Photo: Leigh Vogel/WireImage.com
Neil Portnow and Sen. Chuck Grassley
Music Modernization Act Passes Unanimously In Senate Judiciary Committee
The MMA scores another big win as it passes unanimously in the Senate Judiciary Committee
Standing on history's doorstep, the Music Modernization Act promises to finally bring our music licensing system out of the Stone Age and into a new era of mutually beneficial policy reform. On June 28, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill unanimously, drawing the landmark bill one step closer to becoming a reality.
"Great music comes from great harmonies. As the organization representing all creators, we are gratified to see the industry and Congress work in harmony to pass the Music Modernization Act through the Senate Judiciary Committee," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "Following years of advocacy by music creators, we look forward to that momentum continuing as the Music Modernization Act heads to the Senate floor. We thank the Committee for its swift movement of the bill. Through collaboration we can truly make a difference for the hundreds of thousands of working music creators across the country."
Ahead of the scheduled markup and vote, a manager's amendment was released this week that reflects consensus agreements that benefit music creators by increasing transparency, awareness and accountability. The bipartisan amendment, introduced by Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) with the support of Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), solidifies the agreement on both sides of the aisle over the dire need to update music licensing and close loopholes that prevent music creators from receiving proper compensation for their work.
Earlier this month, Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim added his voice to the chorus of support for the MMA, taking the stage at the National Music Publishers Association annual meeting to back the bill. Delrahim is just one of the latest to join the mounting support swell for the MMA ahead of the Senate Judiciary Committee vote.
Although the MMA has already passed the House of Representatives by a unanimous 415–0 vote, not everyone is on board with this mutually beneficial piece of legislation reform. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Accessibility for Curators, Creators, Educators, Scholars, and Society (ACCESS) to Recordings Act, a misleading, alternate bill that threatens to distract from the MMA's progress . The arguments for ACCESS and against the MMA are flimsy at best, and the bill has done little thus far to slow the momentum of meaningful legislation reform.
Now, with Senate Judiciary Committee weighing in with unanimous support, the MMA's journey ahead moves toward a full Senate vote. The need for meaningful music legislation policy reform has never been greater, and as stakeholders from across the creative and internet industries rally behind the MMA with more steam than ever before, the Senate now holds the key to unlocking a better system for all.
The Recording Academy Announces 3rd Annual "Behind The Record" Initiative To Continue To #GiveCredit To Creators In Music
This year, the Recording Academy's "Behind The Record" initiative, a global social media activation aimed at spotlighting the many creators in music, introduces Behind The Record Advocacy, a new virtual program to discus creators' needs with Congress
The Recording Academy has announced that it will continue giving credit where credit is due with its 3rd annual "Behind The Record" initiative, a global social media activation aimed at spotlighting the many producers, engineers, songwriters, composers, mixers, instrumentalists, and other creators who contribute to the music recording process. Taking place Friday, Oct. 15, the industry-wide conversation encourages artists across all music genres to celebrate their collaborators' incredible behind-the-scenes work on the tracks, records and albums loved by music fans around the world. This year's campaign features a short film, narrated by Recording Academy Board of Trustees Secretary/Treasurer Om'Mas Keith, illustrating that behind every hit song is an intricate dance of creativity that builds and builds to the final product.
A day before the social media activation's launch, on Thursday, Oct. 14, the Recording Academy will introduce Behind The Record Advocacy, a new virtual advocacy program to inform lawmakers about issues affecting the creators behind their favorite records. Building off the success of the Recording Academy's "Behind The Record" initiative, Academy members will meet virtually with members of Congress nationwide to discuss legislation that would have a direct impact on America's recording artists, songwriters and studio professionals, such as the HITS Act and the American Music Fairness Act. With nearly 200 meetings with congressional offices anticipated for Behind The Record Advocacy, members will focus on ensuring that the individuals behind the record are able to earn fair compensation for their work.
"It takes a village to create a recording, and as an organization that serves to support all music creators, we invite our peers to join us in spotlighting the many music professionals behind our favorite songs," Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "While we celebrate the music professionals behind the scenes, we also recognize the importance of fighting for fair treatment of creators. We're proud of the evolution of 'Behind The Record' to include an advocacy element this year as we continue our ongoing work to ensure all music creators flourish."
