Stellar Songs co-founder Danny D (Danny Poku) is currently running as a Writer Candidate for the PRS For Music Membership Council in the UK.
He was successful as an artist, writer, re-mixer and producer and got his first break as an executive as an A&R at Chrysalis Records. In the late 1990s, he started a number of companies with business partner Tim Blacksmith.
Today they lead the Norwegian writing and production duo Stargate and lead Stellar Songs, one of the most respected independent publishers in the industry.
Here he tells MBW why he thinks he is the right man for the PRS Council …
What are the biggest issues that need to be addressed in the PRS world and how are you going to address them?
A top priority for me is to improve grassroots PRS engagement. Our young creatives who come into the business have no idea what PRS is, let alone what services it provides to whom.
It might be okay for you to go to college as there seems to be engagement at that level, but what if you don’t? Where do people like me who come from the commons, who make music in the bedrooms, go? Who is there for you?
PRS should be one of the first places they seek advice, but that doesn’t happen and I believe this is one area I can help make change in.
“Where do people like me go who come from the community and make music in the bedrooms? Who is there for you? “
The industry we are all part of continues to make strides to ensure greater diversity and inclusion at all levels, and I would like to see PRS understand the importance of its members seeing themselves represented within the organization, for it to become an organization a true reflection of its diverse membership.
At the moment this is not happening and I am passionately trying to change
We must continue to address the challenges songwriters face in the music business of the 21st century. As a songwriter, I will always fight to ensure that the authors are protected, that they deserve a fair and equitable price for their work, and that PRS continues to fight for the rights of all in this changing landscape
Why you and why now
Why me? Why not! My experience in so many different aspects of this business as a black man gives me a great overview of what is needed and required from all of our creatives, but especially from my community.
“It’s time to share my knowledge and experience so that future generations can benefit from what I’ve learned in my many years in business.”
And why now: it feels right; I feel right It is time to share my knowledge and experience so that future generations can benefit from what I have learned in my many years in business and show them a path in which they too can see the opportunity to to sit on a board PRS.
Diversity is an issue in the industry, but especially at board level, in the corporate world as well as in trade organizations and collecting societies. How big is the priority to address this?
To make real change and advocate diversity and inclusion, our community cannot make those changes unless we are willing to stand up, be counted, and demand that our voices be heard. It is time for me to practice what I preach, which is to stand up and make sure we have a seat at the table
It’s important to have a variety of voices at the top table that can inspire and innovate together. This level of diversity will give PRS a larger pool of experience and unique perspectives that will ultimately have a positive impact.
“I hope that, should I be elected, I can be a conduit for real change.”
My experience as a writer, artist, producer, and publisher gives me a unique voice and position that can help move the dial if they are left behind.
With a growing base of executives of all colors and genders growing in the different areas of our business, and a call for continued diversity and inclusion, I hope that, should I be chosen, I can be a conduit for real change and the PRS will continue to take into account the broader changes in its board of directors.
Eligible PRS members can vote here.Music business worldwide