A group of songwriters behind hit songs such as Dua Lipa’s ‘Dont’ Start Now’ and Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings’ have signed a letter asking artists to stop taking credit for songs they didn’t write.
The letter was signed by song writers Justin Tranter, Emily Warren, Ross Golan, Amy Allen, Savan Kotecha, Joel Little and Victoria Monét. It says that while the writers aren’t asking for revenue from the artists touring, merchandise, brand partnerships, or other revenue streams, that they are “simply asking for that respect in return.”
“We are simply asking that the ecosystem stay in balance; we are simply asking that we not be put in positions where we are forced to give up all we have in exchange for nothing; we are simply asking that we give credit where credit is due and only take credit where credit is earned,” the letter reads.
The open letter also boldly claims that “the artist and/or their representation abuse leverage, use bully tactics and threats, and prey upon writers who may choose to give up some of their assets rather than lose the opportunity completely.”
While the letter hasn’t targeted any artist specifically, to give some context, Justin Tranter alone has written songs for Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Linkin Park, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, DNCE, Kesha, Imagine Dragons, Fifth Harmony, 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Bea Miller, Demi Lovato, and Fall Out Boy.
Emily Warren has written for the likes of The Chainsmokers, Dua Lipa, Khalid, Sigrid, Melanie Martinez, and Shawn Mendes and received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for co-writing Dua Lipa’s ‘Dont’ Start Now’.
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Tranter took to his Twitter account to support the open letter saying that his hope is that new song writers can operate with “a little less fear” and “a little more money”.
I am standing with @_the_pact to try and make things better for the next generation of songwriters. There are much bigger issues in the world, and much bigger issues in our industry, but this is something we can take a stand against now. https://t.co/Cc94GSRcUY
— Justin Tranter (@justtranter) March 30, 2021
Warren has been revealed as one of The Pact’s main organizers and her manager Zach Gurka of Ground Up Management has come forward to speak about the goal of the organization and said the aim is to “create unity in the songwriting community” and to give song writer’s more recognition for their work.
“Nearly every time a writer is faced with a publishing or any kind of deal situation, they’re left to fight on their own, and the idea here is that you’ll have the backing and support of this whole group,” said Gurka.
“Writers are often told how lucky they are to [work with a certain artist] or have a cut on someone’s album. And because of that, whenever a writer is faced with a tough question or asked to give something up, we think that in order to continue to keep doing this as a career, we have to give in. I spoke with one successful writer the other day who said she agrees to it so she won’t be ‘in the way’ — that is such a sad sentence,” Gurka continues.
Gurka also revealed some shocking encounters she’s had with famous artists. “I’ve been asked to give publishing to artists who sang the song exactly like the demo and [often] refused to give anything in exchange,” she shared.
“And along with the threat of ‘Oh, we’ll just find another song if you won’t give us x percent,’ there’s been some pretty intense bullying about my lack of worth to a project — and how I should feel lucky, and how it makes perfect sense that this artist should get this much publishing based on who they are, and they threaten that they’re never going to work with me again.”
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