Artist News Business News Industry People Labels & Publishers

Tom Gray becomes Chair of the Ivors Academy

By | Published on Tuesday 1 February 2022

Tom Gray

UK songwriter organisation the Ivors Academy has a new Chair in the form of Tom Gray, the songwriter, Gomez musician and founder of the #brokenrecord campaign.

That campaign, of course, worked closely with the #fixstreaming initiative instigated by the Ivors Academy and the Musicians’ Union in pushing for and then contributing to the UK Parliament’s inquiry into the economics of streaming. And then in supporting the private members bill proposed by Kevin Brennan MP which, had it passed, would have made some of the copyright reforms proposed by that inquiry.

Gray takes over from Crispin Hunt – another artist and songwriter who has been very vocal in the big streaming debate – and who announced that he was standing down as Chair of the Ivors just last week.

The Academy has rejigged its structures in recent years, and when commenting on his appointment as the organisation’s new Chair, Gray also explained the process behind that appointment. “To arrive in my new position, I was first elected by the membership to our new Senate”, he said. “Those 40 creators – from every imaginable musical background – elected me to the most diverse board we have ever had, who, in turn, made me their Chair”.

On that appointment, he added: “I cannot overstate the gravity and privilege of this mandate. It feels both a gift and a burden, albeit a beautiful one. A gift to support, champion and reward the brilliance of music-makers, a burden because I want to do nothing but my best for our community”.

Gray also acknowledged in his statement that his #brokenrecord campaign has proven controversial in parts of the music industry, and by being so outspoken on the whole streaming debate he has courted plenty of controversy himself. “I suspect there may be some uneasiness at my election”, he added, “and we should face that head on. Reform is never easy. It isn’t comfortable and is always challenging, but it makes things better”.

“I have no desire for this wonderful, venerable organisation to be treated as an outsider”, he went on. “We are not an angry rabble; we will remain your friends. Critical friends of the issues facing creators but, more fundamentally and always, critical to the process of making music. We are central to this industry and my intention is merely to put our interests there too”.

Also commenting on the appointment was Ivors CEO Graham Davies, who said: “Congratulations to Tom on becoming the new Chair. The reputation of the Ivors Academy as the leading advocates for songwriters and composers is growing. Tom is one of the most vocal champions of music and we look forward to working with him in this new role”.