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U2 star Bono announces world tour
Bono is launching a book tour to support the release of his new memoir and will visit theatres across the world to give fans an "evening of words, music, and some mischief."
Paramore bring Misery Business out of retirement as comeback tour kicks off
Paramore retired their breakout song in 2018.
George Michael, Slipknot, The Snuts and more lead all-new midweek albums Top 5
George Michael’s Older re-issue is currently leading a close race for this week’s UK’s Number 1 album, with the possibility of an all-new Top 5.
BLACKPINK's agency asks police to investigate 'illegal' distribution of Jennie's private photos
YG Entertainment are also taking legal action against the photos' distributor.
The Killers joined by Bruce Springsteen for 3 songs at Madison Square Garden
The Killers, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Jake Clemons performed in New York.
Machine Gun Kelly pays moving tribute to Chester Bennington at Wembley show
Machine Gun Kelly recalled the last time he saw the nu-metal icon.
Craig David wants people to discover his music at Tesco
Craig David isn't concerned with streaming numbers and having hits.
Kesha's mum defends Jeffrey Dahmer lyric in Cannibal song amid controversy
Kesha's mum has addressed the "big controversy" surrounding the Jeffrey Dahmer reference.
Lynne Spears apologises for 'anything and everything' that has hurt Britney Spears
Lynne Spears apologised to Britney Spears for all the pain she has suffered as a result of the conservatorship.
Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre team up on new LP Missionary, 30 years after Doggystyle
Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre have joined forces on the forthcoming LP 'Missionary'.
Lizzo adds UK arena dates to The Special Tour 2023
Lizzo will play London's The O2 arena as part of her UK leg of 'The Special Tour'.
Rammstein prohibits secondary ticket site Viagogo from selling tickets to their tour
Rammstein have been able to legally ban Viagogo from reselling tickets to their tour.
Global music icon Tori Amos returning to UK stage in 2023
Iconic artist Tori Amos has announced a string of live dates. Following on from the success of her 2021 album, Ocean To Ocean
Snoop Dogg 'working on an album' with Dr. Dre
Titled Missionary, the new album is set to be released in November.
Ringo Starr cancels concert as illness has 'affected his voice'
Ringo Starr is next scheduled to play at the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg, Canada on Tuesday.
Shania Twain hopes to record music with Harry Styles
Shania Twain has revealed she's hoping to record music with Harry Styles after previously teaming up with the pop star on stage at the Coachella music festival in California.
Rita Ora teases 'raw' album is coming in January
Rita Ora opened up about wanting to quit the music business due to the " psychologically intense" pressure on stars to be role models.
Prince's estate denied use of Nothing Compares 2 U in new Sinead O'Connor documentary
After Nothing Compares documentary filmmakers requested to use Nothing Compares 2 U in their movie about Sinead O''Connor, his estate declined.
Kanye West walks runway in Balenciaga fashion show
The Stronger rapper opened the apocalypse-themed presentation staged at the Parc des Expositions on Saturday.
Beyoncé congratulates Solange Knowles on composing ballet score
The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter has composed the score for Gianna Reisen's Play Time.
- Chad Childers
Judas Priest Will Actually Be Performing at Rock Hall Ceremony
The drummer reveals what their plans are. Continue reading…
- Lauryn Schaffner
When Slipknot Were Held at Gunpoint By Police + More From AMA
Corey Taylor hopped on Reddit for an AMA. Continue reading…
- Lauryn Schaffner
Poll: What's the Best Offspring Album? - Vote Now
Give it to us, baby! Continue reading…
- Chad Childers
A Day to Remember Plot Late 2022 Acoustic Tour After Fall Dates
See where and when the band will be performing their unplugged sets. Continue reading…
- Lauryn Schaffner
74-Year-Old Sammy Hagar Shares His Secret On How To Not Grow Old
He's been a musician for nearly five decades. Continue reading…
- Chad Childers
Radke Calls Out Trunk Over Laptop Comments, Bach Fires Back
See the twitter debate that spanned two days over backing tracks and laptops. Continue reading…
- Loudwire Staff
The 66 Best Metal + Hard Rock Drummers of All Time
The best of the best. Continue reading…
- Full Metal Jackie
Co-Director Didn't Want Dio Doc to Feel Like a Wikipedia Entry
Read the full interview with Wendy Dio and co-director Don Argott. Continue reading…
- Lauryn Schaffner
Tennis Legends Venus + Serena Williams Love Alice in Chains
They sang along throughout the whole show. Continue reading…
- Graham Hartmann
Music Festivals That Ended Up Being Scams
These fests are fyre! Continue reading…
- Chad Childers
Paramore Play ‘Misery Business’ at First Show in 4 Years
It's back! Hayley explains why. Continue reading…
- Joe DiVita
Corey Taylor Reveals the Job He Wanted Before Becoming a Musician
He also answers questions from fifth grade students in a new interview. Continue reading…
- Selena Fragassi
Judas Priest Has ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ 40th on Mind for Tour
They've got another thing coming for the setlist. Continue reading…
- Selena Fragassi
Where Is Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer? D.C. Attorneys Are Searching
Court process servers have tried to find him 25 times. Continue reading…
- Selena Fragassi
The Killers Bring Out Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden
The Boss was in the house for 3 songs. Continue reading…
- Jordan Blum
An AI Created an Eerie Video for Soundgarden's 'Black Hole Sun'
As if the original clip wasn't unnerving enough. Continue reading…
- Ultimate Classic Rock Staff
Top 30 Songs About the Music Industry
You write what you know. Continue reading…
- Allison Rapp
Bono Announces 'Stories of Surrender' Book Tour
Trek promoting singer's upcoming book will stop in more than a dozen major cities in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe. Continue reading…
- Matt Wardlaw
How Richard Marx Returned to Rock With His New Album
He also delves into previous collaborations with Billy Joel and Tommy Lee in new interview. Continue reading…
- Bryan Rolli
Smashing Pumpkins Debut Two New Songs at Triumphant Tour Kickoff
Rockers launched Spirits on Fire Tour with Jane's Addiction in Dallas. Continue reading…
- Allison Rapp
Lindsey Buckingham Cancels Tour Due to 'Ongoing Health Issues'
Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist is still scheduled to tour the U.S. later this year. Continue reading…
- Dennis Perkins
30 Years Ago: Sinead O'Connor Tears Picture of the Pope on 'SNL'
Irish singer's action sparked immediate outrage. Continue reading…
- Bryan Wawzenek
R.E.M. Try to Remember ‘Nightswimming’
On the 'Automatic for the People' highlight, Michael Stipe employs the only known way to time travel: memories. Continue reading…
- Bryan Rolli
Jane's Addiction Sets High Bar at Tour Kickoff: Set List + Review
Original bassist Eric Avery is in, guitarist Dave Navarro is out for joint tour with Smashing Pumpkins. Continue reading…
- Allison Rapp
Bob Dylan's Town Hall History Honored With NYC Tribute Concert
Just shy of the 60th anniversary of Dylan's debut at the Town Hall in New York City, a lineup of musicians gathered to perform his music. Continue reading…
- Allison Rapp
Taylor Hawkins Helped Jane's Addiction's Classic Lineup Reunite
Late Foo Fighters drummer helped Eric Avery return after years of estrangement. Continue reading…
- Ryan Reed
When Genesis Helped Peter Gabriel Escape Debt With 1982 Reunion
Proceeds for one-off show benefitted the singer's financially struggling WOMAD festival. Continue reading…
- Allison Rapp
Tom Petty's Death: Five Years Later
Surviving members of the Heartbreakers have persevered, mostly through song. Continue reading…
- Dennis Perkins
When Eddie Murphy's Mister Robinson Met His Match in Mr. T
'Saturday Night Live' sketch had quickly became a hit with audiences, if not Fred Rogers himself. Continue reading…
- Bryan Wawzenek
R.E.M. Wrestles With Writer's Block on 'Man on the Moon'
The song was ready — it just didn’t have a title, or lyrics, or vocals. Continue reading…
- Bryan Rolli
Stevie Nicks + Eddie Vedder Play 'Stop Draggin' My Heart Around'
Duet took place at Vedder's Ohana Festival. Continue reading…
- Matthew Wilkening
Jane's Addiction Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide
Perry Farrell's group has undergone a number of notable changes. Continue reading…
- Matt Wardlaw
Why Sammy Hagar Isn’t Playing Guitar on His New Album
Producer Dave Cobb had specific thoughts about what he didn't want on 'Crazy Times.' Continue reading…
- Bryan Wawzenek
How Meg Ryan, Miami and 10cc Impacted R.E.M.‘s 'Star Me Kitten’
Actress Meg Ryan convinced band to alter title of lusty 'Automatic for the People' ballad, and it became an in-joke. Continue reading…
- Dennis Perkins
40 Years Ago: 'Cheers' Debuts With a Perfect Pilot Episode
Classic show premiered in September 1982 to little fanfare and even fewer viewers. Continue reading…
- Ultimate Classic Rock Staff
Top 100 Classic Rock Songs
Bored with best-songs lists that are dominated by the same handful of bands? We've put an interesting twist on things. Continue reading…
- Rachel Kupfer
Fatboy Slim and Eats Everything Team Up for Slick Collab, "Bristol to Brighton"

"An ode to the cities we reside in and love more than any other."

Tapping big beat legend and fellow Brit Fatboy Slim for his first-ever lead vocal feature, Eats Everything brought a big one last week with his new track, "Bristol to Brighton."

"An ode to the cities we reside in and love more than any other," Eats Everything wrote on social media of the slick and spicy single, out now via Ministry of Sound and Three Six Zero Recordings. Rave-ready and toe-tappingly catchy, the track is a unique blend of acid house, U.K. bass and big beat unified by Slim's prophetic, booming spoken word vocals.

"We bangin'," he trumpets over rallying cries and an infectious percussion beat. Take a listen below.

“I cannot believe it has taken my 38-year career and Daniel Pearce for me to have my first lead vocal on a tune," Slim said in a press release.

"I made an instrumental and felt it needed a little bit of spice so I called my old mate Norm [Fatboy Slim] up and asked him if he’d be up for tinkering with the track/doing a vocal for it, Eats Everything added. “He gladly obliged and came back with the vocal 'Brighton To Bristol, Bristol To Brighton.' I’m from Bristol, he’s from Brighton, we are good mates, so why not celebrate that connection by celebrating our cities!”

Watch Eats Everything perform the collab live in Brighton here: 

View the original article to see embedded media.

FOLLOW EATS EVERYTHING:

Facebook: facebook.com/mreatseverything
Twitter: twitter.com/eats_everything
Instagram: instagram.com/eatseverything
Spotify: spoti.fi/3fEqo3a

FOLLOW FATBOY SLIM:

Facebook: facebook.com/fatboyslim
Twitter: twitter.com/fatboyslim
Instagram: instagram.com/officialfatboyslim
Spotify: spoti.fi/3edLuSR

- Rachel Kupfer
Whethan Brings Back Signature Dance-Pop Sound On First Independent Release In 6 Years, "Fall Out Girl"

The new collab with Zai1k comes paired with a trippy Y2K visualizer designed to make you smile.

You heard it here first: Whethan is the official shapeshifter—or soundshifter, rather—of dance music.

And he's now breaking away in more ways than one. Whethan's latest single, "Fall Out Girl" (with Zai1k), is his first independent release in six years following a two-album stint with Atlantic Records. 

"Fall Out Girl" is an uplifting callback to the sounds of this dance music prodigy's past, from the playful sonics and youthful enthusiasm of his debut album, Fantasy, to the moodier, too-cool-for-school edge of its hip hop follow-up, MIDNIGHTAnthemic lyrics rasp above pumping house synths and a propulsive bass line while Zai1k's heady vocals send us along at a breakneck pace.

It's an electronic song at its heart, signaling that for Whethan, this next era will be a reimagined return to his roots. 

“Zai and I linked up in Miami and made a bunch of cool ideas," Whethan said of the production process in a press release. "‘Fall Out Girl’ was inspired by the Miami lifestyle and is a perfect sunny drive with the top back, a pop hit to blast til’ the neighbors knock.”

Listen to "Fall Out Girl and check out its trippy Y2K-inspired visualizer here:

FOLLOW WHETHAN:

Facebook: facebook.com/whethanmusic
Instagram: instagram.com/whethan
Twitter: twitter.com/whethanmusic
Spotify: spoti.fi/3hiiFmK

- Jason Heffler
Why Fred again.. Is Exactly What Electronic Dance Music Needed

Fred again.. is a glimmer of a hope for today's artists, who live on a knife-edge due to the pressures of social media content culture.

Fred again.. is inescapable these days. But unlike other names hyped ad nauseam into oblivion this year, his is one you'd be smart to emotionally invest in.

For some reason, musicians are still expected to masquerade as doppelgängers of themselves—cringey caricatures sharing manufactured moments through the vacuous engines of TikTok. Content culture is the music industry's newest and most vicious plague, and it corrodes the mental health of its most authentic artists.

But as social media continues to dig its crooked claws into the sincerity of musicians, Fred again.. is fracturing its nefarious nature by being his most genuine self.

Fred again.. performs live at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2022.

Julian Bajsel

There's a sad sense of attrition in the wearisome world of electronic dance music, where sacrifice and compromise are regarded as routine truisms. Artists often relinquish a piece of themselves in order to perpetuate their commercial image, only to be callously rejected when they pursue personal growth.

But Fred, whose music functions as a diary by sampling real-life encounters he captures on video, is living proof that fans only want the real you. In the wake of the pandemic, we crave real connections with sincere artists—not some cheap facsimile grown in a Petri dish using helixes of TikTok DNA.

And if we're lucky, his upcoming album will throw a wrench into content culture, an endless wood chipper that chomps away at our best artists by forcing them to prioritize vapid social interaction over music creation. If musicians can succeed simply by sharing raw, uncut material from their actual lives instead of spending hours editing it to preserve a fake one, maybe they'll finally be able to breathe.

Theo Batterham

Last week we were on the gothic grounds of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where Fred performed a triptych of sold-out shows. He's currently touring ahead of the release of the album, Actual Life 3 (January 1 - September 9 2022), a Grammy dark horse.

It's no secret that the hype surrounding Fred has exploded in 2022. But any scintilla of skepticism we had quickly disintegrated within 30 seconds of his first keystroke.

Performing in Hollywood—a city that churns out viral cookie-cutter androids like Nvidia—Fred put his humanity front and center. The prolific DJ and producer projected his experiences on a giant LED screen, which was fittingly shaped like a mobile phone.

Banter with a friendly construction worker and a spiritual soliloquy from a woman were just two of these visuals. With the profound ability to turn their foibles into visceral dance music, Fred has become a master of unfiltered storytelling.

View the original article to see embedded media.

There's an alluring humility in someone who's able to so effortlessly find beauty in the little things.

Fred sunk his teeth in from the get-go, kicking off by enveloping us in the warm-and-fuzzy electronica of "Kyle (I Found You)," which samples renowned slam poet Guante.

It wasn't long before the spellbinding flutes of "Turn On The Lights again.." slithered into focus. Fred's collaboration with Swedish House Mafia hit different in the boneyard, its deep sub-bass eerily slicing through the night's summer air like a hot knife through butter.

In a night flush with electric moments, one of its undeniable highlights was Fred's incandescent live rendition of his heartbreaking track, "Me (Heavy)." After calling for a lull in the energy, he softly sung about the struggles associated with staying strong while the health of your better half deteriorates in the hospital.

"I want to run in there and steal you out, unplug the wires and kiss your mouth," he quavered before a soundless, awestruck crowd.

The performance opened a window into his soul that no amount of lasers, pyrotechnics or other ostentatious rave production could offer. It's an axiom that EDM festivals and concerts largely depend on sensory overload, but Fred dismantles it by removing those hollow distractions.

When there's no smokescreens, the only thing you're able to focus on is the silhouette onstage—and the music emanating from it.

Actual Life 3 (January 1 - September 9 2022) is scheduled to release on October 28th, 2022.

- Jason Heffler
Listen to Skrillex and Steve Aoki's Production on Kid Cudi's Stunning "Entergalactic" Album

"Entergalactic" has been lauded as a creative breakthrough for Cudi, who joined forces with two of the world's most popular electronic producers to breathe life into its music.

Take a bow, Kid Cudi.

After the long-awaited release of Entergalactic, fans and critics have been quick to praise the fabled hip-hop artist. The adult animated TV special has been lauded as a creative breakthrough for Cudi, who created the Netflix program and voices its protagonist, Jabari.

And its musical counterpart meets the moment. Just like its TV namesake, the 15-track Entergalactic album flaunts a powerful storyline and formidable cast of characters.

In the wake of rumors of a collab between Skrillex and Cudi, fans can now finally hear the fruits of their labor. They joined forces for "Ignite The Love," a brooding alternative hip-hop track with additional production from Rex Kudo, Heavy Mellow and Dot da Genius, among others. Elsewhere, Cudi reunites with his "Pursuit of Happiness" comrade Steve Aoki for "Burrow," a hypnotic trap cut with a stellar feature from Don Toliver.

As Entergalactic grows in popularity, fans may be dismayed to hear that Mr. Rager is contemplating a hiatus from recording new music. Cudi says he's interested in focusing on ancillary creative endeavors outside of the music studio, like his clothing line and Mad Solar Productions banner.

"The Kid Cudi stuff, I think I want to put it on the back-burner and chill out with that," he revealed in an interview with Zane Lowe. "I think I want to be done with it. I think, closing the chapter on Kid Cudi."

"I’ve made a lot of music, man," he continued. "I’ve said a lot and I have other desires, I have other things I want to do. And I do not see me never making music. I’ll always fuck around in the studio, or make something here and there. But as far as getting in the studio and working on an album, and then going and touring it, I just don’t have it in me. I don’t have the desire."

Entergalactic is now streaming on Netflix.

FOLLOW KID CUDI:

Facebook: facebook.com/steveaoki
Twitter: twitter.com/steveaoki
Instagram: instagram.com/steveaoki
Spotify: spoti.fi/3d1TLFn

- EDM.com Staff
Dirt Monkey, Jantsen, Mersiv and More to Headline Evolutions Festival 2022

The fest is returning to Pattersonville, New York for a three-day bass music spectacular.

With art, music and community at its bedrock, 845 Vibrations is gearing up for a monster 2022 edition of Evolutions Festival.

Taking place in Pattersonville, New York from October 7-9, the hybrid camping event and electronic music festival is slated for a momentous year. Organizers are bringing together some of dubstep and bass music's most beloved names while curating a unique festival experience in the forest, which is bound to strengthen the bonds of its community.

Evolutions Festival.  

c/o Press

Evolutions Festival features a huge lineup of established and fast-rising bass music producers. It boasts headlining performances from the likes of Dirt Monkey, Jantsen, Subdocta, Manic Focus, Mersiv and Minnesota—a diverse group of artists who will set the tone and enchant attendees over the festival's three days and nights. Other notable artists include ZEKE BEATS, Sully, Ravenscoon, Kumarion and Space Wizard. 

Other than curating an unmatched auditory and visual experience, 845 Vibrations, the team behind Evolutions Festival, are operating the event with an altruistic approach. They'll be organizing food drives, coordinated trash clean-ups and much more.

Tickets and camping passes for Evolutions 2022 are available for purchase here and you can check out the full lineup below.

Evolutions Festival 2022 Lineup. 

c/o Press

FOLLOW EVOLUTIONS FESTIVAL:

Facebook: facebook.com/evolutionsfestival
Instagram: instagram.com/evolutions_festival
Twitter: twitter.com/evolutions_fest
Website: 845vibrations.com

- Mikala Lugen
Kaskade, Chris Lake, FISHER, More Announced for FNGRS CRSSD's New NYE Event

The inaugural PROPER NYE is stacked with house music heavyweights.

FNGRS CRSSD has announced the lineup for its newest event, PROPER NYE, which will ring in the new year in San Diego with a group of house music heavyweights. 

The renowned SoCal promoter revealed the two-day, two stage event will showcase over 20 techno and house music stars at San Diego’s Gallagher Square and the field at Petco Park.

Beloved for curating top-tier dance events—like its flagship CRSSD Festival—FNGRS CRSSD’s inaugural PROPER NYE event is stacked with house music heavyweights. Chris Lake, FISHER, John Summit, Lane 8, Nora En Pure, SOFI TUKKER, Dombresky and more are set to throw down at the sun-kissed San Diego fest. Pioneering electronic producer Kaskade is also confirmed to perform a fan-favorite "Redux" set.

Tickets will go on sale next Friday, October 7th. Fans can sign-up for pre-sale access here and check out the lineup below.

c/o FNGRS CRSSD

PROPER NYE 2022 Lineup

Anabel Englund b2b Mary Droppinz
Azzecca
Chris Lake
Colyn
Cristoph
Dombresky
Eli Brown
FISHER
HI-LO
Hot Since 82
Jamie Jones
John Summit
Kaskade (Redux)
Lane 8
Loco Dice
Mark Knight
Mau P
Nora En Pure
Sofi Tukker
SOHMI
Tinlicker
Wade
Will Clarke

FOLLOW CRSSD:

Facebook: facebook.com/FNGRSCRSSD
Twitter: twitter.com/fngrsxcrssd
Instagram: instagram.com/fngrscrssd

- Mikala Lugen
SNBRN Explores Creative Freedom In Emotive 19-Track Sophomore Album, "The Old Days"

"The Old Days" gives fans a glimpse into the introspective work of SNBRN, focusing on the producer’s authenticity and storytelling.

SNBRN has dropped his highly anticipated sophomore album, The Old Days, out today via Ultra Records.

The Old Days marks his most comprehensive project to date. Spanning just over an hour, the album spans 19 tracks that give fans a glimpse into the introspective work of the L.A.-based house music star, focusing on his authenticity, storytelling and creative freedom.

It's been over three years since 2019's debut album, Solé, and its predecessor takes SNBRN’s songwriting and sound design to the next level. From the fluttering synths and pensive keys of “Old Days” to the aching lyricism of “When We’re Awake,” the album only serves to further reinforce SNBRN status as a leading name in house music.

Listen to The Old Days below.

"With over two years in the making, this album is an accumulation of my emotions and stories throughout that time. My approach to this process came so much differently than Solé; which was done in Tulum,” SNBRN explained. “This time, there was no running away."

"I was stuck at my house having to pick up the pieces," he continued. "It was something of a happy accident that put all of the right people and vocalists in my lap. It was go-time and no holding back. The writing process became self-healing, working with family members and close friends. The Old Days plays into those thoughts we have of a better time, an old relationship, lost loved ones and just dwelling on the past. I had to remind myself to keep going and create the next chapter of my life. The story is never over. I hope there’s a little something for everyone in this album and that it can help others as much as it’s helped myself.”

You can find The Old Days on streaming platforms here.

Follow SNBRN:

Facebook: facebook.com/SNBRN
Twitter: twitter.com/snbrnmusic
Instagram: instagram.com/snbrnmusic
Spotify: spoti.fi/31manFv

- Rachel Kupfer
"Women in Music Tech" Summit to Offer Free Masterclasses, Workshops, Networking Events

Hosted by Music Production for Women, the two-day summit will be livestreamed globally in October 2022.

"The journey of an independent artist can often be a lonely one," Music Production for Women (MPW) affirms on their website, "in which it is difficult to know exactly how to move forward to give your music the best chance of success."

That's why the British organization is hosting a two-day summit, "Women in Music Tech" designed to train and empower the next wave of female and non-binary musicians. Scheduled for October 15-16 and free for all to attend, the event will livestream a variety of workshops, masterclasses and networking sessions to participants in more than 120 countries. 

“I’m hoping we can inspire any attendees who may have wanted to produce but felt intimidated by it, to take their first steps in the field," Xylo Aria, founder and CEO of MPW, said in a statement. “I know having an event like this available when I first started would have made production feel a lot more accessible to me."

Check out the full summit program and sign up here

View the original article to see embedded media.

FOLLOW MUSIC PRODUCTION FOR WOMEN:

Facebook: facebook.com/musicproductionforwomen
Twitter: twitter.com/musicprod4women
Instagram: instagram.com/musicproductionforwomen
Website: musicproductionforwomen.com

- Cameron Sunkel
Hood Politics Records Boldly Reinvents Iconic Bass Tracks for House Heads In New EP, "Dubstep Forever"

Your favorite headbang-worthy tracks are getting a house-inspired makeover.

DJ Susan's Hood Politics Records is thinking outside the genre with their latest compilation, Dubstep Forever.

Contrary to what newcomers to the taste-making imprint may be led to think after reading that title, Hood Politics Records is more closely associated with smooth grooves than aggressive headbanging. However, they're now taking a trip to the dark side by outfitting some of the world's most popular dubstep tracks for the club dancefloor.

Hood Politics

Susan himself kickstarts the imaginative effort alongside Broken Future with a fresh spin on Zomboy's "Like a Bitch." The blistering basslines tear through the sonic spectrum with furious barks in this instant party-starter. Sherm and FLYNNINHO's take on Flux Pavilion and NGHTMRE's "Feel Your Love" follows in the same vein as the two effortlessly employ some of the original's boldest basslines into their remix, which bridges the worlds of bass music with tech house in seemingly effortless stride.

Rich DietZ also come through with a new twist on Keys N Krates' 2013 trap classic, "Dum Dee Dum." The duo shrewdly add a new dynamic to the track's vocals, manipulating the pitch and tone to engineer an infectious melody that is uniquely their own while still preserving the original's most timeless qualities.

The EP is rounded out with contributions from Nutty and Galo, each of whom impressively deliver a newfound melodic energy to their original selections from Skrillex and Adventure Club, respectively.

Bringing a fresh face to iconic works of art is never an easy task, but Hood Politics has done so in such a way that these tracks are well worth repeating.

"No matter where you stand, you can’t deny dubstep's impact in transforming EDM into the colossal giant it is today," Susan tells EDM.com. "Whether it be the golden years of 2010-2013 or the new wave Hybrid trap movement which spawned in 2016, the energy, the characters and the performances were unlike anything else at the time."

"For us, we really resonate with that energy and find ourselves tapping into those same frequencies with our music and performances today," he continued. "Taking it one step further, we decided, 'Why not combine the two genres, and see what happens?' Well the results are incredible and perfectly emulates our love and appreciation for this music. We don’t believe in sticking to one genre so why would we? Music is fun and producers should always be experimenting with unique takes on what's next! We hope this project inspires someone else to do the same!"

FOLLOW HOOD POLITICS RECORDS:

Facebook: facebook.com/hoodpoliticsrecords
Twitter: twitter.com/hoodpoliticsrec
Instagram: instagram.com/hoodpoliticsrecords
SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/hoodpoliticsrecords

- Cameron Sunkel
As Hip-Hop Stars Spark New Movement In Dance Music, Malaa's Debut Album Meets the Moment

Malaa teams up with Fivio Foreign, Ghostface Killah, Jadakiss and more on his star-studded debut LP, "Don Malaa."

Malaa's incendiary brand of G-House was destined sooner or later to satiate the rap community's newfound interest in dance music. With the release of his new album, Don Malaa, the masked mafioso shows just how potent that demand really is. 

The album sees Malaa flexing the full spectrum of his sound in a well-curated effort which sees him teaming up with rappers hailing from all walks. The adrenaline-fueled Don Malaa hits the gas in its introduction with the frantic patter of running footsteps—and it never looks back.

c/o Press

The album's first verse, from Brooklyn drill rapper Fivio Foreign, is certainly one for the highlight reel. Escalating his cadence in the build, Foreign lays the groundwork for an epic beat switch from Malaa, who blasts down the doors with the type of distorted growl bass that's sure to leave you hooked.

Subsequent cuts "Hypnotic" and "Gangsta" are red meat for fans of Malaa who thrive on the producer's high-energy bass house sensibilities and frequent use of distorted ad-libs. Meanwhile, "Discipline" marks a melodic bright spot on the record as Malaa reunites with his fellow Pardon My French Collective teammate, Tchami.

Transitioning into the final act, Jadakiss keeps his cool and smooth-talks his way onto the album in "No Panic," which is underpinned by a slippery switch-up from Malaa in the form of a fluid acid bassline.

Tying a bow on the LP, Malaa, A-Trak and Ghostface Killah team up on "Die Hard," a dreamy single that features Killah spitting in his signature stream of consciousness style, leaving fans to ruminate on the parting words of the Wu-Tang Clang artist as the album draws to a close. There's certainly plenty to look back on with this record, and one can't help but wonder if the golden age of Malaa is just getting started.

Listen to Don Malaa below and stream the album here.

Follow Malaa:

Facebook: facebook.com/malaamusic
Twitter: twitter.com/Malaamusic
Instagram: instagram.com/malaamusic
Spotify: spoti.fi/2X7DZnt

- Tessa Frey
CRSSD Closed Out Summer With a Bang In 2022

The fall edition of CRSSD Festival treated electronic music lovers to the sounds of Jamie xx, MK, Fred again.. and more.

As festival season draws to a close, techno and house music fans across Southern California united in sunny San Diego last weekend for the fall edition of CRSSD Festival.

Since its inception in 2015, CRSSD has treated music fans to three stages packed with top-flight house, techno and electronica artists over a two-day period. This September's iteration was no different under the technicolor sunsets of Waterfront Park, which offered thumping bass and incredible musical performances.

Each of CRSSD’s three stages has a distinct style, providing something for everyone in the electronic music community.

Palms, the first stage you encounter upon entering the festival, highlights primarily house artists who keep you dancing all day long. On Saturday, Wax Motif had fans grooving to a gritty G-House set, and there was no stopping us from getting down to the intoxicating beats of Dom Dolla.

Dom Dolla performs at CRSSD Festival 2022.

Keiki Knudsen

The crown jewel of Palms, however, was Fatboy Slim’s closing set on Sunday. The electronic music legend left the crowd begging for more after an hour and a half of flawless mixing.

Fatboy Slim performs at CRSSD Festival 2022.

Felicia Garcia

In the middle of the festival lies City Steps, a techno-heavy stage where dance music luminaries like Richie Hawtin and Testpilot (an alias of deadmau5) threw down heavy-hitting, four-on-the-floor beats.

Stephan Bodzin’s performance at City Steps on Saturday was an undeniable highlight, as the German techno icon played a hypnotic live melodic techno set.

CRSSD's City Steps stage.

Kristina Bakrevski

Stephan Bodzin performs at CRSSD Festival 2022.

Kristina Bakrevski

Richie Hawtin performs at CRSSD Festival 2022.

Daniela Becerra

Last but not least, the far end of the festival holds CRSSD’s main Ocean View Stage, which houses arguably the most impressive production value of the festival.

A few memorable moments here this weekend were Hayden James’ upbeat, typically dynamic deep house set and Moderat’s brooding ambient showcase. The stage's pièce de résistance​​, however, was Fred again..’s eclectic and deeply personal performance ahead of his hotly anticipated third studio album.

Fred again.. performs at CRSSD Festival 2022.

Felicia Garcia

Hayden James performs at CRSSD Festival 2022.

Felicia Garcia

Moderat performs at CRSSD Festival 2022.

Keiki Knudsen

There's a reason why CRSSD continues to grow in popularity. Creative stage setups, an intimate venue, great vendors and even better music all combine to make this fest a must-attend staple in the SoCal festival circuit.

You can find out more about CRSSD here.

CRSSD Festival 2022.

Daniela Becerra

FOLLOW CRSSD:

Facebook: facebook.com/FNGRSCRSSD
Twitter: twitter.com/fngrsxcrssd
Instagram: instagram.com/fngrscrssd

- Mikala Lugen
Music Tech Startup Songfinch Raises $17 Million to "Create a Middle Class of Musicians"

Songfinch's CEO says only the top 2% of artists in the music industry "get a chance to participate and eat most of the dollars."

Music tech startup Songfinch has secured $17 million, closing a Series A funding round that amplifies its efforts to create a "middle class of musicians," Built In Chicago reports.

Songfinch is one of a handful of music startups aiming to change how independent musicians are compensated for their work.

"The industry tends to be a star-driven league and the top two percent get a chance to participate and eat most of the dollars in the industry while the other 98 percent struggle and fight for scraps,” John Williamson, CEO of Songfinch told Built In Chicago.

The goal of Songfinch's online marketplace is to provide artists with a hub where consumers can commission them to create custom songs. The platform allows users to choose a style, mood and other custom elements for musicians to produce bespoke tracks at a base price of $200. Over the past year, the company has paid out over $12 million to its artists, each of whom make roughly $25,000 a year on average.

Songfinch CEO John Williamson.

John Williamson/LinkedIn

Led by Valor Siren Ventures, Songfinch's latest round of funding brings the company’s total to $21.8 million in venture capital. The new round will primarily be used to add staff to expand Songfinch's product and technology, according to Axios. The Weeknd, Doja Cat and legendary musician contributed to the company's $5 million seed round.

"We have an ambitious roadmap and this new funding will help us to continue leading the charge in reimagining the creator and customer relationship," Williamson added. "Our primary goals with Songfinch are twofold; to provide an opportunity for anyone to create and share their life experiences through music and to give artists a better opportunity to earn a living from an industry that has routinely made that improbable."

Find out more about Songfinch here.

- Konstantinos Karakolis
Bleu Clair Joins Forces With OOTORO and Chyra for Sultry House Single, “Killer Bee”

Bleu Clair is back with yet another house heater.

It's been an explosive year for Bleu Clair, who has just added yet another standout house record to his catalog.

Boasting a captivating tech house sound, the Indonesian trailblazer has taken the dance music scene by storm over the course of the last couple years, performing at a slew of major festivals and collaborating with the likes of Matroda, AC Slater and Martin Garrix (as Ytram) among others.

Bleu Clair has now returned with "Killer Bee," a sultry club record. The production expertise of Indonesian compatriot OOTORO seamlessly blends with Clair’s signature style while Chyra’s come-hither vocal performance makes the track all the more irresistible.

Laced with subtle, Middle Eastern-inspired sound design and exotic grooves, “Killer Bee” is a tune masterfully crafted to light up the dancefloor. Its minimal melodic elements are expertly paired with punchy house drum programming and thick basslines, making for an intoxicating cut.

Take a listen to “Killer Bee” below.

“Ken [OOTORO] and I go back a few years," Clair said in a statement. "I remember when I discovered his music just when I started releasing out my work. ‘Killer Bee’ shows the perfect blend of our visions on creating house music and Chyra's vocals are perfect to fill in the track and give it wide perspective. I played this a couple times of on my summer tour and there were some people asking when will we drop this one. So I am excited to finally release this tune."

Stream "Killer Bee" here.

FOLLOW BLEU CLAIR:

Facebook: facebook.com/bleuclairmusic
Twitter: twitter.com/bleuclairmusic
Instagram: instagram.com/bleuclairmusic
Spotify: spoti.fi/3fGfrce

- Jason Heffler
HI-LO Returns to Drumcode With Anthemic Techno Track, "WANNA GO BANG"

Oliver Heldens' techno alias stuns with a menacing banger befit for Drumcode's illustrious discography.

HI-LO is back with "WANNA GO BANG," a thumping techno track out now on Drumcode Records.

Oliver Heldens turned to his longtime nom de plume when returning to Andrew Beyer's flagship label, which released HI-LO's Drumcode debut, "Hypnos," almost a year ago. The new song, which samples DJ Deeon's "2 B Free," is part of a two-track EP slated for release on October 7th.

Between its layered kicks, driving basslines and acid-inspired leads, "WANNA GO BANG" has all the hallmarks of a signature, peak-time HI-LO record. Heldens mutates Deeon's classic vocoded vocals and uses them as the track's centerpiece, lending to a menacing techno banger befit for Drumcode's illustrious discography.

Take a listen to "WANNA GO BANG" below.

Heldens says his approach to Deeon's 2015 track engendered a "dark vibe" due to his move to manipulate its vocals.

"'WANNA GO BANG' is my take on Chicago legend DJ Deeon’s classic vocoder vocal sample (from his 1992 song “2 B Free") but it’s pitched down five semitones now which gives it such a dark vibe," Heldens said in a statement. "I’ve always wanted to make my own DJ weapon version of it since I heard Bjarki’s trippy version in 2015, and I’m really happy with how it turned out, it’s such a monster!"

You can stream "WANNA GO BANG" here.

FOLLOW HI-LO:

Facebook: facebook.com/officialhilo
Twitter: twitter.com/official_hilo
Instagram: instagram.com/officialhilo
Spotify: spoti.fi/2ZFW1Oa

- Jason Heffler
Seven Lions and Lights Reunite for Soaring Bass Anthem, "Stop Thinking"

It's the final single from Seven Lions' debut album, "Beyond The Veil."

Seven Lions has teamed up with Lights for "Stop Thinking," the final single from Beyond The Veil, his long-awaited debut album.

Longtime fans will surely remember "Falling Away," a melancholic house record released by Lions and Lights way back in 2015. They've now reunited, jabbing their collaborative past with a shot of adrenaline by virtue of a soaring anthem.

Fans have been clamoring for the collab since summer 2021, when Lions debuted it at Red Rocks. And the melodic bass pioneer does what he does best: produce visceral electronic music at the intersection of brooding and banging.

"Stop Thinking" is also a textbook snapshot of the singular songwriting prowess of Lights, whose poignant vocal performance explores the difficulties of clinging to the last vestiges of a relationship gone irretrievably rotten.

You can listen to "Stop Thinking" below and stream the single here ahead of Beyond The Veil, which is scheduled to release on October 21st, 2022.

FOLLOW SEVEN LIONS:

Facebook: facebook.com/SevenLions
Twitter: twitter.com/SevenLionsMusic
Instagram: instagram.com/sevenlionsmusic
Spotify: spoti.fi/2Hv2cyM

FOLLOW LIGHTS:

Facebook: facebook.com/lights
Instagram: instagram.com/lights
Twitter: twitter.com/lights
Spotify: spoti.fi/3eKuO5h

- Cameron Sunkel
ISOxo Flips the Script With Ominous House Single, "inhuman": Listen

ISOxo keeps fans on their toes as he reworks his sound for the club dancefloor.

It's been a year of milestone "firsts" for EDM.com Class of 2022 breakout star, ISOxo. And he's not done yet.

Breaking through on RL Grime's Sable Valley Records in late 2021 with his blistering debut EP, Nightrealm, ISOxo has already left his mark on the highly competitive and ever-evolving bass music scene. With his latest record, however, ISOxo shows he's not up for staying complacent. 

With "inhuman," he sparks up the dancefloor and brings a refreshing spin on house music to the club that is uniquely his own. Despite the change in genre, ISOxo remains in tune with the artful sound design and menacing style fans have come to know him by.

ISOxo has a knack for seamlessly weaving seemingly disparate diverse sonic environments into a broader mosaic. He once again shows us how it's done with "inhuman," whisking cinematic strings and dreamy steel pan drums in the verse into a chunky, low -end driven groove with ease.

It's clear ISOxo is far from the end of the line when it comes to exploring his creative boundaries. And all we know is that as long as he's up for breaking the mold—regardless of genre—fans will be waiting to eat it up.

You can stream "inhuman" here.

Follow ISOxo:

Facebook: facebook.com/ISOxo
Twitter: twitter.com/isoxo_
Instagram: instagram.com/isoxo_
Spotify: spoti.fi/3dwtO3h

- Rachel Kupfer
Crooked Colours Find Hope In Chaos On New Album, "Tomorrows"

"It became a long process for us as we battled with the reality around us, not, knowing what lay ahead while maintaining a creative output."

There are a handful of artists who, when they speak, sing or cry, we listen. Bob Moses, Elderbrook, RÜFÜS DU SOL, WhoMadeWho; these acts and the stories they tell are the closest things electronic music has to folklore, their compelling croons famous to the point of instant recognition. 

With their new album, TomorrowsCrooked Colours have joined this elite cohort of melody-makers. It's been a long road to get to the release of this "COVID album"; you might recognize 2020's "Love Language," the first track to mark the project's three-year rollout. Slow-burning and sun-drenched, it was an instant hit.

Overall, Tomorrows tells a sweeping tale of resilience, recognition and self-discovery across 13 tracks of house-infused indie pop. There's love and longing on "Homecoming," dark determination on "Fight Night," and realization and reflection on the titular "Tomorrows." Silky smooth vocals become hypnotic amongst the engrained euphoria of melodic undertones, like sweeping synths and lush pads.

These songs have a depth you can feel in your bones. Take a listen below.

“This was an album created during very testing times for us as a group...We bunkered down in our studio in Fremantle and focused on what we could control and that was writing and recording as much music as we could," Crooked Colours said in a statement. "Musicians, creatives and everyone have been through a lot over the past three years. This album is to let all of our fans, friends and family who have helped us know that we are still here, we are fighting and we are really looking forward to what's coming tomorrow.”

To celebrate the release of Tomorrows, Crooked Colours are embarking on a 13-date North American tour that will touch down in San Francisco, Vancouver, Austin and more. You can find tickets here.

FOLLOW CROOKED COLOURS:

Facebook: facebook.com/CrookedColours
Instagram: instagram.com/crookedcolours
Twitter: twitter.com/crooked_colours
Spotify: spoti.fi/2P7QG0s

- Koji Aiken
EDM.com Playlist Picks: Aluna, Alan Walker, Matroda & More [9/30/22]

New major releases include tracks from Bleu Clair, RIOT, Zandros and more.

The electronic music community is constantly evolving with new sounds every week, as artists become more innovative with their compositions. EDM.com's weekly "Playlist Picks" series highlights the top releases in the genre, helping uncover the latest tracks that will soon dominate the dance music scene.

EDM.com Top HitsAlan Walker & Trevor Daniel - ExtremesAluna & MK - Kiss It BetterHoney Dijon & Channel Tres - Show Me Some Love (feat. Sadie Walker)Festival Hits 2022HUGEL & Cumbiafrica - Marenita (Matroda Remix)RIOT - Back TwistaBleu Clair, OOTORO & Chyra - Killer BeeElectronic AvenueCookie Monsta, Flux Pavilion & Koven - I'm Delightedyetep, KLAXX - JourneyZandros - Prisoner

These tracks can be accessed on the EDM.com Top Hits Playlist, Electronic Avenue Playlist and Festival Hits 2022 Playlist.

- Konstantinos Karakolis
Dutch Designer Dzanar Teams Up With G-Eazy for Debut NFT Collection

"The Geralds" marks the latest creative pivot for Dzanar, the designer behind Sam Feldt and Heartfeldt Records’ eye-popping branding.

Dutch designer Dzanar and multi-Platinum rapper G-Eazy have joined forces for the latter’s debut NFT collection.

It's called "The Geralds" and it was minted on the Quincy Jones-backed digital collectibles platform OneOf. Showcasing the different aspects of G-Eazy’s personality and hobbies, the NFTs are sold in packs so fans can purchase different combinations and win VIP perks, like meeting the chart-topping rapper in-person.

Having taken on design projects for a slew of major contemporary music artists, like Akon, Chris Brown, Ed Sheeran, Kesha and more, Dzanar has cemented himself as a coveted collaborator in the music industry.

c/o Dzanar

The designer says he experiences synesthesia, a condition which essentially triggers the senses so when you hear music, you see shapes and colors. He channels this into his art, being able to deconstruct music and craft captivating and colorful visual works.

"I love to put my imagination to work and create art that breathes style and substance," said Dzanar in a statement. “Working with OneOf and G-Eazy on 'The Geralds' allows me to create art that bridges a wide range of areas. This project brings artistic freedom and beauty, which I find extremely important in the work I do."

