Music Biz Headlines, April 27, 2023

Music Biz Headlines, April 27, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Prince planted the seed that grew into Donna Grantis’s Culture vs Policy project

Grantis, a former guitarist with Prince’s 3rdeyegirl, is putting her music to work for the planet, alongside Brian Eno’s EarthPercent initiative. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Jane Bunnett and her all-female Cuban band Maqueque strive for 'beautiful moments in time'

They play the National Arts Centre's Azrieli Studio this week in support of their latest recording, Playing With Fire. – Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

It’s a hit! Whisky Hunter’s new tune, ‘Good Morning,’ is for the kids

You gotta get up for Chris Gormley’s new song, Jeff Mahoney writes. – Hamilton Spectator

Jill Barber overcomes the darkness to reconcile her two very different personas on Homemaker

Vancouver-based chanteuse Jill Barber understands that battle all too well, to the point where the struggle ended up inspiring her rich and deeply rewarding latest album, Homemaker. –  Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Darrelle London finds her quirky, poppy groove with kindie record ‘Primary’

The album, which originated during Covid lockdown with her two children, allows London’s bright, singsong voice and whimsical approach to songwriting to flourish in a most natural way. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Hamilton Children’s Choir present their annual spring concert

On May 6, ‘Trust Your Wings’ is in special collaboration with Amgan ~Lik~lgaawks (Cedar Sisters). – Leonard Turnevicius, The Spectator

These London, Ont., record shops are seeing a resurgence in CD sales. Here's why

Compact disc sales have taken off — again, says local record shop owner. – Michelle Both, CBC News

Everything you need to know about the 2023 Mayworks Festival

Halifax's festival of working people and the arts returns from April 30-June 8. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Grimes tells fans to deepfake her music, will split 50% royalties with AI

In the wake of the AI-generated hit Heart on My Sleeve going viral with deepfakes of multi-platinum artists Drake and The Weeknd, pop star Grimes has invited her fans to create music with her voice. She recently tweeted, “I'll split 50% royalties on any successful AI generated song that uses my voice.  I have no label and no legal bindings.” – Forbes

Maggie is a universal tale of family, sacrifice

Multi-platinum selling music star Johnny Reid wrote the musical in tribute to his Scottish grannie. Its world premiere runs April 19 to May 6 at Theatre Aquarius. Reid hopes audiences see themselves and their families in its tale. – Meredith MacLeod, Hamilton City Music 

On Our Radar: Bratboy is the coolest, most stylish supergroup in town

Bratboy released its debut studio album Bratworld on April 21 and celebrated with a sold-out show at Green Auto on April 22. Bella Bébé and Megan Magdalena have been longtime fixtures of Vancouver’s music scene. – Yasmine Shemesh, Georgia Straight


Arts groups plead for help to overcome pandemic pinch

Recovery from Covid restrictions taking longer than expected. – Alan Small, Winnipeg Free Press


We soon won’t tell the difference between AI and human music – so can pop survive?

AI music is going mainstream with high profile fakes of Drake, the Weeknd and Kanye West – but the tech will be used in more profound, insidious and even poetic ways. – Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian

AI music is here to stay

The future is here, the ghostwriters are on the storm, and fake Drake is all too real. Earlier this month, a gloomy hip-hop track created with the help of artificial intelligence to jarringly replicate the voices of Canadian superstars Drake and the Weeknd went viral. Heart on My Sleeve was posted online by an anonymous producer using the name Ghostwriter. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Spotify added 5m Premium subscribers in Q1, taking its total global paying subs audience to 210m

Spotify's Q1 2023 results are in. The music streaming giant added another 5M net Premium subscribers to its user base in Q1 2023 (the three months to end of March), taking its total global paying subs audience to 210M. This marks a growth of 15% YoY, and was 3M above the company’s guidance for the quarter. – MBW


Universal Music rides streaming and physical gains to 11.5% bump in quarterly revenue

Sales by Morgan Wallen, Taylor Swift and other artists boost UMG's recorded music and publishing divisions. – ED Marshall,, Billboard

Less than 2 years after a $12M funding round, Mandolin shutters.

