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1 TRENDING TOPIC:
THE CAT’S PAJAMAS
Doja claws her way toward stardom. (4/16a)
NEW & DEVELOPING ARTISTS: Q2 EDITION
Who's next? (4/16a)
NOISEMAKERS: THE SPRING SYNDICATE
Eight next-gen movers and shakers (4/15a)
RIAA'S MARCH AWARDS
You want fries with that plaque? (4/14a)
DEF JAM'S BEAR-Y GOOD NEWS
A JV with Poo. (4/15a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
Blighty Beat
U.K. MULLS COVID PASSPORTS
4/8/21

The use of COVID passports or certificates to grant access to events and venues has divided opinions in the U.K., with critics saying the idea could be discriminatory and infringe on freedom, while others, including Reading and Leeds promoter Melvin Benn, say they could remove the need for social distancing.

COVID-status certificates, which would likely be an app-based document, are being discussed amongst British politicians as one of the measures that could enable the safe return of social life. The document would show vaccination status and/or a recent negative test and are said to be part of a number of measures being tested in the pilot events the Government is currently running, ahead of the possible return of gigs at the end of June.

However, there's growing opposition to the idea. Liverpool comedy club Hot Water, which was supposed to be running the first pilot event on 4/16, has pulled out of the scheme after receiving backlash as a result of being linked to the proposals for coronavirus health certificates. Alongside 4,000 negative messages, club co-owner Paul Blair said he received "a lot of refund requests" for the now canceled pilot event. "There’s a lot of damage, whether it’s short- or long-term it’s hard to gauge because we’re not open,” he said.

...Read more

 

 

 

YOUNG, YES; TURKS, NO
4/7/21

British independent label Young Turks, which works with Arlo Parks, FKA Twigs and The xx, has changed its name to Young to remove any association with the similarly named group that carried out the Armenian Genocide beginning in 1915 .

The label’s founder Caius Pawson said Young Turks was originally named after the Rod Stewart song. “When I first heard the song, it took a week of 2005-era internet searches to find out what it was and even longer to understand its meaning,” he said. “The name intrigued me, evoking the solidarity of youth. In 2005, it seemed to perfectly sum up what we were—teenagers, wanting and waiting to do something, anything.”

Since then, Pawson said he’s become aware of the deeper history of the term relating to the genocide. “Through ongoing conversations and messages that have developed our own knowledge around the subject, it’s become apparent that the name is a source of hurt and confusion for people.

“We loved the name for what it meant to us, but in retrospect should have listened more carefully to other voices and acted more quickly. We have always tried to affect positive change and knowing what we do now, it's only right that we change our name.”

Other artists signed to Young include Sampha, Kamasi Washington, Jamie xx and Ethan P Flynn.

U.K. HAS A TEST FOR RETURN OF FANS
4/6/21

The U.K. Government will be putting on live events to test the waters ahead of a possible reopening of venues and nightclubs this summer. Gigs could be back on by the end of June.

The first of nine initial pilots from the Government's science-led Events Research Program will take place 4/16 at the 300-capacity Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool; it’s an indoor seated event. Second is the the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley on 4/18 that will host 4k people seated outdoors. More events ranging from 1k to 8k capacity to follow. The final event in the pilot program is the FA Cup Final at Wembley, which will take place on 5/15 and allow 21k people to watch as outdoor seated spectators.

The program will be used to provide key scientific data and research into how small- and large-scale events could be permitted to safely reopen in line with the Prime Minister's roadmap out of lockdown as part of step 4, commencing no earlier than 6/21.

…Read more

U.K. CHARTS: HOWARD COLLECTS A #1
4/2/21

Ben Howard has hit the top of the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with his fourth release, Collections From the Whiteout (Island). Over on singles, Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” (RCA) enters straight in at #1.

Collections is Howard's second U.K. #1 album and is the best-seller in independent record shops this week, also topping the vinyl chart.

Elsewhere on albums, Justin Bieber’s Justice (EMI) is at #2 while Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia (Warner Records) rises one to #3, marking its 33rd week in the Top 10 one year from release.

Evanescence’s The Bitter Truth (RCA) is new at #4, their highest charting album in 10 years, while Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra debut at #6 with Promises (Luaka Bop).

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MORE ORGS GET RECOVERY CASH
4/2/21

More than 500 music organizations in the U.K. have been handed £400m in grants from the second round of the British Government’s cultural recovery. Among recipients are Glastonbury Festivals, which has received £900k, Standon Calling, The BRIT School and a number of venues.