The Come Up Show

"This collaboration with OneOf has been long in the making," added G-Eazy. "My debut NFT collection is made with love. It's a combination of music, fashion and technology to show all the different sides of myself. I think we all share the same vision of creating a sustainable Web3 future and I'm really excited to have my fans join in."

"The Geralds" finds G-Eazy expanding his pursuits in the Web3 community. According to a press release, the acclaimed rapper has invested in a number of Web3 platforms and accepted payments in cryptocurrency for 2017's The Beautiful & Damned album.

Find out more about "The Geralds" here.

FOLLOW DZANAR:

Facebook: facebook.com/dzanarproductions
Instagram: instagram.com/dzanar
Twitter: twitter.com/dzanar
Website: dzanarproductions.com

FOLLOW G-EAZY:

Facebook: facebook.com/G.Eazy
Instagram: instagram.com/g_eazy
Twitter: twitter.com/G_Eazy
Spotify: spoti.fi/3SHjKY4

- Nick Yopko
Jean-Michel Jarre Recruits Deathpact for Dark, Brooding Remix of "BRUTALISM": Listen

The collaborative remix is set to release on Jarre's 22nd studio album, "OXYMORE" in October 2022.

A music legend has joined forces with one of EDM's most puzzling acts. 

For decades, the 74-year-old Jean-Michel Jarre has been innovating electronic music and the way we interact with it. With over 20 studio albums and a number of record-breaking performances under his belt, the pioneering artist has never been afraid to take chances.

Now, 50 years after the release of his debut studio album, Jarre has teamed up with one of electronic music's most enigmatic acts, Deathpact.

Ahead of Jarre's upcoming 22nd album, OXYMORE, he and the mysterious collective have teamed up to remix "BRUTALISM." According to a press release, the original version of the track was inspired by the late Pierre Henry and "the early days of Berlin techno" while "BRUTALISM REPRISE" caters to the modern-day underground scene.

Considering the fact that Deathpact are multiplying, it's no surprise their newest track is unlike most of their previous releases. Stepping away from the gargantuan bass featured in tracks like "Chemical Bond," they opt for a more minimal approach when working with Jarre. A haunting atmosphere rich with organic sounds and robotic vox sends listeners into a vision of electronic music of the future crafted by a man who helped guide it and a collective that wants to destroy it.

Listen to “BRUTALISM REPRISE” below. OXYMORE is scheduled to release on October 21st, 2022.

FOLLOW JEAN-MICHEL JARRE:

Facebook: facebook.com/jeanmicheljarre
Twitter: twitter.com/jeanmicheljarre
Instagram: instagram.com/jeanmicheljarre
Spotify: spoti.fi/3pSIDkW

FOLLOW DEATHPACT:

Facebook: facebook.com/Deathpact
Twitter: twitter.com/deathpact
Instagram: instagram.com/deathpact
Spotify: spoti.fi/30C9Q1Z

- C. Vernon Coleman II
Lauryn Hill's Daughter Selah Wears 'White Lives Matter' Shirt
Ye's WLM movement is getting support. Continue reading…
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Candace Owens Wears 'White Lives Matter' Shirt With Kanye West
Ye chums it up with his ol' pal. Continue reading…
- Robby Seabrook III
The Break Presents - Baby Money
Detroit never loses. Continue reading…
- Joey Ech
Taylor Swift Dropping Drake Song From Kanye, Kim Kardashian Feud?
Are Taylor and Drizzy about to drop a Kanye and Kim diss track? Continue reading…
- Trent Fitzgerald
Signs You’re a YoungBoy Never Broke Again Fan
Signs that YB is indeed better. Continue reading…
- XXL Staff
Kanye West Wears White Lives Matter Shirt to YZY SZN 9
Ye making headlines yet again. Continue reading…
- C. Vernon Coleman II
Tory Lanez and Iggy Azalea Fuel Dating Rumors
It looks like Torgy might be a thing. Continue reading…
- XXL Staff
SleazyWorld Go Brings His 'Sleazy Flow' to the Masses
Rising Michigan rapper SleazyWorld Go tells the story of what led to him taking rap seriously, his breakout track "Sleazy Flow" and more in an exclusive XXL interview. Continue reading…
- C. Vernon Coleman II
Kodak Black Apologizes to PnB Rock's Girlfriend for Death Blame
Kodak says sorry. Continue reading…
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Kanye West Walks Runway of Mud for Balenciaga Fashion Show
Ye sloshes around in mud. Continue reading…
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Chrisean Rock Vents After Catching Blueface Cheating on Her Again
Chrisean Rock and Blueface in relationship drama. Continue reading…
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21 Savage Confronts Wack 100 for Calling Him a Snitch
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Latto Faces Backlash for Provocative Comment to Child Interviewer
Latto is raising eyebrows. Continue reading…
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Lil Nas X Pauses Live Performance Because He Has to Go Poop
Lil Nas X had a bathroom emergency. Continue reading…
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Lil Zay Osama Arrested for Leaving Glock in Uber
Lil Zay Osama is in legal trouble. Continue reading…
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Nick Cannon Welcomes 10th Child, Third With Brittany Bell
Nick Cannon continues on his quest to solve the world's population crisis. Continue reading…
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- Chris Cooke
Music industry welcomes new laws in California restricting the use of lyrics in criminal proceedings

California State Flag

The American music industry has welcomed the signing into law on Friday of new rules in California that will restrict the use of lyrics as evidence in criminal cases in the state’s courts. Both the Recording Academy and the Recording Industry Association Of America applauded the development, which will likely empower those campaigning for similar legal reforms elsewhere in the US.

The new laws in California – known as AB 2799 or the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act – address concerns that an increasing number of criminal cases in America have used a defendant’s creative output as evidence against them. This tends to disadvantage those who make rap and hip hop, because people are often prone to assume that rap lyrics are more rooted in reality than lyrics written by artists in other genres.

When Californian state senators voted on the new laws in August, RIAA Chief Mitch Glazier wrote to Toni Atkins, the current President Pro Tempore of the Senate, noting that: “Rooted in imagination, creative expression’s greatest capacity is to lift us out of the real world and to present us with the unexpected, the unlikely, and the unthinkable. Hyperbole and fantastical imagery are customary, and often necessary, elements of that creative expression”.

“Bob Marley and Eric Clapton understood this when they sang about shooting the sheriff”, he went on. “Johnny Cash understood it when he claimed to have ‘shot a man in Reno just to watch him die’. The Beatles weren’t ones to truly subscribe to the notion that ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’. And no one truly believed that Freddie Mercury ‘just killed a man’ in Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’”.

“Yet, when rap and hip hop artists adhere to this time-honoured tradition of make believe”, he continued, “their lyrics are too often – and unfairly – taken literally, stripped of the poetic licence afforded other genres. While such mischaracterisation may be uneventful in everyday music consumption, its application in criminal proceedings can skew the truth and destroy artists’ lives”.

The new laws in California don’t outright stop lyrics and such like from being used as evidence in criminal cases, but they will “require a court, in a criminal proceeding where a party seeks to admit as evidence a form of creative expression, to consider specified factors when balancing the probative value of that evidence against the substantial danger of undue prejudice”.

The Senate voted in favour of the new laws in August and – with the state’s Assembly having already voted through the proposals – the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act was just awaiting the signature of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

As he signed the new rules into law on Friday, Newsom stated: “Artists of all kinds should be able to create without the fear of unfair and prejudicial prosecution. California’s culture and entertainment industry set trends around the world and it’s fitting that our state is taking a nation-leading role to protect creative expression and ensure that artists are not criminalised under biased policies”.

In his statement welcoming the legal reforms, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr said: “Today we celebrate an important victory for music creators in the state of California. Silencing any genre or form of artistic expression is a violation against all music people. The history that’s been made in California today will help pave the way forward in the fight to protect creative freedom nationwide”.

Meanwhile, Glazier said in a new statement: “We applaud Governor Newsom on this pivotal decision that will allow all creators to express themselves and follow their artistic vision without barriers of prejudice. The RIAA has been a vocal advocate for AB 2799 because all too often rap and hip hop artists have suffered for the same kind of hyperbole and imagery other genres routinely use without consequence. With the signing of the California rap lyrics bill into law, voices that may have been stifled are now fully open to expression”.

Similar legal reforms were approved in the New York Senate earlier this year but didn’t get voted on in the Assembly before the current session of that state’s legislature came to an end. However, those reforms are expected to be re-proposed during the next session. New laws that would achieve something similar on a US-wide basis have also been proposed in Washington, although they seem less likely to go through than state-level reforms.

Although there have been many criminal cases in recent years in which lyrics have been cited as evidence in court, one of the most high profile current cases where prosecutors are relying heavily on the defendants’ creative output is that in Georgia against Young Thug and Gunna.

Obviously the legal reforms in California won’t directly impact on that case, although the two rappers’ lawyers will likely use the wider debate around the problems with lyrics being used as evidence in criminal proceedings as a tactic for challenging the prosecution’s arguments in court.

- Chris Cooke
Fat Joe sues his accountants over allegations they misappropriated millions

Fat Joe

Fat Joe has sued his longtime accountants accusing them of fraudulent activities that have resulted in millions of dollars being misappropriated.

The rapper, real name Joseph Cartagena, had been working with accounting firm BDO USA for about a decade before he became aware of what he describes as “a slew of irregularities”. His lawsuit targets the company as well as his specific accountant, Andre N Chammas, and an account executive called Vanessa Rodriguez.

According to the lawsuit filed last week, those “irregularities” include “numerous delinquent and unpaid mortgage and bill payments; the booking of revenues that were never deposited into plaintiffs’ accounts; discrepancies in the amount of money that plaintiffs have paid to BDO for services rendered; payments to unauthorised American Express accounts that are not Cartagena’s; and payments to Cartagena’s American Express account from unrecognised bank accounts”.

The legal filing adds that, when Cartagena asked BDO about the various irregularities, the accounting firm “ignored his pleas or made up stories to cover their trail. Rather than cooperate with a longtime client and offer to lend assistance, BDO and Chammas have employed a different strategy: stonewall and delay”.

“Now plaintiffs know why BDO and Chammas have been trying to obstruct their investigation”, it goes on. “Plaintiffs are the target of a fraudulent scheme that BDO and Chammas – with Rodriguez’s assistance – have been orchestrating for years and that has resulted in millions of dollars in damages”.

The lawsuit concludes: “As a remedy, the court should order BDO and Chammas to immediately turn over all documents and information to which plaintiffs are legally entitled, as well as award damages, legal costs and fees, and all other appropriate relief against BDO, Chammas, and Rodriguez”.

The defendants in the case are yet to respond.

- Chris Cooke
Court rules against SXSW in dispute with insurer over COVID cancellation class action

SXSW

A US judge last week concluded that the insurers of South By Southwest are not required to cover the costs that the festival incurred when dealing with a class action lawsuit in relation to its COVID-caused cancellation in 2020.

District judge Robert Pitman basically accepted the recommendations that magistrate judge Susan Hightower made earlier this year in relation to the dispute between SXSW and Federal Insurance Co.

The SXSW music conference and showcase festival was one of the first major music events to cancel as the COVID pandemic first started to spike in the US back in 2020. Ticket holders were told that they could defer their tickets to either the 2021, 2022 or 2023 editions of the festival.

However, some ticket holders reckoned that they should have been given the option of a cash refund, and they filed a class action lawsuit accusing the festival of, among other things, breach of contract.

That lawsuit was ultimately settled. But the whole thing prompted a second lawsuit, after Federal declined to cover SXSW’s legal costs in relation to the class action. Because it’s alway fun when lawsuits result in lawsuits.

Federal said that SXSW’s insurance policy had a professional services exclusion and that applied in this case. For its part, SXSW said that the insurer was employing an “overboard interpretation” of that particular exclusion. However, in a ruling in May, Hightower sided with the insurance firm.

It was for then for Pitman to decide whether to take Hightower’s recommendation. SXSW urged him not too, arguing that the magistrate judge – like the insurer – had also interpreted the exclusion clause in the insurance policy too widely. But those latest arguments in the case were not successful.

Pitman’s ruling last week states simply: “On this date, the court adopted US magistrate judge Susan Hightower’s report and recommendation concerning plaintiff SXSW LLC’s motion for partial summary judgment and defendant Federal Insurance Company’s motion for summary judgment”.

That means “the court’s order denied SXSW’s partial motion for summary judgment, and granted Federal’s motion for summary judgment. The court dismissed SXSW’s claims”.

- Andy Malt
Pioneer DJ parent company acquires stake in DJ Monitor

AlphaTheta x DJ Monitor

AlphaTheta – the parent company of the Pioneer DJ hardware company – has acquired a 25% stake in DJ Monitor, which provides audio ID technology – especially to the music industry’s collecting societies – for tracking music usage at venues and events, especially in the dance music space. Under the new deal, DJ Monitor will work closely with AlphaTheta’s royalty distribution platform KUVO.

“Music creators are at the core of the electronic music community, so it’s absolutely vital that they get paid when their music is played publicly”, says AlphaTheta CEO Yoshinori Kataoka. “Fair royalty distribution enables artists to keep making music that DJs want to play and audiences want to hear”.

“At AlphaTheta Corporation, we’re passionate about using our technical expertise and global reach to support music creators”, he goes on. “It’s a natural fit for us to partner with DJ Monitor, a company that shares our vision and determination to ensure artists are paid fairly. We look forward to working closely with them on the development of KUVO, among other exciting projects”.

DJ Monitor CEO Yuri Dokter adds: “Having pioneered club and event monitoring through music recognition technology since 2005, DJ Monitor has become the de facto standard for collective management organisations around the world, pushing transparency by providing auditable data. With club music embedded in our DNA, our partnership with AlphaTheta will create the most credible and robust system to maximise electronic music creator incomes”.

- Andy Malt
Scooter Braun says he regrets fall out with Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Scooter Braun has said that he regrets how things turned out with Taylor Swift when he acquired her former label Big Machine back in 2018.

Although – like Swift – he somewhat blames the label’s former owner Scott Borchetta for the massive fallout that followed the announcement of that deal. Nonetheless, he admits to a certain level of “arrogance” to think that “someone would just be willing to have a conversation and be excited to work with me”.

“I learned an important lesson from [the Big Machine acquisition]”, he tells NPR in a new interview. “When I did that deal, I was under a very strict NDA with the gentleman who owned it, and I couldn’t tell any artist. I wasn’t allowed to. I wasn’t legally allowed to. What I told him was, hey, if any of the artists want to come back and buy into this, you have to let me know”.

Swift, of course, subsequently revealed that she’d been very keen indeed to buy the recording rights in the albums she had released with Big Machine – which were owned by the label – but that she had not been given the opportunity.

Instead, the label had tried to use the possibility of her acquiring the rights in those early albums in the future as a tactic to get her to re-sign with the company. Something she ultimately declined to do, allying instead with Universal Music on her new releases.

“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work”, she said in a blog post after Braun’s Big Machine deal was announced. “Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past”.

Braun now says that – while negotiating his Big Machine acquisition – he was shown a letter from Swift confirming that she was walking away from that proposed deal, ie to re-sign and ultimately get control of her old records. Based on that letter, he assumed she was happy with the arrangement that had been agreed, so that she was working with Universal on her new music, while Big Machine still managed her old releases.

What he didn’t know was that, by that point, there was significant bad blood between Swift and Borchetta – who had originally launched Big Machine in order to release her music.

Nor did Braun know that she would see him specifically buying the label as being, as she put it at the time, her “worst case scenario”, due to “the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years” – that relating to an earlier incident while Braun was managing Kanye West.

Braun was seemingly unaware that he had upset Swift so badly, but – Swift said at the time – Borchetta was well are of it, and she therefore assumed that he had sold his label to Braun’s company specifically to spite her.

Recalling the whole debacle now, Braun says: “I was excited to work with every artist on the label. So when we finalised the deal, I started making phone calls to say, hey, I’m a part of this. And before I could even do that – I made four phone calls, I started to do those phone calls – all hell broke loose”.

“So I think a lot of things got lost in translation”, he adds. “I think that when you have a conflict with someone, it’s very hard to resolve it if you’re not willing to have a conversation”.

“So the regret I have there”, he goes on, “is that I made the assumption that everyone, once the deal was done, was going to have a conversation with me, see my intent, see my character and say, great, let’s be in business together. And I made that assumption with people that I didn’t know”.

“I learned an important lesson from that, that I can never make that assumption again”, he then admits. “I can’t put myself in a place of arrogance to think that someone would just be willing to have a conversation and be excited to work with me. I don’t know these people”.

This, he says, led him to rethink how he does business, and when he sold his entire company to K-pop powerhouse HYBE last year, he took a different approach.

“When I did the deal with HYBE, I took 50 million of my own stock that I received, and I gave it to my employees and my artists”, he reveals. “I didn’t think it was going to become public, but it was a publicly traded company, so I can talk about it now because it was very much out there. And I made sure that everyone participated significantly. And even employees that were no longer employees”.

“They all became shareholders alongside all our major, long-term employees and former employees”, he goes on. “And everyone felt good, and they could sell the stock if they want to. It’s worth real money”.

“But I wanted them to feel good about it because I learned that lesson”, he concludes. “And I think in any conflict, you can say, I didn’t do anything. It’s their fault. And you could be right … [But] I choose to look at it as a learning lesson, a growing lesson, and I wish everyone involved well. And I’m rooting for everyone to win because I don’t believe in rooting for people to lose”.

Of course, that version of events skips out the bit of the story where he sold on the master rights to Swift’s six Big Machine albums to a private equity firm in 2020, which again drew her wrath – and spurred Swift on to start recording new versions of those old albums in which she would own the master rights. I’m sure he learned loads from that too though.

- Chris Cooke
A Greener Festival launches new sustainability toolkit focus on Mexican festival sector

A Greener Festival

A Greener Festival and Edinburgh Napier University are today launching a new online resource as part an ongoing partnership with the British Council which is seeking to help the Mexican festival sector make its events more environmentally sustainable.

The new online toolkit is informed by previous training sessions involving festival producers and promoters in Mexico, and also utilises existing knowledge and experience from the UK-based A Greener Festival initiative as well as academic work.

The aim is to help festivals based in Mexico and elsewhere to evolve their operations in a way that reduces the environmental impact of their events.

AGF Director Teresa Moore explains: “Facilitated by the British Council, our collaboration with Edinburgh Napier University provided a fantastic opportunity to bring together latest practice and thinking about the issues and challenges involved in creating sustainable events”.

“Through the training developed and delivered earlier this year we were able to learn about the Mexican context”, she adds, “the particular challenges they face in making their events greener as well as sharing our knowledge, practice and solutions from around the world. The online sustainability toolkit allows us to extend this work even further and reach many more festivals in Mexico”.

Meanwhile, Jane Ali-Knight from Edinburgh Napier University says: “It was an amazing opportunity to work with the British Council and a whole range of creative, innovative and diverse festivals from across Mexico”.

“The sharing of international best practice was a key aspect of the programme which benefitted A Greener Festival, Edinburgh Napier University and the festivals”, she goes on. “The toolkit was an excellent practical extension of the training and will be a great resource to festivals from Mexico and beyond”.

- Andy Malt
Scottish Album Of The Year opens up public vote

Scottish Album Of The Year Award

Organisers of the Scottish Album Of The Year prize have this morning opened up the public voting portion of the search for the very best Scottish album of the last year. Music fans have until Wednesday night to vote for their favourite from the longlist – the winner securing a place on the shortlist, which will be announced on Thursday.

“The SAY Award public vote is the chance for music fans to have their SAY in the determination of the shortlist”, say Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Director of awards organiser the Scottish Music Industry Association. “From the 20 outstanding Scottish albums that made up this year’s longlist, the public’s choice will automatically be guaranteed a place in the ten strong shortlist along with a minimum prize of £1000”.

“In any year prize money is significant for artists, but in the face of the current financial crisis, this support will make an instrumental difference”, he goes on. “Now’s the time to get behind your favourite record, and we look forward to revealing and then championing ten of the best Scottish albums of the last year in the lead up to 2022’s SAY Award ceremony”.

You heard the man, their future is in your hands. The longlist is as follows:

AiiTee – Better Days
Andrew Wasylyk – Balgay Hill: Morning In Magnolia
Annie Booth – Lazybody
Bemz – M4
C Duncan – Alluvium
Callum Easter – System
Constant Follower – Neither Is, Nor Ever Was
Declan Welsh And The Decadent West – It’s Been A Year
Duncan Lyall – Milestone
Fergus McCreadie – Forest Floor
Hamish Hawk – Heavy Elevator
Hen Hoose – Equaliser
Kathryn Joseph – For You Who Are The Wronged
Kobi Onyame – Don’t Drink The Poison
The Ninth Wave – Heavy Like A Headache
Niteworks – A’Ghrian
Proc Fiskal – Siren Spine Sysex
Rebecca Vasmant – With Love, From Glasgow
Seonaid Aitken Ensemble – Chasing Sakura
Walt Disco – Unlearning

You can whack in a vote for your favourite by clicking on the relevant album title on the home page at sayaward.com until midnight on 5 Oct. The shortlist will be out the following day, then the overall winner – chosen by a panel of experts, rather than the public, who can’t really be trusted – will be unveiled on 20 Oct.

- CMU Editorial
Prince estate says Sinead O’Connor “didn’t deserve” to use Nothing Compares 2 U in new documentary

Sinead O'Connor

The Prince estate has revealed that it denied permission for Sinead O’Connor to use her version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ in a new documentary about her career because they “didn’t feel she deserved to use the song”.

Although best known via O’Connor’s 1990 cover of it, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ was written and originally performed by Prince. Hence the need for the estate – via its publishing deal with Universal Music – to grant permission for O’Connor’s version of the song to be included in the documentary, which is called ‘Nothing Compares’.

“Nothing compares to Prince’s [1993] live version with Rosie Gaines that is featured on the ’Hits 1’ album and we are re-releasing that album on vinyl on 4 Nov”, Prince’s half-sister Sharon Nelson tells Billboard. “I didn’t feel she deserved to use the song my brother wrote in her documentary so we declined. His version is the best”.

Whatever you think about that, I don’t think denying a sync request for this documentary is going to make people think of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ as O’Connor’s song any less.

And director Kathryn Ferguson reckons that not having the song in the film hasn’t harmed it in anyway. Despite there being an entire section discussing the track’s success when it was released as O’Connor’s debut single.

“Initially we had intended to use the song, but we received a refusal – which as the rightsholders, was their prerogative”, Ferguson says. “In the end we were very happy with that section of the film. It meant the focus remained on Sinead’s words, and on her own songwriting”.

Here’s the trailer for ‘Nothing Compares’. You can hum whatever version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ you like while you watch it:

- CMU Advertising
Job ad: Attitude Is Everything – Charter Manager (London)

Attitude Is Everything

We are looking for a dynamic, well organised and enthusiastic individual to drive the development and implementation of our ground-breaking Live Events Access Charter. You will be working with live events venues, festivals and the grassroots industries to implement changes to improve access provision for their audiences, staff teams and artists.

The Charter was recognised by UK Music as an industry standard in 2017 and currently has over 200 venues and festivals signed up.

A key part of the role will be increasing membership of the Charter, diversifying the membership across new areas of the live events industry. You will also assist in the delivery of our training programmes and access consultancy services.

We’re looking for someone who is passionate about festivals and venues, and the rights of everyone to access and enjoy live music and events. You’ll have the skills to work with venues and festivals of all sizes and supporting people to make positive change in the industry.

Salary: £34,000
Hours: Full time – 35 hours per week. This role will include some work outside these hours for evenings and weekends – especially during the summer festival season. Time off in Lieu is offered for additional hours worked.
Contract: Permanent
Based: Office – London, NW1 with potential for travel across the UK and beyond. Hybrid working will be considered.
Reports to: Head of Programmes and Business Development
Manages: Business Support Officer
Pension: 10% employer contribution
Holiday: 26 days per year

If you have questions regarding the role.
Email: gideon@attitudeiseverything.org.uk
Telephone: 020 7383 7979

To apply: Visit here to download the full job description & person specification and the two application documents, and then email your CV and the Application Questions to rhiannon@attitudeiseverything.org.uk by midnight Monday 24th October 2022.

To eliminate the risk of unconscious bias, we will shortlist applications based on the applications only and won’t look at your CV until we have decided whether to offer you an interview.

- Andy Malt
Setlist: Will data developments get songwriters paid?

Streaming services

CMU’s Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including songs rights data announcements that saw PRS For Music in the UK set out plans to launch a new online portal that will provide easy access to key data linked to the songs catalogue it represents and American collecting society MLC launch a new tool that allows music distributors to easily access data on unclaimed mechanical royalties in the US for over two million recordings, plus Pusha T’s latest entry into the world of corporate diss tracks.

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STORIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK
• PRS announces plans for new portal offering easy access to song rights data
MLC launches unmatched royalty identification tool
Pusha T drops second McDonald’s diss track

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• Listen to the full Setlist theme tune
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Buy your TGE delegate pass
Dissecting The Digital Dollar reports
Pusha T – Spicy Fish Diss Track
Pusha T – Rib Roast
Pusha T’s New Diss Track Is an Arby’s Ad. Here’s Why He’s Laughing All the Way to the Bank (Rolling Stone, March 2022)
The Contentious Tale of the McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” Jingle (Pitchfork, July 2016)
Pusha T McDonald’s advert (2003)
Arby’s x Pusha T merch

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- Chris Cooke
CMU Digest 02.10.22: ISM, Mr Probz, PRS, MLC, Pollen, Meta

The key stories from the last week in the music business…

The UK’s Incorporated Society Of Musicians said that the “prevalence of discrimination and inappropriate behaviours in the music sector has increased”. In a new report, the ISM said that a recent survey of 660 music industry practitioners “painted a picture of unsafe workplaces where perpetrators face no repercussions and there is a scandalous lack of action by contractors and employers”. And, it added, things haven’t improved since an earlier study in 2018, despite there being much more discussion in recent years within the industry about tackling discrimination and harassment. The report also set out a number of recommendations for both industry and government regarding how changes to workplace practices and equality laws could address many of the ongoing issues. [READ MORE]

Dutch artist and producer Mr Probz sued Sony Music again in an ongoing dispute over royalty payments. The producer’s core grievance relates to international income generated by the tracks he licensed to the major, and the deductions allegedly made by Sony’s international subsidiaries before his artist royalty was calculated. He argues that, under his licensing agreement, his royalty – 20-50% of streaming monies depending on the market and other factors – should have been calculated based on the ‘at source’ income, ie what the local Sony subsidiary is paid, not what Sony Netherlands receives after that subsidiary has taken a cut. The producer successfully sued in the Dutch courts on this dispute in 2020. As part of that ruling Sony was ordered to hand over more information about revenues generated by the Mr Probz recordings and, the new lawsuit says, “new facts and circumstances have emerged” as a result, prompting the new litigation. [READ MORE]

Collecting societies PRS and MLC both made announcements about new data initiatives. UK-based PRS announced a new music rights data portal, due to launch next year, which will make it easier to access information about the songs it represents, including songwriter credits, key codes like the ISWC and IPIs, and information about what recordings contain each song. US-based MLC announced a new scheme involving music distributors, in which it will make it easier for those distributors to see what recordings on the streaming services have never been matched to songs. The aim is that those distributors can alert the artists behind the recording who may have also written the song, but have never formally got the song into the system, meaning they are missing out on royalties. [PRS STORY] | [MLC STORY]

A class action lawsuit was filed in the US against collapsed ticketing and events company Pollen. The litigation has been initiated by a former employee and, if granted class action status, could benefit anyone who worked for the firm in the US as of June this year. The lawsuit claims that Pollen failed to pay its American employees twice in the weeks prior to its UK-based parent company falling into administration. It also allegedly failed to pay insurance premiums without alerting its employees, meaning they were unaware their health insurance had lapsed. If it gets to court, the case would put the spotlight on what was happening behind the scenes at Pollen, which fell into administration just months after announcing that it had secured $150 million in new investment. [READ MORE]

Meta called for the lawsuit filed against it by Epidemic Sound to be dismissed. The production music firm sued the Facebook and Instagram owner in July, claiming that Meta has failed to give it access to the rights management tools that would allow it to block unlicensed use of its music in videos posted to the two social media platforms. It also alleged that Epidemic-owned music has appeared in the music clip libraries on Facebook and Instagram without licence. But Meta said that Epidemic has failed to provide any details about where its music is appearing on the Facebook and Instagram platforms, and without that information its lawyers can’t respond in any meaningful way to the copyright infringement claims. The “vague assertions and glaring omissions” in Epidemic’s lawsuit, it added, should be grounds for the litigation to be dismissed. [READ MORE]

- Chris Cooke
PRS announces plans for new portal offering easy access to song rights data

PRS For Music

UK collecting society PRS For Music yesterday set out plans to launch a new online portal that will provide easy access to key data linked to the songs catalogue it represents, including the writers behind each song, and important codes like ISWC and IPI.

Figuring out who owns the copyright in any one song or recording can be quite tricky because there is no one stop shop global database of music rights. Instead, the music industry’s collecting societies in each country manage databases of the works they represent, though that information is often not publicly accessible.

This creates challenges for companies looking to license the use of music, especially in scenarios where the blanket licences issued by the collecting societies don’t apply. Plus it makes it harder for artists, songwriters and their managers to spot where there is a dispute over who owns and controls the copyright in any one work, or how a copyright is split between collaborators and co-owners. And, especially on the songs side, those disputes are pretty common.

Issues around music rights data have also added complexities to the way songs are licensed to streaming services and digital royalties paid to songwriters, which means writers generally experience many more delays and admin costs compared to artists as their streaming income is processed. One particular issue there is the linking of each recording to the song it contains – so matching the ISRC that uniquely identifies the recording to the ISWC that uniquely identifies the song.

As part of the processing of digital royalties, various entities – often within or owned by the collecting societies – are matching recordings to songs on a constant basis. But – like the ownership data – that matching data often isn’t publicly accessible. Which makes it hard to spot when different entities have matched the same recording to different songs, or where recordings haven’t been matched to a song at all.

Having more transparency on all that data is always a good thing, and can help to address some of the issues around the payment of song royalties. Some other collecting societies around the world have sought to make some music data more publicly available over the years – most notably in the US – and with this new portal PRS will be making it easier to see songwriter names and key codes for each song, plus what recordings have been matched to each song by PRS and its partners.

Announcing the new portal yesterday, PRS said: “The recent Digital Culture Media And Sport Select Committee’s inquiry into the Economics Of Streaming highlighted the need for greater availability and transparency of industry metadata, and how improvements to the current systems were needed to accelerate the flow of royalties to music creators”.

“By releasing this information PRS For Music is determined to remove key barriers to the flow of royalties worldwide”, it added, “ultimately improving the matching of sound recordings and musical works and increasing the speed and accuracy of royalty payments”.

It went on: “This online tool will give songwriters, composers and music publishers greater visibility and increased control over their data, with the ability to search and download key data about their works – importantly, it will also allow them to highlight any discrepancies”. And not only that, but “the new tool will give digital service providers access to writer information, facilitating more songwriter credits on streaming services”.

PRS boss Andrea Czapary Martin added: “PRS For Music are embracing the latest technologies to build this portal, empowering members to grow the value of their works through better visibility. We’re putting the power of metadata into the hands of creators for their benefit. Clean data directs the flow of royalties and is the key to ensuring that songwriters and music publishers are properly paid for the use of their music and are given credit for their songs. This is fundamental to securing a stronger global royalty system”.

The initial plan is to make data available for over two million works, with millions more to follow. It’s not actually clear quite how many songs are currently available on the streaming services, because while there are stats for the number of recordings in the Spotify and Apple Music libraries, obviously some of those will be recordings of the same songs. But there’s probably somewhere between 30-35 million songs currently streaming away.

A portion of those will have been created by DIY musicians who do not work with publishers or societies and therefore fall outside the system, and are unlikely to be in the PRS database as yet. Which also likely means they never see any song royalties from their streams.

However, initiatives like that announced by US collecting society the MLC earlier this week – to work with music distributors to try to match recordings that have never been linked to a song – could ultimately bring those works into the official databases too.

The UK’s Music Managers Forum has been calling for more transparency around music rights data for years now via the ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ reports and guides it has published in partnership with CMU. Therefore, it has unsurprisingly welcomed the two music data developments announced this week on both sides of the Atlantic.

Its CEO Annabella Coldrick said last night: “The MMF – through our Digital Dollar project, Song Royalties Guide and Manifesto – has long called for increased transparency from all parties in the song royalty chains so artists and writers can ensure they’re being accurately paid. A big part of that is about making music data more readily available. We therefore applaud PRS’s announcement today to create an open song metadata portal to identify the writers behind each work, and linking songs to recordings. We look forward to discussing how we can engage songwriter managers on its roll out in the new year”.

“We also welcome the groundbreaking plan from the MLC in the US to work with music distributors to track down the writers of recordings that have never been matched to a song”, she added. “We hope to see more proactive steps in this direction to greatly reduce the size and impact of the digital black box and ensure writers are paid their streaming royalties quickly and accurately”.

- Chris Cooke
Judge declines to issue summary judgement in second song theft case over Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud

Ed Sheeran

A US judge has declined to dismiss one of the song-theft lawsuits that alleges Ed Sheeran ripped off Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ when he wrote his 2014 song ‘Thinking Out Loud’, concluding that a jury needs to consider whether the elements shared by the two songs are protected by copyright.

Sheeran’s lawyers have been quite busy over the years dealing with various allegations that the musician has lifted elements of existing songs when writing his pop music. That included the headline-grabbing legal battle in the UK courts over ‘Shape Of You’, in which the Sheeran side was victorious.

Over in the US, ‘Thinking Out Loud’ has resulted in multiple song-theft lawsuits. It was the estate of ‘Let’s Get It On’ co-writer Ed Townsend who originally sued back in 2016. But then a company called Structured Asset Sale – which also owns a stake in the ‘Let’s Get It On’ copyright – filed its own litigation. In fact, it sued twice. It’s the SAS lawsuit that’s been ruled on this week

The defences provided in song theft cases are now pretty routine. If the song that has been allegedly infringed isn’t well known, the accused song thief will argue that they couldn’t possibly have heard the earlier work before writing their song.

Sometimes the plaintiff will simply say that their song is available on the streaming services so the accused song thief could in theory have heard it. Though the courts generally now reject that line of argument, given the sheer quantity of music that is streaming these days. Other times six degrees of separation style theories are constructed as to how the earlier song got to the creators of the later song, though those often don’t stand up in court either.

Of course, where a song is famous – like Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ – the access point isn’t so relevant. And so defence number two becomes important. That goes as follows: yes, there are similarities between the two songs, but the similarities are simply short and common musical segments or lyrical phrases which, in isolation, are not substantial or original enough to enjoy copyright protection.

The plaintiff might then argue that, while the shared elements may be short and common, the original song combined those elements in an original way, and that combination of the musical or lyrical segments has been copied in the new song, and that’s where the claim for copyright infringement lies. That then usually results in lots of complicated chatter about the technicalities of music-making and copyright law.

In a summary of the lawsuit filed by SAS in his ruling on the summary judgement claims this week, judge Louis Stanton writes: “SAS’s infringement claim is based on Sheeran’s alleged copying of the combination of two elements from ‘Let’s Get It On’s deposit copy into ‘Thinking Out Loud’: the chord progression and the particular way in which anticipation is used in connection with the chord progression – ‘harmonic rhythm’ – collectively the ‘backing pattern'”.

“The parties agree that those elements, standing alone, are commonplace and unprotectable”, he adds. “Accordingly, Sheeran argues that summary judgment dismissing the claim is appropriate as a matter of law because the combination of two unprotectable elements is not sufficiently numerous or original to constitute an original work entitled to copyright protection under the ‘selection and arrangement’ theory of liability; and ‘Let’s Get It On’s backing pattern is not identical or nearly identical to that in ‘Thinking Out Loud'”.

But, he goes on: “The law does not support Sheeran’s contention that the combination of ‘Let’s Get It On’s chord progression and harmonic rhythm is insufficiently original to warrant it copyrightable. There is no bright-line rule that the combination of two unprotectable elements is insufficiently numerous to constitute an original work. Moreover, where, as here, the parties’ experts disagree as to whether a particular musical element is original, summary judgment is inappropriate”.

So, that means, “although the two musical compositions are not identical, a jury could find that the overlap between the songs’ combination of chord progression and harmonic rhythm is very close. Accordingly, questions remain that are not resolvable by summary judgment, but require trial”.

That said, although the Sheeran side failed to get the lawsuit dismissed at this stage, they did get a couple of side rulings in their favour. If SAS were to win the legal battle, they want Sheeran’s live performances of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ to be taken into account when damages are calculated, as well as the monies made by sales and streams of the record. The judge is fine with that, but agreed with Team Sheeran that merch sales at those shows cannot be considered too.

Sheeran’s lawyers also raised issues with reports prepared by some of the experts hired by the SAS side, and the judge said that those experts’ reports and testimonies in their current form should be excluded from any future trial, although the experts can resubmit their reports to deal with the issues raised.

- Chris Cooke
Rammstein secure injunction to stop Viagogo sales of tickets for upping tour

Rammstein

Rammstein have again secured an injunction from the courts in Hamburg, Germany banning Viagogo from facilitating the sale of touted tickets for the band’s 2023 tour.

As the live sector has started to get back to normal following the COVID pandemic, the debate around secondary ticketing – so the resale of tickets by touts online – is becoming a bigger talking point again, with many artists keen to stop tickets for their shows being sold at a marked-up price on platforms like Viagogo.

It’s not the first time Rammstein and their tour promoter has gone legal to formally stop tickets for their shows being touted. They got a similar injunction in the Hamburg courts back in 2018 in relation to their 2019 tour. Although the latest injunction seemingly references new German consumer protection regulations that came into force earlier this year.

Commenting on that new injunction, Sebastian Ott from the law firm Lichte Rechtsanwälte told Musik Woche: “Purchasers often do not realise that they are not buying their tickets from the organiser, but on the secondary ticket market. [German law-makers] have recognised this deficiency and acted. We are pleased that the Hamburg Regional Court shares our view and consistently prohibits violations of the new law”.

Rammstein have also advised their fans to only buy tickets for their shows from the authorised ticket seller, which is CTS Eventim. Plus any ticket-buyer unable to attend the show for any reason should only seek to resell their ticket via Eventim’s own resale service, Fansale.

- Chris Cooke
Concord acquire Genesis catalogue in $300 million deal

Genesis

The latest big bucks music rights deal has been confirmed, with Concord acquiring a stack of copyrights and revenue rights from good old Genesis.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal is valued at over $300 million, and gets Concord ownership of song rights, and certain recording rights and revenues, from all three members of the band’s classic line-up: Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. That includes music from the three musicians’ respective solo careers as well as Genesis itself.

Concord was already the administrator of the song catalogues of Collins and Genesis, and the music firm’s President Bob Valentine confirmed that it was via that existing relationship that talks regarding a big old catalogue acquisition began.

Confirming the deal had been done, Genesis manager Tony Smith of TSPM said: “This is a catalogue of music that we are all extremely proud of and it means a great deal to many fans. Concord is one of the global leaders in music with whom we have been working for many years on the publishing side, [a relationship we are now] extending to the whole recording catalogue together with publishing. We have been impressed by their good judgement and sensibilities as to the wishes of the artists”.

Although under the deal Concord gets an interest in the Genesis recordings, some other labels will also continue to be involved on that side. Smith confirmed as much by adding that he was confident that, with Concord’s expanded role and “the respective continued relationships with record labels Warner Music and BMG, we leave the future ownership of the catalogue in their capable hands, safe in the knowledge that the heritage will be protected”.

Confirming the deal form Concord’s side, the aforementioned Valentine added: “The songs of Tony, Phil and Mike have been the soundtrack to many people’s most important life moments. Everyone at Concord feels the weight of the cultural significance of this remarkable collection of works, and we will strive to ensure that current and future generations of music listeners continue to hear and enjoy them”.

- Chris Cooke
BMG books out Berlin theatre for two years of fun times

BMG

BMG is further expanding its interests in live entertainment by booking out Berlin’s 1600 seat Theater Des Westens for two full years in order to stage a big old programme of shows. That will include productions of BMG’s growing roster of stage musicals plus a series of residencies by various artists.

Says BMG boss Hartwig Masuch: “The Theater Des Westens is arguably the greatest theatre in the German capital. As a Berlin-born company, and the only German-owned and managed global player in the music industry, we are proud to make this investment in the musical life of our hometown”.

And BMG’s Chief Content Officer Dominique Casimir adds: “We are committed to making the Theater Des Westens the premiere venue for entertainment in Berlin. Taking such a long lease on a venue is a first for a music company [and] bringing high end artist residencies to Berlin is a first for Germany. We see a particular opportunity for established artists who want to present a high end show in a beautiful venue rather than embarking on a regular tour”.

The theatre is owned by the city of Berlin and operated by Dutch company Stage Entertainment. Its Director Of Operations, Ulf Dewald, adds: “We are delighted to have found in BMG a renowned and ambitious partner for Theater Des Westens and are happy to support the company in all marketing efforts for its compelling artistic concept”.

As for what you can expect to be staged at the BMG-programmed Theater Des Westens, well, tickets are already on sale for ‘Romeo & Julia – Liebe Ist Alles’, a new musical by BMG-published songwriters Peter Plate and Ulf Leo Sommer. As for what artists will perform residences, well, that’s still to be confirmed.

Though there’s good news for haters of music, because you’ll be catered to as well. BMG plans to liaise with its sister companies in the wider Bertelsmann group to stage some spoken word events too, likely including some of the authors published by Penguin Random House.

- Chris Cooke
Deezer rejigs livestreaming interests as Driift acquires Dreamstage

Deezer

Deezer has announced a rejig of its livestreaming interests, with Dreamstage becoming part of Driift in a move that will, say the three companies, “bring together Driift’s award winning production capabilities with Dreamstage’s best-in-class technology and commerce platform”.

The digital music firm invested into US-based Dreamstage back in May 2021, and then in October the same year became a minority shareholder in Driift – the livestreaming business founded by Brian Message and Ric Salmon from UK-based ATC Management. Under the new deal, Driift will both acquire Dreamstage and get a new £4 million investment from Deezer, with the streaming firm becoming the largest shareholder in the expanded Driift company.

Driift will continue to operate under that brand as an independent entity headed up by Salmon as CEO and Claire Mas as COO. Deezer adds that: “With a total investment from Deezer of around $7 million this year, Driift has secured enough funds to execute on its business plan and accelerate growth”.

Confirming all that, Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira says: “As the home of music, this is a milestone moment for Deezer. Connecting artists and fans through engaging experiences is an essential part of our growth strategy, and adding livestreaming capabilities to our portfolio is a key component to deliver on this ambition”.

“Driift has already built an unparalleled reputation for bringing groundbreaking livestreams to music fans all over the world”, he adds, “and we consider that the addition of Dreamstage’s tech and sales platform will take the business to the next level. We have full confidence in the Driift team to deliver fantastic results”.

Meanwhile, Salmon says: “This is an exciting new chapter for Driift. Over the past two years we have become genuine pioneers in the livestreaming space. We’ve collaborated with certain of the world’s most talented artists, filmmakers and creators to deliver online events that have been part of the latest redefinition of the livestreaming format. Our team has shown a proven ability to innovate, selling hundreds of thousands of tickets and generating millions of dollars in revenues already”.

