FROM THE PRESIDENT
Well, it is the beginning of a new year and I guess technically I am still the President until our first Board meeting later this month. I have not heard anything about any impeachment hearings, so I guess it is safe to write this article.
I have never been one for New Year resolutions. It seems most of them get lost somewhere in the first month or two anyway. I do believe it is important to recognize and thank some important people before moving forward. First and foremost, I want to thank the present Board of Directors for their hard work and positive attitudes. We have all been together now for a few years keeping the FWSA moving forward. Without them, none of these events could happen.
I want to thank John Terry and Rick Tate for helping with the sound during our events and being there to “load out” after the show. I also want to thank all the FWSA members. Whether you participate in open mics, monthly gatherings, showcases, other events, or just as members - you are all important to the FWSA. This organization is going into it’s 28th year and I am proud to be a part of it.
If you have been following recent news in the music industry, you probably know it is in as much turmoil as the American Congress. The streaming companies Spotify, Tidal, and Rhapsody are being sued for copyright issues and improper royalty payments. Major record companies are imploding from artists replacing them with modern technology, independent record labels, and taking control of their own careers (DIY). Performing Rights Organizations, who administers royalties for public performances of songs, recognizes their own music tracking technology is outdated and leads to artists not being paid for their work. BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC also charge a music venue separate fees, thus destroying the local music scene for original songwriters. Technology pirates have a new system called “click bots” where they set up fake music sites on streaming sites, like Spotify, and the “bot” automatically streams plays of imaginary songs and the pirates cash in. The music world has gone completely mad and many deny or fool themselves into believing everything is just fine, which perpetuates the existing problems.
How do we as songwriters rise above the madness? It is called education. Don’t become a victim of the system. Know who you are as a songwriter and what goals you want to accomplish. Use technology to your advantage and in a positive manner. A lot of songwriters get bad advice from other songwriters because what works for one does not work for another. Nobody knows you better than yourself. If you want to do a CD and sell it - go for it. People still like CD’s. If you want to bust out a single and sell it on your music site - go for it. People love to download singles. Or, you may just want to write songs and perform at open mics. The choice is yours. Don’t let anyone discourage you from what you want to do with your music. There is nothing wrong with writing music just for the simple pleasure of writing music.
One major advantage of being part of the FWSA is there are songwriters out there willing to share their knowledge and experience with you, good or bad. You can take it for what it is worth and apply it to reach your goals. The bottom line is - it is what will work best for you. Welcome to the new world order where you can follow your own destiny. Be smart.