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Surely you have the time to take a look. (8/7a)
Is mining the past the future? (8/10a)
The kids are not alright with Trump. (8/7a)
And the streams just keep on coming. (8/7a)
Interscope's co-MVPs (8/7a)
They're so dreamy.
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No, but we're thinking about cookies.
Protest songs that sound like now.
Blighty Beat

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.”


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.


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 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.




UMG U.K. imprint Polydor is the first label since modern British chart records began in 1994 to debut four different albums at #1 over consecutive weeks. The feat is one of a number of successes for the team this year.

Ellie Goulding hit the top of the chart on Friday with Brightest Blue, the fourth consecutive #1 for Polydor, led by Ben Mortimer and Tom March. Before that came chart-toppers Juice Wrld’s  Legends Never Die, Paul Weller with On Sunset and Haim’s  Women in Music Pt. III.

Those four albums are among eight #1s or Polydor so far in 2020, which means they’ve spent more weeks (nine) at the top of the chart than any other label. Albums from Lady Gaga, The 1975, 5 Seconds of Summer and Eminem join those mentioned above.

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Taylor Swift is heading for her fifth #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with Folklore (Virgin). Over on singles, “Head & Heart” (Asylum) by Joel Corry and MNEK looks set to remain on top for a second week.


At the halfway point, Folklore is outselling the rest of the Top 5 combined. Three songs from the album are on track to debut inside this week’s Official Singles Top 10: “Cardigan” starts at #4, “The 1” follows at #5 and “Exile” with Bon Iver is currently at #7.


Elsewhere on albums, Ronan Keating’sTwenty Twenty (Decca) starts at #2 and leads the way on CD sales. Also in the Top 5 is Bob Marley & The WailersLegend (Tuff Gong), which rockets 15 places to #5 following its release on picture disc vinyl.


Fiona Apple could collect her first U.K. Top 10 album this week with Fetch The Bolt Cutters (Sony) currently at #9 following its release on physical formats. Logic’s No Pressure (UMG) could also strike a Top 10 debut at #10.


Over on singles, “Lighter” (Warner) by British producer Nathan Dawe and YouTuber/rapper KSI is the third-highest new entry today at #6. Little Mix are eyeing up their 16th Top 10 with “Holiday” (RCA) currently at #9.


Choirmaster Gareth Malone is on course to land a Top 40 hit this week with “You Are My Sunshine” at #10. The track was recorded with 11,000 participants of his Great British Home Chorus project from around the world, which aims to bring communities together digitally to help boost morale during the coronavirus crisis.


Grassroots music venues have been given the first tranche of funding—£2.25m ($2.89m)— from the U.K. Government's £1.57b cultural recovery package. It will be used to save about 150 venues from insolvency.

The support for venues will be administered by Arts Council England and will target those at severe risk of insolvency. Grants of up to £80,000 will be provided to help them survive the next few months and will be used to cover essential ongoing costs including rent, utilities and maintenance.

 "Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this essential funding for desperate grassroots music venues facing urgent, short term challenges,” Beverley Whitrick of the Music Venue Trust said. “Without this help, the sector would be facing a wave of permanent closures. Throughout this crisis we have worked closely with DCMS and are delighted that the urgent need for this intervention has been recognized and responded to."

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Ellie Goulding has her third #1 on the Official Albums Chart while Joel Corry has secured his first #1 at singles. Goulding’s Brightest Blue (Polydor) follows her debut, 2010’s Lights, and 2014’s Halcyon in topping the chart.

Four more new releases land inside this week’s Top 10. The Chicks’ first album in 14 years, Gaslighter (Columbia), is their highest-charting album ever in the U.K., entering at #5. A 40th anniversary reissue of Joy Division’s Closer (Rhino) opens at #6 followed by  Lianne La Havas’ self-titled Warner collection at #7, and Massive WagonsHouse of Noise (Earache) at #9. After being released on vinyl, Bob Dylan’s former chart-topper Rough And Rowdy Ways (Columbia) rebounds 12 places to #4.

At singles, Joel Corry f/MNEK’s summer dance anthem “Head & Heart” (Asylum) racked up 68,000 chart sales this week, including 7.5m streams, to dethrone three-week chart-topper “Savage Love (Laxed-Siren Beat)” by RCA’s Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo, which drops to #2.

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