“Through Deezer’s investment”, he goes on, “we are confident that our upward trajectory will accelerate. We are delighted to welcome Dreamstage’s hugely talented team of developers, engineers and customer service personnel into the company. We can now offer a fully integrated livestreaming solution to our partners, with production, promotion and what we see as a market-leading technology and revenue generating platform under one roof”.

“It is a major cultural shift”, Salmon concludes, “and we look forward to bringing an even greater range of live experiences to truly global audiences”.

- CMU Editorial
CMU Insights at Linecheck

Linecheck 2022

CMU will be heading back to Milan in November for the Linecheck music conference and showcase festival, with CMU’s Chris Cooke among the conference speakers that have just been announced.

Other speakers confirmed to take part this year include: Lara Della Gaspera from Patreon, Lavinia Francia from Ogilvy, Ian Greaves from Soundcloud, Charles Kirby-Welch from Kartel Music Group, and Ritnika Nayan from Downtown India.

On the festival side, this year’s line-up includes Cyril Cyril, Azu Tiwaline, Bawrut, Mysie and Marina Herlop. Plus the whole thing will kick off with a special night focused on ambient and experimental electronic music at Auditorium San Fedele – the only venue in Italy with an Acousmonium system, a bespoke spatial sound projection system that will be put to good effect by American Huerco S and Kenyan KMRU.

It all runs from 22-26 Nov. Find out more about all things Linecheck here.

- Andy Malt
One Liners: Bruce Springsteen, Warner Music, Arctic Monkeys, more

Bruce Springsteen

LABELS & PUBLISHERS

Warner Music has partnered with NFT marketplace OpenSea to help the record company’s artists do some of that Web3 stuff. “Fundamental to music’s DNA, is community – it’s artists and fans coming together to celebrate the music that they love”, says WMG’s Chief Digital Officer Oana Ruxandra. “Our collaboration with OpenSea helps to facilitate these communities by unlocking Web3 tools and resources to build opportunities for artists to establish deeper engagement, access, and ownership”. Yeah, whatever.

————————————————–

RELEASES

Bruce Springsteen will release new album ‘Only The Strong Survive’ on 11 Nov. Here’s new single ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’.

Arctic Monkeys have released another track form their upcoming album ‘The Car’. It’s called ‘Body Paint’.

MIA has released new single ‘Beep’.

LCD Soundsystem have released new track ‘New Body Rhumba’, taken from the soundtrack of new Noah Baumbach film ‘White Noise’.

Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell has launched new band Jealous Nostril. Let’s say that name three more times. Jealous Nostril, Jealous Nostril, Jealous Nostril. Brilliant. They’ve released a song too. Here’s ‘Phase 6’. “I actually think I just wanted a name that would help people under-estimate the band”, says Borrell. One more time, Jealous Nostril.

Jon Hopkins has teamed with Kelly Lee Owens, Sultan + Shepard, and Jerro for new track ‘To Feel Again/Trois’.

Yunè Pinku has released new single ‘Jaws’.

Låpsley has released new single ‘Smoke And Fire’.

Bree Runway has released new single ‘That Girl’.

Nia Archives has released new single ‘Baianá’.

Meet Me @ The Altar have released new single ‘Say It (To My Face)’.

Gallops have released new single ‘Death Square’. It also comes with a Worriesaboutsatan remix, which is a nice little bonus for you.

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily – updated every Friday.

- Andy Malt
Metallica launch cigars to go with their whiskey

James Hetfield and Rob Dietrich

What goes with whiskey? That’s right, cigars. And metal. I couldn’t tell you the number times I’ve sat of an evening drinking a dram or two of Metallica’s whiskey – the ‘Ride The Lightning’ album playing on the stereo – and thought to myself “if only there was a Metallica brand cigar I could smoke with this”. Actually, I could tell you the number of times. It’s no times. But if I told you that, it would ruin the conceit of this whole paragraph, so I won’t.

Metallica’s Blackened American whiskey brand is launching cigars now, you see. Specifically, it’s a project driven by frontman James Hetfield and the Master Distiller of the band’s whiskey company, Rob Dietrich. They both like cigars and whiskey, so I guess it makes sense. To make it all happen, they’ve partnered with cigar maker Drew Estate.

“The collaboration began with James Hetfield and Rob Dietrich, who frequently enjoy cigars together after forming a close friendship through their work together on Blackened”, explains the Metallica drinks company.

“Dietrich and [Drew Estate’s] Jonathan Drew, whose friendship spans over a decade, always wanted to combine their talents to collaborate on something special”, it adds. “This seemed to be the perfect opportunity and became a passion project – bringing together three immensely talented and experienced cigar enthusiasts”.

“Samples from the Drew Estate portfolio were sent to Hetfield and Dietrich who kept cigar journals to critique the cigars and identify what they liked and disliked about each one”, it then explains “After two years of enjoying and sampling cigars together, the group decided on the exact flavour profile that would become Blackened Cigars M81 by Drew Estate”.

Have you got a cigar journal? Maybe you should start one. The Metallica-endorsed cigars are called Blackened Cigars M81 by Drew Estate, as noted in that quote there. Although I guess it’s probably easier to just refer to them as M81. They’ll officially go on sale in December. More info here.

Earlier this year, Metallica launched their latest Blackened whiskey, Rye The Lightning. And I still haven’t got over that pun.

Sports Dreams Unveil Weather Admitting EP
Pōneke / Te Papaioea duo are touring with Synthetic Children this spring.
Tom Cunliffe Shares New Album Secret Exhibition
Aotearoa songwriter is touring nationwide with Ebony Lamb in October.
Listen To Avantdale Bowling Clubs New Album TREES
Tom Scott is touring ABC's second album nationwide in November / December.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Return With New Album Cool It Down
NYC trio of Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase unveil their fifth studio album.
Watch Proteins Of Magics Animated Video For New Single Lethal
Nashville-based NZ multi-media artist Kelly Sherrod tours nationwide this spring.
Lorde and Flume To Headline Electric Avenue Festival 2023
Ōtautahi Christchurch festival returns to Hagley Park on Saturday 25th February.
Kim Salmon Reflects On Favourite NZ Artists  Touring This Spring
Australian punk / swamp rock pioneer is touring nationwide solo in late September and October.
Moonchild Announce Auckland Headline Show
Los Angeles neo-soul trio perform at the Tuning Fork on 15th November.
Premiere Watch Neil MacLeods Visual EP We Have Known Lost Days
Te Whanganui-a-Tara songwriter and electronic producer shares a 26 minute film.
WOMAD NZ Festival 2023   ADG7 Avantdale Bowling Club San Salvador  More Announced
Welcoming international artists back to Ngāmotu New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Park in March 2023.
Listen To Kenny Sterlings Desert Road  Ocean Of You
Tāmaki Makaurau songwriter shares a pair of solo reflections.
NO CIGAR Drop Debut Album Bienvenido
Tāmaki Makaurau six piece are touring nationwide this spring.
Terrible Sons Unveil Single Sunset Swimming  Lyric Video
Ōtautahi songwriting duo are touring the lead single from their debut album nationwide in November and December.
Adam Hattaway and the Haunters Announce Album Release Tour  Unveil Single The Magician
Touring their new album 'Bug Eyes' throughout Australasia in November and December.
Watch Troy Kingis Video For New Single Paparazzo
Playing a launch party for his new synth-pop album at Tāmaki Makaurau's The Powerstation on 14th October.
BUB Share Single  Video Dreams  Announce Nationwide Tour
Tāmaki Makaurau four piece are touring nationwide in November.
Ebony Lamb and Jess Cornelius Announce November Tour of Aotearoa
NZ songwriters are touring together nationwide in November.
Maxine Funke Shares Single  Video Room In The City
Performing at Tāmaki Makaurau's The Others Way festival on 22nd October.
SwampFest22   SwampFest Super Show Lineup Announced
Featuring Bitch Whistle, Fouler, Persimmon, ABG, shannengeorgiapetersen, researchintospeed, Wha Cup, FRVSVR and Feilding's Best Dancers.
- Chad Childers
Judas Priest Will Actually Be Performing at Rock Hall Ceremony
The drummer reveals what their plans are. Continue reading…
- Lauryn Schaffner
When Slipknot Were Held at Gunpoint By Police + More From AMA
Corey Taylor hopped on Reddit for an AMA. Continue reading…
- Chad Childers
Radke Calls Out Trunk Over Laptop Comments, Bach Fires Back
See the twitter debate that spanned two days over backing tracks and laptops. Continue reading…
- Full Metal Jackie
Co-Director Didn't Want Dio Doc to Feel Like a Wikipedia Entry
Read the full interview with Wendy Dio and co-director Don Argott. Continue reading…
- Joe DiVita
Corey Taylor Reveals the Job He Wanted Before Becoming a Musician
He also answers questions from fifth grade students in a new interview. Continue reading…
- Selena Fragassi
Judas Priest Has ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ 40th on Mind for Tour
They've got another thing coming for the setlist. Continue reading…
- Selena Fragassi
Where Is Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer? D.C. Attorneys Are Searching
Court process servers have tried to find him 25 times. Continue reading…
- Jordan Blum
An AI Created an Eerie Video for Soundgarden's 'Black Hole Sun'
As if the original clip wasn't unnerving enough. Continue reading…
- Jordan Blum
Rammstein File Restraining Order Against Ticket Reseller Viagogo
The band's first injunction against the company came in late 2018. Continue reading…
- Chad Childers
Pantera to Co-Headline Monterrey Metal Fest in Mexico This Year
See who else is playing. Continue reading…
- Graham Hartmann
Nik Nocturnal Reacts to Musicians Talking About Spotify
Does he agree with Gene Simmons? Continue reading…
- Todd Fooks
Drowning Pool 'Hesitant' to Talk Lyrics Due to 'Cancel Culture'
'Dude, I was miserable.' Continue reading…
- Philip Trapp
Sabaton Surprise-Release the First in a New Trilogy of EPs
Their World War I-focused tunes continue. Continue reading…
- Graham Hartmann
Bloodywood Have Read Your Comments + They Can't Thank You Enough
The Indian metal band has arrived in America! Continue reading…
- Todd Fooks
Fans React to Slipknot's New Album 'The End, So Far'
See what the Maggots are saying about the band's seventh album. Continue reading…
- Philip Trapp
Listen to Slipknot's New Album 'The End, So Far' Right Now
'The End' is at hand. Continue reading…
- Loudwire Staff
9 Things We Love About Slipknot's New Album 'The End, So Far'
Hot takes from the Loudwire staff! Continue reading…
- Chad Childers
Dave Mustaine Wants to Write Music With James Hetfield
Could a collab come someday? Continue reading…
- Alex Cristian
French producer Dombresky brings back the heat, as he drops a vigorous remix of BLOND:ISH & Nico De Andrea’s widely acclaimed hit “Hold Tight” (feat. Darla Jade). A fluid, progressive styled vocal tune in its original shape, the Frenchman takes the song straight to the club, with lively piano rhythms, electrifying strings and a tantalizing […]
- Alex Cristian
British/Norwegian DJ Alan Walker has teamed up with multi-platinum singer/songwriter Trevor Daniel on “Extremes.” “Extremes” is the first single to come from the second part of Alan’s upcoming Walkerverse album, slated for release on November 18th. A radio-ready pop-infused electro track, “Extremes” is brimming with the larger-than-life house elements that Walker has become renowned for, while effortlessly bringing in Daniel’s edgy vocals for an […]
- EDM Nations
Five years after the creation of Neoacid – a burgeoning acid techno imprint which became home to the likes of JKS, Charlie Sparks and Mr Gasmask, to name a few – iconic Belgian producer Jacidorex now looks to open up a new chapter in his already illustrious career with the launch of his new label […]
- EDM Nations
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, David Jones’ most favored tune “E Samba” now returns in a hot blooded remix by DJ Kuba & Neitan. The Polish duo builds a smooth mix between the original’s latin styled vocals, steamy horns and a tasty future house groove, sure to get any crowd bouncing. DJ support was […]
- EDM Nations
Following the marked international success of their impressive Embassy One debut with Only back in July, Berlin-based production trio and critically acclaimed live act, GHEIST, now returns to the long-standing German imprint with their eagerly-anticipated follow up single, Losing Game. Out now, the spellbinding vocal cut delivers everything we’ve come to expect and more from […]
- EDM Nations
Coming off the back of recent studio output, including ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Thinking About You’ – Ed Raissi continues his international rise at pace. Quickly becoming renowned for his emotive song writing & infectious releases that traverse across an array of soundscapes. Fast forward to the present, Ed Raissi now presents ‘Forever’ – with the […]
- EDM Nations
A constant entry into the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ’s Poll, stalwart in the scene, Will Sparks releases his first track on Revealed Recordings with an end-of-Summer anthem to uplift and energize on ‘Annihilate’! Bouncing in with a rising, big-room beat and a booming, deep drum kick to set the pace of the rhythm, ‘Annihilate’ […]
- EDM Nations
In a collaborative triumph, Belgian artist Like Mike is joining forces with producer duo Kimotion for their brand-new collab ‘Feel You Close’, released through Tomorrowland Music today! ‘Feel You Close’ kicks off with luscious vocals and comes in the shape of a dark, brooding progressive instrumental with tension rising throughout the entire tune, while the […]
- EDM Nations
Simina Grigoriu is a woman on a mission. Having flexed her A&R muscles on a string of huge releases from the likes of Drumcomplex, Filterheadz, Anna Reusch, Juheun and [ Wex 10 ] already this year, the Berlin-based DJ, producer and Kuukou Records label boss now returns to her much loved imprint to deliver her […]
- EDM Nations
Widely lauded as one the most sought-after techno artists of the decade, Space 92’s rise to superstardom has been meteoric to say the least. One of the best selling Techno artists in the world for the past four consecutive years, the prolific French producer has shot to undeniable international fame over the past few years […]
- countrymusicrocks
Dierks Bentley Reveals New Single “Gold” From Forthcoming Tenth Studio Album



Multi-Platinum Country music star Dierks Bentley today releases “Gold,” a single about gratitude, presence and the treasures to be found in the moment that you are in. The bright and banging record sets the stage for Bentley’s tenth LP, arriving early next year after an especially careful production process, one helmed by the artist himself for the first time. To listen, click here.

“2020 was a chance for me to give my guitar and the road a little rest. It gave me the chance to spend a lot more time adventuring outdoors with family and friends, but also alone. It also gave me time to reset and rekindle my love of Country music and a lot of the types of songs and sounds that I fell in love with when I first got to Nashville,” explains Bentley. “I think you’ll hear that in this first track, but it carries across the whole album.”

While he’s long been a Music Row standout for devotion to his roots in classic Country and bluegrass, Bentley has never been so free to infuse his passions into music destined for the competitive commercial Country arena. Working with trusted collaborators Ross Copperman, Reid Shippen and Jon Randall Stewart, he led an effort that mashes up several Nashville golden ages as well as homage to the Grand Ole Opry’s century of influence.

To see Bentley perform “Gold” backstage during his BEERS ON ME TOUR click here.

The post Dierks Bentley Reveals New Single “Gold” From Forthcoming Tenth Studio Album first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
- countrymusicrocks
Chase Rice Releases Highly Anticipated New Single “Key West & Colorado”

Photo Credit: Kaiser Cunningham

With sold-out crowds already singing along to the unreleased song and preview clips garnering over 2.7 million views on social media, the eagerly-awaited full version of “Key West & Colorado” from multi-Platinum singer-songwriter Chase Rice is available everywhere now. Listen HERE.

“When we wrote ‘Key West & Colorado’ in Grayton Beach we weren’t necessarily planning on writing a song that day,” recalls Rice of the song’s origin. “We went out on Brian Kelley’s boat that day – it was me, him, John Byron, Blake Pendergrass, Corey Crowder and Hunter Phelps – and he told me that I’d actually posted about a trip I did from Key West to Colorado and he thought it’d be a cool title. Within less than a minute I twisted it to what the song turned into.”

The impromptu songwriting session was emblematic of Rice’s recent bout of creativity away from the traditional confines of Music Row, with the bulk of his forthcoming album written on trips with friends or alone with an acoustic guitar at his Tennessee farm. The shift in setting suited the man Billboard celebrates as “having storytelling details tumble from his lips, his portraits created quickly and efficiently,” with CMT noting, “The vocalist worked day in and day out to find the courage to knock down the wall he had kept up his entire career. Once he demolished the barricade holding him back, he left his heart and soul on the writing table.” 

“The aspects of songwriting he’d always been naturally good at, he began to hone in on with more skill and attention,” adds Country Now. “Earlier songs like ‘Jack Daniels & Jesus’ and ‘Carolina Can’ proved Rice’s innate love of imagery-rich, potent songwriting, for example, but this time around, he dug his heels deeper than ever into that vivid storytelling style.”

With today’s release as a preview of the full-length project to come, Rice shares what he describes as “a story about a man trying to figure his life out – trying to figure out his past, trying to figure out his satiation with the breakup that he had or the woman that was in his life that he lost – and the trip that he took to help him along that journey.”

Somewhere between Key West & Colorado
I found God in a gold Silverado
Had to get a little lost to get a little found
Learned you can’t find love if you can’t slow down
Somewhere between that sand and the snow
Salt in the air and salt on the road
Finally let myself let her go
Somewhere between Key West & Colorado

Not long after the spontaneous writing session that spawned ‘Key West & Colorado,’ the song quickly found its way into Rice’s live sets as a fan-favorite acoustic moment, particularly throughout the Blessed and Free Tour with Kane Brown earlier this year. Immediately after wrapping that run of shows, the man praised by American Songwriter as “one of country music’s most intriguing and lasting acts” hunkered down in his living room with producer Oscar Charles and Jordan Rigby to set up a makeshift recording environment, intent on capturing a new, raw sound unlike any of his previous studio projects.

“It felt really good to dive into recording with ‘Key West & Colorado’ translating right away from on stage to the studio,” explains Rice, “and it’s the perfect bridge from where I was to where this album’s going. We spent two weeks recording with no click track, a live band, no fake instrumentation at all – really getting in there and grinding and making it right. It’s been the craziest, coolest thing I’ve ever done since I’ve worked in music and I’m excited for people to hear it.”

For more information, visit www.ChaseRice.com and follow Rice on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok  and on Instagram.

The post Chase Rice Releases Highly Anticipated New Single “Key West & Colorado” first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
- countrymusicrocks
Little Big Town To Release Tenth Studio Album MR. SUN September 16



ACM, CMA and GRAMMY-winning band Little Big Town will release their highly anticipated 10th studio album Mr. Sun on September 16, 2022, unveiling the cover on socials this morning.

Physical pre-orders of Mr. Sun are available now, including two hand-signed options from the band – a limited edition, web-store edition tangerine vinyl that includes an 11×11” art card, and a CD that includes a 4×4” art card – in addition to a baby blue vinyl edition of the record. A sky blue vinyl of Mr. Sun will be available exclusively through Barnes & Noble.

On Friday, July 22, the band will release a brand-new track and lyric video from the album, “Rich Man,” written by LBT’s Jimi Westbrook. Pre-save “Rich Man” here. An official music video for the song will arrive soon.

The genesis of Mr. Sun was unlike any of their previous albums. Due to the pandemic, the band found themselves off the road and apart for the first time ever throughout their 20-year journey. The resilience and creativity born from those months unearthed a deep appreciation for both one another, and the privilege of making music – ultimately inspiring the self-produced Mr. Sun, which packs both the sparkle of storytelling and the heat of truth-telling in a way only Little Big Town can.

“Mr. Sun is intentionally an emotional record that holds hands well with our last album Nightfall,” LBT’s Karen Fairchild shares. “Mr. Sun is focused on better days ahead, the value of friendships and family; it touches on heartbreak and letting go, but it’s full of sunshine and joy.”

“This album has a special feeling to it. We have collectively been through an unprecedented period making this album,” adds LBT’s Phillip Sweet. “Life is short; we are here to live it with the ones around us, loving them and ourselves the best we can. All the while, thankful for another turn around the sun.”

New and old relationships are woven through the Mr. Sun, with a member of the band writing or co-writing 13 of the 16 tracks, and a grand total of 33 songwriters hailing from 3 counties and 20 different states. These songwriting relationships span from 20-year friendships to first time connections, resulting in an album beaming with color across the entire spectrum.

Mr. Sun Track List:
All Summer (Karen Fairchild, Sara Buxton, Madi Diaz, Ashley Ray, Savana Santos, Alysa Vanderheym)
Better Love (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Tofer Brown, Audra Mae)
Hell Yeah (Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Corey Crowder, Tyler Hubbard)
Mr. Sun (Sarah Buxton, Daniel Tashian)
Three Whiskeys and the Truth (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
One More Song (Tofer Brown, Sean McConnell)
Heaven Had a Dance Floor (Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Cary Barlowe, Jesse Frasure)
Gold (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Trent Dabbs, Luke Dick)
Rich Man (Jimi Westbrook)
God Fearing Gypsies (Karen Fairchild, Nicolette Hayford, Ashley Ray)
Different Without You (Corey Crowder, Jared Mullins, Steven Lee Olsen, Jordan Schmidt)
Whiskey Colored Eyes (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)
Song Back (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Todd Clark, Sara Haze, Jason Saenz)
Something Strong (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
Last Day On Earth (Karen Fairchild, Trent Dabbs, Tommy English)
Friends of Mine (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Foy Vance)

Previously released tracks from Mr. Sun include “All Summer” on July 1 and lead single “Hell Yeah” in April, which has amassed more than 21 million global streams since its release. Watch the music video for “Hell Yeah” here and the lyric video for “All Summer” here.

Little Big Town will kick off the brand-new series “CMT Summer Camp” with the premiere episode airing Thursday, August 12 at 9p/8c on CMT. The exclusive one-hour special will include performances of new music and some of LBT’s greatest hits for a night of summertime fun.

To celebrate the album’s release, the band will perform on the 2022 Citi Concert Series on TODAY on September 16 from the TODAY Plaza at 30 Rock.

Little Big Town continues to bring their exceptional live shows to fans worldwide this summer – they recently wrapped up The Bandwagon Tour with Miranda Lambert and joined The Eagles on all dates of their European stadium tour this summer. This fall, Little Big Town will join Wynonna Judd on select dates of The Judds: The Final Tour.

Little Big Town – Upcoming 2022 Tour Dates:
July 20 Highland Park, IL The Pavilion at Ravinia
July 22 Eau Claire, WI Country Jam USA 2022
July 23 Sioux City, IA Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
July 28 Lincoln, NE Pinewood Bowl Amphitheater
July 29 Camdenton, MO Ozarks Amphitheater
August 4 Vienna, VA Wolf Trap
August 5 Salamanca, NY Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino
August 6 Verona, NY Turning Stone Resort Casino
August 27 Nassau, Bahamas Atlantis Paradise Island
September 3 Taos, NM Kit Carson Park
September 4 Aspen, CO Jazz Aspen Snowmass 2022

For more news, tour dates, and information, please visit www.LittleBigTown.com.

The post Little Big Town To Release Tenth Studio Album MR. SUN September 16 first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
- countrymusicrocks
ACM Awards Return To Texas In 2023



Prime Video today announced the return of the Academy of Country Music Awards, in collaboration with the Academy of Country Music and MRC, which will livestream exclusively for a global audience in 2023 from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The 2023 awards show, the 58th annual ACM show, is set for Thursday, May 11, 2023. Additional details, including award submissions timeline, hosts and performers, and ticket sale details, will be confirmed in the months ahead.

“We are thrilled to once again bring the Emmy Award-nominated Academy of Country Music Awards to our global audience,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “The 2022 show gave viewers an immersive, fan-first nonstop event, showcasing the ability to create dynamic experiences across Amazon even after the live show ends. We are excited to join with the Academy of Country Music and MRC for 2023 once again and to help redefine the award show experience for fans.”

“The Academy is proud to extend our relationship with Amazon to once again deliver the ACM Awards live to a global audience on Prime Video,” said Academy of Country Music CEO Damon Whiteside. “The March 2022 show was a defining moment for the ACM and a huge step forward for country music, allowing audiences around the world to see their favorite artists perform live and be recognized for their excellence. We can’t wait to take the show to a new level for fans with an exciting new venue and integrated partnership with the Dallas Cowboys.” 

“This was a paradigm shift for the Academy of Country Music Awards to move to streaming in its 57th year and we owe its success to the impressive team at Amazon who unlocked tremendous value across their services,” said MRC Live & Alternative President Adam Stotsky. “We are excited to name Raj Kapoor as Executive Producer and to deliver an immersive experience that continues to unlock a powerful value proposition for artists and consumers alike and presents country music in a new and different way on a global stage.” 

“Country is a cornerstone of Amazon Music,” said Ryan Redington, VP of music industry at Amazon Music. “This year’s event paved the way for an incredibly powerful, cross-Amazon collaboration for one of the biggest country music moments of the year and we look forward to expanding to new heights in celebration of the 2023 nominees.”

The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards will mark a return to Texas for the first time since the landmark 50th ACM Awards, which took place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in 2015. Ford Center at The Star in Frisco opened in 2016 and serves as the state-of-the-art practice facility for the Dallas Cowboys, as well as the home for many major sporting events throughout the year. The 58th ACM Awards will be the first awards show to take place at Ford Center.

The post ACM Awards Return To Texas In 2023 first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Love And Theft Return With Release of New Music: BETTER OFF



It’s hard to believe that it has been seven years since we’ve had new music from country duo Love And Theft. Thankfully, that is all about to change. We are just days away from the release of Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles’ brand new project, BETTER OFF.

Comprised of six solid tracks, Love and Theft take listeners on a musical journey. Their smooth vocals and impressive harmonies are brilliantly showcased, while delivering a pleasant reminder of why the duo has always been a staple within the country music community.

The EP’s title track ,“Better Off,” will serve as Love And Theft’s new single. The creative play on words throughout the song, coupled with the catchy music arrangement, makes for a memorable track and delivers an excellent re-introduction for what is ahead from the duo.

Gunderson and Liles were both significantly hands on with this project and their creativity & artistry is heavily reflected throughout this new collection.

“This is the most authentic music we’ve ever made,” Gunderson says. “We didn’t write with a specific sound in mind; we just wrote to have fun and be as creative as possible. This is probably the coolest music we’ve ever put out.”  Eric and Stephen not only co-wrote each track, but they also produced the EP themselves.

Sonically, BETTER OFF may be Love And Theft’s most creative project yet. In addition to the relatable lyrics detailed on each track, the unique music arrangements captured on the album makes each song stand out on their own, giving listeners an exclusive listening experience.

“We’ve switched up the entire way we approach making music,” Gunderson explains, “so we’re excited to have that control.”

“It’s what we want to say,” Liles adds. “It’s even more personal because this is the first time we’ve ever owned our masters and our publishing.”

Love And Theft has been trailblazers in country music and this new project further solidifies their “place” within the genre.

We’re all a little “better off” with some Love And Theft in our lives, so be sure to grab their new EP!! BETTER OFF will be available on all music platforms starting July 22nd.

To celebrate the release of their new BETTER OFF EP, Love And Theft will perform on the iconic Grand Ole Opry stage tonight, with more celebrations to follow in the coming days and weeks ahead.

Keep up with all things Love And Theft by visiting their Official Website, and following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

BETTER OFF Track List:1. Accidentally On Purpose (Bree Doster, Eric Gunderson, Stephen Barker Liles)2. Better Off (Eric Gunderson, Jared Mullins, Stephen Barker Liles)3. Anyway (Eric Gunderson, Jared Mullins, Stephen Barker Liles)4. Downhill (Stevie Monce, John Satterfield, Eric Gunderson, Stephen Barker Liles)5. Mirror Mirror (Bree Doster, Eric Gunderson, Stephen Barker Liles)6. Tell Me What It Feels Like (Miro Goto, Eric Gunderson, Stephen Barker Liles)

The post Love And Theft Return With Release of New Music: BETTER OFF first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Walker Hayes Releases New Single & Music Video for “Y’all Life”


Photo Credit Lily Nelson
Following a breakthrough year that saw the Monument Records recording artist earn a GRAMMY nomination, six Billboard Music Award nominations, five ACM Award nominations, a CMT Award nomination, and a No. 1 at Country Radio, Walker Hayes leans into the real-life inspiration of his family and friends for his new release, the highly anticipated new single “Y’all Life.”

“Y’all Life” is a quintessential song about the easy-going, loosened-up way of life in the South. True to Hayes’ signature songwriting style, which Billboard praises as “personal, soul-bearing storylines; rolling rhymes; and Macklemore-like cadence,” he sings:

“LIVIN’ THAT Y’ALL LIFE Y’ALL / ROLLING IN THE SOUTH / WHERE IT’S ALL FOOTBALL AND JESUS”

Hailing from Mobile, Alabama, Hayes shares what “Y’all Life” means to him…and he doesn’t just sing it, he lives it.

“’Y’all Life’ is meant to celebrate life and livin’ in the moment, even if that means things are a little messy… that just means you’re busy livin’,” explains Hayes. “Take me and my family for instance. We’re normal people. We have a garage on the front of our house, we live down the street from a strip mall. Sometimes I leave the lawn mower in the yard; the blow-up Christmas yard ornaments stayed up way too long this year; there are bikes all over the driveway. We even got a letter in the mail about our weeds the other day. We’re out here living life the best we can and it’s chaotic, but it’s ours and we’re doing it with the people we love, and I feel like a lot of people can relate to that imagery in this song.”

Written by Hayes, with Pete Good and Josh Jenkins, as well as original Country Grammar writers Cornell Haynes Jr. (Nelly) and Jason Epperson, and produced by Hayes with “Fancy Like” collaborator Joe Thibodeau, and multi-GRAMMY Award winner Shane McAnally, “Y’all Life,” continues Hayes’ tradition of releasing songs that reflect his personal experiences. “I’ve found the more I show people the ‘real,’ the more relatable it seems to be, so here’s to more stories about how y’all are livin’, too!”

As the single heads to Country radio today (impacting Aug. 1), the official music video for “Y’all Life” makes its debut. Shot in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, directors Mason Allen and Nicki Fletcher called on the town to help create the perfect Friday night football setting. With the high school football team, cheerleaders, and marching band all showing up game ready, along with hundreds of fans from the town participating in the stands, the video depicts a familiar scene of small-town love that so many Americans know so well.

This fall, Hayes embarks on his headlining arena tour, Glad You’re Here, named after the book he co-wrote with best friend Craig Allen Cooper. The book tells the story of the beloved Hayes track “Craig” and details Hayes’ journey to finding Christ. Tickets are available at WalkerHayes.com.

The Glad You’re Here Tour:
9/29 – 1st Summit Arena, Johnstown, PA
9/30 – Visions Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, NY
10/1 – Mountain Health Arena, Huntington, WV
10/7 – Santander Arena, Reading, PA
10/8 – DCU Center, Worcester, MA
10/13 – Dow Event Center Arena, Saginaw, MI
10/14 – Corbin Arena, Corbin, KY
10/15 – Covelli Centre, Youngstown, OH
10/21 – Alliant Energy Powerhouse, Cedar Rapids, IA
10/22 – Danny Sanford Premiere Center, Sioux Falls, SD
11/5 – Mechanics Bank Arena, Bakersfield, CA
11/7 – The Greek, Los Angeles, CA
11/10 – Spokane Arena, Spokane, WA
11/11 – Theater of the Clouds, Portland, OR
11/12 – Angel Of the Winds Arena, Everett, WA

The post Walker Hayes Releases New Single & Music Video for “Y’all Life” first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Parker McCollum Teams Up With Lucchese Bootmaker

Photo Courtesy of Lucchese Bootmaker

One of Country music’s biggest breakout stars of the past year, Parker McCollum, has partnered with the legendary Lucchese Bootmaker brand for an exciting multi-year deal that will spotlight the high-caliber artistry and 140+ year heritage of Lucchese as well as McCollum’s authentic resonance with his devoted fanbase.

As a Texas native, McCollum has grown-up admiring Lucchese’s legacy in their detailed attention to the quality and integrity of their products and mirrors that same work-ethic in his own career, both on-stage and in the studio. 

“Lucchese has always been the boots that I wanted when I was a kid,” says Parker. “I can remember several years ago saying to the band and kind of saying to myself quite a bit, how much I would love to sign a deal with Lucchese one day and be able to represent them with what I do, since I just love their product so much. It quite literally gives me chills to think about the fact that we’re actually signing a deal with Lucchese and it’s a big deal and means something. It’s going to give both of us a platform to collaborate on, which is literally one of my dreams that I had a couple of years ago. So to manifest that and speak it and actually come to fruition, is what dreams are all about, man. You can never shoot too high, and you can never dream too big. You just never know what you may end up actually getting in life. So the Lucchese deal is a prime example of that, and I’m just so excited to start this relationship and build on it and show the world what we can do.”

We are truly excited to announce our long-term partnership with Parker McCollum. Here at Lucchese, we view the craftsmanship and intent that goes into handmaking our boots akin to that of the curation of a new song. The output of the artistry may be different, but its process and dedication to the craft remain the same. Throughout our relationship, it has become evident that Parker understands our world just as we do his- he is a true ambassador and steward of the Lucchese brand, and we can’t wait to share what we have in store for both of our fanbases.” – Doug Kindy, President – Lucchese.

Please stay tuned as this exciting partnership unfolds in their joint mission for authenticity and preserving the art of the Country lifestyle.

The post Parker McCollum Teams Up With Lucchese Bootmaker first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Randy Houser Announces New Album & Releases New Single


Photo Credit: Rachel Deeb

On the heels of the announcement of his sixth studio album Note To Self set for Nov. 11 via Magnolia Music Group, the Billboard lauded “golden-voiced Mississippi native” Randy Houser releases Workin’ Man.” Listen to the song HERE and pre-order/pre-save Note To Self HERE.

Written by Houser with Randy Montana, “Workin’ Man” illuminates the tenacity and persistence of America’s blue-collar workers among the struggles they face day-to-day to support themselves and their families, with Billboard praising, “Houser yields his enviable vocals with a rough-hewn delivery that lends grit to this radio-friendly track.”

     Morning coffee in his steel toe boots
     Drink it up, lace ‘em up, light that fuse
     Ain’t stacking nothing but some IOU’s
     Workin’ man
     Can’t be late, can’t catch a break
     BC Powder cause everything aches
     Cold six pack, end of the day
     Workin’ man
     Singing whoa
     Whatcha gonna do
     Woman needs loving
     And the kids need shoes
     Ain’t nothing left when he pays them dues
     Workin’ man
     Whoa, where ya gonna turn
     Daddy said, “Son,better listen, better learn
     Ain’t nobody shelling out no concerns for the workin’ man”
     Yeah, I’ve seen it first-hand, buddy, just like you
     That’s why I’m out here singing these blue-collar blues
     For the workin’ man

Note To Self, produced by Houser and Blake Chancey and featuring 10 tracks all co-written by the powerhouse vocalist, came together at a time when Houser was reflecting on what was important to him and looking forward to the future he wanted to build for himself and his family. “It doesn’t scare me not to be the popular kid on the block. I just go and do my thing. I tour and I make a living for my family, and I love playing music live and I love creating music, and I love recording music,” Houser shared with PEOPLE.com.

Album opener and recently released “Still That Cowboy” was written by Houser, Matt Rogers and Josh Hoge as an ode to his wife Tatiana as the couple prepares for their second child together, with CMT.com sharing “Houser has never been afraid to sing country music, and ‘Still That Cowboy’ spotlights the genre’s tenets as much as anything Houser has ever released. His baritone rings against the backdrop of the pedal steel guitar as he delivers the song written for his wife.”

Currently climbing the charts at Country radio, “Note To Self,” Houser’s first taste of new music since 2019’s critically-acclaimed Magnolia, marked his “powerful return” with MusicRow boasting Houser “remains one of country music’s very finest vocalists. His return is most welcome, especially with such a strong song of regretful hindsight. His extraordinary voice is absolutely fierce as this hair-raising pile driver reaches its climax.”

With multiple sold-out shows so far in 2022, including an at-capacity stop at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Houser wrapped his co-headlining tour with longtime friend Jamey Johnson in April and heads back out on the road this summer for a slew of headlining shows, festival dates and select performances with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cody Johnson and Travis Tritt. For dates, tickets and additional information, visit RandyHouser.com.

Along with preparing new music and a relentless touring schedule, Houser landed on-screen roles in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film Killers of the Flower Moon starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and more, as well as the inspiring The Hill starring Dennis Quaid.

Note To Self Tracklist:1. Still That Cowboy (Randy Houser, Matt Rogers, Josh Hoge)
2. Workin’ Man (Randy Houser, Randy Montana)
3. Note To Self (Randy Houser, Casey Beathard, Ross Copperman, Bobby Pinson)
4. Country ‘Round Here Tonight (Randy Houser, Brice Long, Jeff Hyde)
5. Take It To The Bank (Randy Houser, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tindell)
6. Call Me (Randy Houser, Paul Overstreet, Andrew Albert)
7. Out And Down (Randy Houser, Matt Rogers, Chris DeStefano)
8. Rub A Little Dirt On It (Randy Houser, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell)
9. American Dreamer (Randy Houser, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
10. Remember How To Pray (Randy Houser, Kendell Marvel)

The post Randy Houser Announces New Album & Releases New Single first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Hailey Whitters Debuts “Everything She Ain’t” At Country Radio

Photo Credit: Harper Smith

This week, the Iowa-born, Nashville-based rising country star Hailey Whitters made her debut at country radio. Her breakout single “Everything She Ain’t,” which was just named one of Rolling Stone‘s “Best Songs of 2022 So Far,” debuted as the 5th most-added song on 32 stations on the country radio charts. 

“I’ve dreamt about being on country radio since I was a little girl growing up in the middle of nowhere Iowa,” Whitters reflects on this career milestone. “This year marks 15 years in a ‘ten year town’ for me and I’m feelin’ very lucky to get to see this dream become a reality.”

“Everything She Ain’t” is the first single from Whitters’ critically-acclaimed third studio album RAISED that was released earlier this year via Pigasus Records/Songs & Daughters/Big Loud Records. Billboard praised the track upon its release and said, “Whitters has proven herself a stellar songwriter and artist in equal measure… handclaps and sweet fiddle lines boost Whitters’ charming vocal and razor-sharp wordplay.” Yesterday, Billboard Country Update‘s Tom Roland published an interview with Whitters and the song’s co-writers Bryan Simpson and Ryan Tyndell about the origins of the song in their “Makin’ Tracks” column.

Earlier this month, The New Yorker published an extensive feature with Whitters, chronicling the final two sold out performances of her debut headline Heartland Tour at her hometown honky tonk DanceMor Ballroom in Swisher, Iowa. Critic Kelefa Sanneh described RAISED as “…a charming, playful, mischievous album about loving and leaving your home town” and called Whitters “…one of the most appealing country singers and songwriters working today.”

Following her debut headline tour and performances at Tortuga Music Festival and Stagecoach earlier this year, Whitters will hit the road this summer with Jon Pardi and Lainey Wilson on his Ain’t Always The Cowboy Tour. Find a full list of tour dates by visiting HaileyWhitters.com

KEEP UP WITH HAILEY WHITTERSWEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

The post Hailey Whitters Debuts “Everything She Ain’t” At Country Radio first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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CMA Fest Sets TV Air Date & Announces Hosts Dierks Bentley and Elle King


Photo Credit: CMA/ABC

The Country Music Association announced today “CMA Fest,” the Music Event of Summer, will air Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 8/7c on ABC. The three-hour primetime concert special, bringing Country Music’s Ultimate Fan Experience to a national television audience, will be hosted by Dierks Bentley and Elle King.  

“I’m thrilled we get to partner with Dierks and Elle as our hosts this year,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “They have such passion for the fans. I know the chemistry and camaraderie they bring to the stage will be felt by the millions of TV viewers around the globe.” 

“We are excited to once again collaborate with our longtime partners at CMA for this summer’s must-see music event, ‘CMA Fest,'” says Rob Mills, Executive Vice President, Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment, Walt Disney Television. “With Dierks Bentley and Elle King hosting the evening, music fans everywhere can be sure to expect an unforgettable night featuring the biggest names in Country Music.” 

This marks both Bentley and King’s “CMA Fest” hosting debut. In addition to hosting, King joins the list of performers for the Nissan Stadium stage on Sunday, June 12. As previously announced, Bentley will also perform Sunday. 

Filmed during Nashville’s four-day CMA Fest Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12, the television special features performances and surprise collaborations on stage at Nissan Stadium. 2022 marks the 19th consecutive year CMA has produced a summer concert TV special. “CMA Fest” is executive-produced by Robert Deaton. 

Hundreds of artists perform at CMA Fest, donating their time so a portion of ticket proceeds can directly benefit high-quality music education initiatives across the United States through the CMA Foundation.

CMA Fest is unlike any other, with tens of thousands of Country Music fans descending upon downtown Nashville for four straight days of live music on eight official stages as well as meet-and-greets and up-close-and-personal experiences for fans inside Fan Fair X. CMA Fest’s outdoor daytime stages are free and open to the public. All stage lineups are available in the Official CMA Connect App as well as CMAfest.com. Artist lineups are subject to change.

A limited number of four-day passes, plus recently announced single night tickets, for the Nissan Stadium nightly concerts are available at CMAfest.com or through the CMA Box Office at 1-800-CMA-FEST. Tickets are also available for CMA Fest Nighttime Concerts at Ascend Amphitheater, Fan Fair X and CMA Fest’s new Riverside Retreat, an exclusive premium destination along the Cumberland River. View all the perks and purchase four-day and single-day tickets at CMAfest.com/tickets

Named the “gold standard” and topping Billboard’s list of the 10 Best Country Music Festivals, CMA Fest is the longest-running Country Music festival in the world. The 2019 CMA Fest sold out with capacity crowds and had the largest engagement by Country Music fans in the event’s history, with visitors from all 50 states and 37 international countries flocking to downtown Nashville.

The post CMA Fest Sets TV Air Date & Announces Hosts Dierks Bentley and Elle King first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Alexa Cappelli joins Arista Records, shares “Could’ve Just Left Me Alone”

The last couple of years has seen Alexa Cappelli evolve from a talented singer-songwriter to a princess in the pop scene. The 22-year-old recently signed to Sony Music’s Arista Records, the label on which her latest single was released.

The song is called “Could’ve Just Left Me Alone”.

It delves into toxic relationships, with the artist saying, “‘Could’ve Just Left Me Alone’ is a song about realizing how much energy was spent on the ways you were treated in a relationship, friendship, or anything like it, when that person really could’ve just not.”

Despite the moody lyrics, the track sounds enjoyably bouncy.

Listen and follow Alexa Cappelli on Instagram.

- Aipate Team
NGAIIRE drops new album titled 3, signs publishing deal

NGAIIRE has today released her third album which is aptly titled 3 via Majestic Casual Records. Ten tracks long, the LP arrives with “Moonshine”, an upbeat song which still still retains the album’s overall emotional feel.

I wrote this (‘Moonshine’) while I was high on Opioids. I just desperately wanted to feel like a whole human again. Most days I’d be writhing in pain on the floor screaming, or throwing whatever I could find near me at the walls because I was just so frustrated at how I felt. The neighbours must have worried. The painkillers helped sometimes but mostly never even touched the sides as my body had grown immune to the drugs. As a result I was mostly just in a constant state of stupor on top of the excruciating pain…,” NGAIIRE explains in unsettling detail.

