An Inside Look At The Recording Academy's Congressional Briefings During GRAMMY Week

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An Inside Look At The Recording Academy's Congressional Briefings During GRAMMY Week

Ahead of the 2022 GRAMMYs, the Recording Academy’s Advocacy team illustrated to members of Congress the importance of music legislation and how it has a real impact on all music people

Advocacy/Apr 21, 2022 - 06:53 pm

Over GRAMMY Weekend in Las Vegas, the Recording Academy's Advocacy team gathered with a bipartisan group of Members of Congress including Reps. Ted Deutch (FL-22), Ron Estes (KS-04), Steven Horsford (NV-04), and Linda Sanchez (CA-38) as well as senior congressional staff from the House Ways and Means and House Judiciary Committees to discuss the importance of music legislation and how it has a real impact.

This applies not only to the artists that make up Music's Biggest Night, but countless other music creators who also work tirelessly to make a career out of their passions.

The Advocacy team jump-started its congressional briefings with remarks and a performance from GRAMMY nominee John Popper of Blues Traveler. Poppernot only showed his talent on the harmonica with a rendition of the National Anthem — he also discussed his experience throughout his long career in the music industry. The Blues Traveler frontman also discussed his public support for the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA).

The briefing continued with a songwriter panel consisting of three GRAMMY-nominated women — Emily Bear, Tayla Parx and Whitney Phillips. These songwriters and composers touched on many important topics, including the challenges that face women in the industry, how the pandemic affected the way they create, and the difficulties of making a living as a songwriter.

Tayla Parx, who has been in the industry since she starred in the film Hairspray at a young age, detailed the importance of making your voice heard as women — and how it has not been uncommon for her to be the only woman in the room during the creation of a song.

Whitney Phillips added to that point, describing how others have tried to take or diminish her ideas with the expectations that she wouldn’t speak up — a sentiment the other women echoed.

Additionally, the panel discussed the effects of COVID-19 on the music industry. Emily Bear, who went on to win the GRAMMY for Best Musical Theater Album for The Unofficial Bridgeton Musical, talked about her experience writing a full musical during the pandemic with her writing partner Abigail Barlow, while documenting the entire process, and going viral, on TikTok.

Phillips, who moved back home during the pandemic, did not let COVID stop her from creating new music — she only changed how she did it. Just as the Members of Congress in attendance all had to learn to operate via Zoom, so did the music industry.

One of the key things the panel discussed was the difficulty in making a living as a songwriter. Each woman echoed that most people they know are unable to let songwriting and producing be their only source of income because the compensation they receive is so little. And before the discussion wrapped, Bear played on the keyboard displaying her incredible talent.

Following the panel, the delegation traveled to The Hideout Studios in Henderson for a studio tour and production demonstration led by Academy members Zoe Thrall and Kevin Churko of the Hideout Studio, along with multi-GRAMMY winning producer Josh Gudwin, and Autumn Rowe and Kizzo Keaz, who won GRAMMYs on Sunday as producers of Jon Batiste’s We Are, which won multiple GRAMMYs at the 2022 GRAMMYs, including one for Album Of The Year.

While en route, Todd Dupler, Acting Chief Advocacy and Public Policy Officer, briefed the delegation on the HITS Act and the support it would provide artists so they can afford to create music both at home and in studios such as the Hideout.

Once the delegation arrived, Churko and Thrall shared with the delegation how their studio has seen drastic changes over the last couple of years. As the pandemic slows, people are ready to get back into the studio, but over the last two years, many artists began creating music remotely. Churko also did a quick demonstration of some of the studio’s production tools.

Rowe and Keaz, who have worked together for many years, discussed the struggles of not getting fair compensation and credit for the work they write and produce. This highlighted to members of Congress the importance of passing legislation such as AMFA, so artists will see proper return on their hard work. While Gudwin described the uniqueness of producers being their own employer, while also being an employee, yet lacking any semblance of traditional benefits or job protections.

Following the discussion, Rowe, Gudwin and Keaz surprised the delegation by putting Members of Congress and staff into the recording booth to record vocals.

The next day, the delegation got a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for the 2022 GRAMMYs telecast to wrap the weekend. The delegation got a firsthand look at how the music industry is more than just the famous faces or voices they know and love, but also made up of countless behind-the-scenes workers who bring crucial expertise to creating successful and memorable performances.

GRAMMY Week 2022: How The Recording Academy's Advocacy Team And The GRAMMY Fund Breakfast Fight To Advance Music Creators' Rights

64th GRAMMY Awards: Everything You Need To Know About First Round GRAMMY Voting
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64th GRAMMY Awards: Everything You Need To Know About First Round GRAMMY Voting

As Recording Academy Voting Members get ready to cast their votes in First Round GRAMMY Voting for the 64th GRAMMY Awards, we’ve put together the below guide to educate our voters on recent updates and details on our voting process

Recording Academy/Oct 22, 2021 - 03:05 am

First Round GRAMMY Voting determines the nominees for the annual GRAMMY Awards. As Recording Academy Voting Members get ready to cast their votes, we’ve put together the below guide to educate our voters, members, and the larger music community on recent updates and details on our voting process before First Round voting opens on Friday, Oct. 22.

