Helping out the artistes

Buju Banton

COSCAP, the local performing rights society, has offered its members a great opportunity.

From 11th to the 13th of this month, a workshop and seminar gives ten members the chance, at no cost, to have three unfinished recordings assessed by well-known Jamaican producer Danny Browne and Barbadian Andrew Denny. Sessions will be on a one-on-one in-studio basis.

Now this is nothing to be sneezed at; these men aren’t easy. Denny has been involved in many hits coming out of Barbados and his services as producer and mixer are in high demand. Browne has worked with an array of stars, including Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and Gregory Isaacs. To be able to work with people like these at no cost is a tremendous opportunity, one which should be appreciated.

And that’s just part of what COSCAP is offering its members this week. On Friday 14th, at The Hilton Barbados , Jamaican producer Robert Livingston, producer behind Shaggy’s success and that of many others, and Dr Wayne Bickerton, international chairman of SESAC, the world’s second oldest performing rights society, will lead a seminar dealing with what it takes to enter the international market and why it matters which society is handling your music.

These are opportunities not to be missed and I am looking forward to seeing what the response from artistes will be. The reason I’m saying this is that very often there is criticism of COSCAP, born out of ignorance. People will make the wildest claims without having a clue what the organisation is about or indeed how it functions.

Time and again I see on Facebook or hear people saying things which have absolutely no foundation in fact. What always beats me is why those people simply don’t avail themselves of the correct information, which is not hard to do. COSCAP has a well-advertised website which provides accurate and relevant information, most notably answers to the most frequently asked questions.

However, yuh know we! Some people find it much more useful to spread misinformation, keeping others as well as themselves in unenlightened darkness. This week’s activities should go a long way towards lightening that darkness.

The simple truth of the matter is that music becomes more accessible every day, making its monitoring even more important. If a work is yours, there’s no way to reap the fullest rewards from it unless it is registered and monitored. It’s no coincidence that the local artistes who do best financially are all members of a performing rights society, COSCAP in most cases.

That’s the only way to fly and the sooner more artistes recognise this, the better. Sir Paul McCartney doesn’t need to record another note unless he really feels like it. His royalties from all those Beatles songs he co-wrote with John Lennon will provide a living for his family for generations. It beats me why for some artistes it’s hard to understand the common sense of protecting their work.

So I’m really hoping that this week’s activities by COSCAP bring home clearly to artistes the need to protect their work and indeed, their future. It’s the only sensible way to go.

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