An Open Letter to Maria Cantwell: Vote Yes on the Music Modernization Act

Dear Senator Cantwell,

As a songwriter and musician, I implore you to back the Music Modernization Act. We are currently being paid off copyright precedents set back in 1908.

Album purchases are at an all-time low (as I’m sure you’re well aware of) and streaming companies have taken over the industry. While great for the consumer, compensation for streams are minuscule compared to the sale for a single/album.

Here’s some real-word context:

If a song has 100 million streams, it creates around $3.5 million on the mastered copy for record labels and artists — but only 4% of that goes to the publishing. So in that case, it’s creating around $140k in mechanical royalties for songwriters. And that’s often split four ways, which leaves about $35,000 per person. There are currently 12 songs that have a billion streams. That creates about $35 million on the master side, and only 4% of that goes to the writers (source: Forbes).

To make matter more dire, streaming companies are currently operating under a model where they are not paying mechanical licensing royalties – meaning songwriters are not being paid for their work. Believe it or not, music copyrights are more heavily regulated than all other major industries – including Tobacco. We – as songwriters – have no bargaining power. In fact, we are LEGALLY UNABLE to negotiate on our own behalf.

Some stances have been raised a counter saying this is an attack on the consumer. This is false. The consumer won’t be picking up the bill here. On a per sale / stream basis, we’re talking a matter of cents.

Now, the Music Modernization Act has the ability to remedy some of the challenges we’re facing, and was passed 415-0 in the House of Representatives.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and pray you do the right thing.

Best,

Duncan Byargeon

Episode 8: Emily McVicker

Today’s guest is a  singer-songwriter, artist, multi-instrumentalist and dance-party starter can do it all! Some of her MANY accomplishments include doing a cappella at Hershey Park, singing in the #1 ranked top 40s band for Carnival Cruise Lines, and voice-over and background vocal work in New York City. During this episode we chat about her upcoming album, The Duet Series, her desire to play more tambourine, and mermaids. Check it out

Be sure to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here!

If you want to hear the different artists we talk about, check out our Spotify playlist here.

About

Made for Music is a podcast that explores how to navigate the Northwest music scene, the resources available, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

The podcast is hosted by Duncan Byargeon, the lead singer / guitarist of Deify – a hard rock group hailing from Seattle, WA.

Contact Information

Duncan Byargeon, Host of Made for Music Email: mfm.podcast@outlook.com

Episode 7: Emperidol

 

Today’s guest is a producer, singer-songwriter, and Ableton Guru who is gearing up to release his EP “Waiting for Heaven” this Friday, April 6th. He does audio and video editing for some local tech firms, the  “All My Friends Podcast” (hosted by week 3 guest Evan Johnson), and is producing my EP. Say hello to the king of wack subject lines, Emperidol (Aaron Carstensen).

Be sure to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here!

If you want to hear the different artists we talk about, check out our Spotify playlist here.

About

Made for Music is a podcast that explores how to navigate the Northwest music scene, the resources available, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

The podcast is hosted by Duncan Byargeon, the lead singer / guitarist of Deify – a hard rock group hailing from Seattle, WA.

Contact Information

Duncan Byargeon, Host of Made for Music Email: mfm.podcast@outlook.com

Episode 5: Nightpulse

Hailing from San Diego, she traded piano for drums at age 11 and hasn’t looked back since. She was the drummer, co-vocalist, and songwriter fro Bad Things, which toured with the likes of 30 Seconds to Mars and Phantogram, played Lollapalooza, and appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Since then, she’s launched her own solo artist career, releasing three singles and two music vidoes. Say hello to Nightpulse (aka Lena Zawaideh).

We chat about everything from self-producing, her upcoming EP, her latest music video for “The Rush“, compared the LA and Seattle music scenes, and plenty more! You can view both music videos we discussed, “Delirious” and “The Rush“, as well as a host of drum covers on her  YouTube channel . 

Be sure to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here!

If you want to hear the different artists we talk about, check out our Spotify playlist here.

About

Made for Music is a podcast that explores how to navigate the Northwest music scene, the resources available, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

The podcast is hosted by Duncan Byargeon, the lead singer / guitarist of Deify – a hard rock group hailing from Seattle, WA.