"Behind The Record" is supported by the Recording Academy's Advocacy Department, Producers & Engineers Wing and Songwriters & Composers Wing. Supporting all music creators—including the artists behind our favorite records—is an urgent initiative for the Recording Academy year-round. Within the past year alone, the Recording Academy established the Songwriters & Composers Wing to better represent the diverse community of music creators who provide the world with the gift of song. The Academy also reintroduced the HITS Act in the House and Senate, which would allow artists and record producers to deduct 100 percent of sound recording production expenses in the year they are incurred, and continued efforts to support women producers and engineers through its Women In The Mix initiative.
To help the Recording Academy further support creators working behind the scenes, artists can participate in "Behind The Record" by:
- Emailing email@example.com to request an access code to the Credit Cover Generator Portal.
- Posting your Credit Cover across social media channels and tagging those who worked on your project. Use hashtags #BehindTheRecord #GiveCredit #WeAreMusic.
- Artists can create Credit Covers for a single track or album, and covers will live in a gallery on the "Behind The Record" website for music fans to view and discover the roles of creatives behind some of their favorite records.
For the third year, Jaxsta, the world's largest public-facing dedicated database of official music credits, provided credits for Warner Music, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and Merlin releases.
For more information, please visit the "Behind The Record" website. Follow and join the global conversation on social media using the hashtags #BehindTheRecord, #GiveCredit and #WeAreMusic.
Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC/Getty Images
Dionne Warwick, Donny Hathaway & More To Receive Special Merit Awards
The Recording Academy has announced this year's crop of Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award recipients
What do Black Sabbath, Sam & Dave and Julio Iglesias all have in common? They are among this year's Recording Academy Special Merit Awards recipients. Today, the Academy announced a prestigious crop of recipients for its Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award.
This year's Lifetime Achievement Award honorees are Black Sabbath, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic, Billy Eckstine, Donny Hathaway, Julio Iglesias, Sam & Dave and Dionne Warwick. Lou Adler, Ashford & Simpson and Johnny Mandel are Trustees Award honorees; and Saul Walker is the Technical GRAMMY Award recipient.
From their power riffs to their dark, gothic imagery, Black Sabbath arguably invented the heavy-metal signposts and influenced every hard-rock band that followed.
Among the most sampled acts of the funk/R&B era, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic’s spacey and masterfully played funk has laid the foundation for countless hip-hop hits.
Singer Billy Eckstine helped break ground for African-American artists in the '40s and '50s as a distinctive jazz singer and bandleader who crossed over to an equally dazzling career in pop.
Donny Hathaway was a versatile soul stylist who built his legend singing both urban protest songs as well as smooth, signature duets with the likes of Roberta Flack, despite his far-too-short career.
Perhaps the most successful Latin crossover artist of his time, Julio Iglesias became an enduring star on the world stage and Latin music’s most popular ambassador of his era.
Soul duo Sam & Dave (Sam Moore and Dave Prater) were one of the primary chart stars at the Stax and Atlantic labels in the '60s, bringing the passion of gospel to their wailing soul sides.
Singing the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the ’60s, and then scoring hits that bridged pop and R&B in the '70s and '80s, Dionne Warwick has carved out a unique and stellar career among pop/soul singers.
From the Monterey Pop Festival to L.A.’s iconic Roxy Theatre to the careers of the Mamas And The Papas, Carole King and Cheech & Chong, among others, Lou Adler is one of music’s most noted impresarios.
Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson were among the elite songwriting teams at Motown Records, penning modern classics such as "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough" and "You’re All I Need To Get By."
A versatile composer, arranger and jazz musician, Johnny Mandel’s credits include playing in the bands of Jimmy Dorsey and Count Basie and composing immortal movie and television music such as the MAS*H theme "Suicide Is Painless."
Saul Walker was a career-long audio innovator, teacher and mentor. From his early work in rocket telemetry to founding API in 1969, his designs continue to influence the music recording industry.
A special award presentation ceremony and concert celebrating the honorees will be held on May 11, 2019, in Los Angeles. Additional details regarding the ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks.
Noah Cyrus with GRAMMY U
Photo: Jessica McDevitt
Photo Gallery: GRAMMY U Fall Semester 2018
Keep it locked here for the best of GRAMMY U's many exciting - and exclusive - programs across the country
GRAMMY U offers programs each semester that can kick-start your career in music. Take a look at some of the highlights over the summer and headed into the Fall 2018 semester, and stay tuned for more music industry opportunities across the country.
