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"Hit songwriters are driving Ubers": The Pact pledges to stop performers taking undeserved song credits

The pact
(Image credit: The Pact)

A group of songwriters, writing as The Pact, has issued a call to arms via open letter. Their mission; to stop performers taking undeserved writing credits.

It's an increasingly prevalent side-hustle for singers and producers, and now it seems that at least some of the biggest songsmiths around have had enough.

In its open letter The Pact, which includes the creators of massive hits like Ariana Grande's 7 Rings Dua Lipa's New Rules say that "Right now, hit songwriters are driving Ubers", because "a growing number of artists" demand a share of publishing revenue, despite not contributing to a song.

"Everyone takes a piece of the publishing so it’s started to become insane."

Rami Yacoub

"These artists will go on to collect revenue from touring, merchandise [and] brand partnerships," they said, but "songwriters have only their publishing revenue as a means of income."

Signatories to the letter include Justin Tranter, Emily Warren, Ross Golan, Amy Allen, Savan Kotecha, Joel Little and Victoria Monét. You may not know all those names, but they've created huge hits for the likes of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, One Direction, Michael Bublé, Lorde, Shawn Mendes and Selena Gomez.

"Over time, this practice of artists taking publishing has become normalised; and until now, there has been no real unity within the songwriting community to fight back," the letter continues.

"That is why we have decided to join together, in support of each other, and make a change."

Insane

Speaking to MusicRadar this week, hitmaker Rami Yacoub also touched on the proliferation of credits.

“Nowadays you have like five or six writers," Yaboub told us. "You can see up to 12 writers on some songs. In most cases - even when you have six, seven writers - they’re never there in the same room. 

"There’ll be two or three people at the most. And then they want a new part and so it gets sent around and everyone takes a cut from the song. You have somebody that’s the producer of the song, and they’ll have a co-producer, and they’re going to take publishing, so they’re writers on the song too. 

“I’ll do a song, and it’ll go around and somebody will reproduce it and all of a sudden there’s four extra writers added and one guy added a hi-hat. I’m serious. It’s becoming insane. And he gets 5%.”