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Graham Davies, CEO, introduces The Ivors Academy

This month we take the bold step of launching The Ivors Academy of Music Creators - a new identity for BASCA. This is a confident and modern brand on which to build a strong, progressive organisation for the future.

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With The Ivors Academy we have an opportunity to connect more people with what we stand for, what we do and why members should join. Many outside of our organisation aren’t unaware that BASCA is responsible for The Ivors, the British Composer Awards, the Gold Badge or what we do outside of our awards. The industry is calling for a strong creator voice and we have an opportunity with The Ivors Academy to assume a more significant role in the industry.

It is important for us to do this now as there are many important questions creators should ask in the current climate. For example, as growth returns to the industry creators might ask how much of this additional revenue will be shared with them versus labels and publishers? As streaming disrupts broadcasting what should this mean for the way music is commissioned and rights are acquired and licensed? Technology brings new opportunities – what does this mean for the future of publishers, labels and collecting societies when creators have more ability to manage these functions themselves? As globalisation increases, how can creators defend their rights against large multinational companies who have almost limitless resources?

The fast-changing industry brings with it threats and opportunities. Individual songwriters and composers are small businesses that make a vital contribution to our economy. By joining the Academy, creators can keep pace with these changes and take action collectively to ensure that the industry does not overlook their contribution or take it for granted. Being part of a creative community means we are better able to shape the industry to be more responsive to creators’ rights and needs.

Our new brand is future-focused. While proud to represent many of the giants of modern music, we also represent many struggling to make a living from their craft and those just starting out who face an unclear career path. If the next generations of music creators are not nurtured, we put our musical heritage at risk. Too many children are losing the opportunity to experience listening, learning and playing music at school or in the home. And there are too few opportunities for young creators to learn how to manage their rights and royalties. The Ivors Academy, via our Trust, will raise money to do something about these issues.

We want to be bigger because this will enable us to speak with a louder voice. We are reaching out beyond our existing members, to bring in the new, the amazing, the different and diverse. We want to represent the wonderful range of music talent that exists across the UK whether song, symphony or sync. Speaking with a more representative voice will give us more authority. Building up more resources will enable us to provide more support. Putting diversity and inclusion at the top of our agenda will mean that aspiring music creators, regardless of their background, location or identity will see the Academy as an organisation they can trust.

There is therefore a lot of opportunity to do new things. But there are also many things that continue to build on past successes. We are looking forward to another year of fantastic celebrations of craft at The Ivors and The Ivors Composer Awards, and to acknowledging individuals who have supported music creators at The Ivors Academy Gold Badge Awards. Current campaigns continue and we are emboldened by recent progress on the Copyright Directive working in conjunction with our European counterparts at the European Composers and Songwriters Alliance and the UK Council of Music Makers. And we continue to cultivate and nurture our community through seminars, events and the regular interaction with our 60-strong committees and representatives who meet throughout the year.

We look forward to telling you more about our new brand and seeing you at our upcoming events. Please spread the word amongst your creator community for your colleagues to join us – as a member or a friend – to help us campaign, celebrate and cultivate UK music creators.

Photo credit: Francis Augusto

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