Last July, songwriter Priscilla Renea, who has co-written hits for Mariah Carey, Fifth Harmony, Madonna and Pitbull -- including his 2013 No. 1 Hot 100 hit "Timber" -- found herself in a tough spot. Recently married, in the midst of remodeling her home and with the constant pressures that come with needing to come up with another hit to keep money coming in, Renea felt trapped behind the scenes, unable to stake her claim as a recording artist in her own right.
"As a songwriter, people in other areas -- A&Rs, managers, executives -- want to keep you at a certain [level] because they need you to keep writing songs for people," said Renea. "They don't want you to try and go and be successful as an artist, because then you don't have time to write songs for their people. It's just constantly running around, making everyone happy, meet the needs of everyone except for yourself -- they feel like they're just a disposable resource, that if they don't cooperate the industry is just gonna move on to the next hot writer."
Around the same time, Renea's mother was contacted by Sound Royalties, a company started by investor Alex Heiche in 2014 which specializes in providing advances on future royalties for songwriters and musicians who often resort to selling parts of their publishing or songwriting rights to earn short-term cash in exchange for long-term profits, thus surrendering financial control of their creative work."We provide advances that aren't based on 100 percent recoupment, so that enables an artist or a songwriter to keep money flowing in, which means they have a higher percentage chance of success rather than being set up for failure and needing to sell," Heiche says. "Secondly, we don't buy copyrights. We only use their music as collateral, because it's non-credit-based, but we don't buy and we don't own."