Alex Heiche is not your average finance guy. He’s a modern-day music advocate who has racked up more airline miles than George Clooney in Up In The Air. He’s everywhere that music is, and music is everywhere he is. Why? Because his idea of music financing is perfectly tailored to fit the needs of each unique music creative, in a way that allows them to retain their copyrights, earn pass-through income, and have the freedom to create more music, on their terms. His company, Sound Royalties, is changing the landscape of music financing in radical ways and leading a massively overdue paradigm shift in how creatives receive funding.
For decades, financial institutions didn’t understand how money was made in music and were tied to traditional business requirements not plausible for musicians. Because of this, it was nearly impossible for musicians to go to a bank for a loan. Instead, they turned to music industry finance companies, which were operating under a pawn shop model: willing to provide advances, but ultimately seeking to acquire the copyrights for themselves. In this model, songwriters, artists, and producers, were offered very unfavorable deals that were specifically crafted to result in the creative being up against a wall, with the only option to permanently sell the rights to their works, depriving them of future revenue.
“The established and accepted ‘norm’ that left up-and-coming, and even established musicians, high and dry, while deepening the pockets of these investors did not sit well with me,” said Alex. “Not only was it obstructing the creation of new works, but it was sending the industry down a dangerous path that could have forever damaged the future of music.” And it was by this notion that Sound Royalties was born.
Determined to close the service gap that was holding back the industry, Heiche poured his time into building a specialty finance company “for music people, by music people.” As a result, Sound Royalties offers artist-friendly solutions that provide creatives with personalized specialty financing and access to the cash they need to further their careers, without them having to give up the rights to their works. The company even offers advances on future earnings. And all of these offerings are provided through a simple and transparent process.
Built around his vision of a music world that supports its creators instead of stripping them of their art, Sound Royalties’ mission is to provide artists with financial independence, so that their focus remains where it should be – on the music. It is because of this that Sound Royalties is far different from the industry’s traditional, predatory companies.
“Sound Royalties really gave me the freedom to pursue things that I wanted to pursue, because I wanted to pursue them, not because I had to. It gave me space to go and make my record and feel OK with taking a break from writing for other people,” said leading pop and R&B songwriter Priscilla Renea, who recently released her own album “Coloured.”
Unlike traditional banks or lenders, Sound Royalties’ advances are non-credit based, since the company understands the natural ebb and flow in musicians’ incomes. The company never seeks to own copyrights – and does not receive them in the rare instance of default. Sound Royalties’ clients even receive overflow income if they earn more than the transaction is expected to recoup – an extreme rarity in the industry.
“We’re correcting the inequities of music finance,” said Heiche. “When a bank gives you a car loan, the last thing they want to end up owning is the car. That’s how Sound Royalties functions. And in our case, I set it up so that Sound Royalties never gets copyrights.”
Heiche continued: “Prior companies were incentivized to have their advances fail, because they ultimately gained ownership. They contracted creatives into deals where you’d receive just enough to get by, but ultimately be choked out of your income stream, leaving you with the sole option to sell your catalogues just to get out from under the bad deal.”
Given this unfortunate history of the music finance space, Sound Royalties’ new model has often been viewed as “too good to be true.”
It has taken the industry some time to realize that Alex and Sound Royalties functions very differently than those who previously controlled the industry. Instead, Sound Royalties operates under a creative-friendly, professional banking-type model that has the best interests of musicians at its core.
“With Sound Royalties, the personalized approach and the trust factor really sold me. They genuinely wanted to help, especially with my finances,” said top country songwriter Danny Myrick. “Sound Royalties helped me settle my outstanding debts, while also allowing me to invest in equipment for future projects.”
In its three years of operation, Sound Royalties has helped countless music industry professionals across every genre, including leading songwriters, producers and performing artists. While relationships with Sound Royalties are private and confidential, many of their clients have been more than happy to speak out about their transformative experiences with the company, including Myrick, Renea, Lil’ Wayne, Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, and many more.
In this past year, the fast-growing company recently broke new ground by becoming the first to fund indie labels and publishers using their EDGE Program, to help them bring more new music to the world.
Sound Royalties is proud to be leading the music finance revolution, with its trailblazing CEO Alex Heiche at the helm.
Heiche concluded: “With a strong team of professionals who know the music business inside and out, our mutually-advantageous solutions for creatives, and an unparalleled level of service, Sound Royalties is changing the music business for the better, forever.”