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The White House's secret record collection unearthed
The grandson of former US President Jimmy Carter has revealed he had a secret vinyl stash, including records by The Sex Pistols, Barry Manilow and Sir Elton John.
Sky Ferreira releases first solo single in 3 years
Sky Ferreira has shared her new single, 'Don't Forget'.
Kim Kardashian apologises to family over way Kanye West treated them
Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from Kanye West in early 2021.
Britney Spears' lawyer demands father Jamie appear for deposition over conservatorship
Britney Spears' father has reportedly failed to appear for multiple depositions.
Black Eyed Peas and more set for Atlantis Concert for Earth volcano gig
A number of famous musicians are set to perform inside a volcano to raise awareness of the conservationists and organisations who are working to "flip the current narrative" surrounding climate change.
Noel Gallagher impersonated Bowie and Mick Jagger to pen new tunes
Noel Gallagher has revealed he sang like David Bowie and Sir Mick Jagger while writing his new tunes inspired by the late music legend and The Rolling Stones.
Phoebe Bridgers and Sam Fender to support Rolling Stones at BST Hyde Park
The Rolling Stones will be joined by Phoebe Bridgers, Sam Fender and more at their BST Hyde Park concerts.
Brandy responds to Jack Harlow's Ray J revelation with playful freestyle rap
The rapper released First Class, which samples 2006 Fergie song Glamorous, last month.
Lawsuit filed by Marilyn Manson's former assistant dismissed
Marilyn Manson still faces further lawsuits from other women.
Anne-Marie and Calum Scott to collaborate?
Anne-Marie and Calum Scott could be set to team up on a song after the singer/songwriters "got on really well" when they spoke at the Prince’s Trust Awards at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane this week.
Bob Dylan re-recording of Blowin' in the Wind to sell for at least £600k at auction
Bob Dylan's new re-recording of 'Blowin' in the Wind' is set to sell for at least £600,000 at auction.
Halsey calls out U.S. lawmakers for 'protecting guns over our youth'
On Wednesday, Halsey took to their Instagram Stories to urge American leaders to implement gun control measures.
Nick Jonas gushes over fatherhood: 'It's been wonderful'
Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra welcomed their first child via surrogate earlier this year.
Snoop Dogg turned $2 million offer to DJ at event for Michael Jordan
Snoop Dogg dismissed the offer as he didn't feel it was the right setting to meet one of his personal heroes for the first time.
Taylor Swift 'filled with rage and grief' over Texas school shooting
Olivia Rodrigo, Selena Gomez, and Khloé Kardashian also commented on the tragedy.
Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa to reunite on new song Potion
Four years after collaborating on One Kiss, Calvin Harris has confirmed a second collaboration with Dua Lipa for their new track, Potion.
Reunited boy band Blue keen to do a biopic
Boy band Blue would love to make a biopic and have revealed who they'd like to play them.
Ed Sheeran's 2Step gets Denise Chalia remix treatment
Ed Sheeran has released '2Step' remixed by Denise Chalia.
Iggy Pop and Diane Warren receive Polar Music Prize
The two artists and the French music ensemble were awarded the prize during a ceremony held in Stockholm, Sweden.
Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa to release new collab this week
Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa have a new song coming out this week, four years after mega-hit 'One Kiss' stormed the charts.
- Chad Childers
Frank Iero’s Shirt Honors Texas Shooting Victims at My Chem Show
See how he honored those lost. Continue reading…
- Joe DiVita
The Huge Whitesnake Hit Originally Written for Tina Turna
C'mon Tina Turner, we need a cover version now! Continue reading…
- Joe DiVita
Judge Dismisses Ex-Manson Assistant's Abuse Case Over Limitations
The latest update regarding Ashley Walters' lawsuit. Continue reading…
- Chad Childers
My Chemical Romance Give 'Tomorrow's Money' Live Debut in Dublin
See the 2012 song played live for the first time. Continue reading…
- Eva Marie
Eva Under Fire's Eva Marie - The Truth About Grief
Eva shares a technique of how she was able to get through her own bout with grief. Continue reading…
- Chad Childers
Rammstein Drop Surprisingly Safe for Work 'Dicke Titten' Video
But there's plenty of innuendo to go around. Continue reading…
- Jordan Blum
10 Best + Really Different Covers of Dio's 'Holy Diver' - Ranked
Striking modifications from the midnight sea. Look out! Continue reading…
- Martin Kielty
David Bowie's Posthumous Gift to 'Moonage Daydream' Filmmaker
Late artist changed director Brett Morgen's life path after massive heart attack. Continue reading…
- Martin Kielty
Michael Anthony Says 'Van Halen III' 'Could Have Been Lot Better'
Bassist recalls "sad" experience of his last album with the band. Continue reading…
- Martin Kielty
Joe Elliott Says Def Leppard Survived 15-Year ‘Losing Battle’
Singer looks back at the band's 21st-century struggles. Continue reading…
- Allison Rapp
Little Feat Announce Deluxe Edition of 'Waiting for Columbus'
New box set includes previously unheard live recordings from three 1977 concerts. Continue reading…
- Allison Rapp
How the Pandemic Sparked Mike Scott on the Waterboys' New Album
'All Souls Hill' is the second album they've completed since 2020. Continue reading…
- Ben Apatoff
40 Years Ago: James Hetfield Plays First Metallica Show on Guitar
Band played at Lars Ulrich's Back Bay High School, set up on cafeteria stage typically used for plays. Continue reading…
- Michael Gallucci
When the Cure Reached Pop Heaven With 'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me'
Robert Smith aimed big on band's seventh album and was rewarded with a worldwide hit. Continue reading…
- Allison Rapp
Bob Dylan's Rerecorded 'Blowin' in the Wind' Heading to Auction
One-of-a-kind recording uses new audio technology. Continue reading…
- Matt Wardlaw
Neal Schon Is Planning a Journey Tour With Carlos Santana
They're also firming up dates with Toto and in discussions about working with other former tourmates. Continue reading…
- Michael Gallucci
Def Leppard, 'Diamond Star Halos': Album Review
First album in seven years from glam-metal vets pulls thematic inspiration from their favorite artists. Continue reading…
- Konstantinos Karakolis
Neversea Festival Announces Second Wave Of Headliners For July Edition With Alesso, KSHMR, Amelie Lens, More

The buzzing beach festival returns to Constanta, Romania for its 4th edition.

Coming to ConstanțaRomania for four immersive days and nights this July 7-10, 2022, Neversea Festival is Europe’s biggest beach party. With a colossal lineup of headliners and performers just announced for its fourth edition this year, Neversea Festival will feature three masterfully-designed stages and is set to be the most exciting edition to date.

Neversea Festival’s massive Main Stage lineup is slated to include performances from the likes of Alan Walker, Alesso, KSHMR, Steve Aoki, and many more dance music mainstays, as well as widely-celebrated names such as Parov Stelar, ZHU, and Tchami.

Neversea Festival aims to offer an experience that’s nothing short of diverse, with house and techno music fans gearing up to enjoy their favorite DJs and producers on the Temple Stage, which will feature an assortment of some of dance music’s very best. Among them are Amelie Lens, Jamie Jones, Nina Kraviz, Paul Kalkbrenner, and many more.

Finally, the Ark Stage will host a wide range of bass, drum & bass, and trap music, with performances from the likes of Borgore, Netsky, Malaa, Krewella, bbno$, Zeds Dead, and many more. 

Neversea Festival - Lineup 

As we’re getting closer to Neversea Festival, even more artists are scheduled to be revealed. Tickets for Neversea Festival are available here, starting at €134 plus taxes.

FOLLOW NEVERSEA FESTIVAL:

Facebook: facebook.com/NeverseaFestivalInstagram: instagram.com/neverseafestivalTwitter: twitter.com/neverseafestWebsite: neversea.com

- Konstantinos Karakolis
Check Out Gryffin’s EDM.com Festival Hits Playlist Takeover Ahead Of His Sunset Music Festival 2022 Performance

Gryffin is still buzzing off the release of his latest album single "Caught Up” alongside singer and songwriter Olivia O'Brien.

2022 is looking like it’s about to be another massive year for Gryffin.

The highly acclaimed producer and songwriter is gearing up for his performance at Sunset Music Festival Tampa this Memorial Day Weekend from May 27-29 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, which will also include sets from Alesso, Zeds Dead, ILLENIUM and many more electronic music mainstays. Ahead of his set, Gryffin has teamed up with EDM.com to take over the EDM.com Festival Hits playlist, giving fans an early taste of the legendary artists and music that festival-goers can expect at 'SMF Tampa' 2022.

“I’m stoked to be playing Sunset Music Festival this year,” Gryffin tells EDM.com. “Fans that come to my set can definitely expect some of my upcoming songs from Alive as well as everyone’s favorites from Gravity!”

As the release of Gryffin’s forthcoming sophomore album Alive is well underway, the highly acclaimed artist has shared an impressive string of singles, with his latest gem having just arrived in the form of “Caught Up” alongside singer and songwriter Olivia O'Brien. A summery and infectious cut, “Caught Up” is driven by intoxicating vocals and sun-kissed melodies, further cementing Gryffin as a dance music tastemaker.

Asked about the collaboration, Gryffin reveals "This was one of my favorite tracks to make. When I first heard the demo for 'Caught Up', I knew I wanted to turn it into a summer anthem. I wanted this record to be fun and energetic all the way through. I’ve been a fan of Olivia’s music for a while and knew she was the artist I wanted to collaborate on the song with. It was a super natural process when we got in the studio to finish the track. Her vocal performance is next level and I hope everyone plays it loud when having great times with friends."

Check out Gryffin’s exclusive selections for EDM.com below, featuring music from Said The Sky, Tchami, EDM.com Class of 2021 artist Blanke, and more.

FOLLOW GRYFFIN:

Facebook: facebook.com/gryffinofficial Twitter: twitter.com/gryffinofficial Instagram: instagram.com/gryffinofficial Spotify: spoti.fi/3gl5Jg1

- Cameron Sunkel
James Blake's New Album Is Designed To Assist With Building Better Sleep Habits

The album was created by leveraging generative AI music technology.

James Blake's new album is a snoozer by design.

If you thought music was purely an entertainment medium, James Blake might challenge that mindset. Releasing the first functional album under a major label imprint, Blake's effort aims to create healthier sleep. The album is a product made in part with the assistance of the generative AI technology application, Endel

Endel's cutting-edge technology creates a feedback loop by which the music adapts and changes based on the time of day, the user's heart rate, their movements, and more. Blake has honed his penchant for ambient music in recent times, originally making the leap towards developing ethereal soundscapes in 2020, during what he called a "beat holiday." At the time, the project received praise from the pioneering ambient producer, Brian Eno.

“The Wind Down soundscape I created with Endel lets me explore the more ambient side of my music and create a project to support people in a new way," James Blake says in a press release shared with EDM.com. “It's mesmerizing to hear how my music blends with the science-based sounds of Endel's AI and I think we've invented something not just beautiful or even meaningful, but truly practical."

James Blake's Wind Down is out now via Polydor/Republic Records/UMG.

- Cameron Sunkel
Tiësto Makes His Foray Into NFTs With "All Access Eagle" Launch At EDC Las Vegas

Fans can grab a copy for a limited time through the LGND platform.

Tiësto has revealed his plans to enter the NFT arena, with the superstar producer teasing the beginning of a new line of digital assets.

While there's still much to be revealed regarding Tiësto's forthcoming collection, the key to accessing his upcoming Genesis NFT launched over the weekend at EDC Las Vegas.

The theme of the collection centers around the eagle - a recurring image seen across the "Don't Be Shy" producer's album artwork and live visuals. The All Access Eagle NFT represents phase one of his efforts in the space, and grants holders VIP access to purchase his forthcoming Genesis NFT titled "EAGLE." The All Access Eagle NFT additionally includes the promise of early access to new music, plus additional perks yet to be announced.

"I’ve been invested in crypto-currency for many years and have been fascinated by all that is happening in the NFT space," Tiësto said in a press release shared with EDM.com. "I’ve been working on this project with my team for the last year to incorporate the blockchain with my art and music in new and exciting ways. This is only the beginning – as we continue to use this technology to do things that were never before possible."

Fans can still snag a copy of Tiësto's All Access Eagle via the LGND platform through May 27th, 2022.

FOLLOW TIËSTO:

Facebook: facebook.com/tiestoTwitter: twitter.com/tiestoInstagram: instagram.com/tiestoSpotify: spoti.fi/3dVvySo

- Brian Rapaport
Bad Proxy Teams Up With Social Kid To Release Hard-Hitting Industrial Anthem "Break Away"

With bass-heavy beats and stabbing synths throughout, "Break Away" delivers a heavy escape to a digital world.

Hot on the heels of his latest release, "Data Harvest," the industrial, mid-tempo producer, Bad Proxy, has been firing on all cylinders, releasing new music in 2022. Last week, he released his latest offering, "Break Away," with Social Kid. 

Delivering a dark industrial bass tone, "Break Away" is filled with hypnotic arpeggiators, warping glitches, and chaotic melodies that push the track forward. With bass-heavy beats and stabbing synths throughout, "Break Away" delivers a heavy escape to a digital world. In collaboration with Social Kid, "Break Away" serves as Bad Proxy's third signed original of the year, and is out now via Synesthesia Records.

FOLLOW BAD PROXY:

Facebook: facebook.com/badproxymusicInstagram: instagram.com/badproxy.exeTwitter: twitter.com/badproxymusicSpotify: spoti.fi/3wpSkxG

FOLLOW SOCIAL KID:

Facebook: facebook.com/socialkidmusicInstagram: instagram.com/socialkidmusicTwitter: twitter.com/socialkidmusicSpotify: spoti.fi/3abuoVR

- Nick Yopko
Flume, Kaytranada, The Chemical Brothers, More to Play Goldenvoice's New San Francisco Festival, Portola

The two-day festival will also feature sets from James Blake, Arca, Peggy Gou, M.I.A, Four Tet, PinkPantheress, DJ Shadow, and more.

Goldenvoice is returning to California this fall for a brand new two-day event.

Introducing Portola Music Festival, a new festival from the minds behind Coachella. As shared in a press release, the name comes from the Portola Festival of 1909 which was a local celebration that honored the reopening of the city after an unprecedented earthquake in 1906 destroyed most of San Francisco. Across the newly-established social media channels, the full lineup for the first edition of the event was shared.

Headlining night one and night two respectively is the modern-day legend, Flume and the pioneering, veteran duo, The Chemical Brothers. The two superstar acts will be joined by James Blake, Lane 8, Peggy Gou, M.I.A, Four Tet, PinkPantheress, DJ Shadow, Channel Tres, Jaime xx, Romy, Arca, and many more.

In addition to the lineup, information on the festival grounds was also revealed in a press release shared with EDM.com. Organizers promise a main stage that will showcase the iconic San Francisco skyline, multiple tents, and a 400,000-square-foot warehouse.

The inaugural Portola Music Festival takes place on September 24th and 25th, 2022 at Pier 80 in San Francisco, California. Tickets are on sale now and can be found here

- Nick Yopko
Dillon Francis Debuts Long-Awaited Collaboration with ILLENIUM

The two artists have been teasing the unreleased track for over a year.

After more than a year of teasing, Dillon Francis has finally debuted his unreleased collaboration with ILLENIUM.

Just a few days ago, Dillon Francis used his social media channels to "preview" his long-awaited collaboration with the melodic bass superstar. In true Dillon Francis fashion, he played exactly one second of the track and continued an effort to relentlessly torture his impatient fans.

Despite teasing that the song will be premiered at EDC Las Vegas, Francis decided to treat fans to an early look at the new track before he took the stage for day three of the Las Vegas festival. Captured by a fan at his show over the weekend, you can clearly hear an enormous melodic bass sound that has left fans shaking. Reminiscent of some of ILLENIUM's older releases, the colorful new tune has all the makings of a main stage hit.

At the time of writing, neither Dillon Francis nor ILLENIUM has announced a title or release date for their upcoming collaboration.

FOLLOW DILLON FRANCIS:

Facebook: facebook.com/dillonfrancismusicTwitter: twitter.com/DillonFrancisInstagram: instagram.com/dillonfrancisSpotify: spoti.fi/3ouSzRh

FOLLOW ILLENIUM:

Facebook: facebook.com/ILLENIUMTwitter: twitter.com/ILLENIUMMUSICInstagram: instagram.com/illeniummusicSpotify: spoti.fi/2XO5NxG

- Nick Yopko
Kx5 (deadmau5 and Kaskade) Surprise Subtronics Onstage at EDC for "Escape" Remix

The two dance music legends joined the ecstatic bass producer during his performance on the circutGROUNDS stage Saturday night.

Subtronics was greeted by two living legends during his biggest performance to date.

In the middle of his massive takeover of the circutGROUNDS stage Saturday night at EDC Las Vegas 2022, Subtronics dropped a new remix of Kx5 and Hayla's track, "Escape." With the new re-work playing on, none other than Kx5 (deadmau5 and Kaskade) themselves, joined the bass titan on stage. On Twitter, Musical Touch and Level Up shared videos of the heartwarming moment from the EDC livestream and onstage respectively.

As shown in the videos, Subtronics was tackled by an excited deadmau5 as he and Kaskade crashed his set. The three producers then hugged it out before Subtronics and surprisingly deadmau5 himself jumped on the decks in excitement over the heavy bass reimagining of the March single. The two veterans would then look on in support of the young superstar as he continued his performance. As one might expect, fans of all three artists shared Subtronics' excitement to be blessed by two of the biggest artists in the history of electronic music in one of the most smile-inducing moments of this year's EDC.

At the time of writing, neither Subtronics nor Kx5 has announced when the heavy remix of "Escape" will be released.

Editor's Note: Article updated 05/22/22 to include videos shared by Level Up.

FOLLOW SUBTRONICS:

Facebook: facebook.com/SubtronicsofficialTwitter: twitter.com/subtronicsInstagram: instagram.com/subtronicsSpotify: spoti.fi/3jEqAfS

FOLLOW DEADMAU5:

Facebook: facebook.com/deadmau5Instagram: instagram.com/deadmau5Twitter: twitter.com/deadmau5Spotify: spoti.fi/2TebC8c

FOLLOW KASKADE:

Facebook: facebook.com/kaskadeTwitter: twitter.com/kaskadeInstagram: instagram.com/kaskadeSpotify: spoti.fi/3fHaUGk

- EDM.com Staff
Rivessi Unveils Radio-Ready House Heater, "Say Goodbye"

The UK-based producer has just returned with yet another dancefloor-ready gem.

With strong foundations within the music industry and the skills to match his impressive accolades, 21-year-old producer, Rivessi, is well on his way towards making waves in the world of dance music. Hailing from the UK, the talented artist got his start in the music industry as a digital marketer at the age of 14, supporting fellow artists by carrying out marketing and public relations campaigns.

After multiple years of operating behind the scenes, Rivessi decided to introduce himself to the world in late 2021 with his dancefloor-ready single, "How You Control It." He would then go on to release a handful of singles ever since while amassing an impressive following on social media.

Rivessi’s latest independent release, "Say Goodbye," has just landed on all major streaming platforms, bringing together playful and intoxicating vocal lines. Starting off with warm production and subtle house percussion, "Say Goodbye" is able to capture the attention of listeners from the very start, before exploding into an anthemic drop filled with groovy basslines, thumping kicks, and vibrant synth melodies.

Listen to "Say Goodbye" below:

"I'm very excited for the release of this track as my aim was to create something quite unique, mixing different styles of house into one. I wanted to create quite a commercial dance track whilst mixing together future house and tech house references to create a groovy drop that's catchy and easy to sing along with. The feedback prior to release has been awesome so far so I can't wait for everyone to hear the song,” said Rivessi in a press statement shared with EDM.com. 

- Niko Sani
Deorro Connects with Los Tucanes De Tijuana and Maffio for Rhythmic New Single "Yo Las Pongo"

"Yo Las Pongo" is the latest single from Deorro's forthcoming album, "ORRO."

After months of teasing the song in his live sets, Deorro has finally released his collaboration with Los Tucanes De Tijuana and Maffio, "Yo Las Pongo," via Ultra Records.

First premiering at EDC Mexico, "Yo Las Pongo" has quickly become a fan favorite. Though all three acts' distinct sounds seem unlikely to mix at first glance, they've done an excellent job at allowing each to flourish. Los Tucanes De Tijuana's unmistakable presence sets the tone for the entire track, while Deorro and Maffio's distinct production styles are also given room to shine. The result is a remarkable tune that'll get anyone on their feet. 

Listen to "Yo Las Pongo" below.

"Yo Las Pongo" is the second to last single to arrive from his upcoming sophomore album, ORRO. The LP will infuse his unique sound with the music that shaped his career. There is currently no firm release date for the album, but, eager fans should keep their eyes peeled.

Listen to "Yo Las Pongo" on streaming platforms here.

FOLLOW DEORRO:

Facebook: facebook.com/DeorroTwitter: twitter.com/deorroInstagram: instagram.com/deorroSpotify: spoti.fi/2P9Ooui

- Cameron Sunkel
Steve Aoki & Snoop Dogg to Airdrop Singles From Forthcoming EP To NFT Holders

Steve Aoki and Snoop Dogg are bonding over a shared love of Web3 technology.

Web3 certainly has a knack for bringing people together, oftentimes in ways you wouldn’t expect.

Case in point - Steve Aoki and Snoop Dogg, or should we say the Alpha Doggz. Indeed, the two legendary talents have forged a new creative chapter together that will see the release of their debut EP later this month.

The forthcoming five-track effort will be released in partnership with the blockchain-based Gala Music platform. The first two tracks, to be released Thursday, May 19th, 2022, will be airdropped to existing holders of the A0K1VERSE Passport NFT and holders of The Doggfather’s Snoop Stashbox respectively.

Both artists have remained consistently at the forefront of the flourishing movement toward digital assets. Recently, Snoop Dogg announced that with his acquisition of Death Row Records, he intends to usher in a new creative future for the legendary imprint by turning it into an NFT label.

Meanwhile, electronic artists specifically continue to take an outsized role in pushing the trend forward, and Steve Aoki has been among the technology’s most fervent purveyors. Recently, the producer raised eyebrows with comments explaining that he has made more in a single year with NFTs than he has from his combined streaming royalties over the last decade.

The debut Alpha Doggz EP is set for release on Monday, May 23rd, 2022.

- Cameron Sunkel
ADE Announces First Wave of 2022 Speakers & Showcases

The first taste of ADE’s stunning lineup of conference speakers and performers has arrived.

Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is gearing up for a full return and the first key participants in the 2022 conference have been revealed.

The ADE Pro conference will return to host an illuminating series of discussions from prolific artists and industry power players alike. The panel of diverse perspectives includes Diplo, Youssou N’Dour, Suzanne Ciani, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, IMPALA Executive Chair, Helen Smith, Ben Turner, and many more. Hailing from all corners of the world, and various functional areas of the music industry itself, these subject matter experts will impart their knowledge and expertise to the current and future generation of industry professionals.

Of course, the live element of ADE is something participants are eager to reignite in full force. Various showcases and artist spotlight performances will take Amsterdam by storm including shows from Monstercat, CloZee, Oliver Heldens, and many more across five days of non-stop programming.

The early bird sale for the ADE Pro Pass, which includes access to the full conference and events slate, is now live. Meanwhile, tickets to individual events and showcases will soon be released.

This year's Amsterdam Dance Event takes place from October 19th to October 23rd, 2022.

- Cameron Sunkel
Snapchat Launches Four Augmented Reality Lenses At EDC, Showcasing the Technology's Long-Term Utility

Snapchat's first offering in its longer-term partnership with Live Nation has arrived.

Snapchat and EDC are affording festival-goers new ways to capture the magic of America's largest dance music festival.

Part of Snap's recently announced multi-festival partnership with Live Nation, the company has developed and launched a handful of augmented reality lenses curated for EDC Las Vegas and beyond.

Attendees who open Snapchat at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be greeted with a slate of new lenses to transform their experience under the electric sky. Bring EDC's iconic neon owl to life with the Night Owl lens and watch it soar across the sky on your phone in real time. Meanwhile, utilizing the Daisy lens gives users the ability to sprout towering neon flowers from the ground at their feet, creating new digital landmarks and unique opportunities for content creation.

Snapchat's Daisy lens allows EDC festivalgoers the opportunity for custom content creation utilizing AR technology.

Courtesy of Snap

Furthermore, Snapchat's AR Compass and Friend FindAR lenses showcase long-term use cases for AR technology on the festival circuit. The AR Compass allows attendees to render a detailed 3-D image of the festival grounds on their phones, enabling their ability to toggle information on different stages, set time scheduling, and more. 

Snapchat's AR Compass lens allows users to view a 3-D rendering of the festival grounds while on-site.

Courtesy of Snap

Using Snapchat's precise location sharing capabilities, groups of friends can pinpoint each other's location through the app using the new Friend FindAR lens, and Snapchat's compass will take you directly to them. With the visual guide of an on-screen compass needle, a real-time measurement of the distance separating you from your friend, and tactile reinforcement that the direction you're walking in is correct, it's clear the feature will quickly solve a perennial frustration among concertgoers, reuniting with their group.

Check out Team Snap's full announcement of the EDC AR Lenses via their blog.

- Niko Sani
Watch The Weeknd's Dazzling Coachella Set Featuring Swedish House Mafia in its Entirety

The highly-anticipated 51-minute set from Coachella weekend two is now available on YouTube.

Following his dazzling set at Coachella just a few weeks ago, The Weeknd has released his one-of-a-kind performance featuring Swedish House Mafia in full via his YouTube channel.

The set is exactly what longtime fans of The Weeknd have come to expect, as he showcased his unmatched vocal talents and stage presence. A myriad of new music from his latest album, Dawn FM, was showcased as well as numerous classics like "Blinding Lights," "The Hills," "Party Monster," and more. Though Swedish House Mafia is not prominently featured in the whole video, they were certainly strong contributors within the 51-minute performance.

Watch the set in its entirety below.

The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia's co-headline set was one of the most anticipated of the entire festival, as both are heavy-hitters in their own lanes and recently collaborated on "Moth To A Flame" as well as "Sacrifice."

FOLLOW THE WEEKND:

Facebook: facebook.com/theweekndTwitter: twitter.com/theweekndInstagram: instagram.com/theweekndSpotify: spoti.fi/3l8jEsz

- Niko Sani
Listen to Flume's Brilliantly Eclectic Third Album "Palaces"

The LP features collaborations with Damon Albarn, QUIET BISON, MAY-A, LAUREL, Caroline Polachek, and more.

After months of singles and teasers, Flume has finally delivered his hotly-anticipated third studio album, Palaces, via Future Classic.

Palaces is a groundbreaking album that expands Flume's influences to even deeper reaches of electronic music. He's taken his signature experimental sound and perfected it, leading to some of the best music he's written to date. It's an LP that speaks to his vision and project as a whole, giving listeners a taste of exactly who Flume is even if they've never listened to anything else in his discography.

Opening with high energy on "Highest Building" featuring Oklou, the track sets the pace for the rest of the album. Emotions run high throughout, as the vocals and varied collection of sounds help steer the course. While there are moments of angst and frustration displayed through aggressive synths and pounding production, many of the lighter elements pave the way for a love-driven feel.

The vacillating mood can feel jarring, though that's where the beauty of the LP lies. A clear example of this is how "Hollow" featuring Emma Louise and "Love Light" play back to back, followed by the harsh, ethereal sounds of "Sirens" with Caroline Polachek. The album takes on a much airier sound immediately after, as the relaxing beat of "Go" blends perfectly into the namesake tune with Damon Albarn, "Palaces."

In all, Palaces is yet another masterstroke from Flume. The unpredictability meshed with the phenomenal sound design and overall production makes for one of the Australian producer's most impressive projects to date. Additionally, the heavyweight contender has unleashed a top prospect for album of the year in what's shaping up to be an incredibly competitive battle. 

Listen to Palaces on streaming platforms here.

FOLLOW FLUME:

Facebook: facebook.com/flumemusicInstagram: instagram.com/flumemusicTwitter: twitter.com/flumemusicSpotify: spoti.fi/2VJhtRc

- Brian Rapaport
GG Magree Releases Vulnerable And Emotive Pop-Punk Debut EP 'Dichotomy'

A chilling, emotive, raw, and powerful seven-track debut EP.

Over the years, GG Magree has gone through an inspiring transformation from being a topline vocalist to a well-seasoned producer. From collaborations on hit singles with Zeds Dead, Sullivan King, and Kai Wachi to her own fantastic singles, GG Magree has carved out her own path and created a unique sound in the EDM sphere. Now, she's released her debut EP, Dichotomy, a seven-track journey that encompasses years of production mastery and personal growth.

"I feel like I've just found myself," GG shared with EDM.com in an exclusive statement. "I gave myself room to grow and really think about who I am as an artist. I didn't even know I could sing before I wrote and sang on 'Frontlines' so my whole artist journey has been pretty much me just figuring it out along the way. Learning guitar over Covid definitely impacted my vision and direction. Dichotomy is my baby - my first ever EP, I can't believe it. I'm usually such a pussy when it comes to releasing music and I've never been more proud of this project!" 

GG Magree puts her all into this EP in a stunning and heartfelt fashion. Letting go of fear, she embraces a raw pop-punk aesthetic. With sentimental lyrics, wicked guitars, and punk rock vibes, the EP explores the greater depths of love, life, and the human experience of connecting with others. There's a balance between good and evil and dark and light, and Dichotomy details how both sides can coexist harmoniously. 

Woven together into hard-hitting verses, emotive vocals, and an unrelenting drive that is ripe with grit, Dichotomy scratches all of the boxes when it comes to innovative new music, and it hits hard. While maintaining her signature dark, gritty, punk-rock sound, GG Magree effortlessly blended multiple genres into an EDM EP, creating a unique sound that not only encapsulates multiple scenes but tells a personal story.

The Australian singer, songwriter, and producer teamed up with punk rock singer Royal & The Serpent for the song "BITCH," which appears as the fifth track on the EP. "BITCH," showcases a raw and 'veil pulled back' performance from Royal and GG, uncovering the rollercoaster of emotions felt when 'falling in love,' and moving on from toxic relationships. The single goes past great song production, holding nothing back, and dives deep into a raw, emotive vocal polyphonic sung from the heart. 

"'BITCH' is my beautiful tragic love story," GG shares in a press statement. "It was inspired by a life experience I had while dating a narcissistic psycho who treated me like shit, so I left him behind and wrote "BITCH." While writing it, I fell in love with my best friend Royal & The Serpent. She was the real relationship that was meant to last."

"Have you ever seen life in black and white? Most can only see in color. I look up at the moon and only feel the sun. The forks in my veins dualize good and evil. Maybe that's why I only cry happy tears. Welcome to my dichotomy." 

GG Magree's debut EP, Dichotomy, is out now via Monstercat. You can check out the full EP here.

GG Magree 'Dichotomy' EP Artwork

Monstercat

FOLLOW GG MAGREE:

Facebook: facebook.com/GGMAGREEInstagram: instagram.com/ggmagreeTwitter: twitter.com/ggmagreeSpotify: spoti.fi/3saXA5S

- Brooke Bierman
Celebrate World Meditation Day with Eric Sharp's Exclusive EDM.com Playlist

Following the success of his "Emergence" EP, the Los Angeles-based artist has created a playlist to deliver serenity to its listeners.

Balance isn’t something you find; it’s something you create. 

In honor of World Meditation Day, we’re reflecting on different ways the electronic dance music scene can adopt healthier habits. While loads of fun, our industry generally isn’t the healthiest. Ask any touring artist and most will tell you that all of the late nights, extensive travel, sleep deprivation, and partying can do a number on one's mental and physical wellbeing.

From the outside looking in, it may seem as if the EDM world is run by revelers. This, however, is not always the case. There are a number of dance music artists who live very mindful and healthy lifestyles, even while on the road and in the thick of the nightlife. One such artist is the house maestro, Eric Sharp. Having channeled his sober, healthy way of life into his music, he prioritizes values like health, spiritualism, veganism, surrealism, and freedom. His main goal is simply to deliver serenity to his listeners.

Just last month, the Los Angeles-based artist dropped his five-track Emergence EP, where he not only showed off his house and techno production chops but also provided deeply philosophical and introspective lyrics. The previously-released single, “Like Water,” featured the meditation teacher Doe Paoro and a beautiful new-age message about stillness. Similarly, “The Gift” featuring Zhao delivers a powerful statement on the commodification of art. Perfectly embodying balance, Eric Sharp’s music masterfully blends spellbinding, infectious grooves with thought-provoking lyrics.

Following the success of his Emergence EP, the Los Angeles-based artist has teamed up with EDM.com for a celebration of World Meditation Day with an exclusive playlist showcasing music that will allow listeners to alleviate stress, lift their mood, and ponder life’s existential questions.

Check out Eric Sharp’s exclusive EDM.com playlist, with music from RÜFÜS DU SOL, Moby, LCD Soundsystem, and more below.

FOLLOW ERIC SHARP

Facebook: facebook.com/ericsharpmusicTwitter: twitter.com/ericsharpmusicInstagram: instagram.com/ericsharpmusicSpotify: spoti.fi/3l7cgyO

- EDM.com Staff
Mysterious Talent Chuck Jones Debuts With “Let’s Take Our Chances”

The rising artist has set himself up for success with this massive debut single and music video.

It’s not often that an artist debuts onto the scene with a bang, yet for Chuck Jones, this has been exactly the case. Having just unveiled his debut, summery single “Let’s Take Our Chances,” the mysterious artist from San Francisco, CA, is positioning himself as an exciting name to keep your eye on, while allowing the music to capture the audience and speak for itself.

Driven by vibrant production and an infectious topline, Chuck Jones’ “Let’s Take Our Chances” is an impressive debut, that is as fitting for the dancefloor as it is for the radio. After the energy has been carefully built up with the help of playful melodies and warm dance-pop production, the drop explodes through Chuck Jones’ expert use of minimal drums and vocal chops, resulting in a stunning auditory result that is bound to captivate listeners all across the globe.

Listen to "Let’s Take Our Chances" below: 

“Let’s Take Our Chances” comes alongside a fun and emotional music video, starring TikTok sensation Jordyn Lucas. In the relatable story, she meets someone online only to be left hanging after they never show up on their date, with the takeaway being that even in life’s lowest moments, it’s okay to realize that this is all a part of the journey, and enjoy it while you can. 

- Niko Sani
Stream: EDC Las Vegas 2022 is Now Live

Dillon Francis, ARMNHMR, Uniiqu3, LP Giobbi, and more will all be featured in Insomniac's live stream this weekend.

Those who can't attend EDC Las Vegas this weekend, fear not. Your favorite artist may be one of the many featured on Insomniac's livestream.

The official EDC broadcast this weekend is packed full of some of the biggest names on the festival bill, including Dillon Francis, ARMNHMR, Uniiqu3, LP Giobbi, John Summit, and more. Also included are some of the exciting back-to-back sets such as GIGANTIC NGHTMRE (Big Gigantic and NGHTMRE), BIJOU b2b Habstrakt, GG Magree and Mija's So Tuff So Cute, Nostalgix b2b Wenzday, and AC Slater b2b Chris Lorenzo. 

Tune in via InsomniacTV below.

This year's EDC Las Vegas is set to be the festival's biggest yet. We've compiled a list of the most unmissable events and sights at the outing, including the addition of a ninth stage. Those attending can find stage-by-stage lineups here.

FOLLOW EDC LAS VEGAS:

Facebook: facebook.com/electricdaisycarnivalTwitter: twitter.com/EDC_LasVegasInstagram: instagram.com/edc_lasvegasWebsite: lasvegas.electricdaisycarnival.com

- Koji Aiken
EDM.com Playlist Picks: Flume, Dr. Fresch, Tchami & More [5/20/22]

New major releases include tracks from KUURO, G Jones & Lady Bee 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 HitsI Can't Tell (feat. LAUREL) - FlumeThe Calling - Tchami & Marten HørgerAbout Damn Time (Purple Disco Machine Remix) - LizzoFestival Hits 2022Let's Go - Dr. FreschLove Is A State Of Mind (Feat. Ramona Renea) - Honey DijonVitamin Bee - Lady BeeElectronic AvenueBreak - KUUROFinal Lap - G Jones & EpromEverything About You - Vincent

These tracks can be accessed on the EDM.com Top Hits Playlist, Electronic Avenue Playlist and Festival Hits 2021 Playlist.

- C. Vernon Coleman II
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- Andy Malt
Sony Music expands commitment to pay through royalties to unrecouped heritage artists

Sony Music

Sony Music has announced that it is extending its programme to pay through royalties to artists on unrecouped old record deals, so that any artists who signed those old deals more than 20 years ago will now benefit, with a new group of artists qualifying each year.

When artists sign a conventional record deal, any cash advance they receive and – depending on the deal – possibly some of the other upfront costs incurred by the label are recoupable. That means the label can recoup those costs out of any income generated by the artist’s recordings and usually specifically out of the artist’s share of that income.

The artist will only actually receive new monies in their bank account once all those costs are covered and the artist is said to have ‘recouped’. But plenty of artists never actually recoup.

This meant that when streaming took off and the record industry’s catalogue surged in value, many heritage artists weren’t seeing the benefit of that surge because the new streaming royalties being generated were paying off old unrecouped balances.

This became one of the music industry practices that was regularly criticised as the debate about the streaming economy gained momentum – not least because labels often go into profit on their investment in any one artist long before that artist actually recoups, because the label’s share of recording income is usually significantly larger than the artist’s share.

Some indies had already adopted the practice of writing off unrecouped balances after a period of time – so artists would start getting royalty payments in their bank accounts – but Sony was the first of the majors to announce it would start paying royalties through to any unrecouped artist who signed their deal with the record company and hadn’t received any additional advances since 2000.

That announcement came last June as the UK Parliament’s culture select committee was finishing off its inquiry into the economics of streaming. The move was welcomed by MPs who called on Warner Music and Universal Music to follow suit, which they both did earlier this year.

However, those commitments specifically related to artists signed before 2000. Artist and manager groups – while welcoming said commitments – also said that the majors should make a long-term rolling commitment so that after a set period of time other unrecouped artists would automatically qualify to receive royalties. Which is what Sony has just done.

Sony Music boss Rob Stringer made that new commitment as part of an annual presentation to Sony Corp investors. He told those investors: “At Sony Music Group we take pride in our efforts to be the most creator friendly company in the modern music industry and we will keep searching for the most principled ways to represent our talent”.

“We became the first major company to pay through earnings to many long standing artists and songwriters regardless of any recoupment status”, he added. “And now, we are expanding that effort to include even more qualifying artists who have been signed to us for more than 20 years, by offering eligibility on a rolling basis”.

The new commitment means that unrecouped artists with pre-2001 deals will receive royalties from 1 Jan this year, with a new group of artists becoming eligible for such payments in each subsequent year.

Sony says that thousands of artists and songwriters have benefited from its previous commitment on unrecouped balances, together receiving millions of dollars in new royalties, and thousands more will benefit from this new commitment.

The UK’s Music Managers Forum and Featured Artists Coalition both welcomed the new commitment, with their CEOs – Annabella Coldrick and David Martin – stating this morning: “We welcome the news that Sony Music Entertainment are to disregard unrecouped balances on artists’ accounts on a rolling, annual basis. The policy echoes measures that the FAC and the MMF have long been calling for”.

“It means that every twelve months a new cohort of artists can benefit from the growth in music consumption and finally earn an income from their work”, they add. “Sony’s approach, writing off debt in this way, is the right one, marking a further step towards fairer and more collaborative relationships between labels and artists”.

Warner Music and Universal Music will presumably make similar commitments down the line, though we await to see when exactly.

- Andy Malt
Marilyn Manson sexual assault lawsuit dismissed over statute of limitations

Marilyn Manson

One of four sexual assault lawsuits filed against Marilyn Manson has been dismissed, after a judge ruled that the statute of limitations prevented the litigation from proceeding.

The musician’s former assistant, Ashley Walters, sued Manson a year ago, accusing him of sexual harassment, abuse and battery during her time working for him between 2010 and 2011. Manson’s legal team had already successfully argued once before that Walters’ claims fell outside the statute of limitations, but she was given the opportunity to submit an amended complaint.

In that amended filing, Walters said that, due to post-traumatic stress disorder, she had – until recently – suppressed her memories of what had happened to her while working for Manson.

She had, said the lawsuit, been “unable to recall many of the physical and emotional abuses until the fall of 2020 when countless repressed memories flooded back to [her] after meeting numerous other victims of [Manson] and obtaining counselling from a mental health professional”.

In California, where the case has been filed, the statute of limitations on sexual assault and harassment cases was three years, until 2020 when it was increased to ten years.

However, according to Courthouse News, the judge overseeing the case, Michael Stern, said that the law change was not retroactive, meaning that Walters was still bound by the three year rule, requiring her to go legal within three years of the alleged abuse. “The plaintiff has pled too few facts to keep this complaint in court, and too late, most importantly”, said Stern.

Walters’ attorney, Tanya Sukhija-Cohen, argued in court that, as her memories only returned to her in 2020, Walters should not be bound by the older statute of limitation, saying: “There were memories she could not recall due to PTSD. Once the memories came back, she immediately thought to get an attorney and notify law enforcement”.

In a statement, Walters indicated that she would appeal yesterday’s decision, saying: “Nobody gets to choose exactly how they process abuse or threats. I am disheartened in the court’s decision today not just for my case, but for the message it sends to other survivors out there trying to balance how they process abuse with arbitrary court deadlines”.

Unsurprisingly, Manson’s attorney Gene Williams insisted that the correct decision had been made, reckoning that Walters has been inconsistent in her claims about whether or not her memories had been repressed, adding: “This is an issue of whether the plaintiff has pled facts to get around statute of limitations. The allegations ended in 2011. There is no justification for not bringing the suit for ten years after that”.

Manson was sued by several women last year, after actor and ex-fiancée of the musician Evan Rachel Wood named him as the previously anonymous abuser she had spoken about a number of times in recent years.

One other lawsuit was also dismissed last year on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired, but that was then re-filed days later. Meanwhile, in October a court declined to dismiss another complaint filed by ‘Game Of Thrones’ actor Esmé Bianco.

In March this year, Manson sued Wood for defamation, ahead of the TV premiere of the documentary ‘Phoenix Rising’ on HBO, in which Wood makes various allegations of sexual abuse against the musician.

In that lawsuit, Manson accuses Wood and her “on-again, off-again” partner Ashley Gore of framing him as “a rapist and abuser – a malicious falsehood that has derailed [his] successful music, TV and film career”.

He also accuses Wood and Gore of “falsifying and spreading” allegations against him, as well as “forging and distributing a fictitious letter from the [FBI], to create the false appearance” that he was under federal investigation. As well as this, he accuses Gore of trying to hack into his computer, phone and email, and that she created fake email addresses to make claims against the musician.

Manson, of course, denies all of the allegations that have been made against him.

- Chris Cooke
Bestival boss in court over Ticketline advances

Bestival

Rob da Bank has been in court in London this week in a dispute over money advanced to his former Bestival company by Ticketline. Except, the ticketing company claims, those monies were actually loaned to the Bestival boss on a personal basis, and therefore are still owing despite the Bestival company being wound up.

The company that promoted the Bestival and Camp Bestival festivals went into administration in 2018 after admitting it was facing various “financial challenges”. It was actually forced into administration by another money-lender, which for a short time looked like it might take over the Bestival brand from da Bank – real name Robert Gorham – despite the festival being very closely linked to its co-founders, Gorham and his wife Josie.

However, in the end the Gorhams teamed up with Live Nation and SJM to buy the Bestival brand from that money-lender, albeit in order to continue staging the more family orientated Camp Bestival event, rather than Bestival itself.

