We’ve all heard the sob stories: singer writes great song, song gets airplay and is used in commercials, songwriter gets no royalty checks. Byron Wright, director of writer-publisher relations at Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) is making sure that tale isn’t told as often. “It’s shocking the number of phone calls I get from writers and producers who aren’t aware of the amount of money they can make by simply handling their business,” he says.
In his role as director, Byron is responsible for recruiting new talent to the powerhouse corporation and maintaining relationships with existing songwriters, producers and music publishers. Over the years he’s worked with a slew of talent including writers and beatmakers like Lex Luger, Future, Travis Porter, Kane Beatz, Sonny Digital and Bangladesh as well as built strong relationships with Polow Da Don, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled.
“It’s the little things that let people know you’re capable of doing the big things,” says the former intern who’s worked with Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def Recordings and Lil Jon’s BME Recordings where he learned the intricacies of the business: marketing, production, promotion and publicity. “When I was an intern, I did whatever I had to do.”
Byron assists with the coordination and creation of songwriter events, showcases and seminars both locally and nationally, including the popular BMI Urban Awards. In addition, he assists BMI affiliates and executives with creative and administrative functions. “The best aspect of what I do is days when we’re in the studio and you get to witness the creation of music,” he says. “For someone like myself, who loves music, that’s fulfilling.” Last year, Byron was recognized as one of Billboard’s 30 Under 30, a group of rising young executives who are driving the music industry business forward.