GRAMMY U SoundChecks with Travis Scott/ Photo: Jessica McDevitt
The Astroworld: Wish You Were Here Tour stopped by Madison Square Garden and took lucky GRAMMY U members inside the room where it all happens. Before his sold-out show, Travis Scott encouraged students to pursue the future of music with creativity and freedom. The candid conversation included hometown themes, concert anecdotes, and his journey to stardom.
GRAMMY U Los Angeles members had the incredible opportunity of attending a SoundChecks with Travis Scott on December 20th at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. GU members entered a private room within The Forum Club to meet with Travis Scott and his team. There, many topics were discussed from his humble beginnings as a writer/producer to how he approaches playing sold out arenas. At the end, members were able to take a group photo with Travis Scott before he had to leave. Big thanks to Travis and his wonderful team for hosting GRAMMY U during the Los Angeles leg of the Astroworld, Wish You Were Here Tour!
Photo: SFC Staff
San Francisco GRAMMY U members visited with GRAMMY® nominated Reggae artists Raging Fyah following a chat with various members of the Ineffable Music staff for a chat about artist management, tour and festival booking, artist promotion and their acclaimed Rootfire Collective program for new artists. The informal chat shed a lot of light on the back end of touring and promotion for new and established artists, and was led by GRAMMY Award®-winning member of the FL Chapter Board, Lukes Morgan.
Photo: SFC Staff
Students arrived for an acoustic sound check of Mraz and his backing band, The Raining Janes. Mraz was working on the tune “More than Friends” featuring Meghan Trainor and had a puppet in her likeness singing along to her parts, it set the tone for a funny and lighthearted visit with the artist, who then joined the students for some Q&A time. A veteran GU speaker, Mraz jumped right in with advice for those starting a career in music and shared some perspective on his new album and the inspiration behind it. He appreciated our questions about his last album, entitled Yes! and his new album,Know. and how he likes seeing them following each other on things like Spotify playlists. He explained the positive meaning of using the word “know” vs. “no” and left a great impression on the group before rushing off to his preshow preparations.
Photo: SFC Staff
Photo: Rachel Lai
On Monday, November 12th, GU Texas Chapter members gathered in none other than the extravagant Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX to chat with Tori Kelly about her "Hiding Place" tour. Tori touched on what it means to "make it" in the music industry, and her journey from where she was to where she is now.
Photo: Yvan Nguyen
The GU Texas Chapter hung out with Billie Eilish and brother, Finneas O'Connell. Billie talked about what it's like being a teen growing up in the music industry, and even gave out some of her fashion tips and favorite trends.
SoundChecks With H.E.R. / Photo: Jessica McDevitt
On November 25, New York GRAMMY U members were able to attend SoundChecks With H.E.R. at Brooklyn Steel followed by a special Q&A. Recovering from Thanksgiving turkey, GU members showed up in full force eager to see the starlet perform her latest hits. The tour’s production featured a full band, back up singers, and the talent onstage was nothing short of incredible. H.E.R. was very interested in learning about the GRAMMY U experience by asking members about the connections they’ve made as emerging industry professionals.
Industry Insights event with Jesse Kinch
GRAMMY U Nashville hosted an Industry Insights event with ABC’s Rising Star Winner, Jesse Kinch. The event was moderated by Nashville-based Recording Engineer Leslie Richter who prompted Kinch on several topics including the release of his debut album, I’m Not Like Everybody Else, under new-label Curb Records following the discontinuation of his contract with Capitol Records.
SoundChecks With EDEN
In New York, 20 students attended GRAMMY U SoundChecks With EDEN at Brooklyn Steel on November 9, 2018. The students were able to participate in an exclusive Q&A with one-man-band, Jonathon Ng. GU members were also able to learn more about his songwriting process, social media platforms and the importance of soundchecking before a show.
SoundChecks With CHVRCHES / Photo: Ashley Thomas
CHVRCHES shared inside stories of their touring and creative lifestyles. Their tour manager discussed personal stories of how she got to working with CHVRCHES."
SoundChecks With Troye Sivan / Photo: Troye Sivan
GRAMMY U San Francisco Chapter met up with Troye Sivan for a SoundChecks on the first of his two-night run at The Masonic in SF.