This week’s court hearing relates to monies advanced by Ticketline in the two years before the Bestival company went into administration. The ticketing firm says that, although it often advances money to clients that it then recoups from ticket sales, it became aware that the Bestival company was facing financial challenges making any advancing of cash a risky move.

To that end, Ticketline says, when it advanced a million pounds to the festival business via two payments between 2016 and 2018, it did so on the basis that Gorham and his fellow Bestival director John Hughes were personally liable for ensuring that money was repaid.

According to the Daily Mail, Ticketline’s legal rep, Paul Burton, told the court: “By the first quarter of 2016, the [Bestival] group had cash flow problems and identified a need for an injection of approximately £1.5 million to enable it to continue to trade. Ticketline had a high degree of visibility of the group’s financial position. It was not prepared to advance anything like the sum required on an unsecured basis, with repayment being recouped from ticket sales”.

So, instead, Burton claimed, the ticketing firm agreed to lend £750,000 if Gorham and Hughes were personally liable to pay it back. “Notwithstanding the injection of the claimant’s £750,000”, the lawyer went on, “the group was soon back at crisis point and desperately short of funds. As Mr Gorham himself put it in March 2018 ‘we’re on the brink'”.

As work proceeded on Bestival’s 2018 events, “once again the group had a cash flow crisis. Unpaid contractors were demanding payment, failing which they would withdraw their services and the event would not be able to open to the public. There was a concluded oral agreement for him and Mr Hughes to borrow £249,000 so that it could be deployed by the group and literally save the day”.

Some of the monies loaned to the Bestival company by Ticketline were repaid, but £650,000 is still owing. And, as far as the ticketing firm is concerned, the personal liabilities of Gorham and Hughes were clear when those loans were made.

“The claimant would only make the first and second loans available if the defendants were liable to repay”, Burton continued. “If the monies could be repaid by the group, so much the better, but this does not affect the agreement the defendants made”.

Hughes basically agrees with Ticketline regarding his and Gorham’s personal liabilities, according to the Mail. However, Gorham says that he never agreed to any personal loan or to take on any personal liabilities for the monies advanced by Ticketline.

He reportedly told the court: “This was a multi-million pound, very busy business, with me driving the customer-facing side and the artists, [and] a whole raft of things in the festival world. The finance and accounting was not my department”. But, he insisted, “I never signed up for a personal loan”.

- Chris Cooke
As PRS elects eight new Council members, MMF says more changes are needed to boost diversity at the top

PRS For Music

UK collecting society PRS held its Annual General Meeting in London yesterday, which included the election of eight members to the society’s Council, four writers and four publishers.

Despite various efforts to increase the diversity of the organisation’s leadership, the election didn’t do much to enhance the diversity of its Council, which – the Music Managers Forum said yesterday – was mainly because of an “outmoded and outdated system of governance”.

The writers elected to the Council yesterday included Hannah Peel, Tom Gray, Crispin Hunt and Philip Pope. On the publisher side, the four members elected to the Council were Nigel Gilroy from the Wise Music Group, Daniel Lang from Warner Chappell Music, John Minch from Concord, and Richard Paine from Faber Music.

Commenting on the election, PRS CEO Andrea Czapary Martin said: “My congratulations to the newly elected and re-elected Council members. I very much look forward to working with you all. You bring a breadth of vision, diversity of skill sets and an understanding of the digital ecosystem from which the organisation and the members will greatly benefit”.

Meanwhile, outgoing Chair of the Council, Peermusic’s Nigel Elderton, added: “I welcome our newly appointed and reappointed Council Members whose combined experience and expertise will help to steer PRS’s future. I know they will bring a huge amount of insight and knowledge to the Members’ Council”.

Elderton is stepping down from the Council completely after three decades as a PRS director. “As I look back on my 30 years as a director of PRS”, he went on, “it is immensely rewarding to note how far and how quickly this company has transformed into a world class performing rights organisation. I wish PRS and its members continued success as it grows into becoming a billion-pound society”.

However, the Chairs and CEO of MMF – Paul Craig, Kwame Kwaten and Annabella Coldrick – expressed disappointment that the election had not resulted in a more diverse Council, despite efforts to ensure that a more diverse pool of candidates were standing.

“Today’s PRS election result is disappointing”, they said in a statement. “Last week at the Ivor Novello Awards we all celebrated the diversity of the UK’s songwriting talent, and it’s evident that those voices need to be properly represented on the Council of our collecting society”.

“That this hasn’t happened is no reflection on the candidates”, they went on, “it’s the result of an outmoded and outdated system of governance at PRS, which is in clear need of root and branch reform to ensure the value of people of colour to songwriting and publishing is not just acknowledged but properly represented”.

Among the aspects of PRS governance that have come under criticism are the rules around voting. Not all PRS members get to vote, meanwhile some members get ten or 20 votes, mainly depending on the revenues they generate via the society.

That likely means a relatively small portion of the membership actually decides who is elected to the Council, which arguably impacts on the diversity of the elected team.

PRS has reviewed its governance practices in recent years while also launching various initiatives to increase the diversity of its membership, and the people working at and leading the society. It remains to be seen if further changes are now made in a bid to get a more diverse top team at the organisation.

- Chris Cooke
CISAC outlines ISWC advancements in latest annual report

CISAC

CISAC – the global organisation for song right collecting societies – has published its annual report, which includes updates on various lobbying efforts around the world, and its involvement in debates and campaigns around livestreaming, fair remuneration, the copyright status of AI created works, and moves by some media firms to pressure music-makers into agreeing to complete buy-out deals.

It also includes an update on developments around the ISWC, the unique identifier for musical works that is managed by the global organisation. This is relevant to the ongoing economics of streaming debate, especially in the UK where the government has instigated a working group looking into music rights data issues and the impact those issues have on the payment of streaming royalties.

Many of the stakeholders involved in those discussions – including songwriters, music publishers and, via the MMF’s recently published Song Royalties Manifesto, artist managers – have called for further changes to the way ISWCs are issued for new songs and then shared with streaming services.

Currently, when recordings are delivered to those streaming services, the song contained in the recording is not specifically identified. That means streaming services don’t actually know what songs they are streaming.

So each month they have to send their licensing partners on the songs side of the business complete usage reports, where recordings are uniquely identified by the record industry’s identifier, the ISRC. Then the music publishers and collecting societies have to match those ISRCs to ISWCs in retrospect, and then identify which ISWCs they control in each market, and therefore which streams they need to be paid for.

Many writers and publishers argue that record labels and music distributors should provide an ISWC with each recording as it is delivered, so that post-stream matching would no longer be required.

However, labels and distributors counter that when they release new tracks, the ISWC for the song often hasn’t been issued. Meanwhile, it can be hard for labels and distributors to identify ISWCs, and for DIY artists who write their own music, chances are ISWCs will never be issued for those works.

Therefore to overcome some of the music industry’s current data challenges, ISWCs need to be issued much faster, and need to be much more widely available to DIY Phase artists and those hobbyist musicians releasing music via DIY distributors.

Some work in that domain has been underway for a few years now. CISAC upgraded its ISWC system back in 2020, and – its new annual report states – “has made steady progress during 2021/22 in extending its global music identifier across the value chain”.

The 2020 update, it adds, “has led to tighter integration in the assignment of ISWCs by member societies over the last three years”.

“In the last two years societies have taken the opportunity of the new modernised system to redesign their allocation procedures, benefitting from improved web services which allow for the central assignment of ISWCs as part of their local registration processes”, the annual report goes on.

Resolution and allocation services run by CISAC are also helping, it adds. “Publishers have also started to make more extensive use of the resolution service to validate existing ISWCs in their databases or retrieve ISWCs missing from their back catalogues”.

“Publishers also have access to the allocation service, with the support of societies. This allows an ISWC to be assigned before the work is fully registered with the society, and before the work documentation is circulated to the network of sub-publishers throughout the world. In this way, the ISWC is fully documented even before the musical work is used”.

Looking ahead, it goes on: “CISAC aims to provide new services that will be made available to other parties in the music industry, including music platforms and tech companies offering services to societies. These new services include an automated access to the ISWC database, in addition to the current website that is available to the public. The objective is to further disseminate the ISWC throughout the value chain, and with greater accuracy”.

You can download the CISAC annual report here.

- Chris Cooke
Warner Music Israel launches

Warner Music

Warner Music has announced the launch of a new division based out of Tel Aviv to be run by Mariah Mochiach. She previously repped the major in Israel when she was General Manager of Lev Group Media, the Israeli music company with which Warner has worked in the past.

In her new role, she reports into Warner’s President Of Emerging Markets, Alfonso Perez-Soto, who says: “Israel has a rich culture and is the home to some incredible talent. Mariah has vast experience of the country’s music industry and so is the perfect person to lead our operations here”.

“We hope to turn Warner Music Israel into a powerhouse full of local stars”, he goes on, “and by offering artists the opportunity to tap into Warner Music’s renowned global network, we aim to attract the country’s most exciting talent”.

Meanwhile, Mochiach herself adds: “I’m honoured to be able to open Warner Music Israel for business. Our country is full of unique and extraordinary talent which we hope to propel onto the global stage. We hope to find many inspirational artists in Israel in the near future”.

- Andy Malt
Approved: Saya Gray

Saya Gray

With a hefty bout of touring experience as a session bassist for other artists under her belt, Saya Gray has more recently stepped out as an artist in her own right. With her debut mixtape, ‘Nineteen Masters’, out next month, she returns now with the latest single from it, ‘Empathy 4 Bethany’.

Like earlier single, ‘If There’s No Seat In The Sky (Will You Forgive Me?)’, the song deals with the issue of falling in love when you’re constantly about to head out on the road again.

“I live very non-committal – I haven’t had a lease in years”, she recently told The Face. “I have a lot of energy, and the momentum of that suits me”.

However, in 2019, that life started to take its toll, she explains: “I was in a really exhausted state. I remember being like, ‘Is this all there is?’ It was this internal process of dealing with my mental health and having no home, just living out of a bag. Eventually, it gets to your brain”.

Confronting these feelings face on in her own songs, wrapped in an intimate, experimental folk sound, she has created something that really stands out.

‘Nineteen Masters’ is out through Dirty Hit on 2 Jun. Watch the video for ‘Empathy 4 Bethany’ here:

- Andy Malt
One Liners: Sky Ferreira, Ed Sheeran, Noga Erez, more
Sky Ferreira

DEALS

Noga Erez has signed a new deal with Warner/Atlantic’s Neon Gold Records, following two albums with indie label City Slang. “I’m super excited to begin to work with the people of Atlantic/Neon Gold”, she says. “This partnership is a big step for me. We’ve already started to get the ball rolling creatively and we have some big plans ahead of us”. She’s not joking, here’s new single ‘Nails’.

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APPOINTMENTS

The UK’s Featured Artists Coalition has appointed Genneah Turner as its new General Manager. Noting her past work in artist management, she says: “It has been my greatest pleasure to have been trusted in the role of artist manager, helping recording artists navigate the business of music in a way that centred their autonomy, and created the best foundation from which they could create and share their art. I’m THRILLED to be joining the FAC where I can turn that micro focus outwards to support recording artists as a whole and build on the great work that the FAC’s founding artists started and more recently that [CEO] David Martin has built on across the organisation”.

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RELEASES

Sky Ferreira has released her first new single for more than three years, ‘Don’t Forget’. Her second album might actually be on the way. Please.

Ed Sheeran is still knocking out remixes of ‘2Step’. The thirteenth features brilliant Irish rapper Denise Chaila.

Mura Masa will release his third album, ‘Demon Time’, on 16 Sep. Here’s new single ‘Blessing Me’, featuring Skillibeng and Pa Salieu.

Hercules & Love Affair and Anohni have teamed up for new single ‘One’. New Hercules & Love Affair album ‘In Amber’ is out on 17 Jun.

Cassyette has released new single ‘Sad Girl Summer’. “It’s a ‘fuck you’ song and I want people to feel empowered by it”, she says. “Anyone that’s ever been cheated on will understand that hurt. It’s a proper rager in the chorus”.

Galya Bisengalieva has released ‘Should I Panic About Dying?’, taken from her soundtrack to Netflix documentary ‘Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive’, which will be out in full on 22 Jul.

Pulled Apart By Horses have released new single ‘Rinse & Repeat’. It’s “an ode to all that have found themselves trapped in the darker corners of the music industry”, says vocalist Tom Hudson. “The realisation that they need you more than you need them. Inspired by seeing Ziggy Stardust stood in line at the job centre. More punk rock than Iggy advertising life insurance”.

Attawalpa has released new single ‘Too Much’. “Lyrically ‘Too Much’ is about meeting ‘the one’, but you’re not quite evolved yet”, he says. “Generally speaking men always take longer at everything emotional. I feel I am part of a disillusioned generation who knows true love is possible if it doesn’t get lost in translation”.

Efé has released new single ‘Lime’, taken from a new EP out in July. “’Lime’ is about people that try to convince you that you need them in order to be great, to succeed”, she says. “I guess it is a song that pays homage to knowing your own self worth and knowing that you don’t need someone and you can be in charge of your own faith”.

Gag Salon are back with an important public service message with new single ‘Don’t Eat Stuff Off The Pavement’. While it’s “generally pretty good advice”, admits vocalist Joseph Mumford, the title “bears no relation to the song itself though. It’s a sad song about nostalgia and living vicariously. Can’t take anything too seriously though, so I had to give it a stupid title”.

————————————————–

GIGS & TOURS

Girl In Red has announced a one-off show at London’s Brixton Academy on 3 Apr 2023. This follows the recent postponement of UK and mainland European tour dates after the discovery of “nodular damage” on one of her vocal cords. Tickets for the new show go on sale tomorrow.

Lightning Bolt have announced UK and Ireland tour dates in August, kicking off at The Scala in London on 11 Aug and rounding things off with a performance at the ArcTanGent festival.

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

- Andy Malt
Rick Astley marks Never Gonna Give You Up’s 35th anniversary with new animated video

Never Gonna Give You Up animated video still

To mark the 35th anniversary of the song’s original release, Rick Astley has posted a new animated video for his 1987 single, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

“Last year we had the idea for a frame-by-frame animated remake of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’”, explains Astley. “After a lot of hard work, it’s finally ready and I love it!”

The track’s original video now has over 1.2 billion views on YouTube, thanks in no small part to ‘Rickrolling’ meme. This, as you must know – it’s been around for fifteen years after all – is a game of tricking people into watching the original ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ video.

In case you’ve somehow blocked all memory of the meme from your brain, let me remind you: the sender basically posts a link, convincing the recipient that it will take them to a certain piece of content, or information, or maybe a super duper new animated video. The recipient then clicks on said link only to discover that they’re actually watching a 1980s Astley shimmying around a factory.

The new video was created by 50/50 Mediahouse, the production company set up by Astley’s manager Lene Bausager. The audio is taken from the newly remastered edition of Astley’s debut album, ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’, which came out last week.

Astley is set to tour the US with New Kids On The Block, En Vogue and Salt N Pepa this summer, before returning to play the Kelvingrove Bandstand And Amphitheatre in Glasgow on 10 Aug.

Now, watch the new animated ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ video here.

- Andy Malt
BBC study finds only 13% of UK festival headliners are female

Live Music

A new study by the BBC has found that just 13% of headliners booked to play UK festivals this summer are a female solo artist or an all-female band.

Critics say that, despite efforts to shift the gender balance of festival line-ups in recent years, this shows that promoters are still not taking the issue seriously enough. Others argue that much has actually changed, especially when it comes to full festival line-ups, even if there is more to be done, especially when it comes to headliners.

According to the BBC, a study of the UK’s biggest music festivals found that 149 headline acts – or 74.5% – are male solo acts or all-male bands. Meanwhile, 24 headliners – or 12% – are bands featuring a mix of male and female musicians, with just one headline act identifying as non-binary.

It was partly in response to another BBC study in 2017 – which showed that 80% of festival headliners in the UK were male – that the PRS Foundation launched its Keychange initiative.

Since then, more than 300 festivals have signed a Keychange pledge to achieve a 50/50 gender balance on their line-ups by this summer. And while some have now reached that target – or are moving towards it – others still lag behind. And, clearly, any positive moves occurring lower down the festival line-ups are not really being reflected at the top.

In part, this is down to wider systemic issues in the music industry, Keychange Project Manager Francine Gorman tells the BBC: “Women and gender minorities have had access to far fewer opportunities than their male counterparts over the years, and therefore it does take a little bit of time to build artists to the status that they’d be able to take a headline spot”.

“I think the progress that has been made over the last couple of years is going to pay off”, she adds. “We are going to start seeing a lot more women and gender minority headliners across stages in the future. There does seem to be some myth flying around the live music industry that women artists don’t sell tickets, but I’m yet to see any evidence to support this. In fact, the evidence that I have seen is quite the contrary”.

One festival to meet the Keychange target is Standon Calling, although three of its four main headliners this year are all-male acts.

“When we signed up to Keychange back in 2018, we pledged that we would commit to ensuring 50/50 gender balance on our line-up by 2022”, says Standon Calling founder Alex Trenchard. “At the time this felt like a huge challenge, but we’re delighted to say that we’re on track to exceed that figure with 54% of acts on our 2022 line-up identifying as female or non-binary”.

“Our line-ups are stronger and more diverse than ever”, he adds. “We’re delighted to be leading the way amongst the industry, showing that gender balance in festivals in 2022 is both possible and a key component of curating an exciting line up”.

Responding to the latest BBC study, Paul Reed, CEO of the Association Of Independent Festivals, says: “While gender inequality in music is often easiest to see on festival line-up posters, this is a problem that exists right across the talent development pipeline, with festival main stages at the very end of that process”.

“It is an issue that the entire industry must take responsibility for”, he goes on. “There are a number of initiatives – including Keychange and The F List – that are having an impact here, [while] festivals such as Standon Calling and Strawberries & Cream [achieving] 50/50 line-ups … set a good example for others to follow”.

“It’s also really positive that our latest member demographic survey suggested that 49% of AIF festivals are run by promoters who identify as female, so we have come a long way in that regard”, he adds. “We hope that this kind of progress and continued efforts under the Keychange initiative will soon translate to greater representation on festival stages”.

It is true that festivals – with their very public line-up posters – are more in the spotlight when it comes to assessing gender balance. And it’s generally assumed (and sometimes contracted) that on those posters the names of headliners should be much more prominent, which means a festival that has a pretty well balanced line-up across the board might still seem to skew male at first glance.

As for why headliners still often skew male, it would be interesting to know how diverse the pool of available headline level acts is to start with. That likely differs from genre to genre, with those festivals that have gender balance at the top of the bill possibly benefiting from a more diverse pool of potential headliners to pick from.

Where that headliner pool is dominated by male artists, that poses some interesting questions. Why is that? What role does the wider music industry have in addressing any lack of diversity at that level? Will existing initiatives already bringing about more diverse line-ups lower down the bill ultimately increase the diversity of the headliner pool too? And if so, how quickly?

And should festivals be more adventurous in how they define headline level acts? Or in terms of which genre pools they book artists from? Or is a festival sector already facing significant economic challenges not really currently in a position to take such risks?

Either way, the debate continues, with the BBC’s latest study a timely reminder that – while progress has been made – plenty more still needs to be done to remove the barriers that prevent diversity across the wider music industry.

- Chris Cooke
Judge sides with insurer in SXSW insurance dispute

SXSW

A magistrate judge in the US courts has recommended that insurer Federal Insurance Co be granted a summary judgement in its favour in an ongoing legal battle with the South By South West music festival.

That legal battle relates to a dispute regarding whether or not the insurer should cover costs the SXSW company incurred when it was sued by a group of ticket-buyers following the COVID-caused cancellation of its 2020 edition.

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.

Those who had bought tickets to the cancelled event were told that they could defer those tickets for use at the 2021, 2022 or 2023 editions of SXSW. However, some ticket-holders reckoned that they should have been given the option of a cash refund.

The exact rules regarding the rights of ticket-buyers when shows are cancelled differ around the world and, in the US, from state to state. But nevertheless, some of the aggrieved SXSW ticket-holders filed a class action lawsuit accusing the festival of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and conversion, the latter meaning they unlawfully interfered with the personal property of another.

That lawsuit was ultimately settled, but resulted in this additional litigation as SXSW sought to recover the costs it incurred in reaching said settlement from its insurer. Federal Insurance Co refused to compensate the festival on the basis its insurance policy included a professional services exclusion that applied in this case, meaning it wasn’t obliged to cover any legal fees.

According to Law360, after considering arguments presented by both sides, judge Susan Hightower concluded that that exclusion did indeed apply, because this was ultimately a contractural dispute between SXSW and its ticket-buyers, and legal costs stemming from contract disputes are among the things excluded from the coverage provided by the insurer.

She also didn’t accept SXSW’s argument that the insurer was applying an “overboard interpretation” of the exclusion, nor that the unjust enrichment and conversion claims in the class action should be treated separately and therefore not be subject to the contract dispute exclusion. Those other claims were a consequence of the disputed contract between SXSW and its ticket-buyers, she said.

It’s now up to district judge Robert Pitman to decide whether to follow Hightower’s recommendation and issue the summary judgement in the insurance firm’s favour.

- Chris Cooke
TikTok teams up with JD Sports to celebrate the UK rap scene

TikTok

TikTok UK has teamed up with JD Sports to launch a three-part series of programmes celebrating rap music and culture, the first edition of which goes live later today, with parts two and three following on 1 and 8 Jun.

Called ‘Oi TikTok’, each show will feature, and I quote, “interviews, performances from established and emerging artists, comedy shorts and lots more”. I don’t know about you, but it’s the “lots more” I’m looking forward to most. Today’s edition, airing at 7pm, will be hosted by TikTok comedy creator Moyo and hip hop DJ Ellie Prohan, with Dréya Mac and SwitchOTR also along for the ride.

The programme is part of TikTok’s recent campaign to promote the rap scene to its UK audience. The platform’s Parris OH says: “We wanted to take this even further to bring a new kind of entertainment to our TikTok community, celebrating UK rap culture with some of the best young talents in the business, alongside the team at JD Sports. We’ve got some exciting plans coming up, with some big surprises that we’re confident rap fans will love”.

Meanwhile Peter Cowgill, Executive Chair at JD, adds: “JD is delighted to be supporting the launch of ‘Oi TikTok’. Our partnership with TikTok goes from strength to strength as we continue to deliver unique, engaging and entertaining content with the platform. As a brand, JD has a long-standing association with rap music, youth culture and fashion, so this collaboration aligns closely with our core values as we continue to champion the UK rap scene, as well as support grassroots talent”.

- Chris Cooke
Radio 3 announces participants in next phase of its New Generation Artists programme

BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 has announced the musicians that will join the next phase of its New Generation Artists programme, who will work with the broadcaster from September this year through to December 2024, initially crossing over with the last team of musicians participating in the scheme.

The programme, in the words of the BBC itself, “supports young musicians at the beginning of their international careers with performance opportunities in London and around the UK”.

That includes solo shows as well as performances with the BBC orchestras and appearances at festivals including the BBC Proms, Cheltenham Festival and Edinburgh International Festival, with broadcasts of those performances on Radio 3 and other radio stations around Europe bringing participating musicians to a wider audience.

The new team taking part in the programme includes three UK musicians – accordionist Ryan Corbett, jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie and countertenor Hugh Cutting – plus, from beyond the UK, Colombian cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia, Berlin-based Leonkoro Quartet, New Zealand-born violinist Geneva Lewis and South African soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha.

Says Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey: “It is a privilege for Radio 3 to be providing performance and broadcast opportunities to young artists as they embark on their international careers. This year, we are particularly proud that the New Generation Artists joining the scheme showcase a variety of instruments and voices and come from many corners of the world”.

“This means that our audiences can experience and discover a variety of music by encountering these inspiring young performers”, he adds. “We hope listeners will enjoy witnessing these young artists as they push boundaries, evolve, and leave their own personal mark on the art of music”.

- CMU Editorial
CMU:DIY: The Artist:Entrepreneur Day is back on tour with editions in Hull and Southampton

Artist:Entrepreneur Day

The Artist:Entrepreneur Day from the Featured Artists Coalition and CMU:DIY is back, with editions coming up in Hull and Southampton thanks to the support of Arts Council England.

The Artist:Entrepreneur Day is an artist-led event that provides important information and practical advice to help early-stage artists build a long-term career and sustainable business around their music.

Each edition sees three FAC artist entrepreneurs open up their artist businesses, explaining how they have built a fanbase, generated revenue from their music-making, and chosen business partners to work with. CMU’s Chris Cooke and a team of music industry experts are also on hand to provide insights, ideas and lots of practical advice.

The Hull edition of A:E Day takes place at Social on Saturday 25 Jun from 11am to 4pm, with artist entrepreneurs Elle Chante, Stewart Baxter (LIFE) and Katie Spencer. Click here for information or to access free tickets.

The Southampton edition of A:E Day takes place at The Stage Door on Saturday 2 Jul from 11am to 4pm, with artist entrepreneurs WREN, Russell Marsden (Band Of Skulls) and Benny Bizzie. Click here for information or to access free tickets.

As well as attending in person, people can also opt to tune in to a livestream of each event.

- Andy Malt
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler enters rehab

Aerosmith

Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler has entered rehab, leading to the cancellation of the first half of the band’s planned Las Vegas residency which was due to kick off next month.

“As many of you know, our beloved brother Steven has worked on his sobriety for many years”, say the band in a statement. “After foot surgery to prepare for the stage and the necessity of pain management during the process, he has recently relapsed and voluntarily entered a treatment programme to concentrate on his health and recovery”.

“We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must cancel our first set of Las Vegas residency dates this June and July while he focuses on his well-being”, they continue.

“We will continue our 2022 dates starting in September, and we’ll let you know any further updates as soon as we can”, they conclude. “We are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who often travel great distances to experience our shows. Thank you for your understanding and for your support for Steven during this time”.

The next set of Vegas shows are set to begin on 14 Sep and run through to December. The band also have two other US concerts booked earlier in September.

In January this year the band cancelled European dates, citing “uncertainty around travel logistics and the continued presence of COVID restrictions”.

It was then announced in March that drummer Joey Kramer was taking a “temporary leave of absence” from the band “so he can focus his full attention on his family during these uncertain times”, meaning he would not take part in any of the band’s 2022 shows.

- Andy Malt
Gold Panda releases first new music since 2019

Gold Panda

Gold Panda has returned with his first new music since 2019, new single ‘I’ve Felt Better (Than I Do Now).

“I made this when my daughter was two years old and I felt knackered and I’d turned 41”, he says. “The samples just came together and sounded like ‘I’ve felt better…’, and at the same time I was looking at my anti-depressants feeling tired and just thought, ‘ha, that’s right!’”

“I mess with chopping up samples until I get an interesting loop so I never set out to write a track”, he goes on. “I’m led by the samples and then go from there. Funnily enough, my life now is actually way better than it was ten years ago and I’m a bit healthier and I probably actually do feel better in general – apart from when I had that brain haemorrhage last year”.

The track is the first taste of a forthcoming new album, with more new music to come soon. Watch the video for ‘I’ve Felt Better (Than I Do Now)’ here:

- Andy Malt
One Liners: Amanda Shires, PPL PRS, Deaf Havana, more

Amanda Shires

APPOINTMENTS

PPL PRS Ltd – the joint public performance licensing venture operated by UK collecting societies PPL and PRS – has appointed Helen Sachdev as its new Chair. She replaces Theresa Robson-Capps. “I feel very privileged to take on this role”, says Sachdev. “PPL PRS Ltd plays such a critical part in enabling businesses to easily access wonderful music, whilst ensuring our very talented music creators and rights-holders are recognised and rewarded for providing it”.

Madelaine Napoleone has been appointed VP Marketing at Warner Music Canada. She joins from Universal Music Canada, where she was Senior Director Of Marketing. “I’m excited to be joining Warner Music Canada and being part of the next chapter of its evolution”, she says. “I want to support the brilliant marketing team and help them focus on creative ideas, long-term strategies and artist specific goals”.

Tanya Keogh has joined music and cultural PR agency Huxley as Strategy Director. “Huxley’s vision is uncompromising with impeccable taste on what hits culturally”, she says. “I am absolutely delighted to join this powerful team and share my cross-industry experience and strategic approach”.

Universal Music’s Island Records in the US has promoted Nick Barr to VP A&R And Creative Strategy. He was named General Manager of the label at the beginning of the year. “I’m not only humbled by this opportunity, but also extremely excited for my next chapter with Island Records”, he says. “I grew up on a lot of Island Records artists, many of which helped shape who I am and what music I listen to today”.

Artist management group Three Six Zero has appointed Tim Pithouse – previously with The Orchard – as its President Of Central Services, which will see him overseeing marketing, brand endorsement, streaming and creative activities, and a load of Web3 nonsense too.

————————————————–

RELEASES

Amanda Shires has released new single ‘Hawk For The Dove’. Her new album, ‘Take It Like a Man’, is out on 29 Jul.

Rico Nasty has released new single ‘Intrusive’.

Kelley Stoltz has released new single ‘We Grew So Far Apart’. His new album, ’The Stylist’, is out on 10 Jun. He’ll also be playing shows around the UK in June and July.

————————————————–

GIGS & TOURS

Deaf Havana have announced UK tour dates in November, including shows at the Manchester Academy and London Roundhouse. Tickets go on sale on Thursday.

Mallrat has announced headline UK dates in August and September, including shows at Heaven in London and King Tuts in Glasgow. Next week she begins a tour supporting Conan Gray.

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

- Andy Malt
Plaster cast of Jimi Hendrix’s penis to go in display in Iceland

Jimi Hendrix

A plaster cast of Jimi Hendrix’s penis is set to go on display next month in Reykjavik’s Phallological Museum which, its official blurb confirms, boasts “a collection of more than two hundred penises and penile parts belonging to almost all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland”. That includes homo sapiens and therefore rock stars.

The Hendrix cast was made by Cynthia Albritton – aka Cynthia Plaster Caster – in 1968 and was donated to the Icelandic museum shortly before her death last month.

“It is with feelings of sadness and pride that The Phallological Museum announces that, prior to passing, Cynthia ʹPlaster Casterʹ Albritton decided to donate to the museum … one of a few casts of Jimi Hendrix”, said the museum in a statement on Twitter.

Hendrix was not the only rock star who Albritton convinced to have their erect penis dunked in plaster – although he was the first. Others include The MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra and Ariel Pink. Kiss even wrote a song about her, although none of the band were ever called up to take part in her grand project.

At the turn of the century, she began to add female musicians to her collection, taking casts of the breasts of artists including Peaches, Karen O and more.

The Hendrix cast is due to be unveiled at a private event at the Phallological Museum in early June.

- CMU Advertising
Job ad: O2 Ritz Manchester – General Manager (Manchester)

Live Nation

Venue: O2 Ritz ManchesterCompany: Academy Music GroupLocation: ManchesterReports to: Divisional ManagerWorking hours: Full-time

RoleThe General Manager is a key role within the organisation, accountable for the wider team at O2 Ritz Manchester and management of the day-to-day business and operational functions. Passionate about the live events industry and highly motivated to maximise the events diary, you will generate commercial and creative opportunities for shows and events with established acts, emerging artists and club events.

Our teamThe General Manager is the linchpin for the team at O2 Ritz Manchester, an established and thriving venue where our shows and events are as diverse as the individuals within it. The successful candidate will be drawn to managing, training and supporting an innovative team in a fast-paced live environment, driving our inclusive culture to deliver the best possible programme of live entertainment for everyone, where collaboration is at the heart of everything we do.

About you• Successful background in the live entertainment industry or venue management• Experience of working as a manager or an operational role within a high-volume venue• Proven track record in managing live performances and club events• Knowledge of health and safety regulations and licensing• Excellent communication and diplomacy skills• Management experience of a large team• Proficient in Microsoft Office packages• Understanding of booking and promotions of live events• Excellent control of operating costs and budgeting• Self-motivated and results driven

What we need• Personal licence holder• First-class client and customer service• Demonstrable leadership and motivation of others• Passionate and enthusiastic for the live events and club industry• Flexibility to work irregular hours (weekends/evenings/public holidays)• Willingness to build positive working relationships• A proactive leader in problem-solving who can negotiate solutions• Strong awareness of P&L• A dynamic, forward-thinking manager to deliver exceptional service• Ability to drive the venue business forward

What you’ll be doing• Meet Company business objectives and manage operations• Maximise the events diary• Act as the first point of contact for all contracted events• Maintain and develop client relationships• Implement efficient business strategies as directed by the Company• Duty manage events and programming to the highest quality• Generate new business opportunities for commercial success and profitability• Meet or exceed annual budgets• Ensure all paperwork and reporting is completed and professionally retained• Management and accountability for forecasting and budgeting• Oversee all licencing administration, risk assessment and due diligence• Adhere to all existing and new health and safety legislation• Periodic testing and certification of venue equipment• Control all operating costs in line with set targets• Manage expenditure for all venue departments• Ensure the venue is maintained to the highest standards• Direct building maintenance issues so that urgent repairs are carried out in a timely manner• Lead on compliance for all Company working practices• Uphold and enforce the relevant terms of the entertainment licence and changes to the law• Work collaboratively with the venue team, local authority and Company head office• Support all training requirements and annual appraisals for full-time employees• Increase employee productivity• To publicly represent the venue and Company in a professional manner

Equal opportunitiesWe are passionate and committed to our people and go beyond the standard rhetoric of diversity and inclusion. You will be working in an inclusive environment and be encouraged to bring your whole self to work. We will do all that we can to help you successfully balance your work and home life. As a growing business, we’ll encourage you to develop your professional and personal aspirations, enjoy new experiences, and learn from the talented people you will be working with. It’s talent that matters to us and we encourage applications from people irrespective of their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability status or caring responsibilities.

Our companyAcademy Music Group (AMG) is the UK’s leading owner and operator of live music and entertainment venues with award-winning credentials. Several of our historic theatres are unique institutions of British music and culture and our vision is to inspire artists and audiences by hosting unforgettable live performances. #AMGAMG is part of Live Nation Entertainment which is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, LN Media and Artist Nation Management.

APPLY NOW

- Chris Cooke
Travis Scott faces new claims of negligence over stampede at 2019 Rolling Loud festival

Travis Scott

A rep for Travis Scott has hit out at allegations made against the rapper in a new legal filing in relation to a stampede that occurred at the 2019 edition of the Rolling Loud festival in Miami. That rep insists that the allegations are a “blatant, cynical attempt to attack Travis” as he faces legal action in relation to the fatal crowd surge at last year’s Astroworld event. Not only that, they add, but the new claims totally misrepresent what happened at Rolling Loud in 2019.

Marchelle Love first sued various companies involved in the Rolling Loud festival back in 2020. She claimed that she suffered severe injuries as a result of a stampede that occurred during Scott’s set at the festival in May 2019, which – she alleged – was the result of negligence on the part of the event’s organisers and the companies involved in planning and delivering its security.

A revised version of that lawsuit filed with the courts earlier this month makes a number of specific allegations against Scott himself.

Those new allegations come as the rapper fights hundreds of lawsuits in relation to the 2021 edition of the Houston festival he founded, Astroworld. Ten people died and hundreds more were injured as a result of a crowd surge that occurred during his headline set at that event.

The Astroworld tragedy put Scott’s live shows very much in the spotlight, with allegations that the rapper had a long history of encouraging his fans to behave in a reckless and dangerous way during his concerts, resulting in fans getting injured and various previous legal woes for Scott himself.

In her sixth amended complaint in relation to Rolling Loud 2019, Love focuses in some detail on Scott’s alleged role in causing the stampede in which she was injured.

“Shortly after Travis Scott’s performance commenced, police officers rushed to the backstage area to request that Travis Scott stop his performance due to the crowd becoming dangerous and uncontrollable”, the new filing claims. “The intervention by local police resulted in Travis Scott being required to stop his performance due to the crowd becoming uncontrollable”.

But, she then alleges, when Scott’s set resumed, he “continued to verbally and physically incite the crowd to engage in a mosh pit and other hazardous activities”, despite “his being ordered by the authorities to cease his continued incitement of the crowd”.

“As a direct and proximate result”, the legal filing continues, “the crowd once again broke into a panic and multiple stampedes broke through the 2019 Rolling Loud Festival during Travis Scott’s performance. Despite the fact that Travis Scott was aware of and could clearly see concertgoers being injured, suffocating, losing consciousness, fighting, and being trampled, he continued his performance while authorities were forced to attempt to render aid to these injured concertgoers”.

“At all times material it was foreseeable that Travis Scott’s refusal to comply with the directives of law enforcement and continued incitement of the crowd would result in foreseeable injury to concertgoers including the plaintiff”, it adds, “and further constituted a breach of his duty to refrain from conduct which would incite the crowd to violence, panic, and to otherwise refrain from behaving in a manner in which would create an unreasonable risk of foreseeable injury”.

The lawsuit also notes that there had been crowd control issues at earlier points during the festival, in particular on the day before Scott’s performance when false rumours to the effect that there was an active shooter on site caused panic among the audience.

In Love’s lawsuit, she argues that this should have made Scott extra cautious about encouraging his fans to act in a reckless way. Although in their response, Scott’s reps counter that it was similar false rumours spreading around the festival site – rather than anything happening on stage during the rapper’s headline set – that caused the unrest in which Love was injured.

Responding to the latest version of Love’s lawsuit, Scott’s rep told TMZ: “This is another blatant, cynical attempt to attack Travis, in this instance for a three year old incident that is deliberately misrepresented”.

“As even the complaint makes clear, this incident was related to a false report of a shooting mid-show, completely unrelated to Travis’s performance. The video shows police were informing Travis that the show was stopped for that reason – because of the false report – and he fully cooperated”.

“This cheap opportunism is based on a blatant lie that’s easy to detect”, the rep added. “And it is particularly telling that this plaintiff’s lawyer didn’t even assert a claim against Travis when he originally filed the complaint on behalf of his client more than two years ago or in four prior versions of that complaint”.

Mpura Music  Friends Event Announced w Julia Deans Pumice Chris OConnor  More
A free and fun evening out for Auckland’s disability community, at The Tuning Fork on Wednesday 15th June.
Long Distance Runner Unleash Single Nothing  Announce New Album Shadow
Launching their third long player on 5th June via Sunreturn.
Hans Pucket Announce New Dates For Confidently Test Out New Material Tour
Touring nationwide in July 2022 — tickets on sale now!
Aotearoa Gigs For The Weekend
Head along and support our live music community this weekend.
Disasteradio Announces Charisma Archive   National Library of New Zealand
The Disasteradio Project launches as part of The Luke Rowell Digital Music Collection.
Spotlight Hahko Presents A Night With Ha The Unclear
Performance & conversation events are happening in Auckland and Dunedin in May / June.
Listen To Baecorps Debut Single Can I Tick a Feeling
Tāmaki's Sam Denne (Skody Banks, Babyteeth) and singer / visual artist Nirvana Haldar share a dreamy pop bop.
Lawrence Arabia Performs The Beautiful Young Crew   UTR Trash Recital
From his recently reissued classic 2010 album 'Chant Darling'.
Hollie Smith Coming In From The Dark Tour   New Dates Announced
Touring her new album throughout Aotearoa with full band in July.
T Bone Announce Good n Greasy Album Release Tour
Aotearoa folk / blues / bluegrass crew tour the North Island in June / July.
Daffodils and Theres A Tuesday Wellington Show Announced
Toasting the launch of Daffodils' Stay The Night EP at San Fran this June.
VMorg Fifth Birthday Party Announced Ft Nic  Reuben BEING Atarangi Heavy Chest  More
Taking over Avondale's Hollywood Cinema on Saturday 18th June.
Memory Foam Announce Steel Magnolias Album Release Tour
Tāmaki Makaurau sci-fi punks tour their debut album this winter.
Bryony Matthews Unveils Single  Video Yellow Flowers
Ōtautahi songwriter is launching a new album in 2022.
Stormzy Returning To New Zealand In December 2022
UK rap icon is headlining Auckland's Trusts Arena and Wellington's TSB Arena.
Listen To Charlie Hickeys Debut Album Nervous At Night
Pasadena songwriter's record is out via Phoebe Bridgers' imprint Saddest Factory Records.
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Heavy Chest and Eli Superflyy Announce The Super Heavy Tour
Te Whanganui-a-Tara artists tour throughout Aotearoa this winter.
Boogie Monster Auckland Show Announced w Aideen Ryan DJ Jazz Cigarette Forrest Bump
Legendary Sydney DJ & vinyl collector will be spinning tunes at Tāmaki's Las Vegas Club on 3rd June.
- Chad Childers
Rammstein Drop Surprisingly Safe for Work 'Dicke Titten' Video
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Get the scoop on the 'Saurian Apocalypse' album. Continue reading…
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Former Mnemic Vocalist Guillame Bideau Has Died at 44
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See Photos From Dave Mustaine’s Son’s Wedding
Congrats to Justis and Angela! Continue reading…
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Watch Metallica Play National Anthem to Open SF Giants Game
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Rockers Discuss Gun Violence After Texas School Shooting
The shooting left 19 children and two adults dead. Continue reading…
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Duff McKagan - Punk Is Responsible for Guns N' Roses, Metallica
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Amott Names 3 Favorite Songs From All 3 Arch Enemy Singers
Three great eras of Arch Enemy! Continue reading…
- Rudy Christian

MadTing is back on Ensis with Dubrush to deliver you a heavy hitting electro house banger called ‘Lose Control’. From the moment you will press play, you will definitively lose it ! Their latest work sees these two producers immense talent shine through once again, with a complex production crafted meticulously for all electro house […]

The post MadTing & Dubrush teamed up to make you “Lose Control”! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

- Iuliana Prichea

Week #6 simultaneously marks the announcement of the final PAROOKAVILLE 2022 line-up. This coming July 22nd to 24th brings the sixth edition of Germany’s largest Electronic Music Festival to Weeze Airport with an unprecedented bandwidth of global stars and musical best-kept secrets. With the two new headliners Alan Walker and W&W, the world premiere of […]

The post PAROOKAVILLE completes its spectacular line-up with Alan Walker, W&W, Nicky Romero 100 more acts! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

- EDM Nations

Teaming up for the ultimate of collaborations, Vini Vici, Gabry Ponte and Zafrir have just delivered a psy-trance single for the ages, entitled ‘Lo Nevosh.’ As electrifying as their next production(s), each artist has implemented their style of play in the most enticing of fashions. Blessing us all with the most electrifying of sound(s), Vini […]

The post Gabry Ponte, Vini Vici & Zafrir join forces for electrifying new single ‘Lo Nevosh’ ! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

- Alex Cristian

Spinnin’ Sessions announces its 25 show European Summer Tour, highlighting the leading label’s unrivaled talent roster in some of the continent’s hottest summer destinations. From Europe’s most in-demand clubs to full-on festival takeovers, this summer with Spinnin’ Sessions will be one not to miss. The European Tour will be making its first stop at Germany’s […]

The post Spinnin’ Sessions Announces 25 Stop European Summer Tour! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

- Alex Cristian

Can we get a whoop whoop? We are thrilled to present Niki Sadeki’s debut release on Quetame, the label she helped build! It’s a blessing to work with her, and an honor to be selected as the platform for her surprisingly mature debut. Maybe not as surprising after all, if you consider that she, as a […]

The post Niki Sadeki releases stunning ‘Her Fire’ EP on Quetame! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

- EDM Nations

Tiësto unveils his exclusive NFT at Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas, heralding his forthcoming Genesis NFT project “EAGLE” – the first phase and introduction in his digital roadmap alongside his Musical Freedom imprint. Holders of the NFT for EDC Las Vegas will have VIP priority access to Tiësto’s forthcoming Genesis NFT, “EAGLE,” a preview of […]

The post Tiësto unveils exclusive NFT at EDC Vegas! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

- EDM Nations

Los Angeles based Dj RoRoll debuts on Ensis Records just in time for the festival season to bring you ‘Generations’, a tune that you will have it on repeat in no time ! Starting off with some vocals samples sequences and a soft synth melody, the track “Generations” soon turns into a huge amalgamation of […]

The post RoRoll drops heavy bass house hitter “Generations”! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

- EDM Nations

Renowned DJ/producer Franky Rizardo has rejuvenated one of the world’s biggest dance hits straight into a brand new club anthem. Originally a 90’s hit by the legendary, fellow Dutch producer Jeroen Verheij aka Grooveyard, “Mary Go Wild” was an immediate milestone tune and has remained an all-time favorite until this day. This inspired new take […]

The post Franky Rizardo gives 2022 club spin on house classic ‘Mary Go Wild’! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

- Alex Cristian

When Aaron ‘Fonzerelli’ McClelland makes LPs, he’s not a man to do things by halves. Latterly, neither is he in the habit of keeping you waiting for them either. Two years to the month since his 20-track-strong ‘Transcend’ complement arrived, the Northern Irish born-&-based producer is back, with an album full of ‘Silent Dreams & […]

The post Fonzerelli Will Release “Silent Dreams & Misguided Stories” Album! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

- Alex Cristian

One of the most exciting and authentic outfits in the current electronica scape, Shkoon are changing the face of underground music in the Arab world. Gaining considerable international acclaim and recognition off the back of their experimental live performances, stunning original productions and modern re-interpretations of popular Arab classics, the duo are building bridges between […]

The post Shkoon Releases Emotional Live Album ‘FIRAQ’! appeared first on EDM NATIONS.

