Words by: Brandon Simmons
Grammy-winning singer India Arie has put her songs back on Spotify. After issues with podcaster Joe Rogan, and Spotify itself, last year, the “Video” singer removed all her music from the popular platform.
Rogan hosts his own podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, on Spotify. Just like any other podcast, the host always speaks his mind, and Rogan is no different. Arie has issues with Rogan because he has always and continues to use negative language when discussing Black and brown people. Also, she did not like how Spotify treated Black artists.
In an interview with Billboard, the 47-year-old artist explains why she protested Spotify.
“I pulled it off in the name of my own dignity. It was in protest……And so knowing that Black music does the most streams, streaming has deeply affected people’s ability to make a living as songwriters…. they’re giving this man who uses racist language $200 million-for me, my dignity could not stand it.”
India goes on to explain that streaming platforms like Spotify have made life harder for songwriters and artists. Record labels have joined forces with streaming services and decided who would get paid what. This leaves the artist and songwriters to get little to nothing. First, the label gets paid. Then, Spotify takes a percentage. Finally, the artist gets paid, and then the songwriter gets paid.
Although she protested for a year, the “Brown Skin” singer’s catalog is back on Spotify as she has over one million monthly listeners. There were two important factors for her doing so: royalty payments and an increase in royalty rate. Recently, the songwriter royalty rate jumped from 10.5% to 15.1% and was backdated to 2018, therefore, she will receive the updated rate for any songs written from 2018.
It’s clear India wants those checks!
“So when those two things shifted, I put my music back up. Cause I want my checks. And not only do I want my checks, I deserve my checks.”