Lizzo, Shawn Mendes, and More Pledge to ‘Press Pause’ on Music Gatherings

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Ricky Reed, a producer behind four songs on Lizzo’s Grammy-winning Cuz I Love You album — six, if you’re looking at the deluxe version, which includes megahit “Truth Hurts” — is imploring musicians, songwriters, producers, artists, and executives to press pause on songwriting sessions, meetings and shows.  And “no going to packed bars,” Reed added in his Medium post this week. “No eating at restaurants. No brunch. (In South Korea one person attended church and a buffet lunch and was responsible for infecting 1,000 people! Again, no brunch!).”

Artists who have signed their names in support of the cause include Lizzo, Shawn Mendes, this year’s Grammy-winner for Producer of the Year Finneas, The Go-Go’s, Meghan Trainor, Bebe Rexha, alternative band X Ambassadors, and punk band FIDLAR.

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“Most of us had to fight (and are still fighting) tooth and nail for every inch of our careers,” Reed says in the letter. “When I moved to L.A., I had to bike and bus to all my sessions. This is the only business that rewards us for staying out late, partying, throwing caution to the wind. We have grown accustomed to endangering our bodies running down a dream. But it’s time to stop.” The letter, written in response to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, is titled “Be an Introvert, Save the World,” and it is co-penned by fellow hitmakers Justin Tranter, who’s worked extensively with the likes of Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, and Imagine Dragons, and Ross Golan, hit songwriter for stars like Ariana Grande.

“We might be in good health, young, unbothered,” Reed writes. “But this virus is not sparing our parents and grandparents. It is not sparing our immunocompromised brothers and sisters. It is not sparing kids with asthma. And an overwhelmed health care system won’t have space for anyone sick for any reason (that includes YOU!) if we don’t act now. The sooner we take bold action (extreme social distancing) the sooner we can get back to our lives.

Reed and his co-authors want people to see the — albeit dim — silver lining here. They argue that this change of pace can lead to surges in creativity. Plus, in a musical landscape that applauds group collaborations and features, this situation can be looked at as a nice test. “Songwriters, when was the last time you wrote a song alone? Producers, been meaning to learn a new instrument or software? Artists, some of the greatest albums have been made in isolation (Bon Iver’s debut, for one). Use this time.”

The letter promotes the usage of FaceTime or Skype for songwriting sessions — a time that’s usually meant for multiple writers to intimately congregate in a room to brainstorm musical and lyrical ideas. It encourages innovative usage of social media platforms. “I’m going to plan a scheduled Instagram Live session and take feedback on a new track in real time,” Reed says. “A lot of musicians are new to Twitch, which not only provides a great platform for live streaming your work for collaboration but can generate some income while you’re at it.” The letter also alerts producers to the fact that equipment companies Korg and Moog have made their synth apps free for the rest of the month. As for songwriting camps — multi-day trips that revolve around a plethora of sessions and often take place in some destination location — Reed advises that they should be avoided for the time being.

The three major music publishing companies are on board, evidenced by e-signatures from Sony/ATV CEO Jon Platt, whose roster is home to Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran, Warner Chappell CEOs Carianne Marshall and Guy Moot (Bruno Mars, Green Day) and Universal Music Publishing Group CEO Jody Gerson (Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber).

So far, record label executives on the list of supporters include Ron Perry at Columbia — where Lil Nas X, Harry Styles and Vampire Weekend have deals — Pete Ganbarg at Atlantic, the home of Cardi B and The Rolling Stones, and Keep Cool/RCA’s Tunji Balogun, who has helped develop the careers of Khalid, SZA and Normani. The full list of signees is below.