3 was preceded by singles like “Him“, “Closer” and “Boom“. Alongside the album’s release, the Papa New Guinea-born, Sydney-based future-soul artist has also announced her signing to Wise Music Australia (a publishing deal).

Stream the album and keep up with NGAIIRE on Instagram.

- Aipate Team
Born Allah features Rakaa of Dilated Peoples in new song, “Jabril (Let the Horns Blow)”

Los Angeles emcee Born Allah enlisted German producer Zpu Zilla for a new EP, Analog Baby. Carrying 6 tracks of hardcore hip-hop, the project drops January 7.

The first single “Jabril (Let the Horns Blow)” is already out (listen above). The boom-bap cut features fellow LA veteran Rakaa (of Dilated Peoples). It captures both rappers in their elements as the deliver heavy-hitting bars.

Analog Baby will be released via The Church of Hip Hop & Financial Prosperity. You can pre-order the EP here.

Find Born Allah on Instagram.

- Aipate Team
Darkim Be Allah & Endemic Emerald presents “God of the Universe” featuring Planet Asia

New York hip-hop duo made up of emcee Darkim Be Allah and producer Endemic Emerald recently shared their new song “God of the Universe” featuring rapper Planet Asia. It was billed as the first single off of their planned new album titled Antediluvian King.

The song is packed with raw, intelligent lyricism and is delivered over a beat that Emerald crafted specially to activate Darkim and Planet Asia’s knack for storytelling. The rappers paint vivid pictures with their rhymes, easily complementing each other.

Musically, “God of the Universe” is a boom-bap piece packed with beautiful samples and bluesy strings and melodies.

Find the three artists on Instagram:

Darkim Be Allah || Endemic Emerald || Planet Asia

- Aipate Team
J.R.Clark shares video for “The 757” featuring Buddah

Here’s “The 757”, a new single from Virginia rapper J.R.Clark. It’s characterized by a lovely blend of melodic rap and boombap hip-hop, with hard-hitting lyricism to boot.

Featuring Budda, it’s the first third track on the artist’s 11-track, upcoming album, When Muzik Was Good (due January 15). J.R.Clark paired it with a nice black-and-white visuals directed by Tommy Trill. The clip captures the gritty streets of Tidewater region of Virginia.

J.R.’s full names is Jerry Clark Juneau. He started out as a studio engineer. Connect with him on Instagram.

- Aipate Team
Peter Katz drops “KMOTM” and “Everything Is Different” in readiness for his new album

Canadian pop artist Peter Katz is getting ready to unveil his new album City Of Our Lives on November 25. His two new singles “KMOTM” and “Everything Is Different” are, therefore, just hints of what to expect.

Interestingly, City Of Our Lives has bits of misfortune to it; Peter’s accidental drop off a cliff got him tied to a hospital bed for six months. Against the odds, he survived but ended up losing his house and partner. The album therefore finds in an honest frame, putting things into perspective.

“KMOTM”, for example, is a dark and moody expression of the desperation and solitude Katz experienced.

Connect with Peter Katz on Instagram.

- Aipate Team
Dagny drops new single, “It’s Only A Heartbreak”

Norwegian pop singer-songwriter Dagny has just announced the release date for her much-anticipated, two-part debut album, Strangers / Lovers. It will arrive on October 2 via her own label Little Daggers Records. Alongside the announcement, the artist has shared a new single, “It’s Only A Heartbreak”, which is the first single on the album’s Side-B (its Side-A arrived back in May, led by the singles “Somebody” and “Come Over”).

About the dynamic, synth-driven pop song, Dagny says: “‘It’s Only A Heartbreak is actually partly inspired by the classic movie ‘Casablanca’ from 1942, and Humphrey Bogart’s famous quote: ‘Here’s looking at you, kid’. Like the movie, the song is about knowing that you will never get someone back, but you can secretly still look at, and admire, that certain someone. The song carries a nonchalant expression, but the undertone makes it pretty obvious that you’re not over that person yet.”

Find Dagny on Instagram.

- Aipate Team
Chronixx releases new single & video “Dela Move”, announces second album

Jamaican reggae primer mover Chronixx storms into 2020 with a raging new single “Dela Move”. The song which finds him professing his love for his hometown (De La Vega in Spanish Town) is accompanied by an equally cinematic clip directed by Nabil Elderkin. It’s the first single from the “Skankin’ Sweet” singer’s forthcoming second album Dela Splash.

“Dela Move” takes Chronixx into new territory musically as it incorporates elements of trap. His delivery also edges closer to contemporary rap.

The musician recently disclosed that he’ll be headlining a concert at London’s Eventim Apollo on 12th October 2020.

- Aipate Team
6ixviewsii8k mixtape by Boutross drops 8th November

Nairobi-based Kenyan rapper Boutross‘ forthcoming double-CD mixtape, 6ixviewsii8k, has been scheduled for a November 8 release. The project’s corresponding launch party will go down the next day, 9th Nov, at Nairobi’s Deepwest Lounge, with artists such as Karun, Nviiri The Storyteller, TNT, EA Wave, Xenia Manasseh, Barak Jacuzzi, among others, slated to grace the stage. 6ixviewsii8k is the latest compilation project from the fast-rising musician, who identifies himself prominently with the shrap movement, a sub-genre of rap emerging out of Nairobi.

“I am bringing together my friends in music and some of your favorite Kenyan artists who I have also collaborated with on the mixtape for the event. I can’t wait to see all my fans at the launch, we have prepared a musical performance like no other.”

Boutross says about the launch concert

Being a member of Homeboyz Radio’s 2015 Jumpoff Freshmen class, Boutross has been experiencing a meteoric rise. This tape will help him further etch his name within the country’s urban music scene.

- Aipate Team
Gang Starr announces new album, unveils another single “Bad Name”

After DJ Premier dropped new Gang Starr material — the single and video, “Family And Loyalty” which features J. Cole — he appeared to deny most fan’s suspicion that a new full-length project was probably in the offing. Well, it turns out he was just preparing us for the news: it’s now been confirmed that One Of The Best Yet, the duo’s first album in 16 years, will drop on November 1. Alongside the announcement, a new single “Bad Name” has been shared.

Diving into the state of hip-hop, “Bad Name” carries the late emcee Guru’s enlightening lyrics and DJ Premier’s nostalgia-inducing production. There’s something so angelic about the song!

Tracklist (all songs produced by DJ Premier)

“The Sure Shot” (Intro) “Lights Out” feat. M.O.P. “Bad Name” “Hit Man” feat. Q-Tip “What’s Real” feat. Group Home & Royce Da 5’9” “Keith Casim Elam” (Interlude) “From A Distance” feat. Jeru The Damaja “Family and Loyalty” feat. J. Cole “Get Together” feat. Ne-Yo & Nitty Scott “NYGz/GS 183rd” (Interlude) “So Many Rappers “Business Or Art” feat. Talib Kweli “Bring It Back Here “One Of The Best Yet” (Big Shug Interlude) “Take Flight” (Militia Pt. 4) feat. Big Shug & Freddie Foxxx “Bless The Mic”

- Aipate Team
Krept & Konan’s Revenge Is Sweet album imminent, watch new Krept freestyle

November 1st has been confirmed as the release date for grime-rap duo Krept & Konan‘s new album, Revenge Is Sweet. The UK group had previously shared “I Spy”, the album’s first single which features Headie One and K Trap. Corresponding with the news, Krept (one half of the duo) has now shared a freestyle that’s building anticipation for the project. The track comes alongside a clip, which you can see below.

Follow Krept & Konan on Facebook.

- Aipate Team
Irene Ntalé signs to Universal Music Group, shares new single “Nyamba”

Celebrated Ugandan singer/songwriter Irene Ntalé is now officially a Universal Music Group Nigeria artist. This exciting news arrives alongside a new single which has been released on the West African division of Universal Music Group. This new Afro-pop song is titled “Nyamba”, which in her local Luganda dialect translates to ‘help me’. Making use of her soft and sultry voice, Irene delivers a romantic ballad.

Ntalé remarks, “I want all my fans to fall in love, dance, and be unafraid to express themselves when they listen to this song

The largest of the three major record labels, Universal Music Group’s forray into the African music space has been something of a phenomenon. With the addition of top musicians like Irene Ntalé to their roster, UMG is further underscoring its interest in the African market.

Listen to “Nyamba” below via Spotify

- Aipate Team
Quinn Lewis unveils new single “Hurt Me Now”, music video coming soon

Nashville-based Australian pop singer/songwriter Quinn Lewis makes an exciting return to our stereos with the single, “Hurt Me Now”. Covered in an electro-pop track, this heartrending piece was written as an vulnerable appeal to a love interest — it beseechingly asks them that, if any of their actions is to be hurtful in the future, then it should rather come sooner. “Hurt Me Now” was released via Arista Records, a Sony Music company.

“When I wrote ‘Hurt Me Now,’ it was very much about one specific person. Now that I’ve had time to look at the song with a little more perspective, I’ve realized it’s not just about that one person, but actually, a thread that runs through all of my relationships. If I have a feeling that I’m going to get hurt it a relationship, I’d rather get it done with than end up further down the road and getting hurt ten times more.”

Quinn Lewis

Besides “Hurt Me Now”, the musician has, in the past, shared beautiful songs like “In Between“, “Weekend Luv“, “Only Everything”, “Pushing All My Friends Away”, “Hanging On”, among others which you can check out on streaming platforms. Also, do watch out for the music video for “Hurt Me Now”.

#AipateForMusic

- Aipate Team
Jay-Z becomes the first billionaire rapper, according to Forbes

Jay Z billionaire

For quite sometime, the question of who would become the first hip-hop artist to enter the billionaire’s club was something only left to time. Well, it now seems the issue is settled as Forbes has just reported that Shawn Carter, popularly known as Jay-Z, has achieved that feat, ahead of P Diddy and Dr. Dre (Dre entered the race after selling his Beats By Dre Headphone brand for $3 billion to Apple).

Although Forbes states that the 10-figure-sum is conservative, they’ve gone ahead to break down this number. According to the magazine, the value of Jay-Z’s stakes in the companies and assets he (co)own amount to:

Armand de Brignac ($310 million 

This is a luxury champagne brand that produces the famous Ace of Spades, a bottle of which goes for $300.

D’Ussé ($100 million)

This cognac brand is a partnership between Jay-Z and Bacardi, a large beverage company.

Roc Nation ($75 million)

Jay-Z founded Roc Nation years ago as a joint venture with Live Nation. The company is currently involved in recordings, artist management, music publishing and sports management. Some of the stars on the Roc Nation label include: Rihanna, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, J Cole and Kevin Durant.

Tidal ($100 million)

Purchasing the streaming service back in 2015, Jay-Z relaunched Tidal, announcing other top artists (Madonna, Beyoncé, West, etc) as co-owners.

Cash & Investments ($220 million)

Jay’s impressive investment portfolio includes a decent stake in Uber.

Music catalog ($75 million 

Jay-Z’s ‘I own my own masters’ is an iconic and revolutionary statement that has inspired many new acts to rethink signing away rights to their master recordings. Although Jay-Z did sign to Def Jam, he later reached an agreement with them to buy back his rights (he also retained his publishing rights from EMI).

Art collection ($70 million)

He owns an expensive collection of paintings and other valuable pieces of art.

Real estate ($50 million) 

Jay Z owns a number of real estate properties.

 

For sure, Jay-Z is a business, man; not a businessman.

#AipateForMusic

- Aipate Team
Boomplay to invest $1 million into Kenyan music industry, the company announces

Africa’s top music streaming platform Boomplay on Tuesday hosted its first Music Forum. During the event that was held at Nairobi’s Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel, the company announced that it would invest $1 Million towards production and distribution of Kenyan music. According to the head of Boomplay operations in Kenya, the investment is to further fast-track and facilitate collaborations between Kenyan artists and other African acts.

Artistes are an integral part of our business and we delight in every opportunity we can create and get to educate and promote them. Over the past years, Kenyan artistes have been churning out unique sounds but with very low listenership from our people here and in other countries – this is obvious from our weekly and monthly data based Boomplay charts. There’s so much work to be done on our part and we hope that by the way of education through forums like these, we are able to eventually get Kenyans to play songs by Kenyan artistes more.” ~ Martha Huro (General Manager, Boomplay Kenya)

Hosted by radio personality Willy M. TUVA, this conference kickstarted a series of events that would be organized across the country. In attendance were key industry stakeholders, including Boomplay executives.

#AipateForMusic

- Aipate Team
New Burna Boy EP, Seyi Shay in Kenya, Warner Music coming to Boomplay, DJ Fita [Aipate Mashup]
Burna Boy and DJDS release collaborative EP, Steel & Copper.

High-riding Nigerian star Burna Boy has teamed up DJDS, an LA-based production duo to release a new collaborative EP titled Steel & Copper. Released on Atlantic Records, the project carries four, awesome, trap-infused tracks, including “34” and “Darko”. These records that are, as expected, furnished with the rapper/singer’s gritty vocals.

Boomplay inks deal with Warner Music Group to have WMG’s songs available on their app

It’s only a few months since we reported that African streaming platform Boomplay Music got to bring music from Universal Music Group to the streaming service. Now, Warner Music, the second of the 3 major labels, has also agreed to upload songs by artists such as Wale, Cold Play, Wiz Khalifa, Trey Songz, Sia, Missy Elliot, Kranium, Notorius B.I.G, Janelle Monae , Cardi B, Jason Derulo, Bruno Mars and Gucci Mane to Boomplay. These songs will be available to the service’s users in Kenya, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Seyi Shay is in Nairobi to promote her new single with Harmonize

Seyi Shay is currently in Nairobi, Kenya to promote “Koma Roll”, her latest single which features Tanzanian crooner Harmonize. While in the city, the Nigerian songstress will be performing at B Club today (22nd). This is Shay’s second time in East Africa and about the relationship with the fans in the region, she says:  “It’s so amazing for me to be back to Nairobi for a second time. I am always in disbelief at how many fans I have here and who love my music. I’ve been in talks with Harmonize who has already invited me to Tanzania, so we are planning to head over too.

DJ Fita premieres new music on African Moves podcast

Ahead of the release his debut solo EP, Kenyan electronic DJ/producer DJ Fita got to premiere a new song on African Moves podcast. The show, which is hosted by DJ OneDown, airs on Drums Radio (UK). Listen to the episode (for that new Afro Tech  song by Fita, skip to around the 9th minute).

#AipateForMusic

 

- Aipate Team
Oliver Mtukudzi dies at 66

Oliver Mtukudzi.jpg

Zimbabwean legendary musician Oliver Mtukudzi has just past on, at the age of 66. With his very many albums, the singer has, over the years, been entertaining fans with raspy-yet-gripping.vocals. May his Soul rest in Eternal Peace.

Listen/Watch to “Todii”.

- Aipate Team
Boomplay users to stream songs by Universal Music Group artists, new deal signed

boomplay

Boomplay, Africa’s fast-rising streaming service, has sealed a license deal with Universal Music Group and soon, the platform’s users will get to stream music by the major label’s artists on the Boomplay app, MusicBusinessWorldwide reports. Boomplay is owned by Transsnet Music Limited, a joint venture between two Chinese firms: Transsion Holdings (Owner of Tecno, itel, Infinix, Spice and oraimo mobile phones) and NetEase Inc. The streaming service now has more than 36 million users and over 2 millions songs, including thousands of music videos. It operates an Android app, desktop version and will soon be available to iOS users.

Months after launching UMG Nigeria division, it seems Universal Music is increasing their interest in the African market. UMG is already the largest music company in the world and its roster includes artists like: Eminem, Tekno, Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Lady Zamar, Lil Wayne, Bob Marley, Brenda Fassie, Wurld, J.Cole, Dr. Tumi, Nasty C, 6lack, Diana Ross, Hugh Masekela, Jon Bellion, Larry Gaaga, Tamia, Maroon 5, Aka & Anatii, TJAN, Jah Prayzah, Nonso Bassey, Mafikizolo, Cina Soul, Ella Mai,and Mr. Eazi. This means that music fans in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia will soon be streaming the above artists on their Boomplay Apps.

#AipateForMusic

 

 

- Aipate Team
Tetu Shani announces new album Heartbreak Amnesia, reveals artwork

Exciting developments in the Nu Nairobi scene as singer and performer Tetu Shani announces he is releasing a new album to be titled Heartbreak Amnesia. He has gone further to reveal the LP’s official artwork. He made the pronouncement via a tweet.

So I’m super excited to report that my upcoming album has been submitted for mixing and I’d like to reveal its name… HEARTBREAK AMNESIA! Every song will represent the journey from heartbreak to healing and I present to you the official album art. pic.twitter.com/R1yacAItSy

— AfricaSun (@tetushani) September 26, 2018

We can only anticipate. Meanwhile stream his songs on Soundcloud.

- Aipate Team
Makadem performs at Ankole Grill, marks his 2018 European tour return

makadem eventMakadem performing at a previous event.

Makadem yesterday marked the return from his 2018 European tour in style as he performed at Ankole Grill in Nairobi’s Kilimani area. This was part of the restaurant’s weekly live showcase, Ankole Acoustic Wednesdays. The musician (also known as the Ohanglaman), sang with his Nyatiti and guitar, and was supported by Reuben Besa (base guitar) and Boaz Jagingo (percussion and backup vocals). Boaz Jagingo is an artist in his own right and one whose Ohangla-flavoured “Kanonge remix” is a great record that is reminiscent of Benga‘s goden era.

Makadem is one of Kenya’s top live performers. His performances are usually filled with high energy as this clip that samples yesterday’s gig will show. Watch belwo via Youtube.

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States with the Most Street Racing
An open road is not a personal racetrack, but some seem to think differently. In these top ten states, road racing occurs at unprecedented rates. Rates of street racing are on the rise. Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic provided the perfect opportunity for speed racing enthusiasts to spend time at home fixing up and modifying their cars, according to a 2021 report from Associated Press Continue reading…
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Cities with the Worst Drivers
Drivers in these twenty U.S. cities have racked up the most moving violations in the nation, earning them the title of America’s worst drivers in 2021. Continue reading…
- Matthew Wilkening
Maxwell on 'Rigorous, Rewarding' 2018 Tour, New Album Plans
Nearing the end of his latest round of dates, Maxwell looks forward to completing a decade-long trilogy project. Continue reading…
- Trent Fitzgerald
5 Reasons LL Cool J Should Be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Boombox lists five reasons why LL Cool J should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
5 Reasons Janet Jackson Belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
When you list the artists who've been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one of the most jaw-dropping has to be Janet Jackson. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
The Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock Buys a Really Green House for $1.7M
Adam Horovitz paid more than the asking price for a more than 100-year-old house in Southern California. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
Eazy-E Clowns Dr. Dre: Oct. 19 in Hip-Hop History
Black Moon debuts, Erick Sermon goes solo, Eazy-E releases a scathing Dr. Dre diss, MeShell Ndegeocello creates a new soul standard, U-God and Pharoahe Monch make their solo debuts. Continue reading…
- Trent Fitzgerald
Digable Planets Drop 'Blowout Comb': Oct. 18 in Hip-Hop History
On this day, Digable Planets released their landmark album 'Blowout Comb.' In addition, Scarface and Bun B dropped their solo projects. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
How the Beastie Boys Wasted ‘So. Much. F---ing. Money’
After taking forever to make their 1989 second album, the Beastie Boys got pushed aside for Donny Osmond. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
Gilbert ‘Toker’ Izquierdo of Eazy-E's Group Brownside Dies
Gilbert "Toker" Izquierdo, one of the original members of Ruthless Records' Brownside, has passed away. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
Ludacris Becomes a Star: Oct. 17 in Hip-Hop History
Whodini becomes the first hip-hop act to chart in the Top 40, Deltron 3030 visits the dystopian future, Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek team up, Ludacris drops his major label debut, and Eminem and Wyclef Jean are born. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
5 Reasons Chaka Khan Belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Chaka Khan is one of the most important singers of the past 50 years - so how can she be kept out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Continue reading…
- Trent Fitzgerald
Masta Ace Saves His Career: October 16 in Hip-Hop History
On this day, Masta Ace and Angie Stone delivered career-defining albums, and 'Black Dynamite' proved he was a bad mother...shut your mouth! Continue reading…
- Trent Fitzgerald
Digital Underground Board the Mothership: Oct. 15 Hip-Hop History
On this day, West Coast icons Digital Underground and Xzibit released noteworthy albums. Also, Eric Benet, Keyshia Cole and Ginuwine celebrate birthdays. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
Prince's 'Controversy': A Guide to Every Track
'Controversy' is an important title in Prince's vast catalog, showing glimpses of the crossover superstardom that would greet him just three years later. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
Mase Scores a Hit for the 'Shiny Suit' Era: Oct. 14 in History
On this day, Prince released Controversy, LL Cool J dropped Phenomenon, Gravediggaz delivered their second album and Mase scored a major hit for Bad Boy's shiny suit era with "Feels So Good." Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
Mos Def Drops a Hip-Hop Classic: Oct. 12 in Hip-Hop History
George Clinton paints the white house black, Spice 1 is 'Immortalized,' Warren G wants it all, Salt-N-Pepa continue to prove they're 'Very Necessary.' Continue reading…
- Dave Lifton
Tupac Bailed Out of Jail: October 11 in Hip- Hop History
On this day in hip-hop history, Tupac Shakur got his freedom and Warren G put out In the Mid-Nite Hour. Continue reading…
- Corey Irwin
2Pac Scores a Posthumous Hit: Oct. 13 in Hip-Hop History
2Pac proves eternal, Prince becomes an emoji, Jurassic 5 say hello, and Freddie Foxxx makes his debut. Continue reading…
- Jacinta Howard
A Tribe Called Quest Albums, Ranked Worst to Best
One of the most respected, influential groups in hip-hop history, ATCQ's legacy continues to thrive. Continue reading…
- Matthew Strauss
Kanye West Plays James Blake Collaboration, Wears “White Lives Matter” Shirt at Paris Fashion Week Show
The Anti-Defamation League considers “White Lives Matter” to be a “hate slogan”
- Allison Hussey
Tyler, the Creator to Feature on New Season of Netflix’s Big Mouth
The animated, hormone-fueled comedy returns on October 28
- Jazz Monroe
Janet Jackson to Reissue The Velvet Rope for 25th Anniversary
It comes with B-sides and remixes including the rarities “Accept Me” and “God’s Stepchild”
- Matthew Strauss
Paramore Bring Back “Misery Business” for First Time Since Retiring Song
Back in 2018, Hayley Williams said the band would stop playing the 2007 single “for a really long time”
- Jazz Monroe
Arctic Monkeys Announce 2023 North American Tour
A string of dates behind The Car, with Fontaines D.C. in support
- Madison Bloom
Watch Beyoncé’s New Visual Featuring “Summer Renaissance”
The anthem film is part of a new Tiffany & Co. campaign
- Pitchfork
13 Songs You Should Listen to Now: This Week’s Pitchfork Selects Playlist
Our weekly playlist highlights songs that our writers, editors, and contributors are listening to on repeat
- Matthew Strauss
Watch the New Trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
The highly anticipated Marvel movie arrives in November
- Pitchfork
New Music Releases and Upcoming Albums in 2022
A regularly updated guide to the new albums, EPs, mixtapes, and projects getting released in the coming weeks and months
- Madison Bloom
Watch Snail Mail, Soccer Mommy, Sad13, and Bully’s Alicia Bognanno Cover Pavement’s “Grounded”
They played the Wowee Zowee song at New York’s pop-up Pavement Museum
- Madison Bloom
Watch the Killers Bring Out Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden
The Boss joined the band for live renditions of “Born to Run,” “Badlands,” and their recent collaboration “Dustland”
- Rob Arcand
Watch Kendrick Lamar Perform “Rich Spirit” and “N95” on SNL
Lamar also brought out Sampha for a rendition of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’ “Father Time”
- Nina Corcoran
The Avalanches Cancel 2022 Tour Due to “Serious Illness”
Their remaining eight shows in the United States and Canada have been scrapped
- Allison Hussey
California’s Rap Lyrics Bill Becomes State Law
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act in a virtual ceremony with Killer Mike, Meek Mill, E-40, and more
- Rob Arcand
Watch Yeah Yeah Yeahs Perform “Burning” on Kimmel
From the New York trio’s brand new album Cool It Down
- Allison Hussey
Mavi Shares New Song “Doves”
A new single from the rapper’s forthcoming album Laughing So Hard It Hurts
- Madison Bloom
Neil Young & Crazy Horse Announce New Album World Record, Share New Song
“Love Earth” leads the 11-track LP, which was produced by Young and Rick Rubin
- Matthew Strauss
Les Rallizes Dénudés Discography to Be Reissued
The enigmatic Japanese rock band’s three albums will get re-released with remastered audio via Temporal Drift
- Eric Torres
Scooter Braun Says He Would Handle Taylor Swift Catalog Acquisition Differently Now
“The regret I have there is that I made the assumption that everyone, once the deal was done, was going to have a conversation with me, see my intent, see my character, and say, great, let’s be in business together. And I made that assumption with people that I didn’t know.”
- Rob Arcand
Watch Alex G Perform “Miracles” on Colbert
The musician’s latest studio album, God Save the Animals, arrived earlier this month
- Abby Jones
HBO Defends House of the Dragon Lighting Amid Complaints It’s “Unwatchable”

HBO’s House of the Dragon might serve up some new context for the Game of Thrones universe, but the spinoff/prequel series is still getting fans riled up over one nagging issue: Terrible lighting. But after House of the Dragon Episode 7 prompted fan complaints over the weekend, HBO Max clarified that…

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HBO Defends House of the Dragon Lighting Amid Complaints It’s “Unwatchable”
Abby Jones

- Carys Anderson
Two People Paid $40,000 Each to Learn Pottery and Smoke Weed with Seth Rogen

If you’ve ever wanted to smoke weed with Seth Rogen, we now know how to make that dream a reality: Simply shell out 40 grand. At Rogen’s annual Hilarity for Charity event last weekend, two people paid $40,000 each to enjoy a pottery lesson and smoke session from the stoner…

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Two People Paid $40,000 Each to Learn Pottery and Smoke Weed with Seth Rogen
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- Bryan Kress
How to Get Tickets to Ed Sheeran’s 2023 Tour

Ed Sheeran has expanded the equation of his global “+ – = ÷ x Tour” a.k.a. the “Mathematics Tour,” and fans will definitely want to make sure all of their calculations have been checked before securing their tickets. And just to throw in some additional numbers, the North American run…

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How to Get Tickets to Ed Sheeran’s 2023 Tour
Bryan Kress

- Wren Graves
Paramore Play “Misery Business” Live for First Time in Four Years: Watch

“Fuck it,” Hayley Williams told the crowd in Bakersfield, CA, before Paramore launched into their first performance of “Misery Business” in over four years. 2007’s “Misery Business” is often cited as the band’s breakthrough song, though they retired it in 2018 amid discussions about the #MeToo movement and the lyrics, “Once a whore,…

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Paramore Play “Misery Business” Live for First Time in Four Years: Watch
Wren Graves

- Jon Hadusek
Nick Oliveri Blasts Former Kyuss Bandmates for Not Allowing Use of Band Name

Nick Oliveri has called out former Kyuss bandmates Josh Homme and Scott Reeder for not allowing use of the “Kyuss” band name. During his stint in the band, Oliveri played alongside guitarist Homme (whom he would also play with in Queens of the Stone Age), singer John Garcia, bassist Scott…

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Nick Oliveri Blasts Former Kyuss Bandmates for Not Allowing Use of Band Name
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- Eddie Fu
Blue’s Clues Hosts Steve, Joe, and Josh Take on New York City in Movie Trailer: Watch

For the first time ever, all three hosts in the history of Blue’s Clues have come together for the trailer to Blue’s Big City Adventure, the first feature-length movie in the beloved Nickelodeon series’ universe. In the clip, current Blue’s Clues & You host Josh Dela Cruz and the titular pup…

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Blue’s Clues Hosts Steve, Joe, and Josh Take on New York City in Movie Trailer: Watch
Eddie Fu

- Bryan Kress
How to Get Tickets to Arctic Monkeys’ 2023 Tour

Arctic Monkeys will be taking The Car out for quite the spin with a packed schedule to close out 2022 and tickets incoming for an expanded 2023 world tour that now includes a full North American leg. The four-continent excursion kicks off after the band’s seventh album, The Car, arrives…

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How to Get Tickets to Arctic Monkeys’ 2023 Tour
Bryan Kress

- Wren Graves
Kanye West Continues Long Slide into Fascism by Wearing “White Lives Matter” Shirt

Kanye West wore a “White Lives Matter” sweater at a surprise Yeezy fashion show, Page Six reports, continuing his long and troubling flirtation with fascist politics. The slogan was shocking, if not exactly surprising. West put the Confederate Flag on his merch in 2013. His 2018 Trump White House visit…

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Kanye West Continues Long Slide into Fascism by Wearing “White Lives Matter” Shirt
Wren Graves

- Clint Worthington
NYFF Review: Noah Baumbach Delightfully Skewers Our Fear of Death in White Noise

This review is part of our coverage of the 2022 New York Film Festival. The Pitch: Don DeLillo’s White Noise is one of those “great American novels” long thought to be unfilmable, a scattered, acerbic takedown of late American capitalism and its incessant need to distract from the inevitability of death…

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NYFF Review: Noah Baumbach Delightfully Skewers Our Fear of Death in White Noise
Clint Worthington

- Spencer Kaufman
Fever 333 Down to One Member After Guitarist and Drummer Exit Band: “Things Were Pretty Bad Internally”

Fever 333, the trio led by frontman Jason Aalon Butler, are down to just one member (Butler) after guitarist Stephen “Stevis” Harrison and drummer Aric Improta announced their departure from the band on Monday (October 3rd). The surprising news came via Instagram posts from Harrison and Improta. Harrison wrote, “Aric…

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Fever 333 Down to One Member After Guitarist and Drummer Exit Band: “Things Were Pretty Bad Internally”
Spencer Kaufman

- Abby Jones
Kendrick Lamar Announces good kid, m.A.A.d city 10th Anniversary Edition

The 10th anniversary of good kid, m.A.A.d city is quickly approaching, and Kendrick Lamar is honoring the occasion with a special reissue of his legendary sophomore LP. For a limited time, good kid, m.A.A.d city will now be available with a special alternate cover, featuring the van from the original deluxe…

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Kendrick Lamar Announces good kid, m.A.A.d city 10th Anniversary Edition
Abby Jones

- Eddie Fu
Russian Rapper Took His Own Life to Avoid Conscription into Ukraine War: Report

A Russian rapper is believed to have committed suicide to avoid being conscripted into President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine. According to the Daily Mail, the body of Ivan Vitalievich Petunin, who performed under the stage name Walkie, was found near a high-rise building in the Russian city of Krasnodar…

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Russian Rapper Took His Own Life to Avoid Conscription into Ukraine War: Report
Eddie Fu

- Jon Hadusek
Zakk Wylde to Launch Online Instructional Guitar Course

Zakk Wylde has announced an online guitar course, “Zakk Wylde Berserker Guitar Camp,” which launches October 14th via Riffhard. If you’ve ever wanted to shred like the imitable Ozzy Osbourne/Black Label Society guitarist, now is your chance to learn from the man himself. Joined by fellow Black Label Society guitarist…

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Zakk Wylde to Launch Online Instructional Guitar Course
Jon Hadusek

- Erin Manning
Every Fleetwood Mac Album Ranked From Worst to Best

This article originally ran in 2013, but we’re dusting it off for Lindsey Buckingham’s birthday on October 3rd. Welcome to Dissected, where we disassemble a band’s catalog, a director’s filmography, or some other critical pop-culture collection in the abstract. It’s exact science by way of a few beers. This time,…

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Every Fleetwood Mac Album Ranked From Worst to Best
Erin Manning

- Abby Jones
Ringo Starr Tests Positive for COVID-19, Cancels Tour Dates

Ringo Starr has once again been forced to put off some of his tour dates with His All-Starr Band due to COVID-19; this time, the former Beatle has come down with the virus himself, his management company announced today (October 3rd). “Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band were forced…

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Ringo Starr Tests Positive for COVID-19, Cancels Tour Dates
Abby Jones

- Hunter Thompson
LISTEN: GAWM Joins VRG for “BLAZE UP”
gawm

Supported by the likes of industry figureheads Excision and Skrillex, Los Angeles’ GAWM now teams up with emerging talent VRG for their cybernatic bass venture, “BLAZE UP.” Both artists just made their debut at Lost Lands Music Festival last weekend, and are coming off their successful run at the dubstep superbowl with a scintillating track. Strapped with a punchy bassline and otherworldly synth work, this trap-tinged tune is a certified party-starter.

With a bestial intensity, “BLAZE UP” routinely flips between gargantuan snares and juicy pops of sound. An animal of a track from start to finish, this trap hybrid kicks the energy up a notch in the latter half, where a stream of gunshots fires off before a frenzy of robotic warbles takes over.

Check out “BLAZE UP” below:

'LISTEN: GAWM Joins VRG for “BLAZE UP”

The post LISTEN: GAWM Joins VRG for “BLAZE UP” appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- Hunter Thompson
LISTEN: RIOT Usher In New Era With “IN CASE OF FIRE” EP

Celebrating the 10th year anniversary of the duo’s birth, Tom Davidson and Daniel Magid are taking their brand to newer heights as they look to cement themselves as one of the most dynamic and electrifying acts in dance music. On the “IN CASE OF FIRE” EP, RIOT stretch speakers to their limits with a phantasm of skull-shattering bass. Each tune on the three-track EP is infused with tremendous intensity and explodes with throbbing soundscapes. As layers of animated synthesizers buzz and basslines pound, RIOT invites everyone to join them in celebrating the last decade and looking ahead to ruling dominant over the dance music empire. With the release of their “IN CASE OF FIRE” EP, the Israeli-born pair is ushering in the next chapter in their careers.

RIOT · IN CASE OF FIRE

'LISTEN: RIOT Usher In New Era With “IN CASE OF FIRE” EP

The post LISTEN: RIOT Usher In New Era With “IN CASE OF FIRE” EP appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- Max Chung
INTERVIEW: Eptic’s Illustrious Career in Bass Music is just Getting Started

Being a mainstay in the bass music realm for over a decade now, Eptic clearly has some great stories to tell. However with that said, even amidst his decorated career of releasing classics and innovativing the dubstep scene, in some respects it feels like Belgium producer’s story is only just beginning. For example, 2022 has already proven to be a landmark year for Eptic full of accomplishments and new frontiers. Fresh off the release of his debut album The End of the World alongside recently completing his first-ever headlining bus tour, the 29-year-old artist is taking huge strides forward and we can’t wait to see where he takes decides to take things next. We had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with the man himself at Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival to talk the craziness of touring, the dubstep scene, and other topics. Check out our exclusive RTT interview below and be sure to follow Eptic on socials and catch one his sets in a city near you.

Eptic

Instagram | Twitter | Website

Run the Trap: Now that your debut LP The End of The World has been out for a while now, how are you reflecting on that album release? What did creating and releasing this project teach you about yourself, both as a person and an artist?

Eptic: I learned I’m really bad with procrastination. I’d like to do something about that because things were so hectic making that album. Half the tracks were demos I already had for a year and the other half was stuff I started a few months before the release. Things kicked in three weeks before the album where I was like “oh fuck I gotta finish this.” I stayed up until six in the morning every day and then would wake up at nine. I did that for three weeks straight so I was properly losing my mind.

But it’s been like that for every single release, I get into this crazy state of not sleeping to actually be creative. I just bought a house and everything’s been chill but it’s a lot harder to write music now. For some reason every time I’m on a train or a plane I make great music. But when I’m at home and I’m comfortable it’s really difficult.

You also recently wrapped up your first headlining bus tour. What was that experience like?

At first it was mellow but then became a lot crazier. There was one clarifying experience where all this shit was going on and I was like “wow there’s nothing that can top this.” I had just made a tattoo appointment and woke up to one of the guys on the bus saying, a bit dramatically, “guys we have a situation there’s fucking ants everywhere!” I come out of my bunk and the walls are just covered in ants. In Belgium we have this expression: “a drop that overflows the bucket.” It’s basically means you can only take so much. I was at that point a week before, and now there were ants too… I just didn’t care anymore.. like of course there are fucking ants. You don’t even have to elaborate in the interview here, you can just write: ants. (laughs)

From someone who’s been a pioneer and mainstay in the bass scene for so long, how have you viewed the genre, as well as yourself, transform and evolve over the years?

It’s weird because I got into this when I was really young, I started playing shows when I was 16. It’s interesting though because I was never worried about what was happening in the scene or what anyone else was doing. I’ve always very much been doing my own thing. But it’s strange that it’s been so long, because at the same time it feels like its flown by.

Something I’ve noticed is when I was just starting out, back in Belgium and Europe I only played my own songs; I would say 90% of my sets were my own songs. Then I came to the states and that just didn’t work. People wanted to hear songs that they knew. So I had to play Flux Pavilion’s “I Can’t Stop” and Zomboy songs, music I thought was cool that I knew would go off, but of course wasn’t my own. But something I love is that DJs playing their own stuff has come back in the last two years, because of people like SVDDEN DEATH and Marauda. I feel like they were the main artists that brought that back and it’s something I love about dubstep right now. I remember when I went to shows when I was really young and I saw Funtcase play. I would go to his show to hear new things and that’s what’s coming back in dubstep and that’s really cool.

Yeah I don’t get why people would want to hear other artist’s music at sets.

I’m gonna elaborate though, one aspect I don’t like about the scene right now in America is that everything can be really capitalistic. For example, it’s gotten to the point where as an artist you have to have a big visual screen and spend 20k on production just to make people interested in a show, because you’re competing with guys like Excision that have a stupid amount of money. I mean that stuff is cool, but it’s not about the music. I feel like people really want to be entertained in all these extra way and that’s something I don’t like about the scene. So there, you got a little bit of positive and a little bit of negative there (laughs).

Your upcoming b2b with Space Laces at SVDDEN DEATH’s “Summoning of the Eclipse” festival looks crazy. What can fans expect from you two coming together for a set?

I haven’t talked to him yet, but I really want to sit down with Ian and make some music together. It would also be really cool if we both made edits of all of our songs and mixed them together really well. You know, if we really sat down and made this b2b into a whole experience. I’m 99% sure he’s going to be down for that, I just haven’t talked to him yet.

You recently shared that your flash drives completely erased before a set which is a DJ’s worst nightmare. What’s the opposite of that for a DJ, what’s a pleasantly surprising thing that has happened to you during a performance? 

Thankfully, I didn’t have a single problem on tour with my USBs. We had one show in Las Vegas where we couldn’t get the visuals screen to work. For my tour we had this whole time-coded intro, it was a big part of the tour and the visual screen just wasn’t working. So when I began my set I started playing the first song and was basically like “hey the visual screen doesn’t work, I just need you guys to deal with it.” But the funny thing is, that set ended up being one of the most fun sets on the tour because it was just about the music. So that was a malfunction that turned out really great. Danny (SVDDEN Death) also came and did a b2b, it was really cool.

From finishing your first headlining bus tour to dropping a full-length album, you’ve recently reached a bunch of career milestones. What’s the next goal for Eptic?

I worry about a lot of things. I’m always convinced my music is bad, I can be extremely negative. That said, I really look up to Space Laces, Marauda, and SVDDEN Death and when I talk to them they always say they really look up to me. It made me realize that I don’t have to worry about making an album or making an EP; I should just sit down and have fun making music and see whatever comes out of it. That’s always worked for me, I only started worrying about career stuff about a year ago and that’s when things started getting difficult. So I’m just gonna try to have fun with music and hope the rest follows.

'INTERVIEW: Eptic’s Illustrious Career in Bass Music is just Getting Started

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- Max Chung
LISTEN: The Toxic Avenger Returns with Intoxicating New Lead Album Single, “Getting Started”

The Toxic Avenger is back with a vengeance in possibly his most versatile and impressive project since his original debut over 15 years ago. The artist’s upcoming studio album,Yes Future, officially releases on November 4th and is slated to showcase all of the best elements modern electronic music has to offer. Today we’re given the first glimpse of this production masterclass in the project’s lead single, “Getting Started.” As you’ll hear below, we’re treated to a hypnotizing, infectious dance cut boasting crisp percussion, intoxicating melodies, and an incredibly catchy vocal sample that acts as the backbone for the track. Stream the single below and be sure to read what the artist himself has to say about the inspiration behind this record.

“For the first time, I tried to do a real album opening track. Something that lands there and defines the contours of the album. I like to work on these bits of voice which are simple at the base and to create virtual harmonies There is in this opening track an ele- ment that you will often find throughout the disc: The bass is a base of DX7, I wanted to return to this synth, made by Yamaha in the early 80s and which flooded the market with pop songs of those years.” – The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger – Getting Started | Stream

'LISTEN: The Toxic Avenger Returns with Intoxicating New Lead Album Single, “Getting Started”

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- Nick Isasi
GRiZ Drops Highly Anticipated “Chasing The Golden Hour, Pt. 4”

GRiZ‘s Chasing The Golden Hour series has always felt like a big warm hug – and part 4 is no different. The 9 track compilation shines a light on GRiZ’s softer side of production. It skews much more towards the beat side than the banger side.

It shows off GRiZ’s beautiful instrumentation and his overall love for life. GRiZ burst onto the scene a long time ago with beautiful, melodic, organic-sounding tunes, and his Chasing The Golden Hour series is a perfect homage to that. Check out the full album Below

GRiZ – Chasing The Golden Hour, Pt. 4 | Stream

STAY IN THE KNOW! FOLLOW US ON SPOTIFY

▲ ▲ Read More About GRiZ Here ▲ ▲ 

'GRiZ Drops Highly Anticipated “Chasing The Golden Hour, Pt. 4”

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- Aaron Root
LISTEN: Sam Gellaitry Unleashes Anticipated New 15-Track Mixtape, “VF Volume II”

Sam Gellaitry’s reinvention of his artist project has been an absolute pleasure to watch these last few  years, as he’s slowly blended the sounds of his infectious hip-hop beats from the SoundCloud era into refined, disco + funk adjacent bangers (we’re looking at you Duo and Assumptions.)

VF Vol II, Sam’s newest mixtape from this past week, has a bit of everything, from “New Wave” which is Sam’s spin on an 80’s disco vibe reminiscent of a “The Weeknd” production, to “Name to a Face” which is pure bouncing hip-hop. 

All of that said, why don’t you check out the new mixtape for yourself. Stream “VF Volume II” for yourself below

Sam Gellaitry – VF VOL II | Stream

'LISTEN: Sam Gellaitry Unleashes Anticipated New 15-Track Mixtape, “VF Volume II”

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- Hunter Thompson
LISTEN: FREAKY, VLCN & Sara Benyo Unite for “Falling To Pieces”
falling to pieces

Out now on Lowly Records, “Falling to Pieces” is a whimsical collaboration from FREAKY, VLCN, and Sara Benyo. A raw swell of emotion from the very start, this feelsy anthem rolls in with Sara Benyo’s vocals soaring over feather-light piano notes. A little over a minute in, “Falling To Pieces” descends into a syncopated splash of melodic bass and heartfelt synth work.

With all three artists previously having graced Subsidia with standout releases, this joint venture shows off their evident synergy with style. Serving as a quintessential cry-banger, “Falling To Pieces” tells an all-too relatable tale of losing trust in someone. “I think all of us can agree that at some point in our lives, we’ve been let down by someone we trusted,” FREAKY says regarding the track. He goes on to say “The feelings that come with that sort of letdown are often unforgettable. Although we are often told to be strong in those hard times, sometimes it feels like we’re falling to pieces.”