Contact Information

Duncan Byargeon, Host of Made for Music Email: mfm.podcast@outlook.com

Episode 4: Antoine Martel

McGill University was far from the beginning for this talented musician / producer. Since founding his first band in high school nearly 10 years ago, he has been an active part of more than 8 projects – 4 of which are currently active. From pop and jazz to funk fusion, this man rocks the guitar, keyboards, sings, and “half decently shakes a shaker” for bands based in both Seattle and Japan. Say hello to a truly international musician, Antoine Martel.

We discuss everything from how learning classical piano, his time at McGill University, becoming a guitar teacher, his return to Seattle, and how he got involved in a band based out of Japan.

His personal website www.antoinemartelmusic.com has a fairly comprehensive list of his active projects:  Dentaru no Tsuba, High Pulp, Sous Chef, and Sunking.

Be sure to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here!

If you want to hear the different artists we talk about, check out our Spotify playlist here.

About

Made for Music is a podcast that explores how to navigate the Northwest music scene, the resources available, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

The podcast is hosted by Duncan Byargeon, the lead singer / guitarist of Deify – a hard rock group hailing from Seattle, WA.

Contact Information

Duncan Byargeon, Host of Made for Music Email: mfm.podcast@outlook.com

Made for Music: The podcast set to explore the Northwest Music Scene

It’s been a long time coming, but I am thrilled to announce the launch of Made for Music.

I grew up in the Greater Seattle area and have lived in the Pacific Northwest my whole life. There’s a wonderful, vibrant music scene up here, with an incredibly welcoming community. Growing up, music was my ultimate passion, but I didn’t know how to get started.

So, this podcast will explore the Northwest music scene, how to navigate it, the resources available to you, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

Episodes will be released every two weeks, highlighting different artists, producers, and business people who have established (or are establishing) themselves in the music scene.

The first episode is set for release Tuesday, January 9, 2018  (TODAY) featuring Sarah St. Albin. Check out our Spotify playlist to listen to the different artists we chat about, including Tobias the Owl, J GRGRY, and Sarah McLauchlan.

Be sure to check out our website and follow us on our socials to experience this journey every step of the way!

Website: https://www.madeformusicpodcast.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madeformusicpodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mfm_pod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mfm_podcast/

Contact Information

Contact: Duncan Byargeon, Host and CEO of Deify Entertainment

Phone: 425.503.3714

Email: dbyargeon@deifyentertainment.com

Why Songwriters Should be Listening to “And the Writer Is…”

Did you know that songwriter compensation is established by three judges in DC every five years, based on two laws – from 1909 and 1976, respectively? Or that, until this year, songwriters were not eligible for “Album of the Year” awards at the Grammys for records that they wrote?

My guess is that your answer to the first question was a hard “no,” and unless you’ve been on an award-winning song, you also answered” no” to the second. How could you have known? There isn’t a whole of information out there for aspiring songwriters. In many cases, people who love to write songs may not even be aware that they can pursue a career as a songwriter.

“And the Writer Is…” is a podcast hosted by multi-platinum songwriter, Ross Golan. Each episode, with a few exceptions, he sits down with the songwriters behind the biggest hits in the world. He delves into their upbringing, their journey into songwriting, and the stories behind some of your favorite songs.

Why These Episodes Are Important

Music Business Education

I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Hollens at a workshop at the University of Oregon. He discussed the lack of business education in university music programs, and how learning the business behind the music industry may be one of the more important things when trying to make it as an artist (or songwriter).

Every single episode of “And the Writer is…” discusses the business dealings of each songwriter, from their own lens. What you’ll find is that there are seemingly endless ways that people “make it,” but how many of them face the same challenges.

At the very least, listen to Episode 28 featuring David Israelite. He is the President and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), where he has achieved landmark successes for publisher and songwriter royalty rate agreements and increasing the value of intellectual property. During this episode, he explains everything you need to know about getting paid in the streaming era and provides the history of copyrights.

Credible Sources

Who better to learn from than the experts?

