“Who do you know? Get out there and talk to people, make connections; it really is about the personal connection”
After the success of her album ‘Speak for Yourself’, Imogen Heap became a household name. Her imagination and her musical abilities are something many young artists aspire to, and most importantly, she is un-apologetically herself.
Imogen spoke in detail about how she wants to make the industry a safer place for artists and creatives. Explaining her previous trials and tribulations with royalties and distribution she also talked about how she and others have come up with Myceila – a fairtrade system for musicians and their music. Their mission includes:
– Empower a fair, sustainable, and vibrant music industry ecosystem involving all online music interaction services
– Unlock the huge potential for creators and their music-related metadata so an entirely new commercial marketplace may flourish
– Ensure all involved are paid and acknowledged fully
– See commercial, ethical, and technical standards are set to exponentially increase innovation for the music services of the future
– Connect the dots with all those involved in this shift from current outdated music industry models; exploring new technological solutions to enliven and positively impact the music ecosystem.
“BlocChain is the perfect catalyst to shake things up”
during the masterclass Imogen explained that no-one fully understands the deals between labels and the streaming sites because it’s so difficult to comprehend all the details of these deals and the parties involved, she identified an injustice in these processes and questions where the funds may be going. This is something she wants to help change.
Without artists there would be no industry, therefore she believes that profits should be fed back into the music industry and the artists themselves. Imogen is involved in creating services and spaces for artists to share their music fairly in which every party will receive the exposure and payment owed to them. When talking about these issues, Heap’s voice was filled with passion and belief.
Later Imogen went on to explain how larger companies and platforms cannot continue to simply take from artists and creatives – as with any eco-system, there has to be balance in order for it to be sustainable. She wants this to stop before the music industry begins to dry up due to artists being unable to sustain themselves because of a lack of funding. The new technology being created illustrates the potential that would come with such a shift.
Imogen also spoke about how she doesn’t experience writer’s block anymore – which I’m sure may inspire envy amongst any songwriters out there! Her remedy is simple; she stopped focusing on how she couldn’t do something or trying to force something out of her head and learnt ‘just to be kind’ to herself. An important part of this seemed to be the acceptance that you won’t always have good ideas and to give yourself some space and time to let the creativity flow naturally.
“Create limitations, for example, go to China and only write music out of those limitations”
Imogen’s depth of knowledge and evident passion about her own music as well as the music industry in general, was very inspiring for our students.
“In this business, you can’t make everybody like what you do but if you just find a few people you’re champions”