Check out “Falling To Pieces” below:

'LISTEN: FREAKY, VLCN & Sara Benyo Unite for “Falling To Pieces”

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- Hunter Thompson
LISTEN: Egzod Links Up With Bertie Scott on “The Way Out”

Egzod continues to shock fans with the release of “The Way Out,” a new song starring talented vocalist Bertie Scott. Egzod has been consistently dominating the dance music market with big singles and innovative collaborations.

Egzod explores the feelings of “something slipping away” in the celebratory EDM single “The Way Out,” which offers a panoramic but detailed sound journey. The tune rushes to energizing drops and throbbing instrumentals as it envelops listeners in deep pounding bass, starry synthesizers, and strong vocals from the gifted Bertie Scott. “The Way Out,” a thrilling and entertaining song overall, provides dance music and Egzod listeners with a variety of listening experiences. Making an appearance soon in Firefly Music Fest and EDC Orlando, Egzods new tracks will provide a “way out” towards his exciting musical fantasies.

'LISTEN: Egzod Links Up With Bertie Scott on “The Way Out”

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- Peach Gallagher
PREMIERE: Venture 5 Releases Incredible Single “5MeO”

Previously known for his music moniker, Opalyte, Denver-based producer Niko Pappas is back and ready to introduce the world to his new project Venture 5, with the release of his new single, “5MeO” off of his debut EP, First Connection

An exciting track that highlights his fluid mix of vintage bass music, knack for original songwriting, and instrumentation, Pappas offers an incredible bass experience that makes you feel as if you are free-falling through the cosmos.  Perfect for fans of Zeds Dead, LSDream, Mersiv, or Smoakland, “5MeO” thrives on ethereal vocals that glide over breathtaking soundscapes and thrilling bass drops. 

The inspiration behind the Venture 5 project was a call to action in my own life about living my true adventure and facing my fears around getting out in the world, being active, taking risks, and getting out of my comfort zone. Venture 5 is meant to be a vessel or a means for my audience to live their true adventure and face their fears.”

Keep an eye out for more new music from the Venture 5 project and stream “5MeO” and the full EP below.

Venture 5 – “5MeO” Run The Trap Premiere | Stream

STAY IN THE KNOW! FOLLOW US ON SPOTIFY

▲ ▲ Read More About Venture 5 Here ▲ ▲ 

[Photo Credit]

Read more from Peach. Follow her on Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

'PREMIERE: Venture 5 Releases Incredible Single “5MeO”

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- Max Chung
LISTEN: Shallou Unveils Stunning, Emotional New  “Save Some Room” Single via FADER

Every time Shallou shares new music we know we’re in for a treat. This time around is no exception as the talented producer has dropped off a new single in “Save Some Room.” Released on FADER, this new Shallou record is nothing short of a stunning, emotional anthem. As you’ll hear below, the track boasts melancholy guitars and lush synths that dance eloquently over a danceable and bouncy bass line. In typical Shallou fashion, the artist strikes a perfect balance between chill and upbeat – hear what we mean by streaming the track via Spotify and be sure to read what the producer himself has to say about the inspiration behind this track.

“I wasn’t myself for a while even after the worst of the pandemic subsided. I wrote an EP about following an internal ‘guiding light’ back to the shore of my life, where I left off. The lyrics reflect the fact that I feel i’m getting better, and I just hope those I love and even my fans can accept me again. I’m ready for a new adventure and to find out what’s next for my life.”

Shallou – Save Some Room | Stream

'LISTEN: Shallou Unveils Stunning, Emotional New “Save Some Room” Single via FADER

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- Robin Hilton
All Songs Considered for the holidays, 2021
Our first holiday adventure, in 2012, landed us at a tiny cabin in the woods, where we hosted a party for the ages.

Hear our collection of now-classic holiday misadventures featuring All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, with guest appearances by Taylor Swift, Steve Martin, William Shatner and more.

(Image credit: Mike Brinson/Getty Images)

- Bob Boilen
Bob Boilen's Favorite Music of 2021 Is...
Bob Boilen at his Tiny Desk.

Bob Boilen's favorite music of 2021 includes a 100-song playlist and his top 10 albums. It's music filled with great stories and sonic adventures.

(Image credit: NPR)

- Lars Gotrich
Viking's Choice Holiday Special

Bubbly pop songs sidle up to filthy headbangers and dreamy ambient in a six-hour playlist of unexpected holiday music.

(Image credit: Illustration by Daniel Warren Johnson, Lars Gotrich/NPR)

- Raina Douris
The Best New Artists & Breakthroughs of 2021

Across genre, styles and borders, these artists were all about connecting in a disconnected world.

(Image credit: Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr/NPR; Getty Images)

- Robin Hilton
Vote for the best albums of 2021
Hand-drawn vector drawing of a Vote Text On a Ballot Box. Black-and-White sketch on a transparent background (.eps-file). Included files are EPS (v10) and Hi-Res JPG.

In another unpredictable year of ups and downs, music once again came to the rescue. As we near the end of 2021, we want to know what albums (or EPs) resonated the most with you.

(Image credit: FrankRamspott/Getty Images)

- Lars Gotrich
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss joined NPR Music's Listening Party for 'Raise the Roof'
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Join us in an online listening party for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' first album together in 14 years, Raise the Roof.

(Image credit: David McClister/Courtesy of the artist)

- Scott Simon
Tiny Desk Contest entrant Zhalarina on the paternal bond that inspired 'Lala'
Zhalarina entered the 2021 Tiny Desk Contest with her song "Lala."

Judges for the Tiny Desk Contest watched thousands of videos, and Weekend Edition is highlighting some of the standouts — this week: rapper Zhalarina's "Lala."

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)

- Lars Gotrich
Watch NPR Music's film screening of 'Karen Dalton: In My Own Time'
Folk singer Karen Dalton.

Director Robert Yapkowitz and singer-songwriter Margo Price join Bob Boilen in a live conversation about this new documentary on the folk singer.

(Image credit: Christian Rose/Fastimage)

- Lars Gotrich
NPR Music's Listening Party for Snail Mail's 'Valentine'

Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan and singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco joined WPLN News' Paige Pfleger in a live conversation about the album.

(Image credit: Tina Tyrell/Courtesy of the artist)

- Asma Khalid
Tiny Desk Contest entrant Oh He Dead on newfound motherhood and love
The Washington, D.C.-based band Oh He Dead entered its song "The Foreigner" into the 2021 Tiny Desk Contest.

Judges for NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest watched thousands of videos, and here on Weekend Edition we're highlighting some of the standouts — this week: C.J. Johnson from Oh He Dead.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)

- Lars Gotrich
NPR Music's Listening Party for John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle'
John Coltrane on the cover of A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle.

WBGO's Nate Chinen was joined by saxophonist Branford Marsalis and harpist Brandee Younger in a live conversation about this recently unearthed live recording.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Impulse! Records)

- Scott Simon
Meet Z The Author, a standout artist from the 2021 Tiny Desk Contest

Each year, the Tiny Desk Contest attracts thousands of impressive unsigned artists from across the country — including Z The Author, who sent in a song inspired by 2020's Black Lives Matter protests.

(Image credit: Erin Porter/Courtesy of the artist)

- Lulu Garcia-Navarro
Tiny Desk Contest entrant Yosmel Montejo has a message for his community: 'Go for it'

Every year, the Tiny Desk Contest attracts thousands of unsigned musicians from across the country. Yosmel Montejo impressed the judges with "La Caliente," a song that reflects on life in Cuba.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)

- Lars Gotrich
Watch NPR Music's Listening Party For John Prine's Debut Album

John Prine's self-titled album came out 50 years ago. Bonnie Raitt, Jim Rooney, Fiona Prine and Jody Whelan guest in an online listening party with host Ann Powers.

(Image credit: NPR)

- Mary Louise Kelly
Meet Neffy, The Winner Of The 2021 Tiny Desk Contest
Neffy is the winner of the 2021 Tiny Desk Contest.

After thousands of entries, the Tiny Desk Contest judges have landed on this year's winner.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)

- Pandora
AMP’s New Track Reporting Feature Gives Artists Even Deeper Insights on Their Pandora Spins
Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) pioneered self-serve artist marketing for the streaming era, giving creators a unique view into the ways that listeners were discovering and engaging with their music...
Read More
- Pandora
New Pandora Home Screen Widget for iOS and iPadOS Available Now
With this week’s update to the Pandora app for iOS and iPadOS, users can now make enjoying their favorite music and podcasts on their device even easier with Pandora’s new...
Read More
- Pandora
It’s Game Time with Your Favorite Artists on Pandora
Hey Pandora listeners, Over the past few months more than ever, video games have served as a comforting form of escape, constant entertainment, and way to connect with others in...
Read More
- Pandora
The Biggest Names in Music Are Taking Over Pandora Stations
Today we’re introducing Artist Takeovers, a brand new way to connect with your favorite artists. These new hosted listening Modes will live on top stations and feature the biggest names...
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- Pandora
Pandora’s Thumbprint Radio Marks 5th Anniversary with 50 Million Users and Over 2 Billion Listening Hours
We launched Thumbprint Radio 5 years ago as a new kind of hyper-personalized music station for Pandora users, one that’s based off the songs that each listener has thumbed-up to let us...
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- Pandora
Pandora Predicts the Artists to Watch in 2021
As 2020 comes to a close (FINALLY), Pandora is looking to next year and the artists we think will own 2021 with their breakout talent. By checking in with our...
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- Pandora
Top Thumb Hundred 2020
This year might have been memorable for all of the wrong reasons (and folks, it’s almost over), but despite it all, music has been our rock, our peace, our transportation,...
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- Pandora
All of the holiday vibes have landed on Pandora
Holiday hits different this year… but Pandora wants to make sure you hit just the right mood, with just the right music.  To get festive during this new normal, Pandora...
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- Will Schube
Sam Smith And Kim Petras’ Collab Track ‘Unholy’ Lands At No.3 At Billboard Hot 100
Sam Smith and Kim Petras - Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ massive collaborative track, “Unholy,” has clocked in at No.3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and No.1 on the Global Charts. The song is Petras’ first top five song, and Sam Smith’s seventh top 10 hit.

Shop the best of Sam Smith’s discography on vinyl and more.

Petras celebrated the news in a Tweet, writing, “This little german idiot got her first top 5 on the Hot 100 and number 1 on the Global 200. Thank you to everyone who believed in me all these years, you know who you are! I can never thank you enough @samsmith. Bunheads ur the realest ilysm.”

Elsewhere on the chart, Nicky youre and dazy’s “Sunroof” comes in at No.5, “I Like You (A Happier Song)” from Post Malone and Doja Cat lands at No.4, Smith and Petras occupy No.3, Harry Styles is at No.2 with “As It Was,” and Steve Lacy is on top with “Bad Habit.”

“Unholy” is set to appear on Smith’s fourth studio album. On the track, they shed light on some hidden escapades they’ve seen go down in the dark.

“Dirty, dirty boy, you know everyone is talking on the scene / I hear them whispering ‘bout the places that you been / And how you don’t know how to keep your business clean,” Smith teases over pulsing production that skitters with the tense anxiety of someone who’s been caught red handed.

“Unholy” bursts at the seams as Smith and Petras detail a case of infidelity inspired by the infamous Los Angeles Sunset Strip club The Body Shop. When the pair previewed the single on TikTok, the snippet exploded, racking up over 12 million views on Smith’s profile alone, in addition to its use in over 333,000 videos before its official release. The driving force behind the craze was the hook’s perfect call out: “Mummy don’t know daddy’s getting hot / At the body shop / Doing something unholy.”

Buy or stream “Unholy.”

- Will Schube
Reba McEntire Extends ‘Reba: Live In Concert’
Reba McEntire - Photo: Rich Fury/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM

Reba McEntire is extending her Reba: Live In Concert tour following a string of sold-out stops on the fall leg. Reba announced 14 additional dates set for spring of 2023, featuring special guests Terri Clark and The Isaacs. The spring run will kick off March 9 in Jacksonville and will conclude at NYC’s Madison Square Garden, marking Reba’s first time playing the iconic venue.

Shop Reba McEntire’s discography on vinyl and more.

“I am very grateful we’re continuing this tour on into 2023,” Reba said. “I’ve had so much fun being back out on the road and doing what I love to do most, entertaining people. And now getting to headline places like Madison Square Garden and bring my buddies Terri Clark and The Isaacs with me? Well, that’s just the extra icing on an already triple-layered, stuffed and filled, iced and frosted cake!”

Presented by Live Nation, tickets go on sale Friday, October 7 at 10 AM local time. Reba fans can access a special fan presale starting Tuesday, October 4 at 10 AM local time by signing up for Reba’s email list. Fans must be signed up by 11:59 PM CT on Monday, October 3 in order to receive the presale code. The presale code will be emailed out on Tuesday morning prior to the presale.

Citi is the official presale credit card for the Reba tour. As such, Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets beginning Tuesday, October 4 at 10am local time until Thursday, October 6 at 10pm local time through Citi Entertainment.

The fall leg of Reba: Live In Concert is set to kick off next week, October 13, in Lafayette, Louisiana. With 35 No.1 hits under her belt, the award-winning entertainer will deliver hit after hit during her “entertaining and flawlessly executed” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) live show.

Visit Reba McEntire’s official website for tour dates and more information.

- Sam Armstrong
Janet Jackson And Erykah Badu Attend Thom Browne’s Paris Fashion Week Show
Janet Jackson Paris Fashion Week

Janet Jackson, Erykah Badu, Doja Cat, and Maisie Williams were among the star-studded guests who sat front row at the Thom Browne Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 03, 2022 in Paris, France. Other guests included Jaden Smith, Anna Wintour, and Erykah Badu.

Jackson wore a grey pinstriped number consisting of a longline coat, pleated midi skirt, and belted waistcoat by Thom Brown. The Rhythm Nation hitmaker added a white shirt, grey tie, towering black boots, and an oversized crocodile print handbag.

Jackson made a grand entrance to the show, posting a video on her socials set to her 2001 hit “Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You),” taken from her seventh studio album, All For You.

The R&B legend has been making the rounds at a number of Fashion Week shows, including Christian Siriano Spring/Summer 2023 at New York Fashion Week last month.

Janet Jackson - Photo: Pierre Suu/Getty Images

Janet Jackson – Photo: Pierre Suu/Getty Images

Earlier today, Jackson announced a new deluxe edition of her Grammy-winning, national and international chart-topper The Velvet Rope, set to be released on Friday (October 7), exactly 25 years since its debut. The new version will feature no fewer than ten bonus tracks that become available on streaming platforms for the first time, including much-sought B-sides and remixes. Among these are the rare “Accept Me” and “God’s Stepchild,” and the collection also hosts numerous remixes that were previously only available on CD singles.

The mixes include Teddy Riley’s TNT Remix of “I Get Lonely” featuring BLACKstreet; the J. Dilla (Ummah Jay Dee) remix of “Got ‘Til It’s Gone”; and Timbaland and Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott’s remix of “Go Deep.” Club mixes of various tracks are also included by David Morales & Frankie Knuckles, Masters at Work, Tony Moran, Jason Nevins, and Tony Humphries.

In tandem with the reissue, remastered versions of Jackson’s music videos for “Go Deep,” “I Get Lonely,” “You,” “Got ’Til It’s Gone,” and “Together Again [Deeper Remix].” will also become available to watch on YouTube in HD for the first time ever.

The album, produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for Flyte Tyme Productions Inc. and Ms. Jackson, embraced her fearless songwriting themes of female sexuality, domestic violence, and mental health, through the lens of a black woman. It debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 and won a plethora of multi-platinum, platinum, and gold certifications around the world, also winning a place among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

Pre-order the Deluxe Edition of The Velvet Rope.

- Will Schube
Kendrick Lamar To Reissue ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ For 10th Anniversary
Kendrick Lamar, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ - Photo: Courtesy of pgLang/Interscope/TDE/Aftermath/UMe

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar is releasing a special vinyl edition of the project.

The new edition will arrive in two formats: a 2LP milky clear translucent color vinyl available exclusively via Amazon, and a 2LP apple opaque colour vinyl, available exclusively via record stores. This exciting updated classic will be released via pgLang/Interscope/TDE/Aftermath/UMe on October 21. Pre-orders are available now.

good kid, m.A.A.d city is the second studio album by Kendrick Lamar. It was released on October 22, 2012, through Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, and Interscope Records. The album features guest appearances from Drake, Dr. Dre, Jay Rock, Anna Wise, and MC Eiht. It is Lamar’s major label debut, after his independently released first album Section.80 in 2011 and his signing to Aftermath and Interscope the following year.

good kid, m.A.A.d city features production by Dr. Dre, Just Blaze, Pharrell Williams, Hit-Boy, Scoop DeVille, Jack Splash, and T-Minus, among others, contributing to the album. Billed as a “short film by Kendrick Lamar” on the album cover, the concept album follows the story of Lamar’s teenage experiences in the drug-infested streets and gang lifestyle of his native Compton. The album earned Lamar four Grammy Award nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.

The album was supported by five singles–“The Recipe,” “Swimming Pools (Drank),” “Backseat Freestyle,” “Poetic Justice,” and “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.”

The news of the 10th anniversary edition comes at an exciting time for Lamar fans, who just watched the MC perform on Saturday Night Live, hosted by Miles Teller on October 1. The superstar MC performed “Rich Spirit,” “N95,” and “Father Time.” For “Father Time,” he rapped alongside the track’s featured artist, Sampha.

Lamar performed “N95” and “Rich Spirit” in a medley, rapping against a spare backdrop with a spotlight that followed him as he offered his torrent of bars. The set also featured a single standing fan. Both songs are featured on Lamar’s new album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.

Pre-order good kid, m.A.A.d city (10th Anniversary Edition).

- Jeff Chairman Mao
‘Siembra’: The Willie Colón & Rubén Blades Salsa Masterpiece
Willie Colon and Ruben Blades Siembra album cover

One of the pivotal works of the 1970s, Willie Colón and Rubén Blades’ Siembra has been described as nothing less than the greatest salsa album of all time, often likened to a Latin Sgt. Pepper’s for its groundbreaking songwriting and kaleidoscopic production. Another favorable comparison, however, may be What’s Going On. Like Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece, Siembra is explicitly and exquisitely imbued with social commentary and humanism, and required its record label’s leap of faith in order to even see release. Having reputedly preview-tested the LP for a group of influential radio jocks who unanimously projected its doom, Fania Records was hesitant to unleash Colón and Blades’ ambitious conceptual tour de force on an unsuspecting audience. The label’s fears would prove entirely unfounded. Siembra wasn’t just a critical and commercial smash – selling millions worldwide – it would remain Latin music’s best-selling album for decades after its original release.

Listen to Willie Colón and Rubén Blades’ Siembra now.

Upon revisiting this commanding classic, it’s tough to decipher what all the early handwringing was about. The Colón-Blades combo had already exhibited an affinity for alternately poignant and sardonic commentary on the struggles of the underclass on their inaugural album together, 1977’s Metiendo Mano (the former’s first since parting ways with longtime vocal partner Hector Lavoe). Siembra fully embraces this direction, brazenly supplementing its messages with precise arrangements and musicianship, and stylistic curveballs that somehow never miss their mark. “Plástico” sets the tone immediately, commencing with a deliciously deceptive disco-funk groove before subverting its Saturday Night Fever-era tease and launching into a salsa number in which Blades claps back at a life lived solely for superficialities. The album’s Kurt Weill-inspired centerpiece, “Pedro Navaja,” deftly orchestrates police sirens, shifting melodic passages, and a sarcastic West Side Story nod (“I like to live in America”) against Blades’ epic multi-verse narrative detailing a tale of two street characters, their violent ends, and a perfectly wry moral: “La vida te da sopresas” (“Life gives you surprises”).

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Siembra’s most profound achievement, though, is Blades’ compositional sophistication, having written all but one of the album’s seven expansive tracks. Being of mixed Colombian and Cuban heritage, and born and raised in Panama before settling in New York and teaming with the Bronx-born Nuyorican Colón, Blades was uniquely qualified to transcend nationality and speak to a vision of a unified Latin American voice. Thus “Maria Lionza” – a loving homage to the Venezuelan goddess of nature, peace, and harmony – is instilled with a palpable spiritual pride. Propelled by striking strings and chorus harmonies, the urgent and mesmerizing “Siembra” (“Sowing”) finds Blades imploring, “Usa la conciencia latino/ No la dejes que se te duerma/ No la dejes que muera” (“Use the Latin conscience/ Do not let her fall sleep/ Do not let her die”) and cites Ramón Emeterios Betances, father of the Puerto Rican independence movement: “Nunca olvides a Betances/ ‘En la unión está el futuro’” (“Never forget Betances/ ‘In the union is the future’”).

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Even the lone song Blades didn’t write, Johnny Ortiz’s “Ojos,” addresses a shared perspective: “De America Latina, ojos llenos de verdad” (“From Latin America, eyes full of truth”). Fania had long-framed salsa as a Pan-Latin genre; Colón and Blades took it well beyond merging musical forms and marketing, tapping into the soul of a people. As Blades once observed, “Salsa is the folklore of the city. But not of one city but all cities in Latin America.” Siembra’s power still stems from this compassion.

Listen to Willie Colón and Rubén Blades’ Siembra now.

- Will Schube
Billy Strings Announces New Album, ‘Me/And/Dad,’ Shares Two Tracks
Billy Strings - Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins

To help celebrate his 30th birthday, GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician Billy Strings has announced Me/And/Dad. The album is the first that he’s recorded with his father, Terry Barber, and it will be released November 18 via Rounder Records.

The product of a longtime dream, the record features new versions of fourteen bluegrass and country classics that the two have been playing together since Strings was a young child.

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In advance of the release, the pair’s new versions of bluegrass traditional “Long Journey Home” and George Jones’ “Life To Go” are out now. Additionally, Strings have unveiled the official video for “Long Journey Home,” directed by Roger Pistole and Scott Mele.

Reflecting on the project, Strings shares, “As long as I can remember, I wanted to make a record with my dad. I’ve been burning up and down the highways the last 12 years, and as time slips away, you start thinking, ‘I need to make time.’ It’s been a bucket list thing for me, something I’ve been afraid I wouldn’t find the time to do. And that scared me; not doing this record scared me.”

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Produced by Strings and Gary Paczosa and recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studio, the record finds Strings and Barber playing with familiar ease, naturally trading off leads both vocally and on guitar. In addition to Strings and Barber, the album features an all-star band including bassist Mike Bub, mandolinist Ron McCoury, banjo player Rob McCoury, and fiddler Michael Cleveland as well as special guest appearances by Jerry Douglas, Jason Carter, and Strings’ mother, Debra Barber, who sings on the final track, “I Heard My Mother Weeping.”

The new record follows Strings’ widely acclaimed album, Renewal, which landed on several “Best of 2021” lists including The Bitter Southerner, No Depression, Glide, The Boot, Folk Alley, and was one of the Top 50 Most Played Albums at Americana Radio last year.

Produced by Jonathan Wilson, the record was released to overwhelming praise with The New York Times declaring, “a premier bluegrass mind for this post-everything era…he has zigged and zagged between the form’s antediluvian traditions and rapid-fire improvisations that hit like hard bop, all within songs with hooks so sharp that he seems poised for crossover stardom.”

Pre-order Me/And/Dad.

- Sam Armstrong
YG Shares ‘How To Rob A Rapper’ Video
YG, ‘How To Rob A Rapper’ - Photo: Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings

On the heels of the release of his sixth studio album, I GOT ISSUES, multi-platinum West Coast legend and superstar rapper YG, has shared a video for “How To Rob A Rapper.”

The highly anticipated new album, which was released September 30, includes features from hip-hop heavyweights such as J. Cole, Post Malone, Nas, Roddy Rich and more. The album is available on all digital platforms as well as a special signed CD offering.

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YG shared a number of pre-release singles before the album’s arrival, the most recent of which was “Maniac,” which features Hit-Boy. On the single, YG showcases his signature wit while shrugging off the competition, rapping, “Whole lotta millions, so what? I got my plaques right/ I can tell you n____s ain’t eatin’, get your shmack right.”

He also shared singles “Alone,” the J Cole and Moneybagg Yo-featuring “Scared Money,”and “Run” featuring Tyga, 21 Savage, and BIA. The album will also feature “Toxic,” which the star performed for A COLORS Studios. In the COLORS video, YG wears a signature red bandana-laced outfit as he spits against a magenta backdrop. Rocking futuristic shades, the LA-based rapper brings his signature cool to the stripped-down performance.

He showed off his clever bars on the song, spitting: “I know what she want, she want what’s inside my jeans/ She want my heart with the lock, she wanna throw away the key.”

I Got Issues follows YG’s critically acclaimed 2020 album, My Life 4Hunnid, which was accompanied by an instantly iconic video for the bouncy opening track “Jealous.” The visuals were released weeks before the 2020 US election and offered a scathing parody of the then-President Donald Trump.

My Life 4Hunnid received praise from the media upon its release, with The Los Angeles Times writing: “In his music, YG speaks to the immediate, hour-to-hour rage and vulnerability of Black life as protests churn and police kill and terrorize with seeming impunity. It’s fitting that My Life 4Hunnid is his darkest and most wounded album for Def Jam yet, one where the memories of his murdered friend [Nipsey] Hussle and fears of rampaging police are stalked by worries that, on the eve of the 2020 election, the country might not have what it takes to fix it all.”

Buy or stream I Got Issues.

- Tim Peacock
John Coltrane’s ‘Blue Train’ Reissue Tops Multiple Billboard Charts
John-Coltrane-Blue-Train-Billboard

John Coltrane’s Blue Train, first released in 1957, has charged in at No. 1 on multiple Billboard album charts (dated Oct. 1) following its 65th-anniversary expanded reissue on September 16.

The album debuts at No. 1 on both the overall Jazz Albums chart and Traditional Jazz Albums chart (Coltrane’s seventh leader on both). It also scores the jazz legend, who died in 1967, his first leader on the 11-year-old Vinyl Albums chart. It’s also the first jazz title to reach No. 1 on the Vinyl Albums tally in nearly five years.

Blue Train additionally enters at No. 7 on Top Album Sales, No. 6 on Tastemaker Albums and No. 95 on the Billboard 200.

The set earned 11,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 22, according to Luminate. Essentially all of that sum was driven by traditional album sales. Further, that 11,000 sold marks the largest sales week for any Coltrane album in 2022.

Coltrane’s album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, while Coltrane received a posthumous lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 1992.

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Blue Train was reissued in two versions as part of Blue Note Records’ Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series: a mono edition of the original five track album, and an expanded stereo edition (dubbed Blue Train: The Complete Masters). The latter adds seven alternate and incomplete takes (four of which are previously unreleased). The mono set was reintroduced on vinyl, while the Complete edition was reissued on two-LP vinyl, a double CD and digital download.

All versions of the album, old and new, are combined for tracking and charting purposes. Of the album’s 11,000 in total sales for the week, essentially all were physical sales – with just over 10,000 on vinyl and a little under 1,000 on CD. (A small number of digital download albums were also sold.)

Notably, Blue Train logs the largest sales week for a jazz album on vinyl in 2022. The last larger week for a jazz set was registered by the evergreen soundtrack to the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, when it sold 20,000 copies in the week ending December 23, 2021.

Further, Blue Train is the first jazz album to lead the Vinyl Albums chart in nearly five years – since A Charlie Brown Christmas topped the tally on the Dec. 16, 2017-dated list.

Buy or stream Blue Train.

- Tim Peacock
Bono Announces Book Tour In Support Of Memoir, ‘Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story’
Bono-Book-Tour-Surrender

Live Nation and Penguin Random House announced a 14-city book tour in support of SURRENDER: 40 Songs, One Story, the forthcoming memoir by Bono – artist, activist and U2 lead singer – which will be released worldwide on Tuesday, November 1, 2022.

The book tour, titled ‘Stories of Surrender’ and produced by Live Nation, is a limited run of theatre dates to mark the release of a memoir in which one of the world’s most iconic artists writes for the first time about his remarkable life and those he has shared it with. Bono will bring the stories of his life to life — live and in person— to 14 cities across North America and Europe.

Kicking off at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on Wednesday, November 2, ‘Stories of Surrender’ will make stops in Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Nashville, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Glasgow, Manchester, Berlin, Paris—and Bono’s hometown of Dublin— before wrapping on Monday, November 28 in Madrid.

Tickets go on sale starting Friday, October 7 at 10am local time. Each ticket purchased comes with a copy of Bono’s forthcoming book, Surrender, to be released on November 1, 2022. All tickets purchased online will be delivered as secure mobile tickets. There will be a two-ticket limit per person.

“I miss being on stage and the closeness of U2’s audience,” said Bono. “In these shows I’ve got some stories to sing, and some songs to tell… Plus I want to have some fun presenting my ME-moir, SURRENDER, which is really more of a WE-moir if I think of all the people who helped me get from there to here.”

SURRENDER: 40 Songs, One Story, is the story of the remarkable life he’s lived, the challenges he’s faced, and the friends and family who have shaped and sustained him. The subtitle, ’40 Songs, One Story,’ refers to the book’s 40 chapters, each named after a U2 song.

Bono has also created 40 original drawings which will be featured throughout the book. In his unique voice, Bono takes readers from his early days growing up in Dublin, including the sudden loss of his mother when he was fourteen, to U2’s unlikely journey to become one of the world’s most influential rock bands, to his more than twenty years of activism dedicated to the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty. Writing with candor, self-reflection, and humor, Bono opens the aperture on his life—and the family, friends, and faith that have sustained, challenged, and shaped him.

Pre-order SURRENDER: 40 Songs, One Story.

- Laura Stavropoulos
Best ‘SNL’ Musical Performances: 15 Unmissable Live Appearances
Best SNL Performances

“Live from New York, it’s Saturday night…” For a period, the most exciting place on a Saturday night was in front of the TV screen, as Saturday Night Live featured some of the best musical performances in TV history.

From its first season, in 1975, through every decade since, SNL had their finger on the pulse of the music scene, thrusting punk, hip-hop, new wave, grunge, and the rest into the mainstream and into millions of homes.

Whether it was the biggest acts in music, or someone on the verge of breaking through, SNL remains late-night TV’s grandest night. As another star-in-the-making, Billie Eilish, makes her SNL debut, we count down some of the greatest SNL musical performances.

15: R.E.M.: Shiny Happy People, Losing My Religion (1991)

Come for the synchronized choreography of R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and The B-52s’ Kate Pierson, stay for the joyful rendition of their hit “Shiny Happy People.” R.E.M.’s debut also marks probably the only time Kate Pierson is underdressed for anything. The band juxtaposed this silly performance with an impassioned delivery of ‘Losing My Religion’.

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14: The Tragically Hip: Nautical Disaster, Grace Too (1995)

“It’s my honor to introduce to America, my friends, The Tragically Hip,” pronounced SNL veteran and Ontario native Dan Aykroyd, as he introduced the group to the SNL stage. At this time, the Hip had already become “Canada’s band”, and were primed – or at least waiting – for a stateside breakthrough. But instead of playing it safe with the hits like “New Orleans Is Sinking,” the Hip opted for a more nuanced performance of “Nautical Disaster” and “Grace Too,” with Gord Downie changing the opening lyric from “He said I’m fabulously rich” to “They say we’re Tragically Hip”.

13: Sinead O’Connor: War (1992)

Before people were winning Oscars for speaking out against the abuse scandals in the Catholic church, Sinead O’Connor shocked American audiences when she performed a stunning a cappella rendition of Bob Marley’s “War,” altering the line “Fight racial injustice” to “Fight sexual abuse”, and then tearing up a picture of Pope John Paul II. People predictably lost their minds, famously leading to more than 4,000 phone calls to NBC, and the Irish singer-songwriter being vilified in the news. Now, decades later, mea culpas abound and O’Connor’s rendition goes down as one of the best SNL musical performances.

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12: Funky 4 + 1: That’s The Joint (1981)

SNL made history when the old-school legends Funky 4 + 1 led the first hip-hop performance on national network television. Thanks to the urging of hip-hop advocate Debbie Harry, of Blondie (whose “Rapture” was the first song with rapping to go No.1), the brought the boogie-down Bronx to America’s living rooms. “The people on the show were so nervous,” Blondie guitarist Chris Stein told Rolling Stone. “I remember trying to explain to them how scratching worked. Trying to verbalize what that is for someone who has no idea, it’s really difficult.”

11: Billie Eilish: Bad Guy, I Love You (2019)

Kicking off the premiere of the 45th season, emerging pop icon Billie Eilish made her SNL debut in gravity-defying fashion, performing her smash hit “Bad Guy” and scaling the walls of Studio 8H thanks to some Jamiroquai-inspired camera trickery. Later she teamed up for her brother Finneas and slowed things down on with the tender duet “I Love You,” surrounded by a starry sky and pulling in the studio audience and viewers at home into her personal orbit. It was an impressive debut for the 17-year-old star, proving she can deliver the goods both live and on record.

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10: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers: You Don’t Know How It Feels, Honey Bee (1994)

Sometimes you lose a Heartbreaker and gain a Dave Grohl. For his fifth of what would be eight SNL appearances, Tom Petty enlisted Grohl to stand in for the recently-departed Stan Lynch. Grohl was still reeling from Kurt Cobain’s passing and the dissolution of his own band, Nirvana. As he told MTV, the SNL performance marked the first time he was looking forward to playing drums again. Grohl brought his punk energy to The Heartbreakers’ hits “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and “Honey Bee.” Petty clearly liked what he heard and even asked Grohl to join the band, which would have deprived us of the Foo Fighters.

9: Kendrick Lamar: I, Pay For It (2014)

Still riding high from the critical acclaim of Good Kid, m.A.A.d City, Kendrick Lamar used his second SNL appearance to perform “I,” his first post-Kid offering and a taste of his soon-to-be-released album To Pimp A Butterfly. Sporting black contact lenses and Busta Rhymes-inspired jerky choreography, Lamar gave a blistering performance of his self-love anthem. With a full backing band and singers, Lamar’s Isley Brothers-sampling track came to life in Studio 8H, delivering one of the best SNL musical performances of all time.

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8: LL Cool J: Go Cut Creator Go (1987)

SNL’s casting has never been as progressive as their musical bookings. Almost a year after Run-DMC performed their rap-rock crossover “Walk This Way,” a then 17-year-old emerging rapper named LL Cool J made hip-hop history with his performance of “Go Cut Creator Go,” backed by DJs Cut Creator and Bobcat, who backed LL with their impressive scratching skills. The Queens MC had a hit debut with Radio, but it was sophomore record Bigger And Deffer that made him a star, which was clear as day on the SNL stage.

7: The Rolling Stones: Beast Of Burden, Shattered, Respectable (1978)

In October 1978, The Rolling Stones returned to the city that inspired their Some Girls album to perform on Saturday Night Live following the blockbuster success of the album. The Stones were both the hosts and musical guests of the evening and performed three tracks in a row in one 13-minute segment. But what’s most memorable about their appearance was the band’s raunchy stage antics, with Mick Jagger ripping Ronnie Wood’s shirt off during “Shattered,” then upping the ante and licking Wood’s face during (fittingly enough) ‘Respectable’.

6: Kanye West: Black Skinhead, New Slaves (2013)

Kanye West has a tempestuous relationship with SNL. He’s appeared on the show seven times, and while his appearances have been newsworthy for both his performances and political remarks, you can count on Kayne to deliver some of the greatest SNL musical performances. After he recruited a crew of 32 ballerinas to perform “Power” and “Runaway” in 2010, he topped himself three years later with an explosive performance of “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves,” introducing his new Yeezus persona to the world. Clad in a studded leather jacket, West raps into a voice modulator as images of police dogs and black KKK hoods are projected behind him, accompanied by the abrasive. It would be just one of the many indelible images to have appeared on the SNL stage.

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5: Fear: Beef Baloney, New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones (1981)

So how did one of LA’s most notorious hardcore punk outfits end up on the SNL stage? Turns out the band counted show alum John Belushi as a huge fan, and he promised the showrunners he’d make a guest appearance if the band played. With the audience stacked with other punk legends including Minor Threat’s Ian Mackaye, Tesco Vee of The Meatmen, and Cro-Mags’ John Joseph, among others, Fear’s set turned 30 Rock into a full-fledged punk show, complete with moshing and crowd-surfing that scared the audiences both in the studio and at home (it was Halloween, after all). The band performed “Beef Boloney” and “New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones,” going down in punk history while also earning themselves a permanent ban from the show.

4: Beastie Boys and Elvis Costello: Sabotage, Radio Radio (1999)

As much as SNL likes to court controversy by satirizing people and events, the show was having none of it back in 1977, when Elvis Costello And The Attractions stopped playing their single “Less Than Zero,” instead launching into “Radio Radio,” a rallying cry against corporate-controlled broadcasting. Costello was promptly banned from the show until they patched things up 12 years later, in 1989. Then, for the SNL’s 25th-anniversary show in 1999, Costello returned to parody his historic 1977 appearance, interrupting Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” performance before the foursome launched into a searing rendition of “Radio Radio.”

3: Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit, Territorial Pissings (1992)

During its peak, SNL could not only make (or break) a band, it offered suburban America an exotic glimpse into the underground sounds that were exploding in music. Such is the case with Nirvana. When the band made their SNL debut, on January 11, 1992, they gave America its first taste of grunge on TV, turning the band and Kurt Cobain intro reluctant superstars. Following their manic performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” everyone was expecting ‘Come As You Are To’ to follow, but instead Cobain and company opted for an unexpected B-side, “Territorial Pissings,” before completely trashing the stage and their instruments. But the real controversy came after the bandmembers “made out” with each other during the end credits. Not only one of the best SNL musical performances, it gave Nevermind a boost that knocked Michael Jackson’s Dangerous off the No.1 spot and took “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to No.6.

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2: David Bowie: The Man Who Sold The World, TVC15, Boys Keep Swinging (1979)

No amount of Lady Gaga meat dresses could top David Bowie’s Dadaist performance on SNL in 1979. Coming out of his Berlin phase, Bowie is hoisted on stage in a box-like tuxedo by performance artists Joey Arias and German singer Klaus Nomi, as they sing with him on “The Man Who Sold The World.” It was one of the greatest musical appearances on television, a moment where vaudeville meets downtown New York. It would only get weirder from there, when Bowie returned to the stage in drag and walking a stuffed pink poodle for “TVC15” and then as a headless marionette for ‘Boys Keep Swinging’.

1: Prince: Partyup (1981)

The 80s was an uneven time for SNL, but if one thing could save the show’s relevance it would be an electrifying performance by a 22-year-old Prince, spinning around the stage in a trench coat and go-go boots while performing his 1980 Dirty Mind cut “Partyup.” Though Prince was not the main musical guest that evening (Todd Rundgren was), the producers left a slot open for hot new talent – and they weren’t ready for what was in store. Sadly, Prince’s performance and the entire episode were scrubbed from the show’s history thanks to cast member Charles Rocket dropping an F-bomb live on air.

Looking for more? Discover the best US music TV shows.

- Paul Sexton
‘Zenyatta Mondatta’: The Near-Perfect Pop Of The Police
The Police artwork: UMG

On October 3, 1980, The Police delivered an album that Rolling Stone described as “near-perfect pop by a band that bends all the rules and sometimes makes musical mountains out of molehill-size ideas.” It was their third LP, Zenyatta Mondatta.

A No.1 album in the UK, France and Australia, it featured two more signature hits for Messrs Sting, Summers, and Copeland, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da.” But alongside the nonsense lyrics of the latter, Sting was also contributing songs of social conscience such as “When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around,” “Driven To Tears,” and “Bombs Away.”

“It doesn’t have any of the heavy metal that I suppose was on the first two albums,” Copeland told Musicians Weekly around the release of Zenyatta Mondatta. “But there are plenty of groups providing that already. There’s not fuzzy guitar anywhere this time. ‘[When] The World Is Running Down,’ for example, started out as a heavy jazz number and then we Policeified it. We always do lots of overdubbing and employ the studio techniques to the fullest and there’s a lot of cosmetic surgery on the tapes.”

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Zenyatta Mondatta had a red-letter day in America on February 27, 1981. As they continued their rise to the top as perhaps Britain’s biggest international rock attraction of the day, the RIAA awarded the trio their first platinum album disc. The long player was outdoing its predecessors Outlandos D’Amour and Reggatta de Blanc in the US and reaching its peak of popularity as the platinum certification arrived.

The February 28 Billboard chart showed Zenyatta climbing a place to what became its No.5 peak. It was in the 19th week of an epic 153-week run on the countdown. “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and “Behind My Camel” won for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

Platinum Police force

As American fans continued to catch up with the band’s catalog to that point, the Police’s first two albums would go on to their own, eventual, sales recognition. Outlandos D’Amour won platinum certification in the summer of 1984, more than five years after its chart debut. Outlandos D’Amour had to wait much longer, charting for the first time also in 1979 and turning platinum early in 2002.

Listen to the best of The Police on Apple Music and Spotify.

Much greater success was around the corner. The follow-up to Zenyatta Mondatta, 1981’s Ghost In The Machine, went triple platinum in 2001. Their final studio set, 1983’s Synchronicity, broke all their previous records with a 17-week run at No.1 in America. It reached quadruple platinum status in 1984 and went eight-times platinum in 2001.

Buy or stream Zenyatta Mondatta.

- Laura Stavropoulos
Best Gwen Stefani Songs: 20 Hella Good Solo And Band Tracks
Gwen-Stefani-2020-press-shot-1000-CREDIT-Yu-Tsai

During her 20 years with No Doubt and throughout her ongoing solo career, Gwen Stefani (born October 3, 1969) has effortlessly bounded across every genre barrier, becoming one of the most successful women in rock and a pop icon. Along with No Doubt, she ignited the ska boom in America and outlasted its bust to reinvent herself with each new decade. While she’s racked up plenty of multi-platinum hits, Stefani has always gone with her musical gut, and made the pop world follow her lead. From collaborating with everyone from Prince to The Neptunes and Elvis Costello, Stefani brought her love of reggae, 80s pop, and new wave into the mainstream while grunge still reigned. More than just a force of personality, Stefani’s emotional honesty and ear for melody have been shaping modern pop music since her 90s debut. Here are the 20 best Gwen Stefani songs, from both her time in No Doubt and her solo career.

20: Trapped In A Box

No Doubt’s metaphorical take on TV addiction served as their debut single in 1992, revealing a band still figuring out what direction to head in. A sum of the group’s influences, Eric Stefani’s 2-Tone ska fused with Stefani’s animated vocals and Tom Dumont’s frantic soloing to make for a pretty wacky affair, but it was the perfect showpiece for their manic energy on stage.

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19: Early Winter

Stefani continued her genre- (and producer-) hopping on The Sweet Escape, her 2006 follow-up to Love.Angel.Music.Baby. Amid the skeletal Neptunes beats (“Yummy”) and Akon-assisted doo-wop (“The Sweet Escape”), “Early Winter” sees Stefani return to the kind of confessional power-pop she excelled at. Co-written by Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley, the break-up ballad puts Gwen’s vocals to the test – and, in turn, she delivers one of the best songs of her solo career.

