Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 13, 2020

Chilly Gonzales (pictured) gets professorial, Cartel Madras deliver bad-ass rap anthems, and City Hall gets blamed for the Matador debacle. Also in the headlines are Morgan Davis, Sina Bathaie, Yola, Def Leppard, Gord Sinclair, Bob Rock, Barry Allen, Saban Music Group, Helen Smith, Selena Gomez, Lloyd Barnes, Michael Stipe, and Nipsey Hussle.

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 13, 2020

By Kerry Doole

From Drake collabs to Solo Piano series, it's all music to Chilly Gonzales

“More and more, I realize I’m the music professor a lot of people wish they had,” the Montreal-born virtuoso says of his unpredictable live show, which he brings to Théâtre St-Denis this week. “It’s a flattering and exciting prospect." — T'cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette

Cartel Madras: Goonda rappers make badass anthems

For Bhagya Ramesh and Priya Ramesh, making music is weighted with responsibility; one that the politically astute sisters from Calgary – who call themselves Cartel Madras – not only take seriously but embrace heartily.  — Errol Nazareth, SOCAN W&M 

Morgan Davis: Ahead by half a century 

A lifelong student of the blues looks back at what he’s learned over a five-decade career. — Morgan Mullin, The Coast


Blame for the death of the Matador night club lies squarely with Toronto city hall

Sometimes the boneheadedness of city hall simply staggers the mind. Consider its role in the death of the Matador ballroom.  — Marcus Gee, Globe and Mail

'Music can bring a little bit of peace': Sina Bathaie

Iranian musician Sina Bathaie plays the santur, a Persian instrument also known as the hammer dulcimer. He speaks about how he is feeling in the wake of the plane crash in Iran. —  CBC

She’s been poor, homeless and a ‘doormat.’ Now she’s a four-time Grammy nominee bound for Toronto

Fear is either a paralyzer or a galvanizer, and no one knows that situation better than four-time Grammy nominee Yola, the current purveyor of big-voiced country soul. — Nick Krewen, The Toronto Star

Dave Hill rocks and rolls across Canada for his new travel book, Parking The Moose

US author explains his love of Loverboy and Canadian rock trios.  — Globe and Mail

FirstOntario Centre stinks like '10,000 asses,' says Def Leppard as debate around arena continues

'I guess they're getting old. I'm surprised they even notice the smells, 'reacts Hamilton Councillor Merulla. —  CBC

Inside the Canadian fortress where Prince Harry, Meghan Markle plotted Megxit

The $14 million waterfront mansion in North Saanich on Vancouver Island was the perfect stronghold for Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle to plot an abdication. David Foster aided in finding this locale.  — Sara Nathan, Page Six

Former Tragically Hip bassist Gord Sinclair announces debut solo album, Taxi Dancers

Gord Sinclair says he’ll reflect on friendship and loss with his upcoming debut solo album. The Kingston, Ont.-based musician has marked Feb. 28 to release Taxi Dancers, a 10-track album he created while processing the loss of Hip ringleader Gord Downie, who died of brain cancer in late 2017. — David Friend, CP


Legendary producer Bob Rock tells all in Gibson TV video

A one-hour interview with the legendary Vancouver record-producer, mixer, and engineer Bob Rock was posted by Gibson TV a couple of days ago. Rock—looking healthy and tanned, befitting his current residency in Hawaii—fields questions about the career that's made him fabulously rich and able to do whatever the funk he wants. —  Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

Toronto music predictions for 2020: global sounds, virtual venues

A new decade dawns and everything feels possible. Music is shifting in all sorts of unpredictable ways and Toronto is growing to unprecedented levels. Are we growing too fast, and in unsustainable ways? — Richard Trapunski, NOW

76-year-old rock "rebel" records a grooving disc that echoes back to Alberta's rock'n'roll era

"You should have seen them crowding around the tape recorder. A few of them hadn't seen a tape machine for a while.” - Barry Allen, singer, musician, engineer. — Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal 


$500M-backed Saban Music Group inks global Universal deal

Last July, multi-billionaire entertainment mogul Haim Saban revealed plans to pump half a billion dollars into a new music company: Saban Music Group (SMG). Now we learn that SMG has inked a global distribution and marketing deal with UMG. —  Murray Stassen, MBW

Does it still make sense to release physical music in 2020?