Looking for more GRAMMYs news? Here's everything you need to know about the 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show and nominations!
 

KEY DATES

  • First Round Voting: Friday, Oct. 22 —Friday, Nov. 5, 2021
  • 64th GRAMMY Awards Nominations Announcement: Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021
  • Final Round Voting: Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 — Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022
  • 64th GRAMMY Awards Telecast: Monday, Jan. 31, 2022

THE GRAMMY BALLOT, UPGRADED

We’ve made several improvements to the GRAMMY Voting Ballot. This year’s customized ballot delivers a personalized experience with greater flexibility and search functionality. Before voting opens, watch our tutorial video below explaining this year’s changes. 

For additional reference, here is an overview of this year’s ballot changes:

  • 10-3 Ballot: In addition to the General Field, all voters can now select up to 10 categories across up to three fields to cast their votes on the member ballot.
  • Personalization: Ballots will only display the fields and categories in which the Voting Members are voting. They will only see what's relevant to them.
  • Search: Voting Members can simply enter the name of an artist or recording in the search field to determine the categories where an artist or recording/work appears on the ballot.
  • Flexibility: If Voting Members would like to change the fields and categories in which they are voting, they can modify their ballot at any time. Nothing is locked until their ballot is submitted.

LISTEN TO ENTERED RECORDINGS

As they cast their votes, Voting Members will have the ability to stream nominated recordings on select streaming services.

We encourage all Voting Members to take additional time and give another thoughtful listen to all of the nominated recordings in the categories in which they are voting.

VOTING AS A PEER

The power of the GRAMMY lies in its peer voting system. Each individual creator votes only in the fields and categories in which they are truly a peer within the genre. This makes the GRAMMY music's only award that is a clear reflection of each community's collective voice. 

There are many talented creators across the music industry. Informed voting, and most importantly voting as a peer, ensures we distinguish, honor and celebrate excellence throughout our diverse industry. 
Honorable participation in this process upholds the integrity of the GRAMMY Awards and allows each deserving creator to receive the proper recognition. 

VOTING AND SOLICITATION GUIDELINES

It is imperative that our Voting Members participate in the GRAMMY Awards process in a fair and ethical manner and only make choices based on artistic and technical merits of the recordings. Before voting, make sure to read the Voting and Solicitation Guidelines and Voter Code of Conduct .

LEARN MORE

Want to learn more about the year-round GRAMMY Awards process? Visit the Recording Academy’s Awards Journey.

The 64th GRAMMY Awards: Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show

The Recording Academy Releases 2022 GRAMMY Awards Show Inclusion Rider

Graphic: The Recording Academy

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The Recording Academy Releases 2022 GRAMMY Awards Show Inclusion Rider

The GRAMMY Awards becomes the first major music awards show production to publicly commit to using an Inclusion Rider

Recording Academy/Oct 19, 2021 - 05:30 pm

The Recording Academy today released its official GRAMMY Awards Inclusion Rider, a contract addendum designed to be a robust tool to ensure equity and inclusion at every level during the production of the 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, taking place on Jan. 31, 2022. The Recording Academy originally announced the plan to incorporate an inclusion rider in August, partnering with Color Of Change as part of the larger #ChangeMusic Initiative. Esteemed co-authors include Kalpana Kotagal (partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll), Fanshen Cox (production and development executive, Pearl Street Films), and key contributors Valeisha Butterfield Jones (Co-President, the Recording Academy) and Allie-Ryan Butler (founding director, Warner Music | Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University).

The GRAMMYs is the first major music awards show production to publicly commit to using an inclusion rider, exemplifying the Recording Academy's leadership and ingenuity in infusing the highest standards of inclusion, belonging and representation. Building on the diversity of the team who produced last year's show, the Recording Academy hopes to help inspire peers to modernize hiring practices industry-wide and foster an environment of inclusion.

Looking for more GRAMMYs news? Here's everything you need to know about the 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show and nominations!

"I am proud that the Academy is leading the charge in releasing an Inclusion Rider for the music community that counters systematic bias," Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "We were proud to work with a very diverse crew last year for the GRAMMY Awards, and this is the culmination of a years-long effort to create a rider for the production of the GRAMMYs. But this is only the beginning. We are committed to putting in the real work required to help create a pipeline of diverse talent and drastically change representation."

"With the Inclusion Rider, Color Of Change and the Recording Academy are working to change the rules that have enabled systemic discrimination in the music business for far too long," Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, said. "The Inclusion Rider is a concrete accountability mechanism aimed at breaking through an endless stream of empty commitments. It will ensure that Black people finally gain the authority in the industry that matches their essential contributions to it. An initiative of #ChangeMusic, the Inclusion Rider changes the rules of the industry's hiring and management practices to open up opportunities for work and promotion that have long been denied."

