Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 17, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Free-spirited musician DJ Bob Segarini became a colourful figure on Toronto rock radio

Bob Segarini brought a gravelled voice and a wealth of rock ‘n’ roll experience and knowledge to his work as a musician and DJ at Toronto radio stations. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Bid to rename the 400 after Gordon Lightfoot

Doug Walkinshaw, McMaster grad, is trying to have Highway 400 named after Gordon Lightfoot. – Jeff Mahoney, Hamilton Spectator

Halifax’s Maggie Andrew is bringing alt-pop to new heights

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter has earned praise from the likes of Santigold and might well be Nova Scotia’s next breakout act. – The Coast

Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Nickelback? Boots and Hearts returns — and it’s not just country

Talent booker Brooke Dunford says the annual festival is pushing boundaries, and both artists and fans are doing the pushing. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star


Six Nations leaders say Robbie Robertson gave cultural centre invaluable support

A gesture by late musician Robbie Robertson has drawn attention to a Six Nations community’s cultural restoration project and local leaders anticipate it will have a lasting positive impact. – David Friend, CP

Soulpepper’s Detroit: Music of the Motor City drives home its message

Detroit, it has been said, is just like everywhere else, only more so – a lot more so. Which is why, with Detroit: Music of the Motor City, the Soulpepper theatre company may have picked the best American city possible for a deep, gritty musical dive that matters. – The Globe and Mail

Lauren Spencer Smith bares it all on new album

“I do not remember ever wanting to do anything other than music,” reflects Lauren Spencer Smith. “Ever since I was three, I just knew I wanted to be a singer; it’s always been my dream.” And while she’s only 19, she’s already built up an impressive resume. – Bridget Stringer-Holden, Georgia Straight

‘Music is the purest way to connect’ — hip-hop guru Solitair on the five albums that shaped his creative path

The Toronto rapper and producer has a highly anticipated new album, “Dangerous Art.” The first part drops Aug. 18. – Toronto Star

Hometown hero Michael Bublé performs with Foo Fighters, receives a game-changing invitation

You’ve truly reached legendary status when the biggest rock star of his generation calls you a “badass motherf###er.” This happened at the official meeting of the Burnaby-based star crooner and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters came on Saturday. The alt-rock titans were playing the Outlands Festival in San Francisco. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Down at Toronto’s Rex Hotel, live jazz weaves its spell nightly

Canada boasts world-class jazz musicians. They all play the Rex, a Queen Street West bar where magical music is made. It’s my favourite venue. – Adam Gutteridge Toronto Star

Hamilton Radio: A century on the airwaves

Since 1922, the city has been a powerhouse of music radio and is home to the oldest English language commercial radio station in Canada. – Jody Aberdeen, Hamilton City Magazine

Ontario country music pioneer Ron Sparling

A profile of the noted country musician, artist manager, and entrepreneur who guided the career of Family Brown. –  Larry Delaney, CMAOntario

Taylor Swift’s Toronto concerts reveal bad World Cup deal for Toronto

An economic comparison with Taylor Swift’s six shows demonstrates how bad of a deal the city made with MLSE to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. – April Engelberg, Toronto Star 


Hip hop and justice: Culture carries the spirit of protest, 50 years and counting

In the early days of hip hop, plugging turntables into a light post and converting an outdoor basketball court into a discotheque may have seemed like a simple invitation to party. A closer look at the scene revealed the truth: Hip hop was a response to social and economic injustice in disregarded neighbourhoods, a showcase of joy, ingenuity and innovation despite a lack of wealth and resources. – Aaron Morrison,AP


Sony, other music labels sue over Sinatra 78s stored online

Sony Music Entertainment and five other major music companies sued the non-profit Internet Archive, saying that its posting of thousands of old songs and recordings online amounts to  “wholesale theft” of copyright-protected music. The Internet Archive’s “blatant infringement includes hundreds of thousands of works by some of the greatest artists of the Twentieth Century,” lawyers for the record companies said in a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court. Among the artists cited: Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk. – Robert Burnson, Bloomberg

Elon Musk's X files motion to dismiss publishers' $250M copyright lawsuit

The NMPA says the platform has failed to stop rampant piracy. The platform’s lack of agreements with music rightsholders has long been a matter of contention, and the platform is often criticized in the music industry for turning a blind eye to alleged infringement. – Murray Stassen, MBW


Taylor Swift and SZA lead 2023 MTV Video Music Award nominations

Swift leads with eight – seven for her Anti-Hero music video and a nod in the artist of the year category – followed by SZA, who has six, MTV announced. Swift currently has 14 VMAs to her name, placing her behind Beyoncé, who has 28 (two with Destiny’s Child), Madonna, who has 20 awards, and Lady Gaga, who has 19. – Maria Sherman, AP

Stem introduces ‘Tone’ financial services platform for the music platform 

MBW reports: “Los Angeles-headquartered music distribution and payments platform Stem has launched a new financial services platform under the ‘Tone’ brand. Stem says that Tone aims to “fix the broken financial processes” across the music industry. Last year, Stem raised $20 million in a funding round led by QED Investors, a venture capitalist firm in the fintech space.” – Digital Media Wire

From Missy Elliott to Lil’ Kim, charting the iconic style of women in hip-hop

Much-anticipated is the Netflix documentary series Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop (premiering Aug. 9). Co-produced by MC Lyte, it explores the ways women have shaped this enduring style of music. The film series is one of several forthcoming projects that aim to examine how female MCs and rappers fused their sounds with a vision that distanced them from hip-hop’s blatantly macho roots. – Elio Iannacci, Globe and Mail

Chance the Rapper will discuss the impact of hip-hop at an Apple store in Chicago

Chance the Rapper will take Apple store customers in Chicago on his hip-hop journey as part of an audio series celebrating the genre’s 50th anniversary. – Jonathan Landrum Jr., AP 

Pizzica: the centuries-old Italian folk music still whipping up a frenzy

When Antonio Castrignanò listens to pizzica, he hears much more than tambourines and drums. “This music really feels like a dream,” is how the musician and composer puts it. “It gives dignity to the sacrifices my people made for their own freedom. – The Guardian
Courtesy Photo
Chart Beat

Drake Diss Track 'Family Matters' Debuts at No.6 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100

The Canadian megastar holds two spots in the top 15, while Kendrick Lamar — Drake's opponent in the chart-dominating rap feud — grabs the No. 2 spot with 'Not Like Us.'

The rap battle between Drake and Kendrick Lamar dominates the charts this week, with the Toronto superstar debuting the seven minute missive “Family Matters” at No. 6 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100.

Lamar's final word, "Not Like Us," is proving even more popular, topping the U.S. Hot 100 and coming in at No. 2 in Canada.

keep readingShow less