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CMT Music Awards Nominees and First Round Performers Revealed

CMT revealed the first round of can’t-miss superstar performances set to light up Music City for the 2022 CMT MUSIC AWARDS, country music’s only entirely fan-voted award show, broadcasting LIVE from Nashville on Monday, April 11th(8:00-11:00 PM LIVE ET/delayed PT). This marks the inaugural broadcast of Paramount’s signature country music tentpole on the CBS Television Network; the show will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*.

Known for delivering electrifying collaborations and high-powered, world premiere performances from country’s biggest names, the first slate of performers includes:

Kelsea Ballerini (“Video of the Year,” “Collaborative Video of the Year,” “CMT Performance of the Year”) Kane Brown (“Video of the Year,” “Male Video of the Year,” “CMT Performance of the Year”) Luke Combs (“Video of the Year,” “Male Video of the Year”) Cody Johnson (“Video of the Year,” “Male Video of the Year,” “CMT Digital-First Performance of the Year”) Miranda Lambert (“Video of the Year,” “Female Video of the Year”) Little Big Town Maren Morris (“Video of the Year”, “Female Video of the Year”) + Ryan Hurd Carly Pearce (“Collaborative Video of the Year,” “CMT Digital-First Performance of the Year”) Cole Swindell (“Video of the Year”) + Lainey Wilson (“Video of the Year,” “CMT Digital-First Performance of the Year”) Keith Urban

Additional performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.

Last week, nominations for the 2022 CMT MUSIC AWARDS were revealed, with superstar Kane Brown leading the star-studded nominations with four nods; co-host Kelsea Ballerini, Mickey Guyton and first-time nominees BRELAND and Cody Johnson follow close behind with three each. Tenille Arts, Priscilla Block, H.E.R., Paul Klein of LANY, MacKenzie Porter, Elvie Shane, Caitlyn Smith and Brittney Spencer also received their first CMT recognition, with 10 total first-time nominees across all categories.

Carrie Underwood remains the most decorated artist in CMT history with 23 wins, as she readies to compete for two additional trophies: her 10th “Video of the Year” win and “Collaborative Video of the Year,” both for her collaboration with Jason Aldean.

The nominees for the 2022 CMT MUSIC AWARDS are:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR Best video of the year; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or collaboration). Top nominees, from the first round of voting, will be announced on April 4. Final nominees, from the second round of voting, will be announced on show day, April 11. Final voting will be determined via social media and announced as the final category during the live show. Brandi Carlile – “Right On Time” Cody Johnson – “‘Til You Can’t” Cole Swindell & Lainey Wilson – “Never Say Never” Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood – “If I Didn’t Love You” Kacey Musgraves – “justified” Kane Brown – “One Mississippi” Kelsea Ballerini feat. Kenny Chesney – “half of my hometown” Luke Combs – “Forever After All” Maren Morris – “Circles Around This Town” Mickey Guyton – “Remember Her Name” Miranda Lambert – “If I Was A Cowboy” Taylor Swift feat. Chris Stapleton – “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”

FEMALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR Best video by a female artist; awarded to the artist Brandi Carlile – “Right On Time” Gabby Barrett – “Footprints On The Moon” Kacey Musgraves – “justified” Maren Morris – “Circles Around This Town” Mickey Guyton – “Remember Her Name” Miranda Lambert – “If I Was A Cowboy” Tenille Arts – “Back Then, Right Now”

MALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR Best video by a male artist; awarded to the artist ​​Cody Johnson – “’Til You Can’t” Eric Church – “Heart On Fire” Kane Brown – “One Mississippi” Luke Bryan – “Waves” Luke Combs – “Forever After All” Thomas Rhett – “Country Again” Walker Hayes – “Fancy Like”

GROUP/DUO VIDEO OF THE YEAR Best video by a duo or group; awarded to the artists Brothers Osborne – “I’m Not For Everyone” Dan + Shay – “Steal My Love” Maddie & Tae – “Woman You Got” Old Dominion – “I Was On a Boat That Day” Parmalee – “Take My Name” Zac Brown Band – “Same Boat”

BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO OF THE YEAR, Presented by SONIC® Best video from an artist’s major breakthrough album; awarded to the artist (male, female or group/duo) BRELAND – “Cross Country” Caitlyn Smith feat. Old Dominion – “I Can’t” Elvie Shane – “My Boy” Parker McCollum – “To Be Loved By You” Priscilla Block – “Just About Over You” Tenille Arts – “Back Then, Right Now”

COLLABORATIVE VIDEO OF THE YEAR Best video from a collaboration; awarded to the artists Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde – “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” Dustin Lynch feat. MacKenzie Porter – “Thinking ‘Bout You” Nelly & Florida Georgia Line – “Lil Bit” Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood – “If I Didn’t Love You” Jimmie Allen & Brad Paisley – “Freedom Was A Highway” Jordan Davis feat. Luke Bryan – “Buy Dirt” Kelsea Ballerini feat. Kenny Chesney – “half of my hometown”

CMT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT; awarded to the artist (individual, group or duo) Brothers Osborne – “Muskrat Greene/Dead Man’s Curve Medley (from CMT Campfire Sessions)” George Strait – “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone (from CMT GIANTS: Charley Pride)” H.E.R. feat. Chris Stapleton – “Hold On (from 2021 CMT Music Awards)” Kane Brown – “Three Wooden Crosses (from 2021 CMT Artists of the Year)” Kelsea Ballerini feat. Paul Klein of LANY – “I Quit Drinking (from 2021 CMT Music Awards)” Mickey Guyton feat. Gladys Knight & BRELAND – “Friendship Train (from 2021 CMT Music Awards)” Nelly feat. Kane Brown, Blanco Brown & BRELAND – “Ride Wit Me (from CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends)”

CMT DIGITAL-FIRST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Musical performance from a production, series or livestream created for CMT Digital / Social Channels; awarded to the artist (individual, group or duo) Brittney Spencer – “Sober & Skinny” (from CMT Campfire Sessions) Carly Pearce – “Dear Miss Loretta” (from CMT :60 Songs) Cody Johnson – “Dear Rodeo” (from CMT Campfire Sessions) Jon Pardi – “On The Other Hand / Forever and Ever, Amen” (in honor of 2021 CMT Artist of a Lifetime Randy Travis) Josh Turner LIVE (from CMT KickBack) Lainey Wilson – “Things A Man Oughta Know” (from the CMT Studio)

Fan voting is now open at vote.cmt.com and general voting continues until Monday, April 4th at 10:00 AM ET.

CMT will air CMT MUSIC AWARDS EXTENDED CUT with an added 30 minutes of new performances and extra bonus content on Friday, April 15th (8:00-11:30 PM ET) exclusively on CMT. Additional details on the extended cut and CMT MUSIC AWARDS WEEK programming will be announced soon.

Official sponsors of the 2022 CMT MUSIC AWARDS include Fritos®, SONIC®, Ram Truck Brand and Verizon.

For more information, visit awards.cmt.com, follow @CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, use hashtag #CMTawards and ‘like’ the CMT Music Awards on Facebook.

The post CMT Music Awards Nominees and First Round Performers Revealed first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Dustin Lynch Announces 5th Studio Album BLUE IN THE SKY

Photo Credit: The Dwyers

It’s all BLUE IN THE SKY for Broken Bow Records star Dustin Lynch as he announced his fifth studio album live on ABC’s Good Morning America today (1/19).

“This has been a fun secret to keep! Get ready for a collection of songs that are going to make you feel good and want to mix a drink and party with your friends,” shares Lynch. “I’m excited for everyone to hear BLUE IN THE SKY.”

Peeking through the clouds of life to sunny days ahead, the 12-track collection – with five to his songwriting credit – looks on the bright side as it pumps optimism into the muscular melodies of Lynch’s power-Country sound. Pouring his drinking tunes extra strong while ballads bask in a neon glow, heartbreak disappears in the sand and the good-time bonfire gets some extra fuel with party guests and collaborators Riley Green, Chris Lane, and MacKenzie Porter – who appears on Broken Bow Records’ longest-reigning single at Country radio with recent six-week #1 “Thinking ‘Bout You.”

As the anticipated follow-up to TULLAHOMA – which delivered consecutive PLATINUM chart-toppers: “Ridin’ Roads” and “Good Girl,” in addition to Top 5 hit “Momma’s House” – BLUE IN THE SKY is available now for preorder and drops February 11.

Produced by Zach Crowell, five already-released buzzed-about songs are also ready for instant download including “Thinking ‘Bout You (feat. MacKenzie Porter),” “Tequila On A Boat (feat. Chris Lane),” “Huntin’ Land (feat. Riley Green),” “Pasadena,” and “Not Every Cowboy.”

Dustin Lynch’s BLUE IN THE SKY Track List: 1. “Party Mode” (Jerry Flowers, Ryan Beaver, Roman Alexander, Jared Keim, Matt McGinn) 2. “Thinking ‘Bout You (feat. MacKenzie Porter)” (Dustin Lynch, Andy Albert, Hunter Phelps, Will Weatherly) 3. “Stars Like Confetti” (Josh Thompson, Thomas Rhett, Zach Crowell) 4. “Somethin’ That Makes You Smile” (Erik Dylan, Andy Sheridan, Wyatt McCubbin) 5. “Break It On A Beach” (Dustin Lynch, Ashley Gorley, Hunter Phelps, Zach Crowell) 6. “Tequila On A Boat (feat. Chris Lane)” (Hillary Lindsey, Justin Ebach, Matt Alderman) 7. “Tennessee Trouble” (Dustin Lynch, Matt Dragstrem, Hunter Phelps, Jordan Minton) 8. “Summer Never Ended” (Cole Taylor, Ben Hayslip, Paul DiGiovanni) 9. “Back Road TN” (Ben Hayslip, Brock Berryhill, Jameson Rodgers, Brent Anderson) 10. “Huntin’ Land (feat. Riley Green)” (Dustin Lynch, Andy Albert, Hunter Phelps, Will Weatherly) 11. “Pasadena” (Dustin Lynch, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell) 12. “Not Every Cowboy” (Casey Brown, Parker Welling, Conner Smith, Heather Morgan) All Songs Produced by Zach Crowell

Celebrating the critically acclaimed “SIX-CESS” (Billboard) of “Thinking ‘Bout You” during the special morning appearance, Lynch welcomed Porter to the stage for a starlit duet of the head-turner that’s racked up nearly 300 MILLION global on-demand streams to date. Watch the performance here.

Tonight (1/19), he’ll continue to bring the good vibes and blue skies to Riviera Cancún, Mexico, as he headlines Luke Bryan’s sold-out Crash My Playa 2022. Making his return for a seventh year, Lynch promises surprise guests during his can’t-miss set. Fans can find full upcoming tour dates here.

The post Dustin Lynch Announces 5th Studio Album BLUE IN THE SKY first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Lady A Launches Into 2022 With Brand New Track “What A Song Can Do”

Photo Credit Hodges Usry

MULTI-PLATINUM band Lady A launches into the new year with their next single What A Song Can Do (BMLG Records), available now and impacting Country radio on January 31. The title track from their eighth studio album serves as a love letter to fans that is steeped in music’s power to get us through and has already garnered nearly 4 million on-demand streams.

Written by the group’s Charles Kelley with Ryan Hurd, Sam Ellis and Laura Veltz, “What A Song Can Do” also illustrates the patience and optimism the trio has taken from their years together and is available at all digital retailers here.

“We have been overfilled with gratitude after releasing this album and we don’t take it lightly that after eight albums our music still resonates with so many people,” Kelley said. “This song is the summation of where our hearts are right now and how much music can really pull us through in times of need. We love writing songs about lost love and things like that, but I feel like our favorite material comes with a strong positive message.”

Lady A delivered a live multi-set performance during CBS’ New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash where they “got the massive crowd fired up” (Sounds Like Nashville) as they launched into the first song of the night with the fan-favorite hit “You Look Good.” Fans can revisit the performance here.

For more information visit www.LadyAMusic.com.

The post Lady A Launches Into 2022 With Brand New Track “What A Song Can Do” first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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King Calaway Kicks Off The New Year With New Single Featuring Lainey Wilson

Image Via Stoney Creek Records

“One of Country music’s fastest rising bands” (The Late Late Show with James Corden), King Calaway has released the live version of their track “Good Time To Me (feat. Lainey Wilson).” Joined by Billboard’s “Top New Country Artist of 2021” Lainey Wilson, King Calaway performed the rowdy song on CBS’ “NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE: NASHVILLE’S BIG BASH.” Listen now HERE.

Setting the honky tonk ablaze, the country music risers packed out Blake Shelton’s Ole Red in downtown Nashville with raving bar-goers, searing vocals and feel-good lyrics, as they performed the roaringly fun track, feeding off the tremendous energy from the crowd.

Ringing in the new year with a “Good Time,” King Calaway and Lainey Wilson’s pumped-up performance is now available on all DSPs.

The post King Calaway Kicks Off The New Year With New Single Featuring Lainey Wilson first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Chase Rice Releases New Single “If I Were Rock & Roll”

Photo Credit: Mike Lerner

For multi-Platinum entertainer Chase Rice, like so many people, the past year was a period of honest introspection as an unexpected break from touring led him to reflect on his decade-plus musical journey to date. The results of such vulnerable and personal reflection are on full display with brand-new single “If I Were Rock & Roll,” produced by Jay Joyce and available everywhere now, as Rice kicks off the next phase of his songwriting-driven career with the first major release he’s written completely independently.

“As I sat down to write this song at my dining room table, with nothing but a guitar and the line ‘If I Were Jesus,’ inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s ‘If I Was the Priest,’ I wanted to incorporate all of the things that have been such a huge influence in my life into the lyrics,” notes Rice. “From Earnhardt to my military buddies, to Johnny Cash, to my grandpa… these are all people and memories who have shaped the man I am. It’s a very personal, real song to me and yet how the song ends, with the one that got away, makes it one that I think a lot of people will relate to.”

With the release, Rice is poised to begin a new chapter grounded in vulnerability and authenticity as “If I Were Rock & Roll” provides the initial sampling of an album’s worth of new music to come.

In addition to working with Joyce for the song’s production, Rice also partnered with multiple individuals personifying the values embodied by the song’s lyrics for an inspiring series of videos featuring The Fighter: Robby Malof, The Rider: Alyssa Curry and The Builder: Brandon Cornell.

“If I were fighting for my dreams, I wouldn’t be afraid of what might happen, but what would happen if I wasn’t really being me,” Rice declares in the first voiceover. “If I were honest with myself, I’d chase that freedom with everything I have,” he adds in the second, before concluding with a powerful mission statement of the project: “If I were being true to myself, I’d build something to be proud of.”

“If I Were Rock & Roll” is available everywhere now, and arrives at Country radio on Monday, October 18. For more information, visit www.ChaseRice.com and follow Rice on Twitter and Facebook@ChaseRiceMusic and on Instagram @ChaseRice.

The post Chase Rice Releases New Single “If I Were Rock & Roll” first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Jason Aldean Set To Release 10th Album Featuring 30 Tracks

Multi-Platinum entertainer Jason Aldean has learned a thing or two about the music he has made over the past 16 years, but as far as he’s come, Aldean always looks back home to Macon, Georgia. Both where he is from and how far he has taken his signature sound is reflected throughout his upcoming 10th studio album MACON, GEORGIA.

In addition to the new project’s Top 5 smash debut single “If I Didn’t Love You” with Carrie Underwood, on Nov. 12 fans will have access to nine more new tracks and five live tracks. Over the course of the following months, Aldean will continue to deliver new songs leading into the full release of all 30 tracks – 20 new and at least one live hit off each of his previous albums – on April 22, 2022. The full release will also be marked by a commemorative three-disc vinyl set. Fans can pre-order the first 15 songs here.

“Where you were raised has such a big influence on who you become and for me it’s no different…especially from a music standpoint,” Aldean said. “My little hometown of Macon was heavily instrumental in my musical background. Growing up in an environment that was a crossroads between Country music, Southern rock, blues and R&B, it was just natural to blend different sounds in my on way.”

Working alongside longtime producer Michael Knox, the expansive release’s first batch, MACON, runs the gamut from straight-up stadium rockers to bluesy barstool ballads, peppered with modern embellishments and all the chest thumping small-town pride his fans have come to crave. Aldean pushes his patented muscle Country sound to the limit with his hard rock, woozy barroom ballads, experimentation with hip hop and R&B, but stays centered in country lifestyle.

MACON Track List: 1. “After You” 2. “Over You Again” 3. “That’s What Tequila Does” 4. “Small Town Small” 5. “If I Didn’t Love You” 6. “Story For Another Glass”  7. “Heaven”  8. “This Bar Don’t Work Anymore” 9. “The Sad Songs” 10. “Watching You Love Me” 11. “Amarillo Sky” (Live from Nashville, TN) 12. “Johnny Cash” (Live from Los Angeles, CA) 13. “She’s Country” (Live from Las Vegas, NV) 14. “Big Green Tractor” (Live from Dallas, TX) 15. “My Kinda Party” (Live from St. Louis, MO)

GEORGIA Track List: 16. “Whiskey Me Away” 17. “Trouble With A Heartbreak” 18. “The State I’m In” 19. “Midnight And Missin’ You” 20. “Ain’t Enough Cowboy” 21. “God Made Airplanes” 22. “My Weakness” 23. “Holy Water” 24. “Rock And Roll Cowboy” 25. “Your Mama” 26. “Take a Little Ride” (Live from Las Vegas, NV) 27. “Burnin’ It Down” (Live from St. Louis, MO) 28. “Any Ol’ Barstool” (Live from Knoxville, TN)  29. “Rearview Town” (Live from St. Louis, MO) 30. “Blame It On You” (Live from Manchester, TN)

The post Jason Aldean Set To Release 10th Album Featuring 30 Tracks first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Lil Nas X Take On Iconic  Song “Jolene” Is Dolly Parton Approved

Image provided by Marbaloo

Lil Nas X is back in country music news headlines. The “Old Town Road” singer recently released his rendition of Dolly Parton’s iconic song “Jolene,” and his take on the track was quite pleasing to the queen of country music.

 “I was so excited when someone told me that Lil Nas X had done my song “Jolene”, Dolly shared on socials.“I had to find it and listen to it immediately…and it’s really, really good. Of course, I love him anyway. I was surprised and I’m honored and flattered. I hope he does good for both of us. Thank you @lilnasx”.

If Dolly is happy, then all is good!

Check out Lil Nas X’s version of “Jolene” and let us know your thoughts!

The post Lil Nas X Take On Iconic Song “Jolene” Is Dolly Parton Approved first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Walker Hayes Makes History With Hit Single “Fancy Like”

Photo Credit Robert Chavers

Walker Hayes makes history with smash hit “Fancy Like” as it skyrockets up the country radio charts. This week, the track jumped from #17 into the top 10, landing at #8, making this the biggest jump into the Top Ten on the Mediabase Country chart since Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman” 17 years ago, in early 2004.

“Fancy Like” topped the country streaming and sales charts – including SiriusXM’s The Highway’s Hot 30 Weekend Countdown, the Shazam Global Country Chart and the iTunes All Genre Chart – upon release. The song has spent eleven straight weeks, and counting, at the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and this week, is number 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs. 

Written in response to a fan presuming Hayes and his family of eight’s lifestyle was more glamourous than their own, the Hayes set out to debunk that misconception. Singing of the date nights at Applebee’s that he and his wife have been enjoying since high school, and the oh so delicious Oreo Shake (which Applebee’s has since brought back to the menu due to high demand from fans of the song), Hayes told Southern Living “the inspiration behind the song was living and relishing the everyday things in life.”

After the release of the track, CNN reported that Applebee’s sales grew 102% in the months following and Applebee’s CEO John Peyton said “Applebee’s posted its best quarterly [same-store] sales performance in over a decade.” Because of the boom, Applebee’s brought back the Oreo Shake referenced in the song, and featured the track, and Tik Tok dance Hayes did with his daughter Lela to kick off the song’s success, in a nationwide commercial.    In June, NBC’s Today Show called “Fancy Like” the “Song of the summer.” With country radio’s help, it’s safe to say that is proving to be true. 

The post Walker Hayes Makes History With Hit Single “Fancy Like” first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Brett Young To Release First Ever Christmas Album

Multi-PLATINUM Entertainer Brett Young brightens the holiday season, unwrapping his first-ever Christmas album —  Brett Young & Friends Sing The Christmas Classics (BMLG Records) — on October 22. Enlisting an all-star lineup of collaborators including Colbie Caillat, Sam Fischer, Dann Huff, Darius Rucker, Maddie & Tae, Chris Tomlin and Phil Wickham, the eight-song collection is available for pre-order here with “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” ft. Sam Fischer out now.

Later this year, Young will bring the album’s soulful stylings and must-see duets to television with “CMT Crossroads Christmas: Brett Young & Friends.”  More details will be announced in the coming weeks.    Aptly titled, these yule-tide pairings find Young trading stirring harmonies and celebrating the warmth of the holiday season with fresh takes on traditional songs. Donning “the smoothest vocals in the business” (Nashville Lifestyles), Young and producer Noah Needleman tapped into a suave, jazzy production throughout the project after getting in the spirit with Young’s “Silver Bells” last year.

“I’ve always known that I wanted to make a Christmas album one day, it was just a matter of figuring out how I could do something a little bit different. We tapped into an old school, lo-fi sound with ‘Silver Bells,’ and knew we had the blueprint for a full album. It means the world that so many incredible artists who I respect were open to singing with me on the project… we don’t take the title ‘Brett Young and Friends’ lightly!” 

Brett Young & Friends Sing The Christmas Classics Track List:  “Silver Bells”  “White Christmas” ft. Colbie Caillat “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” ft. Phil Wickham “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” ft. Dann Huff “Silent Night” ft. Chris Tomlin  “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” ft. Maddie & Tae “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” ft. Darius Rucker “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” ft. Sam Fischer

The post Brett Young To Release First Ever Christmas Album first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
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Tyler Rich Embarks On Two Thousand Miles Tour

Photo Credit Zack Napier

Yuba City native TYLER RICH will return to Northern California for his TWO THOUSAND MILES TOUR tomorrow night (9/28), kicking off his West Coast headline run at Club Rodeo in San Jose, CA and featuring special guest Shy Carter. Tyler shared his excitement to be back on the road and gave fans a sneak peek at what’s to come via Instagram today – watch here. Tickets on sale now at TylerRich.com

 

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Tyler hits the road in support of his debut album of the same name, TWO THOUSAND MILES, and current single “Better Than You’re Used To,” both released via The Valory Music Co. After teasing the demo on TikTok to an overwhelming response with over  3 million views, he expedited plans  to release the track and has since racked up over 36M+ global streams to date. 

Over the last year as touring paused, Tyler connected virtually with both musical collaborators and fans.Recording the aptly-titled  “Feels  Like  Home” from a makeshift home studio, each musician added parts from their respective spaces. Tyler also hosted a weekly themed Instagram Live series to preview new music, introduce songwriter friends, play trivia and show off his carefree side with a boozy brunch alongside wife/actress Sabina Gadecki and their friends. 

No stranger to persevering in spite of distance, the pair chased dreams and embraced a bi-coastal relationship that is present in Tyler’s music, including his GOLD-certified single “The Difference.” Contributing to his 315M+ global streams, his songs reflect feelings all people have in common – the needs for acceptance, devotion and places to call their own.

His empathetic spirit extends to animals too with Rich Rescues, an initiative Tyler will continue while on tour to raise awareness for pet adoption and support shelters along the route.  

TWO THOUSAND MILES TOUR DATES: 9/28/21 San Jose CA Club Rodeo 9/29/21 San Diego CA House of Blues San Diego 9/30/21 Los Angeles CA Troubadour 10/1/21 Tucson AZ The Rock 10/2/21 San Bernardino CA The Brandin’ Iron 10/3/21 Paso Robles CA BarrelHouse Brewing Co 10/6/21 Portland OR Ponderosa Lounge & Grill 10/7/21 Tacoma WA Steel Creek 10/8/21 Spokane WA Knitting Factory Spokane 10/9/21 Boise ID Knitting Factory Boise 10/10/21 Salt Lake City UT The CommonWealth Room 10/13/21 Berkeley CA Cornerstone Berkeley 10/14/21 Petaluma CA Mystic Theatre 10/15/21 Chico CA El Rey Theatre 10/16/21 Roseville CA Goldfield Trading Post 10/17/21 Roseville CA Goldfield Trading Post

The post Tyler Rich Embarks On Two Thousand Miles Tour first appeared on Country Music Rocks.
- 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.

- Aipate Team
TnT drops “BARAT” diss track, directs it to Barak Jacuzzi

TNT

We may just have to acknowledge that it’s beef season again, as another diss track drops, except, this times it involves two of Nairobi underground’s hottest rappers. TnT duo just released “BARAT”, a direct onslaught on Barak Jacuzzi. This was kind of expected considering that the two camps were already involved in a physical fight of some sorts.

The TnT duo, which consists of Twenny Eights and Timmy Blanco, drops well delivered, hard-hitting bars over a sampled classic beat.

Queen of hip-hop radio, Corine Onyango, even tweeted about the track.

BARAT – TnT @TWENNYEIGHTS X @TIMMYBLANCO_ * BRAND NEW MUSIC * #THEJUMPOFF @HomeboyzRadio

— Corine Onyango (@CorineOnyango) September 18, 2018

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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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Animal Collective Cancel Shows After Avey Tare and Deakin Test Positive for COVID-19
The band was touring with Spirit of the Beehive. “Wear your masks, take care of each other, and we’ll see you as soon as we can.”
- Allison Hussey
Marilyn Manson Former Assistant’s Sexual Assault Lawsuit Dismissed
Ashley Walters, who worked for the musician between 2010 and 2011, filed her case in Los Angeles last spring
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Sky Ferreira Shares First New Song in Three Years: Listen
“Don’t Forget” follows Ferreira’s 2019 single “Downhill Lullaby”
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New “Weird Al” Yankovic Graphic Novel Announced
Z2 Comics has paired up with the master of parody for The Illustrated Al: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic
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Empress Of Announces New EP, Shares Video for New Song “Dance for You”: Watch
Save Me features Lorely Rodriguez’s previously released single of the same name
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DJ Python Announces Luis EP, Shares New Song: Listen
“Timmy Chalamet” and “Or Anyone Said It” lead Brian Piñeyro’s 057 (Schwyn) EP
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Bob Dylan Re-Records “Blowin’ in the Wind” for Christie’s Auction
The one-of-a-kind version of Dylan’s ’60s classic is the first official Ionic Original—a new analog format developed by T Bone Burnett
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Perera Elsewhere Announces New Album Home, Shares New Song “Hold Tite”: Listen
Sasha Perera’s follow-up to 2017’s All of This is out in September
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Nigel Godrich Relaunches From the Basement With Idles, Caribou, Nilüfer Yanya, and More
Sons of Kemet, Warpaint, and Squid will also appear on the studio performance series’ first installments in over a decade
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Spotify Brings Back Political Ads After Suspending Them in 2020
“We have spent the past two years strengthening and enhancing our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content”
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Watch Harry Styles Cover Wet Leg’s “Wet Dream”
He covered the indie pop band in a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge session, alongside renditions of “Boyfriends” and more
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Bush Tetras Announce West Coast Tour, Share New Video: Watch
The band’s first shows with Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley on drums take place in September
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Waxahatchee and Wynonna Judd Duet on New Song “Other Side”: Watch the Video
“Wynonna is an icon and a fountain of wisdom. Sharing space with her to create something new was really nothing but a joy and an honor.”—Katie Crutchfield
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Dehd Announce World Tour, Share Video for New Song “Window”: Watch
The fifth single from the Chicago band’s new album Blue Skies
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Gold Panda Shares New Song “I’ve Felt Better (Than I Do Now)”: Listen
Check out the video for the British producer’s first song since 2019
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Watch Turnstile Perform “Blackout” on Fallon
Check out the band’s latest late-night performance, plus their new interview with Nardwuar
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Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Announce 2023 Tour
The Boss is hitting the road with the full E Street lineup for the first time since 2017
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Conor Oberst Abruptly Walks Out at Bright Eyes Show, Prompting Cancellation and Refunds
The Bright Eyes frontman left the stage after two songs during their Houston set, prompting the band to invite fans to perform karaoke
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Gia Coppola to Direct Boy Band Documentary Superfans: Screaming. Crying. Throwing Up.
The project is based on Maria Sherman’s Larger Than Life: A History of Boy Bands From NKOTB to BTS
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Gunna Denied Bond, Has RICO Trial Date Set for 2023
The Atlanta rapper has also pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
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beabadoobee Shares New Single “Lovesong”: Stream

beabadoobee has given us another peek inside Beatopia today with the new track “Lovesong.” The aptly-named tune is third single off her forthcoming sophomore album, which arrives July 15th. beabadoobee wrote the chorus of “Lovesong” years ago, but it wasn’t until now that the song finally came together. Keeping in line with…

Please click the link below to read the full article.

beabadoobee Shares New Single “Lovesong”: Stream Abby Jones

- Alex Young
BTS to Meet with Joe Biden at the White House

BTS will join President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday, May 31st in celebration of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Month. During their visit, the South Korean pop group will participate in a discussion about Asian inclusion and representation, as well as the rise in anti-Asian hate…

Please click the link below to read the full article.

BTS to Meet with Joe Biden at the White House Alex Young

- Abby Jones
Don McLean Cancels NRA Convention Performance Following Uvalde School Shooting

Don McLean, the musician behind the 1971 hit “American Pie,” has resigned from performing at the National Rifle Association’s national convention this weekend, following Tuesday’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. “In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and…

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Don McLean Cancels NRA Convention Performance Following Uvalde School Shooting Abby Jones

- Abby Jones
Ricky Gervais Defends His Transphobic Jokes: “That’s What Comedy Is For”

Ricky Gervais evidently hasn’t learned any lessons from Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle about behaving himself onstage. Despite the backlash he’s received for the blatant transphobia in his new Netflix special SuperNature, the Office (UK) star defended his decision to crack jokes about “taboo subjects,” saying he thinks “that’s what…

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Ricky Gervais Defends His Transphobic Jokes: “That’s What Comedy Is For” Abby Jones

- Abby Jones
“Weird Al” Yankovic Announces Graphic Novel The Illustrated Al

There’s even more weirdness coming your way: “Weird Al” Yankovic has joined forces with Z2 Comics for a new graphic novel called The Illustrated Al: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic. Written by Yankovic, the book will compile 20-plus illustrated interpretations of his songs. With an expected release coming in late November…

Please click the link below to read the full article.

“Weird Al” Yankovic Announces Graphic Novel The Illustrated Al Abby Jones

- Eddie Fu
Sky Ferreira Returns with “Don’t Forget,” Her First New Single in Three Years: Stream

Is this the year Sky Ferreira finally releases her long-awaited sophomore album, Masochism? Only time will tell, but today fans can listen to “Don’t Forget,” her first new single in three years. Co-produced with Jorge Elbrecht, “Don’t Forget” is powered by a bombastic electropop beat filled with ’80s synths and…

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Sky Ferreira Returns with “Don’t Forget,” Her First New Single in Three Years: Stream Eddie Fu

- Erin Brady
Stranger Things Recap: Before You Watch Season 4, Here’s What Happened In Season 3

It has been three years since a new season of Stranger Things, Netflix’s blockbuster sci-fi adventure, graced our screens and we, along with the kids that the show revolves around, have grown a little older since July of 2019. We’ve learned new things, adopted new technologies, and learned more sinister…

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Stranger Things Recap: Before You Watch Season 4, Here’s What Happened In Season 3 Erin Brady

- Wren Graves
Spotify Brings Back Political Ads Now That There’s No More Misinformation

Spotify suspended political ad sales in 2020 because the platform found it too hard to “validate and review” the deluge of misinformation they were facing. Well, the good news is that misinformation has been totally solved, because why else would Spotify now quietly reintroduce political ads in the run-up to the…

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Spotify Brings Back Political Ads Now That There’s No More Misinformation Wren Graves

- Clint Worthington
Love, Death, and Robots: The 15 Best Sci-Fi Shorts, Ranked

Netflix’s flagship animated anthology series Love, Death & Robots has often been a hard show to love. On the one hand, it’s a dazzling showcase for VFX artists at the top of their field, adapting some of science fiction’s most interesting short stories to a new medium (not unlike the Heavy…

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Love, Death, and Robots: The 15 Best Sci-Fi Shorts, Ranked Clint Worthington

- Eddie Fu
Mura Masa Announces New Album demon time, Shares “blessing me”: Stream

Mura Masa has announced his third album, demon time, out on September 16th via Polydor Records, while also unleashing the new single “blessing me” featuring Gambian-British breakout Pa Salieu and Jamaican rapper Skillibeng. The stacked guest list also includes Lil Uzi Vert, PinkPantheress, and Shygirl (who all appear on the previous…

Please click the link below to read the full article.

Mura Masa Announces New Album demon time, Shares “blessing me”: Stream Eddie Fu

- Jon Hadusek
Rammstein’s New “Dicke Titten” Video Pays Homage to Large-Breasted Women: Watch

Rammstein have never shied from embracing the sexual or erotic, and video while the video for the band’s latest single, “Dicke Titten,” is tame compared to past clips, it’s still par for the course for the German industrial metal giants. “Dicke Titten” hails from the band’s new album Zeit and…

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Rammstein’s New “Dicke Titten” Video Pays Homage to Large-Breasted Women: Watch Jon Hadusek

- Consequence Staff
The What Breaks Down Bonnaroo’s 2022 Schedule

 Listen via Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Amazon Music | Radio Public | RSS Lineup release day and schedule release day are special occasions for festival fans. Brad, Barry and Lord Taco from The What Podcast offer their thoughts on the Bonnaroo 2022 schedule. What are the highlights and where are the conflicts? Follow along with the…

Please click the link below to read the full article.

The What Breaks Down Bonnaroo’s 2022 Schedule Consequence Staff

- Wren Graves
Kate Moss Undermines Amber Heard’s Testimony, Says Johnny Depp Helped Her After Falling Down Stairs

Kate Moss took the stand virtually on Wednesday in the $50 million Johnny Depp–Amber Heard defamation trial, pushing back against a rumor that her ex-boyfriend had shoved her down the stairs and undermining Heard’s testimony on the incident. The supermodel only spoke for a few minutes, with Heard’s defense team…

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Kate Moss Undermines Amber Heard’s Testimony, Says Johnny Depp Helped Her After Falling Down Stairs Wren Graves

- Bryan Kress
Empress Of Announces Save Me EP, Shares “Dance for You”: Stream

Lorely Rodriguez, otherwise known as Empress Of, has revealed her upcoming EP, Save Me, out June 24th, and shared the new single “Dance for You” and its accompanying video. Watch it below. The latest offering from Rodriguez was developed over several writing trips in 2021 that included Sonic Ranch in…

Please click the link below to read the full article.

Empress Of Announces Save Me EP, Shares “Dance for You”: Stream Bryan Kress

- Eddie Fu
Olivia Rodrigo Advocates for Gun Control, Covers “You Oughta Know” with Alanis Morissette: Watch

Throughout her “Sour World Tour,” pop phenom Olivia Rodrigo has paid homage to the women who came before her by both covering their songs and speaking up about issues like abortion rights. During her concert on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, the young superstar did both. In addition to recruiting…

Please click the link below to read the full article.

Olivia Rodrigo Advocates for Gun Control, Covers “You Oughta Know” with Alanis Morissette: Watch Eddie Fu

- Max Chung
LISTEN: Rising Producer Dead Weight Delivers High-Octane New Bass Single, “The Swarm”

Rising producer Dead Weight is back with a high-octane new single in “The Swarm.” As you’ll hear below, we’re treated to an intensely dark banger boasting a riddim-style flow that’s both hard-hitting and incredibly infectious. If that wasn’t enough, the record carries a meaningful message about fighting back against the stressors that life can throw at you and bravely going against the tides that bring you down. Dead Weight’s wide-ranging sonic influences, from metal and hard-rock to dubstep, is on full display on “The Swarm” – stream the single via Spotify below and read what the producer himself has to say about the inspiration behind this track.

“To me the song represents anxiety and loss of control. It’s like an ever growing wound. It seems you can contain the chaos, but can’t stop it.”

Dead Weight – The Swarm | Stream

'LISTEN: Rising Producer Dead Weight Delivers High-Octane New Bass Single, “The Swarm”

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- Max Chung
LISTEN: ZABO Explores Sonic Duality in Hard-Hitting New Bass EP, “Dusk & Dawn”

After dropping “Flow” with C.D last month, rising producer ZABO is back with more heat – this time coming in the form of a fresh new EP, fittingly titled Dusk & Dawn. As you’ll hear below, the Canadian artist serves up two impressive bass productions boasting a captivating mix of dubstep and heavy electro influences. Both tracks, “Bing Bong” and “Desolation,” accurately capture a different side of ZABO’s impressive artistry and we can’t wait to hear what he has in store for us next. Stream the Dusk & Dawn EP via Spotify below and read what the producer himself has to say about the inspiration behind this track.

“Dusk & Dawn” features two songs; the first song on the EP has a dark and evil vibe, with a heavy electro drop. The other song has a more uplifting vibe, while still carrying on that electro feel from track 1. I felt like the title “Dusk & Dawn” was a good reflection on how the two tracks contradict each other! – ZABO.

ZABO – Dusk & Dawn EP | Stream

'LISTEN: ZABO Explores Sonic Duality in Hard-Hitting New Bass EP, “Dusk & Dawn”

The post LISTEN: ZABO Explores Sonic Duality in Hard-Hitting New Bass EP, “Dusk & Dawn” appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- Hunter Thompson
LISTEN: MADEAUX is Back With Brooding House Banger “Revolution”

Following “Something Real” – the lead single to his forthcoming album Near Life Experience, Miami’s own MADEAUX returns with his new single “Revolution.” Leaning back into his club style, MADEAUX’s latest is a more familiar listen than its punkish predecessor.

“Revolution” is a call to arms equipped with his signature vocal brood teeming over industrial house nuances and dark, techno breaks. A slick, sophisticated number emblazoned with the artist’s passionate philosophy, the track arrives promptly at a time when a revolution may be our only hope.

MADEAUX – Revolution | Stream

'LISTEN: MADEAUX is Back With Brooding House Banger “Revolution”

The post LISTEN: MADEAUX is Back With Brooding House Banger “Revolution” appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- Max Chung
LISTEN: Rich Furniss Delivers Uplifting New House Collaboration “On The Moon” with Morsy

Rich Furniss is back and continuing his streak of impressive releases with “On the Moon.” As you’ll hear below, the New York producer delivers on another captivating four-on-the-floor heater, effortlessly fusing together an eclectic amount of old school and modern house influences. The record arrives as Rich’s debut on label Global305 and is also a collaboration with rising producer Morsy – stream the uplifting tune via Spotify below and be on the lookout for more new music that Rich Furniss has in store for us for the rest of 2022.

Rich Furniss – On The Moon | Stream

'LISTEN: Rich Furniss Delivers Uplifting New House Collaboration “On The Moon” with Morsy

The post LISTEN: Rich Furniss Delivers Uplifting New House Collaboration “On The Moon” with Morsy appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- Max Chung
LISTEN: Thomas Xavier’s Label Pharaoh Phonix Shares Debut 5-Track Compilation Album, “Pharaoh’s Phonix”

Thomas Xavier’s rising label Pharaoh Phonix has finally unleashed their first-ever anticipated compilation album in Pharaoh’s Gold Vol 1. The new project boasts five tracks from different artists, showcasing an impressive variety of talent across a spectrum of house genres. As you’ll hear below, we’re blessed with cuts from lack a.m., Chomper, St.Sinny, Elevatd, and of course label founder Thomas Xavier. Thanks to Pharaoh Phonix we have no doubt that the future of house music is in good hands; stream the compilation via Spotify below and let us know which track is your favorite in the comments section.

Pharaoh’s Gold Vol. 1 | Stream

'LISTEN: Thomas Xavier’s Label Pharaoh Phonix Shares Debut 5-Track Compilation Album, “Pharaoh’s Phonix”

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- Max Chung
LISTEN: Chapter & Verse Proves He’s “Ready For The Rave” in Bombastic New Dance Single

One of the UK’s fastest rising acts Chapter & Verse is back with more heat, this time coming in the form of a high-octane debut on Patrick Moxey’s Helix Records. As you’ll hear below, “Ready For The Rave” wastes no time turning up the energy as we’re treated to a creative dance track that fuses a nostalgic old-school rave sound with modern-day tech house. From start to finish this track is a dance floor weapon and we can’t wait to hear where this talented artist takes his sound next. Stream “Ready For The Rave” via Spotify and read what Chapter & Verse has to say about the inspiration behind this track as well.

“I wanted to create a track which incorporates old-school rave along with modern-day tech house. I found and modified an old rave stab to create the sound heard throughout the 90s. I added a vintage Chapter & Verse bassline, an old-school vocal and ‘Ready For The Rave’ was born” – Chapter & Verse

Chapter & Verse – Ready For The Rave | Stream

'LISTEN: Chapter & Verse Proves He’s “Ready For The Rave” in Bombastic New Dance Single

The post LISTEN: Chapter & Verse Proves He’s “Ready For The Rave” in Bombastic New Dance Single appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- Max Chung
LISTEN: Alok Makes Sure “The Club Is Jumpin'” in Impressive New ‘Future-Tech’ House Single

Alok is unveiling his new “future-tech” style just in time for festival season and in quite the big way. Today we’re treated to a new single from the rising producer in “The Club Is Jumpin'” which is an impressive new house record that cleverly samples Destiny Child’s classic “Jumpin’ Jumpin'” hit. As you can imagine, the results are dynamite and nothing short of a catchy house banger crafted for the club and festival main stage. If this is what we can expect from Alok’s newfound style then he’s in for a huge summer. Hear what we mean by streaming the record via Spotify below and read what Alok himself has to say about the inspiration behind this new track.

