and #3 Black artists aren’t limited to the inner-city.
If the goal is to empower Black artists, we need to do so across all genres. Abolishing the genre-limited term “urban music,” which represents only two genres begins to open the platform to Black artists who create any genre of music.
And yes, it is important to specifically call out Black artists as their careers matter. It is the same reason why we have Black Lives Matter. The “I don’t see color” BS disregards the decades of institutionalized racism that suppressed Black artists and set a tone for them getting shitty record deals and smaller marketing budgets.
Black music platforms are not about genres, it’s about music created by Black artists regardless of genre. It’s about ensuring that resources and budgets are allocated equitably to Black artists.
Abolish “urban music” and stand up “Black music” divisions. Fund Black artists across all genres!
Urban Music = Hip Hop and R&B
Black Music = Music created by Black artists regardless of genre. The focus is on the creator and not the genre.
I’d like to share with my readers a few short essays, statements and visuals that I’ve published to social media over the weekend surrounding the George Floyd protests, the riots and racial injustices in general (www.twitter.com/daeboganmusic).
You’ll find them below.
I’ve also been out in peaceful protests and have seen first hand how unaffiliated bad actors, including those who may be members of white supremacy groups, incited vandalism and looting. Unfortunately, the media focused 75% of its coverage on the bad and 25% on the peaceful protests. Here is a collection of photos and videos of those bad actors at work.
Selection of short essays and statements:
Burn it all Down: Riots as the Uncontrollable Reaction to the Dismissal Of Peace
For those who ask “how is a riot supposed to help?”
Answer: It’s not meant to.
Let me make this very clear: Riots are not meant to help. Riots are meant to destroy. Riots are the imminent reaction to destruction caused by institutions of power when peace isn’t enough to prevent the abuse and oppression endured under those institutions of power. Stop asking how a riot is supposed to help and start asking how do we avoid the violence onto citizens so that a violent reaction isn’t incited.
Asking how a riot is supposed to help is asking for reason — you’re trying to make sense of something that is not meant to make sense. A riot is a reaction. It is uncontrollable. It is damaging. It is violent. It is the release of pinned up anger and frustration. It’s point is to release a force, not to effect change.
Peaceful protests are supposed to effect change. But they haven’t, so here is the chaotic outcome for which the only purpose it has is to destroy. Yes, there is collateral damage. And yes livelihoods will be affected. It’s a ball of energy that affects everything when it explodes.
The goal should be to prevent that explosion; not to try and make sense of its aftermath.
When peaceful protests do not effect change; when peaceful protests are not answered with justice for victims riots are the consequence.
The peaceful protests in response to the police murder of Michael Brown did not stop the police murder of Tamir Rice. The peaceful protests for Tamir Rice did not prevent the police murder of Freddie Gray. The peaceful protests for Freddie Gray did not stop the police murder of Philando Castile. The peaceful protests for Philando Castile did not prevent the police murder of Eric Garner…and so on.
The Purpose of Rage
“It’s all just senseless violence.” 😫
Senseless violence is senseless violence but rage is not senseless violence.
Rage is something different.
Rage is manifested. Rage is the forced suppression of anger that bubbles up over time only to explode into uncontrollable chaos.
Rage has purpose and that purpose is to destroy and violence is its weapon.
You don’t get to sit idly by for a decade and watch unarmed Black men be beaten and murdered by institutions of power, do absolutely nothing substantial about it, then ask that the reaction to that trauma is controlled and directed.
Catalysts of change are often never convenient for neither the constituents of change nor its opposition. Every revolution to which you benefit today was born at the cost of property and lives — but they all began with thoughtful asks and peace that were ignored and dismissed.
I specifically wrote the following statement to address my White Gay friends who’ve remained silent on racial injustice or dismissed the protests as they would “interfere” with their LGBT Pride Month (begins today, June 1st) festivities:
To the White Gays whining about protests disrupting your forthcoming Pride parties: Here’s a reality check.
“Pride” isn’t a month.
Pride represents the set of human rights that LGBT men and women, sparked by Black and Brown queer and trans folks, fought for — including rioting — so that one day you could openly live your life and dance around shirtless at pool parties without being stripped of your right to a peaceful existence. They fought and burned shit down so that one day you would no longer be unfairly harrassed and discriminated against by law enforcement and other institutions of government. Imagine going back 51 years and yelling at the people who were fighting for your rights to be treated as a human beings to “just be peaceful and don’t break anything.”
You don’t get to celebrate Pride by denouncing the type of actions that those men and women took to upend the oppression that would otherwise constrict your existence.
If you don’t understand why Black and Brown queer and trans people are today protesting injustices, you don’t deserve a Pride party.
The following are a few quick social media posts:
When the peace we offered wasn’t enough.
When they say “you lost my support when you started looting Target.”
Racial injustice and the policing of Black bodies did not begin last week.
And on a lighter note, has anyone called Kendall Jenner yet? 😂
Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/daeboganmusic
[Video] Watch Episode 1 of SoundCloud’s ‘Cloud Bar’ – Live Music From A Distance Hosted by Dae Bogan on Twitch
If you missed the first episode of SoundCloud’s original program “Cloud Bar,” you can catch the recording here.