Following the performance of his first song, Troye asked each student member what career path they wanted to take. Troye then shared his advice for those starting a career in music and shared some perspective on his career's journey. The Q&A was intertwined with the sound check, performing songs between answering questions was something new and really engaged the group. He spoke about his collaboration with Ariana Grande and how she’s a role model for him because of her hard-working nature. He talked about his songwriting process and how he doesn’t write while he’s on the road touring because it’s a different headspace than when he’s in the studio. After listening to the sound check and having lots of questions answered, Troye joined us for a photo before meeting with his next group of fans. Thanks to Troye and his team for the memorable visit! - GRAMMY U Rep Danielle Ferrari
SoundChecks With LANY / Photo: Recording Academy
Lucky GRAMMY U students attended a very special SoundChecks with LANY before their soldout show at Terminal 5 in NYC.
SoundChecks With Billie Eilish / Photo: Recording Academy
Seattle GRAMMY U students got weird with Billie Eilish before her sold out show at the iconic Showbox. She shared tips on recording hit songs at home and how writing with brother, Finneas, helps her to remain her authentic self. Students were also treated to a high-energy performance of three of Billie’s hit songs, amidst a stage set that included a giant tarantula with neon legs.
SoundChecks With LANY / Photo: Kristin Klimas
During the SoundChecks With LANY, it was evident how much the band valued visuals as grandiose LED screens with enlivened patterns lit up the entire venue. They later mentioned that controlling their aesthetics is an important part of their identity which they manage by designing their merch, album artwork, and even personally running LANY’s social media accounts.
LANY also talked about their experience navigating different aspects of the music industry: from negotiating label deals to touring. Finally they reminisced about their early days as a band crammed in a small van to play a few shows to now heading an international tour. Their advice to the GRAMMY U members, “no matter how big of a band you become, I recommend ditching a tour bus for a small white van because that shared experience builds unbreakable bonds”.
SoundChecks With St. Lucia / Photo: Bri Buchanan
“You have to decide what you want to do…if you’re in it for the art, then really listen to yourself. No one is ever going to stop telling you how to be.” St. Lucia front man, Jean-Philip Grobler, spoke to GRAMMY U members in Nashville about pursuing a career in the music industry. Students attended a SoundChecks With St. Lucia and participated in a Q&A with each band member following.
SoundChecks With Noah Cyrus / Celeste Villarreal
Dallas GRAMMY U members enjoyed the SoundChecks With Noah Cyrus at the Granada Theatre.
SoundChecks With Lord Huron / Jordan Leonard
GRAMMY U students fellowshipped with the members of Lord Huron at the iconic Moore Theater in Seattle, Wa.
SoundChecks With Dua Lipa / Photo: Michael Compton
GRAMMY U students swapped performance stories with Dua Lipa at WaMu theater before her show on July 7th. They were also treated to a meet and greet with other members of her team, including drummer and band manager, William Bowerman.
SoundChecks With Noah Cyrus / Photo: Jessica McDevitt
Lucky GRAMMY U students attended an exclusive night at GU SoundChecks with Noah Cyrus during her "Good Cry" tour at Irving Plaza in New York City.
GRAMMY U students at the GRAMMY Museum's Whitney! exhibit / Photo: Jessica McDevitt
GRAMMY U students in the New York Chapter experienced a behind-the-scenes tour of the GRAMMY Museum’s latest debut, the Whitney! exhibit featuring over 60 artifacts honoring Whitney Houston’s legacy.
SoundChecks With Troye Sivan / Staff photo: Sarah Jansen
On October 19, Chicago GRAMMY U members were able to attend SoundChecks With Troye Sivan at the iconic Chicago Theatre. The venue complimented Troye’s alluring sound as he performed songs off his recent album Bloom in preparation for that night’s show. Troye was very interested in learning what the members were looking to do in the music industry and helped make connections between the GRAMMY U members in attendance and his team to help further their network within the music community.
SoundChecks With Brandi Carlile / Photo: Michele Caplinger
When asked about how the changing music industry has impacted her, Brandi discussed how she has had a great relationship with her record label which she added is now very uncommon, but she realized that the industry has a long way to go before artists and songwriters are compensated fairly. She then took the time to go around the room and asked each GRAMMY U student for their name, major, and what they wanted to do in the music industry.
Industry Insights: Mental Health in Entertainment with MusiCares and Elizabeth Porter (Nashville) / Photo: Bri Buchanan and Nathan Pyle
Highlighting Mental Health Awareness Week, GRAMMY U sponsored an event with Elizabeth Porter, Founder and President of Entertainment Health Services, and Christina Scholz of MusiCares. Elizabeth and Christina discussed the importance of mental health in entertainment with Elizabeth emphasizing “our brains are the most important part of our body. Take a step back, put the phone down and talk to one another.”