“Now that the pandemic seems to be easing up and clubs are re-opened, ‘The Club is Jumpin’ is my party anthem for the summer. I always was a fan of Destiny’s Child’s original when I was younger, and I wanted to take a classic like that and put a fresh electronic spin on it. I hope everyone enjoys it as well as my next releases under the new ‘future-tech’ style” – Alok

Alok – The Club Is Jumpin’ | Stream

'LISTEN: Alok Makes Sure “The Club Is Jumpin'” in Impressive New ‘Future-Tech’ House Single

The post LISTEN: Alok Makes Sure “The Club Is Jumpin'” in Impressive New ‘Future-Tech’ House Single appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- Max Chung
LISTEN: Flume Unleashes Anticipated Third Studio Album, “Palaces”
Photo: Pooneh Ghana

At long last, Flume has delivered on his third studio album, Palaces. The new project from the Australian super-producer boasts features from KUCKA, Damon Albarn, Quiet Bison, Caroline Polachek + more across 13 impressive tracks. As expected, Harley’s iconic signature sound is all over this record, but in a unique and fresh way that we’ve never heard from him before. Hear what we mean by streaming Palaces below via Spotify and be sure to catch Flume on tour in a city near you.

Flume – Palaces | Stream

'LISTEN: Flume Unleashes Anticipated Third Studio Album, “Palaces”

The post LISTEN: Flume Unleashes Anticipated Third Studio Album, “Palaces” appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- Hunter Thompson
LISTEN: Sevenn Drives the Dancefloor & Serves Up “Champagne & Pizza”
sevenn

Raise a glass and call up your favorite pizza place! Internationally-renowned producer and DJ Sevenn is back with yet another spicy slice of Hybrid Techno. Out now on Mentalo Records, “Champagne & Pizza” joins a string of sensual summer releases the WME signee is putting out this year. 

Ahead of a smorgasbord of original tunes, edits, and so much more that spans outside of releases, Sevenn continues to stun with hypnotizing beatwork in his latest single. “Champagne & Pizza” joins the artist’s hip-shaking discography in rhythmic style. Driving dance floors with rolling basslines, gossamer synth work, and swanky vocal chops, this record digs deep and dirty with its lurking, semi-dark prowess. 

“‘Champagne & Pizza’ is about finding your inner darkness and facing it. Not everything that happens in life is light, and so this song is about a dark place but kind of a mischievous one. I came up with the idea for the lead by putting a bunch of arpeggiators together and the computer basically spoke this melody to me in real time. And that’s what you’re hearing. It’s kind of a collab between me and the computer, like my cyborg kid.”

Sevenn

With “Champagne & Pizza” already on the table, we’re excited to see what else Sevenn is cooking up. Check out this tantalizing cut wherever you find your sounds and listen below:

'LISTEN: Sevenn Drives the Dancefloor & Serves Up “Champagne & Pizza”

The post LISTEN: Sevenn Drives the Dancefloor & Serves Up “Champagne & Pizza” appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- Jazmine Gandhi
LISTEN: Nostalgix Gets Sassy With Her Brand New Single, ‘My Type’

Just in time for EDC, Nostalgix tears it up with her latest single, ‘My Type’; her heavyweight basslines combined with an infectious rhythm further proves that she is primed for a pivotal 2022. Having released a slew of records via Confession, Thrive, & IN / ROTATION (just to name a few) Nostalgix is ready to take her career to the next level. What better way to do that than playing MainStage at EDC Las Vegas – joining only a handful of female producers to play such a coveted slot, Nostalgix has poised herself as an unmissable force in the dance scene. Don’t forget to stream ‘My Type’ below and be sure to catch her under the electric sky this weekend! We cannot wait to see what the future brings for this talented artist.

Nostalgix – My Type | Stream

'LISTEN: Nostalgix Gets Sassy With Her Brand New Single, ‘My Type’

The post LISTEN: Nostalgix Gets Sassy With Her Brand New Single, ‘My Type’ appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.

- 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...Read More
- 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...Read More
- 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...Read More
- 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,...Read More
- 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...Read More
- Charles Waring
Amy Winehouse’s Iconic Glastonbury 2007 Performance
Amy Winehouse Live at Glastonbury 2007 cover

The first half of 2007 was a remarkable time for Amy Winehouse. The year began with her second LP Back To Black comfortably ensconced at the summit of the UK albums chart and in February, the Camden-born singer/songwriter bagged the BRIT award for Best Female Solo Artist. A month later saw Winehouse’s smash single “Rehab,” a frank self-portrait addressing her battle with addiction, conquer America by breaking into the US Top 10 while its parent album Back To Black rose to No. 2 in The Billboard 200, cementing the singer’s international fame. But arguably her crowning achievement came on June 22nd via a triumphant appearance at the world-famous Glastonbury Festival.

Winehouse had performed at Glastonbury before, in June 2004, where she was sandwiched between reggae singer Mikey Dread and blues-rock doyenne Bonnie Raitt in the Jazz World tent and mostly performed songs from her just-released debut album, Frank. Three years later, Winehouse’s career was dancing to a different groove; the languorous jazz stylings that defined her debut album had given way to a more robust retro-soul sound on Back To Black, which instantly chimed with the public and helped transform her into a global star. And she had a new image to go with it; Frank’s long-haired natural look had given way to a towering beehive hairdo and thick eye-liner, which one critic memorably described as “Ronnie Spector meets the bride of Frankenstein.”

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Order Amy Winehouse’s Live At Glastonbury 2007.

Back To Black‘s success heralded a dramatic rise in Winehouse’s stock and saw the singer return to Glastonbury in June 2007 as a headliner on the Pyramid Stage alongside the trendy indie bands Kasabian and The Arctic Monkeys. Backed by a five-piece rhythm section flanked by three horn players and two sharp-suited male backing singers, Winehouse took to the stage and – against the backdrop of dark clouds and falling rain – kicked off with the uptempo “Addicted,” a song detailing her love affair with “weed.”

That number was just one of ten songs from Back To Black included in Winehouse’s set; the album’s hit title tune and the Motown-channeling “Tears Dry On Their Own” received huge roars of recognition and approval from the “Glasto” faithful but the most affecting performance came in the shape of the outstanding self-penned ballad, “Love Is A Losing Game,” for which Winehouse later won an Ivor Novello award. She prefaced her performance by saying: “This is a song I wrote when I didn’t believe in love and then I started listening to the darkness a lot more.” Her rendition – perhaps affected by her boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil’s being in prison at the time of her Glastonbury performance – is deeply poignant, revealing a core of fragile vulnerability that lay behind the singer’s brash demeanor.



Elsewhere in her set, Winehouse sprinkled in some arresting cover tunes. A couple of them were associated with the UK two-tone group The Specials: the Coventry band inspired Winehouse’s vibrant revamp of their tune “Hey Little Rich Girl ”as well as her ska-style retread of Toots & The Maytals’ “Monkey Man.” She also reworked soul man Sam Cooke’s 1961 hit “Cupid” using a jaunty reggae groove; Winehouse had previously recorded the song for a BBC radio session and was performing it live for the first time at Glastonbury.

Winehouse closed her set with another cover; a song she described to the audience as “one of my favorite tunes from last year” – “Valerie,” as recorded by the Scottish indie band The Zutons. Only two weeks before her Glastonbury appearance, Winehouse’s producer Mark Ronson had released a solo album called Version that featured her as a guest artist on a soulful repurposing of “Valerie”; it would take the UK singles chart by storm in October 2007.

Winehouse played Glastonbury again. But this was, by far, her best. Live At Glastonbury 2007 is a recording that undoubtedly adds extra luster to her legacy, revealing the London chanteuse as one of the most magnetic and compelling live performers of her generation.

Order Amy Winehouse’s Live At Glastonbury 2007.

- uDiscover Team
So You Think You Know Sgt. Pepper? Quiz
Sgt Pepper's Beatles

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The Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th anniversary reissue is out now. Scroll down to read what’s in each version, along with the full tracklisting for the super deluxe box set, and order the reissue here.

Beatles Sgt Pepper's Deluxe Packshot

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The various versions of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band reissue are:

Standard CD:The new 2017 stereo mix, complete with the original UK album’s “edit for LP end” run-out groove.

Deluxe 2CD (and digital edition):The new stereo album mix on Disc One, plus a second CD of 18 tracks, including previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album.

Disc Two also includes a new stereo mix and a previously unreleased instrumental take of ‘Penny Lane’, plus the 2015 stereo mix and two previously unreleased complete takes of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Deluxe 2LP:The new stereo album mix on Disc One and previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album, on Disc Two.

Super Deluxe 4CD+DVD+Blu-ray:CD1 features the new 2017 stereo album mix.

CDs 2 and 3 include 33 additional recordings from the studio sessions, most of which are previously unreleased and have been mixed for the first time from the four-track session tapes, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates, plus the new 2017 stereo mix of ‘Penny Lane’ and the 2015 stereo mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

CD4 features a direct transfer of the album’s original mono mix, plus the ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’ singles, along with the US promo mono mix of ‘Penny Lane’ and previously unreleased early mono mixes of ‘She’s Leaving Home’, ‘A Day If The Life’ and the once-thought-lost early mono mix of ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’.

The DVD and Blu-ray discs both include new 5.1 surround sound audio mixes of the album and ‘Penny Lane’ by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, plus their 2015 5.1 surround sound mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, along with high-resolution audio mixes of the album, ‘Penny Lane’ and the 2015 stereo mix of ‘Strawberry Field Forever’.

Additionally, these discs will include 4K restored promo clips for ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘A Day In The Life’, plus The Making Of Sgt Pepper, a restored, previously unreleased documentary film originally broadcast in 1992.

The full tracklist for the super deluxe edition box set is:

CD1: St Pepper’s 2017 stereo mix‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’‘With A Little Help From My Friends’‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’‘Getting Better’‘Fixing A Hole’‘She’s Leaving Home’‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’‘Within You Without You’‘When I’m Sixty-Four’‘Lovely Rita’‘Good Morning Good Morning’‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’‘A Day In The Life’

CD2: Outtakes‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 1]‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 4]‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 7]‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 26]‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [2015 stereo mix]‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ [Take 2]‘Penny Lane’ [Take 6: instrumental]‘Penny Lane’ [Vocal overdubs and speech]‘Penny Lane’ [2017 stereo mix]‘A Day In The Life’ [Take 1]‘A Day In The Life’ [Take 2]‘A Day In The Life’ [Orchestra overdub]‘A Day In The Life (Hummed Last Chord)’ [Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11]‘A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)’‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ [Take 1: instrumental]‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ [Take 9 and speech]‘Good Morning Good Morning’ [Take 1: instrumental, breakdown]‘Good Morning Good Morning’ [Take 8]

CD3: Outtakes‘Fixing A Hole’ [Take 1]‘Fixing A Hole’ [Speech and Take 3]‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’ [Speech from before Take 1; Take 4 and speech at end]‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’ [Take 7]‘Lovely Rita’ [Speech and Take 9]‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ [Take 1 and speech at the end]‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ [Speech, false start and Take 5]‘Getting Better’ [Take 1: instrumental and speech at the end]‘Getting Better’ [Take 12]‘Within You Without You’ [Take 1: Indian Instruments Only]‘Within You Without You’ [George coaching the musicians]‘She’s Leaving Home’ [Take 1: instrumental]‘She’s Leaving Home’ [Take 6: instrumental]‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ [Take 1: false start; Take 2: instrumental]‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’ [Speech and Take 8]

CD4: Sgt Pepper’s and bonus tracks in monoTracks 1-13: 2017 direct transfer of Sgt Pepper’s original mono mix)‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Original mono mix]‘Penny Lane’ [Original mono mix]‘A Day In The Life’ [Unreleased first mono mix]‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ [Unreleased mono mix: No.11]‘She’s Leaving Home’ [Unreleased first mono mix]‘Penny Lane’ [Capitol Records US promo single: mono mix]

DVD and Blu-ray:Audio Features (both discs):New 5.1 surround sound audio mixes of Sgt Pepper’s and ‘Penny Lane’, plus 2015 5.1 surround sound mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ (Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1; DVD: DTS Dolby Digital 5.1)

High-resolution audio versions of 2017 Sgt Pepper’s stereo mix and 2017 ‘Penny Lane’ stereo mix, plus 2015 ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ hi-res stereo mix (Blu-ray: LPCM Stereo 96KHz/24bit; DVD: LPCM Stereo)

Video Features (both discs):The Making Of Sgt Pepper [restored 1992 documentary film, previously unreleased]

Promotional films: ‘A Day In The Life’; ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘Penny Lane’ [4K restored]

- Charles Waring
Best Peggy Lee Songs: 20 Essential Tracks To Give You Fever
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Peggy Lee was a sophisticated stage persona created by a humble railroad station agent’s daughter from Jamestown, North Dakota, whose real name was Norma Deloris Egstrom. She rose to fame at the height of the big band era, serving her apprenticeship with the “King Of Swing,” Benny Goodman, before establishing herself as one of the pre-eminent female singers of the post-war age. Realizing that versatility could help maintain the public’s interest in her, she navigated many different musical paths, from jazz, blues, and swing to Latin, pop, soul, and even, in her later years, soft rock. The best Peggy Lee songs reveal what a versatile singer she was.

A blonde bombshell who cultivated an aura of mystique, Lee was blessed with a laconic vocal style, never wasting a note and eschewing unnecessary embellishment. Or, as her former arranger, Artie Butler, once told this writer: “She could change the molecules of the oxygen around her because she mastered the art of simplicity. It wasn’t that she had the greatest voice, but she was a unique song stylist. You just heard two notes and knew it was her.” To celebrate her singular talent, here’s a countdown of the 20 best Peggy Lee songs.

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Listen to the best Peggy Lee songs on Apple Music and Spotify.

20: Light Of Love (1958)

In the wake of “Fever”, Capitol released this contrasting non-album curio: a short, happy-clappy gospel-style number with a chirpy, singalong chorus. Stylistically, it seemed the very antithesis of her earlier smash. Even so, “Light Of Love” was a hit single and reached No.63 in the US pop charts.

19: Pass Me By (1965)

This, the Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh-penned title song from Lee’s second Capitol album of 1965, originally came from the soundtrack to the Cary Grant comedy-drama movie Father Goose, released a year earlier. Military-style drum rolls propel this jaunty tune, which breaks into syncopated jazzy swing rhythms in the last verse. It marched straight into the US Adult Contemporary charts, plateauing at No.20.

18: Sweetheart (1958)

With its stripped-back bass-and-drums arrangement, the sinuous “Sweetheart” was very similar in its style, mood, and tempo to Lee’s chart smash “Fever,” released earlier the same year. R&B singer-songwriter Winfield Scott, who penned Elvis Presley’s “Return To Sender,” wrote the song.

17: Sugar (That Sugar Baby Of Mine) (1955)

Lee showed that she could act as well as sing via her role in the movie Pete Kelly’s Blues, which brought her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Taken from the soundtrack, this smoothly swinging Billie Holiday-esque song was a re-recording of a tune that Lee cut in the decade prior.

16: I’m Gonna Go Fishin’ (1960)

Peggy Lee showed great ingenuity by writing lyrics for Duke Ellington’s title theme from the soundtrack to Otto Preminger’s 1959 movie Anatomy Of A Murder. A driving big band number rendered in 6/8 time, the tune goes through several ascending key changes – which Lee navigates with aplomb – and then gradually subsides, coming to a sudden halt.

15: My Man (1959)

“My Man” was Lee’s blues-infused version of a 20s French cabaret song (“Mon Homme”), which featured on her Capitol album I Like Men! Her voice, sassy and seductive, is underpinned by a minimalist arrangement characterized by prominent drums, tinkling piano licks, and slivers of muted trumpet. The tune reached No.81 in the US pop charts.

14: Caramba! It’s The Samba (1948)

After the phenomenal success of “Mañana (Is Soon Enough For Me),” Lee, then 28, took her musical inspiration from Brazil for this colorful hip-shaking romp which features a warbling flute and chirpy woodwind darting behind her assured, smooth vocals. Lee’s then-husband, guitarist Dave Barbour, also shows his prowess with a nimble-fingered solo. Though not as popular as “Mañana,” it made No.13 on the US charts.

13: Hallelujah, I Love Him So (1959)

As “Fever” and “I’m A Woman” illustrated, Lee had a penchant for taking R&B songs and remaking them in her own image. She did it again with this Ray Charles hit, which was initially deemed controversial for its marriage of gospel and blues music. Lee, however, gave it mainstream acceptability with a swinging and, at times, elegant big band arrangement. It charted at No.77 in the US and later appeared on Lee’s 1960 compilation, All Aglow Again!

12: Alright, Okay, You Win (1959)

A song associated with Count Basie, in the era when stentorian-voiced singer Joe Williams fronted his group, Lee transformed this brash, brassy Mayme Watts and Sid Wyche tune into a subtly-swinging jazz-blues groove and hit the US charts, where the record peaked at No.68. The song appeared on Lee’s Jack Marshall-arranged Capitol album Things Are Swingin’.

11: Don’t Smoke In Bed (1948)

Though Lee scored several uptempo chart hits during her first stint at Capitol Records in the late 40s, she wasn’t averse to giving her fans something different from time to time. Recorded in tandem with Dave Barbour and his orchestra, the Willard Robison-penned “Don’t Smoke In Bed” is a classic break-up ballad that finds Lee convincingly portraying a jaded wife leaving her husband. Its message must have struck a chord with the US public as the record climbed to No.22 in the national charts.

10: The Folks Who Live On The Hill (1957)

There’s something incredibly wistful and poignant about this string-drenched ballad that Lee recorded for the album The Man I Love, conducted by Frank Sinatra. A paean to domestic bliss, written 20 years earlier by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern, the song highlights the singer’s demure sensitivity and is framed by a gorgeous arrangement by Nelson Riddle.

9: Johnny Guitar (1954)

Lee wrote the lyrics to this haunting Spanish-tinged ballad composed by Victor Young, which was the title song of the Nicholas Ray-directed iconic western movie starring Joan Crawford. Though the song failed to chart when it was released as a single on the Brunswick label, it’s now regarded one of Lee’s signature performances.

8: Big Spender (1966)

Lee reverted to a familiar role – the teasing seductress – for this provocative, slightly camp song plucked from the hit Broadway musical Sweet Charity. Originally a chorus number, Lee transforms it into a compelling solo vehicle spotlighting her smoldering sexuality. Released as a single, “Big Spender” reached No.9 in the US Adult Contemporary chart.

7: He’s A Tramp (1955)

One of the key songs on Walt Disney’s successful animated canine romance flick, Lady And The Tramp, “He’s A Tramp” is another shining example of Lee’s talent as a tunesmith. Her co-writer in this instance was producer and big-band leader Sonny Burke, and together they also wrote “La La Lu” and “The Siamese Cat Song” for the same movie.

6: I’m A Woman (1963)

As with “Fever,” Lee wasn’t the first singer to record the Leiber & Stoller-penned “I’m A Woman” (it was originally cut a year earlier by R&B belter Christine Kittrell) but she quickly appropriated it and put her indelible stamp on it. The song is a punchy pre-feminist empowerment anthem for women, delivered in an earthy blues style.

5: Mañana (Is Soon Enough For Me) (1948)

Peggy Lee scored her first No.1 with this contagious percussion-driven Latin extravaganza, co-written with Dave Barbour. Reflecting late 40s America’s flirtation with the music of other cultures, the track spent nine weeks at the top of the US pop charts, and its success prompted Lee to record other exotic numbers. The track spent nine weeks at the top of the US pop charts, and its success prompted Lee to record other exotic numbers.

4: It’s A Good Day (1946)

Lee eventually went solo after leaving the Benny Goodman band in 1943. This song was her sixth single for Capitol and her fourth written with her first husband, guitarist Dave Barbour (who contributes a deft solo). Unlike most jazz and pop singers during this era, Lee deserted the popular but declining big band sound, opting for a trendier small combo comprising a rhythm section and a couple of reeds. The record still swung, though, and reached No.16 in the US charts. It remains one of the singer’s most enduring songs.

3: Black Coffee (1953)

The classic title track from one of Lee’s greatest albums is arguably one of the best torch songs ever recorded. The much-covered song was a hit first for jazz singer Sarah Vaughan, but Lee’s slow, sultry version – oozing sex, along with toxic levels of caffeine and nicotine – is memorable for its almost decadent nocturnal ambience. Pete Candoli’s bluesy obligato trumpet lines beautifully complement Lee’s languorous vocals.

2: Is That All There Is (1969)

Lee grabbed a Grammy for this, one of the most unusual singles to ever hit the US Top 20. Written and produced by noted rock’n’roll-era hitmakers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, stylistically it channels Kurt Weil and the spirit of the 20s Berlin cabaret scene. Apart from the carefree, celebratory, chorus (“Let’s break out the booze and have a ball”), Lee talks through the song rather than sings, recalling the absurdities and disappointments of life with a mordantly ironic sense of humor.

1: Fever (1958)

Topping our pick of the best Peggy Lee songs is this infectious number, which became the singer’s signature song and captured her in full-on seductress mode. It was a hit first for its co-writer, R&B singer Little Willie John, in 1956, but, two years later, Lee put her distinctive spin on it. What makes her version sensational is its striking minimalist arrangement: nothing more than voice, finger snaps, bass, and drums. Another touch of originality was Lee writing new lyrics that referenced doomed lovers: namely, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and, from the annals of early US history, Captain Smith and Pocahontas. Lee’s efforts earned a Grammy nomination, became a Top 10 pop hit in the US, and did even better in the UK, where it peaked at No.5. If one song epitomizes Peggy Lee, it’s “Fever.”

The Ultimate Peggy Lee collection can be bought here. Think we’ve missed one of Peggy Lee’s best songs? Let us know in the comments section below.

- Jason Draper
Who’s Who On The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Album Cover
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The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remains the most iconic album cover of all time. From Paul McCartney’s original concept to the final design, staged by British pop artist Peter Blake and his then-wife, Jann Haworth, it’s not just an album cover, but a dazzling display of modern art that defines its era.

Not only a groundbreaking design for the time, the artwork also broke the bank, costing almost £3,000 to create – well over £50,000 in today’s money and more than any other pop album sleeve at that time. The concept was for the four Beatles themselves to appear in costume as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, surrounded by a gathering of influential people as if they had just performed a concert. A total of 58 different people are depicted on the final artwork, which was photographed by ​Michael Cooper. As Peter Blake once said, doing ​”this by using cardboard cut-outs, it could be a magical crowd of whomever they w​anted.”

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Those chosen from a collective list drawn up by John, Paul, George, Peter Blake, Jann Haworth, and London art dealer Robert Fraser. Looking to avoid any serious controversy, Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler were deemed unsuitable for inclusion, while other choices, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Gorcey, were removed for different reasons. Also notable by his absence is Elvis Presley, who, Paul McCartney later said, was “too important and too far above the rest to even mention.”

Those that made the final cut remain a fascinating cross-section of cultures, importance, and each individual Beatle’s own interests. To paraphrase the song, you might have known the band for all these years, so here we introduce to you, everyone else that featured on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover…

Click here for an interactive version of the Sgt. Pepper who’s who.

1: Sri Yukteswar Giri

The author of the 1894 book The Holy Science, which attempted “to show as clearly as possible that there is an essential unity in all religions,” Sri Yukteswar Giri was guru to both Sri Mahavatara Babaji (No.27) and Paramahansa Yogananda (No.33). His prominent position in the top left-hand corner reflects George Harrison’s (No.65) growing interest in Indian philosophy. In August 1967, two months after the album’s release, The Beatles had their first meeting with the Maharashi Mahesh Yogi, at the Hilton Hotel on London’s Park Lane, where they were invited to study Transcendental Meditation in Bangor, North Wales.

2: Aleister Crowley

A hugely prolific occultist and author who formed his own religion, Thelema, Crowley’s central tenet was, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will.”

3: Mae West

Mae West initially refused to allow her image to appear on the artwork. She was, after all, one of the most famous bombshells from Hollywood’s Golden Age and felt that she would never be in a lonely hearts club. However, after The Beatles personally wrote to her explaining that they were all fans, she agreed to let them use her image. In 1978, Ringo Starr (No.63) returned the favor when he appeared in West’s final movie, 1978’s Sextette. The film also featured a cover version of the “White Album” song “Honey Pie.”

4: Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce revolutionized comedy in the 50s and 60s, ushering in a personalized style that influenced many later comedians. By the time he appeared on the Sgt. Pepper’s cover, he had been arrested for obscenity, further making him a countercultural hero not only for The Beatles, but also the Beatniks and Bob Dylan (No.15). He died of a drug overdose in August 1966.

5: Karlheinz Stockhausen

A German composer who pioneered the use of electronic music in the 50s and 60s, Stockhausen remains a godfather of the avant-garde, whose boundary-pushing music influenced The Beatles’ own groundbreaking experiments in the studio, starting with their tape experiments of Revolver’s “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Paul McCartney (No.64) introduced Stockhausen’s work to the group, turning John Lennon (No.62) into a fan; Lennon and Yoko Ono even sent the composer a Christmas card in 1969.

6: WC Fields

An American writer, comedian, and actor, WC Fields was the epitome of the all-around entertainer, whose career spanned both the silent film era and the talkies. His humor seeped into The Beatles’ own, while the vaudeville world he came from would also go on to influence songs the likes of “Your Mother Should Know.”

7: Carl Jung

Another progressive thinker who introduced new strains of psychology to the world, Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist whose Analytic Psychology school of thought pioneered the concept of individuation and self-realization in the early 1900s.

8: Edgar Allan Poe

Before being namechecked in “I Am The Walrus,” Edgar Allan Poe appeared on the right-hand side of the top row of the Sgt. Pepper collage. The poems and short stories that he wrote across the 1820s and 1840s essentially invented the modern horror genre, and also helped lay the groundwork for sci-fi and detective stories as we know them today.

9: Fred Astaire

In contrast to Mae West (No.3), Fred Astaire was reportedly thrilled to be asked to appear on the Sgt Pepper album cover. A child star who initially started dancing with his sister on stage, it was with Ginger Rogers that Fred made his greatest mark, in a series of classic Golden Age movies including Top Hat and Swing Time. He also appeared with John and Yoko in the 1972 television film Imagine.

10: Richard Merkin

Born in 1938, American painter and illustrator Richard Merkin was enamored with the early jazz period that flourished in the years before his birth. His modernist style matched the abstraction of jazz music, and also inspired Peter Blake’s tribute artwork, Souvenirs For Richard Merkin, created in 1966.

11: A Vargas Girl

Having made a name for himself designing posters for the Ziegfield Follies that appeared on Broadway across the 1910s to the 30s, Peruvian painter Joaquin Alberto Vargas Y Chávez went on to create a series of paintings of pin-ups. Known as the Varga Girls, they gained widespread exposure in Esquire magazine during the 40s, and also inspired a number of paintings that would appear on World War II fighter jets.

12: Leo Gorcey

Along with Huntz Hall (No.13), Leo Gorcey was one of The Bowery Boys, a group of on-screen hoodlums who grew out of The Dead End Kids and The East Side Kids. Their movie franchise ran throughout the 40s and 50s, and totaled 48 films. As the gang’s leader, Gorcey was a prototype street thug who set the template for many to follow, though he refused to let The Beatles use his image unless they paid him a fee, which was declined.

13: Huntz Hall

A fellow Bowery Boy, Huntz Hall was known for playing the putz of the group, Horace DeBussy “Sach” Jones.

14: Simon Rodia

Born in Italy in 1870, Simon Rodia emigrated to the United States with his brother when he was 15. Living in various places for the next 35 years, Rodia finally settled in the Watts district of Los Angeles in 1920, and began constructing the Watts Towers the following year. Consisting of 17 interconnected sculptures, the project took Rodia 33 years to complete.

15: Bob Dylan

Dylan and The Beatles influenced each other throughout the 60s, each spurring the other on to making music that pushed boundaries and reshaped what was thought possible of the simple “pop song.” It was Dylan who convinced John Lennon (No.62) to write more personal songs in the shape of “Help!,” while The Beatles showed Bob what could be achieved with a full band behind him, helping the latter “go electric” in 1965. It was with George Harrison (No.65), however, that Dylan struck up the longest-lasting friendship; the two played together often in the years that followed, forming The Traveling Wilburys and guesting on each other’s projects.

16: Aubrey Beardsley

The influence of Aubrey Beardsley’s pen-and-ink line drawings had already made itself felt on Klaus Voormann’s artwork for Revolver, and here the 19th-century illustrator, whose own style was influenced by Japanese woodcutting, takes a position not too far away from Oscar Wilde (No.41), Beardsley’s contemporary in the Aesthetic movement.

17: Sir Robert Peel

A founder of the modern Conservative Party, Sir Robert Peel served as the UK’s Prime Minister on two separate occasions, 1834-35 and 1841-46. While he served as the UK’s Home Secretary, Peel also helped form the modern police force – and his name is still evoked today, with the terms “bobbies” and “peelers” referring to policemen in England and Ireland, respectively.

18: Aldous Huxley

Published in 1954, Aldous Huxley’s work, The Doors Of Perception, was required reading for the countercultural elite in the 60s. Detailing the author’s own experience of taking mescaline, it chimed with the consciousness-expanding ethos of the decade, and even gave The Doors their name. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in seven different years and died on November 22, 1963, the same day that both With The Beatles was released and President John F Kennedy was assassinated.”

19: Dylan Thomas

A beloved Welsh poet who died in 1953, The Beatles had all been fans of Dylan Thomas’ poetry by the time it came to creating the Sgt. Pepper’s artwork. “We all used to like Dylan Thomas,” Paul McCartney (No.64) later recalled. “I read him a lot. I think that John started writing because of him.” The late producer George Martin was also a fan, and even created a musical version of Thomas’ radio play, Under Milk Wood, in 1988.

20: Terry Southern

A satirical novelist and screenwriter, Terry Southern bridged the gap between the Beat Generation and The Beatles; he hung out with the former in Greenwich Village, and befriended the latter after moving to London in 1966. His dialogue was used in some of the most era-defining movies of the 60s, including Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb and Easy Rider.

21: Dion DiMucci

Originally the leader of Dion And The Belmonts, Dion DiMucci established a successful solo career with hits such as “The Wanderer” and “Runaround Sue” – doo-wop songs that characterized the rock’n’roll era that so influenced The Beatles.

22: Tony Curtis

Striking and versatile, Tony Curtis was a Hollywood idol who made a dizzying amount of movies (over 100) between 1949 and 2008. He will always be remembered for his role alongside Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe (No.25) in the 1959 cross-dressing caper Some Like It Hot, but another stand-out remains his performance alongside Burt Lancaster as fast-talking press agent Sidney Falco in the 1957 film noir The Sweet Smell Of Success.

23: Wallace Berman

American artist Wallace Berman more than earned his place on the album cover: his pioneering “assemblage art” took a three-dimensional approach to the collage style that Peter Blake excelled in, and is an influence that can be felt on the Sgt. Pepper’s design.

24: Tommy Handley

Like Max Miller (No.37), Tommy Handley was another British wartime comedian. Born in Liverpool, he would have been a local hero for The Beatles, and his BBC radio show, ITMA (“It’s That Man Again”) ran for ten years, from 1939 to 1949, until Handley’s sudden death from a brain hemorrhage.

25: Marilyn Monroe

Something of a Mae West (No.3) for her generation, Marilyn Monroe starred alongside Tony Curtis (No.22) in Some Like It Hot, and became the Hollywood pin-up of the 50s. Her shock death still attracts conspiracy theories; Sgt. Pepper was officially released on what would have been her 41st birthday ( June 1, 1967).

26: William Burroughs

From Bob Dylan (No.15) to David Bowie, Tom Waits to Steely Dan, Beat Generation author Burroughs has influenced many a songwriter over the decades. Less known is that, according to Burroughs himself, he witnessed Paul McCartney (No.64) working on “Eleanor Rigby.” As quoted in A Report From The Bunker, a collection of conversations with author Victor Bockris, Burroughs recalled McCartney putting him up in The Beatles’ flat on 34 Montagu Square: “I saw the song taking shape. Once again, not knowing much about music, I could see that he knew what he was doing.”

27: Sri Mahavatara Babaji

A student of Sri Yukteswar Giri (No.1), Sri Mahavatara Babaji is said to have revived the practice of Kriya Yoga meditation, which was then taken to the West by Paramahansa Yogananda (No.33). In the latter’s memoir, Autobiography Of A Yogi, Yogananda claims that Babaji still lives in the Himalayas, but will only reveal himself to the truly blessed.

28: Stan Laurel

Together, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (No.30) appeared in 107 films, mostly from the late 20s to the mid-40s, including iconic outings Block-Heads and Way Out West. Both had passed away before Sgt. Pepper was released: Hardy on August 7, 1957, and Laurel on February 23, 1965.

29: Richard Lindner

Lindner was born in Germany in 1901, but moved to the US in 1941, in order to escape the Nazis. In the 50s he developed a style of painting that drew upon Expressionism and Surrealism, along with the hyper-sexualised lifestyle that he encountered in New York. After appearing on the Sgt. Pepper cover, his abstract style would find echoes in the animated feature film Yellow Submarine.

30: Oliver Hardy

The larger one with the mustache from Laurel And Hardy, Oliver played the irascible foil to the hapless Stan (No.28). A recording by the duo (“The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine”) reached No.2 in the UK singles chart in December 1975.

31: Karl Marx

A prolific author, philosopher, and economist, Karl Marx is best known for his 1848 pamphlet The Communist Manifesto, which outlined the central tenets of his theories, and single-handedly kick-started a political movement. His work continues to influence modern economic thought.

32: HG Wells

Along with Edgar Allan Poe (No.8), HG Wells shaped the modern sci-fi story. After penning groundbreaking novels such as The Time Machine and War Of The Worlds in the late 1800s, he turned to writing more political works and also became a four-time nominee of the Nobel Prize In Literature.

33: Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

Yogananda learned the practice of Kriya Yoga at the feet of Sri Yukteswar Giri (No.1), who passed on the teachings of Sri Mahavatara Babaji (No.27). In 1920, Yogananda set sail for America, where he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship and introduced the Western world to meditation.

34: Hairdressers’ wax dummy No.1

One of two wax dummies borrowed from a local hairdresser. This one wears a striped red-and-yellow hat, while its counterpart (No.36) sports a green bonnet.

35: Stuart Sutcliffe

A friend of John Lennon’s (No.62) dating back to their time studying at Liverpool College Of Art, Stuart Sutcliffe was The Beatles’ original bassist. While the group were living in Hamburg and playing around the city’s clubs, Sutcliffe met photographer Astrid Kirchherr, who gave The Beatles their distinctive early 60s haircuts. Sutcliffe left the group in order to enroll in the Hamburg College Of Art, but his career was tragically cut short when he died, aged 21, from a brain aneurysm.

36: Hairdressers’ wax dummy No.2

On the opposite side of the gathering to the first wax dummy (No.24), this second dummy takes its place next to Stuart Sutcliffe (No.35)

37: Max Miller

Another vaudeville star, British comic Max Miller picked up the nickname “The Cheeky Chappie.” Known for his colorful dress sense and his risqué humor, Miller was the master of the double entendre. He also appeared in a number of films throughout the 30s.

38: Petty Girl No.1

Designed by George Petty, like the Vargas Girls (No.11), Petty Girls were pin-up paintings that appeared in Esquire, between 1933 and 1956, and also found a home on the front of World War II fighter planes – notably on the B-17 fighter jet nicknamed Memphis Belle.

39: Marlon Brando

In his iconic role of Johnny Strabler in the 1953 movie The Wild One, Marlon Brando captured the growing frustrations of the generation that gave birth rock’n’roll. Hailed as one of the greatest actors of all time, it’s also notable that Brando’s rivals in The Wild One, The Beetles, were almost-namesakes of The Beatles.

40: Tom Mix

As the man who became Hollywood’s first-ever Western icon, Tom Mix starred in a staggering 291 movies between 1909 and 1935.

41: Oscar Wilde

A playwright, novelist, and poet, Oscar Wilde left no shortage of aphorisms for which he is remembered, along with the novel The Picture Of Dorian Gray and plays such as The Importance Of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband.

42: Tyrone Power

A Hollywood heartthrob of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, Tyrone Power was known for starring as the titular hero in the swashbuckling adventure film The Mark Of Zorro, though he also played the role of outlaw cowboy Jesse James, and starred in musicals, romantic comedies, and war movies.

43: Larry Bell

An American artist known for large sculptures that play with light and space, Larry Bell first made his mark with a series of “shadowboxes” constructed in the 60s, and has since gone on to receive acclaim for his wide-ranging work, including the Vapor Drawings of the 80s and a subsequent range of Mirage Drawings.

44: Dr. David Livingstone

It’s probably fair to say that Dr. Livingstone was to geographic exploration what The Beatles were to sonic innovation: fearless, ever questing, and mapping out new territories for the world. The famous “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” saying remains in common use today, and can be traced back to a meeting between Livingstone and explorer Henry Morton Stanley, who’d been sent on an expedition to find the former, who had been missing for six years. Livingstone was discovered in the town of Ujiji, in what is now known as Tanzania.

45: Johnny Weissmuller

An Olympic gold-medallist of the 20s, Johnny Weissmuller first made a name for himself as a swimmer before turning his eye to Hollywood. It was as Tarzan that he made his biggest mark on popular culture, returning to the role in a series of films and devising an iconic yell forever associated with the jungle hero.

46: Stephen Crane

Barely visible tucked in between the head and raised arm of Issy Bonn (No.47), Stephen Crane was a Realist novelist who, though dying aged 28, in 1900, is regarded as one of the most forward-thinking writers of his generation. His work incorporated everyday speech, which gave his characters an added realism, and his novels took an unflinching look at poverty.

47: Issy Bonn

A contemporary of Max Miller (No.37), Issy Bonn was a British-Jewish vaudeville star who also found fame on BBC Radio.

48: George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright who helped shape modern theatre. The first person to receive both a Nobel Prize (in 1925, for Literature) and an Oscar (in 1939, for Best Adapted Screenplay, for Pygmalion). His works continue to be staged in the 21st Century.

49: HC Westermann

An American sculptor who served in the US Marine Corps in both World War II and the Korean War, HC Westermann took the skills he learned as a carpenter and turned them to creating Expressionist sculptures that criticized the horrors he had witnessed while fighting overseas.

50: Albert Stubbins

Like Tommy Handley, Albert Stubbins (No.24) was a local Liverpool hero. Born in Wallsend, he became center-forward for Liverpool FC in 1946, where he helped the team win the League Championship the following year.

51: Sri Lahiri Mahasaya

A disciple of Sri Mahavatara Babaji (No.27), Sri Lahiri Mahasaya learned the discipline of Kriya Yoga in 1861, and subsequently passed the teachings down to Sri Yukteswar Giri (No.1), who in turn, passed them on to Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (No.33), of whom Mahasaya said, “As a spiritual engine, he will carry many souls to God’s Kingdom.”

52: Lewis Carroll

Speaking to the BBC in 1965, John Lennon (No.62) declared his love for Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass, revealing, “I usually read those two about once a year, because I still like them.” It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the man who wrote the poem “The Walrus And The Carpenter,” which influenced Lennon’s lyrics for “I Am The Walrus,” is given a prominent display on the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover.

53: TE Lawrence

Immortalized in the 1962 film Lawrence Of Arabia, in which he was played by Peter O’Toole, TE Lawrence was a British archaeologist and military officer who became a liaison to the Arab forces during the Arab Revolt of 1916 to 1918. His 1922 book, Seven Pillars Of Wisdom, recounted his experiences during the war and laid the foundations for much of his legend.

54: Sonny Liston

The Beatles were famously photographed with boxing legend Cassius Clay in February 1964, in Miami, Florida. But it’s a wax model of boxer Sonny Liston, the man that Clay defeated later that month in order to become the heavyweight champion, who appears on the Sgt. Pepper cover. Liston had held the heavyweight title for two years, from 1962 to ’64, before losing it to Clay, who subsequently changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

55: Petty Girl No.2

Like its counterpart (No.38), this Petty Girl was one of a series of paintings by George Petty.

56, 57, 59 and 60: wax models of The Beatles

In a perfectly postmodern touch, The Beatles included wax models of their former Beatlemania-era selves looking on at their modern incarnation in full military psychedelic regalia. The models of John (No.57), Paul (No.60), George (No.56), and Ringo (No.59) were borrowed from Madame Tussauds for the Sgt. Pepper’s photoshoot.

58, 71, and 73: Shirley Temple

The very definition of a “triple threat,” Shirley Temple was an actress, singer, and dancer who became a child star in the 30s. She also appears on the Sgt. Pepper album cover three times over, her hair poking out from between the wax figures of John Lennon (No.62) and Ringo Starr (No.63), and also standing in front of the model of Diana Dors (No.70). There’s also a cloth figure of the star off to the far right, wearing a jumper emblazoned with the slogan “Welcome The Rolling Stones.”

61: Albert Einstein

Barely visible above John Lennon’s right shoulder (No.62), Albert Einstein was a physicist whose theory of relativity was light years ahead of its time and changed the world forever.

62, 63, 64 and 65: The Beatles

Resplendent in their military chic (or should that be military psych?) garb, John (No.62), Ringo (No.63), Paul (No.64), and George (No.65) presented themselves as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, looking like a psychedelic brass band brandishing a French horn, trumpet, cor anglais, and flute, respectively. Like the album cover itself, The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper costumes would become some of the most iconic band outfits ever, instantly recognizable and forever woven into the fabric of our culture.

66: Bobby Breen

Like Shirley Temple (Nos.58, 71, and 73), Bobby Breen was a child star of the 30s. After enlisting in the military and entertaining the troops during World War II he became a nightclub singer, and, in 1964, even made some recordings for Berry Gordy’s Motown label.

67: Marlene Dietrich

Just as The Beatles did, Marlene Dietrich had continually reinvented herself, moving from silent movies filmed in 20s Berlin to high-profile Hollywood films of the 30s, before taking to the stage as a live performer later in her career. In November 1963 she appeared at the same Royal Variety Performance as The Beatles and was famously photographed with them.

68: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Famed for his non-violent protests and for leading the movement for Indian independence from British rule, Mahatma Gandhi was ultimately removed from the Sgt. Pepper album cover due to concerns that the use of his image would cause offense to the people of India.

69: Legionnaire from The Royal Antediluvian Order Of Buffaloes

Founded in London 1822, the Royal Antediluvian Order Of Buffaloes continues its work to this day, with outposts in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Africa, South Africa, India, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Its motto is “No man is at all times wise” and the organization continues to look after its own members, dependents of deceased members, and charities.

70: Diana Dors

Hailed as the British answer to Marilyn Monroe (No.25), Diana Dors starred mostly in risqué sex comedies, but later branched out into singing, notably with the Swinging Dors album of 1960. Her career found a new lease of life the following decade, both as a cabaret star and a tabloid sensation.

72: Cloth grandmother figure

Created by Jann Haworth, then-wife of Peter Blake, and co-creator of the Sgt Pepper album cover, this cloth grandmother doll was one of a number of stuffed artworks she made from textiles.

74: Mexican Tree Of Life candlestick

Traditionally, Mexican Tree Of Life sculptures came from Metepec, in the State Of Mexico, and depicted scenes from The Bible. The one on the Sgt. Pepper album cover is also a candlestick.

75: Television set

If the Tree Of Life candlestick (No.74) represented a more traditional way of telling a story, the portable TV9-306YB Sony television set was a wholly modern storytelling apparatus in 1967.

76, 77, and 78: stone figures

Along with the stone figure (No.77) that can be seen below the feet of the Shirley Temple doll (No.73), the stone figure of a girl (No.76) was one of a number of statues that John Lennon (No.62) and George Harrison (No.65) brought from their homes for inclusion on the cover. The most prominent of these is the bust positioned to the right of the bass drum (No.78), which came from Lennon’s house Kenwood, in Weybridge, Surrey, where he lived from 1964 to 1969.

79: Trophy

It’s said that the trophy nestling in the crook of the “L” of “BEATLES” was a swimming trophy awarded to John Lennon (No.62) when he was a child.

80: Lakshmi doll

Positioned front and center on the album cover is a doll of Lakshmi, the Indian goddess of wealth, fortune, and prosperity.

