I am a Canadian singer-songwriter and independent artist. I have been following the news about YouTube’s debate with Sixx:AM (Nikki Sixx’s band) and Debbie Harry. I applaud Katy Perry and the rest of the artists who have begun their petition on the issues. I am educating myself about the arguments and have found that there is certainly a lack of transparency and a lot of spin going on. I want to outline a handful of issues I’ve found, because I have realised that this stuff matters, and if creators don’t fight for what’s right, who will?
I was lucky enough to meet and open for Prince and see him live several times over the years. He stood for pure music and honouring music with proper reverence. Prince’s death reminds all of us artists to wake up and smell the coffee. As I sit here writing this, I am listening to Zayn Malik’s new album – absolutely transported by the freedom, beauty and universality in it – and I’m certain of the labour put into making it great. I am putting the finishing touches on my new album right now, and I won’t stop working on it until it feels complete, much like a cabinet maker or a window cleaner would. We are all “working” class. This work is valid and has value. I love YouTube, but I think it is underpaying and getting away with it. I know the truth hurts, but someone’s got to tell it.