Music Biz Headlines, July 27, 2018

John Kay (pictured) turns philanthropist, Canadian rockers cash in on the craft beer fad and the trials of Demi Lovato. Also in the headlines are Gruff Rhys, the Ness Creek and Squamish fests, Toto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, National Album Day, Joan Jett, Nilüfer Yanya, Evanescence, and The Interrupters.

Music Biz Headlines, July 27, 2018

By Kerry Doole

How Canadian indie bands are cashing in on craft beer fests

Acts like the Rural Alberta Advantage, Sloan and Tokyo Police Club have found lucrative collaborations with breweries... even if they don't drink. –   Cam Lindsay, NOW

'I wasn't ready to get sober': how Demi Lovato faces her demons squarely

The pop star’s battles with addiction and mental illness have been fought in the public eye, charted in documentaries and songs. For that, she deserves respect and compassion. –  Michael Cragg, The Guardian

Born to be good: John Kay’s long road from rocker to philanthropist

More than four decades after his seminal hit "Born To Be Wild," the Steppenwolf singer is still on the road, but instead of touring arenas full of leather-clad bikers, he's in small Cambodian towns and African wildlife reserves, working to help others.  –  Jon Azpiri, Zoomer


Family-friendly Squamish music festival spreads love with yoga, First Nations teachings and bass

Artists playing this weekend include Handsome Tiger, Alpha Yaya Diallo, Erica Dee, and Buckman Coe. –   Shawn Conner, Vancouver Sun

This much I know: Gruff Rhys interview

The musician, 48, on the importance of his Welsh identity, campaigning to remain and taking a tank to festivals to use as a sound system. –   James McMahon, Guardian

Singer Jacob Hoggard’s mug shot raises questions about Toronto police decisions

The recent release of a stark mug shot featuring rock star Jacob Hoggard has raised questions about how Toronto police decide when and why to make public such images. –  Cassandra Szklarski, CP

No serious incidents reported during Ness Creek Music Festival

There were a number of violations that took place throughout the weekend, including eleven violations for exceeding the speed limit. -–  Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Toto: Still holding the line 40 years on

The band is out on its 40 Trips Around the Sun tour in support of the greatest hits package of the same name, released in honour of the band’s four-decade run. –   Stuart Derdeyn, Calgary Sun

Piano wizard Ryuichi Sakamoto receives a slightly premature Coda

A new film documentary profiles piano wizard Ryuichi Sakamoto, likely one of the most influential musicians you’ve heard but never heard of. –   Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight

National Album Day: celebrating nothing but a revenue opportunity

Online distribution, invented by the music industry, killed the album. But now the industry is asking us to cough up. –  Michael Hann, The Guardian


This British singer brings her all-white electric guitar and perfect on-stage curl trick to Pitchfork

Undecorated, brash, punky—but not punk—are all terms the rising singer and songwriter Nilüfer Yanya uses to describe her work. –  Kate Branch, Vogue

The Trailer for Joan Jett's Bad Reputation documentary is now released

The general movie release is set for theatres, on-demand and iTunes and Amazon on September 28. –   Paul Cashmere,

Meet The Interrupters, the first female-fronted ska band with an alternative radio hit since No Doubt

Here is a ska-punk band that’s defying all logical expectations for a 2018 ska-punk band.  – Chris Payne, Billboard

Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling a dynamic duo on summer tour

Resurgent rockers Evanescence and high-steppin’ violinist Lindsey Stirling dared dream exceptionally big for their co-headlining concert tour this summer, enlisting a full orchestra in each of the 31 cities they’ll visit. –  Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

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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