Be an Introvert, Save the World — A Note to the Music Industry from Ricky Reed

To all musicians, songwriters, producers, artists, those working in music business, my friends, my family. On behalf of myself, my co-authors Ross Golan and Justin Tranter, and a list of co-signees including artists Lizzo, Shawn Mendes, Finneas, as well the heads of every major publishing company and numerous label executives (full list below), please listen when we say:

It’s time to stop.

It’s the hardest thing for us to do. Most of us had to fight (and are still fighting) tooth and nail for every inch of our careers. When I moved to LA, I had to bike and bus to all my sessions. This is the only business that rewards us for staying out late, partying, throwing caution to the wind. We have grown accustomed to endangering our bodies running down a dream.

But it’s time to stop. We might be in good health, young, unbothered. But this virus is not sparing our parents and grandparents. It is not sparing our immunocompromised brothers and sisters. It is not sparing kids with asthma. And an overwhelmed health care system won’t have space for anyone sick for any reason (that includes YOU!) if we don’t act now. The sooner we take bold action (extreme social distancing) the sooner we can get back to our lives.

If you are a label head, publisher, or artist reading this article while conducting a songwriting camp for your artist or yourself, please join us in pressing pause. Our collective talent and hunger will be here waiting for the opportunity when we are past this.

Yes, I hope you’re washing your hands for 20 seconds while singing that hook you’re working on. Yes, I hope you’re wiping your greasy phone down at the end of every day. But I am also begging you, just for a few weeks, to stop doing the things you really don’t want to stop doing: No sessions. No meetings. No shows. No going to packed bars. No eating at restaurants. No brunch. (In South Korea one person attended church and a buffet lunch and was responsible for infecting 1,000 people! Again, no brunch!)

You might argue that you don’t have the luxury of missing a week or two. I’m including some resources at the bottom that might be able to help ease the strain you might feel from taking some down time.

But I’m guessing that, for most of you, whether you’re an artist, songwriter, producer, engineer, executive, intern, A&R, assistant, agent, manager, or runner:

You’re afraid that slowing down means falling off.

It is scary to slow down, I know it. I feel it too — if I don’t go 100mph, 24 hours a day, someone is going to come tear down everything I’ve built. A dear friend reminded me when I was about to become a father for the second (and third) time that everything would be there waiting when I got back.

I ended up discovering that stepping out of my regular work life led to creativity I couldn’t have otherwise imagined. Songwriters, when was the last time you wrote a song alone? Producers, been meaning to learn a new instrument or software? Artists, some of the greatest albums have been made in isolation (Bon Iver’s debut, for one). Use this time.

That said, being isolated to our homes doesn’t mean we should be isolated from our people! I’m going to try my first writing session over FaceTime / Skype this week. The plan will be to keep it short and sweet so as not to apply too much pressure. And although social media is a bit of a hellscape right now, it too can be used to be creative. I’m going to plan a scheduled Instagram Live session and take feedback on a new track in real time. A lot of musicians are new to Twitch, which not only provides a great platform for live streaming your work for collaboration but can generate some income while you’re at it. Korg and Moog have even made their synth apps free for the rest of the month! While tucked away in our spaces we need to use all this technology at our fingertips to lean in to our creativity and lean in to our social circles. As small as it is, beats a “checking in” text.

All these years you’ve been working, you’ve been building your world. Your community, your catalog, your friendships. These people are all going through the same thing right now. You need them and they need you. Nobody is using this time to get ahead of you (If they are, they’re endangering those around them for personal gain and will be remembered for it.)

Please, let’s band together by staying apart. Our family over on the live music side has already been forced to shut down. Let this also serve as a show of solidarity with them. We only have one chance to slow this thing down before it gets truly scary and the time is right now. Like, right now.

