BMI to host BMI Song Camp at 2017 Music Exchange


Since 2016, the Music Exchange Entertainment Indaba(MEX17), in partnership with BMI, has attracted various writing creatives for the five-day emersion and creative boot camp. The event will run from Monday, 4 September to Friday, 8 September, starting at the MEX17 gathering held at the Academy of Sound Engineering studio complex in District 6, Cape Town.

MEX17’s guest writers include Jann Klose (New York), a Grammynominated pop singer-songwriter. Christian Wright, from Abbey Road Studios, who has achieved several award-winning albums for the likes of Ed Sheeran, Keane, Franz Ferdinand, Blur, and Gabrielle Aplin, along with soundtracks to movies (GravityPrince Of PersiaThe Master) from both sides of the Atlantic.

In addition, the Indaba will include Alicia Madison (New York) who is a singer/songwriter for Armada Records and Lifted Sony and Columbian music producer and songwriter Marcela Arciniegas.

Brandon Bakshi, executive director and writer/publisher relations at BMI will return to Cape Town in September and aims to foster creativity among the four key international songwriters with the hopes of writing a string of future hits.

“Last year was a phenomenal success, and the proof in the pudding is that most of the songs written at the BMI Song Camp have been placed and cut by artists having success on TV and radio in South Africa,” says Bakshi. “Our stretch goal this year is to have hit songs cut and broadcast in the United States.”

“We’re building a company profile in Africa and helping songwriters to affiliate with us, as well as tap into our creative support,” he adds. “Ideally, we would like to see more African writers receiving royalties from BMI for their broadcast performances.”

“The performance right has become sacrosanct in a world continual rights fragmentation,” Bakshi says. “BMI is protecting the rights of our affiliates, as well as growing their income stream. In fact, last year BMI distributed and administered a record-breaking $931-million (R9.3-billion) to its songwriters, composers, and publishers, which represented the most public performance revenue and royalty distributions by any music rights organisation in the world. We expect to top that number this year.”

“In my opinion, the best way to move forward in creating international hit songs is to cultivate international collaborations, vis-à-vis our BMI Song Camp, such as this one in South Africa,” he concludes.

Although the BMI Song Camp is a closed by-invitation-only event, MEX17delegates will get full access to each of the songwriters, producers, and industry heavyweights over the two days of this 120-delegates-only conference.

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