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THE BABE AND THE MULE
Two big reasons IGA is #1 in marketshare. (8/5a)
YOUR TOP 20 FOLKLORE SEQUEL, WITH A CASK
OF BRANDY
Stay awhile, Tay. (8/5a)
COUNTRY STREAMING IS A THING
It's more than just Luke Combs. (8/4a)
NOISEMAKERS: YOUR LATEST SAMPLE PACK
The kids are alright. (8/5a)
GRAMMY CHEW, ALBUMS: 30 FOR EIGHT
Thoughts while noshing six feet apart. (8/5a)
BTS BRINGS IT
They're so dreamy.
VOTE BY MAIL
It's a conspiracy, because everyone does it.
IS IT CHRISTMAS?
No, but we're thinking about cookies.
WOKE MUSIC
Protest songs that sound like now.
Blighty Beat
NEW LIVESTREAMER DRIIFTS IN
8/3/20

ATC Management's Ric Salmon and Brian Message have launched a new live concert production and promotion company, Driift, to livestream ticketed events. Beggars Group are founding investors and shareholders.

The company oversees ticketing, production, licensing, rights management and digital marketing for artists and their teams. Its next event will be a one-off worldwide performance by Biffy Clyro on 8/15 — the band will be playing their forthcoming album, A Celebration of Endings, from a Glasgow venue. Sleaford Mods are also lined up to play The 100 Club on 9/12. Further dates will be revealed over coming weeks, including a number of shows in North America.

…Read more

INDUSTRY UNITES IN RACISM FIGHT
8/3/20

More than 700 artists, managers, producers and companies from across the U.K. music industry have issued an urgent rallying call for unity against division and hatred. An open letter urges everyone in the industry to take responsibility, speak out and eradicate racism.

The letter, accompanied with a social media campaign under the hashtag #NoSilenceInMusic, has been signed by nearly 200 artists, among them Lewis Capaldi, Lily Allen, Mabel, MNEK, Nile Rodgers, The 1975 and Yungblud. Among the company signatories are Universal Music, Sony, Warner, Beggars Group, UMPG, Sony/ATV and Warner/Chappell.

…Read more

U.K. CHARTS: TAYLOR SCORES FIFTH #1
7/31/20

Taylor Swift has scored her fifth #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with Folklore (Virgin) on 37k sales. Over on singles, “Head & Heart” (Asylum) by Joel Corry and MNEK remains on top for a second week on 76k sales.

With Folklore, Swift joins Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion as the only female artists to score five or more U.K. #1 albums. Streaming represented 67% of Folklore’s week one totals with 33% downloads. It’s the biggest week of album downloads this year, surpassing the opening week of Eminem’s Music To Be Murdered By.

Elsewhere, Ronan Keating’s 11th studio album, Twenty Twenty (Decca) is new at #2 and Welsh pop-punk band Neck Deep debut at #4 with All Distortions Are Intentional (Hopeless).

…Read more

GOV'T DELAYS RETURN OF GIGS
7/31/20

The U.K. Government has hit the brakes on its plan to allow socially distanced indoor gigs to take place beginning Saturday. Plans have been delayed for at least a fortnight amid concerns over an increase in new coronavirus cases, further riling a consortium of venue owners and concert promoters.

Alongside ruling out gigs again, the reopening of leisure businesses has been paused until 8/15, rules on face coverings have been extended, pilot sports events have been cancelled and the decision to allow weddings has also been reversed.

A spike in infections in parts of northern England has resulted in lockdown restrictions returning to a number of places including Manchester and Lancashire. In those affected areas, people are no longer allowed to meet others they don’t live with. 

Reacting to the news, the Music Venue Trust said that they have called on the British Government to acknowledge that music venues can’t reopen with current restrictions in place and that, realistically, they won’t be able to until 10/1 “at the earliest.”

…Read more

SAWAYAMA PUSHES FOR RULE CHANGE
7/30/20

British-Japanese artist Rina Sawayama has raised questions about the fairness of eligibility criteria for the Mercury Music Prize. Despite living in the U.K. for 25 years, she’s ineligible for the shortlist due to a nationality clause.

Sawayama's self-titled debut received high-profile praise from the likes of Elton John as well as The Guardian, Billboard and Rolling Stone and would have been an obvious inclusion in the Mercury list. Without a U.K. passport—which she can’t get unless she denounces her Japanese citizenship—Sawayama can’t be nominated for a Mercury or BRIT Award under the current rules.

She moved from Japan to the U.K. as a toddler, has indefinite leave to remain, is signed to a U.K. label Dirty Hit and says she is tax registered in the country. She’s also received funding from the BPI Music Export Growth Scheme. She’s calling for a change in the eligibility criteria.

