On the 26th of March I will be performing in New York at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2 at 7pm. I am eagerly looking forward to this concert, as I will be performing all of the songs on my upcoming album for the very first time. I have also decided to dedicate this concert for a cause that I am extremely passionate about: the grassroots movement I Respect Music.

In honor of our movement, I have decided to sing a song performed by an artist who didn’t write their iconic hit-song themselves. I will explain the reasoning behind this by repeating here the ingenious talking points of Mr. Blake Morgan, who started this campaign:

When you think of the song “Respect”, who do you think of?
I’m sure most people would answer: Aretha Franklin. Not a lot of people know or remember that the song was actually written by Otis Redding. I for one was shocked to hear that Aretha has never made a penny for “Respect” being played on the radio. Otis Redding deservedly got paid for being the songwriter, but in all fairness, Aretha deserves to be paid for her iconic performance of it. Don’t you agree?

I have said this before, but it bears repeating, for those of you who are hearing this fact for the very first time: US is among only a handful of countries that does not pay performers when their song plays on the radio. The short list of countries that follow this policy include Rwanda, Iran, North Korea and China. Most countries in the world have decided otherwise, and consider the performances of songs important enough to merit remuneration. In my mind it is a no-brainer, and I’m sure anyone with a sense of justice would agree.

But the plot thickens: because the US doesn’t pay radio performance royalties for artists of any country, American artists don’t end up getting paid radio performance royalties from other countries either. Those payments are blocked due to the lack of reciprocation. Makes sense, doesn’t it? American artists are thus fucked, and Aretha does not end up getting paid for radio play outside of the States either.

I am happy to know that I do not have to fear for Aretha Franklin’s financial stability, even though she doesn’t get paid shit for the performances of her biggest hit songs when they play on the radio. I mean, I’m assuming she does alright…. But this policy does not just affect Aretha. It affects every American artist, and every foreign artist played on the American radio, regardless of their financial standing. And these days, making a living in music can be very challenging indeed. We hope to change this policy, with the momentum, enthusiasm and righteousness of our expanding campaign I Respect Music. Luckily all record labels, artists, music lovers, musicians’ rights organizations and songwriters’ organizations agree on this issue. If most other countries in the world can pay artists for their performances on the radio, why can’t the US?

Like I said in the beginning of this blog, I intend to perform an iconic song at my concert, originally sung by an American artist we love. The criteria for the song is that the artist didn’t write it themselves and thus has never gotten paid for their performance on the radio. I invite you to help me select that song! I also welcome you to attend the concert, and push the issue forward. Every little bit counts.
And on that note, please join us in furthering our campaign, by signing our petition at http://www.irespectmusic.org.
There are no dues or fees, instead, much more great music to gain..!