UK Songwriters Body BASCA Rebrands as The Ivors Academy

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A view over the City of London Skyline at twilight on March 18, 2019 in London.

The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, or BASCA as it's more commonly known, is changing its name to The Ivors Academy. 

Effective immediately, the rebrand sees the London-based organization, founded in 1944, unite all its activities under a single name that references its most famous event: The Ivor Novello Awards, which recognize the best in song writing talent. 

Previous winners of the annual peer-voted awards -- first staged in 1956 -- include Kate Bush, Sir Elton John, Brian Eno, Gary Barlow, George Michael, Annie Lennox and Amy Winehouse.  

Coinciding with the relaunch, The Ivors Academy has announced that Ed Sheeran has joined its membership. Other high-profile members include Joan Armatrading, Jonny Greenwood, David Arnold, Annie Lennox and Paul McCartney.

The change of moniker follows a number of strategic and structural changes at the organization. In December, Vick Bain announced she was stepping down as CEO with immediate effect. Since then, Graham Davies has been appointed interim CEO and member of the European Parliament Emma McClarkin and music lawyer Julia Montero have taken up roles as independent directors of the board. 

"Becoming The Ivors Academy is an important step in our history. We are becoming true champions of music creators," said Davies in a statement. He said the name change marked the start of a new drive to build membership, protect the rights of music creators and cultivate the next generation of musical talent.

"Music starts with the creator and without their contribution to recordings, videos, games, TV, film, radio and live, the riches enjoyed across the media and technology industries would not exist," continued the CEO, outlining his support for the EU's copyright directive, which faces a crucial final vote Tuesday. 

"In the past the industry has spoken on behalf of creators, but The Ivors Academy will empower creators to raise their voice and speak up for themselves," promised Davies.

Ivors Academy chair Crispin Hunt called the organization's relaunch "the future-facing, fit-for-purpose evolution of BASCA's great legacy." He added, "Our mission is to innovate, inspire, inform, empower and celebrate musical creativity: connecting a global membership towards a flourishing musical future for every genre and every future genre."

Those sentiments were echoed by songwriter and former winner of the Ivor Novello Award for outstanding contemporary song collection Joan Armatrading, who called for songwriters and composers to "add to our collective voice." She said that being part of an organization "that stands up for our rights, and protects the value of our craft, is invaluable in today's industry."

This year's Ivors awards ceremony takes place May 23 at London's Grosvenor House with nominations set to be announced April 24. The Ivors Composer Awards -- previously known as the British Composer Awards -- take place Dec 4.