The following is a press release:
Videos by American Songwriter
Songwriters are forever seeking the magic recipe for creating a great song. What budding songwriter wouldn’t love to get a peek into the music room of a hit songwriter and hear what their original demo sounded like before it was turned into the massive song we all know and love? Was it exactly the same or radically reworked? What if you could also hear one of the tunes the songwriter was sure was going to be their next big smash, only to have it passed on by a label executive and then tossed aside and forgotten over the years? What if you, in fact, are a songwriter who has landed cuts on records and are looking for new ways to get your music heard in the new digital age?
qWaqq, a music-streaming app developed by and focused on songwriters, launches this month and aims to be the songwriters go-to destination for unheard gems and more. Featuring a treasure trove of never-before released songs and demos of classic hits, qWaqq reveals the untold stories behind some of the world’s most popular songs and provides access to a wealth of related material provided directly by the songwriters themselves. qWaqq introduces and empowers those behind the music with just a few taps of an iPhone screen. It is now available for iPhone and iPad, allowing fans to easily hear more from their favorite hit makers for the first time ever.
“Everybody knows outdated music business frameworks are making it harder for songwriters to make a living,” says qWaqq co-founder Jud Friedman. “As songwriters only see a tiny percentage of streaming royalties, we felt we could provide a new revenue stream. With qWaqq we’re empowering songwriters, allowing them to monetize their unheard music while retaining control of all their rights.”
“As a life-long musician and lover of great songs, I saw a great opportunity to work with Jud, a talented and dear friend,” adds co-founder Damon Danielson. “Creating a way to expose millions of great songs that lay buried in the vaults of publishing companies and songwriters has been extremely gratifying. qWaqq is a music-lover’s dream come true, an opportunity to hear truly great songs that never get heard.”
qWaqq’s easy-to-use platform allows songwriters to upload mp3s, written text, pictures, credits, links and other related information, and to share as little or as much as they want. Because qWaqq pays a significantly higher royalty rate than other streaming services and since the content already exists — there is no cost in content creation — copyright holders now have an innovative method to monetize untapped music and archives.
Multiple Grammy and Oscar-nominated songwriter/producer Jud Friedman and serial entrepreneur Damon Danielson are the originators behind the concept. Friedman, who earned a law degree from Harvard prior to co-writing hits for Whitney Houston, James Ingram and many others, came up with the idea while sifting through his own rich collection of unreleased songs. Danielson, a Yale Business School graduate and Silicon Valley influencer with a songwriting background, worked with Friedman to develop the concept.
In addition to Friedman and his longtime writing partner Allan Rich—who collaborated on two Oscar-nominated songs, “Run to You” by Whitney Houston from The Bodyguard and “For the First Time” by Kenny Loggins from One Fine Day—the first tier of songwriters signed to qWaqq includes Pam Sheyne, a writer for Christina Aguilera, Demi Lovato and Corinne Bailey Rae; Harold Payne, who has penned hits for Kelly Rowland, Snoop Dogg and Bobby Womack; J. Ralph who collaborated with Sting on a 2017 Oscar-nominated song; Greg Prestopino, with songs recorded by Matisyahu, Christina Aguilera with Lil’ Kim, Puff Daddy and Celine Dion; Michael Jay, whose songs have been recorded by Eminem, Kylie Minogue and Gloria Estefan; Jack Tempchin who wrote for The Eagles; and many others.
qWaqq empowers songwriters—the unsung heroes of the music business whose compensation has withered in the digital age—by publicizing and monetizing unreleased “shoulda-been” hit songs and demos that are sitting in boxes or taking up space on hard drives. In addition to established songwriters, qWaqq also provides an invaluable and user-friendly tool for new and ascending songwriters interested in generating additional income.
As the classic adage says, “It All Begins with a Song.” For music lovers who want to discover new music they won’t find anywhere else, explore the creative process behind their favorite hits, or just dive into the creative psyches behind some of the world’s best loved hits, qWaqq introduces a new way to experience the magic alchemy of songs and celebrate the creators who imagined them.