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18: One More Summer

In the 11 years following No Doubt’s Rock Steady album, Stefani launched a fashion empire, started a family and spawned a solo career. When the group reunited for Push And Shove, it was as if no time had passed. They returned to their SoCal ska roots and their unabashed love of 80s pop on “One More Summer,” a wistful break-up anthem that sounds even better in the acoustic version featured on the deluxe album.

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17: I Throw My Toys Around

By 1998, No Doubt was a soundtrack fixture, and thanks to the Rugrats movie, they got to work with one of their idols, Elvis Costello. Co-written by Costello and his former wife, Cait O’Riordan, “I Throw My Toys Around” juxtaposed Dumont’s scratchy riffs against Stefani’s breathy vocals over a nursery-rhyme melody. Costello also assists with vocals, making “I Throw My Toys Around” sound like an Attractions B-side.

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16: Bathwater

Before vocal effects became standard fare in pop music, Stefani had been contorting her voice into various warbles, coos, and shouts ever since “Trapped In A Box.” On the ska-flavored “Bathwater,” she gets even more theatrical as she sings about literally bathing in relationship baggage.

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15: Rock Steady

After all the armchair psychology of Return To Saturn, Rock Steady saw No Doubt return to the kind of reggae-ska sound they excelled at. Nowhere was this more apparent than the album’s title track, a chilled-out dub cut that neatly wraps up the record thematically, as Stefani takes stock of relationships – personal and with the band – that have weathered all the storms, remaining rock steady.

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14: Running

Even No Doubt’s party record, Rock Steady, had its share of earnest ballads, including the Yazoo-inspired “Running.” As on the album’s title track, Stefani sings about going the distance in relationships, instead of focusing on the first flush of love, showing how her songwriting had matured. The synth riff alone keeps you coming back.

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13: Hey Baby

“Hey Baby” keeps the party going on Rock Steady with its propulsive dancehall beat and guest toast from Bounty Killer. As the only girl in No Doubt, Stefani sings about all the backstage antics that she witnesses on tour, creating her own call-and-response retort. Released as a single, it broke the Top 10, becoming the group’s biggest hit since “Don’t Speak” hit No.1 in 1996.

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12: Ex-Girlfriend

Like many of the best Gwen Stefani songs, “Ex-Girlfriend” evinces her stylistic range, as punk, hip-hop and rock collide into one. Like a scorned ex-lover, the song’s energy stops and starts before it explodes into roaring guitars and a massive, singalong chorus. The anime-inspired music video directed by Hype Williams also made it a fixture on MTV.

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11: What You Waiting For?

Across No Doubt releases and her solo work, each album cycle saw Stefani take stock of her personal and professional life, and her solo debut was no different. Working with 4 Non Blondes’ Linda Perry, Stefani conquers writer’s block and gives herself a proverbial kick in the ass on this meta, dance-pop hit.

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10: Hollaback Girl

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the cultural staying power of Stefani’s smash solo hit, “Hollaback Girl.” Doing her best Toni Basil, Gwen claps back at her detractors, with a chorus of hypewomen and a cheerleader chant that scaled the charts and made for one of the most recognizable Gwen Stefani songs of all time.

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9: New

If this twitchy new wave track sounds at odds with the rest of Return To Saturn, that’s because it was originally recorded for the cult 1999 teen film about LA rave culture, Go. With ex-Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison producing, “New” showed off No Doubt’s musical chops thanks to a fierce rhythm section in bassist Tony Kanal and drummer Adrian Young, and Gwen’s urgent vocals delivered over skittering synths.

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8: Underneath It All

When she wasn’t busy pogoing around to No Doubt’s adrenalized ska, Stefani could deliver swoon-worthy melodic-pop hits like this Rock Steady cut. Co-written by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, “Underneath it All” features genuine island flavor thanks to a feature from Lady Saw and production by reggae veterans Sly & Robbie.

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7: Spiderwebs

As the opener to Tragic Kingdom, “Spiderwebs” set the stage for the kind of relationship drama that would dominate the album. Another Stefani and Kanal joint venture, it’s the catchiest song about phone-stalking or “a telephonic invasion” to date.

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6: It’s My Life

No Doubt wear their new wave influence on their sleeve just as easily as they do with reggae and ska, and their unabashed love for groups like Duran Duran and Pet Shop Boys was evident from the moment “Just A Girl” hit the airwaves. Their faithful cover of the 1984 Talk Talk single “It’s My Life” did the UK pop-auteurs justice and, if anything, introduced Mark Hollis’ classic to a hungry new audience.

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5: Just A Girl

While Gwen Stefani was no riot grrrl, she managed to craft one of the best feminist rock anthems of all time. At first, she deploys a purposely cloying vocal to intonate her “girlish” helplessness before fully unleashing, making “Just A Girl” one of – if not the best – Gwen Stefani solo songs.

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4: Cool

As the spiritual sequel to “Don’t’ Speak,” “Cool” proved that Stefani still excelled at the kind of reflective pop that made No Doubt stars, even after going solo. Even years after their romantic break-up, Kanal and Stefani’s musical chemistry had anything but cooled.

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3: Simple Kind Of Life

The rock world wasn’t ready for a concept record about insecurity and biological-clock concerns in 2001, but Return To Saturn has aged remarkably well, and much of that is thanks to this track. Like many of the best Gwen Stefani songs, “Simple Kind Of Life” features sincere displays of vulnerability over pop-rock hooks. Not many pop songs delve into the specific female dilemma of maintaining your artistic independence with starting a family, and Gwen does it with aplomb.

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2: Sunday Morning

As far as break-up albums go, Tragic Kingdom ranks among the best, gifting us tortured and bitter pop gems like this. As soon as Young’s thundering drum solo kicks in, the song picks up steam, with Gwen turning into a snarling frontwoman, delivering a powerhouse vocal performance.

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1: Don’t Speak

How’s this for a silver lining? Your seven-year relationship comes to a dramatic end, but you pen one of the most enduring rock ballads of the 90s and launch your band to superstardom? “Don’t Speak” saw Gwen flex her lyrical skills and turn in her most impassioned vocal performance. Following the song’s spectacular success and Stefani’s rising profile, it doubled as a metaphor for the somewhat tense relationship between singer and band, expertly dissected in the music video.

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Think we missed one of the best Gwen Stefani or No Doubt songs? Let us know in the comments below.

- Paul Sexton
‘The Information’: Beck’s Audio-Visual Tour De Force
Beck artwork: UMG

“One, two, you know what to do…” went the intro of the first song on The Information, Beck Hansen’s new album of 2006. He certainly did, as his fans confirmed when the record immediately nestled in the US Top 10. It’s another title in our chronological series on the artist’s album output.

As so often in Beck’s illustrious past, this latest project saw him standing on fertile ground. It emerged just 18 months after Guero, which itself had been complemented by the remix set Guerolito late in 2005. The Information also had the artist renewing his working relationship with Nigel Godrich, the British producer who was by now a frequent returning member of Beck’s creative cast.

The album overflowed with crisply performed and produced, imaginative 21st century pop-rock, on songs like “Think I’m In Love” and “Strange Apparition.” He was able to present such creations with his usual trendsetting audio-visual flair, which once again caught the industry by surprise.

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Beck created low-budget videos for every track on the record, and became a flagbearer for the now-accepted concept of connecting with your audience intimately in the digital space. He leaked some of those videos and tracks way before the album release on his website and elsewhere, including, as the era demanded, his MySpace page.

The album was also marketed with a blank sleeve and booklet, and sheets of stickers designed by visual artists handpicked by Beck, so that his audience could further engage by customising the cover to their own design. It was an inspired way of making his fans feel part of his creative process, as he explained to Rolling Stone when the album was released.

“I’ve been trying to do something like this for the last three albums,” he told the magazine. “The conventional ways aren’t working like they used to, so now there’s a willingness to try new things. We’re moving into a time when the song and the imagery and video are all able to exist as one thing. It’s not even technically an audio thing anymore. It’s something else.”

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It certainly was something else. The second disc on the album that contained all of the video clips was too much for the British chart compilers the Official Charts Company, which banned The Information from the UK sales countdown as they deemed that the video disc gave the title an unfair advantage.

“It’s an unconventional package, but it shouldn’t be penalized for that,” countered Beck. “Any art on a CD is an incentive to buy and listen. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. The response from the fans has been so strong, and that’s the most important thing.”

Making plans with Nigel

Beck began work on the songs that comprised The Information as far back as 2003, long before Guero and soon after the release of the last of his collaborations with Godrich, the stripped-down Sea Change. During this mid-2000s period, the producer divided his time between the Beck album and Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, the album he oversaw for Paul McCartney.

“Backyard” was the appropriate word for the creation of The Information, too, as Godrich remembered in the Rolling Stone feature. “We built a little studio in his garden [in Los Angeles],” he said. “Half the time we were in the pool, the other half we were talking about what we’re doing and trying new things. It was a lot of he and I hanging out, listening to what we were doing, him writing, me just screwing around endlessly with machines and what not.”

“Nausea” was the track that blazed the trail, going to US radio in early September. By then, Beck was in Europe, playing a series of shows that came after an early summer run through the States, on which that new song was already in the set list. So was a cover of Hank Williams’ “Lonesome Whistle,” while an opening show at Freeborn Hall in Davis, California, had him tipping his hat to British pop band the Korgis’ influential 1980 hit “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime.”

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The European shows included such destinations as the Paradiso in Amsterdam and the UK’s V Festival, as well as London club shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and Koko. Clickmusic’s review of the V performance enthused about the “puppet-wielding magic of Beck, treating us to ‘Cell Phone’s Dead’ from forthcoming record The Information as well as a jazzed-down rendition of ‘Sexx Laws.’”

When Beck got back to the US, an appearance at the Download Festival preceded a full tour, and TV appearances with Jimmy Kimmel and on Saturday Night Live. “The new stuff is good — real good,” glowed SPIN’s review of Download. “Beck’s touring band puts on an electric circus of a show, swapping instruments like candy and shimmying all over the stage.

‘The tightest sound’

“Ghetto-blasters are slung over shoulders, vinyl is scratched and maracas are shaken, but among all the audio-visual chaos, Beck and his band maintained the tightest sound I’ve yet to hear from them.”

The Information arrived in early October 2006, heading straight for No.7 on the Billboard 200 with a first-week sale within a whisker of 100,000, as “Nausea” climbed the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The album later went gold.

Listen to the best of Beck on Apple Music and Spotify.

Many reviewers were impressed to hear the Beck-Godrich combination producing yet more new sounds and textures. The Los Angeles Times observed: “This is their third collaboration, but neither the casual, light-bodied Mutations nor the intimate Sea Change anticipated this kind of flowering.”

‘Too dazed to resist’

“By the time ‘Horrible Fanfare’ rolls around, 15 numbers in,” said the UK’s The Guardian of the 61-minute album, “you’ll be too dazed to resist.” “Impeccably sequenced and incessantly engaging,” added Popmatters.

Read more from our Beck: Behind The Albums series.

For Entertainment Weekly, Beck and his producer “pump bleeps, blips, samples, scratches, voices, telephone noises, and kalimbas into songs soaked in drones and dub reverb. It’s a sonic tour de force.” David Fricke in Rolling Stone came right out and called it “one of the best albums Beck has ever made.” Reviewers were united in celebrating the rude health of Beck’s many musical personalities, and looking forward to his next surprise.

Buy or stream The Information.

 

- Tim Peacock
Best German Musicians: 12 Groundbreaking Pioneers
Rammstein-Rescheduled-European Dates-2021

Germany has a rich and diverse history when it comes to music. This vast, proud and future-embracing nation at the heart of Europe has sired innovators in cabaret and opera, and – lest we forget – many of the world’s greatest-ever classical composers, Beethoven and Bach among them, were German too. Indeed, over the centuries, the best German musicians have created a body of work whose influences courses through Western music.

It’s not all about nostalgia, however. The best German musicians of the the 20th and 21st Centuries have often been at music’s cutting edge, bequeathing us krautrock, Neue Deutsche Welle (effectively German new wave with additional electro-pop influences), pioneering acts in electronic music and heavy metal, and many, many more.

German Unity Day (Tag Der Deutschen Einheit) takes place on 3 October every year, but the best German musicians deserve to have a frothy stein raised in their honour all year round.

Faust

One of the originators of what is now referred to as “krautrock” (or “kosmiche music”) – a broad spectrum of experimental rock that developed in Germany in the late 60s – Faust were formed in Wümme, northern Germany, in 1971, and are still the preserve of two of their founding members, Werner “Zappi” Diermaier and Jean-Hérve Péron. The band became one of the first acts to sign to Richard Branson’s Virgin Records, who issued their pioneering 1973 album The Faust Tapes at the price of a 7” single – then 49 pence. The album reportedly sold over 100,000 copies and went silver, but its low price tag rendered it ineligible for a chart placing.

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Tangerine Dream

Undeniably one of electronic music’s most influential acts, Tangerine Dream formed in West Berlin in 1967. Primarily the brainchild of founding member Edgar Froese (their lone constant until his death, in 2015), TD have released over 100 albums. Among them are the LPs they recorded for the Ohr and Virgin label during the 70s, such as Zeit, Phaedra, Rubycon and Force Majeure, which will forever be cited as electronic and ambient music touchstones, ensuring the group’s place among the best German musicians of all time.

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Scorpions

Enduring hard rock/metal outfit Scorpions first formed in Hanover in 1965 by the band’s one constant member, guitarist Rudolf Schenker, though vocalist Klaus Meine has also been on board since the early 70s. The band have sold over 100 million albums throughout their career, among them a series of high-profile, platinum-selling works during the 80s including Love At First Sting and Savage Amusement. 1990’s Crazy World included the band’s signature song, ‘Wind Of Change’, a symbolic anthem which sold over 14 million copies globally after it was released to tie in with German reunification.

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Rammstein

Industrial metal pioneers Rammstein formed in Berlin in 1994 and immediately received plaudits for their debut album, Herzeleid (Heartache), a pioneering record in establishing what German music critics referred to as Neue Deutsche Härte: a crossover style influenced by Neue Deutsche Welle, alternative metal and groove metal combined with elements from electronica and techno. Having written songs concerning sadomasochism, incest, necrophilia and more, Rammstein are no strangers to controversy, but studio albums such as Reise Reise, Rosenrot and Liebe Ist Für Alle Da, have all been multi-platinum success stories.

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Can

Formed in Cologne in 1968, Can drew from backgrounds in the avant-garde and jazz, and incorporated minimalist, electronic and world music elements into their often psychedelic and funk-inflected music. Widely hailed as pioneers of the German krautrock scene, Can’s transcendent albums dating from the early-to-mid-70s, Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi and the blissful, ambient-tinged Future Days, still sound futuristic, and they have been cited as an influence by everyone from David Bowie and PiL to Primal Scream and Happy Mondays. The Fall’s 1985 album, This Nation’s Saving Grace, even included the track ‘I Am Damo Suzuki’ in tribute to Can’s primary vocalist.

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Enigma

A German-based project instigated by German-Romanian musician and producer Michael Cretu, Enigma’s sophisticated, genre-defying music takes in elements of New Age, electronica, world and ambient music, and it has resulted in 70 million album sales and three Grammy nominations. Featuring the much-lauded global hit ‘Sadeness (Part 1)’, Enigma’s 1990 debut album, MCMXC aD, arguably remains their high-water mark, but Cretu’s music has continued to evolve, with 2008’s Seven Lives Many Faces even taking in elements of rap and dubstep.

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Herbert Grönemeyer

Born in Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Herbert Grönemeyer not only ranks among the best German musicians of all time, with a fierce fanbase in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but he is also an actor. English audiences may recall that he starred as war correspondent Lieutenant Werner in Wolfgang Petersen’s legendary movie Das Boot, but Grönemeyer later focused on his musical career. Known for his trademark alluring croon, his 1984 album 4630 Bochum and his 11th album, Mensch (Human) (2002), are the third and first best-selling records in Germany, respectively, making Grönemeyer the most successful musician in Germany, with combined domestic album sales approaching 15 million.

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Nina Hagen

Nina Hagen was born and brought up in East Germany, and released her first music in the Communist East, but she found fame after her family fled to the West. A trip to London inspired her to become a punk singer, and she is sometimes called The Godmother Of Punk, even though her dramatic and theatrical music sometimes sounds closer to glam rock. Forming the Nina Hagen band and signing with CBS, she enjoyed commercial and critical success with her self-titled 1978 debut and went on to record several critically-hailed albums for Mercury in the late 80s and early 90s.

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Nico

Born Christa Päffgen, in Cologne, in 1938, Nico grew up in war-torn Berlin and rose to prominence as a fashion model during her teens. Discovered, aged 16, by photographer Herbert Tobias, she moved to Paris and began working for Vogue, embarking on a remarkable life of highs and lows which included roles in films such as Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960) and Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Girls (1966). At Warhol’s instigation, Nico sang on several tracks on The Velvet Underground’s seminal debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, and then began a solo career yielding a number of albums produced by John Cale, including The Marble Index and Desertshore, before her death, in 1988.

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Kraftwerk

Formed in Düsseldorf, in 1970, by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk have exerted a lasting and profound influence across many genres of modern music, including synth-pop, hip-hop, post-punk, techno, ambient and dance music, and, in 2013, The Observer declared that “no other band since The Beatles has given so much to pop culture”. Kraftwerk’s 70s albums easily place the group among the best German musicians of all time, with titles such as Autobahn, Radio-Activity, Trans-Europe Express and The Man-Machine ranking among the decade’s most future-shaping discs. Their 21st-century concerts – including series of 2009 shows during which they performed with 3D background graphics – continue to innovate.

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Hans Zimmer

Born in Frankfurt Am Main, Hans Zimmer’s musical career dates back to the 70s, with early credits including a spell with Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes’ new wave outfit, Buggles. However, he earns his place among the best German musicians thanks to his astonishing film scores, with his work gracing over 150 movies, including The Lion King, the Pirates Of The Caribbean series and Gladiator. Zimmer’s scores are notable for his ability to integrate electronic music into traditional orchestral arrangements, and his genre-defying work has rewarded him with four Grammys, three Classical BRIT Awards, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award.

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Neu!

Formed in Düsseldorf, in 1971, Neu!’s two mainstays, Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother, were both involved in an early line-up of Kraftwerk. Along with Can’s Jaki Liebezeit, Dinger is credited with creating the “motorik” rhythm (a hypnotic and repetitive drum beat in 4/4 time and of moderate pace), which became a hallmark of the Neu! sound along with Rother’s harmonic drones replacing standard guitar chords. The duo’s initial trio of albums, Neu!, Neu! 2 and Neu! ’75, sold only minimally, but they are now cited as masterpieces, with seminal artists including David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Brian Eno having enthusiastically sung their praises.

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Looking for more? Discover the boundary-breaking minds behind experimental German music.

- Paul Sexton
Janet Jackson Announces 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Of ‘The Velvet Rope’
Janet Jackson 'The Velvet Rope' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

A new deluxe edition of Janet Jackson’s Grammy-winning, national and international chart-topper The Velvet Rope will be released on Friday (October 7), exactly 25 years since its debut. The new version will feature no fewer than ten bonus tracks that become available on streaming platforms for the first time, including much-sought B-sides and remixes. Among these are the rare “Accept Me” and “God’s Stepchild,” and the collection also hosts numerous remixes that were previously only available on CD singles.

The mixes include Teddy Riley’s TNT Remix of “I Get Lonely” featuring BLACKstreet; the J. Dilla (Ummah Jay Dee) remix of “Got ‘Til It’s Gone”; and Timbaland and Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott’s remix of “Go Deep.” Club mixes of various tracks are also included by David Morales & Frankie Knuckles, Masters at Work, Tony Moran, Jason Nevins, and Tony Humphries.

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In tandem with Friday’s reissue, remastered versions of Jackson’s music videos for “Go Deep,” “I Get Lonely,” “You,” “Got ’Til It’s Gone,” and “Together Again [Deeper Remix].” will also become available to watch on YouTube in HD for the first time ever.

The album, produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for Flyte Tyme Productions Inc. and Ms. Jackson, embraced her fearless songwriting themes of female sexuality, domestic violence, and mental health, through the lens of a black woman. It debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 and won a plethora of multi-platinum, platinum, and gold certifications around the world, also winning a place among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

The Velvet Rope also contained the Billboard Hot 100 No.1 “Together Again,” the Top 3 hit “I Get Lonely,” and other hugely popular tracks such as “Go Deep” and “Got ‘Til It’s Gone,” The latter song, which sampled Joni Mitchell’s 1970 staple “Big Yellow Taxi,” featured both Mitchell and Q-Tip, and won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form.

Pre-order the deluxe edition of Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Ropewhich is released on Friday (October 7). 

- Tim Peacock
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Bad Cinderella’ Set To Open On Broadway
Andrew-Lloyd-Webber-Bad-Cinderella-Broadway

Andrew Lloyd Webber has officially announced the arrival of Bad Cinderella on Broadway, starring Linedy Genao in the title role.

Performances will begin on Friday, February 17, 2023 at the Imperial Theatre (249 W 45th Street), with Opening Night taking place on Thursday, March 23, 2023.

In addition to music by Lloyd Webber, Bad Cinderella features a book by Academy Award winner Emerald Fennell and lyrics by Tony and Olivier Award winner David Zippel. JoAnn M. Hunter choreographs with direction by Laurence Connor.

The musical is produced on Broadway by No Guarantees (Christine Schwarzman, President; Darren Johnston, Executive Vice President) and Really Useful Group, with Wagner Johnson Productions serving as Executive Producers.

Mrs. Schwarzman commented, “We are honored to be introducing this modern Cinderella story to Broadway, and it is a dream come true to work with Andrew Lloyd Webber, especially on a score that sits among his very best.” She added, “Working with this extraordinary creative team, we’ve created a new Cinderella for today’s audience. It’s so joyful and unique; we can’t wait to share it!”

This modern retelling of the classic fairytale is set in the exceptionally beautiful kingdom of Belleville. Our Cinderella is no longer the damsel in distress who needs saving. She finds herself and her prince in new circumstances which cause them to rethink what “happily ever after” really means.

Ms. Genao commented, “I have been dreaming about originating a leading role on Broadway for just about my entire life, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine achieving that dream alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber and such an incredible team of collaborators. As a proud Dominican American, I am most excited about this opportunity to represent my community and show the world that fairy tales do come true — and are for everybody. My heart is bursting.”

Lloyd Webber added, “I am thrilled and delighted that we are bringing Bad Cinderella to the Imperial Theatre. We have been working hard on a few new songs for our Broadway opening and, with such brilliant team, led by the spectacular Linedy, I know this is going to be really special.”

In August, Ms. Genao travelled to London to record the show’s title song, “Bad Cinderella,” with Andrew Lloyd Webber in both English and Spanish. Universal Music Enterprises released the English version of the single today, Monday, October 3 – it is now available across all major streaming platforms. The Spanish language version will follow later.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is currently represented on Broadway by the global phenomenon and longest-running Broadway production ever, The Phantom of the Opera. With the arrival of Bad Cinderella, a Lloyd Webber musical will have been performing on Broadway every single playing night since September 1979 – an extraordinary 43-year streak. He has been nominated for 23 competitive Tony Awards, winning six, as well as a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also been nominated for 14 Grammy Awards, winning three. With his 1996 Oscar and his 2018 Emmy Award, he became one of just 17 people to have achieved EGOT status.

Bad Cinderella was written by Emerald Fennell, internationally recognized as one of the most influential and vibrant dramatic artists working today. An acclaimed actor, director and writer, Fennell has been honored with an Academy Award, two British Academy Film Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as nominations for three Primetime Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. Her credits include the movies Promising Young Woman and the forthcoming Saltburn and the TV series Killing Eve.

Buy or stream ‘Bad Cinderella’.

- Tim Peacock
Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre Reunite To Make New Album, ‘Missionary’
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Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre have announced they are collaborating on a new album called Missionary.

After the former teased that the hip-hop idols are working on their first new music in three decades, the “Drop It Like It’s Hot” rapper has confirmed the crude title of the project.

Speaking on the ‘Know Mercy’ podcast, he spilled: “Me and Dr. Dre have been working on an album for the past two months.”

Asked about the sex position moniker ‘Missionary’, he replied: “The first album was ‘Doggystyle’…” Dre produced Snoop’s acclaimed 1993 LP Doggystyle.

Missionary is expected to be released in November. The album title confirmation comes after Eminem shared a snap in the studio with the pair last month, and captioned it: “Just a few bros.. hangin out.”

Snoop and Dre reunited earlier this year for an epic performance at the Super Bowl halftime show – along with Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.

And following whispers that the pair were in the studio, Snoop told Entertainment Tonight: “We’re cooking up a little something. I don’t wanna talk about it too much, but we’re back together again.

Snoop shot to fame in 1992 when he featured on Dre’s debut solo single, “Deep Cover”, and his solo LP The Chronic.

Earlier this year, Snoop bought Death Row Records, the label that launched his career. The rapper – whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr – acquired the company from MNRK Music Group for an undisclosed sum.

The 50-year-old megastar said in February: “I am thrilled and appreciative of the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value.

“It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career and as one of the founding members. This is an extremely meaningful moment for me.”

Death Row – which was also the home of the likes of the late Tupac Shakur and Nate Dogg – filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and was sold in 2012, after founder Suge Knight faced serious financial and legal issues. The 57-year-old former music executive is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for a fatal 2015 hit-and-run.

Snoop had previously expressed his desire to own Death Row when he was made executive creative and strategic consultant in 2021.

He said in November: “I think all of Death Row should be in my hands. “I should be running that s_t. Just like I’m [in] a position at Def Jam, Death Row means more to me because I helped create that.”

Dre, 57, was also instrumental in launching the career of Eminem, 49, having signed the up and coming rapper in 1998.

Listen to the best of Snoop Dogg on Apple Music and Spotify.

- Rhian Daly
Sebastián Yatra Celebrates ‘Dharma’’s Four Times Platinum RIAA Certification In The US And Puerto Rico
Sebastián Yatra – Photo: Erick Fernando Quituizaca (Courtesy of Universal Music Latino)

Sebastián Yatra celebrated his latest album Dharma being certified four times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the US and Puerto Rico at the Miami stop of his current world tour.

Shop the best of Sebastián Yatra’s discography on vinyl and more.

The acclaimed Colombian singer was presented with a plaque backstage at the concert on Sunday (October 2), which took play at the FTX Arena in his hometown.

As well as going four times platinum in the US, Dharma has also struck a huge chord with fans around the world, garnering several other huge certifications. The record has gone two times diamond in Colombia and Peru, eight times platinum in Ecuador, platinum in Venezuela, 37 times platinum in Chile, gold in Argentina, three times platinum and gold in Mexico, three times diamond in Central America, and gold in Spain.

The phenomenal success of Dharma follows Yatra being nominated for four Latin Grammy Awards, including Album Of The Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Song Of The Year and Best Pop Song, both for “Tacones Rojos.”

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Now, Yatra’s tour will continue through to December. He will wrap up the US leg next week in Boston (October 8), before heading on to Ecuador, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua and closing the dates in the Dominican Republic on December 10. You can find full tour details and tickets on Yatra’s official website.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Yatra teamed up with John Legend for a special remix of “Tacones Rojos.” “John is miraculously talented, and musically he can go anywhere. He’s someone I admire, and vocal-wise, it’s very intriguing to see how he’s going to sound in a song like this because of his vocal capacity,” Yatra told Billboard about the collaboration.

“When you have a song you love so much, you want to give it to someone who has a stroke of genius like John has and who will keep the essence instead of just a translation.”

Buy or stream Dharma.

- Paul Sexton
50th Anniversary Edition Due For Peggy Lee’s ‘Norma Deloris Egstrom…’ Album
Peggy Lee 'Norma Deloris Egstrom From Jamestown, North Dakota' artwork - Courtesy: Capitol Records/UMe/Peggy Lee Associates

One of the most admired albums in the catalog of the great Peggy Lee, Norma Deloris Egstrom From Jamestown, North Dakota, will be released in a 50th anniversary edition on November 18.

The deluxe set, from Capitol Records and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) in conjunction with Peggy Lee Associates, will include the ten original tracks from the 1972 album plus seven bonus tracks. These comprise five alternate takes, a session outtake, and an Oscar-nominated Best Original Song of the era, with the bonus tracks making their digital debut. The album will be available on CD and digitally.

Norma Deloris Egstrom From Jamestown, North Dakota was Lee’s 40th and final LP for Capitol Records, and set her peerless vocal artistry at the center of the inspired combination of acclaimed producer Tom Catalano (Neil Diamond, Anne Murray), renowned arranger Artie Butler (Louis Armstrong, Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick), and Lee’s manager and album coordinator Brian Panella. The album is widely seen as one of the high points of her career and an artistic tour de force.

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The LP includes such classics as “A Song for You,” “Just for a Thrill,” “Superstar, “ “The More I See You,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and many others that address love, loss, and longing. The new release will also contain a 23-page booklet, annotated by archivist Iván Santiago, featuring new interviews with Catalano, Butler, and Panella, alongside previously unseen photos from the 1972 recording session.

As Lee’s artistry continues to resonate with new generations of fans, this spring saw the release of a new edition of the 1989 volume Miss Peggy Lee: An Autobiography. It now includes her never-before-released book of poetry, Softly With Feeling; a new cover; an epilogue by jazz and music writer Will Friedwald; a comprehensive discography and recommended listening section, compiled by Santiago; and a new foreword by the great vocalist and songwriter’s granddaughter, Holly Foster Wells.

Following Lee’s 2020 centennial, her Grammy exhibit 100 Years of Peggy Lee has been extended until May 2023. Other ongoing celebrations have included a CBS Sunday Morning profile that traced “Peggy Lee and her cool power” back to her beginnings in North Dakota, and this summer’s Hollywood Bowl tribute to Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra with the Count Basie Orchestra. The event featured such special guests as Billie Eilish, Debbie Harry, Dianne Reeves, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Seth MacFarlane.

Pre-order Norma Deloris Egstrom From Jamestown, North Dakotawhich is released on November 18.

The full album tracklist is:
1. Love Song – (Lesley Duncan)
2. Razor (Love Me As I Am) – (Jack Schechtman)
3. When I Found You – (Mike Randall)
4. A Song For You – (Leon Russell)
5. It Takes Too Long To Learn To Live Alone – (Leon Carr, Robert Allen)
6. Superstar – (Leon Russell, Bonnie Bramlett)
7. Just For A Thrill – (Lil Hardin Armstrong, Don Raye)
8. Someone Who Cares – (Alex Harvey)
9. The More I See You – (Harry Warren, Mack Gordon)
10. I’ll Be Seeing You – (Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal)

Bonus Tracks:
11. It Changes – session outtake^ – (Robert Bernard Sherman, Richard Morton Sherman)
12. Pieces of Dreams – 45-single^ – (Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Michel Legrand)
13. When I Found You – alternate take^
14. A Song For You – alternate take^
15. Someone Who Cares – alternate take^
16. The More I See You – alternate take^
17. I’ll Be Seeing You – alternate take^

 

- Tim Peacock
Tori Amos Announces New UK ‘Ocean To Ocean’ Tour Dates For 2023
Tori-Amos-Ocean-To-Ocean-Tour-Dates-2023

Following the release of her critically acclaimed album Ocean to Ocean at the end of last year and a sell out World Tour throughout 2022, celebrated singer-songwriter Tori Amos returns to the UK for 6 additional spectacular shows in 2023, culminating at The Royal Albert Hall on Monday, April 3.

Tori will be performing with long-time collaborator bassist Jon Evans and renowned UK drummer Ash Soan, with special guest support to be announced.

Since the release of her first, career-defining solo album Little Earthquakes, and her number 1 album Under The Pink Tori Amos has been one of the music industry’s most enduring and ingenious artists, with three top 10 albums and the Global smash hit single “Professional Widow” which remained in the Top 40 for an impressive 15 weeks, continuing to rock clubland for over a decade.

Tori Amos has transcended from commercial pop success to using her music to tackle serious issues around female gender, subsequently paving the way for a generation of young female activist popstars. From her visceral depiction of sexual assault in “Me And A Gun” & her post-9/11 album Scarlet’s Walk to her decidedly feminist stage musical The Light Princess, her work has never shied away from intermingling the personal with the political. Native Invader (2017) was formed out of her desire to prove that “We can out-create the destructiveness that is all around us” and her stunning top 40, 2021 album Ocean To Ocean addressed the feelings of lock down, isolation, family and grief, with a gentle euphoric approach to such potentially dark musings.

Tori Amos’ Ocean To Ocean 2023 UK Tour glides into town for the following dates:

Saturday, March 25: Edinburgh Queens Hall
Monday, March 27: Belfast The Ulster Hall
Tuesday, March 28: Dublin 3 Olympia Theatre
Friday, March 31: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Saturday, April 1: Cambridge Corn Exchange
Monday, April 3: London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Listen to the best of Tori Amos on Apple Music and Spotify.

- Bill Pearis
2manydjs reissuing mashup classic ‘As Heard on Radio Soulwax  Pt 2′ (coming to streaming too)
2manydjs, aka Soulwax's Stephen & David Dewaele, are reissing their classic 2002 DJ mix 'As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt 2' for its 20th anniversary, and throwing a big party in London to celebrate... Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Tour news: Spiritualized, Ringo Starr, Chapo Trap House, John Mellencamp, more
Plus: Joe Russo's Almost Dead, Glorious Depravity, Arctic Monkeys / Fontaines D.C., Bono, The Avalanches, Yo La Tengo Hanukkah 2022, Dry Cleaning, SRSQ, and more tour and festival news. Continue reading…
- BrooklynVegan Staff
11 New Songs Out Today
Listen to new songs by Turnover, Sorry, Hammers of Misfortune, Punitive Damage, Babehoven, Flee Lord, and more. Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Dry Cleaning hosting free rollerskating listening party in NYC for new album ‘Stumpwork’
Dry Cleaning‘s anticipated second album, ‘Stumpwork,‘ is out October 21 via 4AD. Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Helado Negro, Standing on the Corner, Vagabon, Joe Rainey & more playing Outline: Fall (lineup)
Also playing the fall edition of Knockdown Center’s Outline series: Maria BC and Yasmin Williams. Continue reading…
- Andrew Sacher
‘In Defense of the Genre': Best Punk & Emo Songs of September
The September roundup of our punk column In Defense of the Genre includes recent news, reviews, and features, along with a list of the best songs of the month. Continue reading…
- Amanda Hatfield
MUNA played 3 nights at Irving Plaza w/ Meet Me @ The Altar, brought out Bowen Yang (video, night 2 pics)
MUNA's three sold out NYC shows also featured their cover of The Killer’s ”Mr. Brightside.” Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
The Avalanches cancel remainder of North American tour due to “serious illness”
The Avalanches tour had already been postponed once “due to ongoing personal health issues.“ Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
SRSQ shares trippy “Used to Love” video, announces fall tour dates with Ceremony, Choirboy
SRSQ released ‘Ever Crashing‘ earlier this year; dates with Ceremony are in November and dates with Choirboy are in December. Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Yo La Tengo announce 2022 Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom
Yo La Tengo‘s annual tradition includes surprise opening acts, guests during the main set and no repeated songs across all eight nights. Continue reading…
- Andrew Sacher
Paramore debuted “This Is Why,” brought back “Misery Business” at first show in four years
”I’m just gonna say thank you for being nostalgic about this because this is one of the coolest moments of our show and it’s very nice to feel like there’s a reason to bring it back that’s positive.” Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Pavement continued their Kings Theatre run on Sunday with Horsegirl (Night 3 setlist, video)
Pavement‘s four-night Kings Theatre run wraps up tonight with Steve Gunn opening. Continue reading…
- Andrew Sacher
Arctic Monkeys announce tour with Fontaines D.C. (two Forest Hills shows)
Arctic Monkeys will tour North America in 2023, and it'll be a great double bill with Fontaines D.C., including two big NYC shows at Forest Hills Stadium... Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Bono announces book tour for new memoir ‘SURRENDER: 40 Songs, One Story’
“I miss being on stage and the closeness of U2’s audience,” says Bono. “In these shows I’ve got some stories to sing, and some songs to tell.” Continue reading…
- BrooklynVegan Staff
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Japanese Breakfast & The Linda Lindas @ Forest Hills Stadium (pics, videos, setlists)
Just one day after releasing their great new album 'Cool It Down,' Yeah Yeah Yeahs played their first headlining hometown show in five years... Continue reading…
- Andrew Sacher
10 Best Rap Albums of September 2022
Here are the best rap albums released in September, including Sudan Archives, Ka, billy woods, Sampa the Great, Freddie Gibbs, EST Gee, and more... Continue reading…
- Andrew Sacher
Stream Origami Angel’s surprise hardcore EP ‘DEPART’
Just three days after putting out a surprise jangle pop EP, DC emo band Origami Angel have gone in the opposite direction on 'DEPART.' Continue reading…
- BrooklynVegan Staff
What’s Going on Monday?
It's an extra-stacked Monday, with NYC-area shows including Pavement, Turnstile, Lizzo, Jessie Ware, Sports Team, and more. Continue reading…
- Amy Geiger
Pop Montreal Day 4: Sister Nancy, Joe Rainey, Vanille, Haru Nemuri & more
Pop Montreal on Saturday was a night chock-full of international acts and diverse sounds. Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Pavement were indie rock bliss at Kings Theatre (Night 2 review, setlist, video)
Pavement‘s second of four shows at Kings Theater was a perfect blend of sing-a-long '90s indie rock classics, jammy deep cuts, and great vibes. Continue reading…
- Alex Mitchell-Hardt
Independent Artists Signing Record Deals after TikTok Success in 2022
Independent Artists Signing Record Deals after TikTok Success in 2022

It's no secret that TikTok has become the most popular place for A&Rs to discover new talent.

These days, if you find your name on the TikTok Emerging Artists Chart you can rest assured every label is now aware of you.

A recent Vox report found that out of the 125 emerging artists they tracked, over 45% of them signed major label record deals after going viral on TikTok.

In this post, we'll share 5 emerging artists that have broken through in 2022 and landed one of those coveted deals.

1) Katie Gregson-MacLeod | Signed with Columbia RecordsIndependent Artists Signing Record Deals after TikTok Success in 2022source: spotify.com


Most Viral TikTok Sound: "Complex (demo)"
Story: The Scotland-native signed to Columbia Records after posting a 45 second clip of her song “Complex”. Since being released on Spotify, the song has racked up over 10 million streams. More details via NME.

Must See Video:

@katiegregsonmacleod here’s my saviour complex song #fyp #originalsong #singersongwriter ♬ complex (demo) - Katie Gregson-MacLeod 2) Armani White | Signed with Def JamIndependent Artists Signing Record Deals after TikTok Success in 2022source: spotify.com


Most Viral TikTok Sound: "Billie Eilish"
Story: Signed by DefJam in July 2022 after his single "Billie Eilish" took over TikTok. The single is now closing in on 100 Million Spotify streams. More details via Billboard.

Must See Video:

@armaniblanco IM REALLY THE GOAT NOW 😤🐐 #fyp #phillytiktok #blacktiktok #billieeilish #goated ♬ original sound - Armani White 3) Ktlyn | Signed with Diemon RecordsIndependent Artists Signing Record Deals after TikTok Success in 2022source: spotify.com


Most Viral TikTok Sound: "Big Mad"
Story: Ktlyn was discovered on TikTok by independent rap icon Russ. After delivering the goods on his “Handsomer” open verse challenge on TikTok, she was chosen to be on the official remix for the song - boasting over 40 million streams on Spotify.  More Details via Billboard.

Must See Video:

@ktlynraps I won’t lie that extra coin don’t hurt 🤣 @russ eng @brendangone #handsomer #russ #rap ♬ HANDSOMER (Remix) (Feat. Ktlyn) - Russ 4) Warren Zeiders | Signed with Warner RecordsIndependent Artists Signing Record Deals after TikTok Success in 2022source: spotify.com

Most Viral TikTok Sound: "Ride The Lightning"
Story: The Hershey, PA native signed with Warner Records after amassing a huge TikTok following and having this track "Ride the lightning" take off on the platform. The song is now certified Gold. More via Billboard

Must See Video:

@warrenzeiders Can Y’all Blow This Up 2x ⁉️⚡️#fyp #countrymusic #country #warrenzeiders #singing #viral #xyzbca ♬ original sound - Warren Zeiders 5) Lehla Samia | Signed with CMG RecordsIndependent Artists Signing Record Deals after TikTok Success in 2022source: spotify.com


Most Viral TikTok Sound: "Call on Me"
Story: The R&B artist turned TikTok star was signed by Yo Gotti to his CMG Record Label. Along with the record deal, Yo Gotti handed her the keys to a pink Lamborghini. More Details via Complex.

Must See Video:

@lehlasamia 👑 of CMG💕 , I’m making so many amazing memories. This is only the beginning #fyp #lehnation 🫶🏽 #family ♬ Call On Me - Lehla Samia
- TJ Jones
The Fall of FN Meka and The Rise of The Virtual Influencer
The Fall of FN Meka and The Rise of The Virtual Influencer

FN Meka was created in 2019 by Factory New Records as what appeared to be a run-of-the-mill virtual influencer. The avatar quickly gained notoriety on TikTok for posting videos featuring Gucci Tesla Cybertrucks, Lamborghini gaming chairs, and other (now deleted) Artificial Reality powered content, amassing millions of followers on the platform.

The virtual influencer was also heavily involved in the NFT Marketplace and has been known to “auction off” things like the virtual Lamborghini-styled “SUPER TOLIET” porta-potty which earned its creators $6,432 in cryptocurrency and promoted “AR sneakers” on the RTFKT Marketplace.

AI RAPPERS UP NEXT‼️

One of Capitol Records’ newest signees is @fnmeka, a rapper created from artificial intelligence pic.twitter.com/RX8XolmFNw

— RemixdMag (@RemixdMag) August 21, 2022

Although Meka did release 2 songs that year that made their way around TikTok, the CGI avatar seemed more like a Grand Theft Auto NPC than a signable music artist.

Perhaps this internet buzz was used as a proof of concept by the co-founder of Factory New Records and former artist manager Anthony Martini when the avatar FN Meka was signed to Capitol Records 3 years later.

Dubbed as the “world’s first AR artist to sign with a major label”, FN Meka has sparked quite a bit of controversy over the past few weeks and is a peak at what’s to come for the future of the music industry.

The Fall

Ironically, FN Meka is voiced by an actual person, not A.I. Co-founder Martini has stated that the A.I. technology is only used was for creating lyrical content, chords, melody [and] tempo.

When allegations emerged that the FN Meka project is a racist caricature that appropriates black art and culture, Martini defended the project in the New York Times stressing that the anonymous rapper that voices FN Meka is “a black guy”, and his team was “actually one of the most diverse teams you can get”.

Have you lost your FN minds? @capitolrecords @capitolmusic pic.twitter.com/TxbqDhJmv0

— Industry Blackout #IndustryBlackout (@industryblkout) August 23, 2022

The rapper Kyle the Hooligan has alleged he was one of the multiple artists whose voices were used for FN Meka’s tracks and that he was promised equity in the company for his role in voicing the avatar rapper.

He also states that he was “ghosted” by the founders, never received any funds, or had any control over the likeness of the avatar which received major backlash after an image trivializing police brutality resurfaced.

The Fall of FN Meka and The Rise of The Virtual Influencer

In his interview with Vice, Kyle the Hooligan further alleges he wrote the song himself and all Factory New did was pitch up the vocals and told him to write in the style of 6ix9ine.