"The GRAMMY Awards Inclusion Rider includes the tool's four key elements, which are essential to driving improvement in representation and equity: a commitment to deepening and diversifying hiring pools, benchmarks and targets for hiring, the collection and analysis of applicant and hiring data, and strict accountability measures," civil rights attorney Kalpana Kotagal, Inclusion Rider co-author, and partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, said. "By committing to use the Inclusion Rider for its 2022 production, the GRAMMY Awards is not only ensuring a more equitable and diverse hiring process, it is also setting an important standard for inclusivity and representation at award shows moving forward."

Originating in the film and TV industries, the Inclusion Rider is a contract provision that sets forth a process for hiring and casting to expand and diversify the candidate pool, encourages hiring qualified cast and crew who have been traditionally underrepresented in productions, tracks progress, and creates accountability.

For more information on the most recent iteration of the Rider that was released this spring through #ChangeHollywood, visit here.

The 64th GRAMMY Awards: Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show

The Recording Academy Announces 3rd Annual "Behind The Record" Initiative To Continue To #GiveCredit To Creators In Music

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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

Recording Academy/Oct 12, 2021 - 05:00 pm

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 givecredit@recordingacademy.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.

Learn More About The Recording Academy's "Behind The Record" Initiative

The Recording Academy To Implement Inclusion Rider For 2022 GRAMMY Awards Show
Photo of GRAMMY trophy

Photo credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

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The Recording Academy To Implement Inclusion Rider For 2022 GRAMMY Awards Show

Produced in partnership with Color of Change and several other co-authors and key contributors, the GRAMMY Awards are the first major music awards show to publicly commit to using an inclusion rider

Recording Academy/Aug 4, 2021 - 05:59 pm

Today, the Recording Academy announced that the 2022 GRAMMY Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, will be produced with an Inclusion Rider, a contract addendum designed to be a powerful tool to ensure equity and inclusion at every level of the production.

Currently in development, the Inclusion Rider is part of the larger #ChangeMusic initiative and is being created in partnership with Color Of Change, as well as co-authors Kalpana Kotagal (partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll), Fanshen Cox (head of strategic outreach, Pearl Street Films), and key contributors Valeisha Butterfield Jones (Co-President, Recording Academy) and Ryan Butler (founding director, Warner Music | Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University).

Poised to be the first major music awards show production to publicly commit to using an Inclusion Rider, the Recording Academy's adoption for the GRAMMY Awards illustrates the adaptability and expansion of a tool that was originally developed to address systemic diversity and equity issues in film and television. The full inclusion rider will be released publicly on Sept. 16, 2021.

"We're honored to work alongside Color Of Change and the Inclusion Rider's esteemed co-authors as we take this monumental step to ensure equitable industry standards that support a more diverse and inclusive music community," said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. "As the Academy continues its transformational journey, diversifying our industry is at the core of every decision we make. We're dedicated to fostering an environment of inclusion industry-wide and hope that our efforts set an example for our peers in the music community."

"There are a lot of unwritten rules in the entertainment industry that create racial exclusion, and at Color Of Change, we know that to change society you have to change the rules," said Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change. "This Inclusion Rider is a written rule that will change the culture of hiring at the GRAMMYs, and will make inclusion the norm. We are proud to partner with the Recording Academy and hope that this joint effort inspires other entertainment industry leaders to join us in our fight for equity by adopting the Inclusion Rider."

"Incorporating the Inclusion Rider into the GRAMMY Awards will have an enormous impact on an industry that has a long history of exclusion and underrepresentation," said Kalpana Kotagal, Inclusion Rider co-author, civil rights attorney and partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. "Part of what makes the Inclusion Rider so potent is its adaptability and flexibility. The GRAMMY Awards Inclusion Rider will include the fundamental elements of the tool, including a commitment to deepening and diversifying hiring pools, setting benchmarks and targets for hiring, collecting and thoroughly analyzing applicant and hiring data and implementing accountability measures."

The Recording Academy will add the Inclusion Rider as an addendum to a contract between itself and the production company for the GRAMMY Awards. This addendum is a contractual obligation for the production company to make its best effort to recruit, audition, interview, and hire on-stage and off-stage people who have been historically and systematically excluded from the industry.

Originating in the film and television industries, the Inclusion Rider is a contract provision that sets forth a process for hiring and casting to expand and diversify the candidate pool, encourage hiring qualified cast and crew who have been traditionally underrepresented in productions, track progress, and create accountability. The most recent iteration of the Rider for Hollywood was released this spring through #ChangeHollywood, and expanded upon its original legal framework and advocates for intersectional inclusivity, which includes but is not limited to gender, race and ethnicity, as well as LGBTQIA, age and disability considerations.

A project long in the making, the Recording Academy has been working to bring Inclusion Riders to the music industry since 2019 and enlisted Color Of Change and the IR co-authors to create a Rider for the production of the GRAMMYs. This is one piece of the important work Color Of Change and the Recording Academy have been leading together through the #ChangeMusic initiative. The Recording Academy and Color Of Change are also in the process of developing a public Rider template for video productions that will be released later this year.

The 64th GRAMMY Awards: Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show