WAM Festival Speaker Profile: Susan Cotchin (IRR)

4 November 2015 | 8:25 pm | Artist Submission

"I can offer new information and a positive outlook to the doom and gloom we hear too often in our industry."

Organisation and Position: International Royalties Rescue Pty Ltd (IRR) Australia, Director

How did you first become involved in the music business? Starting singing at age seven - TV, talent quests, then moved into writing. Learnt all I could as an artist to help with understanding deals and turned it into a day gig of teaching, to finance my music career. That experience landed me a job working in London for a music rights society, whilst still writing and gigging in the UK and The States, providing me with some great contacts.

What's your area of expertise and what experience do you have? I'm a music rights (neighbouring rights and master rights) specialist. After many years working at the largest UK performer rights society as accounts manger, I launched my own rights company for Australian artists in 2003. The success of IRR Australia saw me venture into a partnership in London in 2007, signing artists such as Rihanna, Beyonce, Fat Boy Slim, Radiohead, The Temper Trap, Empire of The Sun and many more. I also have a BA (Music Industry) degree and currently undertaking a Juris Doctor (Law) postgrad degree.

What topics will you be mostly talking about at WAM? Music rights, incorporation of rights in 360 deals or DIY artists/labels. Helping performers and labels get across exactly what Neighbouring Rights is!

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What do you hope to personally take away from the WA Music Conference and WAM Festival events? That I can demystify rights to some degree. I can offer new information and a positive outlook to the doom and gloom we hear too often in our industry.

What's one question about the music industry you'd love to have the answer to? The answer to the question of monetising music. I would like a simple solution to ensure artists are paid their just rewards, whilst the music fan is not being duped by the industry.

One piece of advice to make it in the music biz? Think outside the square and be prepared to be a risk-taker. You are in a creative business, which also means that the business end needs to be creative and flexible. As an artist; don't ever sell your artist soul, but surround yourself with great mentors who can help with all aspects of the journey. Don't wait around for time-wasters as this industry does place an emphasis on age. So if they aren't helping you, move on. It's not always about 'who' you know in this industry, but if you've a great song, get it out there!