Factory New essentially created an avatar, used the talents of Kyle the Hooligan, kept him anonymous and failed to compensate him (and potentially other artists) for his work all while pushing the narrative that this was some new Artificial Intelligence break through.

To make matters worse, Gunna of Young Thug’s YSL Records is currently incarcerated for lyrics identical to the ones the robot is mimicking.

Martini argued in the NYT that FN Meka was “not this malicious plan of white [music industry] executives” but when black artists aren’t getting paid for their art, Martini and his label use avatars to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and face no consequences for what can land a black artists in prison, it seems pretty malicious. Or at the very least, a continuation of a long history of music labels exploiting Black artists.

The Fall of FN Meka and The Rise of The Virtual InfluencerThe Future of Virtual Artistry

Martini’s vision of the future of the music industry and the role virtual artists play in that have been contradictory to say the least.

In a 2021 interview with Music Business Worldwide, Martini posed the question How many [Artists] are just vessels for commercial endeavors?”.

He then references the fallout between Scooter Braun and Taylor Swift and how those situations wouldn’t happen if Taylor Swift was an avatar or “Basically a corporately-owned video game character.”  before touting that creating characters “using thousands of data points compiled from video games and social media” would save record labels money and increase “success” rates.

Seemingly arguing that it’s more efficient to eliminate real musicians and replace them with robots that don’t complain or ask to be compensated for their work.

However, after FN Meka was dropped from Capitol Records and Martini decided to leave the project all together, he released a new statement with a different outlook.

“Too many artists never realize their dreams because of the labels put on them by society. The music industry is full of talented singers, rappers and producers who never get a shot because a corporation doesn’t think they have “right look” or are “too old” or not “marketable enough.” Whether it’s prejudices they face or simply the artist not feeling comfortable with the body they were born in, virtual characters have the potential to be a true equalizer and the next frontier in representation in the arts. That is how virtual avatars can and should enable MORE artists to have a platform, not fewer.”

While this is a much less dystopian view on the future of the music industry, this is not what Factory New originally presented as the intent with the project nor does it reflect their actual experiences working with artists.

This contradiction does however bring up an interesting point.

Will virtual artistry be the great equalizer for musicians and create a more meritocratic system or will it further corporate reliance on algorithms and data models to decide what gets heard and promoted, even if that means eliminating the human element entirely ?

The only thing that’s certain is that virtual influencers aren’t going anywhere.

Lil Miquela first appeared on Instagram in 2016 as a 19 year old model / social justice activist living in Los Angeles, seemingly out of nowhere.

The Fall of FN Meka and The Rise of The Virtual Influencer

The novelty of Miquela helped the online character gain over a million Instagram followers that same year and it wasn't until 2 years later that the LA based startup Brud announced that they'd created Miquela and received $125 Million Dollars in VC funding the following year.  

Lil Miquela has since been sponsored by numerous notable brands including Prada and Calvin Klien, signed with talented agency CAA and (you guessed it) has released dozens of tracks, many of which have over 1 million streams on Spotify.

The person behind the vocals for Miquela's music is anonymous.

While FN Meka may have failed miserably, it seems this is only the beginning for the "Virtual" "Artist".

- William Duvall
Why Kid Travis Stays Independent and His Tips For Being a Successful Artist
Why Kid Travis Stays Independent and His Tips For Being a Successful Artist

Hometown: Bristol
Currently Based In: Philadelphia
Favorite Hobby: Playing video games and hanging with friends
Favorite Artist(s): Drake, Jon Bellion, & Post Malone
Who is Kid Travis?


I'm a multi genre artist that cannot be put in a box, but is always working on your next favorite song.

Most of my day is spent on making music. The music and I are one. I live breathe and sweat making music in my bedroom/office.

It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and it’s the last thing I think about when I go to bed.

So you're a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist & producer. What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?


Someone wanting to follow in my footsteps HAS TO LOVE WHAT THEY DO. If you love what you do, work is easy, so do good work.

Create what you think is great music. Make A LOT of that music. Release A LOT of that music. Stay independent. And most importantly, do not be afraid to learn new ways and perspectives.

In fact, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t research some of the best who’s ever done music in this industry.

How do you measure success as an independent musician?


Because I’m independent, I have a lot more choices regarding my music than others who may be signed to a label.

I have full creative control, I have no exclusivity to any distribution, meaning I can upload anywhere at anytime, and I get to keep my MASTERS, which means I can also collect any radio play revenue.

By avoiding contractual traps and staying focused on your mission, it puts me in a place where I can have more OPTIONS and more FREEDOM.

What does your creative process look like?


I do A LOT of freestyling for melodic parts and then structuring to simplify the music.

Sometimes it takes me only a few hours to write a song when I am really invested.

Who are the biggest influences in your life that have contributed to your success?


My father and mother. They’ve been my rock.

My music teacher in highschool, Mrs. Ruiz

My AV teacher in highschool, CJ Mills

@kidtravis The hard work will pay off #hardwork #independentartist #foryoupage #viral #rnb #neyo ♬ Strawberry Skies - Kid Travis What keeps you motivated in your day-to-day life?


The excitement of life, because no one knows what the next day will bring.

What is the story behind your artist name?


My mother and father sang at restaurants and lounges when they were young and my father’s stage name became “Travis”.

What fictional character do you identify with the most and why?


This may sound funny, but sometimes I feel like iron man because of the many
screens I look at a day.

If you can have your fans remember one thing about you, what would it be?


I would like my fans to remember that I was giving them music that I thoroughly enjoyed and made with care and caution.

They need to know that not only was I making this selfishly but I was, writing these songs to try and make them the most addictive they could possibly be!

Most importantly, I want my fans to be incapable of putting the song down or turning it off.

i swear my fans are the best idgaf
i’m feeding y’all next month
✌🏽

— kidtravis.com (@kidtravis) April 20, 2022
How has Playlist Push contributed to your growth as an artist?

It’s helped me capitalize on particular songs that have proven themselves to
work with a larger audience.

How did you discover Playlist Push?


We were looking into different ways to market the music I make, and stumbled across this site and a few others, and we’ve been very satisfied ever since.

- William Duvall
Austin Native Kydd Jones Shares His Tips For Breaking Into The Music Industry
Hometown: Austin, TX
Currently Based: Austin, TX
Favorite Artist: Smino
Favorite Hobby: BasketballWho is Kydd Jones?Austin Native Kydd Jones Shares His Tips For Breaking Into The Music Industry


I’m a singer-songwriter, producer, emcee, artist, designer, director and creative from Austin, Texas.

How much of an influence has the city of Austin been on your music?


Well, I was born and raised here so I grew up hearing all kinds of music downtown and in the streets. It taught me to listen to a lot of different stuff and be well-rounded.

I’ve also lived in Brooklyn and in the Houston and Atlanta areas… those places also influenced me by driving me to figure out how to better market my music and stand out more.

What is your favorite song from your newest album Onyx d'Or (No More Waiting Deluxe) and why?

Crispy Sprite because it’s just a vibe! It’s definitely one of the more personal songs on the album, just talking about my life, what I’ve been through, and where I’m at right now.

How did you “discover” your sound?


I guess the things I listened to when I was growing up helped influence my style and sound. The stuff my mom and dad played in the house always stuck with me.

My mom is from Texas, so she listened to a lot of R&B like Mary J Blige but would also jam stuff from people like Snoop Dogg.

My dad is from New York so he would play stuff like DMX and Nas that a lot of people from Texas didn’t really care for at the time. Being in a rap group with my older brother definitely helped me hone my craft as well.

What is something you think artists do wrong?


Sometimes artists think too much. There’s a difference between doing your research or homework and overthinking something.

When I was signed to a record label as part of a group at 15 and things went sideways for the group, I didn’t look at it as the end of my career or let it stop my momentum the way some of the other members did.

I just kept on working in the studio and creating.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kydd Jones (@kyddjones)


What are your immediate music career goals?


To create generational wealth off of my talents and become a household name.

I’ve done a lot of crazy dope things in my music career so far, but having a son definitely changed my perspectives and priorities on how to get to where I need to go in order to put him in the best position possible.

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?


To be free, whatever that means to myself or the listener. To have a voice that can overcome.

If you can have your fans remember one thing about you, what would it be?


That he was the coldest in anything he did and in any genre!

As a singer-songwriter, emcee, producer, fashion designer, director… man, even when it comes to putting barbecue sauce on some brisket! What did Birdman say?

Put some respect on my name!

What music did you listen to when you were a kid?


Hiphop and R&B but mostly R&B.

How has Playlist Push contributed to your growth as an artist?


Playlist Push has been dope because it helps introduce artists to more fans across the world that are down to help spread the word to people about us and our music.

- Alex Mitchell-Hardt
How TikTok videos launch music careers on Spotify: 5 Steps
How TikTok videos launch music careers on Spotify: 5 Steps

Vox recently conducted a "data investigation into how TikTok is shaping the music industry" and shared their findings in this insight-filled video:

During the project, the researchers uncovered “The TikTok-to-Spotify Pipeline", perhaps the most impactful phenomenon in the modern music industry.

1) What is the TikTok-To-Spotify Pipeline?

The 'TikTok-to-Spotify Pipeline' is the connection between a song going viral on TikTok and its impact on that artist's Spotify streaming success.

How TikTok videos launch music careers on Spotify: 5 StepsSource: Vox YouTube

According to Vox's analysis, it is this TikTok-Spotify connection that's leading to so many new breakout stars and record deals.

Here are couple quotes from the video that explain why TikTok is so special for music promotion.

Elias Leight (Sr. Writer @Billboard):

“The two big differences are how many viral moments [TikTok] creates and then how directly that virality correlates with streaming increase...which is why the labels are so obsessed with it.”

L. Dre (Viral TikTok Artist):

“TikTok is one of the main platforms where people actually leave the app to go and add music to their library.” 2) TikTok virality leads to sustained Spotify success 🙌

When a song takes off on TikTok and goes viral, this creates a short-term craze that eventually fades.

However, this momentary TikTok virality can actually generate sustained long-term Spotify streaming behavior.

For example, take a look at the chart below showing JVKE's peak TikTok virality.

How TikTok videos launch music careers on Spotify: 5 StepsSource: Vox YouTube

You'll notice that the moment of peak virality aligns with the start of his rapid growth on Spotify, which carried on for months after the TikTok buzz had cooled down.

For JVKE, TikTok was his primary music marketing and promo platform. The results speak for themselves.

TikTok launched a whole new lifecycle for JVKE's song on Spotify.

3) TikTok success leads to getting on Spotify playlists 🚀

Put simply, going viral on TikTok leads to a surge of listeners, which leads to getting on Spotify playlists and generates cycles of triggering the Spotify algorithm.

It creates a concentrated drove of streams on Spotify that begin to activate the platform. Algorithmic, user-generated, and editorial playlist placements follow.

The chart below from Vox shows how after "Upside Down" by Jake went viral on TikTok it began getting added to Spotify editorial playlists at a rapid rate.

How TikTok videos launch music careers on Spotify: 5 StepsSource: Vox YouTube

The effect becomes a self-sustaining streaming ecosystem within Spotify that continues to support & promote the song.


4) TikTok virality leads to record deals & leverage 💸

In Vox's report they found that about 46% of the 125 emerging artists they tracked signed major label deals after going viral on TikTok...and the rests of the artists likely turned their offers down to stay independent (source). So what's happening here?

Elias Leight (Sr. Writer @Billboard):

In a way, TikTok is great for the labels. They basically sit on top of it, watch everything come up and if they get it at the right time they can probably make their money back on pretty much one track.

The intensity of these bidding wars around viral songs is pretty wild.

How do the labels make their money back? This comes from all of the streaming royalties that are generated by the viral artists on Spotify, Apple Music, and Streaming platforms. They'll also make some money from TikTok royalties.

How TikTok videos launch music careers on Spotify: 5 StepsSource: Vox YouTube5) How to take advantage of the TikTok-To-Spotify Pipeline 🤫

The key is to get creators on TikTok to use your music in their videos. You can try to do this organically by starting your own trend or asking your followers, but the most effective way is to submit your music to influencers and creators with big followings.

What's the easiest way to pitch your music to TikTok creators? You can reachout directly and DM them, however this can be hard to get responses and negotiate rates.

Playlist Push campaigns simplify TikTok music promotion. It takes less than 3 minutes to set up a campaign and connect with hundreds of creators. Get started here.

- TJ Jones
How Kai Crushed Youtube Music and Became a 5 Star Spotify Curator
How Kai Crushed Youtube Music and Became a 5 Star Spotify Curator

Kai has helped 36 of our artists reach over 600,000 new listeners!

Hometown: Brighton, United Kingdom
Top Genres: slowed & reverb / dance pop
Favorite Artist: xxxtentacion & playboi carti
Favorite Hobby: Thrifting / Fashion

1) How did you get into curating playlists?

I've always had a big influence in music from a young age with my uncle Chad Jackson who is a DMC world champion DJ who helped my find creativity within music & always supported my interest in the industry. I started out creating random songs & noise on daw's like reason & logic as a child which lead me into creating my first youtube channel where i'd learnt how to produce instrumental versions of popular music. Since then over the span of the following 10 years i'd gone from learning production to being a manager of multiple successful artists, creating my own alias, curating music as one of the pioneers in the YouTube music scene & to where I am today. My passion for music stems from my inspiration but also the way it allows myself & others to express ourselves, I believe in music therapy & always helping others so it's allowed me to share something I value a lot for my own health but to also connect hundreds of thousands of people & hopefully help them too.


2) What’s the story behind your greatest playlist?

One of my most recent projects on YouTube I began around in 2020 was a now more popular known edit of audio known as "slowed + reverb", i'd seen the impact this had in the community & how so many people connected to it on a more emotional level compared to normal. Unfortunately due to personal reasons I wasn't able to continue this channel on myself & left it in the hands of a friend in 2021 but it had quickly grown to almost 700,000 subscribers in that time. I knew the impact it had in the community & how it helped & I didn't want to  leave that behind so later on curated a playlist on Spotify in the same aspect. By this time a lot of artists were releasing their own edits on their songs & many artists took to making covers of their favourite songs & recreating the same editing style which allowed me to curate & share more music in this style on Spotify.


3) What's your primary method for discovering new music?

I feel like discovering new music can be very difficult now, with most new music being discovered through AI generated playlists or trending music via TikTok it's hard to find emerging artists. As someone who's been in the industry so long I discover a lot of new artists through word of mouth & suggestions from other friends, labels or managers. TikTok has allowed a lot of artists to be discovered but it's certainly difficult for other artists to get heard amongst all this.


4) What makes an artist or song stand out?

As my passion for me is predominantly based around music therapy I want a song to really connect with me. I want to be able to hear the passion & emotion an artist has put into that record & for it to resonate with me when i'm listening. Whether that be within the production, writing or topline I want to be able to feel that passion myself & feel those goosebumps listening to it.


5) How do you decide on your playlist order and length?

It can vary but more recently i've adopted a shorter style playlist length, I used to go by the industry standard of 100 but from a user perspective felt like that would be too long so reduced it to around 60 - 80 songs. I've seen more success since this change & think it's more approachable than a playlist with say 500 songs which could be more daunting & have a lot more music that people aren't actually interested in hearing. I like my playlists to tell more of a story, for example my Summer Songs playlist represents the start, middle & end of a night & can be listened to in order to resemble that narrative.


6) Favorite artist you’ve discovered on Playlist Push?

Kid Travis for sure, actually being one of my favorite emerging artists for the past few years. I originally discovered his covers on YouTube & continued to discover more of his music through Playlist Push when he started to release his own music. I've actually since worked personally with him & his manager to help more people discovered his music & only wish the best for him in the future!


7) What tips do you have for growing playlists?

It can be as hard for someone to discover your playlist now as it is finding new music with the huge amount of saturation. I believe if you can really connect with someone on an emotional level & almost have a personality behind your playlist you'll succeed much better. Keywords are the biggest part of Spotify SEO so using those big search terms is important but make it unique to you & stand out from the rest of people doing the same thing. Putting your playlist in front of new people is the next step so word of mouth & plugging your playlist on social media through platforms like Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat & possibly even Twitter is a great way to get that initial leverage, remember to be creative!


8) How has using TikTok impacted your playlist growth?  

I've managed to grow a large audience on TikTok myself the last year & being a musically driven app it's allowed me to put my playlist in front of many people sharing the same taste in music & have curated multiple playlists around the style of audios I use in my own videos.

@fvckhunter

i put the playlist in my b!o

♬ original sound - Sp3d._.s0ngz
- William Duvall
How To Build A Personalized Curator Network
How To Build A Personalized Curator Network

Finding Spotify curators who want to place your music can be a challenge so when you find one you definitely don't want to let them go.

In this article, we'll discuss why favoriting playlists will help you build a personal curator network and set future campaigns up for success.

What Are "Favorites" & Why Should You Use Them?


After you've run your first Playlist Push Spotify campaign you'll be able to respond to positive reviews in a variety of helpful ways, including thanking a curator or adding their playlist as a favorite.

Why exactly is this important?

Since your goal here is to get on as many playlists as possible, it's important to "favorite" the playlists who have placed your track previously.

Doing this will put each of your "favorite" playlists into a list which you can use on any future campaign to specifically choose who you want to send your next song to first.

Given that the curator has already shown interest in your past music, it's likely they will want to place your music again should it be a similar vibe.

How Do You Add A Playlist As A "Favorite"?


To do this, all you need to do is rate a positive review 4 - 5 stars and click on "Show Options".

How To Build A Personalized Curator Network

From there, you'll see 5 options with one of them being "Add To Favorites".

How To Build A Personalized Curator Network

Once you add a playlist as a favorite, you can go ahead and set up a new campaign.

Setting Up A New Campaign With Favorites


During a new campaign setup, you'll get to a point where you can view your "favorites" and individually select the playlists you want to target.

How To Build A Personalized Curator Network

After you've selected the "favorites" you'd like to target, all you need to do is review your targeting/budget to finalize your campaign.

How To Build A Personalized Curator NetworkFinal Thoughts


While most campaigns lead to playlist adds, targeting your "favorites" increases your chance of getting placed and the artists we've seen take advantage of this feature have increased their placement by over 200%.

Don't wait any longer to do this, build that curator network now.

If you haven't run a campaign yet, check out the link below.

Apply For A Campaign

- Alex Mitchell-Hardt
Spotify’s ‘In Focus’ gives you a free manager?
Spotify’s ‘In Focus’ gives you a free manager?

Spotify recently released a new platform that could be a game changer for artists.

It’s called In Focus and here's the elevator pitch:

“It’s like an artist manager in your pocket that arms you with the tools and guidance you need to nail each of your career goals." -SpotifySo what is ‘In Focus’?

In Focus is a new digital platform that gives you access to a huge swath of tools and resources designed to help you across the key areas of your career:

Create musicPromote your workConnect with FansEarn revenue as an artistLearn and get inspired
Let’s look at a quick example of how it works.

1) Select your focus. We’ll use “Promote your work” for this example

Spotify’s ‘In Focus’ gives you a free manager?source: infocus.byspotify.com

2) Next, you’ll see a subset of areas to focus on within “Promote your work”.

As you can see in the screenshot below there are 4 within the “Promote Your Work” category.

We’ll select “Reach new audiences” for this example.

Spotify’s ‘In Focus’ gives you a free manager?source: infocus.byspotify.com

3) On the “Reach New Audiences page”, Spotify offers an assortment of actionable and helpful resources (8 in total).

This is the real value of In Focus. It’s these actionable items.

Spotify’s ‘In Focus’ gives you a free manager?source: infocus.byspotify.com

With 8 top-level categories and 21 total areas of focus, you can see that there is an enormous amount offered within In Focus as a whole.

So, should you use In Focus?

The easy answer is yes. Absolutely. It’s free and has a ton of free content, tools, and tips.

Will it be the game changer they promise?

As is the case with most tools, the value is going to be in your ability to use these resources to your benefit.

So get in there and start playing with it. It’s pretty cool.

Try In Focus here.

- Brandon Eggleston
How Spotify Saved the Pre-Save
How Spotify Saved the Pre-Save

Pre-saves are one of the most common tools for music marketing in the DSP age. Over the past few years, marketers have found innovative ways to utilize pre-save campaigns to maximize reach and engagement for new releases.

On Spotify, however, there is no in-app feature for pre-saving releases. For this reason, labels, distributors and marketing companies have stepped in to offer pre-saves in exchange for connection to your Spotify account.

The Problem with Third-Party Pre-Saves

This has been problematic for a few reasons. First, you have to grant these third party organizations permission to make changes to your Spotify account that can include favoriting tracks and following playlists on your behalf.

How Spotify Saved the Pre-SaveAn example of a third-party pre-save asking for permissions.

While marketers would likely not abuse their permissions too greatly, the capabilities here can easily dissuade cautious fans from pre-saving.

Additionally, the pre-save requires multiple steps on the user’s behalf from start to finish. This is less than ideal because each additional step in the process makes users less likely to convert.

These problems are unfortunate because pre-saves are an otherwise lucrative opportunity to capture more listeners and streams on release day and send favorable engagement data about you and your release to Spotify.

Spotify's Native Pre-Save Test Drive

Luckily for us, Spotify has just started testing its own in-app pre-saves.

Around May 4, it was discovered that Florence + The Machine’s new album ‘Dance Fever’ was available for pre-save directly on the Spotify iOS mobile app.

How Spotify Saved the Pre-SaveA still-active link asking for your phone number in order to download the Spotify app and pre-save the album here.

A Spotify spokesperson confirmed that the platform was testing a new native pre-save feature and would continue to work on it with new test in the near future.

In the Spotify mobile app, the album could be seen under a new section called "Upcoming releases." Clicking on the album led to a page that featured a pre-save button, a live countdown timer for the release and a Tracklist Preview (Mike Warner caught this new page in a screen recording uploaded to Youtube Shorts here).

Why It Matters

There are three reasons that this is significant and deserves the music industry’s attention.

1. Privacy

It looks like we may no longer have to give a third party permission to make changes to our account in order to pre-save a release. If this action is in Spotify’s hands then we can better trust that actions will not be taken without our knowledge.

2. Less Steps to Conversion

A native pre-save feature is incredibly convenient and eliminates some of the steps that make the action less likely to complete. Native pre-saves mean that users can both discover that the upcoming release exists and have the opportunity to easily save it for release all at the same time and the same place.

3.  A New Potential Signal to Spotify's Algorithm

We know already that streams, follows and playlist adds are important when a song is first realeased. With Spotify now gaining control of the Pre-Save strategy, this could mean that Pre-Saves might become an additional factor in deciding which tracks to promote via Discover Weekly, Release Radar, Spotify Radio, and other of the platform's native discovery channels.

Final Thoughts

Along with the benefits mentioned above, having a Spotify pre-save feature looks like it can be a gamechanger for getting your upcoming releases discovered. Personally, I frequently find myself scanning across a newly-discovered artist's Spotify artist page once I've heard a song or two that I really like, and it would be incredibly easy for me to find out that they have a new release coming up right from the platform itself which I can conveniently pre-save with the click of a button.

If Spotify can improve and scale this function out to more artists, it will be interesting to see the impact it has on streaming and discoverability in the future. As an independent artist, it's more important to stay up to date on all the latest tools that have been added to your disposal, and the Spotify in-app pre-save is sure to be one of them.

- TJ Jones
How To Customize Your “Fans Also Like”
How To Customize Your “Fans Also Like”

A lot of artists struggle to get a “Fans Also Like” section on their Spotify profile to begin with.

Some artists even mention getting tens of thousands of streams on their song and still, no Fans Also Like or Spotify Radio. But what if I told you there’s an easy way to reverse engineer the whole thing and not only get a Fans Also Like section but also the ability to choose the artists in this section?

In this article, I will go through all the ways you can influence your fans also like section.

Why do you want a Fans Also Like?

How To Customize Your “Fans Also Like”

Well when an artist has an accurate Fans Also Like section, that is a signifier that Spotify knows who you are and where to put your music. Algorithms drive Spotify’s placements in in-house playlists.

If you want your career on Spotify to take off, Spotify has to have enough data on you as an artist to know which playlists to put you in. There are some simple ways you can help the algorithm learn more about you and your music.

#1 Your Spotify Profile

First and foremost, you want to make sure your Spotify profile is filled out entirely and in your best interest. Your banner is prime real estate to express who you are as an artist and what your music will feel and sound like. Spotify even gives artists tips on how to best optimize the images on their profile so following their guidance helps gain their attention.

How To Customize Your “Fans Also Like”

Another part of the profile artists often neglect is concert/tour dates. To show your concerts on Spotify, you need to list them on a ticketing partner site and be sure your artist ID is linked.

How To Customize Your “Fans Also Like”

This is a crucial step for two reasons: If there’s a strong enough connection between you and the other artist(s) you’re performing with, there’s a higher chance Spotify will associate those artists with you in your “Fans Also Like”.

The second reason is that it’s free promotion to anyone that comes across your Spotify playlist that you have a show coming up, Spotify will also email all your nearby followers to let them know you’re playing a show in their area soon.

The final part of the Spotify profile you need to nail is your artist bio. You may already have fans that know a decent amount about you, but a number of Spotify users could come across your song on a playlist and if they’re interested enough in you as an artist, they will go to your bio to find out who you are. Adding artists that you want to be associated with in your bio is key. Wether its collaborators, label-mates or your influences tagging artists helps build data for your Spotify profile and ultimately helps Spotify decide where they should put your music.

How To Customize Your “Fans Also Like”



#2 Get Press

It is well know by now that Spotify uses web crawling to see which artists are being talked about, which blogs are talking about them and which artists are being mentioned alongside this artist.

How To Customize Your “Fans Also Like”

While the importance of blogs has declined in recent years, they still have their place in the music industry. They work as a selling point for venues you’re trying to book shows as it’s far more impressive to see a notable blog pop up when searching your name than an inactive soundcloud account you made 5 years ago.

They also send data to Spotify about who your similar artists should be. This is why getting on good blogs should be an integral part of your promotion strategy. Use this as a time to exercise your writing skills, show a little personality and don’t be afraid to name drop!

#3 Build Artist Playlists

The final and perhaps most important step is to create your own artist playlist(s).

This gives you the direct opportunity to influence your “Fans Also Like” by creating a playlist and adding artists (big and small) that make similar music to yours, and fit the vibe of the playlist.

How To Customize Your “Fans Also Like”

You want to give your playlist a creative title, something that will attract new followers that don’t know anything about you or your music.

If you make beachy pop music you might want to give your playlist a name like Venice Beach vibes and add similar beachy pop artists to the playlists while also adding a few of your own songs in there.

Once you have your playlist built and everything dialed, you can start running ads to your playlist or posting in music forums to increase the number of followers and listeners. You want to target the right people with these ads and really appeal to your target audience so you’re building the right kind of data on Spotify. Ideally the people that follow this playlist already listen to similar music and Spotify will gain a better idea of who to send your music to.



Another benefit of building playlists is that once you reach 1,000 followers you will be eligible to become a curator on Playlist Push, monetize your playlist, and invest those funds back into your music career.

- Alex Mitchell-Hardt
Will TikTok's new service 'SoundOn' help you blow up?
Will TikTok's new service 'SoundOn' help you blow up?

Earlier this year, TikTok launched their own music distribution & marketing service called SoundOn. So what do we know so far about the service and should you use it? We’ll break it down in this article.

Will TikTok's new service 'SoundOn' help you blow up?Source: TikTok.comSoundOn's Distribution Abilities:

Directly upload your music to TikTok and Resso (TikTok Owned Streaming Service)

Distribute your music to Spotify, Apple Music, and all other DSP’s via SoundOn’s partnership with Tunecore.

SoundOn's Royalty Rates:

You retain 100% royalties from TikTok and Resso

For Spotify, Apple Music, and all other DSP’s you retain 100% royalties for the first year, and 90% after that.

SoundOn's Pricing:

There is no distribution fee to use SoundOn. The cost is really the 10% in royalties you’re giving up after year one for your music on Spotify, Apple Music, and the other non-TikTok owned DSPs.

SoundOn's TikTok Marketing Features:

Access to TikTok’s music tab on your TikTok profile:

Gaining access to the music tab is promised by SoundOn and definitely has some value. Most importantly, it will add a link to your TikTok account on your TikTok sound.

Will TikTok's new service 'SoundOn' help you blow up?

Promotional support through TikTok’s creator marketing

"When you release through our platform, our team will activate diverse creators to make videos with your track."

Does this really happen for everyone? It sounds like it's similar to submitting your music to Spotify editorial playlists. You're likely just getting access to submit you song to creators, with no promise videos being made.

TikTok Profile Verification

Using SoundOn will get you that blue checkmark as long as your account meets TikTok's community guidelines.

Support from SoundOn Artist Team
“Expert advice” and “Audience insight and development”

Consideration for SoundOn+ Program
“You would have the chance to be selected for SoundOn+ our exclusive A&R service. Our team will dedicate their effort to helping you elevate your career to the next level.”

Editorial Placements
“Once your music is being submitted through SoundOn, you would be considered for editorial placement opportunities on TikTok and Resso.”

Creator Marketing Tools
"SoundOn also offers self-serve and in-site creator marketing tools.”

source: SoundOn FAQs

So what's the verdict for SoundOn?
Part 1 - SoundOn as a Distributor

From a purely distribution standpoint, SoundOn is not special, aside from the ability to directly upload to TikTok and Resso.

Since you can already get your music on TikTok and Resso via other distributors (Tunecore, DistroKid, etc), this isn't that special either.

As a distributor to the major DSPs (Spotify, Apple, Etc), SoundOn is basically Tunecore (their distribution partner), with different cost and royalty model.

Normally with Tunecore, you pay a flat fee for each release and retain 100% royalties indefinitely.

Instead with SoundOn, you pay nothing upfront to distribute to the DSPs, however after your first year with SoundOn, your royalty rate for the DSPs shifts to 90%.

Part 2 - SoundOn as a TikTok Marketing Platform.

This is where SoundOn’s sales pitch to artists shines. In theory, they can offer artists a ton in the realm of helping you promote your music through TikTok:

Artist Tab, Profile VerificationEditorial Placements, SoundOn+ Program and all others mentioned above in the “TikTok Promotional Tools”

The real question is do they really deliver on these opportunities or are they mostly blowing smoke? And is giving up 10% of royalties after year one worth it?

From our perspective, it’s too early to tell.

Our Recommendation: Test before diving in


If the SoundOn sales pitch sounds interesting to you, testing it out is pretty low risk. For example, pick one upcoming song to release through them, to gain full access to the platform, the TikTok artist tab and other tools.

This would be the best way to really see what they can offer and if the marketing opportunities they mention are actually delivered on.

Of course, you can also try to track down artists who have already used it for their feedback as well.

Additionally, checkout SoundOn's FAQ Page - where you can get detailed info and complete your research before signing up.

- William Duvall
The REAL Trend of TikTok
The REAL Trend of TikTok

Whether you're a new artist or you've been in the scene for years, you most likely know the importance of having your music on TikTok.

TikTok gives artists of all sizes the ability to reach potential new fans at scale, and also generate social video content using their songs.

However, most artists don't know how to get their song used by other users on the platform and a majority of sounds end up having 0 videos associated to them.

Typically there are 2 strategies an artist can take when trying to get their sound used.

The artist can make their sound go viral by consistently using it on their profile until a video pops off The artist will find influencers to use their sound in hopes it will go viral and start a trend

In this article, we'll be diving more into strategy #2. This will include some popular concepts artists tend to gravitate towards and also the G.O.A.T concept you should be following on your next influencer campaign.

Popular TikTok Concepts


I've personally had the opportunity to work with thousands of artists across varying genres to help them develop concepts for TikTok.

In doing so, I've had the pleasure of seeing all types of concepts role through and I've also gotten the chance to see what concepts work and don't work.

Some of the most popular concepts I see on a day-to-day basis are the following:

Dance videosLip-sync videosTransition style videosShare a story about "Insert Concept" (How you made it; How you met your significant other; Etc.)

Although these concepts sound great on paper and are great for having custom videos made using your sound, they don't do a great job getting the sound used by a large number of TikTok users.

This is because when you associate your song to a specific concept, you're inadvertently telling a subset of TikTok users that they cannot use your sound unless they do "XYZ".

To avoid this from happening, all you need to do is use the G.O.A.T concept which we'll discuss below.

The G.O.A.T Concept


As we discussed, the ultimate goal for an artist on TikTok is getting their song used by the most users possible.

How can an artist actually achieve this when they start an influencer campaign?

What strategy can you implement to reach this ultimate goal?

Well, to not overcomplicate this more than it needs to be, the G.O.A.T of all concepts is to actually...

NOT FOLLOW ANY CONCEPT

Let me explain...  let's start off by looking at a few of the most popular sounds of 2021.

Monkeys Spinning MonkeysCaptain (whistle)She Share Story (for Vlog)

Can you spot the similarities these sounds have with each other? No worries if you can't.

Basically, the videos for these sounds are completely unique from one another and have taken off for different reasons.

These videos have been able to take off due to the creators having complete control of the content they're posting for their audience.

Creators don't want any of their videos to flop so they'll always try to make content that resonates with them and their audience so they can get the best results and engagement possible.

This isn't to say that a sound can't be associated with a trend but it's typically a creator that starts a random trend and not the artist.

Because of this, you need to let creators to do their part. Get your song out there, get influencers on board, and most importantly trust them.

This will set you and your sound up for the most success possible.

If you'd like to apply for an influencer campaign, follow the below link.

https://app.playlistpush.com/apply/artist

- Brandon Eggleston
How Coachella Gives Artists a Digital Advantage
How Coachella Gives Artists a Digital Advantage

It’s no secret that the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is one of the coolest and most hyped festival events in the world.

Coachella has massive appeal and is a favorite of celebrities, influencers and everyday music lovers.

In addition, the impact it has on booked performers is so influential that artists are required to agree to an aggressive radius clause that can disrupt half a year’s worth of touring - as noted in a 2018 lawsuit, their policy restricted booked talent from playing at other North American festivals between December 15, 2017 and May 1, 2018.

Despite this, it’s still an incredibly lucrative opportunity to play at Coachella.

While the festival is known as a highly memorable live entertainment experience, Coachella also has the potential to create ripple effects on the digital side of music consumption as well.

Here’s how Coachella helps artists get more streams.

How Coachella Gives Artists a Digital AdvantageSource: Hypebot


This week, Bruce Houghton reported on significant stream increases for various artists that were affiliated in some way with the festival during Weekend 1.

As we can see from the table above, there are three ways that artists involved with the festival have seen a massive amount of streaming growth.

PerformingGuest FeaturesMentions
Performing

This is the most obvious way that Coachella influences an artist’s music consumption. A combination of discovery and nostalgia after seeing the lineup release encourages fans both old and new to revisit the performers’ music to get hyped for the big show.

In addition, there’s dozens of user-made Spotify playlists with the Coachella theme that feature hits from all the artists that are going to perform. These playlists are ultra-convenient for those that know what they’re looking for to get excited for the festival without having to go through and make their own playlist.

Guest Features

Even as guest performers, artists can still get the same spotlight from showing up in front of the crowd at Coachella. Shania Twain was brought out by Harry Styles in a surprise guest performance that caused a surge for her hit single “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”.

Similarly, Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz fame was brought out by Billie Eilish for a surprise duet of “Feel Good Inc.” and experienced a huge boost in consumption of his discography on Spotify.

Mentions

Finally, even a simple mention during a performance can shift attention to an artist that isn’t present. Art rock supergroup The Good, The Bad, and The Queen (also led by Albarn) was mentioned by Eilish as her favorite band which similarly shot their streams to an increase of over 150%.

This is a fascinating way to get an influx of listeners as Billie's mention was a no-cost and authentic display of admiration that happened to greatly benefit the band.

SG Lewis and the Power of Convenient Discovery



Another major piece that helps artists is that the festival enables incredibly convenient discovery of new artists across all kinds of genres and only a relatively short walk away.

I was able to attend the festival on Saturday of Weekend 1 with a group of friends who wanted to see SG Lewis once it was announced that he’d be the secret guest closing out the Do Lab stage that night.

As a fan of dance music, I knew I would be able to get into his set at least a little bit, but the combination of the production, crowd and music made the artist’s performance really stand out to me. Because of this, I ended up searching through his music on Spotify as well as any sets I could find on Soundcloud and Mixcloud to see if I could revisit the awesome vibe he had set that night.

It was then that I realized Coachella (and other festivals in general) is excellent at introducing artists to new listeners. Compared to more genre-centric festivals such as EDC or Rolling Loud, Coachella’s audience is much more heterogeneous in terms of musical taste and can introduce festival goers to sounds they didn’t know they would like.

The Spotlight Effect
How Coachella Gives Artists a Digital AdvantageBeing in the performance spotlight can have great benefits - not to be confused with the psychological phenomenon also known as "the spotlight effect"

While Coachella has many unique advantages, this “spotlight effect” can occur outside of music festivals as well.

Thanks to this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, Eminem and Dr. Dre both reaped the benefits of the spotlight.

Eminem’s “Encore” album subsequently reached a cumulative stream count of 1.5 Billion, which makes that his 10th studio album that reached the milestone; he’s now the first act in history to have 10 albums that have achieved this.

Within the first hour after the Super Bowl, Dr. Dre received a 185% increase in streams. In fact, all the guest artists during the Halftime Show received a remarkable increase in consumption of the songs that were played during the show.

The Big Takeaway

Fans want to revisit songs that they associate with amazing moments in their lives. Additionally, anticipation can entice them to discover or revisit the music in preparation of those moments.

The reason that Coachella delivers an unforgettable experience is also the reason that it helps artists get discovered and rediscovered. The next time you recognize an act on Coachella's lineup, you can expect they'll be enjoying the digital benefits.

- TJ Jones
How To Promote Your Spotify Playlist on TikTok
How To Promote Your Spotify Playlist on TikTok

You’ve probably heard of musicians promoting songs on TikTok, but TikTok has proven itself a great promotion platform for almost every product.

From music to local experiences and even lamps, so it’s no surprise there are hundreds of people on TikTok that post with the sole purpose of promoting their Spotify playlist.

In this article, I will explore the unique ways in which Spotify curators are promoting their playlists on TikTok, how this may be the most effective way to grow your playlist following and how you can promote your own music and playlist at the same time.

Make Sure Your Playlist Aesthetic is Dialed

How To Promote Your Spotify Playlist on TikTok

The visuals you select for your playlist are almost (or just as) important as the content inside your playlist. If you want people to follow your playlist, you want those who come across it to have an almost visceral experience from looking at the playlist cover photo & title. You want to find a niche in your knowledge base.

For example - You could name your playlist “Oldies” or “60s love songs” but a much more captivating title would be like the one below, “ old fashioned slow dancing with your soulmate”

@spotifynatalie #fyp ♬ I think I like when it rains by Willis - Robert Rausch

As you can see in the video, the curator has picked a fitting image for the cover, and an imaginative title that’s far more likely to attract fans than a playlist with no cover and a boring title.

@solacerecords Hope u guys like this pop punk playlist we spent a lot of time curating 🖤 #poppunk #punkrock #grunge #playlist #spotify #spotifyplaylist ♬ original sound - 𝖘𝖔𝖑𝖆𝖈𝖊


In this example above, an interesting thing this curator did was include a short video unrelated to the playlist itself but in the same vibe as the playlist before showing the playlist itself.

This can really help sell your playlist to an audience on Tiktok since ultimately everything on the app is a series of photos/videos and sounds. The better you are at resonating with a niche audience on TikTok the more the algorithm will reward you by showing your videos to more people, and help grow your playlist followers.

But how well does it work?

Quite well actually! When digging into the data of these playlists, I found a significant correlation between the day a TikTok video about a playlist went viral and the amount of followers the curator gained that day.

For example: Jessica Fox posted her Hot Girl Summer playlist on TikTok on April 15th and today it has about 20,000 views.

After checking out Chartmetric data we can see a significant increase in followers that occurred on that day, as well as more followers, gained in subsequent days than before the video was posted.

How To Promote Your Spotify Playlist on TikTokhttps://app.chartmetric.com/playlist/spotify?id=2437631


In a more dramatic example, when Spotify Curator ‘The Weisest Band’ posted this TikTok about their playlist “purple” that got over half a million views, their playlist jumped from 7,600 on January 23rd to over 28,000 followers by January 27th.

@theweisestband check out purple if u want to feel like ur floating on a fREAKING CLOUD #playlistcurator #musictok ♬ The Winner Is - DeVotchKa & Mychael Danna

How To Promote Your Spotify Playlist on TikTok


In her videos, she talks about having associative synesthesia (ability to associate colors with sound and vis versa) which has gained a following of nearly 100,000 people on TikTok and over 237,000 across her Spotify playlists.  

So for some, it works very very well.

Are you a musician? This could work out pretty well for you

It is very rare, though not impossible, for an artist to successfully promote their own music on TikTok. But they often need the help from either ‘influencers’ or they need some other talent they go viral for. Like musician Mïrändä with her Macarena dances

@miiirandamusic Bitches #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #macarena #macarenachallenge #dancechallenge #clubbing ♬ Better - Valentino Khan & Wuki @miiirandamusic ❤️thanks for listening kiddos. It means the world to me #originalsong #macarena #femalemusicproducer #SourPatchPrankFund ♬ Stay by Mïrändä - Mïrändä

If you like making playlists and they’re good, promoting them on TikTok could help boost your followers overnight and help you gain rapport with your TikTok audience. A great move for artists is to throw their own music into these playlists that they promote. You just have to be sure that your music is actually a good fit and it’s balanced well with music that fits the vibe of the playlist and the vibe of your own music at the same time. This is a great technique to build data on Spotify's algorithm and to get your "Fans Also Like" section to resemble artists you want to be associated with, as well as boost your monthly listeners.

Lastly, another benefit of running ads to your playlist instead of your song is that once you reach 1,000 followers you will be eligible to become a curator on Playlist Push, monetize your playlist, and put those funds back into your music career.

- TJ Jones
Do Not Run Ads to your single, Do Run Ads To Your Playlist
Do Not Run Ads to your single, Do Run Ads To Your Playlist

There’s a reason why Kanye West’s exclusive album drop on the Stem Player earned him over 1.3 million dollars in 24 hours (much more than he would’ve made releasing it through DSPs). It’s not because Donda 2 is the greatest album but because the Stem Player provides much more value than the album alone.

Do Not Run Ads to your single, Do Run Ads To Your Playlist[Photo: courtesy Kano]

When it comes to promoting or advertising anything, you have to make sure you’re providing the most value possible. There’s a parallel here between Kanye’s Stem Player and Running Ads to a playlist you’ve curated. In this article, I will go over why you, as an independent artist, shouldn’t run ads to your single and the many benefits of running ads instead to a playlist you’ve curated.

Why not to run ads to your single on Spotify

Advertising only works if you are showing people a good product. It is very hard, if not impossible, for an artist with little to no traction to run successful Facebook and Instagram ads because you don’t yet have a fanbase. Additionally, you should consider that not all Facebook users are Spotify users. By some reports, it is estimated that only about 50% of facebook users are on Spotify and only 25% are paid subscribers with unrestricted access to Spotify.

If a free Spotify user clicks on your ad and opens your song in Spotify, they are presented an ad and in some cases multiple songs before they are able to stream your song. If someone clicks on your ad and does not have a Spotify account they will be sent to a webpage where they can download the app. In either scenario, this counts as a click to your ad and gains you 0 streams and 0 new fans.

Fans want to be able to connect to a musician and ads aren’t the way to go for a variety of reasons.

