On Feb. 19, 2021, multi-platinum, award-winning country singer-songwriter Tim Hicks releases his single, “The Good, The Bad and The Pretty,” co-written with Deric Ruttan and Derek Hoffman during a Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA)/SOCAN Song Camp held in January of 2020.

Hicks’ first No. 1 hit, “What a Song Should Do,” was licensed to the NHL for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and was chosen as the goal song for Team Canada during the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. Hicks has earned four JUNO Award nominations; won three CCMA Awards; achieved three Platinum-selling singles, nine Gold singles, one Gold album and no less than 18 Top Ten radio hits; and garnered 87 million collective streams, and multiple sold-out headlining dates on tour.

Since “The Good, The Bad and The Pretty” is his first song released in eight months, we sat down with him for a brief chat about it.


Veteran Canadian music industry leaders Michael McCarty, Gavin Brown and Rodney Murphy have announced the formation of the Kilometre Music Group, a music rights management company whose mission is to reclaim the financial rewards of the multi-decade, worldwide “Canadian music invasion,” for the benefit of Canadian artists, investors, and culture.

“Canadians dominate the global music charts right now, but this has been building for over five decades,” says Kilometre CEO Michael McCarty. “This Canadian invasion has fostered some of the greatest songs of all time, and we see a brilliant future investing in them. Since the rights to most of these songs are owned by foreign companies, the Canadian economy has been deprived of billions in global royalty revenue. We want to reverse that flow by bringing home the rights to our most important music.”

Kilometre has partnered with Barometer Capital Management Inc., an independently owned Toronto investment firm that manages more than $1 billion in assets. Together they formed the Barometer Global Music Royalty Fund, a limited partnership with a targeted size of USD $200 million that will invest primarily in the iconic catalogs and music rights of Canadian creators.

The Kilometre team has been intimately involved in discovering Canadian artists and helping them grow their careers and royalties for several decades across rock, rap, pop and country genres. McCarty is a well-respected music publisher who was inducted into the  Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in 2019. He was president of EMI Music Publishing Canada for 17 years, spent four years as the president of Anthem (formerly ole), and the last seven years as the Chief Membership Officer of SOCAN. McCarty has worked in various capacities with artists such as Neil Young, Michael Jackson, Glass Tiger, Loverboy, Jim Vallance, Bryan Adams, Drake and Alessia Cara.

Brown is an accomplished songwriter and the recipient of the JUNO Award for Producer of the Year. His work on numerous artist projects over his career has been nominated for 37 JUNOs. He has produced The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent, Three Days Grace, Sarah Harmer, and Metric.

Murphy is a 17-year veteran of SOCAN, where he worked with Canada’s top global hit-makers, such as Boi-1Da, Belly, Murda Beatz (Migos, Drake), Frank Dukes (Camilla Cabello, Post Malone), OZ (Future, Travi$ Scott), and artists such as Jessie Reyez, Shawn Mendes, and The Weeknd.

Rounding out the team is noted royalty analyst Kyle Mullen, who was a key part of the success of Barometer Music Royalty Fund I, launched in 2018.

An education campaign created in the U.S. to inform creators on the growing practice of copyright buyouts is being extended globally with a new online resource, Your Music Your Future International. The global education site explains creators’ remuneration options,  and the ramifications of accepting buyouts for their work.

Composers and songwriters for film, television and other audio-visual media have depended for more than a century on a “typical deal” which allows them to collect royalty income in exchange for granting their copyrights to broadcasters, digital streaming services, and other users of their works.

Today, across the globe, that 100-year precedent is increasingly being challenged by companies who insist that composers accept buyouts of their rights (including performing rights) as a condition of being employed or commissioned for a project. In this scenario, composers are expected to create music in exchange for a one-time fee, instead of receiving continuing income for their work.

The new website covers topics including the options of royalties vs. buyouts, the typical use of buyout clauses in contracts, and the different laws governing buyouts internationally. The initiative is also supported by CIAM, the International Council of Music Creators.

CISAC President, ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus says, “In the post-COVID world, the issue of copyright buyouts matters more to creators than ever before. Artists, composers, and authors have to be aware of their rights, understand their options, and make informed choices on the way they’re paid. Their future livelihoods depend on it.”