Simon Darlow, Songwriter for Grace Jones, Shirley Bassey, Named Chairman of U.K. Rights Org BASCA

U.K. songwriters’ body BASCA (the British Association of Songwriters, Composers & Authors) has announced the appointment of composer, musician and arranger Simon Darlow as its new chairman.

Darlow, 52, has a long list of song credits including co-writing Grace Jones’ joint highest-charting U.K. single, 1985’s “Slave to the Rhythm.” He has also written for a diverse range of artists including Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Cliff Richard and pop and rock acts such as Toyah and Dollar. As an arranger and musician, he played with hitmakers Wham!, Bucks Fizz and Musical Youth, and has over one hundred T.V. theme tunes to his name, as well as incidental music for “The X Factor,” commercials and film scores.

Darlow tells that he felt he had “really arrived” when he was asked to join BASCA in 1983, the year of his first success as a composer, when he co-wrote Dollar’s “Give Me Back My Heart” with producer Trevor Horn. He will combine his songwriting career with his new duties, as well as sitting on the boards of PRS, MCPS-PRS Alliance, PRS for Music Foundation, CIAM Exco and UK Music.

“It’s time to look at the way we operate,” he says, “because the world BASCA’s been living in has changed so much over the years, especially in the digital environment. We’ve got to adapt to that and become more fleet of foot, and engage more of the younger membership. The overarching driver is the value of copyright, maintaining it and getting fair value online. We’ve got to out our voice into finding the right price point. Not all songwriters are multi-millionaires.”

Founded in 1947, BASCA represents and campaigns for the rights of music writers in all genres, and celebrates their achievements via its sponsorship of the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards, British Composer Awards and Gold Badge Awards.