81: Sgt. Pepper drum skin

The famous Sgt Pepper drum skin shows one of two designs by Joe Ephgrave, a fairground artist. His second design used more modern lettering and was attached to the other side of the bass drum, giving the group two options during the photoshoot.

82: Hookah

Originating from India, the hookah is a tobacco-smoking instrument designed so that the smoke is filtered through a water basin before being inhaled. Its inclusion on the Sgt Pepper album cover is a nod to both George Harrison’s (No.65) love of India and John Lennon’s (No.62) love of Lewis Carroll (No.52), whose Caterpillar in Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland smokes a hookah.

83: Velvet snake

Placed beneath Sonny Liston (No.54) is a purple velvet snake most likely to have been one of Jann Haworth’s cloth designs.

84: Fukusuke statue

Identifiable by its oversized head and ears, the Fukusuke doll originates from Japan and is said to bring good luck.

85: Stone figure of Snow White

Just in front of the Fukusuke doll (No.84) is a statue of Snow White, from Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

86: Garden gnome

Barely visible to the left of the “B” in “BEATLES” is a typical garden gnome, the likes of which originated in 19th-century Germany.

87: Tuba

Like the French horn, trumpet, cor anglais, and flute held by each of the individual Beatles (Nos.62, 63, 64, and 65), the tuba is a mainstay of brass band instrumentation.

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band can be bought here.

- Martin Chilton
The Influence Of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’
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In terms of experimentation, it may not be too far-fetched to say that much of popular music in the half-century after 1967 has come under the influence of The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The group’s unique adventure in sound, songwriting, studio technology, and even cover art had an immediate impact when the album, which went on to become the biggest-selling UK record of all time, was launched on May 26, 1967.

Listen to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band now.

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Within three days of its release, The Jimi Hendrix Experience opened a show at the Saville Theatre in London with a rendition of the title track. Paul McCartney and George Harrison were in the audience and must have known they had created something special.

Within five months, Jefferson Airplane released the experimental Sgt. Pepper-influenced After Bathing at Baxter’s, which was substantially different to Surrealistic Pillow, a record they had released earlier that year. The Moody Blues were also quick off the mark in adapting to a new musical landscape. Released in November 1967, their Days Of Future Passed album utilized the London Festival Orchestra to help create a psychedelic rock/classical sound that owes much to The Beatles.

In December, The Rolling Stones released Their Satanic Majesties Request. The album was branded a cynical psychedelic response to Sgt. Pepper, and even Keith Richards admitted: “It ended up as a bit of flim-flam. It was time for another Stones album, and Sgt. Pepper was coming out, so we thought basically we were doing a put-on.”

Other albums shaped by The Beatles came thick and fast, including 1968’s SF Sorrow by British rock group The Pretty Things. A year later, King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King paid direct homage. Guitarist and producer Robert Fripp said he was inspired to make the groundbreaking prog rock album after listening to John Lennon and the rest of The Beatles on Radio Luxembourg. “After hearing Sgt. Pepper, my life was never the same again,” said Fripp.

Sgt. Pepper’s influence

The Beatles had brought the values of the counterculture into the mainstream. By breaking traditional rules about what a “rock album” should be, Sgt. Pepper gave other musicians new ideas and new attitudes to the approach of music.

The production of the record also set new standards in expertise and innovation. Whereas The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me, had been recorded in about 10 hours in a single day, an estimated 700 hours of work (according to producer Geoff Emerick) went into recording Sgt. Pepper between November 1966 and April 1967.

The idea that you would carry on recording until a record was finished (instead of hiring a studio for a few days) was a revolutionary concept and helped, said producer George Martin, to re-define “the studio as an instrument.” No wonder production costs at Abbey Road Studios reached a record-breaking £25,000.

The use of multi-tracking was also groundbreaking, as Martin helped blend Western music with Indian music, jazz with psychedelic rock and pop (throwing in some Victorian music hall for good measure), into a dizzying collage of voice and instrumentation. McCartney says one reason Sgt. Pepper made “the big difference” in music culture was that previously “people played it a bit safe in popular music and we realized that you didn’t have to.”

Inspiring concept albums and rock operas

Sgt. Pepper is sometimes hailed as the first concept album. Even if that’s not necessarily accurate (drummer Ringo Starr freely admitted that there was no consistent theme to the record, and two superb songs from the very early sessions, “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane,” were issued separately as singles), people believed it was a “concept” album and the term became part of music folklore.

Genesis, Yes, Rush, and Jethro Tull were among the bands influenced by The Beatles, and their seminal album also played a part in inspiring the so-called “rock opera” craze. The Who’s stunningly successful double-album Tommy (1969), and Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) are both branches on the Sgt. Pepper tree.

It was not only in rock circles that The Beatles triggered change. When singer Carla Bley heard the album she “decided to match it” and spent the next four years creating the 1971 triple-album Escalator Over the Hill, an avant-garde jazz LP featuring Linda Ronstadt.

Sgt. Pepper also popularized the idea of the musical alter ego. The idea that you could step outside everyday life and take on different personae on stage and on record was “liberating” said McCartney, and part of a journey that would go on to include David Bowie and the glam rock of KISS, among many others.

Sgt. Pepper parodies

Some of the albums it inspired were altogether less serious. We’re Only In It For The Money, released by Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention in 1968, on Verve Records, parodied the Sgt. Pepper album cover and satirized the political stance and supposedly phony “hippie” values they thought were at the heart of the late 60s counterculture. Sgt. Pepper has also been parodied by The Rutles, with Sgt. Rutler’s Only Darts Club Band, and even children’s TV show Sesame Street recorded a song called “With A Little Yelp From My Friends.”

Groundbreaking artwork

But it wasn’t only The Beatles’ music that blazed new trails. The dazzling visual on the front helped confirm the album cover as a work of modern art, and was the first rock album to incorporate complete song lyrics as part of the album’s packaging.

Michael Cooper’s photograph of the band dressed in satin marching-band outfits showed them in front of artist Peter Blake and his then-wife Jann Haworth’s cardboard college of historical figures such as Mae West, Oscar Wilde, Laurel And Hardy, and WC Fields. It is one of the most enduring images of the whole 60s psychedelic era, and has been affectionately imitated hundreds of times, including by The Simpsons. In 2016, British artist Chris Barker did a modern makeover with a cast of much-missed stars who died that year, including Leonard Cohen, Prince, and footballer Johan Cruyff.

Sgt. Pepper song covers

As well as entire albums, Sgt. Pepper inspired countless one-off covers, including notable versions of “Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds” (Elton John); “With A Little Help From My Friends” (Joe Cocker), and other good covers by Harry Nilsson, Fats Domino, Bryan Ferry, Jeff Beck, Sonic Youth, Al Jarreau, Billy Bragg, and even Billy Connolly.

The process of paying tribute to a 20th-century music masterpiece has continued beyond the 1995 effort by Smashing Pumpkins and into the new century. Kaiser Chiefs recorded a version of “Getting Better” for a 2007 tribute album pulled together by Geoff Emerick, the engineer in charge of the 1967 sessions; he used the original equipment to record the new versions of Sgt. Pepper on an album that also features Bryan Adams.

American band Cheap Trick put out a live version in 2009 that featured a full orchestra, and in 2011 American guitarist Andy Timms made an all-instrumental cover album, echoing something Booker T & The MG’s did for another Beatles album, Abbey Road, back in 1970.

Sgt. Pepper’s legacy

Perhaps the best summary of why Sgt. Pepper was so influential comes from Roger Waters, who explained why it played a big part in forging Pink Floyd’s 1973 masterpiece The Dark Side Of The Moon. “I learned from Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison that it was OK for us to write about our lives and express what we felt… More than any other record it gave me and my generation permission to branch out and do whatever we wanted.”

The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band reissue can be purchased here.

- Richard Havers
Miles Davis Quotes: The Jazz Icon In His Own Words
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Standing tall among the greatest jazz trumpeters in history, Miles Davis was never afraid to speak his mind. The best Miles Davis quotes offer astute observations on music – his own, and that of the wider jazz world. He could be controversial and challenging, but was, above all, engaging and inspiring.

These Miles Davis quotes offer invaluable insights into the life and art of The Dark Magus.

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“The thing to judge in any jazz artist is, does the man project and does he have ideas.”

2

“A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I’m still doing it.”

3

“I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later.”

4

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”

5

“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”

6

“It’s not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.”

7

“Anybody can play. The note is only 20%. The attitude of the mother****er who plays it is 80 percent.”

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“If you sacrifice your art because of some woman, or some man, or for some color, or for some wealth, you can’t be trusted.”

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“I always listen to what I can leave out.”

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“For me, music and life are all about style.”

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“If you don’t know what to play, play nothing.”

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“If you got up on the bandstand at Minton’s and couldn’t play, you were not only going to be embarrassed by the people ignoring you or booing you, you might get your ass kicked.”

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“Jazz is the big brother of Revolution. Revolution follows it around.”

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“I don’t care if a dude is purple with green breath as long as he can swing.”

15

“You know why I quit playing ballads? Cause I love playing ballads.”

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“Always look ahead, but never look back.”

17

“I don’t like to hear someone put down Dixieland. Those people who say there’s no music but bop are just stupid; it shows how much they don’t know.”

18

“At least one day out of the year all musicians should just put their instruments down, and give thanks to Duke Ellington.”

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“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”

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“If you understood everything I say, you’d be me!”

Explore our dedicated Miles Davis Artist Page.

- Laura Stavropoulos
10 Things That Made ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Possible
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Sgt. Pepper occupies a unique space in The Beatles’ catalogue and people’s collective memory. No matter your musical inclinations, there’s no denying the album’s towering influence both on music and the culture at large. History can be divided as pre-Pepper and post-Pepper.

For those who weren’t there to experience it first-hand during its release, Sgt. Pepper is reduced to the familiar. What was once considered wildy experimental and profoundly new is categorized as “classic rock.” And yet, Sgt. Pepper is what made rock a “respectable” form of art and its repercussions can be heard in the decades that followed. Sgt. Pepper could have only been birthed in 1967, and to understand why, one must recognize the important symbiotic relationship between culture and music. As we celebrate the anniversary of its release, here are just a few of the circumstances that led to The Beatles’ most lauded achievement.

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Listen to Sgt. Pepper now.

1: The 60s Counterculture

The spirit of the counterculture was already afoot long before Sgt. Pepper came into the picture. Dylan had delivered his epic double-album Blonde On Blonde, while Brian Wilson was cooking up Pet Sounds with The Beach Boys.

Seemingly every artist was creatively firing on all engines and the tremendous pace of releases was remarkable in just the span of a year. Both stateside and in the UK, there seemed to be an open cultural exchange, as artists would inspire one another and, in turn, create something entirely new. As John Lennon pointed out, The Beatles didn’t create the counterculture, but they were certainly its most visible symbol. “That bit about we changed everybody’s hairstyles? But something influenced us… whatever’s in the air,” said Lennon. “We were part of whatever the 60s was.

It was happening itself. We were the ones chosen to represent what was going on in the street.” While Sgt. Pepper may not have captured the anti-establishment nature of 60s culture, it certainly defined its openness, both in terms of music, visual art, and lyrical imagery. From the vaudevillian “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!” to the spoken word on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and a full orchestra on “A Day In The Life,” they blurred the line between avant-garde art and pop music.

2. California Psychedelic Band Names

Enamored by what was happening in the West Coast scene, specifically San Francisco, Paul McCartney had noticed that the latest wave of band names were getting progressively longer and more imaginative. No longer was it The Beatles, The Byrds, or The Kinks, it was suddenly Lothar And The Hand People, Big Brother And The Holding Company, or Lennon’s suggestion, “Fred And His Incredible Shrinking Grateful Airplanes.” As the band bandied about parody aliases, it also gave birth to the idea of leaving the “The Beatles” behind and carving out a new identity for themselves.

3: Adoption Of Alter Egos

By this point, the Beatles had reached stratospheric levels of popularity and Beatlemania had overshadowed the band’s actual music. The band wanted to freedom to grow beyond their mop-topped image, and this led to an exploration of alter egos. As McCartney later remembered, “I thought it would be nice to lose our identities, to submerge ourselves in the persona of a fake group,” and thus Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was born. This idea of fluid identity is one that strongly resonated with the youth of the counterculture. No longer did their background have to determine their whole future, one could simply reinvent themselves.

4: The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds

Both George Martin and Paul McCartney have gone on record singing the praises The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and what an influential force it was for Sgt. Pepper. Martin said if Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys had not created their classic album, “Sgt. Pepper never would have happened,” while McCartney said, “The music invention on that album was, like, ‘Wow!’ That was the big thing for me. I just thought, Oh dear me, this is the album of all time. What the hell are we going to do?” While Pet Sounds was in permanent rotation during the recording sessions, it also wouldn’t have ever existed without Brian Wilson being inspired by The Beatles’ Rubber Soul. And so the cycle continued.

5: Frank Zappa And The Mothers of Invention’s Freak Out!

If Brian Wilson helped steer the pop side of things, Frank Zappa would push The Beatles to become more experimental. Frank Zappa’s And The Mothers of Invention’s 1966 debut album, Freak Out!, was also the first of its kind, incorporating neoclassical orchestration with improvisational jazz and countercultural politics, and aiming to turn the LP format into a conceptual statement. Both Pet Sounds and Freak Out! had proven that rock could be a studio producer’s medium as well as performance art. If Freak Out! was the manifesto for the freak culture in LA, then Sgt. Pepper would be the highbrow endorsement of San Francisco’s hippie subculture.

6: Stop Being A Touring Band

Before they decided to adopt an alter ego, The Beatles decided they were done with touring altogether. Forget inconvenience, touring had become physically dangerous for the band, both due to zealous fans and some not-so favorable audiences who didn’t take kindly to John Lennon’s seemingly blasphemous comments on Christianity. Their performance at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, on August 29, 1966, would be the last concert they would ever play, bar a famous Apple rooftop performance in 1969.

Each member escaped in his own way, and when they reconvened in November 1966, they decided to make the shift from working band to a more conceptual “idea.” If their songs didn’t require vocal and instrumental parts to be democratically divvied up among them, then the group were free to play to each other’s strengths and tinker in the studio until they could achieve something close to perfection. Ringo summed up the band’s thinking in the Anthology book, saying, “After deciding not to tour I don’t think we cared a damn. We’d been having more fun in the studio, as you can hear from Revolver and Rubber Soul. Instead of being pulled out of the studio to go on the road, we could now spend time there and relax.”

7: Studio Experimentation And George Martin

During their sessions at Abbey Road, The Beatles were closing the Beatlemania chapter of their career and beginning a new chapter: the “studio years.” For years, most of rock and pop music was written in a way that it could be performed live. As for the recording process, the rule of thumb was to recreate and capture a “live performance” on record as well. But Martin and the boys wanted to flip that conceit on its head. As Martin said, “We were putting something down on tape that could only be done on tape.” He was more than just a producer; he was the architect of The Beatles’ sound and exposed the group to the more avant-garde type recordings and ideas that expanded their field of vision.

8: Technical Limitations

It’s remarkable how much Martin and the band were able to accomplish using the studio technology of the times – that’s partly what makes Sgt. Pepper so impressive. Like all great ideas, with adversity comes ingenuity. While multi-track recording was industry standard by 1967, eight-track tape recorders were more commonplace in the US and were not widely available in the UK until late 1967. Much of the album’s psychedelic sound effects were created through inventive splicing and attaching microphones to nearly every object in the room, as well as repurposing headphones as microphones and other tricks of ingenuity.

9: India

The Beatles, like the rest of the Western world, had become infatuated with Indian musical traditions, spirituality, and culture. Its influence was felt since “Norwegian Wood,” on Rubber Soul, and especially on Revolver, with George Harrison’s “Love You To.” Harrison’s interest in Indian music would blossom into a lifelong passion. Before the Sgt. Pepper sessions began, Harrison flew to Bombay to take sitar lessons from Ravi Shankar, culminating in his Eastern-tinged, “Within You Without You” and the timbral backgrounds of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

10: Ignored Industry Trends

By 1966, The Beatles had already amassed an enormous string of hits, with Revolver selling 1,187,869 copies by December 31, 1966, in the US alone. Their success had put them in the unique position to experiment with new approaches to songwriting and instrumentation. With each record, they had expanded what the acceptable definition of “rock music” was, and their ability to reach fans across all genres allowed them to play with different styles and instruments while retaining mainstream appeal. Without having to answer to the passing whims of popular music, The Beatles could eschew making dance music or radio-friendly singles. Instead, they raised rock to a higher standard, paving the way for the soon-to-emerge progressive rock and art-rock of the future.

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band can be bought here.

- Mark Elliott
‘In The Lonely Hour’: How Sam Smith’s Debut Album Spoke To Millions
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If any vocalist could possibly claim to be the current pretender to Adele’s throne, then Sam Smith is surely the prize candidate. Their debut album, In The Lonely Hour, was released on May 26, 2014, and has transformed the softly spoken British singer-songwriter into a global megastar. Smith first came to our attention on Disclosure’s 2012 single “Latch,” but it was their performance on Naughty Boy’s “La La La,” which powered the song to the top of the UK charts in May 2013, that became their first signature track. It had followed Smith’s first solo single, “Lay Me Down,” but that effort failed to break the all-important UK Top 40 – even though, over time, it has become better appreciated as a highlight of Smith’s 10-track debut album.

Listen to In The Lonely Hour now.

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In The Lonely Hour was the second best-selling British album in 2014 and ended up the third best-selling album in the US after its third single, “Stay With Me,” topped the UK charts and made it all the way to No.2 stateside. The secret to Smith’s success was not dissimilar to Adele’s: strong songs powered by an incredible voice drenched in the personality of the performer. While second single, “Money On My Mind,” had been built around a distinctive dance hook, Sam’s fragile machismo was played up to the hilt for the album’s true breakthrough hit. A tender ballad, “Stay With Me” became their best-performing international song and was, significantly, the first to be picked up by influential adult contemporary radio stations in the States.

The vulnerability that Smith chose to showcase resonated with a public who seized on their confirmation that the record had been in part shaped by a broken heart. In a welcome sign of the times, Smith’s sexuality didn’t define the project, and the songs’ rallying themes of love and loss crossed genres and generations. Nominated at the 2014 MOBO Awards for Best Album, Smith won that category and added three others that evening. The Grammys followed suit, and six nominations led to four awards, including Song Of The Year, once again for “Stay With Me.” Brits glory inevitably followed in February 2015, a few weeks after the album shifted its millionth copy in the UK.

A later reissue of In The Lonely Hour – titled the Drowning Shadows Edition – added 13 tracks, including duets with John Legend, A$AP Rocky, and one of Smith’s heroes, Mary J Blige. R&B divas have truly shaped Sam’s musical direction. Smith is not afraid to tackle tracks associated with powerful performances from women. Their cut of the Amy Winehouse classic “Love Is A Losing Game” is another standout on the reissued release, along with a slowed-down version of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know.”

Smith opened up their heart on a very special record, revealing an emotional honesty that has gone on to mark their career.

In The Lonely Hour can be bought here.

- uDiscover Team
How ‘The Eminem Show’ Cemented Eminem’s Rap Legacy
Eminem Show

It seems like just yesterday Eminem was scandalizing suburban America with his special brand of biting lyricism and perverse humor, but even hip-hop grows up one day. It’s been many years since Eminem released his record-breaking album, The Eminem Show on May 26, 2002, and it’s now become part of the hip-hop canon.

After dropping back-to-back releases of The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP in 1999 and 2000, respectively, Eminem was on top of his game and had proved that he wasn’t just a novelty act, but an artist with real storytelling skills.

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Listen to The Eminem Show now.

The hype bar had been raised to say the least, and just 25 days prior to The Eminem Show‘s intended release date of June 4, the album had been leaked. To minimize the collateral damage, Interscope decided to release the album early and The Eminem Show instantly sold 284,000 in its first 24 hours. It immediately shot to No 1 on the Billboard 200 and became the best-selling album of 2002. It appeared everyone wanted tickets to The Eminem Show.

With his previous albums, Eminem had introduced the world to his amplified alter ego Slim Shady, but also managed to sneak in personal details, all while maintaining an unassailable shield of masculine bravado.

On The Eminem Show, it’s all about Marshall Mathers, whether he’s exorcising his family demons on “Cleaning Out My Closet” speaking on fame in “Without Me” or reflecting on being a father on “Hailie’s Song,” he’s one of the few rappers wholly capable of conveying regret, anger or even despair. “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” would become one of the unexpected hits of Marshall’s career, achieving the chart status that equally introspective songs “The Way I Am” and “Stan” only came close to.

Given the more mature and personal tone of the album, The Eminem Show also had Shady taking on a more active role in production. Even most fans assume that Dr. Dre was responsible for the Eminem sound, but in fact, Shady produced 90 percent on the album, with Dre acting as the album’s executive producer and helping with three of the record’s B-sides including “Business,” “Say What You Say” and “My Dad’s Gone Crazy.”

Despite his self-serious image and dark lyrical themes, Eminem has always been the merry prankster of hip-hop and is able to get away with things most other rappers can’t. From his rapid-fire ad-libs on “Superman” to his superhero-themed music video for “Without Me,” he subverts hip-hop stereotypes and plays off his “white rapper” image.

He’s also refreshingly self-aware, as he takes shots at his own privilege on tracks like “White America” when he raps “Look at these eyes, baby blue, baby just like yourself. If they were brown, Shady’d lose, Shady sits on the shelf. But Shady’s cute, Shady knew Shady’s dimples would help.”

Eminem also mixes things up stylistically on the album, fusing guitar-driven melodies with rap rhythms on tracks like “Sing For The Moment,” where he heavily samples Aerosmith‘s “Dream On” and the stomp-stomp-clap from Queen’s “We Will Rock You” on “Til I Collapse,” striking crossover appeal to rock fans. The album would go on to win two Grammy awards and land on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The Eminem Show stands the test of time as an example of Eminem’s unparalleled flow and provocative lyricism. It may not shock the censors today, but to an entire generation, they still spit out each word in defiance.

The Eminem Show can be bought here.

- Richard Havers
How The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Changed The Face Of Music
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These days, game-changers are everywhere, in every facet of our society, yet there was a time when people really had no idea what they were. In 1967 along came Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the eighth studio album by The Beatles… it was the musical game-changer. Prior to the album’s release, on May 26, 1967, long-playing records were firmly under the control of record labels, who thought they knew best as to what the fans wanted, and when they wanted it.

Listen to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band now.

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The making of The Beatles’ eighth studio album had begun a little over six months earlier, on November 20, 1966, when they began work on two songs in Abbey Road Studio Two which they felt were perfect for their next LP. The songs were “Strawberry Fields Forever,” written by John Lennon and inspired by a place in Liverpool, and by way of juxtaposition, Paul McCartney‘s composition which also referred to a real location close to his childhood home – Penny Lane.

Work continued on “Strawberry Fields Forever” during December, as well as recording sessions for “When I’m Sixty-Four” which was also to be included on the new album. Recording for “Penny Lane” began two days before New Year’s Eve and was completed nearly three weeks later. The Beatles’ previous single, “Yellow Submarine”/“Eleanor Rigby,” had been released in early August 1966, and so EMI were anxious for another. “Penny Lane”/“Strawberry Fields” came out on February 17, 1967 after a 196-day wait – the longest time between single releases since the start of their career.

Recording continued on the new album in January, with the first of many sessions for “A Day In The Life,” and then on February 1, they began work on one of Paul’s songs, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The new LP had a name and a loose concept, in so far as the band pretended they were giving a show as a fictitious band.

By the time their new single was released, they were underway with “Good Morning Good Morning,” “Fixing a Hole,” “Only A Northern Song” (a George Harrison song that he had originally put forward for inclusion on the album), and “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite.” In the midst of all this recording, The Beatles also filmed their groundbreaking videos for both “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Over the next two months work continued on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remaining songs – “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” “Getting Better,” “She’s Leaving Home,” “Within You Without You,” and “Lovely Rita” – and the album was completed on April 21. In all, The Beatles, George Martin, and engineer Geoff Emerick spent 700 hours on the making of the record.

Of course, time expended does not guarantee either creativity or a brilliant result, but every second was worth it. And don’t just take our word for it: Professor Kevin J. Dettmar, writing in the Oxford Encyclopedia Of British Literature, says Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is “the most important and influential rock and roll album ever recorded.” We all know that polls don’t matter, but Rolling Stone magazine has often ranked it No.1 in its lists of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

And yet it could all have been so very different. In the early spring of 1967, the UK press was full of reports with headlines such as “Has the Bubble Burst?” or “Beatles Fail To Reach The Top,” all because “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” had stalled at No.2 in the UK singles chart. At manager Brian Epstein’s insistence, neither track was included on the LP, a decision that George Martin later described as “the biggest mistake of my professional life.”

But what makes the album a game-changer? The unprecedented time spent in the studio helped to make it so, as do the recording techniques developed by the Abbey Road technicians to give the Beatles more than just the basic four-track equipment that had been used previously. Add to this “flanging,” the use of vari-speed, the way the record was not mastered with the customary gaps between tracks, and the use of crossfades on a couple of tracks. And then there’s Peter Blake’s artwork that is so redolent of the time, not forgetting the fact that a lyric sheet was included with the gatefold sleeve. And, of course, great songs, brilliantly performed.

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was the first Beatles album to be issued simultaneously worldwide, and the first where the tracklistings were exactly the same for both the UK and US versions. It debuted in the UK at No.1 – where it stayed for 22 consecutive weeks and became the soundtrack to The Summer Of Love. Naturally, it was also No.1 in America, as it was in many countries around the world. More importantly, though, rock and pop has never quite been the same again…

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band can be bought here.

- Paul Sexton
UK Singles Chart’s 70th Anniversary To Be Marked With Pop Festival, Other Events
Artwork: Official Charts Company

The 70th anniversary of the UK singles chart later this year is to be marked with a range of activities and collaborations, the first of which has been announced by the Official Charts Company.

The first-ever official UK singles chart was published by New Musical Express on November 14, 1952, famously topped by American crooner Al Martino’s “Here In My Heart.” Across 70 years, it has continued to document the changing trends of popular taste and music consumption, and will be suitably celebrated with the upcoming events.

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On June 4, for the Platinum Jubilee weekend, Official Charts will join forces with rising pop festival Mighty Hoopla for the first-ever festival experience for the chart brand. Mighty Hoopla was launched in 2016 and will now expand into a two-day, 50,000 capacity event in London’s Brockwell Park. It will feature pop stars, drag artists, comedians, and DJs over seven stages, and on June 4, the chart brand will team with Push The Button DJs and The Grand’s Dream Team on the Grand’s Pleasure Palace stage for Official Charts presents…POP INJUSTICE: 70 years of iconic Number 2s.

The feelgood show will present a decade-hopping playlist of songs that never quite made the top spot in the Official Singles Chart, with the addition of “nerdy” pop facts. The partnership will be supported with pre-event editorial, competitions and social media activity across OfficialCharts.com as well as Official Charts and Mighty Hoopla social channels.

Agreements are also being finalised for a range of other anniversary projects to be announced over the coming weeks and months, including brand new charts and other services targeting music fans. As part of the celebrations, the UK’s 1400th No.1 single will be unveiled over the summer.

‘Celebrating a huge range of music’

“Over the past seven decades, the Official Singles Chart has chronicled the story of the UK’s favorite music in the UK, week in, week out, celebrating a huge range of music,” says Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot. “So it is appropriate that we should mark the 70th anniversary with such a huge range of different activities.

“To kick off the celebrations, we are delighted to be working closely with the Mighty Hoopla – it is one of the many touchstones which will form part of this very special birthday, details of which we will begin teasing out over the coming weeks. We can’t wait to begin sharing these events with the nation’s music fans – all in honor of the iconic weekly music event that is the Official Singles Chart.”

Adds Mighty Hoopla Festival founder Jamie Tagg: “As a festival that celebrates all things pop, we are thrilled to be working with the Official Charts and to be part of their 70th anniversary year is a real honor for us.”

- Tim Peacock
Rammstein Share Surreal Video For New Single, ‘Dicke Titten’
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German industrial metallers Rammstein have released the official music video for their new single, “Dicke Titten”. The track is taken from the band’s latest album, Zeit, which was released through Spinefarm Records on April 29.

The surreal “Dicke Titten” video features adorable puppies, wood chopping and hunting, Till Lindemann wearing a majestic old man disguise, and plenty of scenes showing the band decked out in the traditional German garment Lederhosen (a look they’ve been known to sport in the past). You can check it out below and draw your own conclusions.

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Till Lindemann (vocals),Paul Landers (guitar),Richard Z. Kruspe (guitar),Flake (keyboards),Oliver Riedel (bass) and Christoph Schneider (drums) spent two years working on the eleven songs on the new album. They were once again assisted by Berlin producer Olsen Involtini. Zeit was recorded at La Fabrique Studios in St. Rémy de Provence, France.

Bryan Adams managed to get a special scoop for the cover of the new album. The Canadian musician and photographer took the shot of Rammstein on the steps of the Trudelturm in Berlin Adlershof, an imposing monument to aerial research in the city’s Aerodynamic Park.

Over the course of a career spanning almost 30 years, Rammstein have sold more than 20 million albums around the world and played countless spectacular, groundbreaking tours. When the band’s sold-out stadium tour had to be postponed due to the pandemic, Rammstein used the time to work on their new album.

The band’s fans can enjoy multiple Zeit formats. The new album was released as a standard CD in a digipack with a 20-page booklet, a special edition CD in a 6-panel digipack with a 56-page booklet including slipcase, and as a double 180g vinyl LP with a 20-page large-format booklet, as well as in the usual digital formats.

Rammstein kicked off the European leg of the band’s 2022 tour on May 15 in Prague, Czech Republic. A North American stadium run will begin on August 21 in Montreal and end on October 4 in Mexico City.

Buy or stream Zeit.

- Tim Peacock
Brian May Talks ‘China Belle’ In Part 3 Of ‘Another World’ YouTube Interview
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Filmed in Tenerife, an exclusive new interview features Brian May discussing the second release in his Gold series, Another World. Here, the Queen guitarist reveals how pursuing his passion for astronomy in China resulted in the magical album track, “China Belle”.

“It’s about a fictitious character, a lady called China Belle, who’s big trouble. And it just amused me”, Brian reveals in the interview, which you can watch in full below.

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“’China Belle” happened because I went on an eclipse trip. With me it’s nice that astronomy and music always mix, so I went on this wonderful trip to China to see a total eclipse of the Sun. And those, again it’s a long time ago, and it was like a completely different universe.

“I was wandering around looking at the things in the shops, and it was completely foreign the things that I’d never, ever seen in in the UK”, he furthers. “And we visited a couple of the observatories and whatever, and I became fascinated by how different the world is in different places.

“I love the diversity of the world, the fact that people had their own cultures and their own ways of doing things. And then somewhere, I think I was on a bus cruising around to find the best sites for seeing the eclipse, and I started to hear this song in my head, China Belle. It’s about a fictitious character, a lady called China Belle, who’s big trouble. And it just amused me.

“When I came home, I put it all together. It’s very complex. It kind of surprises me. There’s too many twists and turns, it’s almost impossible to take it all in. But it’s fun, I think. I enjoy looking back on that and thinking about all the strange ideas that are in there. Yeah, it’s one of those things which evolved in my head before I actually got into the studio, so it’s quite rich in little ideas.”

Buy or stream Another World.

- Paul Sexton
‘Smoke On The Water’: Deep Purple’s Fire In The Sky
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Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water” has become one of the quintessential anthems of hard rock. The true story of its inspiration from the fire that destroyed the Montreux Casino, while the band were recording in the city, is an almost compulsory part of every young rock fan’s education. But that legend sometimes overshadows the song’s unusual chart history.

Written by the entire classic Mark II Purple line-up, the track was unleashed on the band’s Machine Head album, which appeared in March 1972. But it spent more than a year as “just” an LP track in America – and even more remarkably, didn’t become a British single for five years.

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In the UK, “Never Before” was released as the only single from Machine Head, simultaneously with the album. Its selection was no doubt informed by the factian pai that it was the shortest track on the LP, at under four minutes. It reached No.35, but “Smoke” and other tracks from the record that became Purple landmarks, such as “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin’,” were too long for mainstream, daytime radio.

As tensions grew within the band, contractual requirements demanded the recording of another album. That became the acrimonious Who Do We Think We Are, released in March 1973. Then Purple’s American label, Warner Brothers, took the decision to release a single, not from that record, but featuring edited live and studio versions of “Smoke On The Water.” By the time of that next studio album, the song was also a highlight of the band’s famous live album Made In Japan.

‘An air of gloom’

“The heavy bass line gives an air of gloom in keeping with the illustrative lyrics,” wrote Richard Green of the song in the NME, before singling out Ian Paice for praise. “Listen to some pretty tasty drum work at the end,” he noted.

That single entered the Billboard Hot 100 on May 26, 1973 at No.85, and won the support not just of rock radio, but pop programmers too. Within five weeks, it was in the Top 20, climbing steadily until it landed at No.4 in late July to become Purple’s biggest-ever hit single. It also became a substantial hit in South Africa, Canada, Holland, Germany, and Austria.

Listen to the uRock playlist, featuring everyone from Iggy Pop to the Allman Brothers Band, and from Steppenwolf to Soundgarden.

The UK release of “Smoke On The Water” as a single didn’t happen until March 1977. Then it became the lead song on a three-track 45 also featuring “Child In Time” and “Woman From Tokyo.” In a seven-week run, it climbed to No.21, its place in rock history by then already assured.

Buy or stream “Smoke On The Water” on the Machine Head album.

- Paul Sexton
‘Wind Of Change’: Peter Frampton Heralds A Coming Whirlwind
Peter Frampton 'Wind Of Change' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

Peter Frampton was more than ready for his solo debut. It arrived when his first album in his own name, Wind Of Change, was released in the UK on May 26, 1972. With both pop and rock credentials in his locker from his time with The Herd and then Humble Pie, it was a record that brimmed with confidence, with guitar virtuosity, and with some impressive guest appearances.

Frampton’s work in those bands and as an in-demand guitar player with other artists helped him amass a notable cast list for Wind Of Change. The track “Alright” was especially notable, with piano and organ by Billy Preston, drums by Ringo Starr, and bass by Beatles alumnus Klaus Voorman.

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Also contributing to the album were future Foreigner members Mick Jones and Rick Wills, Frampton’s former Herd bandmate Andy Bown, and Jim Price. The latter was the revered horn player whose resumé already included work with the Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, and Delaney & Bonnie.

Production duties were shared between Peter and an emerging 20-year-old studio man who would himself go on to produce the Stones, Chris Kimsey. Indeed, a slowed-down and spirited cover of “Jumping Jack Flash” was the album’s only non-original, and its first single.

Listen to the uRock playlist, featuring everyone from Iggy Pop to the Allman Brothers Band, and from Steppenwolf to Soundgarden.

The second was the rocking “It’s A Plain Shame,” and both would part of the set list for the 1976 sales phenomenon Frampton Comes Alive!, along with the Wind Of Change title track and “All I Want (Is To Be By Your Side).” The LP itself only reached No.177 in America, but served as an appetiser for the sales feast to follow.

Frampton’s multi-instrumental skills

The admirable musicality of the album, with its light and generally acoustic ambience, was heightened by a multi-instrumental performance from Frampton himself. Still only 21 at the the time of its recording, for all his years of experience, he played not just guitar but keyboards, drums, dulcimer and harmonium.

Buy or stream Wind Of Change.

- Paul Sexton
Sam Fender Among Special Guests For Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park Shows
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Sam Fender has been announced as one of the guest artists at the Rolling Stones’ upcoming American Express presents BST Hyde Park shows. They take place on June 25 and July 3 as part of the storied band’s SIXTY tour.

At the June 25 date, the bill will feature Philadelphia rock force The War On Drugs; the Grammy-nominated, Los Angeles-based Phoebe Bridgers; Manchester multi-instrumentalist JJ Rosa; and Nashville-based country artist Kelly McGrath.

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On July 3, BRIT Award-winning chart-topper Fender takes his place on a bill that also features ARIA-winning Australian export Courtney Barnett and blues guitarist-singer Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Also on the Hyde Park stage that day will be supergroup Dinner Party, comprising Terrace Martin, Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, and 9th Wonder, as well as another Australian act, three-piece Sydney alternative rockers the Flints.

As previously announced, the special guests for their show at Anfield Stadium, home of Liverpool FC, on June 9 will be modern rock linchpins and local heroes Echo & The Bunnymen.

The Stones are now preparing for the first show on the SIXTY tour at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid next Wednesday (June 1). The tour marks the 60th anniversary of the band’s first gig, at London’s Marquee Club, on July 12, 1962, and the show will feature a brand new stage set and production. Fans can expect countless classics from their catalog as well as surprise inclusions, and as on the North American dates when they resumed the No Filter tour last fall, Steve Jordan will again take the drum seat after the death last August of Charlie Watts.

With the Live At The El Mocambo album now on release in multiple formats, June 10 will mark the release of Licked Live in NYC, another multi-format live set filmed at New York’s Madison Square Garden during the Stones’ 40th anniversary Licks tour in 2003.

Buy or stream Live At The El Mocambo.

- uDiscover Team
The Riot At Stravinsky’s ‘Rite Of Spring’ Premiere
Stravinsky Rite Of Spring Premiere - image of dancers

The premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps) is perhaps the most notorious scandal in the history of music. The ballet was first performed by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes at the Theatre du Champs-Élysées in Paris on 29 May 1913 and famously caused a riot. Many people in the audience were so outraged by Stravinsky’s avant-garde score, and Nijinsky’s choreography, that they thought it seemed like the work of a madman.

Listen to our recommended recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps), performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, on Apple Music and Spotify and scroll down to find out what happened during the notorious premiere.

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The riot at Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring premiere

Stravinsky was a young, virtually unknown, composer when Diaghilev recruited him to create works for the Ballets Russes. The Rite of Spring was Stravinsky’s third project for the Ballets Russes after The Firebird (1910) and Petrushka (1911). The idea for the work came to Stravinsky in 1910 when he was composing The Firebird, but he put the project aside for a year to write Petrushka, before immersing himself in The Rite of Spring in the summer of 1911.

Stravinsky’s inspiration was still Russian folk tradition – after various primitive rituals celebrating the advent of spring, a young girl is chosen as a sacrificial victim and dances herself to death. Musically his avant-garde score for The Rite of Spring contradicted every rule. The score contains many novel features for its time including experiments in tonality, metre, rhythm, stress and dissonance, i.e. combinations of notes which don’t make normal harmonic sense. The sounds are often deliberately harsh, right from opening Lithuanian folk melody, and the music is rhythmically complex in a completely unprecedented way. At a deeper level the music negates the very thing that for most people gives it meaning: the expression of human feelings. As Stravinsky put it, “There are simply no regions for soul-searching in The Rite of Spring.”

“I was guided by no system whatever in Le Sacre du Printemps

“I was guided by no system whatever in Le Sacre du Printemps,” wrote Igor Stravinsky in 1961. “I had only my ear to help me; I heard and I wrote what I heard. I am the vessel through which Le Sacre passed.”

Then there was the dance choreographed by Nijinsky which, according to some observers, was what really shocked the audience at The Rite of Spring’s premiere. Stravinsky described the dancers as a row of “knock-kneed and long-braided Lolitas jumping up and down” who jerked rather than danced. Their heavy steps were a world away from traditional elegant ballet. Stravinsky said the audience, “came for Scheherazade or Cleopatra, and they saw Le Sacre du Printemps. They were very shocked. They were very naïve and stupid people.”

Contrary to popular belief it was not just the shock of hearing the music and the choreography that caused the riot at The Rite of Spring’s premiere. At that time a typical Parisian ballet audience consisted of two diverse groups: the wealthy and fashionable set, who would be expecting to see a traditional performance with beautiful music, and a ‘Bohemian’ group who were eager for something new. Conductor Pierre Monteux believed that the trouble began when these two groups, the pro and con factions, began attacking each other, and the orchestra. He recalled, “Everything available was tossed in our direction, but we continued to play on.”

“The work of a madman …sheer cacophony”

By the time the first part of the ballet was over the police had already arrived and around 40 people had been arrested. Through all the disturbances the performance continued without interruption. The unrest receded significantly during Part II and at the end there were several curtain calls. “The work of a madman … sheer cacophony,” wrote the composer Puccini.

In his autobiography Stravinsky writes that the derisive laughter that greeted the first bars of the ‘Introduction’ to The Rite of Spring at the premiere disgusted him, and that he left the auditorium to watch the rest of the performance from the stage wings.

A year later, when the score was performed in Paris as a concert piece for the first time, Stravinsky was carried on the shoulders of his fans in triumph and there were huge ovations. Although designed as a work for the stage commentators broadly agree that The Rite of Spring has had a greater impact in the concert hall.

“The most important piece of music of the 20th century”

The Rite of Spring caused a scandal at its premiere in 1913 but is now widely regarded as one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century, a seminal work of modernism that boldly rejected the ordered harmonies and comfort of traditional composition. Leonard Bernstein described The Rite of Spring as, “The most important piece of music of the 20th century.”

The Rite of Spring changed musical history”

In the following interview Esa-Pekka Salonen, the conductor of our recommended recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps) notes, “The Rite of Spring is a kind of a bible – it is a piece that has influenced me hugely …The Rite of Spring changed musical history.”

Recommended Recording

Our recommended live recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps ) is performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

“I’m not sure …that I’ve ever heard so much of The Rite’s instrumental detail revealed so intricately: the interweaving woodwind of the introduction are exquisitely, indeed eerily sifted …” observed BBC Music Magazine.

“Stravinsky’s shattering Rite has rarely been presented with such a feeling for its orchestral originality, thanks to the magnificent recording,” noted Apple Music.

Our recommended recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps), performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, can be bought here.

Listen-Buy

Listen to the best of Stravinsky on Apple Music and Spotify.

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- Tim Peacock
Black Eyed Peas, Sting To Perform At Atlantis Concert For Earth
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Black Eyed Peas, Sting and Pitbull are among the artists will perform in an ancient volcano crater for the inaugural Atlantis Concert for Earth event in July.

Scheduled to take place in Azores, Portugal on July 22 and 23, the non-profit concert for global conservation will feature headliners the Black Eyed Peas and Pitbull, as well as supporting acts Stone Temple Pilots, Sting (in a virtual performance), Bush, Mod Sun and Girlfriends. The concerts will be hosted by Nicole Scherzinger, who will also put on a special performance.

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The two-day Atlantis Concert For Earth will take place inside the Sete Cidades Massif volcano, which last erupted in 1880. The volcanic complex includes centuries of geomorphological structures that include lava domes, cones, lava flows and maar geomorphology that have marked its history. The crater acts as a natural amphitheater and sits alongside two lakes. Tickets are currently on sale for Azores locals. Find out more information about the upcoming Atlantis Concert For Earth by visiting the event’s official website.

Conceptualized by Atlantis Entertainment CEO and co-founder Nuno Bettencourt – also known as the guitarist for veteran hard rock band Extreme and a producer who has worked with the likes of Rihanna and more – the two-day event will reportedly be a low-emission hybrid event.

In a statement on the event’s official website, Bettencourt said Atlantis Concert for Earth is meant to “showcase the incredible solution-driven work of leading conservationists and organizations from around the world” in an effort to “flip the current narrative of climate and conservation from blame, anger and doom to positivity”.

“It’s time to stop telling everyone how we are all going to die, but instead show them how we’re all going to live,” he added.

Select performances from the concert will be broadcast to the world via Veeps on July 23.

Listen to the best of Black Eyed Peas on Apple Music and Spotify.

- Will Schube
Sky Ferreira Releases New Single ‘Don’t Forget’
Sky Ferreira - Photo: Courtesy of Capitol Records

Critically-acclaimed, multi-dimensional artist Sky Ferreira has made a triumphant return with “Don’t Forget,” her first new single since 2019’s “Downhill Lullaby.”

