Singer songwriter demands government action
By Patrick Barnham
A singer songwriter is urging MPs to go further to give musicians a voice following report calling for a reset of music streaming.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport [DCMS] Committee said artists should get a fair share of streaming royalties.
But British artist James Passey insists globalisation of the music industry under the umbrellas of just a few multi-billion-pound firms starves music of real progression and creativity.
He said: “It’s missing the point for artists working to establish themselves, while it’s good there will be more equal payments for artists it is the same old publishing game, it’s money for old rope for the streaming companies.
“In fact the business has narrowed hugely as there are now hardly any independent labels out there compared to previous decades and there are just three or four major companies cornering the majority of the market.
“With their huge marketing budgets and de facto monopoly on the industry, they saturate the streams and new artists barely get a look in unless they have a huge online following already.”
James said further industrialisation with “music industry farms” suck the soul from musical creativity.
“Organisations like British and Irish Modern Music Institute [BIMM] and other ‘industry farms’ churning out bland ‘products feeding the machine with their direct links to the major labels.
“The big companies can throw money at ads and champion their own artists on Spotify so where is the level playing field?
“If there is to be any authentic progress in music as an art form it needs to be taken out of the hands of billionaire business and back into the community and the streets where we all know most of the best music comes from.
“And it’s in the power of members of parliament to push for just that.”
Veteran broadcaster Steve Blacknell said: “I’ve watched James struggle with the current streaming and social media industry model and trying to manipulate algorithms.
“But now he’s flying high. James is actually a pioneer in that he’s attracting established legendary names to his brand.
“This is purely because he writes incredible timeless tunes that are striking a chord out there with recognised artists.
“Despite the current climate I think his future is very rosy indeed.”