Music is a core feature of businesses in Aotearoa – it sets the mood of a restaurant and café, helps people push through a tough workout at a gym and can even encourage shoppers to spend more. Many don’t realise however, that businesses need a license to play music. Our favourite musicians play a part in business success by setting the ambience of a space and enhancing customer behaviour and in turn businesses can support the artist’s work with a music license. Greer Davies is the director of OneMusic New Zealand, the joint music licensing initiative that was created on behalf of APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ to simplify the licensing process for business and help the music industry get paid.
Why is music important to you? Has it always been a part of your life?
Music has always been a part of my life, the soundtrack to my early 80’s childhood was the car radio, my parents tapes and vinyl from my Dad’s youth. Late 80’s into the 90’s saw the influence of the charts while at school. Travelling exposed me to different genres and styles and so I’d say my taste in music is varied but very much influenced by my childhood. Music is important to me, for every moment there is a song, when the days need a boost, to when I reflect on my life, to take me back to a moment in time and of course to experience and enjoy now.
What is your favourite music genre?
I’m a bit all over the place, as a child of the 80’s pop rock was on high rotate, think Wham, Bon Jovi, ACDC, Meatloaf which then segued into the grunge, pop and the girl and boy bands of the 90’s and early 2000’s. Now it’s not so much the genre but the music – there’s nothing like playing the latest SJD album or Tiny Ruins, Reb Fountain, Tami Neilson or any other amazing NZ artist to kick back and reflect on the talent we have in Aotearoa.
If you could meet any artist who would it be?
Barry Gibb! The Bee Gees songs have spanned my life, not just the tracks they’ve performed but the tracks they’ve written for others, where would we be without Islands in the Steam! Be it the tunes from the 70s playing on the car radio to watching Grease to dancing to the disco tracks at school discos, to now listening to their songs in the supermarket. The Gibb tracks seem to have always been a part of my life.
What role does OneMusic play in the New Zealand music industry?
Many might not know that when it comes to playing music in an establishment, you need proper permission under the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994, that’s where OneMusic steps in. OneMusic plays a vital role in the music industry of New Zealand, making it hassle-free for businesses and organisations to enjoy music legally. A OneMusic licence, ensures that the talented songwriters, composers, music publishers, recording artists, and record labels who pour their heart and soul into creating captivating music, are paid. It’s their artistic work that adds that special touch to a businesses ambiance. Without OneMusic, businesses and organisations would have to jump through hoops, contacting each music creator individually for permission—talk about time-consuming! Thankfully, OneMusic offer a range of licenses that cater to different types of businesses and organisations, making it easy to access a vast repertoire of music and create an atmosphere that resonates with customers, all while supporting the incredible talents behind the music.
How does OneMusic work alongside APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ?
APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ joined forces back in 2013 to create OneMusic, a collaborative initiative that ensures licence fees are collected and distributed fairly. These fees play a vital role in supporting talented artists from both local and international music scenes, helping them earn a living from their creative work. By obtaining a licence, you’re not only legally compliant (Copyright Act), you’re showing your genuine support for the passionate individuals who craft the music you love. It’s the legal way to acknowledge their dedication and countless hours spent perfecting their art.
We are finding that budgets are being cut for arts and music across the country, what is your take on this?
The recent wave of budget cuts for arts and music across the country has left us feeling disheartened. These reductions in funding undermine the value and importance of the arts in Aotearoa and it’s sad to see the diminishing support for something that brings so much joy, inspiration, and cultural richness to our lives. Arts and music play a vital role in fostering creativity, expression, and a sense of community. When budgets are slashed, it not only affects artists and musicians but also has a ripple effect on employment opportunities and the overall vitality of our creative industries. It’s crucial for decision-makers to understand the long-term impact of these cuts and the immense value that arts and music brings to Aotearoa.
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