Lizzo (artist)
Shawn Mendes (artist)
Finneas (artist / songwriter / producer)
Meghan Trainor (artist)
X Ambassadors (artist)
Bebe Rexha (artist)
Jason Derulo (artist)
Donnie Wahlberg (artist)
Jon Platt (CEO — Sony ATV)
Carianne Marshall, Guy Moot, Ryan Press, Shani Gonzalez (CEOs and Presidents of Warner Chappell)
Jody Gerson (CEO — Universal Music Publishing)
Ron Perry (CEO — Columbia Records)
Pete Ganbarg (President — Atlantic Records)
Tunji Balogun (Keep Cool / RCA)
Kenny MacPhearson (CEO — Big Deal Music)
Casey Robison (Co-President — Big Deal Music)
Jamie Cerreta (Co-President — Big Deal Music)
Laurent Hubert (CEO — Kobalt Music)
Jake Wisely (CEO — Concord)
Golnar Khosrowshahi (CEO — Reservoir)
Justin Kalifowitz (CEO — Downtown Publishing)
Mike Molinar (CEO — Big Machine)
Ralph Peer (CEO — Peer Music)
Katie Vinten (CEO — Facet Records & Black Diamond MGMT)
Evan Taubenfeld (Head of A&R — Crush Music)
Larry Wade (Decible Entertainment & Nice Life Recording Company)
Nice Life Recording Company
Bradley Haering (GM — Nice Life Recording Company)
Jon Tanners (Blood Company / Keep Cool)
Daddy Kev (CEO — Alpha Pup Records)
The SONA Board
Michelle Lewis (SONA founder)
KAY Hanley (SONA founder)
Zara Larsson (artist)
Dropkick Murphys (artist)
The Go-Go’s (artist)
Veruca Salt (artist)
FIDLAR (artist)
Teddy Geiger (artist / producer)
Ryan Tedder (songwriter / producer)
J Kash (songwriter / producer)
Ilya (producer)
Savan Kotecha (songwriter / producer)
Ali Tamposi (songwriter)
Sarah Aarons (songwriter)
Amy Allen (songwriter)
Oak (producer)
Evan Bogart (songwriter)
The Monsters & Strangerz (songwriters / producers)
Alex Hope (songwriter / producer)
Nate “Danja” Hills (producer)
Joel Little (songwriter / producer)
Andrew Wells (producer / songwriter)
Joe London (songwriter / producer)
Terrace Martin (songwriter / producer)
Rick Knowles (songwriter)
Greg Wells (songwriter)
Caroline Ailin (songwriter)
Anne Preven (songwriter / producer / founder — Pulse Music Group)
Billy Steinberg (songwriter)
Nolan Lambroza (songwriter / producer)
David Hodges (songwriter / producer)
Captain Cuts (songwriters / producers)
Imad Royal (songwriter / producer)
Cara Salimando (songwriter)
Ian Kirkpatrick (songwriter / producer)
Simon Wilcox (songwriter / founder — Community Reboot)
Mozella (songwriter)
Charlie Handsome (songwriter / producer)
Ido Zmishlany (songwriter / producer)
Nick Ruth (songwriter / producer)
Billboard (songwriter / producer)
Jonas Jeberg (songwriter / producer)
David Pramik (songwriter / producer)
Lindy Robbins (songwriter)
Kara Dioguardi (songwriter)
Liz Rose (songwriter)
Darrell Brown (songwriter / producer)
Lauren Christy (songwriter / producer)
Claudia Brant (songwriter / producer)
Big Taste (songwriter / producer)
Carlos De La Garza (mixer / producer / engineer)
David Hodges (songwriter / producer)
Chloe Angelides (songwriter / producer)
Nate Mercereau (songwriter / producer)
Cook Classics (songwriter / producer)
Liiv (songwriter / artist)
Tele (songwriter / producer)
Toby Gad (songwriter / producer)
Mike Wise (songwriter / producer)
Thomas Salter (songwriter / producer)
Ivan “Orthodox” Barias (songwriter / producer)
Electric (songwriters / producers)
Arkadi (producer)
Nick Monson (songwriter / producer)
Dances With White Girls (artist)
John-Robert (artist)
St. Panther (artist)
Eden XO (artist)
Kokayi (artist / producer)
Gabz Landman
Charlie Christie
Jaime Zeluck (Founder- Nonstop Management)
Beka Tischker (manager / founder wide eyed entertainment)
Wide Eyed Entertainment
Mega House Music Management
David Silberstein and Jeremy Levin (CEOs of Mega House)
Paul Adams (manager)
Lucas Keller (CEO Milk & Honey)
Chris Cajoleas (manager)
Alexis Ben-Meir Wolf (manager)
This Is Noise Management
Dan Petel (This Is Noise CEO)
Gonzo Lübel (Cosmica Artists)
Gil Gastelum (Cosmica Artists)
mija management
Seven20 Management

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