The new track offers a tantalizing glimpse into her forthcoming album Masochism, which ranked in the top five of Stereogum’s most anticipated albums of 2022. Ferreira produced “Don’t Forget” with longtime collaborator Jorge Elbrecht at Capitol’s historic Studio B in Hollywood, CA.

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Released in March 2019, “Downhill Lullaby” marked Ferreira’s first new original song since 2013. NME said, “The pop outsider’s first release in six years feels like the beginning of an ambitious new era…Ferreira’s return serves as proof that exceptional things can come to those who wait.” Vulture noted, “‘Downhill Lullaby’ shares more in common with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds than Ferreira’s own earliest singles…It’s the voice of a woman who won’t take her suffering alone.”

Pitchfork named “Downhill Lullaby” as one of the best songs of 2019 and praised it as “a five-and-a-half-minute, goth-noir, chamber pop piece–with strings–that could have easily closed an episode of the revived Twin Peaks.”

Ferreira’s 2013 debut album, Night Time, My Time, was included on Best Album of the Year lists in The New York Times, Stereogum, NPR, The New Yorker, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Complex, and more. She has since collaborated with such artists as Charli XCX, Primal Scream, and The Jesus + Mary Chain.

In addition to her music career, Ferreira has won acclaim for her roles in such feature films as Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. She also contributed a cover of The Commodores’ “Easy” to the film’s Nigel Godrich-produced soundtrack. Ferreira acted alongside Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood in The Trust, in the 2016 comedy-drama film Elvis & Nixon, directed by Liza Johnson, in Jonas Åkerlund’s Lords of Chaos, and in the Ridley Scott-produced American Woman, directed by the film legend’s son Jake Scott. She also lit up the small screen in David Lynch’s 2017 Twin Peaks reboot.

Buy or stream “Don’t Forget.”

- Sam Armstrong
Drake And HAIM Hang Out; Canadian Star Calls Them ‘The Beatles’
Drake - Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

In a Wednesday (May 25) Instagram post, Drake shared a photo from his first time meeting the HAIM sisters, and captioned the photo with one of the most complimentary statuses you can offer a band.

“Just met the Beatles,” he wrote under the black and white photograph, which showed him hugging the sisters in a friendly moment.

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Haim also shared the photo on their Instagram account. “We’re the Beatles,” they jokingly responded in their caption.

Outside of being compared to the most famous band of all time, it’s been an exciting time for HAIM, who recently stopped through Drake’s hometown of Toronto during their tour in support of their most recent album, 2020’s Women In Music Pt. III.

The band also debuted a video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson for its new single “Lost Track,” which finds the band joining a 1950s social club.

The song is the group’s first release since it made its movie debut, appearing in Anderson’s Licorice Pizza last year. Alana Haim took on a starring role in the film, playing Alana Kane, while Este and Danielle – and the sisters’ parents – also featured in some scenes.

Anderson previously directed videos for Haim for the tracks “Night So Long,” “Right Now,” and “Little Of Your Love.” For the “Lost Track” video, the musicians enter the world of 50s social clubs, turning into ladies who lunch alongside friends and family of the acclaimed film director.

Meeting you caused a chain reaction/I’d take the smallest crumb/But I’ll never get back what I lost track of,” Danielle sings on the soft chorus of “Lost Track.” In an Instagram post, the trio explained the inspiration for the song, noting they had the last line of the chorus written “for the last year but could never figure out what to do with it.”

“We kept writing it down, not knowing where it should live,” they wrote. “Cut to PTA shooting the director’s cut issue for @wmag with our baby sister on the cover! An opportunity arose to do a quick music component while shooting the story. Paul mentioned having the book “Appointment in Samarra” as a possible direction. So we did some digging around the book and were inspired by the scene where the main character throws a drink in someone’s face at a country club.

Listen to the best of Haim on Apple Music and Spotify.

- Amanda Hatfield
Animal Collective cancel May & June shows after Avey Tare & Deakin get Covid
”Both Dave [Avey Tare] and Josh [Deakin] (each vaccinated and boosted) got very sick and are unable to play shows right now,” Animal Collective write. ”Continuing to tour at this moment would be harmful to their health and could contribute to longer term difficulties.” Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Pure Adult unleash “The Power of Incredible Violence Pt. III” on first single for FatCat (video)
Brooklyn duo Pure Adult (Jeremy Snyder and Bianca Abarca) have been making blown-out, hyperactive, aggressive, and danceable punk for five years, and recently signed to FatCat Continue reading…
- Andrew Sacher
Ian Blurton’s Future Now prep new LP ‘Second Skin’ (watch the “Like A Ghost” video)
Canadian music veteran Ian Blurton has a new album on the way, and first single ”Like A Ghost” is riffy, psychedelic stoner rock at its catchiest. Continue reading…
- Andrew Sacher
Watch Half Past Two’s new video for “Top Gun”
”I envisioned 'turning an argument into a dance,'” says video creator Rae Mystic. Continue reading…
- Andrew Sacher
The Rolling Stones tap Phoebe Bridgers, The War On Drugs, Courtney Barnett for Hyde Park shows
After revealing that Echo & the Bunnymen would open their Liverpool show, The Rolling Stones have snagged even more amazing openers for their Hyde Park shows... Continue reading…
- BrooklynVegan Staff
What’s Going on Thursday?
Thursday’s NYC-area shows include The Who, Hinds, Eartheater, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Vio-lence, and more. Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Sky Ferreira shares “Don’t Forget” from new album ‘Masochism’
“Don't Forget“ is Sky‘s first new music in three years. Her long-awaited second album is due later in 2022. Continue reading…
- BrooklynVegan Staff
Jens Lekman & Orchestrating Dreams played Brooklyn with Hari Kondabolu (pics, setlist)
Jens‘ North American tour has him playing with local youth orchestras in most cities... Continue reading…
- BrooklynVegan Staff
48 New Songs Out Today
Listen to new songs by Emma-Jean Thackray/Wiki, Lord Huron, Protoje, Yatra, Brandy (Jack Harlow diss), Mush, Empress Of, Katy J Pearson, Cut Worms, Momma, MUNA, Hercules & Love Affair/ANOHNI, and more... Continue reading…
- Bill Pearis
Belief (Boom Bip & Stella Mozgawa) prep debut LP, opening for Warpaint; stream 3 songs
Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa and producer Boom Bip will release their debut album as Belief in July. Continue reading…
- 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 VerificationUsing 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 CONCEPTLet 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 FeaturesMentionsPerforming

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 EffectHow 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.

- Alex Mitchell-Hardt
Want maximum results? The key benefits of extending your campaign.
Want maximum results? The key benefits of extending your campaign.

What’s the most costly mistake we see artists make? Taking their foot off the gas pedal too soon.It’s simple. Artists far too often stop all promotion at the exact moment their song is beginning to gain momentum. Instead of pushing harder and reaching the tipping point, they ease up and minimize their gains.

The 4 key benefits of extending your campaign1) Triggering the Spotify algorithmWant maximum results? The key benefits of extending your campaign.

The more you can gain authentic listeners in a concentrated and sustained period of time, the more Spotify's algorithm will favor your song. This is the key to getting on those algorithmic and editorial playlists.

By extending your campaign this is exactly what you'll be doing.We’ve seen this happen hundreds of times with Playlist Push artists who double down on their momentum.

2) Creating more opportunities for successWant maximum results? The key benefits of extending your campaign.

It's simple, each additional curator you send your song creates another opportunity to get on a playlist. Each playlist add fuels the algorithm. The more chances you give your song, the greater your results will be.

Some of our most successful artists have made it their core strategy to continue extending/rerunning their campaign to more curators until they’ve reached every single relevant playlist in our network. For some artists, this means they extend and reinvest in a campaign 4 or 5 times.

3) Leveraging data for improved targeting & resultsWant maximum results? The key benefits of extending your campaign.

Each time you extend a campaign, you can leverage the existing data you've received. This means you can refine your targeting based on which types of playlists your song is resonating with. This fine-tuning leads to improved performance on each rerun and is one of the most powerful benefits of extending a campaign.

We've even built a new matching system that will do this for you. It analyzes the playlists that added your song already, then uses AI to match your campaign to more playlists with a similar profile.

4) Investing in long tail success on SpotifyWant maximum results? The key benefits of extending your campaign.

What do we mean by long tail? We’re referring to all of the listeners and streams that are gained in the weeks, months, and often years after the initial boost from your campaign. Some artists refer to these as the “forever” streams that are generated from the ongoing momentum of a successful promotion.Many artists we work with attribute the streams they are getting now on a song to campaigns they ran over two or three ago.

What causes the long tail streams? There are a couple core factors.

When you get your song on high-quality playlists with authentic listeners, many of them turn into fans and will follow you for a long timeYour promotion will create a tipping point with the Spotify Algorithm where it continues to spread, and spread and spread - via more playlists, recommendation, and Spotify radio.

The more you invest in your initial push and extending it, the greater your long-tail success will be.

Extending Campaigns with our new playlist matching AI

Finally, to make the impact of extending your campaigns even stronger we've recently released automated playlist matching.

This new system uses artificial intelligence leveraging the data from your initial campaign run to match your rerun to playlists the are most likely to enjoy your song.

To use this feature simply hit the "New Playlist Matching" button on your campaign results page.

Want maximum results? The key benefits of extending your campaign.
- TJ Jones
Why Country Fans on Spotify love Raleigh Keegan
Why Country Fans on Spotify love Raleigh Keegan

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Currently Based: Nashville, TN

Favorite Artist: John Mayer

Favorite Hobby: Hanging with friends

Notable Placements: Country Coffeehouse, Country Christmas, New Music Nashville, Greener Pastures

3,500 total playlist adds

Who is Raleigh Keegan?

I'm a country artist now in Nashville. I play keys, guitar, and sing about songs that mostly come from a really personal place.

Why Country Fans on Spotify love Raleigh KeeganWhen and why did you start playing?

I started playing when I was about 7. My parents found a free piano in Michigan so we traveled 8 hours in a mini-van and put this upright piano in the back of it and came back home. I played at first because my parents weren't going to go through that much effort for me not to play haha!

What are your fondest musical memories?

One that sticks out is my Dad singing James Taylor songs to me and my brother to help us go to sleep at night when we were kids. Another had to be my debut performance at the Bluebird in Nashville, TN. There's a magic to that place you have to experience to understand.

Why Country Fans on Spotify love Raleigh Keegan How did you discover Playlist Push?

An artist friend who had success with you all told me about you.

Take us through where your career was before using Playlist Push

I was hustling and grinding all on my own trying to get playlists to add my songs.

Why Country Fans on Spotify love Raleigh KeeganHow has Playlist Push contributed to your growth as an artist?

You all have been a consistent and reliable way for curators to get ahold of my music. There are so many fake playlists out there, but it has helped because I know you all have vetted your curators.

Do you have any advice for first-time users of Playlist Push?

Some songs just simply work better than others. The truth is as artists, we don't know what song is going to hit. That's why I do campaigns for almost every song.

What makes your music special?

Honestly, it is just me. I put myself into my music, and I have my own unique tastes, preferences, and influences. If any artist follows their gut, that's what should happen.

Why Country Fans on Spotify love Raleigh KeeganWhat song best represents you, or your attitude to life?

Currently I'd have to say my newest single "New To Nashville". It's about the highs and sometimes brutal lows of chasing a musical career in Nashville.

If you can have your fans remember one thing about you, what would it be?

I want them to remember that I was different from others they listened to. That there was something unique about my take to country music.

- William Duvall
How To Pitch Your Next Release To Spotify's Editorial Team
How To Pitch Your Next Release To Spotify's Editorial Team

Getting onto one of Spotify's Editorial Playlists seems far fetched and out of reach for most artists. It seems that these playlists are reserved for artists who are typical in Billboards Top 100 but in reality any artist can get into one of these playlists whether it's their 1st or 100th release. In this article, we'll be discussing how to set your Spotify Editorial pitch up for success to give you the best possible chance of landing on the holy grail of playlists.

Where Do You Pitch Your Song?

To get your pitch started, all you need to do is login to your Spotify For Artists account, navigate to the "Music" Tab and under "Upcoming" select "Pitch A Song".

Though you can send your song to Spotify just a week before release, this isn't recommended and you likely won't hear back.

Make Sure You Send Spotify's Editorial Team Your Pitch 28 Days Before Release.

By pitching your song to Spotify early on, you're giving their editors the best chance to listen and playlist your music.

Keep in mind you can only pitch your song to Spotifys Editorial Team pre-release so you won't see the "Pitch A Song" option available until your Music Distributor has sent Spotify your song.

How To Set Your Pitch Up For Success:

Choose Which Song You Want To Pitch: Please note, you can only pitch 1 song to Spotify's Editorial Team at a time. Pick a track that you'd want millions of people to listen to. (This also means you can't pitch your whole album to them)Confirm Where You're From / Currently Based: Spotify uses this information to look for music made by people from specific parts of the world. Add Song Details:- Genres- Sub-Genres- Music cultures- Moods- Song styles- Instruments on your song- Is your song a cover/remix?- How was it recored? (Studio/Live)- Is your song an instrumental?Describe What Your Song Is About: This is your chance to describe what your song is about. Don't be afraid to go deep into the inspiration behind your song. Make sure your description is concise and well thought out / put together. It will be harder to stand out if you're using run-on sentences and exhibit poor formatting skills. Review Your Pitch: Double-check all of your information and make sure any and all information is relevant to you and your release.Pitching Your Song Doesn't Guarantee Placement But it Will Give You The Highest Chances of Being Placed.What To Do Once You've Submitted Your Pitch:

Once you've sent Spotify your pitch, you can just sit back and wait for your song to release. If your track was selected to be featured on an Editorial Playlist, you'll receive an email from the Spotify Team directly. If not, don't worry, because your song could get discovered and added to one of these playlists at a later date. However, the only way to get added to one of these playlist post-release is to establish your presence in some way to catch the attention of Spotify's Editorial Team.Playlist Push is a great resource that can help you grow your Spotify/TikTok presence whether you're a new or established artist.

This is a sure way for you to stay on the ever-growing radar of Spotify.

- TJ Jones
How Boyu Cuts Through The Noise and Lands Spotify Editorial Placements
How Boyu Cuts Through The Noise and Lands Spotify Editorial Placements

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Currently Based: Los Angeles, CA

Favorite Artist: Dominic Fike

Favorite Hobby: Hiking/Camping

What is the story behind your artist name?

Boyu is actually my Chinese name. When choosing my artist name, I wanted to lean into my Asian-American roots and pick something that was unique and true to me. It’s also relatively simple to pronounce and spell and easily searchable online.

How Boyu Cuts Through The Noise and Lands Spotify Editorial Placements

Which musicians do you admire?

Dominic Fike, Roy Blair, and Jeremy Zucker are three big ones that have really influenced my sound. The OG musicians I admired when I first started writing songs were J.Cole & Eminem for their narrative driven lyrics.

What makes your music special?

My lyrics and story telling ability makes my songs special. It’s extremely rewarding when I get DM’s from fans around the world - whether that be Thailand, Russia, or Brazil - praising me for the relatability of my lyrics. It’s also super dope when people tell me that my music cheers them up and puts them in a better mood.

How does Playlist Push fit into your marketing strategy for a new release?

Playlist Push allows me to find the perfect curated audience for my genre of music every release. There’s a lot of noise in the music industry right now given how easy it is to release music as an independent artist - one way to cut through the noise is if you can land on quality key playlists - which you can find on Playlist Push.

How Boyu Cuts Through The Noise and Lands Spotify Editorial Placements

Do you have any advice for first-time users of Playlist Push?

Connect with the curators that vibe with your song or project - use this platform to build a community.

How has Playlist Push contributed to your growth as an artist?

Playlist Push has increased my exposure as an artist - I’m able to get in front of more ears which translates to new potential new fans.

What does your creative process look like?

My process is unique in that each song I write has to be reworked and reviewed at least 10x before I take it to my producer. I spend dedicated time on my diction/word choice, syllable count, flow, rhyme scheme, and narrative to ensure that I’ve said everything I’ve wanted to say and it’s done in a creative & logical manner. All my songs have to flow and tell a story and each verse has to connect to the pre chorus or the chorus.

How Boyu Cuts Through The Noise and Lands Spotify Editorial Placements

How did you “discover” your sound?

I discovered my sound early on with my influences of rap and hip-hop. My musical style is somewhat genre-bending between pop and hip hop. People have generally identified my tunes as indie / bedroom pop with a mix of rap. My pop melodies and top-lines are overlaid with hip-hop inspired production and cadence. As a recording artist, I’m trying to portray that you can be both the singer and rapper on your own track and there is no need to stick to one genre. Artists like Dominic Fike and Roy Blair have solidified this trajectory and both have been tremendous influences in my music. It’s pretty cool that I don’t have to feature a singer or rapper on any of my songs since I can cover both grounds.

Take us through where your career was before using Playlist Push

Before Playlist Push I was emailing individual curators and it was extremely time consuming - to dig through the internet and formulate a custom email tailored to each playlist took hours. It has since changed as Playlist Push reduces the friction and necessity of emailing, and the playlisters come to you instead, saving you precious time that an artist can spend writing a songs.

You can find Boyu's latest single, "Miata Trip" in Spotify's Fresh Finds & Fresh Finds Pop playlists.

- Brandon Eggleston
What Do Viral TikTok Songs Have in Common?
What Do Viral TikTok Songs Have in Common?

TikTok continues to be one of the leading social platforms in the world for artist discovery. We previously talked about TikTok strategy for the new year here - as a refresher, here were our 4 key takeaways:

The opportunity for artists on TikTok is bigger than ever in 2022All genres and types of music can succeed on TikTokConsider your whole catalog for TikTok promotionTikTok is growing more integrated with the music industry

Let’s take a closer look into the top TikTok songs of the last few months - what do they have in common, and what can we learn from it?

Attributes of Viral TikTok Hits

I found a site that tracks the top TikTok sounds of the week and compiled my own playlist of all the sounds that could be found on Spotify, totaling to a list of 60 viral songs.

I pulled these song attributes from the 60 tracks: Name, Album, Artist, Release Date, Length, Popularity, Acousticness, Danceability, Energy, Instrumentalness, Liveness, Loudness, Speechiness, Tempo, and Time Signature.

What Do Viral TikTok Songs Have in Common?A snapshot of the imported data (Popularity, Danceability and Energy are ranked out of 100)

Now that we have a clear view of the data, we can analyze some of the basic track attributes of these songs.

Release Date

These TikTok tracks range anywhere from 1970 [“Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” by Edison Lighthouse] to songs released just in the last few days. The average release date on this list is actually 2017, which shows us that songs don’t necessarily need to be new to be able to go viral.

In fact, TikTok has helped to show that old hits very much have the potential to enter a second “lifecycle” à la Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”. This is a key piece to understanding the catalog acquisition boom that started a couple years ago, and now it seems as if a multi-million dollar legacy catalog sale ends up in the industry news every week.

I don’t use this verbiage often but this is a whole vibe. simple as that pic.twitter.com/NfdLsgLkxu

— DrewFrog (@DrewFrogger) September 25, 2020 One of the first big examples of TikTok revitalizing old hits - Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams", which entered the Billboard Charts for the first time in 2020 after one TikTok video went viral

Length

Most TikTokers only use 10 - 15 seconds of a TikTok sound, but are there any trends in the length of these viral hits? The data shows us that the average track length here is around the 3-minute mark, which is an optimal duration that is radio and streaming-friendly.

However, there are plenty of songs here that fall far below or above this average; Céline Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" is a ballad that lasts over 7 minutes long! On the low end, there are several viral tracks that are 2 minutes or less, such as the #1 TikTok sound "Monkeys Spinning Monkeys" by Kevin MacLeod.

What we can infer from this is that length of the entire track may not be so important as the 'earworm' that is featured in TikTokers' short videos. According to the Oxford Dictionary, an earworm is "a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person's mind"; this is a core concept in songwriting and the music industry as a whole, and Vox has an entire YouTube Series based on this concept.

Céline Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" has a very recognizable hook and earworm moment that is being used identically in many of the videos using that sound, and "Monkeys Spinning Monkeys" is a repetitive but catchy and fun background tune that acts as a backdrop without limiting the direction that the video can go in.

Danceability, Energy, & Tempo

The stereotypical expectation for a viral TikTok hit is that there is a dance associated with the song that everyone is doing. Early on, this was true to some extent but now users have found all sorts of unique and fascinating niches that launched them to virality.

This playlist shows that the average track ranks around 70% in terms of danceability, 58% in energy, and around 117 bpm (beats per minute) for the tempo, with lows reaching down to 29% danceability, 7% energy and a bpm of 71.

While this selection suggests that the average songs are moderately high in danceability and energy, some of the viral hits in this playlist show us that songs don’t necessarily need to be high energy or choreography-ready to achieve success on the platform.

So what do these songs have in common?

After checking out the attributes for these songs, it seems that there can be a wide variability in terms of the song's makeup, such as energy level and tempo. I listened through this list, checked out some of the popular videos utilizing these top TikTok noises, and identified two qualitative factors that might help explain which sounds go viral.

Two Factors for ViralityAn 'earworm' moment in the soundAbility for the sound to be recontextualized

The 'earworm' is the part that gets stuck in our head - think of the "It's only right that you should play the way you feel it" line from Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" (first appears at 32 seconds in). It's a beautiful moment in terms of Stevie Nicks' vocal delivery and an instantly recognizable snippet of the song.

Secondly, can the song be recontextualized? That is, can it be redefined outside of the mood and lyrical space it was created in? A middle-aged man with head tattoos and a grey hoodie skateboards down the sidewalk lip-syncing to this song while drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice straight from the bottle; he shows us not only that the song is a catchy, vibey tune that can be part of the soundtrack to our daily lives, but also that this song is for everybody.What can we learn from this?

TikTok creators have an astute ability to turn even the most unlikely songs into viral hits. Musicians can take into mind that the playlist used for analysis here is partial to moderate levels of danceability and energy, but ultimately you should stick to your true artistic voice without being too influenced by what you may think will ensure virality for your track. At the end of the day, it's about good music.

- William Duvall
How LYOD is Living His Own Dream & His Tips For Upcoming Artists
How LYOD is Living His Own Dream & His Tips For Upcoming Artists

Hometown: CologneCurrently Based: GermanyFavorite Artist: Benny BlancoFavorite Hobby: Going out at a restaurant & meeting friends

Who is LYOD?

I am a 22-year-old guy from Germany, who loves making music. I make sensitive and powerful pop songs and put all my emotions into my music.

What is the story behind your artist name?

Actually, the name came from a letter reversal that I found very cool. Later I found out that the letters form the sentence “Live Your Own Dream”, which is very fitting for my journey.

What does your creative process look like?

It really depends on the song but most of the time I start with the melody and harmonies. When I am happy with that I start with the arrangement and try out a lot of directions and see where the song goes. This is really a process and takes time. I like to put a song away and let it sit for a while and come back to it. That way a song can really develop, and I can make sure I did everything I had in mind.

If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what song would you choose and why?

That's a tricky question. I think I would choose the Cyril Hahn Remix of "Say My Name". It's my all-time favorite song because it's so timeless and I love the mood of it. I never get tired of this song! You need to check it out if you haven't.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Never stop believing in your dream & spend as much time as possible on making music to become better and better. Try not to make something that already exists a hundred times. Always ask yourself what you can add to a song that makes it special and unique.

What do you feel is the best song you’ve ever released and why?

My favorite song I've released so far is "Do It For Love" because I love the emotions the song creates and I always fall in love with the lead sound when I listen to it again. It gets me every time!

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?

I am a huge fan of songs with great melodies and soul. I love songs that sound warm and create a yearning feeling, especially when all these feelings are combined in a song. That's what I am also chasing with my music no matter what genre or direction. During the last two years, I collected a lot of pictures that inspired me and put them on my wall in the studio. I wrote the phrase “Sunsets & Heartbreaks” on it & tried to capture all these pictures and feelings in my songs. I also named my Spotify playlist "Sunsets & Heartbreaks” where I added all my songs. Check it out!

What is the most embarrassing song in your music library?

I wouldn't say embarrassing but definitely a guilty pleasure. It's a South American song called "Tiburon" by Proyecto Uno.

How has Playlist Push contributed to your growth as an artist?

As a newcomer, it is often very difficult to get into the editorial playlists of the streaming services, in order to attract people's attention. Thanks to Playlist Push, I was able to get into other big playlists that fit my genre and so many people were able to discover me. This also brings me to the attention of the streaming services and makes it easier for me to grow organically and become known to the people who would listen to my music.

How did you discover Playlist Push?

I researched on the internet and Playlist Push had the best reviews. In addition, I asked people I know in the industry who have had very good experiences with Playlist Push. Then I tried it myself and had great results. After that, I was convinced and actually did it with all my releases.

- TJ Jones
5 Must Dos Before Promoting Your Music in 2022
5 Must Dos Before Promoting Your Music in 2022

There are many routes an artist can take when it comes to music promotion. A lot of artists get caught up focusing too much on one way of promoting and think their song will just blow up. The most successful artists allocate time and energy to multiple outlets for a well rounded promotional campaign.

Here are the top 5 strategies for promoting your music in 2022:

#1 - PR

Public Relations is important for any size or type of artist trying to reach more fans.

The part that sucks about PR is that it is generally overpriced, vague, and can often be a rip-off. It seems that there is no correlation between price and value. Press in general is important for a few reasons. Firstly, it sends a signal to Spotify that you’re a real person and can anchor you to other similar artists. Secondly, press can also allow you to tell your own unique story and hopefully lead to verification on social channels like Instagram or TikTok. Before you hire a PR agency you’ll need to focus on the following:

What deliverables that PR company will supply you with.

Stay away from long term engagements or any contract over a few months. Some PR companies will charge you monthly for 6 months and they will try to convey time for value.

Make sure to communicate that what you are paying for will need hard results.

You can also write your own press release and send it out to smaller publications. If you need help or guidance with PR, feel free to send us a message!

#2 Secure a YouTube premier for your new single or release.

Find an account with relevant musicWhitelist that accountAny size helps!

Youtube channels:

BIRP!

TrapNation

David Dean Burkhart

The Sounds You Need

Mr Revillz

It's important to do your own research and find accounts that play music similar  to yours.

#3 Pitch to Spotify For Artists

It is easy to get impatient and just want to release a song right as it gets finished. Under no circumstance should you leave it up to chance and not submit the song properly through your Spotify for Artists account. This must be done each release so you can capitalize on organic traction via Spotify. Especially if you are using Playlist Push to promote your music.

Check out this article for more tips on how to set up your Spotify For Artists account for success.

#4 TikTok Promotion

Success on TikTok can easily spill over to other DSP’s like Spotify. We have even seen artists that promoted their music on TikTok get on the Spotify playlist “Big on the internet”, so keep in mind that all of these tips are feeding off of each other. All 5 of these tips can be done with a huge budget or little-to-no budget.

https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdSMpQeX/

#5 Get on Spotify Playlists

Getting your music on user generated playlists is more important than ever. These playlists drive organic traffic and send signals to Spotify on where they should place your music. This is a crucial stepping stone for getting editorial playlist support on Spotify. It’s a fact and there’s no more denying it!

Check out these interviews with artists that have used Playlist Push to level up into Spotify Editorial playlists.  

- William Duvall
Everything You Need To Know About Spotify Playlist Promotion in 2022
Everything You Need To Know About Spotify Playlist Promotion in 2022

There are many common goals musicians and producers have with one another. One of these goals is to get their music in the ears of an audience that genuinely wants to listen to them.Playlisting does just that. Playlisting helps artists get their music in the ears of a real audience that want to listen and engage with their music.Below, we'll be discussing what playlisting is, key-factors in running a successful promotion, in-direct effects of playlisting and hacks that will help you get onto Spotify's editorial playlists.

What is Spotify Playlisting?

Playlisting helps artists make their music stand out like nothing else. Landing on playlists will help you grow your Spotify artist profile and will help get your music in the ears of loyal audiences and first time listeners. Although, there's no service that can pitch your music directly to Spotify's editorial playlists (besides Spotify's own pitching tool) you can find a reputable business that will help you pitch your music to popular independently owned playlists.

(Reminder: These playlists are independently owned and have no affiliation with Spotify or their editorial playlists)This in turn will help you build up your Spotify presence and can potentially help you get on one of Spotify's editorial playlists - while incredibly competitive, we've been able to help several artists make it into this lucrative discovery channel.

Boxes That Need To Be Checked Before Considering Playlist Promotion

Now that you know what playlisting is, we can go ahead and cover all of the boxes that need to be checked prior to launching a promotional campaign.

Set Your Spotify For Artists Account Up For Success- High-quality artist photo- Link social media accounts to your Spotify profile- Write a brief bio about yourself to help boost your SEO presenceMake Sure Your Music is Mastered & is of High QualityIf you don't know how to master your music, you may want to look online for services/companies who specialize in this. People often overlook how important mastering can be but this alone could make or break your next release.Have Great Track ArtworkWebsites such as Canva.com are great for helping you create your album artwork if you don't know anybody who can help. Otherwise, you may want to try freelancing this work via Fiverr or social media.Understand Your Audience/GenreIn order to run a successful playlisting campaign, you need to understand your genre and potential audience. To do this, I suggest artists use everynoise.com to confirm their genre relevancy.Navigating everynoise.com can be overwhelming, so an easy alternative is to open up Spotify, search for "The Sound Of [Insert Genre]," and then a playlist for that genre will pop up under the "The Sounds of Spotify" user profile.From there, you can take a listen and see if your musical style is associated with that genre. The goal here is to have an idea on what your main genre is. Once you've identified that information, you can dive into the never ending world of sub-genres. In-Direct Effects From Playlisting:

One of the least talked about benefits of Spotify playlist promotion is the in-direct effects you receive from a campaign.For example, let's say you ran a Spotify Playlist Campaign and got onto 30 playlists. Since you were placed on 30 playlists with real audiences, each listener has the opportunity to save your song, give you a follow, add your song to their playlist(s), share your song and even check out some of your other music.As you're collecting streams from these playlists, you could catch the attention of labels, other curators, Spotify's editorial team and most importantly a genuine audience that wants to listen to your music.

You can find a good example of this in the below interview Spotify had with Americana Singer/Song-Writer Garrett T. Capps.

How Americana Troubadour Garrett T. Capps Went Worldwide:“I was playing an official showcase at SXSW one year,” Capps explains. “They put two or three of my songs on a Spotify official Austin music playlist. One of them was ‘Born in San Antone,’ and I guess it greased the wheels of my Spotify algorithms and started linking up with people that might like that kind of music.”Fortunately for Capps, one of those people turned out to be Billions co-creator/executive producer Brian Koppelman. “He’s a big Americana guy, who curates the music for the entire show himself,” says Capps, sounding like he can still hardly believe it. “He was just sitting on an airplane and he turned on Discover Weekly, and my song came up and he freaked out, he loved it. And then he contacted me. It’s wild, because that song is just a hometown anthem I wrote to play at local gigs, really.”

Generally speaking, playlist promotion will lead to authentic Spotify growth over time.Essentially, the 30 playlists you were originally added to could potentially end up getting you placed on 1000+ playlists. (These numbers have been based off of real experiences)

Everything You Need To Know About Spotify Playlist Promotion in 2022

Keep reading this article until the end for a in-depth testimonial from none other than coldbrew. He explains how he landed a single song deal with Atlantic Records because of the in-direct effects of a Spotify playlisting campaign.

Triggering Spotify's Editorial Playlists:

One of the secret methods for getting onto Spotify's editorial playlists is first getting onto smaller user curated playlists. This is exactly what Playlist Push can help you do. Without users listening, sharing and adding your music to playlists, it's virtually impossible to get the attention of Spotify's editorial team.

In my opinion Spotify playlist promotion is an Overlooked jewel. In the competitive landscape of trying to get editorial playlist support, fan support and just attention in general for your music. Playlist promotion is sometimes the only option that Artist have.

— Antonio Tubbs (@imthemanager) February 18, 2022

Keep in mind that Spotify's editorial team is incredibly small and they receive tens of thousands of editorial pitches per day. It's definitely not easy to stand out but there are steps you can take to increase your chances.After looking more into Spotify's editorial playlists, I came across a few interesting Q&A's Spotify put together in their "Behind the Playlists: Your Questions Answered by Our Playlist Editors" blog post.

Q1: Do Spotify editors look at third party playlists for inspiration?Answer: "Each of our editors are unique and work differently, but they all constantly seek inspiration from different music publications and cultural moments as well as what artists are highlighting on their own artist pages and playlists."Q2: How do you get into more editorial playlists after release?Answer: "While you can’t pitch your music to us through Spotify for Artists post-release, our editors are definitely looking at signals from our data for songs that are resonating on our platform. Try and continue to build momentum for your tracks and engage with your audience—you can track how it’s doing in multiple spaces with our analytics tools within Spotify for Artists. Pay attention to your audience stats: who they are, where they live, and engage with those people on your socials."

What can we learn from the answers above? We now know that Spotify's editorial team is unique and each member of their team works differently. This means that they can either discover you on social media, different music publications or even on independently owned Spotify playlists. In addition, they're looking for artists whose songs have already built momentum and are resonating on their platform. Having an established presence isn't a necessity for landing on their editorial playlists pre-release but it's definitely a must after your song has launched thus emphasizing the importance or getting your name on the radar.

Testimonials:

Below, you can find feedback from real artists we've had the pleasure of working with.

coldbrew:

I can honestly say that I was able to become a full-time artist because of Playlist Push. And I am not just saying that because I am talking to the company, like honestly, the reason I am full-time now is because of Playlist Push. Let me explain.I ran 3-4 campaigns within the span of a couple months (my first couple months releasing music as coldbrew) and around the time of the 4th campaign I got an email from Chill Nation. They wanted to release a song with me, thus my first single song record deal was born. How did they find me? They heard one of my songs in one of the playlists that was part of the Playlist Push network. The in-direct effects of using Playlist Push are just as valuable as the direct effects. Around a year later in my career I got approached by Atlantic Records for a single song deal, they also found me on a user curated Spotify playlist which was without a doubt an in-direct effect from a Playlist Push campaign. Along with being added to playlists in your genre (with active listeners not just followers), the boost in algorithmic plays from Spotify's algorithmic playlists, and the in-direct effects that come from thousands of people hearing your music.

Valid Point.:

Playlist Push has done wonders for me. It has helped me build a real audience that I can interact with. There have been a few songs that have been playlisted via Playlist Push and have stayed on the same playlist for years. I'm pretty sure "No Friends" is being pumped into coffee shops in Australia because of Playlist Push. It has over 250k plays and is still going! In turn, the push has helped me get onto Spotify Algorithm playlists. I also like that the curators can give you feedback. This has helped me understand what people are looking for and what people don't care for.

Some songs are made to be played in the background or be B-side songs, and some are meant to be put on playlists for video games or getting amped up. So this has helped me create a product that I can specifically target when I use Playlist Push and I now know what will work well and get plays and what will not.

If you're ready to jumpstart your music career, don't hesitate to apply and setup your campaign following the link below. During the free setup process you 'll be able to see how many playlists there are for the niche genres you select. Apply Now: https://app.playlistpush.com/apply/artist

- Alex Mitchell-Hardt
5 Steps to Creating The Best TikTok Account for Artists & Musicians
5 Steps to Creating The Best TikTok Account for Artists & Musicians

We often get questions from artists about what to do with their TikTok account. Is it worth growing your TikTok channel? What type of videos should you post?

This article is for any artist who is interested in building out your own TikTok account. Let’s dive in.

The benefits of building your own TikTok channel:You can build a new following and a free promotion channelYou’ll become a TikTok expert by learning the app from the inside outWhen your songs go viral viewers can find you on the appAs you develop your strategy, your TikTok presence can take off5 Steps to Creating The Best TikTok Account for Artists & MusiciansThe 5 Steps to Building Your TikTok Account5 Steps to Creating The Best TikTok Account for Artists & MusiciansStep 1) Watch artist videos & immerse yourself in TikTok:Follow all of your favorite artistsFollow artists that are similar to your music/audienceFollow random accounts that appeal to you

Then start watching videos. Go through the artist accounts and watch their videos. Click on their TikTok sounds and see the videos being made with their songs.Your goal here is to get an understanding of what works on TikTok, and how artists similar to you are using the platform.You also want to get a feel for the general TikTok landscape and how the masses engage with the app.

Step 2) Make a list of content ideas

One of the easiest ways to generate ideas is to look at what's working for other artists. As you’re doing step one, everytime you find a video that you like, use the “add to favorite” button on TikTok. Build an archive of videos that you like.Focus on things you can replicate, for example if an artist you like is crushing it with recipe tutorials using their music in the background and you’d love doing this too, that could be a good fit. On the flipside, if they’re doing complex dance videos and you’re not a dancer, you can skip it.

Example Content Ideas:

Preview your songsMake cover song videosShare the song creation process (writing, recording)Vlogs talking to your followersShare your daily lifeShare hobbies or passionsJumping on existing trendsDuet other artist's videos

Here are a few artists you can follow to get started:Ella Jane

@ellajanemusic hehehehe #ellajane #newmusic #indiepop #songwriter #indiepop #taylorswift #lorde ♬ original sound - ella jane

Eric Damiano

@ericdamiano

This is a song I wrote about reminiscing... the happy memories that make you sad... It’s called “Letting Me Know You” 🙂

♬ original sound - Eric Damiano

Eyedress

@eyedress.tv

boaty got his drivers license n pulled up in the tesla truck with the bape on oh my daze

♬ Something About You (feat. Dent May) - Eyedress Step 3) Learn the TikTok Basics

The basics of the algorithm are simple, TikTok rewards videos that grab users attention and gets them to watch the whole video. Beyond that, generating engagement, likes, shares, comments, further boost your videos viral potential.

5 Steps to Creating The Best TikTok Account for Artists & Musicians

TikTok will keep showing your video to more people if it’s generating a high completion rate (watch time) and engagement. If it’s not, they’ll just show it to a few of your followers and then stop.We wrote an article that breaks down all of the details here.

Step 4) Build a Base of Followers

This is easy. Do the following and you'll have a solid base to get you started.

Follow your friendsFollow back people who follow youPromote your TikTok channel to your other social media accountsEngage with other accounts (comment, like, follow)Step 5) Post videos. Test until you find your groove.5 Steps to Creating The Best TikTok Account for Artists & Musicians

Use the content ideas generated from step 2 and start posting videos. Don't worry if some videos flop, this is part of the testing process.

Keep trying different types of content until you figure out what videos are resonating. Once you find what's working and what you enjoy, double and triple down. You're off and running.

Bonus Tips:-Link to your Spotify in your TikTok Bio-Comment on Videos that use your sounds-Share your TikTok Videos on your other social channels

- Martin Berrios
Daddy Yankee’s Manager Raphy Pina Sentenced To Prison For Firearms
Billboard Latin Music Week 2021 - Day 1

Source: Alexander Tamargo / Getty

One of Reggaeton’s most influential executives will have to do a bid. Daddy Yankee’s manager Raphy Pina has been sentenced to prison for possession of firearms.

As per Digital Music News the power player was hit with some stiff numbers by Puerto Rico courts. Back in 2020 he was pinched for having automatic weapons and an array of ammunition. This was in direct violation of his prior 2016 conviction. Pina was found guilty by a federal jury on December 22, 2021. On Tuesday, May 24 U.S. District Judge Francisco A. Besosa sentenced Rafael “Raphy” Pina-Nieves to a term of 41 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, 200 hours of community service and a fine of one hundred fifty thousand dollars for firearms violations being a convicted felon, and possession of a machinegun.

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Pina addressed the court prior to the sentencing. Naturally he appealed to the system for leniency. “Today, before all of you, I ask you let me return to my family, who is waiting for me. I want to continue being a present father and guide them in every stage of their life. I want to see my (1-year-old) daughter learn to walk” he revealed. “I want to thank everyone here, thanks for your support and to my kids and partner, I love you.”

Pina was accompanied by his partner and artist Natti Natasha, his three oldest children and Daddy Yankee.

Photo:

- O
Benny The Butcher “Super Plug,” OT The Real, Freeway & Statik Selektah “Hardcore” & More | Daily Visuals 5.25.22

When he’s not rolling out the “welcome” mat” for his rap peers in Buffalo, New York, Benny The Butcher’s a man on his grind and today the Upstate NY OG continues to push work off his latest album, Tana Talk 4. Coming through with some new visuals to “Super Plug,” The Butcher finds himself politickin’ with his peoples before laying back in his crib and flossing the fruits of his labor such as ice, cars and a swimming pool to keep him cool whenever the block is hot. BTB’s out there living his best life.

Elsewhere OT The Real, Freeway and Statik Selektah link up to bring heads that good ol’ Hip-Hop mixtape sound and in their clip to “Hardcore” take it to the streets and hit us with aerial views of the city that they rep and love. Great to see Freeway looking healthy again.

Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Fortunato featuring Fredro Starr, Trapland Pat featuring Big 30 and more.

BENNY THE BUTCHER – “SUPER PLUG”

OT THE REAL, FREEWAY & STATIK SELEKTAH – “HARDCORE”

FORTUNATO FT. FREDRO STARR – “ALL WE KNOW”

TRAPLAND PAT FT. BIG 30 – “DOA”

QUELLE CHRIS FT. MORUF & PINK SIIFU – “THE SKY IS BLUE BECAUSE THE SUNSET IS RED”

AUSTIN POE – “LEVELS”

RICK HYDE FT. ROME STREETZ – “POZA”

LAN’DO – “16 BIT”

MOTHER NATURE – “DON’T WORRY”

J-OATS – “AIN’T ME”

SNUPE BANDZ – “BARNACLE BOY”

- Christopher Smith
Doja Cat States Upcoming Album Will Be “Predominately Rap”
2022 Billboard Music Awards - Show

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty

For those who cast aspersions on Doja Cat and her rapping, her next album will have plenty of it for them to analyze according to her latest interaction with the press. In a profile interview with writer Marjon Carlos for Elle Magazine, the artist talked about the follow-up album to her smash platinum release, Planet HER and according to Carlos the new project will feature “predominantly rap.” “I’ve rapped since the beginning, and I really couldn’t even sing that well to begin with—I got a lot better,” Doja said in response to those who doubt her lyricism. “I use my voice as a tool to create these worlds, and it’s fine if people think that I can’t rap.”

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A post shared by Doja Cat (@dojacat)

She goes on to explain that she hasn’t actually started work on the new album yet but that it’s on the way. “I have been getting songs and things sent to me,” she said. “Oh f–k, I wish I could tell people! There’s some really cool stuff that I got sent from friends. They’re all working on beats, and I’m giving them notes and they know what I want, so I’m excited.” In the past, she has stated that the new LP will be a double album and that she’s tapped 9th Wonder and Jay Versace to take care of the production. Her love for 9th Wonder and Little Brother was a buzzworthy topic last year when she broke down why she loved their track “Whatever You Say”. The “Need To Know” singer recently pulled out of a major tour with The Weeknd due to her needing to have tonsil surgery.

Planet HER did have a heavy dose of pop in terms of the production and direction, and it has worked out well for Doja, making her the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy Award winner for her infectious lead single, “Kiss Me More” with SZA. Despite its success, many still question her rhyming skills, with Remy Ma being the most recent opinion. “I don’t think she’s a rapper,” Remy said while appearing on the Drink Champs podcast. “Let’s be clear with that. They put her in the rapper category, I don’t think she’s a rapper. But she makes dope records, and I think she’s dope.”

- Martin Berrios
Kanye West And Naoto Fukasawa Reimagine McDonald’s Packaging
Washington Wizards v Los Angeles Lakers

Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty

Kanye West is adding his magic touch to the world’s most famous fast food chain. He and Naoto Fukasawa are reimagining McDonald’s packaging.

