Announcing Music Business Workshop Focusing On LGBTQ Music Creators

When I came to LA as an aspiring artist, there weren’t many “out” recording artists being marketed in mainstream music. When I stopped pursuing music and began to build my career on the business side, I learned that there were plenty of LGBTQ folks in the music industry behind the scenes and many who weren’t ready to live their truth already in mainstream.
Over the 13 years I’ve been here, we’ve seen acceptance grow and artists like Ricky Martin and Lance Bass come out. We’ve seen Sam Smith, Adam Lambert, Frank Ocean, and many others own their truths and break records while doing it.
Nevertheless, there are still many artists who need the support and tools to be their authentic selves in the music industry.
I have taught many music business and marketing classes and workshops. I’m putting these pilot programs together because in all of the many music industry conferences and programs in which I’ve participated, there hasn’t been a unified approach to covering the fundamental complexities of music industry AND the unique needs of LGBTQ creators.
This is why I am excited to announce that I will be developing and teaching two pilot music business workshops focusing on the unique needs of LGBTQ music creators at the new Brotherhood IMPACT Fund space in West Hollywood (aka Brotherhood Clubhouse). SAVE THE DATES: 11/16 (7p to 9p) and 12/17 (3p to 5p)
The workshops will consist of 1 hour of my signature music industry insights and education and 45 minutes of the issues that relate to LGBTQ creators (e.g. touring in countries where homosexuality is illegal, spousal/beneficiary grants of residual music royalties (thanks Marriage Equality), dealing with social media bullying, authenticity when creating music for the masses, storytelling and distribution of audiovisual works depicting LGBTQ relationships, gay baiting, and more.
As a gay music industry professional who now works with creators and professionals at all levels, it is important to me to give back and help the next generation to be more empowered creators.
More details to come. Follow my Facebook page for the event info

The Elephant In The Room: Unclaimed / Undistributed Royalties


In the United States, there are several “unclaimed / undistributed royalties” funds held by music rights organizations. These funds collectively consist of tens of millions of dollars in undistributed earnings generated by the use of music within the greater music industry, from legislative appropriations imposed on manufacturers of audio home recording media, and from agreements with foreign entities.

Some of the organizations (SoundExchange, AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund, Live Television Videotape Supplemental Market Fund, and although this is not royalties per say, the US Copyright Office has a Section 115 NOIs Filing database that can be used to track down missing mechanical royalties) have created public databases so that music creators can search to see if they have royalties sitting in these funds. However, the biggest funds do not have public databases and often music creators can not be reached by any of these funds to be notified that they have unclaimed royalties.

I am working on a side project called to address this issue of unclaimed / undistributed royalties. The goal is to get each of these funds to join the Disclosure Program and to encourage them to submit very basic information to us on a periodic basis regarding the income participants who are due royalties. We will then aggregate these disclosures and maintain one searchable public database accessible for free by music creators and income participants.

By aggregating these lists of unclaimed / undistributed royalties information, we can aid income participants — including songwriters, recording artists, publishers, labels, musicians, background vocalists, composers, and beneficiaries (in the event of musician parents or spousals who passed away, but their music still generates royalties) — in locating and claiming their monies.

If you are a music creator, you should signup at to be notified of our launch. We are currently in conversations with the various funds to get them to cooperate and help creators and their families.

I Participated In ‘GRAMMYs In My District’ And Met Congressman Adam Schiff #GIMD #SupportMusic

Today, I joined fellow members of The Recording Academy to participate in the advocacy division’s GRAMMYs in My District initiative, which organized hundreds of music creators and industry professionals across the United States to speak with their Congressional rep about music rights.

I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with my rep, Congressman Adam Schiff of California’s 28th District. Representative Schiff has the unique pleasure🙂 of representing a district whose constituents include many creators, possibly the most content creators in the United States. As an attorney and friend of many creators, Representative Schiff stands as a politician who supports the rights of music creators.

I am happy to say that Representative Schiff already sponsors the Songwriter Equity Act, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, and the Allocation for Music Producers Act (AMP Act) and will be doing what he can to get other congressional representatives on board. This is not an easy task. Big Media such as the National Association of Broadcasters strongly oppose and lobby against progress that would ensure artists are being fairly compensated for the use of their music on terrestrial radio.

The music community has to work together to fight for changes to push legislation that will given music creators the rights and control over their music, the way any working professional maintains control over the products and services that he/she puts into the marketplace.

We need copyright reform. We need these bills to become laws. We need multi-billion dollar corporations to stop subsidizing the salaries of their executives and their operational costs at the expense of music creators.

I’m Meeting With Congressman Adam Schiff To Discuss The Rights of Music Creators #GIMD

Congressman Adam Schiff

Congressman Adam Schiff represents California’s 28th District

On Wednesday, as part of the “GRAMMYs in My District” initiative, I will join a select group of fellow The Recording Academy / The GRAMMYs members to meet with Congressman Adam Schiff to discuss the rights of music creators. And across the United States, other members will be meeting with their district’s Congress persons as well.

