ECCO MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – A#KEEM

ahkeem3What initially began as an intimate mode of communication—poetry, bars, lyrics and song to express to his love the way she made him fell—soon became his means of life. As A#keem allowed his passion to spill onto paper; his smooth expressive voice resonating in the air around him; more and more, the feeling that this was his destiny began to set in.

Yet the Grenadian born songwriter, artiste and performer says it wasn’t until his three-year stint in Trinidad and Tobago, from 2012 to 2015, to pursue his studies that he knew for sure that his calling was a musical one.

“During that period, being away from home and family, I spent a lot time observing, thinking and soul searching,” A#keem recalls. “It was then, after having learnt a great deal about recording and the music industry that I decided there was no other path for me, but the path to this musical mission.”

He describes his music as “Urban-Reggae,” and says what drives him musically is sharing messages which induce happiness, boosts self-esteem and encourages greater self-worth and individuality. A#Keem is determined to use his talent to affect permanent and positive change the world over. He’s easily inspired by his surroundings; adventures, people, sight, experiences and his observation serve as his musical muse.

Ambitious, resilient and adventurous, A#keem attributes his music success to hard-work and dedication. Sharing the stage with renowned artists like Ashanti, Sizzla, and Ja Rule, are a few of his most treasured memories and by his account, amazing accomplishments to date.

Life in music, seeking to establish a success career, has not come without its challenges for A#Keem.  As Eastern Caribbean-based artiste, A#Keem says rallying support from the general public is perhaps one of the greatest challenges.

“Eastern Caribbean music should be a lot further than it is today, and that can only be possible with the help of the people being proud, acclaiming and sharing their culture, and not just left to the artiste themselves,” he states. Wistfully he adds, “In the region and in my country I hope to see the music industry explode in becoming so great that it brings all the focus to us, to our culture, to our story, to our Caribbean, let the world see our true value.”

Finding a team of dedicated individuals who believe in the mission has been another noteworthy challenge for the Urban-Reggae artist. Yet A#Keem believes that with determination one can find a way around every challenge. He therefore seeks to continuously educate himself in all aspects of the music industry, while taking advantage of the internet and technology find opportunities to grow his career.

“Self-sufficiency is very useful and sometimes necessary in the journey to success,” he advises We certainly agree!

A#keem Tidbits:

ahkeem

ECCO: When you’re not doing music, what are you doing?

A#Keem: When I am not doing music I spend time searching for adventures, knowledge and inspiration so that I can better equip my music for the battle ahead.

ECCO: What are your other passions?

A#Keem: Besides music, I am also very passionate about the current state of the world, the lack of values and the drastic increase in focus on materialistic and cosmetic things, hence the reason why I fuse music with a positively influential message.

ECCO: What makes you laugh?

A#Keem: Almost anything, both good and bad makes me laugh. I’ll laugh at a funny movie, or at someone telling me I “can’t” make it in the music industry.

ECCO: Name one thing about yourself that most people won’t know

A#Keem: One thing about myself that most people won’t know is that I have accomplished 2 out of the 3 life goals I set for myself many years ago, namely;
1. To work as a bartender
2. To sing in with a live band

 

—Written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne

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IFPI Grants ECCO the Right to Administer Related Rights for International Sound Recording Owners in the OECS

 

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Photo Retrieved www.copyrightsworld.com

“Copyright enables you to make a living off your art,” says Dave Kusek, founder and former CEO of Berklee Online and founder of the New Artist Model online music business course. “When you write or record music you produce more than just a ‘song,’” Kusek expounds.  “You also get exclusive rights and no one else can perform actions protected by your rights unless you give them permission.”

Kusek goes on to state that there are two kinds of music copyrights, the composition and the sound recording. Currently within the Eastern Caribbean, through the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc, focus has primarily been on composition copyrights, through the administration of performance rights.  Performance Rights owners [i.e. owner of the copyrights in the music composition] are typically the songwriters, composer and music publishers.

As a Collective Management Organization (CMO) responsible for the administration of performance rights on behalf of songwriters and music publishers, ECCO through reciprocal agreements with other CMOs worldwide, licenses the public use of music. ECCO in turn remits to the composition copyright holders the respective performance rights royalties related to the public use of copyright music.

copyright

Photo Retrieved from www.cipo.gov.vc

Directly related to copyrights in the ‘song’ (owned by the songwriters and music publishers), are the rights of owners in the recording of the ‘sound’–the rights of which are typically owned by the recording artist/performer and the master recording owners (usually record label or the executive producer of the recording). Copyrights in the sound recording owned by the performer and record label/executive producer are referred to as Related Rights or Neighbouring Rights. According to a MusicClout.com article, they are called related rights/neighbouring rights because they are said to be directly “related to” performance rights.

Related rights refer to the right to publicly perform or broadcast a sound recording. As with every copyright, owners of those rights are entitled to collect royalties every time the sound recording is broadcast or publicly played. However, it is important to note, that without a collective society or CMO to administer related rights, owners of these rights will find it extremely difficult to self administer their rights in much the same way as songwriters would find it impossible to track performances of their songs, locally, regionally or globally and on the flip side, music users would not be able to cope with having to clear the millions of recordings existing globally as laws demand.

The good news for the Eastern Caribbean is that ECCO has been approached by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) to collect related rights on their behalf in the OECS. ECCO is currently preparing its Business Plan to set out its financial plan, training for staff and agents, education of the market and identifying owners of the sound recording within the OECS (who will become a new category of members) with a view to ECCO administering related rights in the new year.

What does this mean for music rights holders within the OECS?

As expected, finalization of agreements by ECCO to administer Related Rights will mean that the Eastern Caribbean society will now be able to collect royalties on behalf of a new set of rights owners (performers, and owners of the master recording) who up to now have not been able to benefit from exploitation of the rights in their recordings.  Through reciprocal agreements ECCO will also be able to collect royalties for use of its members recordings globally which would usher in a new stream of music industry revenue for OECS rights holders.

References:

Kusek, D. (2014). Understanding Copyright: 6 Exclusive Rights for Indie Musicians. Retrieved from

https://bandzoogle.com/blog/understanding-copyright-6-exclusive-rights-for-indie-musicians

 

MusicClout.com (n.d.). What are Neighboring Rights? Retrieved from

https://www.musicclout.com/contents/article-437-what-are-neighboring-rights.aspx

 

 

Songwriting Techniques: Making a Personal Connection

 

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[Photo retrieved from  www.bouncestudios.com.au/writers-block-5-secrets-to-avoiding-it/]

“When a lyric stimulates and provokes your senses, you draw the images from your own experiences. You fill [the author’s] words with your stuff. They involve you, so the song becomes about you. That’s the power of sense-bound writing. It pulls the listener into the song by using his own memories as the song’s material.”—Those powerful words by renowned writing coach Pat Pattison in his book “Songwriting without Boundaries: Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice” stood out to us. And if you’re also on a quest to improve your songwriting to a point where it makes a personal connection with your listeners, we’re sure Pattison’s words stand out to you as well, and that like us, you are hungry to learn more.

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