Music Biz Headlines, March 11, 2021

Kaytranada (pictured), Shawn Everett, and Jayda G are up for  Grammys, a tribute to Skip Snair, and the rise of Monowhales. Also in the headlines are the Junos, Taylor Swift, ANSMA, Music BC, Nagamo, Tory Lanez, NFTs, Spotify, Rolling Stones, Phish, Patti Smith, Diane Warren, Jim Capaldi, and Mumford and Sons.

Music Biz Headlines, March 11, 2021

By Kerry Doole


Kaytranada, a Grammy nominee for Best New Artist, reflects on ‘Bubba’ and working the dance/hip-hop divide

Nearly ten years after his remix of Janet Jackson’s “If” went viral on SoundCloud, Kaytranada is up for a best new artist Grammy this weekend. The Haitian-Canadian DJ, born Louis Kevin Celestin, is also nominated for best dance/electronic album for 2019’s “Bubba” and best dance recording for the Kali Uchis-featuring “10%.” – Haley Bosselman, Variety

What the 2021 Juno Awards nominations say about the state of Canadian music

In their 50th year, the Canadian awards are contending with a music industry reckoning with systemic racism and a lack of live venues. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Fixer charmed his way into the Rolling Stones’ orbit

Warren (Skip) Snair died of a heart attack in his sleep at his Montreal home on Feb. 9. He was 77. A dedicated extrovert who enjoyed romance, mischief and rock and roll escapades, he worked at various times as a bartender, a radio promotions man and a music-business jack of all trades. After his death, a small shrine was set up in his memory at Ziggy’s Pub in Montreal. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


No regrets: Grammy-nominated DJ Jayda G on choosing beats over sciences career

House music producer Jayda G knows a thing or two about good timing. In the DJ booth, she’s a symphonist of the crowd, selecting the best tracks at just the right moments. But admittedly, even she missed a beat in predicting that her first Grammy nomination would happen so soon. – David Friend, CP

Toronto’s Monowhales started out as the ‘misfit children of Humber college’ 

Toronto’s Monowhales’ story of triumph, is, in a weird way, a story of Triumph. The local alt-rock trio’s singer, Sally Shaar, took songwriting lessons from Triumph guitarist and singer Rik Emmett at Humber College, no doubt a contributing factor to the mesmerizing melodies put forth on the new seven-song Monowhales effort Daytona Bleach. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

ANSMA'd our prayers 

Recently, the African Nova Scotian Music Association’s awards highlighted a handful of the ear-exalting excellence that local Black artists put forth in 2020. Enjoy a playlist of winners from the African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast


Music BC celebrates women in music with performances by Lowkita, Neela, and Nicky MacKenzie on March 31

A part of Music BC's Let's Hear It! Live series for unsigned and independent acts, three emerging BC women musicians will be featured in a concert broadcast from Vancouver's Fortune Sound Club. The event takes place on March 31 at 7 pm PST, and will be available on YouTube and Facebook Live. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

Chairman George: The Greek-Canadian who became an unlikely singing superstar in China

Forming a one-man fusion of the two ancient musical cultures, the Canadian statistician-turned-troubadour selects representative Greek songs from genres like rembetika, endehna, laika, dimotika and then then uses a Mandarin translator to make the words rhyme — and she also uses the same number of syllables in each sentence. – Greek Reporter

Nagamo Publishing looks to give a voice to performers, composers and artists of the Indigenous hubs in Canada

After two years of building its production library, Toronto-based Nagamo Publishing is ready to take on the world. As the first exclusively Indigenous-created music production library and composer agency on the planet to serve media needs, Nigel Irwin, Nagamo co-creative director and composer, says the company offers a lot of variety. – Nick Krewen, the Star

Tory Lanez claims streaming platforms are hiding his music

Although he's still waiting for his date in court on charges relating to shooting Megan Thee Stallion in the foot, the Canadian rapper has called out musical streaming services for pre-judging him and keeping his music from his fans who somehow still managed to keep him at the top of the charts. – Michael Harris, Rolling Out


Grammy-nominated engineer Shawn Everett on Fiona Apple’s attic, never meeting Beck

Shawn Everett’s biggest competition is often himself and that’s never been truer than at this year’s Grammy Awards. Three albums overseen by the Bragg Creek, Alta.-raised music engineer have scored him a trio of nominations in the best non-classical engineered album category. They feature Brittany Howard, Beck, and Devon Gilfillian, and Everett says he can’t pick a favourite. – David Friend, The Canadian Press



'The death of the artist'? Why Big Hit and BTS just raised the alarm on the record industry's future

“I think we’re seeing the death of the artist. Songs are fully alive [but] I think we’re hitting a point in time where it’s going to be more and more difficult to have follow-up hits for an artist. I see it happening.” – Murray Stassen, MBW

