David Byrne joins music royalty collectors SoundExhange to ‘fight for fairness’ in music streaming

The former Talking Heads frontman wants to ensure the 'long-term value of music'

David Byrne has joined the board of directors of music royalty collectors SoundExchange, with aims of securing the “long-term value of music”.

The former Talking Heads frontman has spoken previously about the effect the internet has had on the music industry. In his new position at the US digital rights organisation, where he will sit amongst other artists and record label representatives, Byrne will advocate for new policy on streaming.

In a statement, the Guardian reports that Byrne said he was aiming to “fight on behalf of all creators for fairness and the long-term value of music”, using his experience as a musician to his advantage.

In 2013, Byrne wrote a blog for the Guardian, in which he criticised music streaming sites for how little they compensated artists. “I could conceivably survive, as I don’t rely on the pittance that comes my way from music streaming, as could [Thom] Yorke and some of the others,” he wrote. “But up-and-coming artists don’t have that advantage – some haven’t got to the point where they can make a living on live performances and licensing, so what do they think of these services?”

Meanwhile, Byrne will curate this year’s Meltdown festival at London’s Southbank Centre. The annual event series is overseen by one figure each year and will celebrate its 22nd edition in the company of Talking Heads musician Byrne, with the likes of Anna Calvi, David Longstreth (of Dirty Projectors) and Sunn O))) announced. They will be joined by Matthew Herbert, Lonnie Holley, Francois & The Atlas Mountains, Zun Zun Egui, Young Marble Giants and more.

Meltdown 2015 takes place between August 17-28. The 2014 Meltdown was curated by James Lavelle while previous years have seen Jarvis Cocker, Patti Smith, David Bowie and Yoko Ono involved.