SoundChecks With CHRVCHES (Nashville) / Photo: Bri Buchanan and Nathan Pyle
GRAMMY U Nashville members were invited to a SoundChecks with hit synth-pop band, CHVRCHES, at Ryman Auditorium. Not only were students able to speak with each member of the band, but they also spoke with the tour manager and other crew members about life on the road.
Lord Huron with GRAMMY U members in Chicago
Chicago GRAMMY U members got a taste of Lord Huron’s indie folk flavors that were inspired from both their time spent growing up in Michigan and living in Los Angeles. Lord Huron is a group that cares greatly about both their visual work as well as their music, so the SoundCheck at Riviera Theatre not only covered the normal necessities like mic adjustments and tuning, but also stage directions from lead singer Ben Schneider.
-Matt Sanders, GRAMMY U member
Jason Mraz with GRAMMY U members in Nashville
In Nashville, 20 students attended GRAMMY U SoundChecks With Jason Mraz at Ascend Amphitheater. The students were able to listen to Jason and Raining Jane’s rendition of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ and ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ as well as participate in a Q&A following the performance.
Greta Van Fleet with GRAMMY U members in Nashville
GRAMMY U students gathered in Nashville at Marathon Music Works on May 14 for SoundChecks With Greta Van Fleet. The band ended the sound check with a sneak peak of a new song followed by an intimate Q&A session with the band members.
GRAMMY U students with Greta Van Fleet
Photo: Jason Davis/Getty Images
Launch Your Music Career With GRAMMY U's Innovation Pitch Contest
The winner and a guest will win a trip, including passes, flight, hotel, and transportation, to attend Austin City Limits Music Festival
Calling all college music creatives: GRAMMY U is looking for ways to make great summer music festivals even greater and wants to hear all about your ideas.
New music festivals pop up every year, creating more choices for avid fans. More choices also mean more competition. With so many options, GRAMMY U wants to challenge student minds to think of ways organizers can enhance fan and festival experiences to stand out. Have ideas? Now is your chance to enter the Innovation Pitch contest.
When pitching your idea, put yourself in the mindset of festival organizers. They must consider all aspects of the festival experience: local flavor, production, marketing, environmental impact. Students should focus on what interests them professionally and recommend improvements. Creativity on how to execute ideas is welcome — documents, videos, presentations, or any other format that inspires will be accepted as submissions. Entries are due by Aug. 6.
The winner, along with a guest, will receive roundtrip airfare to Austin, Texas, to attend the 2018 Austin City Limits Music Festival Oct. 12–14. Passes, accommodation and transportation to the festival will be provided.
Innovation Pitch, formerly known as Business Plan Competition, will also connect students with industry professionals who can provide insight on what it takes to make big ideas come to life.
"Professionals in the industry want to hear these ideas and see solutions through the eyes of the future of the music industry," Recording Academy Director of Special Projects, Membership & Industry Relations Virginia Faddy says. "That is why the mentorship aspect of this contest is so important; we are not only providing a platform to share these amazing ideas, but also directly connecting the winner with mentors so they can hear what real-world activation of their concept might entail."
The competition gave 2015's winner Kiran Gandhi, who developed a sustainable music streaming service pay structure, the chance to spend the day with RCA Records CEO Tom Corson and other staff members. Her first-hand experience reaffirmed her mission to elevate diversity in music.
"When artists see themselves in the people they are working with, they have more comfort and trust with the system," she wrote in her blog. "There is a business case to having people of different walks of life — not just to check a diversity box that makes people feel better."
Innovation Pitch is only one such opportunity for students interested in working in the music industry when they graduate. Recording Academy GRAMMY U members gain access to valuable behind-the-scenes experiences with music professionals working today.
"GRAMMY U offered chances to attend GU SoundChecks (of touring artists), opportunities to volunteer, access to an online portal with exclusive industry content, and so much more," current GRAMMY U member Billy Farmer II said. "Becoming a member enhanced my music industry network and led to job opportunities. Joining GRAMMY U was one of the best decisions I made as a college student."
GRAMMY U continues to connect students with the industry's brightest minds, while giving them the tools to launch their careers in music. If this sounds like you, consider joining your fellow future music colleagues through GRAMMY U and don't forget to enter the 2018 Innovation Pitch contest.