Listen Up - Remi's Call for Change

1. Introduce yourself as a performer (nationality, type of performance, length of career …)

My name is Remi and I’m an MC/lead vocal in a band called Elemental. I come from Croatia, but I consider myself a citizen of the world – that’s why I don’t recognize nationality as a differentiating category. My band consists of 4 instrumentalists, 2 lead vocals and one backup singer. Elemental was formed in 1998, but our first official release (for an indie label) was in 2000. In 2002, we switched to a major label and stayed with them till 2015, when we decided to start our own indie label which we still run. The decision to form our own indie label came after our relationship with the major label deteriorated, since they didn’t regulate and pay for our music sold on digital platforms. To this day, we haven’t received a single cent from our former label, when it comes to digital remuneration. As a band, we’ve been active for 22 years. My first official release was in 1997, a year before we formed Elemental. Other than Elemental, I sing and compose music for an experimental band Jato (new album coming up in 2021), and I’m preparing my first solo material. I’m a musician, a poet (“Masarykova” for VBZ books 2020), a translator and an activist.

2. How present are you on online streaming platforms? (which ones and number of streams)

All Elemental albums (but the 1st one, released for indie label in 2000) can be found through major streaming platforms (Deezer, Apple music, Spotify, YouTube…) Since it wouldn’t be professional to reveal our business state of affairs and numbers, I can disclose data available publicly on YouTube. Most of our singles span from 50.000 to five million views, depending on the successfulness of the song.

3. Have you ever gone viral on any online streaming platform or on social media?

Globally – no. But we’ve been in #trending data on YouTube with our singles.

4. Are you satisfied with your remuneration from online platforms? If not, why?

I’m not satisfied, because I believe that third parties and platforms themselves take too much, leaving authors and performers with “petty change”. My vision of a fair world would have it the other way around. We are the creators of content and yet, our cut in remuneration is the smallest one. How is that possible, in this day and age? We need to redefine these ratios and percentages, as soon as possible, on a global level – especially now at the time of the pandemic. Also, record companies look after themselves, trying to cut performers out of the equation when it comes to remuneration in digital. It will not fly! We’re organizing various actions and initiatives to change the law in Croatia, and hopefully other European countries will follow suit.

5. Are you a member of a Collective Management Organisation (CMO) and do you want your CMO to manage your streaming rights?

Yes, I’m a member of HUZIP (CPRCS) and I want HUZIP to manage my streaming rights.

6. Do you feel like your government does enough to support performers?

Absolutely not!

7. Why is the #PayPerformers campaign important to you?

A single plead will not be heard. But all of us, together – we can make beautiful noise!

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