(L-R): Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Jac Ross, Cyndi Lauper, Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Rodney Jerkins, Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.)
Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images
Advocacy & Creators Rights Take The Stage During GRAMMY Week
GRAMMY Week serves as a gathering for the music community, and it's also the perfect time to further the discussion about music creators' rights. Last week in Los Angeles, the Recording Academy’s Advocacy team took the opportunity to lead a series of briefings for members of Congress as part of GRAMMY Week, reminding them, as they enjoy the music that enriches our lives, of the issues affecting the many people behind the scenes who make it possible.
The discussion centered around current legislative solutions in Congress, policy that directly impact creators, and general information about the industry. The goal of the event was to provide lawmakers with firsthand knowledge about challenges creators face when developing, selling, and protecting their work. The day was full of enlightening discussion and more than a little music.
The event was composed of two panels. The first, moderated by Jeriel Johnson, the Executive Director of the Academy’s Washington, DC Chapter, featured a conversation with super producer Rodney Jerkins and rising artist Jac Ross.
The two music makers discussed the challenges of building and sustaining a livelihood in music from their distinctly different career phases. Jerkins shared his experienced perspective on the evolution of the music industry and how royalties have decreased with the growing popularity of streaming services, while Ross focused on the challenges an aspiring artist faces and how he overcame the barriers of entry into the industry.
For the second panel, the Recording Academy's Michael Lewan led a conversation with versatile pop/rock group X Ambassadors about fair market ticketing and challenges to touring. They also explored the process of collaborating with other artists on songwriting, including Lizzo, who took home the 2020 GRAMMY for Best Traditional R&B Performance for their joint composition “Jerome.”
With GRAMMY Week, music is always in the air! To top off the event, both Jac Ross and the X Ambassadors were gracious enough to deliver amazing performances of a few of their songs for the members of Congress. In yet another musical surprise, GRAMMY winner Cyndi Lauper stopped in to greet the members of Congress.
The experience for lawmakers continued the next day. Ahead of the 62nd GRAMMY Awards, policy makers joined the Academy at Staples Center for a behind-the-scenes look at the production and technology needed to put on a live, internationally broadcasted telecast.
The weekend was attended by Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), and Norma Torres (D-Calif.), as well as senior congressional staff from a dozen bipartisan offices.
Just as the GRAMMY Awards celebrate excellence in music, GRAMMY Week is a celebration of all the music creators who make it all happen. The Recording Academy's ongoing advocacy work serves as a voice for music makers, and the events and experiences they hosted for members of Congress during this year's GRAMMY Week will no doubt leave a lasting impression.
To learn more about important music policy issues, visit the Recording Academy's issues and policy page and contact your members of Congress today to let them know you support the music makers who enrich our lives and our culture.