I hope to be able to address the issues that I care about, which affects music creators across the US. I want to urge my Congressman Schiff to support the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, which would create an income stream for artists when their music is played on AM/FM radio (much like the rest of the world) and support the AMP Act, which would allocate royalties to music producers and engineers when the music they’ve worked on is performed on SiriusXM, Music Choice, Pandora, and over 2,500 webcasters and digital music services.

In light of the recent firing of the Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, which happened oddly at a time when Google and Amazon is using the loopholes of the U.S. Copyright Act to avoid paying thousands of songwriters for the use of millions of songs across their music properties, I want to address if and how Congress plans to close these loopholes that enable wealthy multinational corporations to stiff the little guys. And I would like Congress to help us move towards a system of equitable representation of songwriters and fair market royalty rates for compulsory licenses.

We will be posting updates during and after these meetings across social media. Follow the hashtag #GIMD for posts. Learn more about The Recording Academy’s Advocacy & Public Policy at

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

This is an in-store music video network. It streams new videos for major artists and promotes independent artists in over 130 sneaker retail stores across the United States. The network earns upwards of 3 million impressions by teen and young adult shoppers every month (unlocking unique exposure and new fan opportunities for indie artists). It was founded in 2012 by the then VP of Marketing & Music of the retail chain Shiekh Shoes after he was laid off. The retail chain became the laid-off employee’s customer and has been so for over 4 years now.

The entrepreneur has since earned a master’s degree in music business, has helped over two dozen other music tech entrepreneurs with their startups as a business consultant, mentors music entrepreneurs through SXSW, and has taught music business at UCLA and a number of top music production schools such as SAE Institute in Los Angeles.

I was the laid-off employee and this is how I turned lemons into lemonade.
#entrepreneurship #musicbusiness #hustle

Google and Public Knowledge Coup, Register of Copyrights Fired, Dark Days Ahead

The Trichordist


Songwriters, performers, authors and creators meet your new copyright overlord: Eric Schmidt of Google. 

These are dark days for all creators and copyright holders.  After a two month campaign by Google funded astroturf group Public Knowledge, the newly appointed librarian of congress Carla Hayden (herself a Schmidt/Soros acolyte) has fired Maria Pallante the register of copyright.   Pallante was the only one standing between Google and what is left of the copyright system.

This firing is virtually unprecedented in US history.  The Librarian of Congress generally leaves the Register of Copyrights to run the affairs of the copyright office. However in the last two months the main Google mouthpiece in Washington DC Public Knowledge has been clamoring for her head.   Why?

Mainly because she has been a fierce advocate  for creators.  But over the last year she had the courage to stand up to Google and Public Knowledge as…

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Google Fires Head of U.S. Copyright Office

Artist Rights Watch

In a typically backstabbing lame duck kabuki dance, Google has fired Maria Pallante, the head of the U.S. Copyright Office.  This is a real tragedy because Register Pallante was even handed and concerned about treating everyone involved with copyright fairly–consumers as well as creators, not to mention cooperating with Google and Amazon in permitting the filing of millions of NOIs to the great detriment of songwriters.

According to Billboard:

Pallante was locked out of her computer this morning, according to two sources who spoke with Library employees. Earlier, [the nominal head of the Library of Congress]  had called several members of Congress to tell them about her decision. Later, she called the heads of several media business trade organizations to give them the news, according to one who received such a call.

It is hard to believe that the nominal head of the Library of Congress would fire Register…

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Google and Amazon Leverage Copyright Loophole to Use Songs Without Paying Songwriters



Two vastly wealthy multinational media companies are exploiting a copyright law loophole to sell the world’s music without paying royalties to the world’s songwriters on millions–millions–of songs. Why? Because Google and Amazon–purveyors of Big Data–claim they “can’t” find contact information for song owners in a Google search. So these two companies are exploiting songs without paying royalties by filing millions of notices with the Copyright Office at a huge cost in filing fees that only megacorporations can afford–an unprecedented land grab in nature, size and scope.

That’s right–Google and Amazon are falling over themselves to use their market power to stiff songwriters yet again. And as I will show, it is not just obscure songs that are affected. New releases, including one example from Sting, are also targets suggesting significant revenue loss to songwriters.  (I go into this in more detail on this series of posts.)


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Teen-Focused App Is the Music Industry’s New Secret Weapon | VICE | United Kingdom

Awesome article by Vice on how young singers and rappers are using to build fanbases, promote new music, drive engagement and sales, and generate buzz that has led to record deals, radio airplay, and ranking on Billboard charts.

Are any of you using as a part of your overall digital strategy? If so how and what results have you seen? 

Impressive app sets for a music tech startup: boasts more than 11 million video uploads per day from more than 120 million users worldwide; 64 percent of the app’s American users fall within the coveted 13–24 demographic, and 75 percent are female. Hoping to capitalize on that audience, Dae Dae debuted a 15-second snippet of “Wat U Mean” on in August; to promote it, he hosted an in-app contest challenging listeners to make a music video of themselves performing his signature dance, where he languidly swings his arms in the air to the song’s staccato “Aye” shouts. Since its inception, the challenge has yielded a staggering 153,719 responses, with scores of newly won fans performing their own renditions of the “Aye” dance.

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