Jeff Tweedy has shared an idea proposing he and his fellow songwriters and musicians should donate a portion of their royalty revenue to benefit organizations that support black communities.
A lengthy statement shared by the Wilco singer/guitarist through Instagram on Thursday presents his rough draft proposal on how today’s music creatives can give back to the black community whose ancestors laid the groundwork for today’s contemporary pop music.
“The modern music industry is built almost entirely on Black art. The wealth that rightfully belonged to Black artists was stolen outright and to this day continues to grow outside their communities,” Tweedy says to open his four-part statement. “As an individual I have recognized the unfairness of the life I live in relation to the deprivation of people whose work mind is but a shadow of. I’ve tried to compensate for those inequities in both my public and private life. It hasn’t been enough.”
Tweedy goes on to propose a “program” which would allow any musician to voluntarily donate a percentage of their songwriter ownership royalty earnings to benefit organizations that directly support black communities.
“This could take the shape of a box to check on rights management contracts, putting it at the foundation of our business,” Tweedy continues. “I don’t possess the expertise to manifest this initiative, but I can begin to do my part by committing 5% of my writer revenue to organizations that are working toward racial justice.”
Read Tweedy’s entire statement below.
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Wilco was scheduled to embark on a co-headlining summer tour with Sleater-Kinney, followed by a run of fall dates with Trampled By Turtles, but those plans have since been spoiled by COVID-19’s chokehold on the live events industry for likely the remainder of 2020.