There is an existential debate going on at the moment, around whether streaming is paying artists enough. It may feel like a rerun of old debates but it is catalysed by COVID-19 decimating artist income. These are some of the key narratives: here, here and here.
In this piece I lay out the underlying economics of the argument. I also focus wholly on artist income as songwriter income is another topic entirely.
COVID-19 has reset the debate
The latest streaming royalty debate is not an isolated event. It is happening because COVID-19 has decimated live income, leaving many artists worrying about how to make ends meet. Last week, just before this whole debate kicked into gear I wrote:
“Live’s lockdown lag may have the knock-on effect of making artists take a more critical view of their streaming income. When live dominated their income mix, streaming’s context was…
View original post 1,102 more words
I am thrilled to join the line-up for Amp Music Summit this Wednesday to contribute to the discussion of indie artists opportunities in the covid-19 era.
AMP MUSIC SUMMIT: MUSIC INDUSTRY VIRTUAL SUMMIT JOIN US FOR A FREE VIRTUAL SUMMIT FEATURING THOUGHT LEADERS FROM MUSIC, FINANCE, TECHNOLOGY, HR, VR, BUSINESS CULTURE, AND MORE
Yo! I am excited to announce that SoundCloud is launching its own channel on livestreaming platform Twitch, with a slate of original programming that includes panel conversations, music sets and more…and I will be moderating the premiere of “Could Bar”.
On Thursday, May 7th, Soundcloud will begin airing its three-hour weekly live chat series “Cloud Bar,” where creators, industry execs and influencers will take on topics, like how to build a career in music, and look at new trends in music discovery, culture and more.
From self-care to the state of live music today, we’re going deep on the issues and topics that matter most to artists today. Get advice, insight and hear personal stories from the SoundCloud team and a range of experts. Check the calendar below to find out who’s on each week and what time we’re going live.
Tune in every Thursday if you want to learn more about self-care, the music media landscape and the future of “live” events – or to share some your own thoughts & advice.
This week’s guests include CAA music agents, Zach Iser and Caroline Yim; artist managers Byron Wilson, Matthew Burnett and Jordan Evans; Dae Bogan of The Mechanical Licensing Collective; XXL’s Editorial Director Georgette Cline; hip-hop entrepreneur Roger Gengo; recording artist, activist and entrepreneur, Vic Mensa; and founder and CEO of Biz 3 Publicity and ICF certified Personal/Professional Coach, Kathryn Frazier.
I am thrilled to announce that I have joined The Mechanical Licensing Collective as the Head of Third-Party Partnerships.
Over the last 15 years, I have supported the independent music community as an indie artist/songwriter/producer/DJ manager, indie label owner, indie music publisher, music retailer, live music producer, educator, writer, advisor/consultant to digital media companies and rights-holders, and as a serial entrepreneur of music tech startups.
In 2018, after many years of music industry negotiations, Congress passed the Music Modernization Act (MMA) to update the way in which music creators are accounted to and paid in the United States. In 2019, the Register of Copyrights designated the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) as the non-profit organization responsible for administering the blanket mechanical license—issuing licenses to digital music services such as Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, Deezer, and Tidal—and paying out royalties to songwriters.
I’ve been involved in the MMA x MLC conversation for several years; from conducting research into the metadata issues impacting mechanical licensing in the United States in 2015 (which led to me founding TuneRegistry and RoyaltyClaim), to helping to promote a bill in 2016 that became Title 3 of the MMA, to partnering with HFA to open up more access to self-published songwriters in 2017 and streamlining that process in 2018, to speaking at the MMA Symposium in D.C. in 2019 on how the MLC can reach and serve self-published songwriters.
Now, I will serve the independent music community as Head of Third-Party Partnerships at The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) where I will lead the organization’s strategy for engaging third-party entities to support initiatives in rights administration, data management, operations, and education.
I look forward to continuing my mission to support songwriters while effecting and empowering innovation within the music industry.
In the wake of the world’s response to COVID-19, thousands of tours, club shows, concerts and festivals have been cancelled or postponed. This has directly impacted the livelihoods of music creators and the professionals who make it possible to bring these experiences to life. In these uncertain times, there is one thing for certain: there is financial assistance.
Here are 4 ways to offset lost income now:
1. RECEIVE DONATIONS – Post your lost gig on http://www.ilostmygig.com where good samaritans may donate to help you offset lost income (all roles matter; from artist/band to sound engineer to stage manager to caterer).
2. SELL MERCH – Sale unsold merch on http://www.missedtour.org
4. GET A GRANT – Apply for one of many grants and scholarships as MusiCares and Live Nation Music Forward Foundation, among others.
3. GET AN ADVANCE – Get an advance on future streaming royalties via Stem Scale at http://www.stem.is/scale or an advance on future performance and/or mechanical royalties at http://www.lyricfinancial.com
Take action now before these resources are overwhelmed and exhausted.
A lot more opportunities are being curated at IG @daeboganmsuic