As per The Grio the Chicago, Illinois native has teamed up with popular chain for a collaboration that has taken the world by surprise. For many weeks his social media channels have been largely inactive but on Tuesday, May 24 he returned with the announcement. “Ye teams up with industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa to reimagine McDonald’s packaging” the caption read. The accompanying visual features a square McDonald’s sandwich wrapped in what seems to be a cellophane wrapper. As expected the iconic double arch logo is prominently featured on top. 

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A post shared by ye (@kanyewest)

In a since deleted Instagram Story the “Flashing Lights” rapper referenced the unique opportunity by using one of his most iconic lines from his smash hit song “Gold Digger” (“Next week it’s the fries”). This is just one of the many partnerships he has on the table. His YEEZY GAP Engineered by Balenciaga collection was scheduled to drop but was postponed in respect of the recent Texas school shooting. It is now scheduled for a Friday, May 27 release. You can shop it here when it drops.

Photo: Ronald Martinez

- Zack Linly
Texas Republican Blames Rap Music & Video Games For Elementary School Shooting To Deflect From Gun Regulation
Rep.Ronny Jackson and Rep. Jim Jordan

Source: Bill Clark / Getty

There are a few simple facts that we know about Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old who shot and killed two adults and 19 children at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde County, Texas. We know that the day he turned 18, he legally purchased an assault rifle from Oasis Outback.

We also know he bought another rifle from the same store a few days later. This was reported by Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, who also said Ramos purchased 375 rounds of 5.56 ammunition. Lastly, we know Ramos used that very weaponry to commit one of the most horrific mass shootings since the one carried out in Buffalo just a few weeks prior.

Then there’s what we don’t know. We don’t know what kind of music Ramos listened to or what kind of video games he played if any. We don’t know his favorite online sites or what his favorite movies or TV shows were.

But none of this matters to Republicans, especially Texas Republicans, who are desperate to scapegoat any and everything that doesn’t include guns for the brutal violence and senseless death in which guns were used. And that’s where Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson (R) comes in.

During a recent Fox News interview, Jackson decided it was more important to defend the Second Amendment than it was to acknowledge that if Ramos didn’t have ready access to dangerous weapons, he wouldn’t have been able to cause so much carnage at an elementary school.

 

“There’s going to be all kinds of discussions coming up, unfortunately, you know, in the media regarding Second Amendment rights,” Jackson said. “But I think we really need to ask the question, how could something like this happen?”

First of all, let’s start with how Jackson is playing around in people’s faces and pretending “the media” is where all the pro-gun regulation sentiment begins and ends.

a recent CBS poll shows that 54 percent of Americans are in favor of stricter policies in regard to the sale of firearms. In truth, most recent polls show that anywhere from 54 to 60 percent of Americans are in favor of stricter gun laws in general, and it has been that way for the last several years. So no, it’s not the media that is driving this issue, it’s more than half the nation’s citizens.

If Jackson was being honest about wanting to know “how could something like this happen,” he would at least consider how different things could have turned out if Ramos couldn’t purchase an assault rifle so easily. And yet…

“When I grew up, things were different,” Jackson continued. “And I just think that kids are exposed to all kinds of horrible stuff nowadays too. I look back and I think about the horrible stuff they hear when they listen to rap music, the video games that they watch from a really early age with all of this horrible violence and stuff and I just think that they have this access to the internet on a regular basis, which is just, you know, it’s not good for kids.”

Imagine dismissing all these facts right in front of you in favor of pure speculation. And let’s not ignore the dog-whistling in Jackson going straight for rap music.

This is desperate deflection and nothing more. Sometimes I just really hate it here.

- O
Travis Scott To Donate Proceeds From Latest Nike Collaboration To Project HEAL
Travis Scott Air Jordan 6

Source: Jordan Brand / Jordan Brand

Given the way that sneakerheads flooded Travis Scott’s website with bots upon the release of his latest Nike collaboration, we feel it’s pretty safe to say he’s un-canceled. Now the “Highest In The Room” rapper is taking another step in his road to redemption and has announced that he’s going to be donating the proceeds from his latest Nike collaboration to Project HEAL. TMZ is reporting that the money made from the merchandise moved by his Nike collaboration will ultimately make it’s way to the nonprofit organization that is focused on equitable treatment access for eating disorders. This by itself should see millions of dollars pour into Project Heal with this latest drop alone.

Sources close to Travis tell us he wanted to do the drop through his own website so that he could ensure the proceeds go to Project Heal. Project Heal is an initiative Travis launched back in March as a multi-tier effort to fund initiatives Travis finds important and worthy of assistance.

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A post shared by Cactus Jack (@cactusjack)

Watch this be the most limited Nike/Travis Scott drop ever. We just joking. We know they ain’t cheap like that. Still, it’s going to be impossible copps thanks to sneaker bots and resellers with plugs like Benjamin Kicks. It’s onsight with that fool for the sneaker culture.

Will you be trying to get a pair of the Travis Scott/Nike Air Max 1’s or Trainers this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.

- Christopher Smith
More Of The Same On The 2nd Anniversary Of George Floyd’s Death
Two Year Anniversary Knee-taking Event On The Death Of George Floyd

Source: Guy Smallman / Getty

It has been two years since the horrific and senseless death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, which was captured on video and shocked the world into protest. The unfortunate reality is that Black death at the hands of law enforcement still persists, with a few striking cases as examples. On the two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, recent statistics underscore a grim truth – since his death, Black people accounted for 27 percent of the 1051 Americans who were killed by law enforcement in 2021 according to data compiled by the nonprofit group Mapping Police Violence. The same study also showed that Black people were three times more likely to be killed by police, yet 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed at the time. Here are just five examples from a list that has far, far too many names.

Former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter Sentenced In Killing Of Duante Wright

Source: Stephen Maturen / Getty

Daunte Wright

The 20-year-old was driving through his Brooklyn Center, Minnesota neighborhood on April 11th, 2021 when he was stopped by police who initially claimed that there was an outstanding warrant against him. Wright struggled to get back into his car, which prompted Officer Kimberly Potter to shoot him. The Brooklyn Center police chief, Tim Gannon claimed that Potter meant to use her Taser and took out her gun instead. Potter would later resign from the force, as well as Gannon. Potter would stand trial and be found guilty of first and second-degree manslaughter, receiving a sentence of two years in prison.

Guila Dale III

Police were called to the home of the retired U.S. Army major in Newton, New Jersey on July 4th, 2021 by his wife, who feared that her husband was contemplating suicide. A veteran of the War In Iraq, Dale suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Video released by the District Attorney for Sussex County shows Dale exiting a truck with an object in his hand. Officers Steven Kneidl and Garrett Armstrong then opened fire, killing him. They would later claim they attempted to engage, but footage showed that Dale was shot four minutes after his wife’s call and that the encounter lasted fifteen seconds. State authorities are still investigating the circumstances of the incident.

Family Of Andrew Brown Jr. Shown Full Police Body Camera Video Of His Death

Source: Sean Rayford / Getty

Andrew Brown Jr.

On April 21st, 2021, officers from the Sheriff’s Department of Elizabeth City, North Carolina arrived at Andrew Brown Jr.’s residence to serve drug-related search warrants. Brown was killed with a gunshot to the head as he sat behind the wheel of his car. Brown’s family fought with District Attorney Andrew Womble’s office to see the body camera footage from the shooting that reportedly was two hours in length, but were only able to see 19 minutes of it. On May 18th, Womble announced that the shooting was justified and that his office wouldn’t pursue charges against the officers. The FBI is currently conducting a civil rights investigation into the case. Seven deputies with the department would be put on administrative leave, with three who fired shots still under investigation from state authorities.

An’Twan Gilmore

In the early morning hours of August 25th, 2021, Washington D.C. police officers approached a BMW in response to a 911 call about someone seemingly unconscious in the driver’s seat. According to both a viral video of the incident and footage from body camera video, the officers tapped on the window to try to awaken 27-year-old An’Twan Gilmore, who did so and moved the car forward before being asked to stop. At that point, an officer opened fire on Gilmore multiple times. He would later die at the hospital. The Metropolitan Police Department report from the officers on the scene claim that Gilmore had a weapon in his waistband, but also attested that Gilmore never rolled down his window. The case has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Patrick Lyoya

Patrick Lyoya, 26, was detained by police at a traffic stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 4th, 2022. Their reason for stopping the native of the Democratic Republic of Congo was to inquire why the license plate didn’t match the vehicle he was driving. Lyoya ran off after Officer Christopher Schurr asked him for his driver’s license. Schurr would chase him down, and in the physical struggle would shoot Lyoya in the back of his head, killing him. The incident was captured on the officer’s body camera. Currently, authorities for Kent County are still deciding whether to proceed with charges against Schurr.

- O
WWE Suspends Sasha Banks & Naomi Indefinitely For Walking Off The Job
2017 BET Awards - Arrivals

Source: Leon Bennett / Getty

For the past few years fans of the WWE have been complaining about the baffling moves and roster cuts the company has made and now the talent itself seems to be revolting against the higher ups. According to Vulture, this past Monday night (May 16), the Women’s Tag-Team Champions, Sasha Banks (Mercedes Varnado) and Naomi (Trinity Fatu) walked out on WWE Monday Night Raw as it was airing due to their displeasure with the outcome of the main event in which they were apparently supposed to turn on each other and break up the bond they’ve built for weeks now. After making the case for a continued run as champions, they were apparently called “spoiled” and told to “fix their attitudes,” so they decided walk into the office of the WWE Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, put the tag team title belts on his desk, and simply walked out.

The show continued on with a pretty entertaining main event that featured Becky Lynch and Asuka and when it was all said and done the WWE released a statement on the matter.

“They claimed they weren’t respected enough as tag team champions,” the statement read. “And even though they had eight hours to rehearse and construct their match, they claimed they were uncomfortable in the ring with two of their opponents even though they’d had matches with those individuals in the past with no consequence. Monday Night Raw is a scripted live TV show, whose characters are expected to perform the requirements of their contract.”

Yeah, we’re riding with Sasha and Noami on this one. Given the questionable decisions made over the past few years about who wins what and terrible storylines, we’d prefer to see Sasha and Naomi rock as champs for longer than a few weeks.

On Friday Night Smackdown (May 20) the WWE announced that both Sasha and Noami were suspended indefinitely and were revoking their tag team championship. The way that the WWE have been letting popular wrestlers walk away from the company we wouldn’t be surprised if they let Sasha and Noami go too.

Aside from the suspension, all merchandise featuring Sasha Banks and Naomi has been pulled but that isn’t keeping them from continuing to live their best lives as Banks was rocking out at a Steve Aoki show this past Sunday night.

While Sasha and Naomi have options on the table should the WWE decide to let them go (AEW houses many a disgruntled former WWE talent), we doubt they’d be dumb enough to let two superstars like Sasha and Naomi go. Then again, they did let Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryant and CM Punk leave at the height of their popularity, so we can’t put anything past them.

What do y’all think of the Sasha Banks and Naomi situation at WWE? Let us know in the comment section below.

- D.L. Chandler
Steve Kerr Demands Changes To Gun Control Policy At Press Conference
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four

Source: Tom Pennington / Getty

Steve Kerr was supposed to join a pregame press conference, but instead addressed the tragedy in Uvalde. The Golden State Warriors head coach called for changes to gun control laws, which he’s done in times past.

Steve Kerr: “When are we going to do something?”

Coach Steve Kerr spoke at a pregame press conference ahead of Game 4 between the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday (May 24). Instead of talking basketball, Kerr spoke about the Uvalde school shooting and pleaded with elected officials to take action.

“Since we left shootaround, 14 children were killed, 400 miles from here. And a teacher,” Kerr said, visibly shaken by the news.

He added, “When are we going to do something? I’m tired. I am so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I am so tired of the, excuse, I am sorry, I am tired of the moments of silence. Enough!”

At the time that Kerr spoke, the number of victims reported was lower than the 19 children slain, along with two adults. The 18-year-old gunman, who acted alone, was shot and killed on the scene. An investigation into the matter is still ongoing, coupled with the fact that the nation is reeling from the Buffalo mass shooting as well.

Kerr’s passion was shared by many on Twitter earlier on Wednesday (May 24) while taking aim at the powerful gun rights lobbying arm of the NRA. President Joe Biden spoke on the tragedy, demanding changes to gun laws.

In what some viewed as a hollow gesture, several GOP elected officials offered condolences via Twitter. Users responded by reminding the officials that they’ve received financial support from the NRA. The contributions numbered into the millions for some.

Teams from the MLB honored the Uvalde victims as well.

Video courtesy of ESPN below:

Photo:  Getty

- Bernard "Beanz" Smalls
HHW Gaming: The Best Video Games of 2022… So Far
The Best Video Games of 2022

Source: Bernard Smalls PS5 Share / Horizon Forbidden West

The year is still fresh, but we can still point out the best video games of 2022…so far.

When the ball dropped, ushering in the new year, there was a feeling among many that 2022 would be one for the books when it comes to video games, and understandably so.

The lineup was incredibly stacked with games like Sifu, Dying Light 2, Elden Ring, Horzion Forbbiden West, Gran Turismo 7, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, etc.

Thanks to the games mentioned above, the year started off strong, hitting their release dates and delivering exceptional gameplay earning strong reviews.

Unfortunately, there was a bit of a hiccup, specifically for Xbox Series S|X owners who were looking forward to playing console exclusive AAA titles from its recently acquired studio Bethesda.

If you haven’t heard, Starfield and Redfall had their wigs pushed back until 2023, leaving some Xbox fans looking at their Series X consoles in disgust.

But there is still hope for a solid year in gaming. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Forspoken, God of War: Ragnarok, Stray, The Quarry, The Callisto Protocol, Saints Row, and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora are still on the horizon.

We’re still holding our breath for God of War: Ragnarok, which many believe will also be delayed, but according to a development team member, “Ragnarok is coming this year.”

We will eventually cross that bridge when we get there, but we’re going to focus on the games currently available that have lived up to expectations.

This list is fluid, will be updated throughout the year, and is subjective, so if something you feel is missing, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Keep in mind that we don’t have to agree with you, just saying.

Step into Hip-Hop Wired Gaming’s best video games of 2022 list in the gallery below.

Photo: Bernard Smalls PS5 Share / Horizon Forbidden West

1. SIFU 2. Horzion Forbidden West 3. WWE 2K22 4. Elden Ring 5. Tunic 6. Dying Light 2 7. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 8. Gran Turismo 7 9. Rainbow Six Extraction 10. Evil Dead: The Game
- Robert Longfellow
Kanye West’s 2020 Presidential Campaign Claims They Got Fleeced In Fraud Scheme
WH coverage

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

Kanye West’s doomed 2020 Presidential Campaign claims they were the victims of fraud. According to the campaign committee, they were defrauded of thousands of dollars that went to pay off someone’s credit card. 

Scammers gonna scam.

Per TMZ, Ye’s campaign committee sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission notifying them that someone who was not part of the campaign used the committee’s bank account to pay off a $3,999 credit card bill.

In a letter fired off Tuesday to the FEC, and obtained by TMZ, Kanye 2020 says an investigation determined someone accessed the account three times between December and February, and the campaign was unable to get the money back from the First Bank of Wyoming.

The FEC previously flagged the transactions and Kanye’s campaign took a look and is now claiming they were the victim here. There doesn’t appear to have been an arrest made yet, and it appears the FEC is working to gather more info.

It can’t be that difficult to track down the owner of that credit card since they have all the payment info, right?

Kanye West managed to get on a number of Presidential ballots. However, as many suspected, it has come to light that Donald Trump’s Ops helped promote the campaign as a means to snatch votes that otherwise may have went to Joe Biden.

Nevertheless, President Joe Biden won, and it wasn’t even close. And no one in their right mind thought Kanye West had a chance in hell of winning anyway.

KANYE 2024 pic.twitter.com/Zm2pKcn12t

— ye (@kanyewest) November 4, 2020

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- D.L. Chandler
Twitter Blasts NRA & Others In Wake Of Uvalde Shooting Tragedy
US-SCHOOL-CRIME-TEXAS

Source: ALLISON DINNER / Getty

The school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children dead is still sending shockwaves of outrage throughout the nation. As typical of these tragedies, the NRA found itself trending and many on Twitter are blasting the association.

The NRA Endures More Criticism

The victims of the Uvalde shooting had their names published in several news outlets, cementing the tragedy. We learned through the various reports that the lone gunman attended Uvalde High School, and purchased two assault rifles just after turning 18. Much like the Buffalo Tops shooter, the gunman faced little resistance in obtaining high-powered weaponry. In both cases, nothing ahead of the purchases alerted the retailers who sold the weapons.

The NRA, which stands for the National Rifle Association, emerged as a powerful lobby in 1975.  The association’s influence on policy is notable as it champions the tenets of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Several members of the Republican Party have shown outright support for the NRA, and the gun control debates rage on with little progress.

Twitter users are pointing out the hypocrisy of Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, both scheduled to speak at NRA events in the coming days. Cruz, in particular, is absorbing jabs at his character from the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among others. Further, most are pointing out financial contributions the association made in support of several GOP figureheads who all expressed sadness and condolences over the shooting.

The news even spilled over into the world of sports with Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr blasting gun control laws in the country while demanding changes need to come. Beyond the recent tragedies, gun violence has long been unwieldy across the United States.

As the investigation in Uvalde continues, Twitter users are grasping for a semblance of action from elected officials.

Photo: Getty

1.

Aren’t you slated to headline a speaking gig for the NRA in three days - in Houston, no less?You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead. https://t.co/NMX64KljhL

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 24, 2022 2.

$3,124,773 from the NRA. https://t.co/vPcw70CIgI

— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) May 25, 2022 3.

$1,267,139 from the NRA https://t.co/q5eQLYE1Rs

— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) May 25, 2022 4.

$13,647,676 from the NRA https://t.co/vg9biSc0kG

— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) May 25, 2022 5.

Remember the school shooter didn't act alone.He was assisted by 50 Senators, 210 House members, and the NRA.

— CALL TO ACTIVISM (@CalltoActivism) May 25, 2022 6.

$2,002,462 from the NRA. https://t.co/fXEWsYURBm

— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) May 25, 2022 7.

BREAKING: Democratic Rep. Rubén Gallego takes the gloves off, says “just to be clear fuck you” to Ted Cruz and calls him a “fucking baby killer” for blocking lifesaving gun laws while raking in blood-soaked riches from the NRA. RT IF YOU THINK MORE DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE THIS BLUNT!

— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) May 24, 2022 8.

$1,306,130 from the NRA. https://t.co/XyxTvww97i

— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) May 25, 2022 9.

A simple yes or no to prove a point.Should the NRA lose their tax exempt status?

— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) May 24, 2022 10.

Pro-tip: Jesus would want you to use your power as a lawmaker to act to stop gun violence in Uvalde instead of quoting Bible versus while taking money from the NRA. https://t.co/sJ7upvIOQe

— Text ACT to 644-33 (@shannonrwatts) May 24, 2022 11.

At the moment, Republicans Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump are scheduled to speak at the NRA's annual meeting in Houston in three days. Houston is only a few hundred miles away from Uvalde.

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 24, 2022 12.

Henry Cuellar has an A rating from the NRA. He's on the ballot TODAY. Vote every one of these fuckers out of office.

— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 24, 2022 13.

OUTLAW THE NRA.

— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) May 24, 2022 14.

We will never move conservatives on this issue, dead children didn’t move them with sandy hook and it won’t now. It’s time to become a single issue voter. Anyone that takes money from the NRA is out. Anyone that doesn’t support gun reform is out.

— Ethan Klein (@h3h3productions) May 24, 2022 15.

I wish I were shitting you but the NRA convention in Texas is STILL going ahead as planned in 3 daysEven after 19 KIDS & 2 ADULTS were butchered to death at UvaldeGreg Abbott, Ted Cruz & Trump are all scheduled to speakWelcome to the convention of murderers and bloodsuckers

— Lindy Li (@lindyli) May 25, 2022
- Zack Linly
Wu-Tang Clan Studio Worker Who Spent 23 Years In Prison For A Crime He Didn’t Commit To Receive $7 Million Settlement
Grant Williams exonerated

Source: NBC News / NBC New

It is inconceivable that a person can be sentenced to prison without any physical evidence tying them to a crime. How many people (and disproportionately Black people) have to spend years and even decades in prison for crimes they didn’t commit before people involved in our justice system realize they need more than faulty witness testimony and a (racist) hunch to convict someone who is truly guilty?

How much settlement money do taxpayers need to be burdened with before legal officials come to glory on the fact that changes need to be made to the process in which a person goes from suspect to convict?

Last year, 51-year-old Grant Williams was exonerated in the 1996 shooting of Shdell Lewis outside a Staten Island public housing complex, according to the Associated Press. Grant had spent 23 years in prison for the crime before he was paroled in 2019. Then last July he was cleared of all charges and now, NYC has agreed to pay him $7 million for his pain and suffering.

Grant just handed to be a studio worker for one of the most legendary rap groups in Hip Hop history. Here’s how he ended up in prison for a killing he wasn’t responsible for, as reported by AP:

The case against Williams had rested largely on the testimony of a couple of eyewitnesses. One was a police officer who chased the gunman — and initially gave a description that didn’t match Williams.

Prosecutors at his trial also sought to suggest a connection between Williams and a baseball cap that the shooter dropped at the scene, though the hat was never tested for DNA that could have pointed to its wearer. It was emblazoned with the logo of Wu-Tang Clan. Williams had worked at the multiplatinum-selling rap group’s Staten Island studio, but his lawyer notes that there was no telling how many hometown fans might have had Wu-Tang Clan hats at the time.

No physical, forensic or digital evidence tied Williams to the crime, and some witnesses testified that he wasn’t the gunman.

First of all, finding Wu-Tang apparel in Staten Island is like finding someone in a Spiderman t-shirt during a Marvel movie premiere. Secondly, why wasn’t the cap tested for DNA considering the fact that there was no additional evidence outside of the testimony of a cop and another witness who gave descriptions that didn’t even match Williams? Lastly, WHEN WILL THE JUSTICE SYSTEM STOP TAKING A COP’S WORD AT FACE VALUE?

Anyway, William—who also won a $5million settlement in a separate claim, according to his attorney, Irving Cohen—is not only free, but he’s apparently being reasonably well-compensated for years of his life that was stolen from him, not that a price can really be put on an individual’s freedom.

“This will assist him in going forward and trying to get back on his feet,” Cohen said.

More from AP:

Williams unsuccessfully appealed his conviction for years before Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon’s office agreed to review it. Prosecutors ultimately joined Williams in seeking the dismissal of his conviction, saying they now believe he’s innocent.

Williams told reporters at the time that he never lost faith that he would be exonerated and used to tell other inmates they’d see it on the news someday.

“And today is that day,” he said with relatives, supporters and friends including Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah by his side.

It’s a wonderful thing that Williams has been set free and cleared of all charges, but this should never have happened in the first place. Imagine how many inmates who ended up in prison under similar circumstances are falling through the cracks.

- Martin Berrios
Spice Rack Papi: Drake’s ‘Dave’s Hot Chicken’ is Now America’s Fastest-Growing Restaurant
DAVE'S HOT CHICKEN

Source: DAVE’S HOT CHICKEN / DAVE’S HOT CHICKEN

Drake is moving a lot of birds; no not that kind. The 6 God’s Dave’s Hot Chicken fast-food chain is the fastest-growing restaurant in the United States.

As per Hype Beast the Certified Lover Boy is seeing big success from his hospitality venture. Back in the infant stages of Dave’s Hot Chicken the Toronto, Canada native invested in the poultry focused pop up. Fast forward to current day and the brand is the fastest growing chain across country. Originally founded by Arman Oganesyan, Chef Dave Kopushyan, Tommy and Gary Rubenyan the team started the business with only $900 dollars in a parking lot in East Hollywood, California.

According to their newest performance reports DHC experienced a 262% sales growth in 2021 compared to 2020 and a 471% open unit count growth in 2021 growth compared to 2020. The impressive numbers has allowed them to expand to over 700 locations throughout the country including Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Portland and San Diego. Additionally they have also succeeded in the earned media space metric. In 2021 TikTok users embraced the chain with an estimated 31 million views of organic content produced featuring their menu items.

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A post shared by DavesHotChicken (@daveshotchicken)

Dave’s Hot Chicken specializes in very spicy tenders and sliders with varying spice levels ranging from to plain to reaper. You can check out their menu here. 

Photo: Dave’s Hot Chicken

- Christopher Smith
What Is Monkeypox And Its Health Risks?
In this photo illustration, a hand holding a medical syringe...

Source: SOPA Images / Getty

The confirmation of an outbreak of the monkeypox virus last week has many concerned as two cases have been confirmed in the United States. But initial reporting has left a space for confusion about the virus and the risks with COVID-19 still prevalent. We’ve taken some time to provide some clarity in this article. Officials with the World Health Organization have confirmed that while 160 cases of monkeypox have been discovered in the U.S. and 12 European nations along with Israel and Australia, they are confident that the spread can be stopped as these are countries where it is considered non-endemic. “As surveillance expands, we do expect that more cases will be seen. But we need to put this into context because it’s not Covid,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, emerging diseases lead for the WHO in a Q&A session held online Monday (May 23rd).

So what exactly is monkeypox?

For starters, it belongs to the family of poxviruses and received the name after it was discovered in laboratory monkeys by Danish scientists in 1958. It’s an animal-borne virus, predominately found in rodents such as tree squirrels and Gambian pouched rats for example. Transmission has mainly been between these rodents and primates who occupy the tropical rainforests in Central and West Africa.

In humans, monkeypox can be transmitted through contact with lesions on the skin of someone infected, coming in contact with contaminated material, or through drops of bodily fluid excreted by someone infected, potentially through sexual activity. Those infected with monkeypox will exhibit symptoms of fever, muscle aches, a chickenpox-like rash on the hands and face, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion and chills. 

The virus is not normally fatal but can be for immunocompromised people, pregnant women, and children. It clears up after two to four weeks and doesn’t require immediate hospitalization. The WHO has also stated that the smallpox vaccine can help those infected with monkeypox. The first human case of monkeypox was in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, there have been small outbreaks in that nation and ten others in Central and West Africa where it has been given endemic status. 

Researchers with the WHO recently pointed to the possibility that a portion of the sudden outbreak of monkeypox “cases have mainly but not exclusively been identified” among those who identify as gay or bisexual in some of the affected European countries. Authorities in Spain and Belgium are now investigating two rave events as sources of the spread. Dr. Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, an infectious diseases specialist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia took to Twitter to blast news agencies reporting on the monkeypox outbreak with homophobic and racist overtones. “Outbreaks can very easily breed stigma. This happened with the AIDS epidemic and during #COVID.”, she wrote.

PSA – #Monkeypox is NOT a gay disease!I read some of the articles covering the outbreaks in #Europe and feel this needs to be said out loud. Outbreaks can very easily breed stigma. This happened with the AIDS epidemic and during #COVID. Let's not keep repeating these mistakes.

— BK Titanji #IAmAScientist🇨🇲 (@Boghuma) May 18, 2022

She also called out the inequality in global health in another tweet, commenting on the fact that the presence of monkeypox in Europe might lead to quicker immunization for that population before those African nations who have been dealing with it for decades:

It's ironic but now that we have #monkeypox outbreaks in many western countries we are likely to see immunization of these populations before the vaccines trickle down to endemic African countries which have been dealing w outbreaks for decades Global health #inequity is a crime

— BK Titanji #IAmAScientist🇨🇲 (@Boghuma) May 22, 2022

The United Nations agency overseeing efforts to combat HIV/AIDS issued a press statement in response to the biased reporting as well, saying: “some public reporting and commentary on monkeypox has used language and imagery, particularly portrayals of LGBTI and African people, that reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma. Lessons from the AIDS response show that stigma and blame directed at certain groups of people can rapidly undermine outbreak response.”

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- O
Ohdatsrida ft. Fabolous “Betrayal,” Haddy Racks fr. Jim Jones “I Am Who I Am” & More | Daily Visuals 5.24.22

For a minute there it felt like Fabolous was taking a long sabbatical from the rap game as he was keeping a low profile but lately he’s been dropping off new work and throwing out a few features to remind everyone he’s still that dude. This time around the Brooklyn rapper links up with Ohdatsrida for the visuals to “Betrayal” where the two men discuss their women problems while showing off some ridiculous iced out pieces at what seems to be an abandoned building. How’d Fab end up with a Rocafella chain?!

Elsewhere Haddy Racks and Jim Jones connect at a clothing store and in the clip to “I Am Who I Am” get things turnt up at the spot and pop bottles while puffing some herb with their respective peoples.

Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Maxo Kream, Babyface Ray, and more.

OHDATSRIDA FT. FABOLOUS – “BETRAYAL”

HADDY RACKS FT. JIM JONES – “I AM WHO I AM”

MAXO KREAM – “JIGGA DAME”

BABYFACE RAY – “FAMILY OVER MONEY”

ASIAN DOLL FT. BANDMANRILL – “GET JUMPED”

YUNG RO FT. STUNNA 4 VEGAS – “BULLET PROOF”

YHUNG T.O. – “RHYTHM & THUG”

HEADIE ONE – “CAME IN THE SCENE”

- Robert Longfellow
19 Children Massacred In Texas Elementary School, Black Twitter Says Shove Your Thoughts & Prayers
US-SCHOOL-CRIME-TEXAS

Source: ALLISON DINNER / Getty

A gunman killed 21 people at a Texas elementary school. Nineteen of those victims were children, and Black Twitter is already bracing itself for, and calling out, the pending “thoughts & prayers” jig from politicians who will give all the lip service, and not deliver any feasible gun legislation.

The massacre occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde County, Texas.

Reports the New York Times:

A gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, killing 14 children and a teacher, in the deadliest shooting at an elementary school since the devastating attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

Police officers are believed to have killed the gunman, Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference. Mr. Abbott later said that the gunman had been a student at a nearby high school.

The assailant was identified by state police as Salvador Ramos, 18. The suspect abandoned his vehicle and entered Robb Elementary School with a handgun and possibly a rifle, Mr. Abbott said.

Senator Chris Murphy knows the deal, that his GOP colleagues will likely continue to obstruct any sort of meaningful legislation. But he’s literally begging for their help anyway.

“Why are you here?!"

A furious Sen. Chris Murphy demands answers from senators following Texas school shooting.

“Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate…if your answer, is as the slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives—we do nothing?” pic.twitter.com/9fkJ13vWGd

— ABC News (@ABC) May 24, 2022

Don’t hold your breath.

As actress Quinta Brunson has already noted, you can bank on the excuse to keep rolling in—with those “pro life” folking never actually blaming the guns.

every time this happens I watch the conversation move toward the why. Mental health, race, class, domestic dispute etc. I kind of can’t stand that because all it does is protect the only constant in each case: a gun.

— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) May 24, 2022

Black Twitter, and People With Sense Twitter, has its eye squarely on the jig, and is calling it out as loudly as possible. See below.

This story is developing.

Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez says he was just told by the Texas Rangers that 18 children and 3 adults have been killed in the #Uvalde elementary school shooting pic.twitter.com/Lm4UKm6EFW

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 24, 2022

There is no such thing as being “pro-life” while supporting laws that let children be shot in their schools, elders in grocery stores, worshippers in their houses of faith, survivors by abusers, or anyone in a crowded place.

It is an idolatry of violence. And it must end.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 24, 2022

you can't be serious right now https://t.co/ClATMc5HMa pic.twitter.com/Eyse03npbf

— CHRIS FOXX (@FoxxFiles) May 24, 2022

Today is the 144th day of 2022.

The Uvalde shooting is the 212th mass shooting of 2022.

Gun violence is a public health crisis.

— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) May 24, 2022

 

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Elementary school bro, these kids were supposed to enjoy their summer vacation that was coming up.

— Ahmed🇸🇴/Skylar Diggins I need you lol (@big_business_) May 24, 2022 2.

It takes a monster to kill children. But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity—it’s inhumanity.

— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) May 24, 2022 3.

easier to get a gun than baby formula

— Meena Harris (@meena) May 24, 2022 4.

Sandy Hook really could have been the end of it all. But here we are.

— Patience. (@patiencezalanga) May 24, 2022 5.

Just to be clear fuck you @tedcruz you fucking baby killer.

— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) May 24, 2022 6.

Breaks my heart hearing this news, no parent should ever have to lose there child. Praying for the families of those kids and the teacher 🙏🏽❤… this is devastating

— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) May 24, 2022 7.

There is no logical (or legal) reason, even with hunting, for a private citizen to own a semi-automatic rifle. Full stop.

— Naima Cochrane (@naima) May 24, 2022 8.

Columbine survivor here. My oldest son just finished his first year of college. This is America. There is no end in sight for the steady cadence of mass gun violence we seem unwilling to ever address. A reality my peers could not have imagined on our worst day in April 1999.

— Craig Nason (@nasoncraig) May 24, 2022 9.

FUCKING ENOUGH!!!!

— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) May 24, 2022 10.

America is a fucking nightmare.

— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) May 24, 2022 11.

14 children. And a week after Buffalo. It’s just unbearable.

— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) May 24, 2022
- Easy Money Typer
Gunna Denied Bond, Prosecutors Allege He Serves “Command” Role In YSL
Gunna Denied Bond, Prosecutors Allege He Serves A "Command" Role

Source: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

Gunna might be pushing pleas at this rate because the rapper could be behind bars for quite some time.

Gunna, born Sergio Kitchens, has already pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, the rapper’s lawyer  Steven H. Sadow confirmed to Pitchfork. The news comes on the heels of “Pushin P” crafter being denied bond and might have to stay behind bars until Monday, January 9, 2023, when his trial is scheduled to begin.

In a statement sent to Pitchfork, Sadow wrote:

The Court was obviously concerned about threats and intimidation of witnesses. We believe when the Court hears evidence, not just the words of the prosecutor, it will find that Sergio’s release on bond will not, directly or indirectly, pose a significant risk to witnesses. We look forward to having an evidentiary hearing on this as soon as the Court permits.

Gunna was rounded up as part of the massive sting that also saw Young Thug and other members of YSL hit with RICO charges. Billboard reports that prosecutors allege that Gunna serves in a “command” role and would “direct their troops” to commit violent acts.

Culture reporter Jewel Wicker also stated in her reporting the judge is worried about “witness tampering.”

Prosecutors said Gunna is a “documented” gang member and that he and Williams “direct their troops” to commit violent acts. The judge said his biggest concern was witness tampering.

Gunna’s attorney can file a renewed motion for bond at a later date.

— Jewel Wicker (@jewelwickershow) May 23, 2022

Gunna’s mentor, Young Thug, is also going through it. Per his attorney, Thugger is currently being held in “dungeonlike” conditions.

While the news is not sounding good for Gunna and Young Thug right now, they should know they are getting plenty of support from producer Metro Boomin on social media.

“YSL is not a gang and never been a gang fool, YSL is a registered LLC and has provided countless jobs and opportunities for underprivileged Black people and really just all people cause that’s how big Thug heart is,” he wrote in a tweet.

YSL is not a gang and never been a gang fool, YSL is a registered LLC and has provided countless jobs and opportunities for underprivileged black people and really just all people cause that’s how big Thug heart is.

— Metro Boomin (@MetroBoomin) May 12, 2022

Young Thug was supposed to appear before the judge on Monday, but his appearance got pushed back.

Photo: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

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- O
eBay Opens Exclusive Sneaker Store In LA That Encourages You To Wear Kicks Out The Store
eBay Sneaker Store

Source: eBay / eBay

eBay got some big plans for sneakerheads this Memorial Day weekend as they plan on opening up shop in LA and actually reward sneakerheads who wear whatever kicks they cop at their spot. According to NiceKicks, eBay will be opening up a Wear ‘Em Out sneaker spot on Fairfax Avenue from May 27th-29th and will have an assortment of sneakers that will be up to 70% off their market value. To top things off, Wear ‘Em Out will give customers a bigger discount if they actually wear their newly purchased sneakers out the store. Not bad if you ask us.

We don’t expect to see any Off-White Jordans or Travis Scott kicks for dirt cheap, but hey you never know as Offset did have a hand in picking and choosing what kicks would be available for purchase.

As one of the most well known rappers and sneakerheads, eBay invited Offset to help curate the Wear ‘Em Out store. Using his extensive sneaker collection as a guide, Offset worked with eBay to determine the most exciting sneakers to offer to shoppers.

“eBay is my go-to place to find the kicks you can’t find anywhere else,” said rapper Offset. “For sneaker collectors like me who lay awake at night trying to decide if you’re going to wear your new kicks, eBay’s Wear ‘Em Out Store makes light of something that haunts the entire sneaker community and gives people a new way to access the shoes they want for summer.”

Should be interesting to see what grails and gems will be available for 70% off. We predict many Pumas and adidas will be on deck. Just sayin.’

Will you be heading to Wear ‘Em Out when they open up this Memorial Day weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.

- Christopher Smith
Charges Dropped Against Bronx Rapper Accused of Shooting at NYPD
US-FRANCE-JUSTICE-TRIAL-DSK

Source: DON EMMERT / Getty

A 16-year-old Bronx rapper who made headlines for allegedly shooting a New York Police Department officer while being arrested has had the charges against him dropped. According to reports, officials with the Bronx Family Court Law Department confirmed last Friday (May 20th) that the charges against Camrin Williams, also known as C Blu, were dropped. Officials said that the case, which included charges of attempted murder and assault, “cannot be prosecuted” but they did note that the rapper did violate the law with his weapon. “Just because the city cannot prosecute doesn’t mean this individual should have been carrying an illegal weapon — a weapon which contributed to both him and an officer being shot,” the Law Department said in a statement which added, “Pursuant to Family Court Law, the case is now sealed and we are unable to say more about the matter.”

In January of this year, the incident took place as C Blu was being arrested while in an altercation with officers who had responded to complaints about a disorderly crowd. During the tussle, the firearm Williams was carrying went off, striking Officer Kaseem Pennant in the leg after the bullet went through his own. The rapper was arrested and accused of violating the previous probation status he had received for gun possession. He would go on to obtain his release after posting $200,000 bail reportedly with an advance he had gotten after signing a deal with Interscope Records.

The news did not sit well with Patrick J. Lynch, the NYPD Police Benevolent Association president. “This absurd decision should outrage every New Yorker who wants to get illegal guns off our streets,” he said. “There is no dispute that this individual was caught carrying an illegal gun for the second time. If perps like this face absolutely no consequences, even after shooting a cop, we have to ask: why bother sending us out to get the guns at all?”

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A post shared by C Blu (@cblu_180)

- Electrobuzz
Agents Of Time – Interstellar Cowboy / KOMPAKT4532

The Agents Of Time – Interstellar Cowboy / KOMPAKT4532 had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

Download Interstellar Cowboy on Electrobuzz

RELEASE: Interstellar Cowboy ARTIST(S): Agents Of Time

REMIXERS: Gui Boratto

LABEL: Kompakt | KOMPAKT4532 GENRE: LOSSLESS, Melodic House & Techno RELEASED: 2022-05-20 AVAILABLE FORMAT: 848Kbps/LOSSLESS DOWNLOAD SIZE: 98.51 MB

TOTAL TRACKS 3 Agents Of Time – Interstellar Cowboy (06:53) key, bpm126 Agents Of Time – Interstellar Cowboy (Gui Boratto Remix) (05:39) key, bpm126 Agents Of Time – Interstellar Cowboy (Edit) (03:22) key, bpm126

Total Playtime: 00:15:54 min

/

The Agents Of Time – Interstellar Cowboy / KOMPAKT4532 had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

- Electrobuzz
Baris K – Valhalla / PLAYRJC079D

The Baris K – Valhalla / PLAYRJC079D had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

Download Valhalla on Electrobuzz

RELEASE: Valhalla ARTIST(S): Baris K

REMIXERS:

LABEL: Live At Robert Johnson | PLAYRJC079D GENRE: LOSSLESS, Electronica RELEASED: 2022-05-20 AVAILABLE FORMAT: 822Kbps/LOSSLESS DOWNLOAD SIZE: 159.60 MB

TOTAL TRACKS 3 Baris K – Noon (08:47) key, bpm123 Baris K – La Dame Noir (08:36) key, bpm118 Baris K – Valhalla (09:22) key, bpm130

Total Playtime: 00:26:45 min

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The Baris K – Valhalla / PLAYRJC079D had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

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Bontan – Ayo / KD148

The Bontan – Ayo / KD148 had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

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RELEASE: Ayo ARTIST(S): Bontan

REMIXERS:

LABEL: Knee Deep In Sound | KD148 GENRE: LOSSLESS, Afro House RELEASED: 2022-05-20 AVAILABLE FORMAT: 839Kbps/LOSSLESS DOWNLOAD SIZE: 34.04 MB

TOTAL TRACKS 1 Bontan – Ayo (05:36) key, bpm126

Total Playtime: 00:05:36 min

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The Bontan – Ayo / KD148 had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

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Breitenstein – OK, OK / HHBER046

The Breitenstein – OK, OK / HHBER046 had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

Download OK, OK on Electrobuzz

RELEASE: OK, OK ARTIST(S): Breitenstein

REMIXERS:

LABEL: Harthouse | HHBER046 GENRE: LOSSLESS, House RELEASED: 2022-05-20 AVAILABLE FORMAT: 852Kbps/LOSSLESS DOWNLOAD SIZE: 74.63 MB

TOTAL TRACKS 2 Breitenstein – OK (05:46) key, bpm125 Breitenstein – OK, OK (06:11) key, bpm125

Total Playtime: 00:11:57 min

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The Breitenstein – OK, OK / HHBER046 had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

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The Clu Polar – First Light EP / FMR202 had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

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The Cosenza – Critical Level / DIGITALMAN13 had been posted originally on Electrobuzz

- Linda Giantino
The 10 Best Puff Daddy Songs of All-Time

Puffy Daddy

Whether you know him as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, or just Sean Combs, there’s no doubt that the man has some serious skills when it comes to making music. Over his career, he’s released a ton of great songs that have kept us dancing for years. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the 10 best Puff Daddy songs of all time.

10. I’ll Be Missing You (feat. Faith Evans & 112) – 2014 Remaster

 

I’ll Be Missing You is a song about loss, and specifically about the death of Combs’ close friend Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G. The song samples Sting’s “Every Breath You Take”, and features vocals from Faith Evans and 112. It was released in 1997 as a single from Combs’ album No Way Out and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 11 weeks. According to Discotech, this song was written by Combs, Evans, and Sting, and produced by Combs and Mario Winans. It gained more popularity after being used as a soundtrack in the movie Rush Hour.

9. I Need a Girl (Pt. 2)

 

This song was produced by Puff Daddy and released in 2001. The song features Loon, Ginuwine, and Mario Winans, and is a sequel to “I Need a Girl (Pt. One)”. The song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It is a song about a man who is searching for his perfect woman. It was released under the record label, Bad Boy Records. It has been featured in the films, “Save the Last Dance” and “Step Up”.

8. Bad Boy for Life

 

Bad Boy for Life is a song about, well, being a bad boy for life. It’s about being tough and not backing down from a fight. It was a huge song that picked at the top ten on the Billboard charts and stayed there for weeks. Puff sings about how he’s a bad boy and how he’s going to stay that way. The song was written by Sean Combs, Mario Winans, Chucky Thompson, and Alvin Joiner. The song became even more popular after being featured as a soundtrack in the movie Bad Boys II. The song is an anthem for the bad boys and girls of the world. It’s a song that celebrates being tough and not getting intimidated by anyone.

7. I Need a Girl (Pt. 1) (feat. Usher & Loon)

 

I Need a Girl (Pt. 1) is a beautiful song about the search for love. The production is smooth and the song has a great groove. It was written by Sean Combs, Mario Winans, and Loon. The song did well reaching number fourteen on the Billboard Hot 100. It has been used in movies and films such as “Hitch” and “Step Up”. It is a classic R&B song and one of Puff Daddy’s best.