Let’s start with the host, Ross Golan. He’s penned some of the biggest hits of the decade, including “Same Old Love” (Selena Gomez), “My House” (Flo Rida), “Compass” (Lady Antebellum), and “Dangerous Woman” (Ariana Grande). He was a touring musician, released a critically acclaimed musical (The Wrong Man), and won BMI’s Pop Songwriter of the Year in 2016.

His guests include:

  • Desmond Child – songwriter and producer who has had top 10 hits in five different decades (Kiss, Cher, Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez)
  • Bonnie McKee – one of Katy Perry’s most trusted writing partners, and a solo-artist
  • Mike Caren – an A&R executive and esteemed songwriter (Bruno Mars, Kanye West, Beyonce, and more)
  • J-Cash – the songwriter behind hits from Charlie Puth, Jason Derulo, and Maroon 5.

Why You’ll Love This Podcast

As a songwriter, it’s nearly impossible to find content that provides tangible, real-world guidance. Most of the materials available are music theory books. Even then, it can be difficult to access premium materials unless you’re attending school specifically for songwriting – in which case you’re spending thousands of dollars.

So…the question remains: outside of “critical information,” why will you love this podcast?

It Will Inspire You

From love and loss, to getting songs recognized and struggling to put food on the table – it’s all there. Hearing how writers have gone from rock bottom to the top of the charts (in some cases more than once) and they lay their hearts out in these episodes. Knowing that the biggest writers in music have been in your shoes is comforting. Moreover, listening to people geek out about their passion – which also happens to be yours, will get you FIRED UP!

Each Episode is a Lot of Fun

Ross has known some of the guests for years, making for some hilarious stories and some true “behind the scenes” discussions.

Listening to how some of the biggest songs in the world came to be are fascinating. Often, the personalities behind those songs are even more interesting. Ever wondered how Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” came to be? Want to hear a happily married man explain his wife’s thoughts on hearing him write “Side to Side” for Ariana Grande? Curious as to how “My House” by Flo Rida was originally intended to be an Adele ballad?

…what are you waiting for? GO LISTEN TO IT!

 

Top 5 Episodes

1.      Episode 28: David Israelite

David Israelite delves into the business of music copywrites, publishing, and his continued fight for songwriter rights. It’s all you need to know about how songwriters are getting paid, and the political climate surrounding their rights.

2.      Episode 3: Savan Kotecha

Savan Kotecha is responsible for writing and producing some of the world’s biggest records and is considered to be one of the elite top liners (one who writes vocal parts over pre-made music) in the industry.

Recommended Tracks:

  • Confident – Demi Lovato
  • Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
  • Side to Side – Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj

3.      Episode 30: Rhett Akins

Featuring an esteemed artist, one of the top country songwriters (25+ number one hits), and the proud father of Thomas Rhett. From playing frat parties to writing with the likes of Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Rhett Akins delivers one of the most honest, humble, and funny episodes in the podcast’s history.

Recommended Tracks:

  • Hey Girl – Billy Currington
  • Boys ‘Round Here (feat. Pistol Annies & Friends) – Blake Shelton
  • Drink a Little Beer – Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins

4.      Episode 8: Evan Bogart

This songwriter has a story unlike many others. Unlike most, he didn’t break into the industry as a writer, but as an executive. As a side-gig, he wrote hits like Beyonce’s “Halo,” Ashley Tisdale’s “He Said, She Said”, and Rihanna’s “SOS”. He also happens to be married to one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE ARTISTS, ZZ Ward.

Recommended Tracks:

  • Criminal – ZZ Ward
  • SOS – Rihanna
  • Ride – ZZ Ward, Gary Clark Jr.

5.      Episode 25: Charlie Puth

One of the biggest up-and-coming artists, a man with PERFECT PITCH! This episode may have the most energy out of any guest, as Ross and Charlie dig into what exactly constitutes perfect pitch, how it plays into Charlie’s writing, and how Justin Bieber inspired him to kickstart his career.

Recommended Tracks:

  • How Long – Charlie Puth
  • Attention – Charlie Puth
  • See You Again – Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth

 

“And the Writer is…” is available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and other podcast listening apps. Visit their website for more information: http://www.andthewriteris.com