The NFT music boom

Hypebot reports: “Art and music are in the midst of yet another period of disruption, as NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) make their debut, and the blockchain continues to engender innovation in the ownership and transaction of music, as well as redefining the relationship between artists and fans.” – Digital Media Wire

Why Spotify's ex-Global Head of Music Publishing thinks streamers should pay songwriters more money

The following MBW op/ed comes from Adam Parness, the former Global Head of Music Publishing at Spotify from 2017 to 2019. Parness left Spotify just as it was revealed that the service was appealing a 44% pay rise for songwriters and music publishers from streaming in the United States, a legal process that is still ongoing. – MBW

Three actresses, three powerful roles as real-life singers

Black actresses give voice this winter to three gifted singers who raised a soul-stirring hue and cry destined to resound through the ages. Ma Rainey, Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin come to life this winter via transformative performances by Viola Davis, Andra Day and Cynthia Erivo respectively. The actresses inhabit the lives of musical artists who insisted on making themselves heard. – Hugh Hart, LA Times

50 Rolling Stones unreleased tracks leak online

50 unused songs by The Rolling Stones have popped up online. The tracks are songs recorded but not included on releases from 1966 to 2002. The early unreleased version of ‘It’s Only Rock n Roll’ with David Bowie is included. Art work for the 3 disc album titled ‘Filly Finished Studio Outtakes Volume 1-2-3’ suggests a commercial version may be on the way. – Noise11

The music industry enabled Marilyn Manson’s abuse of women

Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson has been officially accused of abusing several women. His abuse against women has never been a secret to those close to him. His friends, personal assistants, music executives and public figures enabled Manson’s abuse. – North Texas Daily


Phish guitarist to found substance abuse treatment centre

Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio plans to start a substance use disorder treatment centre in Vermont, where the band was formed in 1983. Anastasio, who is now 14 years sober, announced last week that his Divided Sky Foundation has purchased a building for the non-profitcentre in Ludlow. –AP

Taylor Swift, BTS, Cardi B and Billie Eilish are set to perform at this week’s Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy announced Sunday that Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa will also hit the stage at the March 14 event. The show will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS and Paramount+. – Mesfin Fekadu, AP

How TikTok turned into a viral popstar factory

In a matter of months, breakout stars can go from posting acoustic covers to securing record contracts, brand deals and national tours. Nana Baah, Vice

Patti Smith returns to singing live with Brooklyn concert

Patti Smith performed a mini-concert at the Brooklyn Museum on Tuesday to honour photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and add her voice to a series of pop-up events that represent New York City’s first baby steps toward the return of live indoor performances. Smith performed six songs as well as reading poetry and excerpts from her book “Just Kids.” –  Mark Kennedy, AP 


Diane Warren’s pandemic: Hanging with legends and hoping for Oscar

I hate it when people say, ‘Oh, I don’t really care (if I win),'” says the 11-time Oscar nominee. – Steve Pond, The Wrap

Tracy Morgan playing Louis Armstrong in self-financed biopic

He previously portrayed the jazz great during a 2003 Saturday Night Live skit. – Eddie Fu,  Consequence of Sound

Taylor Swift’s Trumpian attack on a Netflix show is the worst of American culture

On the show Ginny & Georgia, one character says to another, “What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.” The singer/songwriter called it a “lazy, deeply sexist joke” and, with that, unleashed her 88.5 million followers on the show’s writer, actors and Netflix. – John Doyle, The Globe and Mail

Digital debut For Traffic co-founder Jim Capaldi’s ‘Short Cut Draw Blood’

Capaldi’s third solo album features former Traffic colleague Steve Winwood and Chris Wood, among many other distinguished guests. – Paul Sexton, UDiscoverMusic

Mumford And Sons’ Winston Marshall announces a leave of absence to ‘examine my blindspots’

Mumford And Sons’ banjo player Winston Marshall came under fire after he recently praised known right-wing agitator Andy Ngo in a social media post. Over the weekend, Marshall took to Twitter to share with his followers that he had recently completed Ngo’s book, titled Unmasked, which details antifa’s, as Ngo puts it, “radical plan to destroy democracy.” The uproar has now had an impact. – Wongo Okon, Uproxx

Courtesy of Vertigo Live



Iceland Rock Band KALEO's 'Rock N Roller' is This Week's Hot New Radio Track in Canada

Toronto band jackie's "Perfume" and Nova Scotian singer-songwriter Maggie Andrew's "About Us" are also making their way onto radio playlists.

The following are tracks delivered to radio by digital distributor Yangaroo in Canada and broken down into three categories. Top Downloads and Top Canadian Downloads represent the most copied tracks in the week ending June 7. Most Active Indies blends downloads and streams, with the affiliated label and radio promotions company in parentheses.

Top Downloads

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