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JESUS IS COMING—REALLY
Your skepticism is understandable, given recent history. (10/21a)
STRUNG OUT
ON STRINGS
KG is happy for a change. (10/21a)
U.K. MIDWEEKS: A BATTLE FOR #1
Sometimes our two countries seem quite distinct from each other taste-wise. (10/21a)
JESUS IS COMING—REALLY
But shouldn't "is" have an initial cap? (10/21a)
TOP 50 CHART: THIS THING IS BROKE
Never...again (10/21a)
RIHANNA PREPARES TO RULE THE ROOST
What shoes go with dancehall?
WHAT'S NEXT FOR R&B?
How certain projects connect at streaming.
THE K-POP LANDSCAPE
농담은 한국어에서 더 잘 작동합니다.
THE NEW GRAMMY POWER
Change is nigh.
Blighty Beat
LAFAYETTE LANDS IN LONDON
10/2/19

London is getting a new venue in what's increasingly becoming a central cultural hub, Kings Cross. Lafayette will be a 600 capacity space that's being launched by Mumford & Sons member Ben Lovett following the success of his first live venue, Omeara.

The new space, which opens early next year, promises a tiered mezzanine, “impeccable” sight lines and a “world class” sound system. It arrives shortly after the closure of legendary 300 capacity venue The Borderline in Soho, which closed its doors after 30 years at the end of August due to rising rents and business rates and redevelopment plans in the area.

As is the case with Omeara, independent promoter Communion will be booking Lafayette, which will be located on Goods Way just off Pancras Square and Granary Square—next door to Universal Music's new U.K. HQ.

…Read more

AWAL POACHES POTTS 
9/26/19

Sam Potts has exited his role as Head of Radio Promotions at Columbia to join AWAL as VP of Promotion. He brings over 14 years of experience to Kobalt.

Based in London, Potts will run AWAL’s U.K. and international digital accounts team, driving promotional strategy with streaming platforms as well as overseeing radio and TV promotion strategy for AWAL releases.

He will also work closely with the U.K. and international marketing teams on audience development and growth strategies for AWAL artists.

Potts spent more than 12 years at Sony, where he led Columbia’s radio department as well as DSP promotion for artists including Calvin HarrisMark RonsonKings of LeonFoo Fighters and George Ezra.

“Sam is one of the most forward thinking and progressive executives in the business and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role,” AWAL General Manager Paul Trueman said. “His innovative and entrepreneurial outlook will add huge value to AWAL artist campaigns. I’m looking forward to working closely with Sam as we continue to develop and break artists.”

Potts is also known for co-founding music industry networking organisation Young Guns, which provides networking, education and opportunities for young people entering the industry, and he helped launch music tech event concept Buzz Jam, which brings together computer coders and musicians for live performances.

THE XX STAYS WITH UMPG
9/24/19

British group The xx have extended their global publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group following a decade with the company. Over the course of their tenure, the band secured a Mercury Prize win for their debut, which reached #3 on the U.K. charts and was followed by two #1 albums. 

Mark Gale, VP International A&R and Director of A&R at UMPG said: “We originally signed The xx purely on the basis of a set of songs we heard and loved. It’s been extraordinary to see the artist and individuals that they’ve evolved into. They are constantly looking forward and challenging themselves creatively.

"It’s a huge privilege and compliment that after 10 years they continue to trust all of us at Universal Music Publishing with their songs.”

SONY/ATV INKS BLUE
9/24/19

Jonas Blue, known for “Fast Car,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Mama” and “Rise.” has signed a worldwide futures deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

After noting that he’s been a longtime fan, Sony/ATV UK President and Co-Managing Director David Ventura said, “His talent and track record is nothing but astonishing and he has proven himself to be one of the world's most accomplished songwriters. Everyone is delighted to become a part of his continuing adventure.”

