Choked by their own mediocrity

Ryan Tedder is the singer with the band OneRepublic. He has also made a very lucrative living writing songs for artists such as Beyonce, Britney Lady Gaga, Camilla Cabello, Maroon 5 and Adele, so he’s doing alright for himself and one would expect him to have at least a few working brain cells.

However, he made a comment last week about new artists being strangled by classic acts on music streaming services which defied all reason.

Certainly the likes of Spotify, Deezer, etc have decimated record sales to the point where, with streaming royalty rates so ridiculously low, the main revenue stream for most artists now is touring or in the case of the biggest stars, selling their entire catalogue for a lump sum.

But for the listener it’s a matter of choice, and that choice is now endless.

Real songwriters: Look ’em up

If they opt to exercise that choice by listening to the same vacuous Ariana Grande song for weeks at a time that’s up to them.

But that’s not the music Mr Tedder is aiming his highly paid guns at.

Classic is not the music of the past 20 years – the time that he has been coining it in – it’s a time when even being a jobbing songwriter meant coming up with a River Deep Mountain High, a You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Reach Out I’ll Be There or Papa Was A Rolling Stone.

I’ve got two of my solo albums on Spotify, Apple Music and various other platforms. There are probably a few songs by other folks that I’m on, but I’ve never bothered looking. The royalties are not enough to buy a pair of socks, but to suggest that I, or anyone else is being choked by songs or artists that have shaped the musical landscape of the past 60 years is not only asinine and petulant, it’s completely missing the point.

Another real songwriter

There are sites like N1M and Soundcloud that specialise in music by acts that are not established. It’s only after those artists have been found on places like that, with a couple of songs, that the search then widens to the major streaming services where the full albums sit (or even to Amazon or Apple to buy them – it does happen, honest).

If you want to moan about not getting enough fractions of a penny on Spotify plays because of all those rich old or dead guys on there, here’s an idea – DO BETTER! Write better. Play better. Aspire to reach a quality that will endure.

Because in 20 years time, no one will care who Camilla Cabello or Ariana Grande were or who wrote for them.

Of course, Ryan Tedder will be minted, so that will just have to do.

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It’s all good fun, said Alex Scott during Saturday’s Soccer Aid game.

Tell that to anyone on the wrong end of a Jamie Carragher tackle.

Playing for charity makes no difference to these guys. Once the old pros get on the pitch the competitiveness kicks in. They mean it and they don’t hold back.

As for the celebs, you only have to look at the performance of Tom Grennan for the Rest of the World side to see how deadly serious a deal it is to share a pitch with the likes of Roberto Carlos (who, like Carra, put in a full 90 minutes even though he’s now the size of two Robert Carloses), Wayne Rooney, Clarence Seedorf and Paul Scholes.

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Twenty years of hurt. Four presidents, trillions of dollars, 2,500 dead US servicemen, 4,000 dead US contractors, 69,000 Afghan security forces killed and 47,000 civilians, all to leave with Afghanistan in the same state that they found it – under the cosh with the Taliban back in power.

And still Biden insists they did the job they went there to do.

American foreign policy in a nutshell, or is that poppy pod?

Stupid TV quiz answers of the week.

Tipping Point (of course)

Q: The Volga flows from Russia into which inland body of water

First contestant A: The Nile?

Second contestant A: The Red Sea?

Three words come to mind beginning with for and ending in sake.

Edward Case

Columnist

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