Ever wonder why none of your favorite artists have mentioned Facebook ads as key to their success? Or why Youtubers that claim Facebook ads are the way to go have such low Spotify monthly listeners once they stop running ads? The goal of running ads for your music should be to find fans that will listen more than once and tell their friends about your music.

Unfortunately ads aren’t a way to gain new fans, and they often lead to more harm than good. When the wrong people click on the ad, start listening to your song and then skip it, this sends bad signals to Spotify and is not good for the algorithm.

Lastly, another thing to consider is that the people you’re advertising to likely don’t know who you are. Ads work best for an established artist that has a full length project or live show to promote. If you’re investing a lot of money into ads that are going to people that aren’t interested in you, you're burning money every single day.

Why you should build playlists and run ads for those

When it comes to promoting playlists, it is easier to hook the audience as you’re offering up much more value than a single. If you have a playlist titled “Venice Beach vibes”  to an audience that’s familiar with the beach and the vibes - you have a much higher chance of converting the person that saw your ad into a playlist follower.

The power move for an artist would be to plug the playlists with 1-5 of your songs (depending on the length of the playlist) and mix these in with artists that are similar to you and that you want to be associated with. The person that clicked on the ad is far more likely to follow the playlist if they see artists they already know in the playlist. This is also excellent for building data on Spotify so their algorithm can take over and get your track out to the people that would enjoy it.

Spotify does not provide detailed data to artists about where a person that streamed your song found it. This can make it very hard to measure the effectiveness of your ad as the streams could be coming from other sources. It’s much easier to measure the effectiveness of an ad campaign for a playlist. Each day you’ll see an incremental gain in followers and eventually, the followers will be coming from both the Ads and SEO which will increase the speed your playlist gains followers.

Lastly, another benefit of running ads to your playlist instead of your song is that once you reach 1,000 followers you will be eligible to become a curator on Playlist Push, monetize your playlist, and put those funds back into your music career.

- Alvin aqua Blanco
On Brand: MAGA Acolyte Kanye West Rocks ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt In Paris
Celebrity Sightings - Paris Fashion Week - Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 - Day Seven

Source: Edward Berthelot / Getty

Kanye West has stirred up controversy, again. The man who prefers to be called Ye was spotted rocking a shirt with the words “White Lives Matter” on the back during his fashion show in Paris.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ye (@kanyewest)

Naturally, this sparked outrage. But it shouldn’t be a surprise considering this is the same guy who proudly wore a red MAGA cap and who once decorated his tour merchandise with the Confederate battle flag. And let’s not forget the slavery was a choice debacle

But here in October 2022, Ye held a surprise fashion show for Yeezy Season 9 in Paris. Page Six first reported that before things kicked off, the “Power” rapper gave a speech while rocking the aforementioned “White Lives Matter” t-shirt that also had a photo of the Pope’s on the front. To be clear, he couldn’t even go with the veiled cover of “All Lives Matter.” Instead, he went to go full white supremacist ally with it.

As for footwear, because you might care, he was rocking those sparking bedazzled flip-flops.

Kanye West wearing a White Lives Matter hoodie‼😳 pic.twitter.com/9Xr7UCQAdF

— RapTV (@Rap) October 3, 2022

Also, it seems like Ye’s speech had some cap.

Per Page Six:

He referenced his ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s 2016 Paris robbery, his former manager Scooter Braun, the struggles he faced entering the fashion industry, his recent fallout with Gap and much more.

“I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader,” he said at one point, referencing his new legal name. “You can’t manage me.”

Before the show, Ye teased some of the famous models expected to make appearances: Kardashian, 41, ex-girlfriend Irina Shayk and current flame Candice Swanepoel as well as other big names like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, Lauryn Hill, Naomi Campbell, Emily Ratajkowski, Gisele Bündchen, Bella Hadid and Amelia Gray Hamlin.

However, it appears only Shayk, Campbell and Hamlin made appearances, with the Russian model watching from the side as the other two walked the runway.

And just went you thought the tomfoolery reached its peak, Candace Owens was involved rocking a matching “White Lives Matter” t-shirt in white.

Kanye West & Candace Owens wearing White Lives Matter shirts‼ pic.twitter.com/jCriRW2wbp

— RapTV (@Rap) October 3, 2022

Well, he got the attention he was seeking. And isn’t that the point of it all nowadays? Because no one is talking about his actually clothing line for real, for real.

sending a "WHITE LIVES MATTER" t-shirt down a runway in Paris is literal insanity and no amount of gospel is getting that man through Heaven's gate, I'm so sorry.

— roddy bicch 性交 🅴 (@hardsoh) October 3, 2022

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You lot are shocked at Kanye wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt like the man didn’t support Trump…

— Ewan (@alwaystalkmusic) October 3, 2022 2.

So many folks are trying to excuse Kanye wearing a white lives matter t-shirt as just a troll move or marketing. Maybe it is. But it’s a dangerously dumb message to send for someone with his massive platform. I been off dude. But y’all go ahead labeling his foolishness as genius.

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 3, 2022 3.

every day kanye makes it harder and harder to defend him

— Corn ✧* (@upblissed) October 3, 2022 4.

Strange Kanye West would wear a “White Lives Matter” shirt at a show essentially begging for white industry approval in the fashion industry

— 𝐄𝐱𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐞 (@exavierpope) October 3, 2022 5.

Kanye West was on instagram not too long ago talking about the Kardashians we’re corrupting his BLACK children… just to be wearing a White Lives Matter shirt pic.twitter.com/mesEFeDteG

— vivi🔪 (@08_____02) October 3, 2022 6.

Kanye is what happens when negroes don’t read. Also there is not a question in this country about the value of white lives.

Y’all have a great Monday.

— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) October 3, 2022 7.

So, a billboard for white nationalists. Kanye is a fool. https://t.co/L32v4SP9XQ

— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) October 3, 2022 8.

Kanye when he's about to drop pic.twitter.com/aD8X0X7OY9

— Dedee 🥀 (@thoughtfulbae) October 3, 2022 9.

Kanye: *supports Trump*

Kanye stans: don’t worry guys he’s just trolling hard lmao

Kanye: *wears white lives matter shirt*

Kanye stans: lmao you guys fell for it, classic Kanye troll move

Kanye: *beats someone to death in a Wal Mart*

Kanye stans: omg guys he was trolling

— autumn (@autumn_breezy13) October 3, 2022 10.

kanye west going from “george bush doesn’t care about Black people” to kanye west not caring about Black people is wild. wishing him nothing but the worst.

— 5hahem aka Dr. Durag (@shaTIRED) October 3, 2022

The post On Brand: MAGA Acolyte Kanye West Rocks ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt In Paris appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- Christopher Smith
Whoopi Goldberg Wants Emmitt Till’s Accuser ‘In Front Of A Judge’
60th New York Film Festival - "Till" Intro And Q&A

Source: Dia Dipasupil / Getty

Whoopi Goldberg wants the woman who falsely accused Emmitt Till and provoked his lynching to face justice and come out of hiding.
The EGOT-accomplished actress and co-host of ABC’s The View made her position clear about Carolyn Bryant Donham, expressing her disbelief that she is still not being held accountable for her actions. “I don’t want her in jail but I want her in front of a judge and jury,” she said at a Q&A session at the New York Film Festival on Saturday night (Oct. 1). The session took place after the world premiere screening of Till, a new movie about the young Black teen whose death helped spark the Civil Rights Movement.

”I want her to admit what she did and what part she had,” Goldberg continued. “And then, you know, for me, that would be perfect, instead of still trying to hide what she did away.” Earlier in the year, a grand jury in Mississippi declined to indict Donham, whose lie that Till whistled at her led to the 14-year-old being lynched on Aug. 28, 1955. Her husband at the time, Roy Bryant, and brother-in-law, J.W. Milan, were acquitted of the murder but confessed their actions in an interview after. Donham, 88, was never brought in for questioning but fell under scrutiny as an unpublished memoir she dictated about the killing was brought to light.

Goldberg is one of the producers of the new film, which focuses on Mamie Till-Mobley, Emmitt’s mother, and her steadfast determination in pursuing justice for her child. Till-Mobley is played by Danielle Deadwyler. Goldberg also stars in the movie as Alma Carthan, Till-Mobley’s mother. She related that she and the other producers had been working for a decade to bring the film to the screen, but the murder of George Floyd helped to get it across the finish line.

“People thought we should do some stories about Black people, after all that went on over the last couple of years,” Goldberg said. “I always say, we got popular.” She then added that despite that, there was resistance from other film festivals to show the movie until the New York Film Festival accepted.

Till also stars Frankie Faison, Haley Bennett, Jayme Lawson, Tosin Cole, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jayln Hall, and Roger Guenveur Smith. Directed by Chinonye Chukwu, the film will have a select release in theaters Oct. 14.

The post Whoopi Goldberg Wants Emmitt Till’s Accuser ‘In Front Of A Judge’ appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- bibacadams
USC’s All-Black Majorette Dance Team Responds to Online Outrage
Jennifer Hudson Show assets

Source: Chris Millard/Warner Bros. / Chris Millard/Warner Bros.

The Cardinal Divas were formed out of desire for a safe space for young Black women at the predominantly white University of Southern California. USC junior Princess Isis Lang told The Huffington Post that she had been dancing on majorette teams since middle school and that she wanted to bring some of those experiences into her college life. 

“I didn’t see a space for Black women, so I created one,” Lang said. “Black people deserve to be seen any and everywhere. They also deserve to take their culture everywhere.”

However, when Lang posted a video clip of the team performing at the USC vs. Fresno football game last month—she was not prepared for the backlash. 

oh nothing… i created a majorette team at a PWI and performed at our first game.

truly though i’m so blessed and can’t thank God enough. Thank you to my parents and to everyone who supported me along this LONG journey. and my girls FYE💫The Cardinal Divas of SC are UP NEXT. pic.twitter.com/vif5e02z4b

— Princess👸🏾 (@princesslang0) September 19, 2022

The post quickly went viral with some people sharing their support and others blasted the group which featured dance rooted in HBCU culture. One of those criticisms was how The Cardinal Divas has gotten extensive media attention including an appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show

However, Lang told the Huffington Post, “Honestly, the backlash hasn’t affected me because I know they can’t take away my joy and my gratitude for what I and this team have done,” she said. “In terms of support, it’s just amazing to see how making one little group became this big thing!”

The Cardinal Divas are not the first predominately Black dance group at USC—the USC Fly Girls were founded in 1998, but hadn’t performed since 2008. The university is currently 5.8% Black according to the 2021-2022 school year. Members of the group say that the group has been a “truly amazing and a wonderful thing.” 

Lang added, “Being a part of this team makes me feel invincible, like nobody can really tell me or my teammates anything. We really came in with force, power and dedication. Speaking on my behalf, being the founder, captain and president of the organization, it really just goes to prove Black women are amazing.”



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- Lance Strong
Chrisean Rock Teased Blueface Breakup, Hops Into Toxic Pool After Leaking Sex Footage
Angel Brinks Annual BET Awards Fashion Show And After Party

Source: Robin L Marshall / Getty

Chrisean Rock and Blueface might be the most toxic celebrity couple around and it appeared all but over. However, it looks like the former athlete is ready to dive headfirst back into the toxic pool that is their relationship.

On Sunday (Oct. 2), Chrisean Rock posted a not-so-cryptic tweet that read, “Y’all can have him . ChriseanRock is single. Chrisean you are enough” which was then followed by, “U gon wish u only kept this one tho.”

A few more tweets followed the breakup announcement that all but signified the end of the Chrisean Rock and Blueface saga but all of that changed on Monday (Oct. 3).

“I’m his best friend n bread winner till death do us part,” which could be assumed to be about Blueface.

And if any mystery remained, she put a stamp on it by tweeting, “It’s not that we are a couple it’s we are great partners wen it come to money. I’m loyal to the ppl that’s present for me. I conditionally love blue. I’m just a Great ass friend with Great ass p*ssy n Got a great plan with a n*gga dats da only thing that matters.”

Adding to all of this, what looks to be a close friends sex tape featuring Blueface was leaked from Rock’s Instagram account and she didn’t deny the existence of the footage while saying via Twitter, “First that ain’t a tape. second that was current.”

What the social media streets are alleging is that Rock leaked the footage after Blueface was seen out with another woman via social media.

For those keeping score, Rock was set on defending Blueface until the end and fired back to all concerned by saying, “How is he a cheater when I’m not his girlfriend?”

Check out the reactions from Twitter below.

Photo: Getty

1.

I can’t wait till Chrisean realize she the only one keeping that nigga Blueface relevant cause we fasho ain’t talking about no new music 😭

— I’M HIM (@JuliusTrahvaun) October 2, 2022 2.

This is how it feels receiving unwanted Chrisean and Blueface news everyday pic.twitter.com/taVLSfXiMD

— Himmy Neutron (@PrinceBlackCock) October 2, 2022 3.

Chrisean Rock should've never met Blueface. pic.twitter.com/4ZDHQ6nAgE

— Princess Jada Milan (@_JadaMilan) October 3, 2022 4.

Nah Blueface gotta have Weak peen cause Chrisean rock was fake moaning AND able to hold that phone…I know fake when I hear ts😭

— JJ (Pump Police Officer) (@signmeups) October 3, 2022 5.

Chrisean and Blueface remind me of a past relationship. & let me tell you it was the most exciting time of my life but also the most damaging. The love was equally passionate as it was toxic. & ultimately I was being destroyed emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

— rihanna’s tatas.♕ (@Daneillionaire) October 2, 2022 6.

chrisean & blueface can fuck on live but i get blocked for saying bitch … ok

— la (@mrs4pfla) October 3, 2022 7.

Chrisean and Blueface pr team every 2 weeks pic.twitter.com/M637LbtVkU

— DKT (@darleneturner53) October 2, 2022 8.

So Chrisean can be FUCKING on Instagram but my comments get deleted if i call somebody a raggedy bitch ?!?!?!? WHERES THE JUSTICE💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/ntPBsqJkq9

— im a classy one. (@ghettonaomi) October 3, 2022 9.

Blueface: *VIDEO SURFACES OF HIM WITH ANOTHER GIRL*

Chrisean : *BREAKS UP WITH BLUEFACE AFTER SEEING THE VIDEO*

Chrisean : *LEAKS SEXTAPE OF BLUEFACE AND HER*

Everyone: pic.twitter.com/MiOvdOrAZQ

— Dominique Jackson (@Hoodplugcomedy2) October 3, 2022 10.

chrisean rock is 22 years old and baby when she hit 25 and get into her grown self she is going to regret the living shit out of her early 20's and resent the fuck out of blueface. NOW is the time to listen sis

— bougie badazz 💅🏾 (@neevana6) October 3, 2022 11.

Chrisean needs to put a lil concealer on those 40 tattoos with his name and put in the tooth for good and just pop up with a new man.

— Petty Crocker (@SimSim_SalaBim) October 2, 2022 12.

Ion even feel right seeing chrisean & blueface have sex. It feels like I’m watching 2 underage teenyboppers losing their virginity 🤦🏽‍♀️ #chriseanrock #blueface pic.twitter.com/rzxUIORQw5

🕊Yaya Thee Stylist (@yayatheestylist) October 3, 2022 13.

Chrisean Rock : *LEAKS SEXTAPE OF BLUEFACE AND HER*

Everyone: pic.twitter.com/k5Tr0jq8aM

— Dominique Jackson (@Hoodplugcomedy2) October 3, 2022 14.

Blueface deleting Chrisean's "I'm single" post😂😂#chriseanrock #blueface pic.twitter.com/3NexU8A4LE

— 757qtpie (@757qtpie) October 3, 2022 15.

Chrisean Rock and Blueface be like
pic.twitter.com/bCSJ4mkDhW

— Confessions (@Kidfromqueens1) October 3, 2022 16.

Idk what’s worse. Blue face and chrisean fucking on live period or them casually fuckin to his wack ass music. pic.twitter.com/QlQO8UNx0a

— ʍ վ ɑ🪐. (@BihlikeMya) October 3, 2022 17.

Chrisean Rock should’ve kept that weak ass sex tape 😭 pic.twitter.com/xbKmuXS8JF

— yokio ₊˚ʚ (@b4bielena) October 3, 2022

The post Chrisean Rock Teased Blueface Breakup, Hops Into Toxic Pool After Leaking Sex Footage appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- O
Too Soon?: YG Drops Visuals For ‘How To Rob A Rapper’
2022 Lollapalooza - Day 3

Source: Scott Legato / Getty

With the release of his latest album, I GOT ISSUES this past Friday (Sept. 29), YG is looking to get some buzz going but already he’s getting blowback from the Hip-Hop community as they feel he might’ve gone about it the wrong way.

For his visuals to the Mozzy and D3szn featured cut, “How To Rob A Rapper,” YG basically breaks down how the murder of PnB Rock unfolded at Roscoe’s a few weeks ago and has many screaming “too soon!” as his bars seem too close to the actual situation.

Dropping lines like “peep game, I’ma teach you how to rob a rapper, catch a ni**a lacking, he slacking on IG Live / He gon’ show his whereabouts by accidents, he be high / He gon’ show the jewels he wearing and the car that he drive,” some felt that it too closely referenced how Rock’s girlfriend accidentally revealed that the couple were at the Roscoe’s restaurant where PnB was ultimately robbed and murdered.

Though police have since cleared Rock’s girlfriend of the blame as the man who killed Rock was already in the parking lot when they arrived, it still rubbed some the wrong way.

Whether or not it was intentional is anyone’s guess but we wouldn’t be surprised if this track was recorded before the untimely death of PnB Rock and it’s all just a bad coincidence.

Check out the video to “How To Rob A Rapper” below and let us know your thoughts on the track and whether YG should’ve just held on to this instead of dropping it so soon after PnB Rock’s murder in the comments section below.

The post Too Soon?: YG Drops Visuals For ‘How To Rob A Rapper’ appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- Martin Berrios
I’ll Buy An L: Snoop Dogg Steals The Show On ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Appearance
Snoop Dogg MCC

Source: Motorcity Casino / MotorCity Casino

Snoop Dogg’s star power can’t be denied. He once again stole the show with his charisma on a recent appearance on Wheel Of Fortune.

As spotted on Hype Beast the Long Beach, California native paid a visit to Pat Sajak and Vanna White and needless to say he did not disappoint. Off the rip the “Young, Wild & Free” rapper was ready to play and was quick with tapping the buzzer. While Snoop Dogg missed the mark on several attempts it was these moments that made the episode so memorable. During the “What Are You Doing?” category he hilariously guessed “baking brownies” when the answer was actually “baking onions”. One of his other contestants chimed in after the gaff saying “Martha’s gonna be disappointed. Martha’s going to be upset”. The goofs ensued through the remainder of the show as Snoop was clearly out of his element when he guessed “toilet atlas” when the correct phrase was “talented artist.” And then he got spicy when he guessed “Swallowing the knot” instead of “Sweetening the pot.” While the appearance was all laughs he kept things classy and made it a point to shout out his late friend and Rap peer Coolio. You can see a clip from this episode below.

Photo: Motorcity Casino

The post I’ll Buy An L: Snoop Dogg Steals The Show On ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Appearance appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- O
3.8 M People Entered Nike SNKRS Raffle For Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low ‘Mocha’
Travis Scott Reverse Mocha Air Jordan 1

Source: Jordan Brand / NIke

Every sneakerhead and sneaker collector knows that whenever a Travis Scott x Air Jordan collaboration drops, it’s a guaranteed L 99% percent of the time. According to some number crunching that’s been done on the topic, that percentage is just about right.

According to Nice Kicks, Kash Monitors have estimated that a mere 1.5% of people entering the SNKRS raffle for the highly-anticipated “Mocha” Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1’s won a pair as Nike CEO John Donahoe revealed that a record 3.8 million people entered the draw on that release date. Keep in mind only around 60,000 pairs of the sneakers were up for grabs on the SNKRS app and were never restocked a single time since that fateful day. Meanwhile, we’re getting restocks for the “Brotherhood” and “Stealth” Air Jordan 1’s on a weekly basis and ain’t seen one damn person walking around in a pair out in the wild. SMH.

Still, a few more colorways of the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low’s are set to release later this year and rumors have it they will be the last time the rapper and Jordan Brand collaborate on that particular silhouette.

With a “Black” and “Olive” colorway coming soon, it’s unclear if Nike has plans to restock the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low “Reverse Mocha, but the sneaker community online seems assured that the Swoosh and La Flame are sitting on more pairs.

We can only hope they’ll keep ’em coming, but hopefully Nike and Jordan Brand will make more than a handful of pairs for the millions of sneakerheads who are forced to hold countless L’s every time joints like these drop.

What do y’all think of these numbers being revealed? Should Nike make more pairs or find a better way to keep sneaker bots and backdooring from ruining the game? Let us know in the comments section below.

The post 3.8 M People Entered Nike SNKRS Raffle For Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low ‘Mocha’ appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- Easy Money Typer
Kanye West Stomps Through The Mud During Runway Debut For Balenciaga’s Paris Fashion Week Show
Kanye West Makes Runway Debut During Balenciaga's Paris Show

Source: Edward Berthelot / Getty

Kanye West took his antics to Paris and made his debut on the runway during Balcengia’s fashion show.

The embattled multihyphenate opened Balenciaga’s Summer 2023 fashion show with an eye-opening stomp across the mud-filled runway. In his signature all-black look consisting of Black leather pants, a cap, and a jacket with enough pockets to hold everyone in his crew’s wallet, Ye confidently hit the catwalk despite how ridiculous he looked.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Balenciaga by Demna (@demnagram)

According to Elle, West’s children, North, Chicago, Psalm, and Saint West, were in attendance to see him do his thing on the catwalk. His ex-sister-in-law Kylie Jenner and Doja Cat were also in attendance.

As for the explanation for the mud, Balenciaga’s creative director Denma broke it all down.

Per Complex:

“I’ve decided to no longer explain my collections and verbalise my designs, but to express a state of mind,” Demna added in the show notes. “Fashion is a visual art and all we need is for it to be seen through someone’s eyes. Fashion in its best case scenario should not need a story to be sold to someone. You either like it or not. The set of this show is a metaphor for digging for truth and being down to earth.” 

Kanye West’s Balenciaga Runway Debut Comes After His Latest GAP Release

Kanye West’s runway debut comes ahead of his Paris Fashion Week show and two weeks after Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga Part Two.

The artist now known as Ye has been on Instagram crying about his current deals with GAP and adidas, noting that he does not plan on renewing his contracts with those companies when they expire.

During an interview with Good Morning America, Donald Trump’s homie admitted that Sway had the answers when the radio host suggested he should do everything independently and not seek help from established companies.

Welp.

Photo: Edward Berthelot / Getty

The post Kanye West Stomps Through The Mud During Runway Debut For Balenciaga’s Paris Fashion Week Show appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- D.L. Chandler
Kim Kardashian To Pay $1.26M To SEC Over Cryptocurrency Promotion
Celebrity Sightings In New York City - September 20, 2022

Source: Raymond Hall / Getty

Kim Kardashian was a trending topic on Twitter Monday morning (Oct. 3) after a report went wide that she entered into a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a cryptocurrency promotion. The social media influencer will pay $1.26 million to the SEC after failing to disclose that the cryptocurrency company she promoted paid her $250,000 in exchange.

According to a press release issued by the SEC on Monday, Kim Kardashian, 41, will pay $1.26 after promoting EMAX tokens from crypto firm EthereumMax. The company paid Kardashian to promote the token on her popular Instagram page and urged her followers to purchase the currency complete with instructions.

From the SEC:

“This case is a reminder that, when celebrities or influencers endorse investment opportunities, including crypto asset securities, it doesn’t mean that those investment products are right for all investors,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “We encourage investors to consider an investment’s potential risks and opportunities in light of their own financial goals.”

“Ms. Kardashian’s case also serves as a reminder to celebrities and others that the law requires them to disclose to the public when and how much they are paid to promote investing in securities,” Chair Gensler added.

“The federal securities laws are clear that any celebrity or other individual who promotes a crypto asset security must disclose the nature, source, and amount of compensation they received in exchange for the promotion,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Investors are entitled to know whether the publicity of a security is unbiased, and Ms. Kardashian failed to disclose this information.”

In addition to the settlement, Kardashian is not allowed to promote cryptocurrency for the next three years. The SEC’s ruling falls under its anti-touting provision of the federal securities laws and is still under an open investigation.

On Twitter, folks are reacting to Kim Kardashian and the SEC ruling. Those replies can be found below.

Today we announced charges against Kim Kardashian for promoting a crypto security offered by EthereumMax without disclosing the payment she received for the promotion.

Kardashian agreed to settle the charges, pay $1.26 million, and cooperate with the investigation.

— U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (@SECGov) October 3, 2022

Photo: Getty

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Today @SECGov, we charged Kim Kardashian for unlawfully touting a crypto security.

This case is a reminder that, when celebrities / influencers endorse investment opps, including crypto asset securities, it doesn’t mean those investment products are right for all investors.

— Gary Gensler (@GaryGensler) October 3, 2022 2.

Kim Kardashian got paid $250k to promote Ethereum Max then lost $1.3m of that to an SEC fine. Would have gotten better returns just investing in Ethereum MAX, which is down 97% since her post.

— Marcus Hutchins (@MalwareTechBlog) October 3, 2022 3.

Kim Kardashian was just charged by the SEC for unlawfully touting a crypto security.

She received $250k for an Instagram post to promote a token, without disclosing the paid nature of the post.

Sets precedent for all celebrities and crypto “influencers” who promote tokens.

— Miles Deutscher (@milesdeutscher) October 3, 2022 4.

The SEC charged Kim Kardashian with unlawfully touting a crypto security. She agreed to settle the charges and pay $1.26 million in penalties.

We just can't believe she got paid $250,000 for this: pic.twitter.com/al3Ub0RXF7

— Morning Brew ☕ (@MorningBrew) October 3, 2022 5.

The crypto Kim Kardashian promoted on her IG: pic.twitter.com/WUfI8NhmM0

— Namcios (@namcios) October 3, 2022 6.

Kim Kardashian got paid $250,000 and somehow lost $1.26 million, so she really got the full crypto experience https://t.co/JUmXHsH0Cq

— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) October 3, 2022 7.

Hey @KimKardashian, you may want to look into the SEC vs Ripple lawsuit. The #XRP community exposed Bill Hinman (former Director of Finance for the SEC) pretty much having done the same as you, yet they won’t charge their own corrupt employees!

— CryptoBullXRP (@CryptoBull2020) October 3, 2022 8.

Really glad to see this. Kim Kardashian being charged by the SEC for crypto securities fraud. The DOJ will have to pursue the case.

Don’t think Kardashian is the worst of the cryptoscammers, but I do think these cases are needed to put the fear of god into this industry. https://t.co/z1LgIliwwg

— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) October 3, 2022 9.

Kim Kardashian is paying a $1.3 million fine to the SEC after promoting crypto on social media. It's just the tip of the iceberg of influencers pushing shady crypto projects: https://t.co/E3PSuaL2cJ

— Rob Price 🏔 (@robaeprice) October 3, 2022 10.

crypto twitter coming together to collectively roast kim kardashianpic.twitter.com/Wf0sd18xn4

— yzy.eth (@LilMoonLambo) October 3, 2022

The post Kim Kardashian To Pay $1.26M To SEC Over Cryptocurrency Promotion appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- Christopher Smith
California Officially Bans Rap Lyrics From Use In Criminal Cases
Governor Newsom signed the housing package

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

In a positive move for Hip-Hop, the state of California became the first state to ban the usage of rap lyrics in its criminal cases. Meek Mill, E-40, and others joined the state’s governor to celebrate the signing of the new law.
Last Friday (Sept. 30), California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act into law. The landmark legislation, also known as AB 2799, puts a presumption against using rap lyrics against a defendant in a criminal court case. The exceptions would be if the state could prove that the lyrics were created in close proximity to the time of the crime, contains details of the crime that aren’t publicly available, or bears a high amount of similarity to the crime. The new law also applies to “performance art, visual art, poetry, literature, film, and other media.”

The bill passed unanimously in the State Senate in August before reaching Newsom’s desk, which he signed during a ceremony held via Zoom. “Artists of all kinds should be able to create without the fear of unfair and prejudicial prosecution,” Newsom said during the ceremony. “California’s culture and entertainment industry set trends around the world and it’s fitting that our state is taking a nation-leading role to protect creative expression and ensure that artists are not criminalized under biased policies.”

The ceremony was attended by Meek Mill, Too $hort, E-40, Killer Mike, YG, Ty Dolla $ign, and Tyga. Other participants who participated in the video call included REFORM Alliance’s Jessica Jackson, former Def Jam Records president Kevin Liles, and Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. “The history that’s been made in California today will help pave the way forward in the fight to protect creative freedom nationwide,” Mason Jr. said in a statement afterward.

The move by California is a positive sign in the fight against rap lyrics being used in damaging ways in criminal cases. Democratic congressmen Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) put forth legislation in the House of Representatives in July to implement bans on rap lyrics used in the courtroom, but the bill’s momentum has stalled. The practice has also come under scrutiny in Fulton County’s RICO case against Young Thug, where prosecutors cited lyrics as examples of “overt acts” committed by the rapper.

The post California Officially Bans Rap Lyrics From Use In Criminal Cases appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- Martin Berrios
Pharrell Williams Auctioning Some Of His Most Classic Items On App Joopiter
The Met Costume Institute Press Presentation - Paris Fashion Week

Source: Julien M. Hekimian / Getty

If you’re a super fan of Pharrell Williams and have money to spare you’re in luck. He is auctioning off some of his most classic items on Joopiter.

As per Gentleman’s Quarterly the creative is putting some of his most coveted belongings under the hammer. The “Happy” performer has founded Joopiter, a digital auction house and already has committed to making the platform a success by participating directly. Joopiter’s inaugural collection, “Son of a Pharaoh,” will feature 52 of his most prized possessions and given his game changing taste we expect it to all go quickly. He explained his thought process in on social media. “@joopiterofficial is about letting go of the past. Of EVERYTHING. Recognizing that I felt a compulsion and responsibility to hold on to what has passed and am setting myself free. For the beginning of a new era.” 

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A post shared by 𝐒𝐎𝐍 𝐎𝐅 𝐀 𝐏𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐀𝐎𝐇 (@pharrell)

In an interview with Financial Times he details how he came to the decision to part with the items. “My business manager was like, ‘Hey, at this point, you have 11 different storage units,’” he revealed. But in Pharrell fashion he wanted to do it his way thus he assembled a team to develop Joopiter because as he put it some of the existing platforms are not “one size fits all”. “I’m not going to sell furniture on StockX. You know what I’m saying,” he added. “I’m not going to sell, you know, 20-plus-carat diamond rings on [The] RealReal.”

Included in the collection are some limited-edition Louis Vuitton luggage sets, a Jacob & Co. gold plated Blackberry, his iconic N.E.R.D. chain and more. But to hear P tell it these items are more than pick ups. Fashion and music is like time and space, you can’t have one without the other,” he explained. “You know, even Mozart was wearing something.”

You can find out more about the Son Of A Pharoah auction here.

Photo: Jesse Gouveia

The post Pharrell Williams Auctioning Some Of His Most Classic Items On App Joopiter appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- Alvin aqua Blanco
Chills & Feels: New ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Trailer
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Source: Marvel / Disney

Marvel has perfected giving its viewers the chills and all the feels with their trailers. The latest preview for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever understood the assignment thoroughly.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Source: Marvel / Disney

From the jump you get a fresh kick in the chest as Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) is seen holding the mask of her fallen son, T’Challa aka The Black Panther during a homegoing procession. This new trailer also gives us more visuals of the film’s antagonist, Namor the Sub-Mariner.

But besides the expected mourning, the latter half of the trailer kicks in plenty of action with General Okoye getting busy, M’Baku pounding his chest and the “new” Black Panther showing…herself. That’s got to be Shuri taking on the mantle, right? There’s also some Ironheart in there to get those that know extra hype.

Watch the trailer below. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters November 11.

A new trailer for Black Panther: #WakandaForever has been released. pic.twitter.com/CnXvWVk7hu

— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) October 3, 2022

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- Robert Longfellow
Joe Budden Admits To Having Faked Putting On Condoms During Sex
Jay-Z's 40/40 Club Celebrates 18th Anniversary

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

Joe Budden has a whole lot of explaining to do. The New Jersey rapper turned podcast impresario recently admitted to having faked putting on a condom before having intercourse with a partner.

Just so we’re clear, telling your partner you have a condom on when unbeknownst to them you don’t actually do, is sexual assault. There is no gray area. There is even a term for it—stealthing.

“Even I done walked in the corner and faked like I was putting a condom on before,” said Budden in a recent podcast which has since been deleted from streamers. He even laughed while adding he “1000 percent” did what he said he did.

Budden was adamant that he no longer practices his egregious act, not that it matters.

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A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom)

It goes without saying that Twitter is going in on Budden. A common theme is that he has either been accused of or even admitted to quite problematic behaviors before. Nevertheless, he’s still here.

Peep some of the more potent reactions in the gallery.

1.

Joe Budden has ADMITTED to ✍🏾checks notes✍🏾 physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and yet@he still as a huge platform. So lets never say allegations ruin *a man's life*

— The Great Negro (@jiggyjayy2) October 2, 2022 2.

It’s niggas saying Joe Budden’s pretending to put on a condom “joke” wasn’t that bad. Of course it means nothing to u becuz no one is disrespecting ur body or taking away ur right to choose. No one is asking u to open up and share an intimate moment with them, then deceiving u.

🔔🅰 The Brown Betty Boop (@essentialbellz) October 1, 2022 3.

Every few months Joe Budden reminds us he’s an abuser.

— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) October 2, 2022 4.

Joe Budden’s career has been able to grow because men don’t care about other men abusing women. He has no problem admitting assault because his base doesn’t care.

— Talk To Me Nice (@A_BaldBaddie) October 2, 2022 5. Allegedly.

The same Joe Budden that beat his pregnant girlfriend up until she miscarried? I'm shocked. https://t.co/TsWE307fjE

— Capricorn Menace (@ByronGraffiti_) October 2, 2022 6.

What Joe Budden was doing is called rape. Yes that’s rape. Women did not consent to that. That’s wild he is out here not only admitting to it but joking about it. Comments off.

— pack of idiot bᴉtches (@Libbotomy) October 1, 2022 7.

I can’t say I’m surprised by what Joe Budden said. The man has showed how vile he is (especially towards women) uncountable times. What is alarming to me is I’m sure this is not a self produced/edited show, meaning multiple people heard him say that and still felt to publish it?

— MANNY | #TCMSHOW 🎙 (@THEECLASSICMAN) October 1, 2022 8.

SMH so Joe Budden made a comment that he faked putting on a condom before and it's men saying " it's not that serious " & that's y y'all momma need to teach y'all about consent

— Mar Vs The World 🎧 (@napturallymar) October 1, 2022 9.

Stealthing is considered rape. The number of dusties out here tweeting that it’s no big deal or that joking about it is no big deal is horrible. Joe Budden stay giving me reasons to continue to dislike him. https://t.co/UcOYPYXdT6 https://t.co/doiKiQtcVQ

— Nadia Alexis, PhD (@nadia870) October 1, 2022 10.

STEALTHING IS RAPE

STEALTHING IS RAPE

STEALTHING IS RAPE

STEALTHING IS RAPE

STEALTHING IS RAPE

STEALTHING IS RAPE

STEALTHING IS RAPE

— 9213140.🌾💸 (@marie2__3) October 2, 2022

The post Joe Budden Admits To Having Faked Putting On Condoms During Sex appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- D.L. Chandler
Time For Battle: Red Bull Batalla USA Finals To Take Place In Miami
Red Bull Batalla USA National Finals 2022

Source: Red Bull / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Batalla is the largest Spanish-language freestyle competition in the world, and 16 MCs will bring their respective talents to the Magic City of Miami, Fla. Judging the festivities will be past Red Bull Batalla champions and pure proponents of the Spanish freestyle battle culture.

Red Bull Batalla is now in its 16th year and the culture of Spanish freestyle has expanded and thrived over the last decade and a half as a result. This coming Saturday (Oct. 8), the USA Finals will go down at Soho Studios as the MCs lock horns in a bracket-style battle in front of a panel of notable judges deeply embedded in the culture. At the end of the battle, the Red Bull Batalla USA Champion will be crowned and head to the World Finals in Mexico City.

Red Bull Batalla USA National Finals 2022

Source: Red Bull / Red Bull Content Pool

The year’s Batalla series kicked off in the spring and across the nation, the competition grew intense as judges helped to narrow down the participants in the USA Finals, who we’ll list down below.

El Poeta from Phoenix, Ariz. He is the winner of the 2022 Dallas Qualifier this past June.

Pailot from Durant, Okla. Pailot hails from Argentina and currently teaches tennis in the states. This is his first year entering the field.

Adonys from New York, N.Y. Hip-Hop Wired had the pleasure of speaking with Adonys during his 2021 campaign and now is back at it again.

OneR from Tamarac, Fla. OneR hails from Venezuela and currently lives in the states. His win at the Los Angeles Qualifier was seen as a shock to some.

Nico B from Miami, Fla. Nico B first got into battling in 2018 and was a 2018 Batalla competitor.

Macías from Colorado Springs, Colo. Macias came in second at the Los Angeles Qualifier in 2022 and has been immersed in the scene since grade school.

Outlaw from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Outlaw is a relative newcomer to the freestyle scene who drives Uber in the day while perfecting his craft at night.

Reverse from West Palm Beach, Fla. Reverse is the 2021 USA National Champion and will be defending his title against tough competition.

Eckonn from Orlando, Fla. Eckonn is originally from Venezuela and resides in Orlando where he continues to work on his singing and songwriting craft.

McBetho from Irving, Texas. A 2019 USA National finalist, McBetho is a globally seasoned freestyle competitor who wants to win it all.

Cuban from McAllen, Texas. Currently a resident of Miami, Cuban is now part of the field after his first foray for Batalla in 2020 didn’t pan out.

Freites from Orlando, Fla. Freites represents Venezuela and currently resides in Orlando. Another newcomer to the scene, he’s one to watch.

Santos from New York, N.Y. By day, Santos is a Dominican filmmaker and first got involved with Red Bull Batalla in 2016.

Jordi from Austin, Texas. Jordi is another MC Hip-Hop Wired interviewed previously and the humble Texan MC was the Dallas Regional Cup Winner.

J Luna from Los Angeles, Calif. J Luna works as a Civil Engineer by day but is a heavy proponent of Hip-Hop and freestyle culture, winning the 2022 Los Angeles Regional Cup.

Red Bull Batalla USA National Finals 2022

Source: Red Bull / Red Bull Content Pool

And now, the judges for the Red Bull Batalla USA National Finals.

Yartzi – Former two-time Red Bull Batalla USA National Champion and Puerto Rican global freestyle juggernaut

Cacha – Legendary Argentinian freestyler who’s considered by many to be the king of the ‘Double Tempo’ style

Moises – Freestyle connoisseur and Dioses de la City freestyle league organizer

Gabylonia – Latin Grammy nominee and Red Bull Batalla OG hailing from Caracas, Venezuela

Chuty – Former two-time Red Bull Batalla Spain National Champion

The event will be hosted by Rasco White Lion, the creator of the Indigo Freestyle League, and superstar Latin rapper Jenn Morel. The DJ for the festivities will be Nicaraguan-American DMC World Championships veteran Craze, who will also provide original beats for the MCs to get busy over.

To learn more about the Red Bull Batalla USA National Finals, please click here. To cop tickets, please click here.

Photo: Red Bull

The post Time For Battle: Red Bull Batalla USA Finals To Take Place In Miami appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- D.L. Chandler
Hip-Hop Wired Presents: CRT FRSH [Certified Fresh] Playlist 9.30.22
Smiling man with headphones resting on couch and using mobile phone

Source: damircudic / Getty

What up, Hip-Hop Wired Nation? We’re a little late updating our last edition of CRT FRSH AKA Certified Fresh by one day. Part of our duty as a publication and crew is to school the masses on who is doing what musically and there’s no better way to do that beyond our CRT FRSH (Certified Fresh) bi-weekly playlist.

The CRT FRSH playlist is a labor of love. We don’t take payments nor do we do favors. We only add joints to our playlist that fit the theme and vision we’re going for and don’t seek to waste the time of the listener. Further, we don’t stick to one lane of Hip-Hop. We believe that all aspects of the music should get some light, whether it’s young lions in the trenches or those hoping for that one shot to blow up to grizzled veterans puffing out their chests with lots more to say.

First things first. A LOT of music is out and we’re still not even hitting perhaps a quarter of the releases that dropped in September alone. It’s really difficult to capture all the heat, which is why we rely on our readers and the artists themselves to put us on to what we might be missing. Now, one with this update.

For CRT FRSH on this update, we open up with rising star GloRilla and her new track “Tomorrow 2” with Bronx bomber Cardi B on the feature. Freddie Gibbs just dropped off his latest studio album, $oul $old $eparately, and the track “CIA” is one of the standout joints with production from Madlib. Grisdela’s first lady Armani Ceasar is prepping her follow-up to The Liz and the track “Paula Deen” is a step in the right direction with label chief Westside Gunn on the help out.

Rob Markman might be known to some as a stellar music journalist but he also makes dope music and his newest joint “Fake Chains” might be the best of his career. Kipp Stone, another name folks should really get hip to, shines on the joint “Palm Trees” featuring Bruiser Brigade soldier, J.U.S.

We’ve got more joints from DJ Luke Nasty, Kid Cudi, the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Planet Asia, Body Bag Ben, billy woods, Baby Tate, Symba, Kenny Mason, Young Dro, Sampa the Great, MAVI, Smoke DZA, whatupVERN, Homeboy Sandman, Raz Fresco and more.

Check out our latest CRT FRSH update below. We’ll be back two weeks from today with all-new joints.

Photo: Gey

The post Hip-Hop Wired Presents: CRT FRSH [Certified Fresh] Playlist 9.30.22 appeared first on The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired.

- Lance Strong
Antonio Brown Slammed On Twitter For Exposing Meat & Booty Cheeks At Pool
SprayGround 2022 Pop Up Fashion Show

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

Antonio Brown, in some eyes, has fallen far from the heights of his storied football career after a zany exit from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021. Since then, the free agent wide receiver and part-time rapper made news for reasons outside of sports, this time landing in hot water for exposing his junk and booty cheeks in a hotel pool.

Antonio Brown, 34, was captured on video back on May 14 at the Armani Hotel Dubai according to a report released Saturday (Oct. 1) by the New York Post. In the censored clip, Brown is seen roughhousing in a pool with a white woman with cornrow braids then slamming her in the water after flashing his buttocks in the woman’s face. There is also an image that didn’t make it to the video of Brown showing off his junk.

As the outlet explains, men are heard on the video cheering Brown on and saying that he was “waterboarding” her and giving the woman the “long board” among other comments. And as the piece reveals, Brown was reportedly disruptive throughout the entire hotel and was eventually asked to leave.

According to the report, the woman was reportedly not known to Brown and was unhappy with the incident. Hence why it may be surfacing now as part of a legal maneuver some months later. Brown was visiting the United Arab Emirates to take in an exhibition fight featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr.

If legal issues are mounting, Antonio Brown doesn’t seem concerned. He’s currently active on Twitter as of this morning and posted a video of him rapping the night before.

Jona Rechnitz biggest scam just like the

mayweather