Blue’s breakthrough was the 2016 tropical house reworking of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” He recorded “Perfect Strangers” with JP Cooper, peaking at No. 2 in the U.K., and hit the Top 5 with “Mama,” which received BRIT Awards nominations. “Rise” f/Jack & Jack climbed to No. 3 in the U.K. and brought on a fifth BRITs nomination. His debut album, Blue, included the hit “Polaroid” with Liam Payne and Lennon Stella.

His manager, Aaron Ross of Infinite Future Management, said: “We couldn’t be happier to be joining the family at Sony/ATV. The legacy of the company is iconic and with David Ventura and Jon Platt at the helm, the team behind this next phase of Jonas Blue’s publishing endeavours is exceptional. These guys live and breathe music, and share our deep passion for the evolution of Jonas Blue’s creative output.”

Ross (left), Blue and Ventura (right) are shown signing a rental agreement for jet-skis in the Caribbean.

U.K. MIDWEEKS: LIAM LEAPS TO #1
9/23/19

Liam Gallagher is on course to claim his second #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with Why Me? Why Not. (Warner Records) leading an all-new Top 3 at the halfway stage. Over on singles, Kosovo DJ Regard is challenging Ed Sheeran for the top spot.

Gallagher is currently outperforming the rest of the Top 5 combined. Keane are also new at #2 today with Cause and Effect (Island), followed by Blink-182’s  Nine (Sony) at #3.

Following his Mercury win, Dave continues to climb back up the charts with Psychodrama (Neighbourhood) rising 28 places to #9.

…Read more

DAVE WINS MERCURY PRIZE
9/20/19

British rapper Dave has won 2019's Mercury Prize for his critically acclaimed and chart-topping debut, Psychodrama (Neighbourhood). The album was chosen by judges for being a "moving, musically sophisticated work that demands total attention from the listener."

Released in March, Psychodrama beat Foals to hit the top of the U.K. charts and has since sold over 130k. On release, it was the fastest streamed debut British album of all time and has racked up 775m cumulative streams to date.

In announcing the winner at the awards ceremony in London Thursday night, the Mercury judging panel said: "Psychodrama is the musical equivalent of a literary masterpiece: a conceptual album about Dave’s experience of growing up in South London, structured in the form of a therapy session, which takes a deeply personal story and gives it universal relevance. … It will have lasting relevance for a generation and underlines the importance of the album as an art form."

…Read more

FENDER'S DRIVE TO #1
9/19/19

Polydor artist Sam Fender is on course to claim this year's third highest-selling debut album in the U.K. with Hypersonic Missiles heading for #1 on Friday with more than 40k sales. We also hear there’s an impressive tour for 2020 soon to be announced.

At the halfway point, Fender was outselling the entire albums Top 5. Only Lewis Capaldi (Virgin EMI) and Billie Eilish (Polydor) will have beaten his first week sales number as debut acts this year, with 90k and 48k, respectively.

As well as awarding Universal another win, Fender joins a number of recent Polydor success stories, including a #1 for Lana Del Rey, a #3 debut for Mabel, a Top 10 and gold-selling album for Jax Jones and #3 for Frank Turner.

Fender, who won 2019’s BRITs Critics’ Choice award, will play to 58k people over 27 shows for his autumn U.K. and EU tour, which sold out within one week. In London, that includes two dates at the 5k capacity Brixton Academy in December. Stay tuned for even bigger shows to be announced soon.

CAA UPS THREE TRAINEES TO AGENT
9/16/19

CAA announced on Monday that it has promoted three trainees to agent. Out of the London office, Anthony Brown has been elevated to Agent in CAA's Touring division, which booked more than 32,000 music and comedy dates in 2018. Brown will continue to operate from the London hub. 

Jesse Heussner and Erika Ruiz have been promoted to Agents in CAA Sports’ Basketball department, which reps more than 75 All-Star and emerging NBA players, including 46 first-round Draft selections, 58 All-Star player appearances, and 40 All-NBA selections. Heussner will continue to be based in the agency’s New York office, with Ruiz in Los Angeles.