Pharrell Williams has called on music industry heavyweights to change the way they do business and allow artists to own the rights to their songs.
The “Happy” hitmaker was asked for his opinion on the nasty spat between Taylor Swift and music mogul Scooter Braun, who snapped up the rights to her back catalog after acquiring the singer’s former record label, during a recent Variety chat, and he insisted the Svengali did nothing wrong.
That said, he believes Swift should have been given the opportunity to buy her own master recordings.
“There’s no other industry out there in the world where a start-up gets off the ground and doesn’t own the trademark – it just doesn’t make sense,” Pharrell says. “It may be legal, but it’s still a crime. If a bank walks away with ownership of a company and the trademark, how much should a creator really be participating? The artist should always have the lion’s share of their creation.
“It’s really unfortunate, you know. There was room for him (Braun) to make his acquisition because that’s just the way the business is, and I felt for her (Taylor) and not being able to be in control of it. There’s a system in place that’s just all wrong.
“He’s a businessman and he also represents artists, so from his point of view he’s just making an acquisition of something that he felt would be a good investment. But the artist should have the opportunity (to retain ownership)…
“I just know that the system is wired in ways that is oftentimes not always fair to the creator. I think it should be the norm that the creators retain their rights.”