The Pact: pop songwriting credits thread

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A group of songwriters have apparently had enough of sharing publishing or co-writing credits with artists who didn't "create or change the lyric or melody or otherwise contribute to the composition without a reasonably equivalent/ meaningful exchange for all the writers on the song".

Initial signatories are:

Amy Allen
Ross Golan
Scott Harris
Shae Jacobs
Ian Kirkpatrick
Savan Kotecha
Lennon Stella
Joel Little
Billy Mann
Jordan McGraw
Victoria Monét
Tayla Parx
Justin Tranter
Emily Warren

From a quick glance through their wikipedia pages, some of the artists they have written for include Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Lorde, Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez, The Weeknd, Katy Perry, among so many others. So far I'm not aware of any specific accusations about which artists are getting co-writing credits without meaningfully adding to the work, but you have to imagine it includes at least some of the big ones.

I think this is pretty cool and hope to see support for these songwriters from the artists they have written for.

peace, man, Thursday, 1 April 2021 11:49 (one month ago) link

And here's me thinking it was mainly the other way around...

(i.e. "K, dude, make that third verse the actual chorus. That's good, ok add my name onto the credit, and send it to my other pal for his advice....")

Mark G, Thursday, 1 April 2021 13:12 (one month ago) link

Good to see songwriters taking a stand on this, I remember Popbitch covering the 'change a word, take a third' phenomenon years ago. A co-write means more money for the artist (writing residuals generally better and longer-term than performance) and allows them to be positioned as singer/songwriter for media purposes, regardless of how much input there is.

I suppose it is particularly punitive these days given that revenue from streaming and radio is all a writer gets now (physical and download sales being negligible compared to 10 years ago, and music tv channels on their last legs), so any credit-sharing means a chunk taken out of an already vanishingly small income.

Twelves, Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:34 (one month ago) link

I assumed this SOP across the board in modern pop. The tacit threat to the creative team being "share credit, or we record a different song and you get nothing."

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:41 (one month ago) link

it's become dramatically more prevalent even in just the last 5 years i think

ufo, Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:46 (one month ago) link

Yeah, I've seen it framed as a "tax" for the privilege of getting to write the performer's song.

peace, man, Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:49 (one month ago) link

On the other side of it, I heard an anecdote the other day about a producer who was working for a big name producer and had signed a terrible deal. Basically, if the non-famous producer did 100% of the production on a song for an artist, the big name producer got 15% of it. But if the big name producer changed anything at all (ie a hi-hat sound using the same midi), then the big name producer got 80%.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:50 (one month ago) link

Damn, that's ugly.

peace, man, Thursday, 1 April 2021 15:05 (one month ago) link

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