During the pandemic, it was billed as one of the leading platforms in the music livestreaming space. Last year, it was named the most innovative music company in the world by Fast Company. But now Mandolin has announced it’s shutting down its platform. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ at 10: how it became the era’s most hyped album

A decade on from from the album campaign that shook the world, NME looks back at The Robots' final transmission and how they generated one of the 21st century's most OTT musical moments. – Thomas Smith, NME


“This band isn't just me and some other guys": Neil Young’s Ducks fly again

From July to September 1977, Young jammed and gigged with The Ducks, a bar band supergroup comprising bassist Bob Mosley of Moby Grape, guitarist Jeff Blackburn – co-writer of My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) – and drummer Johnny Craviotto. But only now, 46 years later, are their live, mobile studio recordings being released, with the 25-track album, High Flyin’, as part of Young’s Original Bootleg Series. – Mojo

Let’s go round again: the ridiculous rise of fifth-anniversary vinyl reissues

With young fans craving vinyl copies of relatively recent releases, the industry is shortening the nostalgia cycle to almost nothing. But how long can this boom really last? – Shaad D'Souza, The Guardian

Little Richard biopic celebrates a rock pioneer

The king of rock ‘n’ roll didn’t die at Graceland in 1977. He died just three years ago in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and he never really got the crown he deserved. – Mark Kennedy, AP

Lewis Capaldi is a world-famous musician. He should be having the time of his life. Is he?

The Scottish hit-maker talks mental health, his new Netflix doc and upcoming album: “Sometimes I feel I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.” – Annette Ejiofor, Toronto Star

Everything But the Girl: Fuse review – still staking out pop’s frontier after 40 years

Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt have absorbed the revolutions in dance and electronic music since their previous album in 1999, and shaped them into melancholic, finely detailed stories.  – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

‘Such a fun way to consume music’: why sales of the ‘obsolete’ cassette are soaring

With more cassette tapes being bought than since 2003, readers tell why they prefer them to modern music players. –The Guardian

Iggy Pop unites with Duff McKagan, Chad Smith at ferocious ‘Every Loser’ tour launch in L.A.

Watch the supergroup tear through "The Passenger" and "Walk on the Wild Side" at the tiny Regent Theater in Los Angeles. – Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?! – Belinda Carlisle

Here we quiz an artist on their own career to see how much they can remember – and find out if the years in the trenches has knocked the knowledge out of them. This week: the Go-Go's singer and solo star takes the ultimate test. – Gary Ryan, NME


Elyanna is making history at Coachella, taking Arabic music global

The 21-year-old from Nazareth became the first artist to perform a Coachella set entirely in Arabic. Now she’s at the vanguard of a new generation poised to take Middle Eastern music global. – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star

‘The film industry is gone. It sucks’: Jim Jarmusch on swapping directing for drone rock

At 70, the outsider movie hero is releasing his first album. He muses on music, the demise of film and finding joy in mistakes.–  Daniel Dylan Wray, The Guardian

Bad Bunny apologizes to Harry Styles at Coachella Weekend 2: ‘We love you.’ 

Bad Bunny blamed his team for throwing shade at Harry Styles and Zendaya made a surprise appearance during Coachella Weekend 2. – LA Times

Remarkable 108-year-old virtuoso Colette Maze becomes oldest-ever pianist to release an album

A lifetime at the piano, in what has to be one of the most remarkable stories in all classical music. This pianist, who was born just a few weeks before the outbreak of the First World War, is about to release a new album of her performances. Colette Maze recently told Le Figaro her new album will feature piano works by Gershwin, Piazzolla, Schumann, and Debussy. – Kyle Macdonald, Classic FM

‘A long-term fight for existence’ – Simon Rattle speech on the crisis facing UK classical music

This is the text of a speech given by Sir Simon Rattle at the London Symphony Orchestra concert on Sunday 23 April 2023. – The Guardian

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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