Music Biz Headlines, July 24, 2019

Soulful Somali-Canadian Amaal (pictured) gets intimate, the grand ambitions of Clairmont The Second, and Billie Eilish enlists the Biebs. Others in the headlines include Victoria Anthony, Grimes, Ed Sheeran, Ricky Wilson, Nat King Cole, Fab 5 Freddy, Drake, Sum 41, BTS, Corb Lund, CMA Fest, Celine Dion, and Come From Away.

Music Biz Headlines, July 24, 2019

By FYI Staff

Toronto’s Somali Muslim R&B singer Amaal on embracing songs about ‘sexuality and intimacy’

Amaal Nuux’s is, admittedly, kind of an ideal “Toronto” story: a former refugee of Somali-Muslim extraction defies the deeply embedded socio-cultural codes against women making music in her home country by flirting with mainstream R&B success at the international level, from her adopted home base in a far more pluralistic and permissive Canadian city.–  Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Nailah Blackman goes beyond soca with Break It Down

The most exciting new voice in soca is bringing her genre-busting sound to Toronto Caribbean Carnival. – NOW

Rising star and Internet sensation Victoria Anthony comes to Vancouver for special show

Vancouver’s Victoria Anthony became an Internet sensation in 2018 after singing her heart out to her idol, superstar recording artist P!NK, in front of 20,000 spectators at Rogers Arena. Since then, the YouTube video has amassed more than five million views and the talented 13-year-old has launched her own singing career. – Georgia Straight


Rebel computer grad rocks music world

“My dad always joked that my form of rebellion was going into computer science,” says Osborne, now vice-president of Digital Strategy and Business Development at  Capitol Music Group in Los Angeles. – Dan Rubinstein, Carleton

Clairmont The Second is up for a climb

Clairmont The Second may be one of the more ambitious rappers out there, but he’s in no rush to achieve the lofty stardom to which he aspires. “We knew from the start that it was going to be the long game,” said the Juno-nominated hip-hop artist born Clairmont Humphrey.  –  Nick Krewen, Toronto Star


Singer Grimes sword fights, screams and uses sensory deprivation tank to get fit

Grimes has shared details of her unusual fitness regime, which includes up to two hours of sword-fighting, and spending hours in a sensory deprivation tank. – WENN

Billie Eilish enlists Justin Bieber in bid get past ‘Old Town Road’ to No. 1

Eilish’s summer stunner Bad Guy has been hovering near the top spot long, and the Highland Park-raised hitmaker recently dropped her long-rumoured Justin Bieber remix of her breakout song. The idea is that, just as country singer Billy Ray Cyrus’ remix helped Old Town Road achieve ubiquity in the spring, Bieber will push Bad Guy to overtake Old Town Road.  – Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times


Review: Shawn Mendes’ unyielding talent and swagger leaves crowd needing stitches

Raving teenage girls weren’t the only ones who came out Saturday night to see the 20-year-old Canadian singer with the contagious smile and seemingly limitless vocal range — though there were plenty. Fans of all ages filled the BOK Center for the Tulsa stop of “Shawn Mendes: The Tour” with Alessia Cara. –  Kyle Hinchey Tulsa World

MTV VMAs have created a K-Pop category … and some BTS fans are livid about it

The hashtag #VMAsRacist has been taken up by a contingent of the BTS army. – Chris Willman, Variety

From Beyoncé to Bob Dylan, why music docs are all over our screens

They’re in the cinema and on streaming services. Fans love them, as do record labels – because they bring in extra sales. – Vanessa Thorpe, Observer. 

Ed Sheeran and Friends

Changes in the pop-music machinery encourage collaboration, yielding joyfully unexpected pairings or soggy songs that lack a core. – Carrie Battan,New Yorker

Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs: ‘People like to see you drinking – so I’d get drunk’

After finding fame in the noughties, the indie frontman reinvented himself as a judge on The Voice. But escalating anxiety led to an alcohol problem. Now sober, and with a new album, he opens up – between wisecracks – about his struggles. – Tim Jonze, Guardian

'Don't throw us over Brexit cliff-edge': New UK Prime Minister warned by British music execs

Fresh from being confirmed as the next British prime minister, Boris Johnson has been urged to protect the country's music industry when he pursues his own Brexit strategy.  –  Richard Smirke, Billboard


A Nat King Cole anthology of nearly 200 early recordings is being released

Nat King Cole’s music before he joined Capitol Records in the 1940s has been mostly mysterious. Now a new anthology will spotlight those early years of his career wth a box set entitled, Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-43). – New Music Weekly

7 unusual tools to boost your music career

Here are seven of the most powerful tools I’ve found for myself and the artists I’ve worked with. Try them out — I promise you’ll see a huge difference in not only productivity and peace of mind, but probably growth as well. – Angela Mastrogiacomo, Sonicbids


Fab 5 Freddy on the loose in Florence

The rapper and graffiti art legend is taking a ride through Florence and its masterpieces. He talks about their enlightened depictions of black people – and reveals who was the Renaissance Tupac. –  Ammar Kalia, Guardian

Drake sued by fan who claims rapper 'violently struck' her with beer bottle

She claims she suffered serious personal injuries which prevented her from attending medical school.WENN

Sum 41 rock five-minute Metallica medley

Sum 41 honored the metal heroes by performing a 5-minute medley of their hit songs at SiriusXM.  – Alternative Addiction

Artist Spotlight: Corb Lund 

Country music and Canada go together more than what most people think, and when Canada resident Corb Lund played the Hooey party in Las Vegas, we couldn’t wait to catch a moment with him. –  Britt Pearson, Cowboy Lifestyle

TikTok takes on collecting societies at UK Copyright Tribunal

Social app TikTok is set for a battle with three European collecting societies and their joint venture, via the medium of the UK’s Copyright Tribunal. That’s the body that resolves copyright-related commercial-licensing disputes in the UK. Copyright Tribunal Ref 132/19 will be of intense interest to the music industry, then. – Music Ally

CMA Fest generates record-breaking $65 million into Nashville economy

The 2019 CMA Fest generated a record $65 million in direct visitor spending for its sold-out four-day festival, an increase of six percent over last year’s record $61.2 million, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp has revealed. – The Music Universe

Celine Dion songs played by liver transplant surgeon to help team through ops

Mr Dinesh Sharma takes a seven-hour playlist with the My Heart Will Go On singer into the operating theatre. As he swaps the organs, they listen to appropriately named hits including At Last, Falling Into You and It’s All Coming Back To Me Now. – Ross Kaniuk, Daily Star

Come From Away review – a feelgood 9/11 musical? Believe the hype

A feelgood Canadian musical about small-towners being nice to thousands of strangers during an emergency, Come From Away sounds like a surefire recipe for bland. But for once the hype is warranted: it turns out to be the most unlikely of commercial hits, a celebration of the power of community. – Alison Croggon, Guardian


DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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