This month, we had the opportunity to talk with Angela Fex, our Manager of Mechanical Licensing, at CMRRA. We were fortunate to hear her take on the evolution of mechanical licensing over the next five years, as well as what she considers a heavily impactful moment in her life, inspired by a deep appreciation for songwriters.
Your experiences at CMRRA have been ongoing for nearly 14 years! Can you tell me about your role, and what your day-to-day looks like as Manager of Mechanical Licensing?
Fourteen years… time flies! As Manager of Mechanical Licensing, each day begins with stand-up and development team calls, working through priority items on management and IT levels. The rest of my day involves working with both major and independent label team members, assessing workload priorities as well as providing direction as needed. I’m involved with licensing file ingestion reports, troubleshooting, and both internal and external party meetings. There’s always something different that makes it both challenging and interesting. Having managed the Independent Licensing Department for many years at the beginning of my career, it’s like coming home. There are newer technologies of course, which satisfies the self-admitted geek in me. I also appreciate the flexibility and trust given to create and implement new tools, improving our processes for greater efficiency and productivity. The team members have various goals, but we all work in tandem sharing one same objective—results. And when the team wins, our clients win, and that’s service success. It’s humbling and fulfilling all at once.
Over the last while, the music industry has been evolving and adapting to the trials of the global pandemic. How do you see mechanical licensing evolving over the next five years?
That’s an interesting question and if I could predict the future, I would buy a lottery ticket. We’ve all heard the nostalgic reasons—the tactile experience of flipping through liner notes, the incomparable dynamic sound quality of CDs, or the warmer tones of vinyl. Albeit, physical product is admittedly on the decline and the pandemic may prove to be the catalyst where diehard physical product consumers made the shift toward digital convenience and accessibility. Venturing a guess, vinyl, in particular, seems to transcend the test of time and could remain a standalone niche market due to its devoted collectors. Even so, it also begs the question: where will online be in five years? As with the most recently introduced NFTs’ (non-fungible tokens), other exciting new developments will undoubtedly emerge. The way I see it, change happens, and technology is ever-evolving, but what doesn’t change is the music and licensing.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your free time?
I stay fairly active. I enjoy playing recreational hockey as a newer interest in recent years. I also always seem to have a DIY project and renos on the go. Sometimes they don’t go as planned, but I keep learning and when completed, there’s no better feeling and sense of accomplishment. Most cherished are my strolls along the waterfront with my rescue pup, Millie. I feel so blessed and inspired by her will and pure delight to live life fully every day. Here we are pictured enjoying a canoe paddle down the Humber last fall.
Was there a time you felt heavily impacted by a songwriter? If so, can you elaborate on the place that it still holds in your life?
I vividly remember watching the television show Austin City Limits as a child and being totally captivated by the songwriters and the story behind their songs. Since then, there have been too many cassettes (ha!), so many cool albums, shows, Junos, Canadian Songwriter Hall of Fame ceremonies, all culminating into a gratifying career in the Canadian music industry. One concert moment I’ll never forget—seeing Jerry Lee Lewis at Memphis in May 2007 slowly making his way from side stage to the grand piano, mesmerizingly playing like he was 25 again, and then slowly heading back behind the curtain. While he played it was like time didn’t exist, we were all lifted, and that’s the awesome power of music. To all songwriters and artists lifting us through song, thank you.
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