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JAY Z, BABYFACE, MAX MARTIN, CHICAGO IN SONGWRITERS HALL
Jay Z makes history. (2/22a)
TOP 15: FUTURE SHOCK (AND AWE)
The first of his two back-to-back album releases? Interesting... (2/22a)
SOME PRE-BRITS MUSINGS
Who are you rooting for? Pass the wine. (2/22a)
OSCAR SO ... WHAT?
Politics and pluralism at the Academy Awards.
Q1'S FIRST BIG SURPRISE
The return of a star.
PLAYLISTS AND POLITICS
How it really works.
DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENTS
How indie artists break through in the new reality.
THE B-SIDE
Anne-Marie (Atlantic U.K.)
11/24/16

WHAT IT IS: “I heard a song from a producer and was immediately moved, I could hear an incredible tone and a great character—and having already been crowned a three-time world Shotokan karate champion, I knew she had great stamina, crucial to compete at a global level,” says Atlantic U.K. President Ben Cook. “She was introduced to Rudimental, who took her out on tour globally, helping her hone incredible performance skills. We signed her with Rudimental to their label with us, Major Toms/Asylum, in the summer of 2015 and have been working on her development ever since.” Anne-Marie smashed through the 100m barrier on Spotify with “Alarm,” becoming the U.K.’s third-biggest breakthrough—behind only ZAYN and Callum Scott. “Alarm,” which has been A Listed at Radio 1, Capital, Kiss, 1Xtra, Kiss Fresh and Capital Xtra and has 25k radio plays to date with over 320m impacts, has 1.1m sales including streams worldwide. “Rockabye,” her new song with Clean Bandit (which also features Sean Paul) is a smash that went #1 on Shazam U.K. after a week, and is heading for #1 at OCC for a second consecutive week. “We have high hopes that it’ll be another huge record ahead of her next single and debut album in 2017,” says Cook. Coming out of the Rudimental camp, she has a foothold in a credible underground culture, as well as a brilliant voice, great personality and powerful songs that can compete at a mainstream level. She’s managed by Andy Wells at Rocket Management.

Billie Marten (RCA/Chess Club)
11/24/16

WHAT IT IS: “I mean this honestly when I say I don’t think I’ve ever worked with someone as naturally talented as Billie,” says RCA U.K./Chess Club A&R Manager Will Street. “Her music genuinely moves people, which has become a rare gift in today’s world. Her songwriting is so pure and honest and conjures genuine emotion within the listener and her voice is angelic, vulnerable and yet so strong. A beautiful juxtaposition.” Marten’s debut album was released in September and received four- and five-star reviews across the board. Latest single “Live” is currently at radio. Her debut U.K. tour sold out and kicked off in October. The Sunday Times summed it up with, “It isn’t an excellent debut for a 17-year-old. It’s an excellent debut, period. With Writing of Blues and Yellows, Marten places herself in the company of Nick Drake, John Martyn, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell.” Her team consists of Frances O’Connor and Lucy Francis (management), Nick Matthews (agent) and Hugo Turquet (Chrysalis publishing), to name a few.

Blonde (FFRR/Parlophone)
11/24/16

WHAT IT IS: “As part of the YT collective, Eton Messy in Bristol, Blonde always had their finger on the pulse of where club music was at. Their crossover sound of piano-driven R&B/house spawned three gold singles in the U.K. The ambition is to now build on this success internationally,” says Parlophone Chairman Miles Leonard. Blonde has sold more than 1m singles, went Top 10 in the U.K. with three singles and has racked up 100m Spotify streams. Blonde is managed by Jennie Harris at Lateral.