Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 8, 2019

Terra Lightfoot (pictured) heads up an all-female road show, a Shawn Mendes hit is dissected, and advice for HMV and Sunrise. Also in the headlines are Jessie Reyez, Sting, Emily King, Hamilton, COC, 21 Savage, The Clash, OBEY, R. Kelly, Al Green, Salif Keita, Sam Cooke, Scooter Braun, Dolly Parton, and Ringo Starr.

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 8, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Grammy Awards 2019: Breaking down Shawn Mendes’s In My Blood, beat by beat

To find out what makes a hit song work, we polled leading producers and songwriters to break down In My Blood, the lead single from Mendes’s self-titled third album. In My Blood is in our ears and on the charts, but how did it get there? – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Terra Lightfoot, Lindi Ortega and Begonia strike a blow for gender parity in music with the all-female Longest Road Show

The Longest Road Show doesn’t need any extra selling points, as it stars three of Canada’s finest singer/songwriters mixing and mingling their material over the course of an evening while accompanied by an impeccable “house” rhythm section. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Creativity key for the future of HMV and Sunrise: music industry experts

If Sunrise Records and Entertainment Limited wants the 100 HMV stores it just purchased across the U.K. to succeed, industry experts say it will need to get creative and quick. –Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press 


Jesse Reyez hosts a two-day workshop/songwriting camp in Toronto

On a month off, the multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter wanted to give back to her hometown community, so she presented the inaugural Jessie Reyez Workshop in partnership with SOCAN, at Dream House Studios in downtown Toronto, on the weekend of Jan. 25-26. – Howard Druckman, SOCAN Magazine

Sting talks about why he wrote a musical about his childhood home

Sting has performed on some of the biggest concert stages across the world. And for the next six weeks, he'll be at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto -- starring in The Last Ship, a musical he wrote, inspired by his childhood home. – CBC

Review: Emily King invites us into her whimsical world on Scenery

The singer/songwriter brings glamour and depth to love and heartbreak, sidestepping hackneyed lyrics and bringing magic to the mundane. – CV Grier, NOW  

Musical phenomenon Hamilton to hit Toronto stage in 2019-20 season

Toronto has had to wait for it – and longer than other major North American theatre markets – but its theatregoers will finally getting to see Hamilton: An American Musical. Composer/lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical will play the Ed Mirvish Theatre from February to May of 2020, Mirvish Productions announced on Wednesday. – JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail


Canadian Opera Company plays it safe with Turandot, Barber of Seville and more next season

The Canadian Opera Company’s 69th season is betting on familiarity to lure ticket buyers to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. On Monday evening the company unveiled a new season of six well-loved works from the core of the repertoire. – John Terauds, Toronto Star

Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage arrested in U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement raid

ICE, as it's often called in Donald Trump's America, may have iced an opportunity for a popular rapper to pick up his first Grammy Awards in-person. The Associated Press has reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have arrested 21 Savage, also known as Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph. – Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight

Photo exhibit of The Clash's first Toronto performances

An exhibition is now on display at the Pape-Danforth library, curated by Nick Smash. – CBC

OBEY Convention announces first wave of 2019 lineup

Keep it strange with the boundary-pushing fest from May 30-June 2. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Alien Boys get in your face with Night Danger

For music fans, change can be difficult. Just because you loved a particular band, doesn’t mean that you’re going to be ready or willing to make the transition to listening to projects its members undertake when that band is over. –  Allan MacInnis,  Georgia Straight


A dilemma of having an R. Kelly-penned hit: Sing it or sink it?

For Grammy-nominated singer Joe, singing the hit song R. Kelly wrote and produced for him is out of the question. “I’ve stopped performing the song,” he said in a statement to The Associated Press, referring to “More & More,” a Top 20 R&B song released in 2003. – Mesfin Fekadu, AP


Annenberg hosts a panel on female representation in music

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative hosted a diverse panel of Grammy-nominated musicians and accomplished women in the industry, as part of “A Celebration of Women in Music” Tuesday. The panelists discussed the lack of representation of women in the music industry and what steps can be taken to achieve gender parity. – Natalie Oganesyan, Daily Trojan

Data analytics shows that popular music lyrics become angrier and sadder

Computer analysis of thousands of popular music songs showed that the lyrics of popular music becomes sadder, angrier, and less joyful over time.– EINPresswire


Al Green announces the first tour in seven years

Soul legend will play five dates across the American south from late April. –  Kate Nicholson, The Guardian

Raised In Space Enterprises launches with a mission to powerfully unite music, tech and blockchain industries

Former President of BMG, Zach Katzisis named CEO. –   op-40 Charts

Salif Keita: "Democracy is not good for Africa"

The ‘golden voice of Africa’ has just released his final album. And though he is visibly tired, he is still in love with his guitar. – Kim Willsher, The Guardian

Inside ‘ReMastered’: Netflix’s gritty new music-doc series

This week’s film on the life, death and forgotten legacy of Sam Cooke is the latest entry in the eye-opening series.  – David Browne, Rolling Stone

Raving in Ramallah: How underground music is bringing Palestinians together

“There aren’t many visitors to Palestine, it’s not that easy for them to come,” says Sama, a pioneering DJ from the West Bank, talking over feverish industrial techno and contrasting footage of quiet cosmopolitan streets. – Megan Townsend,  The independent

Scooter Braun acquires Atlas Music Publishing, home of Brandi Carlile

Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings has acquired Atlas Music Publishing, sources tell Billboard. Braun, whose management clients include Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Zac Brown Band, has been shopping for a publishing company for more than a year, sources say. Atlas' songwriter roster includes Brandi Carlile, the most nominated female artist at this weekend's Grammys, as well as Brian Howes, Dan The Automator and Warren Haynes. Staff

Dolly Parton shines like a diamond during a week of Grammy honors

Even Dolly Parton is astonished by the new exhibit of her glitz and glamour on view at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. “I thought, ‘Lord, have I lived that long? Have I done that much? How’d I get that done?’ ” – James Reed, LA Times

The Case for Why Ringo Starr Is One of Rock’s Greatest Drummers

As far as I’m concerned, debate over whether or not Ringo Starr is a good drummer is over, done with, settled. How is it possible that some of the greatest recorded music of the 20th century, with some of the most distinctive rhythms, fills, and drum breaks in pop music, could have come from a mediocre musician? – Josh Jones, Open Culture


Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


Fresh Sounds Canada: New Songs from Jayda G, Claudia Bouvette and More

This week's discovery roundup of new Canadian songs also includes Indigenous songwriter Celeigh Cardinal and Quebec acts KROY and Mon Doux Saigneur.

In Fresh Sounds Canada, Billboard Canada puts you on to the must-hear songs of the week by artists on the rise and those about to break. Here's what's out this week.

Jayda G, “If We Only Knew”

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