6. Last Night

 

Last Night is a song about, well, last night. It’s about the time Puff Daddy spent with his girl, and how he wants to spend every night with her. it was produced under the record label Bad Boy Records, and it was released on January 27, 1998. The song samples “Thelonious” by Monk Higgins. It reached number nineteen on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number twenty-seven in the UK. According to Power Orlando, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. It has been used as a soundtrack in the films Rush Hour, Big Daddy, and The Five-Year Engagement.

5. Victory

 

One of the most anthemic songs in Puff Daddy’s catalog, “Victory” is a celebration of all things Bad Boy. Featuring The Notorious BIG and Busta Rhymes, the track is full of braggadocio and boasts some of the most memorable lines in rap history. Over a triumphant horn-laden beat, Puff and company lay claim to being the best in the game, and it’s hard to argue with them. “Victory” is the perfect example of what made Puff Daddy and Bad Boy so special in the ’90s. The song did well reaching the number one spot on the Hot Rap Songs, and is still a fan favorite to this day. It has been used in numerous films and television shows over the years like The Sopranos, The Interview, and most recently in the 2019 film Hobbs & Shaw.

4. Been Around the World (feat. The Notorious B.I.G. & Mase)

 

This track is about as close to a perfect rap song as you can get. The song is about Puff Daddy’s life of luxury and the things he’s seen around the world. It was written by Puff Daddy, Mase, and The Notorious B.I.G., and it was produced by Puff Daddy and Deric “D-Dot” Angelettie. It reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the RIAA. It has also been used in numerous movies and television shows like The Wire, and Friday Night Lights.

3. Young G’s

 

Young G’s is a song about, you guessed it, young guns. It’s a song about making it in the rap game, and how Puff Daddy and Jay-Z are the young guns who are taking over. The song is full of bragging rights, and it’s clear that Puff Daddy and Jay-Z are having a lot of fun with it. According to Watch Mojo, it was released under the record label Bad Boy Records, and it was produced by Deric “D-Dot” Angelettie and Sean “Puffy” Combs. The song was an instant hit reaching number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100. This song has been used as a soundtrack in the film “Men in Black II” and the video game “Def Jam: Fight for NY”.

2. Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down (feat. Mase)

 

This song is about how Puff Daddy is on top of the world and nobody can hold him down. This was a huge hit in 1997 when it was released and reached number twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100. It features Mase, who was signed to Puff Daddy’s label at the time. It was released under the album titled “No Way Out” and was produced by Sean Combs. The song has been used as a soundtrack in many movies including “She’s All That” and “Save the Last Dance”.

1. Last Night (feat. Keyshia Cole)

 

Puff Daddy’s “Last Night” featuring Keyshia Cole is a hauntingly beautiful song about the regrets of a one-night stand. The production is minimal, with a simple piano melody and Cole’s emotive vocals taking center stage. The song peaked at number two on the US R&B charts and number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. This song has featured in several movies and tv shows including “Notorious” and “The Big Bang Theory”. It was written by Cole, Puff Daddy, and Mario Winans.

The post The 10 Best Puff Daddy Songs of All-Time appeared first on Chaospin.

- Linda Giantino
Ranking All The Songs from The Divergent Soundtrack

Divergent

Divergent is the first movie in the Divergent trilogy based on the book series by Veronica Roth. The film takes place in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world where people live in the ruins of what was once Chicago. In their society, when you turn sixteen, you either join a faction group based on what matters most to you, or you are cast out as ‘factionless’ and shunned. The whole movie series is a fascinating take on how people divide themselves instead of embracing all they are, and the soundtrack is a fantastic mix of styles and songs chosen to match the film’s tone perfectly. We’ve ranked all the songs from the Divergent Soundtrack.

13. Dead In The Water by Ellie Goulding

 

Dead In The Water is at the bottom of this list because Ellie Goulding is on it three times. This excellent song is about love and loss. The sense of seeking and trying to make a deep, meaningful connection is a part of the main character, Tris’ personality from the beginning as she seeks to find her people and her place in the world.

12. Dream Machines by Big Deal

 

Life is complex enough if you don’t live in a society where complex, post-apocalyptic, society-defining machinations by influential people rule your existence. Dream Machines is about seeking something simpler. Most people just want to be themselves and live their lives without outside pressure and interference, but that is rarely an option.

11. Fight For You by Pia Mia, Featuring Chance The Rapper

 

Fight For You doesn’t mince words. It says outright, “And the day is gonna come when you decide who you’ll become. I know you know it, you know it, but you can’t go choosing sides.” That line sums up the main point of this dystopian coming-of-age film. You have to choose who you turn yourself into, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to settle too far into a single idea or group. When you ‘pick a side,’ you also choose not to support the ‘other side.’ Divisiveness doesn’t serve our best interests.

10. I Won’t Let You Go by Snow Patrol

 

In Divergent, Tris and Four are both members of a faction in their society called ‘dauntless.’ It is literally their job to be fearless. It is not an easy job or an easy life, and they both know it and understand that they are well suited to the task. I Won’t Let You Go is about making a dangerous choice, like love.

9. Backwards by Kendrick Lamar

 

Backward is a lyrical masterwork from Kendrick Lamar. He is known for his incredible music with its deeper meanings about society as a whole and its many flaws. As Okay Player points out, “Hip-hop fans turn into sleuths whenever a new Kendrick Lamar project drops.”

8. In Distress by A$AP Rocky Featuring Gesaffelstein

 

Many of the songs from Divergent deal directly with the love subplot between the two leads, but not all of them. In Distress addresses the need to fight for your right to be yourself or be different. It also talks about how messed up the system is and how badly it treats people, which is an ideal musical complement for this dystopian film.

7. I Love You by Woodkid

 

I Love You is the third single off Woodkid’s album The Golden Age. This song is about longing and desire. The singer wants love and feels it, but getting it in return is entirely different. He says, “Is there anything I could do just to get some attention from you? In the waves, I’ve lost every trace of you. Where are you?”

6. I Need You by M83

 

In a world where you leave your family young to dedicate yourself to a faction and its purpose, it’s easy to lose your sense of self and connection to who you are. Tris and Four both experience this differently, but they are destined to be together. I Need You by M83 is a song of hope for the future. The characters in the film desperately want to come together, but they’ll have to fight for a better future to make that possible.

5. Hanging On (I See Monstas Remix) by Ellie Goulding

 

When they first meet in Divergent, Four knows instantly that he is interested in Tris, and she certainly seems to like him. However, his position of authority as a trainer gets in the way. He actively discourages her. Sometimes he’s even outright rude. Hanging On is the song for a scorned potential lover.

4. Stranger by Skrillex, with KillaGraham and Sam Dew

 

Stranger by Skrillex has a unique take on self-denial in love. Attraction is a powerful thing. There’s no question that the main characters in Divergent feel it for each other. However, it’s only from an outside perspective we see it clearly. Four isolates his emotions in the story, denying himself the human connection. Meanwhile, Tris is spectacular at connecting with people but always feels she doesn’t deserve to have them in her life. They are both blind o their own self-isolation in curious ways, yet they always come together in the end.

3. Find You by Zedd, Featuring Matthew Koma, and Miriam Bryant

 

You might not expect an unrequited love song like Find You to feature so prominently on this list or in Divergent. However, the sense that love is a nearly impossible thing to achieve is one of Tris’ primary motivators. She initially doesn’t understand that Four could be attracted to her and assumes his motivations wrongly. Although she knows she wants to be near him, her inexperience and self-depreciation lead her to the wrong conclusion.

2. Beating Heart by Ellie Goulding

 

Beating Heart by Ellie Goulding expresses the same sense of desperation and desire that comes with this young lover’s tale. Ellie told MTV News that the original meaning behind the song is “… about being away from someone or knowing that you’re always going to have to be apart from someone that you really love,” she said. “And it’s painful, but it’s hopeful because there’s always a chance that they’ll collide again like two people collide. Like the universe will bring them back together.” Tris and Four feel that pull, tearing them apart, and the hope that they can find a path back to one another keenly.

1. Run Boy Run by Woodkid

 

Run Boy Run by Woodkid is a superb, dynamic song where the singer’s voice is a narrative. The subject wants to be himself, but his world doesn’t approve, so he must run. The video for this song is in black and white. It conveys the sense of oppression while hinting at a dark fate for the subject if he cannot maintain his pace. Much like Tris and Four’s characters, who have to run from everything they’ve ever known to become more fully themselves, there is risk and reward in the battle.

The post Ranking All The Songs from The Divergent Soundtrack appeared first on Chaospin.

- Linda Giantino
The 10 Best Ryan Adams Songs of All-Time

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams is a singer-songwriter who has been making music since the early 1990s. He has released many studio albums, and his music has been featured in TV shows and movies. Adams is known for his soulful lyrics and his unique guitar playing style. Ryan is known for his heart-wrenching ballads and his upbeat, rock songs. In this article, we will take a look at 10 of his best songs of all time.

10. Lucky Now

 

“Lucky Now” is a song from Adams’ 2011 album, “Ashes & Fire.” The song is about a man who is trying to find his way in life. This was a hit song that reached the top of the charts in the UK and number two in the US. The song was written by Adams and was produced by Glyn Johns. It is a huge song that has been featured in many movies and TV shows like “The Fault in Our Stars” and “One Tree Hill.”

9. Wildest Dreams

 

“Wildest Dreams” is one of Adams’ most popular songs, and for good reason. The song is about Adams’ ex-wife, Mandy Moore, and the pain he felt after their divorce. The song is both haunting and beautiful, with Adams’ trademark lyrical prowess on full display. This song is in the album “Easy Tiger.” It was written by Ryan Adams and released in 2006. According to Classic Rock History, the song did well and has been featured in many popular TV shows and movies such as The O.C., One Tree Hill, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

8. Do You Still Love Me?

 

This is another great song by Ryan Adams. He sings about a relationship that didn’t work out and how he still loves the person even though they’re not together anymore. The song was recorded by Adams in 2006 and released on his album 29. It was released under the record label Lost Highway. The song did well reaching number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number four on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It’s a great song about love and loss. It gained more traction after being featured as a soundtrack in the movie “Rock of Ages.”

7. Bad Blood

 

“Bad Blood” is one of Adams’ most personal songs, and it’s also one of his best. The song is about the end of a relationship, and it’s full of hurt and anger. Adams doesn’t hold back on the lyrics, and the result is a powerful song that packs an emotional punch. He released the song under the pseudonym “The Cardinal”, and it’s one of his most memorable songs. The song was written by Adams and was produced by Mike Viola. Bad Blood is a great song because of its raw emotion. Adams doesn’t sugarcoat the hurt and anger he felt when his relationship ended. It reached number one on the US Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.

6. Gimme Something Good

 

There’s something about Adams’ voice on this track that is just so raw and vulnerable. He sings about wanting somebody to just give him something good, and it’s a feeling that we can all relate to. He delivers the message perfectly through his emotive vocals and simple, yet effective lyrics. This song was produced under the record label Pax Am, which Adams formed himself. The song did well and has been featured in films and movies such as The Fault in Our Stars.

5. Everybody Knows

 

“Everybody Knows” is one of Adams’ most heartbreaking songs. It’s a song about a relationship that’s falling apart, and it’s clear that both parties are aware of what’s happening. The song was written in a moment of clarity for Adams, and it’s one of the most honest and vulnerable songs he’s ever written. It reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It gained more popularity after being featured as a soundtrack in the film, A Star Is Born. “Everybody Knows” is a song that will resonate with anyone who’s ever been in a failing relationship.

4. To Be Without You

 

“To Be Without You” is a song from Ryan Adams’ self-titled album. The song was released as a single on September 25, 2001. “To Be Without You” is a slow and sad song about a relationship that ended. The song was produced by Mike Viola and was written by Adams. “To Be Without You” peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

3. Wonderwall

 

“Wonderwall” is a song about hope and about finding your own personal strength to keep going when the going gets tough. Ryan delivers the message perfectly with his lyrics and with the emotive way he sings them. The song was written by Ryan and it was released in 2001 as the second single from his album, “Gold.” The song has been covered by many artists, but no one does it quite like Ryan. It has also been featured as a soundtrack in movies like “Shrek” and “The Cable Guy.” What makes “Wonderwall” such a great song is its ability to inspire hope in the listener and to give them the strength to carry on.

2. Lovesick Blues

 

“Lovesick Blues” is a song about, well, being lovesick. And it’s one of Adams’ most vulnerable songs, which is saying something. It was co-written with his then-wife Mandy Moore, and it’s achingly beautiful. It has been covered by many artists ranging from Hank Williams to Emmylou Harris, but Adams’ version is the definitive one. The song reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Lovesick Blues” is a song about being lovesick, which means it’s a song about heartbreak. It has been featured as a soundtrack in the film “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”

1. New York, New York

 

This is a song about trying to make it in a city that never sleeps. It’s about working hard and hustling, and never giving up on your dreams. It’s a song that makes you want to get up and dance, and it’s also a great love letter to the city of New York. It was released in Ryan’s album, “Heartbreaker”, and it quickly became one of his most popular songs. It became even more popular after being featured in the movie, “Sex and the City”.

Conclusion

As you can see, Ryan Adams is a very talented singer and songwriter. He has written some of the best songs of all time, and he is definitely one of the most popular artists of his generation. If you haven’t listened to his music yet, please do. You won’t be disappointed.

The post The 10 Best Ryan Adams Songs of All-Time appeared first on Chaospin.

- Linda Giantino
Ranking All The Songs from The Good Burger Soundtrack

Good Burger

This 1997 release is based on a skit from the Nickelodeon series, All That. The movie chronicles the story of Dexter Reed, a high schooler who starts working in the Good Burger restaurant after an unfortunate accident with one of the teacher’s vehicles. Another co-worker Ed, a more well-to-do student balances out Dexter and together they learn some of life’s most important lessons about hard work. While watching the movie, you’ll see the Good Burger manager, Mr. Bailey. He is the one who not only wrote the screenplay for Good Burger but many other shows on Nickelodeon. At one point there was talk about a sequel where the two characters stumble on an m mystery but it was turned down. Even though it would have been to see, this movie certainly stood alone with many memorable characters. One of the people you will see in the movie is George Clinton who is also one of the voices on the soundtrack. Aside from the track, he is also credited as “Dancing Crazy” in the film. Aside from Clinton, there are many other incredible performances on the soundtrack from a variety of different genres and artists. This is a ranking of all the songs from the Good Burger Soundtrack.

12. (Not The) Greatest Rapper – 1000 Clowns

 

This group only released a single album, Freelance Bubblehead in 1999. Aside from the song Kitty Kat Max on it, (Not The) Greatest Rapper is their most notable hit. Although the song is fun and fits well into the movie, it blended in too much with the other pop fair in the late 90s.

11. Knee Deep (The Deeper Mix) – George Clinton and Digital Underground

 

In this song, the pair are with the patients of Demented Hills including Clinton. Once they put this song on they break out into spontaneous dance. However, it is all a ploy for everyone to break free from the facility.

10. We’re All Dudes – Less Than Jake and Kel Mitchell

 

This song is the theme for the movie and is sung by one of the two lead characters. It’s a fun upbeat song that works well with the overall theme of friendship in the movie.

9. Do Fries Go With That Shake – Trulio Disgracias and De La Soul

 

Like other songs on this soundtrack, this song has an eclectic funk beat. The song feels like another fun day at work for the pair. The majority of the lyrics are playoff things we might order at a restaurant. In the movie, it plays when Ed is skateboarding.

8. Roxanne – Spearhead

 

This version of The Police’s smash hit stays close to the original but adds some funkier grooves. Additionally, you will hear a much heavier dose of electronic instrumentation in this version.

7. So-Cal V8 – Redd Kross

 

The 90s were just starting to cross into the post-punk music groups like Blink 182. In this song, you hear some of the opening riffs of the neo-punk movement. Throughout the song, several guitar solos place the song squarely alongside other groups in the same genre that came later.

6. I’ll Be There For You – Tracie Spencer

 

Spencer only released three albums during the height of her career in the 90s. Aside from her albums, she also did several soundtrack songs including this addition to the Good Burger Soundtrack.

5. Friends – Warren G

 

Warren G was one of the driving forces behind the rise in West Coast rap during the 90s. He is the stepbrother of Dr. Dre. He has had a longstanding career with numerous hits. His addition to the Good Burger Soundtrack adds another dimension to the fresh fun feel of the movie.

4. All I Want – 702

 

This song was initially on the group’s freshman album, No Doubt; released in 1996. On its initial release, it was the third single on the album. Later, it was used during promotional content for the movie. When listening to it, you will hear a sample of The Jackson 5’s song It’s Great To Be A Hearo.

3. Keep On – The Pharcyde

 

The song starts with a dreamier hip-hop groove. The song itself feels like a sunny day. According to Okay Player, early in the group’s career, they wanted to focus on a more positive side of rap which is why the group undoubtedly had a spot on this soundtrack.

2. That’s The Way (It’s Goin’ Down) – Mint Condition

 

The song has a beat that immediately makes you sway in your seat. Although this movie won’t go down as being one of the best of the decades, it’s a fun one to watch with a soundtrack that has kept it a memorable hit for almost two decades. When listening, the instrumentation carries confidence. You can almost see the characters going through their day as the song plays.

1. Man – The Presidents of The United States of America

 

If you grew up in the 90s you probably heard another of this group’s hits, Peaches. Seattle was a hotbed for amazing musical talent and this group was not an exception. The song starts with the group’s signature drum and guitar licks. However, they have a little bit more of a drive than their other songs. The refrain of the song mirrors what it can sometimes feel like to do the same job day in and day out. However, the counter-culture punk feel lends itself perfectly to the younger demographic this movie was trying to reach.

The post Ranking All The Songs from The Good Burger Soundtrack appeared first on Chaospin.

- Linda Giantino
10 Awesome Songs about Babies

Babies

Songs about babies vary per culture and traditions. Some kids prefer nursery rhymes because they’re repetitive, while others don’t mind traditional songs describing them. Either way, music influences a child’s development process. According to Open Collections, songs about babies are diverse, but the only thing that makes them equal is the message portrayed. Some artists on this list sing about children as a reminder of how they transitioned into adulthood. Here are ten awesome songs about babies.

10. It Won’t Be Like This For Long- Darius Rucker (2008)

 

It Won’t Be Like This For Long is a track from Hootie & the Blowfish’s lead vocalist, Darius Rucker, in 2008. It features in the band’s album, Learn to Live. The mid-tempo track unravels a story about a couple who’re first-time parents. Their baby keeps them awake at night, but the wife keeps reminding her husband that it shall get better when the baby grows older. The second verse talks about the baby turning 4. She’s reluctant about going to school, but her teacher reminds her dad that she’ll outgrow the phase. Years fly, and she’s all grown. In an interview, Darius reveals that the song is a revelation of his life and how it relates to everyday couples.

9. Papa Don’t Preach- Madonna (1986)

 

In Madonna’s third studio album, True Blue is a fantastic track called Papa Don’t Preach. She released the song in 1986 as pop and classical music. It became the fourth single to be ranked number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Also, it performed exceptionally well internationally, ranking number one in the UK and Australia, with fans heaping adoration for the singer’s growth. Despite the song’s success, it has attracted ambiguous interpretations. Some people claim that Madonna encouraged teen pregnancy. Others lauded her for advocating against abortion. Either way, it is a beautiful song that shows how much she valued babies.

8. I Got You- Ciara (2015)

 

In 2015, Ciara released a song, I Got You, as her fourteenth single for Jackie’s album. She sang it for baby Future Zahid who also appears in the video. The song starts with Ciara humming a lullaby to the baby. The duo separates, marking Ciara’s beginning of the original content. This song is everything a mother should be telling her child. Ciara proclaims her adoration for her baby and vows to protect and cherish her at all times. Her words, “momma’s going to love you all your life,” prove how much she would do anything for her baby.

7. You’re Gonna Be- Reba McEntire (2005)

 

Country music singer, Reba McEntire, also sang about babies in 2005. Her song, You’re Gonna Be, is the first compilation of her number one hits when she entered showbiz. She sang about babies to mark her 30th anniversary in music. The song is about a first-time mother and her baby, who seems clueless about what awaits her. However, she remains hopeful that everything will work to her advantage, despite her challenges. It’s an excellent song for anyone trying to navigate their career, love life, or relationships with loved ones.

6. The Prayer- Celine Dion (2004)

 

“Can we touch the shoulder of heaven? Can we unite a sacred lesson? Every child creates a skylight of beauty,” Celine Dion opens her song, The Prayer. She sang it in 2004 alongside Andrea Bocelli, an Italian tenor. The 4:29 track was initially sung in two versions; English by Dion and Italian by Bocelli. According to LinkedIn, songs about babies should be inspiring to make others understand the journey they walked from childhood into adulthood. Dion’s song is the epitome of this proven perspective.

5. (You’re) Having My Baby- Paul Anka and Odia Coates (1974)

 

In 1974, Paul Anka and Odia Coates came up with a song called (You’re) Having My Baby for his wife and four daughters. The four were in Lake Tahoe at the time. Initially, Anka wanted it to be single during his tour. Surprisingly, Coates was with him during the recording, so Anka suggested that they should collaborate on this song. It paid off because this song ranked number one in 1975.

4. Baby Mine- Alison Krauss (2007)

 

Baby Mine is a song by Alison Krauss that she released in 2007. It initially came to the limelight in 1941 for Disney’s animated feature, Dumbo, who uses his floppy ears to fly. The person responsible for providing the music was Frank Churchill, but Ned Washington wrote it. It is no surprise that it received a nomination for Best Original Song at the 14th Academy Awards in 1942.

3. Unborn Heart- Dan Hill (1989)

 

If you’re expecting a baby or know someone who is, a song to ease your journey and uplift your spirits is all you need. Dan Hill’s Unborn Heart talks about a man who’s just received news that he will be a father through his wife. The news makes him excited, and he can’t wait to see his unborn baby. It’s one of those songs you’d want to listen to whenever you think of babies.

2. Sweetest Devotion- Adele (2015)

 

Sweetest Devotion is another fantastic track about babies. Adele released and dedicated it to her son in 2015. Her previous songs about her breakup and romantic relationship turmoil made people believe that she had lost hope of finding the right person to love her right. But when she had her baby, Angelo, everything changed. You’ll love her voice and powerful penned words in this song.

1. Isn’t She Lovely- Stevie Wonder (1976)

 

Isn’t She Lovely is a track by Stevie Wonder, released in 1976. The song is his eleventh track from his album, Songs in the Key of Life. Like Adele, Stevie wrote and sang this song for his daughter, Aisha Morris, who he had with his first partner, Yolanda Simmons. Besides having a powerful voice, Wonder is good at playing the piano, which did great justice to this song.

Conclusion

According to Open Collections, children’s songs depict the journey most people walk in to be who they are. Most artists on this list heap praise on babies as the reason we live to fight another die. Others, especially men, proclaim their adoration for babies and their mothers. Listen to these songs to inspire you to greatness.

The post 10 Awesome Songs about Babies appeared first on Chaospin.

- Thomas Newman
Ranking All the Songs from The Without a Paddle Soundtrack

Without a Paddle

This featherweight male-bonding adventure-comedy was a story by three individuals; Fred Wolf, Harris Goldberg, and Tom Nursall. The film, Without a Paddle, debuted on the 20th of August 2004 and was filmed on the central North Island of New Zealand. Without a Paddle takes the liberty of replacing living in the now with living it up, which is often misunderstood. The narrative of the film centers around four friends. After their friend Billy dies, Jerry, Dan, and Tom go camping in his honor. The campsite, on the other hand, holds special value. They are, unfortunately, unprepared for the adventure which unfortunately turns into a dangerous experience after falling over a waterfall. Steven Brill directed this comedy movie. The Without a Paddle soundtrack was a big hit among fans, receiving numerous excellent reviews. The soundtrack was composed by Christophe Beck, a talented Canadian film score composer, and conductor. The soundtrack is made up of fourteen single tracks, each performed by different artists. This article will rank all the songs from the movie’s soundtrack.

14. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking(2009 Mix) – The Rolling Stones

 

“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The guitar performance in this track unapologetically stands out. This song has one of the greatest song intros ever. This song is a timeless classic that never gets old and sounds as if it was created yesterday.

13. Invisible – Clay Aiken

 

This catchy track is about caring and loving someone so much and yet you feel invisible. Everyone has had that one individual with whom they were a little obsessed and you would go to any length to be with them. It’s not about abusing them; it’s simply about wanting to be noticed. Chris Braide, Desmond Child, and Andreas Carlsson wrote this song while Clay Aiken performed it on the soundtrack.

12. Let It Go, Let It Flow – Dave Mason

 

“Let It Go, Let It Flow” is contained in Dave Mason’s album, Let It Flow, which was a huge success. This album charted at number 37 on the Billboard 200, where it lasted for 49 weeks on the chart.

11. The Corn Rocket – Southern culture on the Skids

 

The number eleven track on our list is a single that was composed by Rick Miller. “The Corn Rocket” was released in 2000 by Monkey Dog Music (BMI) and performed by Southern culture on the Skids.

10. When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) – The Beach Boys

 

The Beach Boys are a renowned rock band from the US that hails from California. Because of its close vocal harmonies and lyrics that portrayed Southern California youth lifestyle of love relationships, sports, and automobiles, the band’s early work became popular throughout the United States. “When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)” was composed by Mike Love and Brian Wilson. This version of this single by The Beach Boys is the most loved version by the fans.

9. Black Betty (Edit) – Spiderbait

 

This is one of those songs and no matter how many times you listen to it, never gets old. “Black Betty” was composed by Leadbelly and performed by Spiderbait. This is still fantastic for a song that was done properly the first time and this is evident by its performance on the charts.

8. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (Remastered 2002) – Culture Club

 

This track is contained in Culture Club’s platinum-selling debut album, Kissing to Be Clever. “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” became a hit both in the United Kingdom where it reached #1 and in the US where it reached #2 for twenty-one days.

7. Bump n’ Grind – R. Kelly

 

One of the best intros to a song ever. This is one of the tracks in the soundtrack that was composed and performed by the same person, and he surely did a great job. The song reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 as well as the US Hot R&B Songs chart.

6. She Tried – Bubba Sparxxx & Ryan Tedder

 

This song’s tempo and lyrics stand out. “She Tried” was performed by Bubba Sparxxx in collaboration with Ryan Tedder. This hit single was released on Bubba’s second album, Deliverance, released on September 16, 2003.

5. Deliverance (Album Version) – Bubba Sparxxx

 

“Deliverance” is the number ten single track in Bubba Sparxxx’s second album, Deliverance. Deliverance peaked at number 10 on the US Billboard 200, selling 64,000 copies in its first week.

4. What A Wonderful World – Joey Ramone

 

Joey Ramone’s cover of “What a Wonderful World” appears on the debut album Don’t Worry About Me, his first release as a solo artist, though he previously had many recordings as the Ramones’ lead singer. In 2002, it was released posthumously.

3. Hold On Loosely – 38 Special

 

“Hold On Loosely” appears as the first single on 38 Special’s fourth studio album Wild-Eyed Southern Boys. The track peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 3 on the Billboard Rock Tracks chart. This song was composed by Don Barnes, Jeff Carlisi, & Jim Peterik.

2. No Rain (Remastered 2002) – Blind Melon

 

This track is about being yourself and eventually, finding the group of people or a family to fit into. Blind Melon performed this catchy track that was written by Christopher Thorn, Brad Smith, Glen Graham, and Rogers Stevens.

1. Ooh La La – Faces

 

The number one track on our list is a song that was released in 1973 by Faces. It’s fascinating how everyone can identify with this song on such a deep level in their unique way. It is still one of the greatest and simplest rock tunes of all time.

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- Linda Giantino
10 Awesome Graduation Songs

Graduation

Graduations are nothing if not emotional. Finally snatching up that diploma might be a reason to celebrate, but saying goodbye to good friends, good times and good memories is also a reason to bring out the kleenex. If you’re ready to embrace all the emotions that come with graduation, from the great and the good to the sad and the bad, these are the 10 best graduation songs to add to your playlist.

10. Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)

 

Saying goodbye to your friends after four long years of living, studying and partying together is never easy, but at least you can do it in style when you’ve got Simple Minds on the playlist. Remind everyone not to forget about you with Don’t You (Forget About Me), a song that Simple Minds arranged and recorded in just three hours before forgetting all about it, believing it to be a forgettable song recorded for a forgettable movie. The movie turned out the be The Breakfast Club, and the song turned out to be the band’s only US number-one single. Almost 40 years later, it’s still one of their best-loved songs.

9. Journey – Don’t Stop Believing

 

Leaving the security of school or college can be scary, but if there’s one song that’s going to make you feel like the world is there for the taking, it’s this classic tune from Journey. According to extrachill.com, the title of Don’t Stop Believing was inspired by something Jonathan Cain’s father told the keyboardist when he was just starting out in music and struggling to make ends meet: “Don’t stop believing or you’re done, dude.” He didn’t, and the rest is chart history.

8. Fun and Janelle Monáe – We Are Young

 

If any graduates need a little reminder to embrace life for all its worth while they’re still young, We Are Young by Fun and Janelle Monáe should do it. With lines like “Tonight / We are young / So let’s set the world on fire / We can burn brighter / Than the sun / Tonight / We are young / So let’s set the world on fire / We can burn brighter / Than the sun,” it’s impossible to listen without wanting to plunge into life head first. Released in February 2012, the song became a massive hit, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and later earning the Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 55th Grammy Awards.

7. Shawn Mendes – Something Big

 

Graduation is a momentous occasion. The moment when you finally get your hands on that diploma after all those all-night study sessions, all those tests and essays… it’s big, or, as Shawn Mendes sings on Something Big, “It’s like that feeling when you’re about to win the medal/ And you worked so hard, that you knew you wouldn’t settle/ Hands are in the air, hands are in the air.” Released in 2014 as the second single from Mendes’ debut album Handwritten, the song reached number 80 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 on the Canadian Singles Chart. It’s since been certified platinum and 3 x platinum in the US and Canada respectively.

6. Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling

 

If you’re hunting for a song to kickstart the celebrations, look no further than the Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling, a single described to Billboard as “a college anthem for people looking forward to escaping life’s pressures by going out and having a ball.” Released on May 21, 2009, the song hit the top 5 in Finland, France, Norway, and Spain and topped the charts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, the US, and multiple other countries. It’s since sold over 10 million copies in the US alone.

5. Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

 

Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong wrote Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) after his girlfriend left him and moved to Ecuador. Somewhere along the line, it became something other than a breakup song, and in 2015, Rolling Stone named it one of the 20 Best Graduation Songs of the Past 20 Years. Considering how laced in nostalgia the lyrics are, it’s not too surprising, with even Armstrong conceding “The people that you grew up and braved the trials of high school with will always hold a special place. Through all the BS of high school you hope that your friends had the time of their life, and that’s what the song is talking about.”

4. Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – See You Again

 

Graduation might be a celebratory occasion, but it’s also an emotional rollercoaster that needs a soundtrack to match. Once school is over, everyone sets out on their own path, and not all of those paths will cross as often as you’d like. Remind yourself of the bond you’ll always share, no matter how far apart you are, with See You Again by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth. If you can get through “First you both go out your way/ And the vibe is feeling strong and what’s/ Small turn to a friendship, a friendship/ Turn into a bond and that bond will never/ Be broken and the love will never get lost” without tearing up, you’re a stronger graduate than most.

3. Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten

 

Graduation is the start of a new chapter in life – an exciting prospect, but a scary one too. With lyrics like “Staring at the blank page before you / Open up the dirty window / Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find / Reaching for something in the distance / So close you can almost taste it / Release your inhibitions,” Natasha Bedingfield’s gorgeously uplifting Unwritten is the perfect song to help you shake off those fears and step out into the world. First released in 2004 from Bedingfield’s debut album of the same name, it was a top 10 hit in numerous countries, including the US and UK.

2. Pharrell – Happy

 

If you’re floating two inches above the ground with nothing but your diploma to weigh you down, keep the mood upbeat with this catchy gem from Pharrell. By the time the chorus kicks in (“(Because I’m happy)/ Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof/ (Because I’m happy)/ Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth/ (Because I’m happy)/ Clap along if you know what happiness is to you/ (Because I’m happy)/ Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do”) everyone in the room will be singing along.

1. Vitamin C – Graduation (Friends Forever)

 

Back in 1999, Colleen Fitzpatrick (aka Vitamin C) recorded the ultimate graduation showstopper, Graduation (Friends Forever), a song about memories, friendships, and moving on. With bittersweet lyrics (“And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives / Where we’re gonna be when we turn twenty five / I keep thinking times will never change / Keep on thinking things will always be the same”) and a super catchy chorus, no graduation celebration would be complete without it.

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- Linda Giantino
Ranking All The Songs from The Fear Soundtrack

The Fear

The Fear is a good movie, with an excellent storyline and performance. One notable fact about this film is that the plot seems more realistic in the present days of violence and fear in many worldwide cities. Fear is a universal theme since everyone has had it arise unexpectedly in certain settings. “Fear” is a fitting title. It plays on every parent’s worry of failing to protect their children from harm. The film excels at showing the concerned father/aggressive daughter connection. This psychological horror movie was composed by Ron Ford in collaboration with Greg H. Sims and was released in the year 1995 in Fresno, California. Initially, the film was released by A-Pix Entertainment on the LaserDisc(LD). The talented Vincent Robert directed this masterpiece that featured some of the most renowned actors in the industry, like Vince Edwards, who made an appearance in this film as his final film role. Other actors who made appearances in The Fear include Leland Hayward, Wes Craven, Eddie Bowz, Monique Mannen, Ann Turkel, and Darin Heames. The film’s plot revolves around a group of problematic young college-going boys and girls who go on a weekend retreat to a lovely remote lodge for a psychological experiment, where a living wooden mannequin threatens them and triggers everyone’s darkest and deepest secrets and emotions. One interesting fact about the movie that I bet you didn’t know is before the opening credits, a title card presents a quote from Elbert Hubbard, “There is no devil but fear.” The Fear Original Motion Soundtrack was composed by two individuals who are Carter Burwell and Kyle Neely, courtesy of Total Post Production, Inc. This film’s soundtrack is made up of six tracks, all performed by different artists, which is great. Well, the soundtrack, like the film itself, was greatly loved by its fans, and it received a lot of positive reviews. This article will list all the tracks that make up the Fear Original Motion Soundtrack.

6. Sweet & Saxy (a Moment of Calm Before You Die) – Kim Waters

 

This soundtrack is a priceless gem that must be kept until the end of time. The number six track on the soundtrack features smooth jazz and classic style. “Sweet & Saxy (a Moment of Calm Before You Die)” was initially released in 1990 by the Blue Mood label. A version of this track that Kim Waters performed was included in the Fear Original Motion Soundtrack. In retrospect, “Sweet & Saxy (a Moment of Calm Before You Die)” was nothing less than a brilliant song with excellent performance. This song was one of the standout tracks on the film’s soundtrack.

5. InfaRed’sTerror – InfaRed Robert

 

This is another single hit from the Fear Original Motion Soundtrack. This song was performed by an artist who goes by the name InfaRed Robert. It is a great classic that ages like fine wine. This song exemplified one of those rare situations when the soundtrack outperformed the movie by a significant margin. The lyrics of “InfaRed’sTerror” sound surreal and are the epitome of pure art. It also emphasizes the extraordinary talent of the artists involved in its composition and performance. I can’t believe how innovative and creative this song’s composers were at the time of its release; it’s still incredible today.

4. Graveyard Tales – Terror

 

“Graveyard Tales” is another rare dope Horrorcore Hip Hop track from the1995 the Fear soundtrack. This song was released in 1994 and was performed by Terror. Other great songs released by Terror include Beat do Vamp, Dominicana, and Qual que é o JET? This perfectly suits this film’s theme, and listening to it will send some feeling of fear and chills all over your body. “Graveyard Tales” is such a terrific song that you should listen to it. This song perfectly rhymes with the scene it is played in the movie; thus, it is one of the most memorable songs on the soundtrack.

3. Fear, Flesh and Blood – Machete

 

“Fear, Flesh and Blood” is a well-known track featuring a Half Pit Half Dead on the chorus and a rare horrorcore Hip Hop with a reggae feel from the 1995 Fear Horror Movie Soundtrack. Many of its fans refer to this track as the best old-school horrorcore soundtrack of all time. The basic fact that this song has both the reggae and Hip Hop styles makes it so unique and attractive, hence its fans’ immense love. Machete truly outdid himself in the performance of this track; actually, it is regarded as one of his best performances.

2. Black Peter – Machete & Half Pit

 

This is another song from the film’s soundtrack that made it a success. Without a doubt, the sound really made a significant impact on the film’s soundtrack. “Black Peter” was released in 1994 and was contained in the Fear Original Motion Soundtrack. In collaboration, Machete and Half Pit gave an outstanding performance of this song. This song also features Hip Hop and Rap styles. This track bursts forth in a swirl of distortion and feedback and is chilly, bringing out industrial-tinged anxiety. This track should be one of the reasons you make a point of listening to the film’s soundtrack to feel its greatness on your own.

1. The Fear (Morty’s Theme) – Esham

 

The number one track in our list of all the songs in the Fear Original Motion Soundtrack is a single performed by Esham. Esham’s flow on this tune is absolutely priceless, proving him to be one of the best lyricists of all time. “The Fear (Morty’s Theme)” is the kind of track that you would like to listen to repeatedly. This song is wonderfully suited to the film’s fear theme and is also known to heighten the sense of fear.

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- Linda Giantino
10 Awesome Songs about Cooking

Cooking

Songs about cooking have existed since time immemorial. You likely have heard background music if you’ve ever gone behind the scenes in top hotels and restaurants. Having music in the background as you cook is to relieve the tension in the kitchen. Whether you love soft music or hard rock, here are the ten awesome songs about cooking to set you in the mood and boost your culinary skills.

10. Pound the Cake by Drake (2013)

 

Whether you’re a professional baker or like to test your hand on a baking recipe, you saw on YouTube, you likely love going big on cakes. And what better way to set you in the mood of whisking the sweetest delight than when listening to Pound the Cake by Drake? He released the song in 2013 alongside famous artists like Jay-Z, Jimmy Smith & Ellie Goulding. The track, which features under his Nothing Was the Same album, is excellent for anyone who loves baking cakes.

9. Lemon Song by Zeppelin (1969)

 

Lemon Song by Zeppelin is a 1969 song born out of Hard Time Killing Floors by Howlin Wolf. There is a line, “squeeze my lemon until juice runs down my leg comes from Travelling Riverside Blues by Robert Johnson. While its meaning might be ambiguous, you’ll love this classic rock in the background.

8. Bacon by Nick Jonas feat. Ty Dollar $ign (2016)

 

Bacon is a 2016 pop track by Nick Jonas feat. Ty Dollar $ign. It features in Jonas’ third studio album, Last Year Was Complicated, as the second single. According to GEMTRACKS, most artists use foods like bacon as metaphors. In the case of Nick Jonas, he likens putting bacon to leaving a relationship that’s left you hopeful that it was for the best. He was once quoted saying that his life was great and it’s good to throw some bacon on it to make it better. Thanks to this song, Jonas earned a nomination for the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

7. Bouquet by Bloc Party (2005)

 

Bouquet is another fantastic track from an English band called Bloc Party, from their album, Silent Alarm. The story behind it is of a teenager struggling to transition into an adult. It was the first track to chart on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, ranking at 34. North America also credits the song as their first breakthrough. If you’re looking to cook up at a street or block party, this track will do you justice. It’s the perfect song to set you in the mood for taking your culinary skills to the next level.

6. American Pie by Don McLean (1971)

 

American Pie is a 1971 song performed by Don McLean for his album with the same title. The song pays tribute to the 1959 plane crash that claimed famous rock and roll stars’ lives, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens. McLean compares American pie to profound cultural changes and loss of innocence from his generation. However, he kept the meaning of the symbolism a secret for years before releasing the lyrics notes when he sold it in 2015. The track earned a Grammy Award for Song of the Year and Grammy Hall of Fame and ranked number in the US Billboard Hot 100.

5. Candy Shop by 50 Cent feat. Olivia (2003)

 

In 2003, 50 Cent released Candy Shop alongside Olivia from his Get Rich or Die Tryin’ Album. The song mainly shows 50 Cent as he takes R&B singer Olivia to a candy shop to lick lollipops and dozens of other niceties. Apart from earning 50 Cent a Billboard Music Award for Ringtone of the Year, it also received a Grammy Award for the Best Rap Song and more. 50 Cent took part in the World Food Program to donate meals to children facing starvation in Africa. He did so after seeing the horrible state those children went through.

4. Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America (1995)

 

If you’re in the mood for whipping out the best peaches recipe and want a song to set you in the mood, you can never go wrong with the 1995 Peaches track by The Presidents of the United States of America. The track features on their self-titled album as their third single. The lead singer used peaches to talk about his experiences outside his girlfriend’s house. He confesses that he tripped under a peach tree, and as he was coming to terms with his predicament, peaches dropped on his palms trickling with juice. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to tell her about it.

3. Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard (1987)

 

Pour Some Sugar on Me is a 1987 hard rock song by Def Leppard from their Hysteria album. Surprisingly, it came by accident from the lead singer, Joe Elliot, during a break from recording another song on the same album. If you’re cooking something and sugar is part of the ingredients you’re using, this song is the one to listen to.

2. Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson (2005)

 

Banana Pancakes is the song you want to listen to after waking up to prepare breakfast for your family. Jack sang the song while recollecting the morning his wife was busy doing something else. he often sang it to distract her. This song is motivating because breakfast is the most important meal to kickstart your day.

1. Strawberry Swing by Coldplay (2009)

 

If you enjoy pop music in the kitchen, Strawberry Swing by a British rock band, Coldplay, is the song to listen to. It comes from their album Viva la Vida/ Death and All His Friends. Surprisingly, the band members wanted to leave it out of the album, but Chris Martin insisted that it should be included. The song likens to strawberry swing to a place where loved ones like to meet. It received nominations for being MTV Video Music Award for Best Breakthrough Video. Listen to this song when you want slow music playing in your kitchen background.

 

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- Linda Giantino
Ranking All The Songs from The Lost Highway Soundtrack

The Lost Highway

David Lynch directed and co-wrote the 1997 release, Lost Highway. The movie has an all-star cast and a great plot which is moved along by a selection of amazing songs. Lynch himself had a role in some of the singers that appeared on the soundtrack. However, it was Trent Reznor who was the driving force behind the soundtrack. This is a ranking of all the songs from The Lost Highway Soundtrack.

20. Police – Angelo Badalamenti

 

One of the things Badalemnti captures in this song is an air of foreboding. When listening to the plaintive strings you feel sure that something is going to happen or there is going to be something terrifying right around the corner.

19. Fred And Renee Make Love – Angelo Badalamenti

 

When looking at the title of this song, you may expect something more than hearts and flowers. However, much like other parts of Badalamenti’s score, it feels darker and foreboding. The song features a heavier dose of percussion in the background.

18. Mr. Eddy’s Theme #2 – Barry Adamson

 

According to IMDB, there was never a choice of who was going to play Mr. Eddy. Robert Loggia wanted to play the part of Frank Booth in Blue Velvet but it went to Dennis Hopper.

17. Dub Driving – Angelo Badalamenti

 

There is a distinct film-noir overtone in this song. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, it feels like a spooky late-night drive song. Unlike other songs from Badalamenti’s Lost Highway score, there is little to no emphasis on strings. Instead, he brings a variety of percussion instruments to the forefront.

16. Rammstein – Rammstein

 

The basis for this song was an air show catastrophe that happened at Ramstein Airforce Base near Frankfurt Germany. The lyrics tell the horrific tale and the impact it had.

15. Haunting And Heartbreaking – Angelo Badalamenti

 

This addition to the soundtrack starts with an ethereal intro. As the song progresses, Badalamenti captures the more insightful portions of the movie. Once again, you hear the str