So, are we looking forward or looking backwards when it comes to releasing new music? Are vinyl, cassettes and CDs worth our time and money for the nostalgia they bring or are music fans done with physical music in 2020?  Suzanne Paulinski, Sonicbids


This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc:  Helen Smith, Executive Chair, IMPALA

Helen Smith’s name almost certainly draws curses in Shenzhen, China (the headquarters of Tencent Holdings),  and with highfliers in the boardrooms of media, streaming, label, and music publishing giants around the world. You see bully boy streaming giants and celebrated major label and music publishing lions don’t much like her. — Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access

Over 112 artists affected in sweeping streaming song theft

More than 112 artists have been confirmed as victims of sweeping intellectual property theft by having their recordings directly stolen and repurposed by fake artist accounts operating on all major streaming services. — Saving Country Music


Selena Gomez has 165 million Instagram followers. Now she has her first great pop album

Three months after the premiere of “Living Undocumented” — an acclaimed reality series about undocumented immigrants that she helped shepherd to Netflix — Selena Gomez has returned to music with Rare, her first album since the platinum-certified Revival in 2015. — Mikael Wood, The LA Times

Selena Gomez cries and admits new album with Justin Bieber breakup songs was ‘a nightmare’ to record

In a tearful confessional, Selena Gomez reveals it took her two years of ‘healing’ to complete the LP.  — Beth Shilliday, Hollywood Life

The Top 15 Punk Albums of 1978 that still rock today

AP’s punk professor emeritus guides us through a vortex of punk history, both known (Ramones, the Clash, Buzzcocks) and unknown to new generations of listeners. — Tim Stegall, Alternative Press

40 years later, reggae’s heart still beats in the Bronx

Lloyd Barnes has run the Wackie’s recording studio and label since the late 1970s. As he prepares for his next chapter, he wants to ensure its spirit lives on. - Brandon Wilner, The New York Times

100 Essential New Artists for 2020

The list includes Canadian bands Ducks Unlimited and Pottery - NME

Kelly Clarkson welcomes 102-year-old and 88-year-old musical duo whose album went viral

Songwriting duo Marvin Weisbord, 88, Alan Tripp, 102, went viral with the recent release of their debut album, Senior Song Book, and Clarkson spoke to the pair via satellite, asking them how they got started. — Brent Furdyk, ET Canada

Nipsey Hussle’s legacy lives in The Marathon Book Club

The Marathon Book Club has several chapters across the country that were founded after the much-loved rapper was killed outside his South Los Angeles clothing store in March. — Angel Jennings, The LATimes 

Three decades of Hepcat

On the weekend, Hepcat celebrated the 20th anniversary of Alex’s Bar in Long Beach with two shows, as they reach their own third decade. They might not have reached those No Doubt-levels of arena-headlining success, but the Cali ska band didn’t get into this to get rich. — Brett Callwood, LA Weekly


Michael Stipe would say sorry to everyone he slept with before the age of 27

Last October, REM frontman Stipe released his first solo song, Your Capricious Soul, with proceeds going to Extinction Rebellion; he has just released another, Drive To The Ocean, via his website.  — Rosanna Greenstreet, The Guardian

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services
Rb Hip Hop

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services

There's a more explicit Biggie verse in the vault, according to the NBA legend.

Shaq’s classic with Biggie is finally available on streaming services. The news was broken by FakeShoreDrive on X earlier this week, and the Hall of Fame big man confirmed the news Thursday afternoon (June 13).

The year is 1996 and Shaquille O’Neal and the Notorious B.I.G. are two of the biggest figures in their respective fields. Shaq was entering the last year of his deal with the Orlando Magic before he headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 1995-1996 season. Biggie was getting ready to release his sophomore album, Life After Death, while in the throws of a beef with 2Pac. Big name-dropped the NBA player on the song “Gimme the Loot” off his debut album, Ready to Die, and the two had a mutual respect for each other ever since.

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