Michelle Escoffery appointed as President of the PRS Members' Council
Composer Dru Masters appointed as first Deputy Chair of the PRS Members’ Council
Ivor Novello Award-winning singer, songwriter, composer, educator and Music Week Women in Music 2020 Roll of Honour inductee, Michelle Escoffery, has been appointed to the newly created role of President of the PRS Members’ Council (previously the PRS Board), with immediate effect. Escoffery has accepted the role following her time as a Writer Director on the PRS Members’ Council, alongside a continuing tenure on PRS Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
The announcement follows a year of record distributions to members for PRS for Music in 2020. April saw a distribution of £174m, a 15% year-on-year increase and the highest ever distribution for the organisation. This was followed by record July and October distributions, totalling £132.4m, up 3% year-on-year, and £171m, up 3.4% year-on-year, respectively.
As President, Escoffery will be a voice and advocate for PRS for Music’s songwriter, composer and publisher community, and an influential conduit between members, the PRS Members’ Council, and the organisation as a whole, so that PRS for Music can continue to develop and deliver a world-class experience for members.
The newly established Members’ Council role was introduced as part of historic governance changes approved by PRS for Music members at last year’s PRS Annual General Meeting in August. The significant changes, the first of their kind at the organisation in over twenty years, will allow PRS for Music to be fairer, more flexible, more cost-effective and more agile in its decision-making.
An ambassador for members across all genres and levels of experience, Escoffery will actively engage to understand their hopes and concerns, reporting back to the PRS Members’ Council and PRS for Music’s Membership team, turning ideas into actions and shaping the role to truly benefit those the organisation serves.
The President will also help to ensure that an open dialogue on diversity and inclusion continues, to increase representation at every level across the business and to improve access and equity throughout PRS for Music’s membership.
With over three decades in the music industry, Michelle Escoffery will bring extensive knowledge and experience to the role of President of the PRS Members’ Council. Winning an Ivor Novello Award for PRS for Music Most Performed Work 2002 for the song Just a Little, performed by Liberty X, Escoffery has also penned songs for acts including Tina Turner, All Saints, Beverley Knight and Artful Dodger, worked on vocal arrangement and production for Rod Stewart, and performed with Stevie Wonder and George Michael.
As an educator, Escoffery is currently Module Leader for the Commercial Songwriting and Production MA degree at Tileyard, Europe’s biggest writing and creative community. As an SCQF L7 qualified CLOCK Sector Expert for Creative and Cultural Industries and External Assessor, Escoffery works with students and industry professionals in practice-based learning, making invisible skills visible and valued. She is also a panel judge for this year’s Young Songwriter Competition 2021; the leading international songwriting competition for 8–18-year-olds.
Composer and Members’ Council Writer Director, Dru Masters, has also been appointed as Deputy Chair of the PRS Members’ Council, supporting the President of the PRS Members’ Council. Masters is an award-winning composer behind some of the UK’s most successful drama and factual shows, including international Emmy-winning, ‘Capital’, BAFTA-winning ‘Damilola, Our Loved Boy’ and the BBC’s multi-award-winning drama ‘Silk’. He also produces records for an eclectic mix of international artists.
It is a true honour to be appointed as President of the PRS Members’ Council. As President, I will work to solidify relationships between our membership and the Members’ Council, bring more relevance to younger writers and further develop a rich culture of diversity on all levels, reflecting our membership from the top down.
We are delighted to welcome Michelle Escoffery into her new role as President of the PRS Members’ Council. The governance changes introduced last year are an essential part of PRS’ evolution and to its future success, placing members at the centre of everything we do. The President role will ensure that PRS for Music remains world-leading, providing the essential services which our members rely upon, now and far into the future.
Michelle has played an important role as a Writer Director of the PRS Members’ Council in recent years and her advocacy for music creators of all statures, genres and backgrounds is well known. As such her appointment as our new PRS President is greatly deserved. Michelle’s knowledge and understanding of our industry particularly as a successful songwriter will enable us to better engage with our members and build towards an increasingly diverse and inclusive PRS for Music.
The music industry never stands still, and with Michelle as President, we are well placed to capitalise on new opportunities and ways of working, to ensure our members are getting the best experience and support possible.
About PRS for Music
PRS for Music represents the rights of over 155,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the UK and around the world. On behalf of its members, it works to grow and protect the value of their rights and ensure that creators are paid transparently and efficiently whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2020, 22.4 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music, with £699m paid out in royalties to its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.
PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.