The Meaning Of Music Week
The 2nd Annual Music Week officially launched this morning. The Belizean public will get to enjoy performances by some of the country's most beloved musicians and vocalists, while the artists themselves will be able to attend seminars and workshops about copyright laws and compensation. Our news team attended a press conference with Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow, and some of the artists, here's Alex Courtenay with the story...
Alex Courtenay reporting
Music week provides a platform for Belizean musicians to perform, as well as learn about strategies to help them turn their music into a business. This year's theme revolves around music and copyright enforcement, specifically in properly compensating musicians.
Shyne Barrow - Music Ambassador/CEO, BSCAP
"We start today with music conferences on copyright which is something through BSCAP, I've been pushing as CEO to get the artist the proper compensation remuneration for the use of their music. Tomorrow we have a public/private sector dialogue spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the directorate of foreign trade Miss Margaret Ventura will be headlining that and then Wednesday we have a conference with the Belize Chamber of Commerce, the BTIA, the BTB and the Belize Hotel Association and the theme of that conference which to me is the one I am looking most forward to is "Music as a business and a Tourism Asset." Because music is not just clapping hands and dancing and okay yeah, pat on your back. No, in many places` throughout the world it is one of the biggest revenues that the government and all other people profit from and there is no reason why Belize can't do the same."
For the last few weeks, Music Ambassador, Shyne Barrow has been publicly pushing the case for copyright laws and compensation. Today he spoke about response from the major businesses, hotels and radio stations that will have to pay artists when they use their music...
"The buying has been excellent as far as radio stations are concern. I am very thankful to KREM. LOVE FM and to the other radio stations that have come onboard. Many hotels have come onboard. I am very optimistic and encourage in the fact that the Belize Hotel Association will be at the conference on Wednesday and we also have a separate conference, a private conference with the Ministry of Tourism, because they are doing their national tourism policy revision."
"So every opportunity that I get to have the dialogue as far as copyright is concerned I will, because copyright is a form of a payment to the artist and economic development of the artist is extremely important."
But how will BSCAP know which companies are following regulations? Well, aside from signing up for a program that allows artists to know when their music is being streamed online or played through the radio, Barrow says that they will have to rely on the goodwill of these businesses to properly log their music usage.
"The way that works is we will be asking the radio stations to present a playlist and logs of all the music that they play. Also what I am encouraging the Belizean musicians to do is to register their music with sound scan, which is very low cost process. It's not something that would take much for them to do, but it will gain them much. That way when they play your music, sound scan will detect it anywhere in the world. But what we will be asking LOVE FM, KREM and all the radio stations is to keep a playlist and a log. Furthermore, I will try to get someone to record the different radio stations and even go back and to see if what we record, reflects the playlist and the logs."
And according to the artists, this move for proper compensation, which they see as integral to making money as musician, couldn't come soon enough.
"In the whole world this process take place. It's just happening in Belize and I think it's something that should have happen a long time ago. We have technology like iTunes, we have different social media that we use to get views, and YouTube. So with the younger generation right now, it's really helps a lot with the work that you do. Drake and other artists, this is how they live from music and this how they eat. The technology right now, you can't just go and sell an album like first. People doesn't do that anymore. Right now its flash drive or iTunes. You buy music. Finally it's happening and I really support it. This is helping me a lot."
School rallies, open mic nights and rap battles are also all on the agenda for the week.