Be an introvert, save the world.
-Ricky Reed

Lizzo (artist)
Shawn Mendes (artist)
Finneas (artist / songwriter / producer)
Meghan Trainor (artist)
X Ambassadors (artist)
Bebe Rexha (artist)
Jason Derulo (artist)
Donnie Wahlberg (artist)
Jon Platt (CEO — Sony ATV)
Carianne Marshall, Guy Moot, Ryan Press, Shani Gonzalez (CEOs and Presidents of Warner Chappell)
Jody Gerson (CEO — Universal Music Publishing)
Ron Perry (CEO — Columbia Records)
Pete Ganbarg (President — Atlantic Records)
Tunji Balogun (Keep Cool / RCA)
Kenny MacPhearson (CEO — Big Deal Music)
Casey Robison (Co-President — Big Deal Music)
Jamie Cerreta (Co-President — Big Deal Music)
Laurent Hubert (CEO — Kobalt Music)
Jake Wisely (CEO — Concord)
Golnar Khosrowshahi (CEO — Reservoir)
Justin Kalifowitz (CEO — Downtown Publishing)
Mike Molinar (CEO — Big Machine)
Ralph Peer (CEO — Peer Music)
Katie Vinten (CEO — Facet Records & Black Diamond MGMT)
Evan Taubenfeld (Head of A&R — Crush Music)
Larry Wade (Decible Entertainment & Nice Life Recording Company)
Nice Life Recording Company
Bradley Haering (GM — Nice Life Recording Company)
Jon Tanners (Blood Company / Keep Cool)
Daddy Kev (CEO — Alpha Pup Records)
The SONA Board
Michelle Lewis (SONA founder)
KAY Hanley (SONA founder)
Zara Larsson (artist)
Dropkick Murphys (artist)
The Go-Go’s (artist)
Veruca Salt (artist)
FIDLAR (artist)
Teddy Geiger (artist / producer)
Ryan Tedder (songwriter / producer)
J Kash (songwriter / producer)
Ilya (producer)
Savan Kotecha (songwriter / producer)
Ali Tamposi (songwriter)
Sarah Aarons (songwriter)
Amy Allen (songwriter)
Oak (producer)
Evan Bogart (songwriter)
The Monsters & Strangerz (songwriters / producers)
Alex Hope (songwriter / producer)
Nate “Danja” Hills (producer)
Joel Little (songwriter / producer)
Andrew Wells (producer / songwriter)
Joe London (songwriter / producer)
Terrace Martin (songwriter / producer)
Rick Knowles (songwriter)
Greg Wells (songwriter)
Caroline Ailin (songwriter)
Anne Preven (songwriter / producer / founder — Pulse Music Group)
Billy Steinberg (songwriter)
Nolan Lambroza (songwriter / producer)
David Hodges (songwriter / producer)
Captain Cuts (songwriters / producers)
Imad Royal (songwriter / producer)
Cara Salimando (songwriter)
Ian Kirkpatrick (songwriter / producer)
Simon Wilcox (songwriter / founder — Community Reboot)
Mozella (songwriter)
Charlie Handsome (songwriter / producer)
Ido Zmishlany (songwriter / producer)
Nick Ruth (songwriter / producer)
Billboard (songwriter / producer)
Jonas Jeberg (songwriter / producer)
David Pramik (songwriter / producer)
Lindy Robbins (songwriter)
Kara Dioguardi (songwriter)
Liz Rose (songwriter)
Darrell Brown (songwriter / producer)
Lauren Christy (songwriter / producer)
Claudia Brant (songwriter / producer)
Big Taste (songwriter / producer)
Carlos De La Garza (mixer / producer / engineer)
David Hodges (songwriter / producer)
Chloe Angelides (songwriter / producer)
Nate Mercereau (songwriter / producer)
Cook Classics (songwriter / producer)
Liiv (songwriter / artist)
Tele (songwriter / producer)
Toby Gad (songwriter / producer)
Mike Wise (songwriter / producer)
Thomas Salter (songwriter / producer)
Ivan “Orthodox” Barias (songwriter / producer)
Electric (songwriters / producers)
Arkadi (producer)
Nick Monson (songwriter / producer)
Dances With White Girls (artist)
John-Robert (artist)
St. Panther (artist)
Eden XO (artist)
Kokayi (artist / producer)
Gabz Landman
Charlie Christie
Jaime Zeluck (Founder- Nonstop Management)
Beka Tischker (manager / founder wide eyed entertainment)
Wide Eyed Entertainment
Mega House Music Management
David Silberstein and Jeremy Levin (CEOs of Mega House)
Paul Adams (manager)
Lucas Keller (CEO Milk & Honey)
Chris Cajoleas (manager)
Alexis Ben-Meir Wolf (manager)
This Is Noise Management
Dan Petel (This Is Noise CEO)
Gonzo Lübel (Cosmica Artists)
Gil Gastelum (Cosmica Artists)
mija management
Seven20 Management


Written by

A Los Angeles-based record label and music publishing company founded by producer Ricky Reed.

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