“What I just want is for all the awards to look into indefinite leave and change the rules to what Britishness means to them,” she said. “The concept of Britishness has been in the public discourse in the most negative way possible—it has become very, very narrow in these last five to six years. I think the arts are somewhere that they can reverse that and widen it up. It's up to the award bodies to decide what Britishness really encompasses—the very things that they celebrate, which is diversity and opportunity.”

A BPI spokesperson said, “Both The BRIT Awards and the Hyundai Mercury Prize aim to be as inclusive as possible within their parameters, and their processes and eligibility criteria are constantly reviewed.”

ALDERTON UPPED AT WC
7/30/20

Kate Alderton has been promoted to VP, Operations and Finance at Warner Chappell Music U.K. In her new role, she will oversee the operational side of the publisher’s U.K. business in close cooperation with all department heads.

Alderton reports to Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall, Co-Chairs of Warner Chappell Music, until a new Managing Director of the U.K. business is appointed.

“Kate is an outstanding exec who understands how the creative and commercial sides of our business dovetail together,” Moot and Marshall said in a statement. “She’ll further improve our operational effectiveness, using her deep knowledge of the industry to refine ways of working, creating efficiencies and supporting innovations to help us provide the best service to our creative community of writers and artists.”

Alderton joined Warner Chappell Music from Deloitte in 2012, serving first as Financial Controller and subsequently as Head of Finance, before being promoted to U.K. Finance Director in 2017.

KARMA + BUDDE = ENLIGHTENMENT
7/29/20

After a hand washing lesson and temperature checks, the Karma and Budde teams decided it would be OK to eliminate social distancing for a quick snapshot. Throwing caution to the wind are, from left, Budde Music’s Jess Nash, Jan-Simon Wolff, and Claudia Kollaender, Karma Songs’ Jordan Jay, Budde Music CEO Benjamin Budde, Karma Songs’ Barry Blue, Budde Music’s Ender Atis and Karma’s Ross Gautreau.

U.K. pubco Karma Songs has struck a joint venture with German independent publisher Budde Music to build a worldwide publishing venture focused on developing an exclusive roster of talent.

The deal covers all future Karma Songs copyrights plus administration of its catalog. Songs included in that span works recorded by Andrea BocelliDiana RossBananarama, and the 90’s Top 3 hit "Escaping" by Dina Carroll

The first signing to the new JV is singer/songwriter Nick Bradley who is managed by Sound Collective.  

“We’ve been very impressed with Karma’s hands on and very creative style in working with songwriters, so it feels natural to finally work together,” Budde Music CEO Benjamin Budde said. “Budde Music will offer an extensive creative and administrative global network for Karma Songs and their songwriters." 

Over the past three years, the publisher—which operates under Karma Artists Management—has had success worldwide with "Lo Malo" by Aitana and Ana Guerra, and the official Cricket World Cup 2019 single "Standby" by Loren and Rudimental, as well as publishing other major cuts with artists such as Tom MischMartin Solveig and The Vamps with their U.K. #1 album, Night & Day

Karma Songs co-founder Jordan Jay added: “Karma and Budde Music share the same vision—this is the beginning of our ambition to further the global reach of our company in all areas of entertainment.”

MARATHON RUNS ON NEW SOIL
7/29/20

Marathon Music Group has launched a U.K. jazz division, New Soil, that former Sony VP of Strategy, Federico Bolza will head up. First signings include band Ill Considered, musician and composer Theon Cross and London-based promoter Church of Sound

Launched in partnership with independent music community Tileyard London, New Soil will be based at its newly expanded Acorn development in Kings Cross. It aims to provide the U.K. jazz scene with partnerships covering traditional record label services, artist management and audience development. Services will include strategy and infrastructure for artists, labels and live concert promoters looking to release their catalogs of live recordings.

“We’ve been captivated by the vitality and creative edge of the U.K. jazz scene for some time,” Paul Rene Albertini, Chairman and CEO at Marathon Music Group, said. “New Soil provides support and scalability for some of the best musicians out there. This new addition to our growing family of music divisions is testament to our label group’s wide-ranging interest in different genres.” 

Bolza added: “Jazz is having a moment, moving beyond its narrow genre confines and making its way towards wider audiences. New Soil will accelerate that shift and Marathon’s digital expertise and knowledge of audience marketing makes them the perfect partner.”

New Soil will join Marathon Music Group’s group of labels and divisions including Marathon ArtistsMarathon LabsMoves RecordingsMahogany Recordings and DMY Recordings.