Top songwriters for pop sensations including Lorde, Dua Lipa and Ariana Grande are fighting back against what they describe as unethical practices in the music industry where artists claim credit for songs they had zero involvement in.
One of the songwriters taking a stand is Emily Warren, who has co-written smash hits such as Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’ and ‘Don’t Start Now’. Warren claims that in negotiations for a fairer deal she has been cornered by ‘bully tactics and threats’ by an artist who insisted on a higher share of publishing income on a song despite not having penned the song in question themselves. Warren’s decision to ‘stand [her] ground’ concerns not only her own wellbeing as a songwriter but also for greener songwriters who do not have such leverage in the boardroom as she does.
The songwriters who have penned and signed the open letter are known as the new collective Pact, who have declared that signatories ‘will not give publishing or songwriting credit to anyone who did not create or change the lyric or melody or otherwise contribute to [a] composition without a reasonably equivalent/meaningful exchange for all the writers on the song.’ Songwriters who signed the open letter cinlude Victoria Monet, Justin Tranter, Ross Golan, Amy Allen, Joel Little, Tayla Parx and many more.
The letter states:
‘This practice of artists taking publishing has become normalised; and until now, there has been no real unity within the songwriting community to fight back […] That is why we have decided to join together, in support of each other, and make a change.’The Pact
‘Songwriters are gonna start protecting their copyright, or we’re gonna get angry and we’re gonna get loud,’ said Ross Golan to the Rolling Stones, who have been successful in his own right via his work with artists such as Justin Bieber and One Direction.
The Pact has since established its presence on Instagram (@_the_pact) as a firm declaration to improve the livehoods of songwriters. Songwriters such as Plested, who has collaborated with Lewis Capaldi and Little Mix, has openly acknowledged The Pact’s declaration on his own personal Instagram: ‘We are simply asking that we give credit where credit is due and only take credit where credit is earned.’
The open letter in full penned by The Pact is available to read via Billboard.
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