The Recording Academy is on a mission to highlight music’s unsung heroes with a new social media initiative called Behind the Record.
On Thursday (Oct. 24), the organization announced plans to increase visibility of the producers, engineers, songwriters, mixers, instrumentalists and others who help bring our favorite songs to life. Artists across all genres are being invited to join the campaign, which already has the support of more than 200 acts, including Billie Eilish, Burna Boy, Yemi, H.E.R., Diplo, Fantastic Negrito, Lady Antebellum, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Brandi Carlile and Anderson .Paak. The campaign launches Friday with what the Recording Academy is calling “Credit Day.”
“It’s our responsibility, as a service organization, to serve our membership community of creative professionals and to ensure we celebrate and recognize all the incredibly talented musicians and creators who are making the music we love,” said Deborah Dugan, president and CEO of the Recording Academy. “Credits have been a casualty of the digital age, for all that we gained with streaming we lost in the opportunity for recognition and even discovery. Behind the Record champions all professional music creators and aims to connect with artist fan bases in order to give recognition to those who work tirelessly on these recordings.”
Artists can participate by creating a custom Behind the Record credit cover on the Recording Academy’s campaign webpage and sharing it across their social media channels, tagging those who worked on their projects and using the hashtags #GiveCredit #WeAreMusic and #BehindTheRecord. Credit covers can be generated for a single or an album, and all will live in a gallery on the site for the public to view. Artists who care to participate further also have the option of creating a custom vinyl sleeve for the campaign.
In advance of the campaign, a number of artists have come out to voice their support.
“Credits are often the lifeline for many musicians and we need to find a way to help those unseen to be seen – producers, engineers, who arranged the strings, musicians etc, all make up the magic of a song,” said singer-songwriter Imogen Heap in a statement. “It’s really hard to unearth who did what, as there’s often no way for us, as music makers, to amend or add details directly towards song credits. The first company I’ve ever invested in outside of my own projects is a company called Streemliner, who are developing an incredible tool which collects legacy credit data from existing artworks and visualizes this information to help music makers get recognized for their work. Somebody discovering your work through a credit is a key way towards getting more work – it’s hard enough to make a living in the music industry, as it stands, and solving this key issue would change lives for many music makers.”
“Talent and ability are not one and the same,” added singer-songwriter Burna Boy. “To be able to put forth the quality of music that people can both relate to and enjoy, is down to the people that nobody sees, the ones who work tirelessly behind the scenes checking and balancing everything. Let’s shine some light on them for the indispensable work they do.”
Musician and activist Madame Gandhi, who will also be taking part in the campaign, spoke out about the importance of the collaborators on her forthcoming album.
“As I was recording my upcoming album, Visions, it was a top priority for me to find and invite female-identifying folks to co-produce, record and create with,” she said. “With so much inherent bias in our industry, we have to be intentional about inviting voices who are typically underrepresented to come and create with us. If we don’t invest in our own skillsets and provide opportunities to folks who otherwise might get passed up for a job, we will continue to perpetuate the lack of gender equity in music today. I want to live in a world where when I go out to ask for names of instrumentalists, engineers or producers, the names I receive consist of folks of all gender identities.”
Behind the Record is supported by the Recording Academy’s producers and engineers wing, while the music credit database Jaxsta provided credits for Merlin, Warner Music, Sony Music and Universal Music Group releases. Additional partners include Pandora, TIDAL and Genius.
For more information or to create a custom sleeve, artists can contact email@example.com or visit grammy.com/behindtherecord, where they can sign up to receive an alert when the credit cover generator launches.