This second round of funding has been taken out of the Government’s £1.57b support pot for culture and is aimed at helping recipients reopen and recover. Glastonbury’s payout will make “a huge difference in helping to secure our future,” said organizers Michael and Emily Eavis, who had to call off the festival for a second time in January and have recently announced a live-stream event in May.

The Music Venue Trust says its members have now received almost £16m in support from the fund with an 80% success rate for applicants. From this latest round, that includes Brudenell Social Club in Leeds (£213.9k), The Leadmill in Sheffield (£120.8k), and London venues The Roundhouse (£1.5m), The Lexington (£90k) and Village Underground (£310k).

The Standon Calling festival, which is set to return at the end of July after canceling in 2020, has received £418.5k while The BRIT School, which is part state-funded with support from The BRIT Trust, has been awarded £249.5k.

Other music-related organizations to have received significant payouts for this second round include Earth Music Agency (£165.9k), Y Not Festivals (£120k), music development org Urban Development (£92k), Giant Artist Management (£61.8k), Prolifica Management (£67.4k) and Rough Trade Retail (£61.9k).

PPL PAYS OUT £61.3M
4/1/21

British CMO PPL paid out £61.3m ($84.6m) to more thana 25k performers and recording rights holders in its Q1 distribution. Since the start of the pandemic, PPL has now distributed a total £308.8m ($426m). 

That payout included the third-highest quarterly international distribution in the company’s history—£28.1m ($38.8m). The £28.1m is made up of revenues collected from 63 CMOs around the world, with significant payments from CMOs in Germany, the U.S. and Italy. For the first time, the distribution also contains money from the Netherlands’ org STAP, which represents producers of sound carriers in the distribution of the home copying levy and lending right remunerations .

PPL Chief Executive Officer Peter Leathem  said this quarter’s payment “reflects the quality of our operations and the popularity of our members’ repertoire.” The firm established its international collections arm in 2006, and since then, has distributed “hundreds of millions of pounds” to its mandating members for the use of their recorded music overseas.

He continued: “Each year our team of neighboring rights experts work with CMOs around the world to maximize the global recorded music royalty revenues we collect and distribute each quarter.” PPL has more than 100 agreements in place with CMOs across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America.

A LIFELINE FOR MANAGERS
4/1/21

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) in the U.K. has opened round four of its ReBuild Fund, which provides emergency support to music management businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and excluded from Government assistance packages. The new round has been made possible thanks to further donations from PPL, the BRIT Awards and Hipgnosis Songs.

MMF launched ReBuild after research revealed a double whammy of reported cash losses for music managers of £5.6m in May, combined with the inability of sole traders and limited companies to access the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). So far, the fund has provided targeted grants to 77 music management businesses who help guide the careers of more than 400 artists, songwriters, producers and DJs. Recipients have also received expert-led sessions in group resilience and financial planning.

“Despite the hope of returning to live music this summer, many music managers continue to grapple with the twin shocks of a pandemic and Brexit making the road to a full recovery a long one,” Annabella Coldrick, Chief Executive of the MMF, said. “ReBuild has been essential for many of these managers' survival and with this fourth round of funding, we’ll be able to spread that support even wider.”

Administered by charity Help Musicians, the fund is also backed by previous donations from Spotify, Glastry, Everybody’s, One Fifteen Management, East City Management and Grumpy Old Management.

BRITS NOMS ARE IN
3/31/21

Nominations for the 2021 BRIT Awards are in, with Dua LipaArlo Parks, AJ TraceyYoung T & Bugsey, and Celeste securing three each, while British rap stars J Hus and Headie One have two noms apiece.

Lipa is up for Mastercard Album (a female-heavy category this year) for Future Nostalgia (Warner Records), Female Solo Artist and British Single for “Physical.” Parks is up for Female Solo Artist, Mastercard Album for her debut, Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive), and Breakthrough Artist. Celeste will battle it out with them both for Female Solo Artist and Mastercard Album for her debut, Not Your Muse (Polydor); she's also vying for Breakthrough Artist. 

Young T & Bugsey, J Hus and Headie One are all up for two awards (British Single and Breakthrough Artist, Male Solo Artist and Mastercard Album, and Male Solo Artist and British Single, respectively). AJ Tracey is up for three (Male Solo Artist and two in the British Single category, one as a featured artist), while dance act Joel Corry is in the running for three awards (Male Solo Artist, Breakthrough Artist and British Single).

Universal counts the most nominations with 14 artists/releases, followed by Sony with 13, Warner with 11 and the independent sector has eight. BMG and Big Hit have one apiece. 

On Tuesday, Lipa and BRITs Rising Star winner Griff were announced as the first performers for the show that will take place on 5/11 at London’s O2 Arena

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