Music Biz Headlines, March 17, 2022

Canadian jazz veteran Jane Bunnett and Maqueque (pictured) are making waves in the US, Tyler, the Creator dazzles in Toronto arena show, and Alberta Ballet honours Bowie. Also in the headlines are the ANSMA Awards, Fefe Dobson, Wuji, Believe, RIAA, Sony Music, AWAL, Hi-Fi, Rude Records, Beyond Music, Bob Dylan, Oasis, CMT, Ticketmaster, Pearl Jam, and Dolly Parton.

Music Biz Headlines, March 17, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Review: Tyler, The Creator brought big-stage spectacle back to Toronto

At Scotiabank Arena, the L.A. rapper brought pyro, Broadway-worthy sets, vintage cars and a stacked bill of openers. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

As Maqueque settles into a Birdland run, Jane Bunnett speaks with Nicole Sweeney

Canadian jazz veteran Jane Bunnett is a force to be reckoned with. Her genuine connection with the members of Maqueque — an ensemble of women from Cuba — began as a mentoring initiative and developed into Grammy-nominated, Juno Award-winning albums and worldwide tours. – Nicole Sweeney, WBGO

The African Nova Scotian Music Association's annual awards kick off this month

The ANSMA is shaking up awards season this year. Instead of a typical gala one-night ANSMA Awards showcase, it'll be keeping the party going all month long with its "Mondays in March" series, each Monday evening at 10pm on Eastlink TV. Expect to see names like Advocates of Truth, Jah'Mila, and Zamani hitting the stage. New categories like Songwriter of the Year will keep the running extra spicy. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast


Alberta Ballet's Phi a fitting tribute to both Bowie and three retiring stars of the stage

If there were a better way to go out on a high note from an arts company in this country, we can trust that Alberta Ballet’s Jean Grand-Maître would be the one to find it. Grand-Maître takes his final bows this month as artistic director with the most challenging statement he could make, his final portrait ballet a tribute to David Bowie, one of the 20th century’s most enigmatic and experimental performing artists. – Stephan Bonfield, Calgary Herald

'I got scared': Fefe Dobson faces her past 'fear' with a return to music 

It's been the better part of a decade since the Canadian pop-rock singer practically vanished from the music scene with almost no explanation. Catch up on her news here. – David Friend, CP

On Our Radar: Wuji makes a spiritual, old-school, and occasionally indecipherable statement with "Slipping"

For a video that takes a straight ahead and simple approach, there’s a lot to zero in on if one pays attention to the little things in Wuji’s “Slipping”. Those include jean-jacket nods to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, the Rolling Stones, and Nirvana’s Sub Pop-era “Negative Creep”. – Mike Usinger Georgia Straight


A closed Toronto store is about to become something totally different

A corner of Toronto that was once home to a fast food restaurant and a shoe store will hopefully soon be welcoming a big change. The locationis being recommended by City of Toronto staff to be transformed into a DIY live music venue centring around Black, Indigenous and racialized artists. – BlogTO


RIAA: Recorded music reaches $15 billion milestone

"Today, The RIAA released new data showing continued strong growth in virtually every recorded music format – including streaming, vinyl, and even CDs which jumped 21% last year. That strong, broad growth – which includes TikTok music revenue for the first time – pushed overall revenues to a historic $15 billion last year.” – James Shotwell, Hypebot

Sony Music's $430 million buy of AWAL officially cleared by UK competition watchdog

It's official: Sony Music's acquisition of artist services company AWAL has been fully cleared by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Sony Music acquired UK-headquartered AWAL as part of a $430 million acquisition from Kobalt Music Group that closed in May last year. The agreement also saw Sony acquire Kobalt Neighbouring Rights. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Hi-Fi closes eight-figure funding round with big name backers

Business and financial management platform HIFI has completed a strategic funding round with a heavyweight list of backers, including artists, executives, artist managers and prominent investors. Amongst those who participated in the funding round are Capitol Music Group Chair and CEO Michelle Jubelirer, and Red Light Management founder Coran Capshaw. The value of the funding round has not been disclosed, but MBW understands that it was an eight-figure sum. – Murray Stassen,  MBW


Sony Music has acquired a minority stake in specialist Latin music label WK Records

WKR was launched in 2020 by US-based Latin music executive, Walter Kolm, a former President of Universal Music Latin Entertainment. The label’s roster includes the likes of Puerto Rico-born superstar Alex Rose and artist/producer Foreign Teck, who has production credits on tracks by the likes of  Post Malone, DaBaby and Tory Lanez. – MBW


Meet Italy's Rude Records, the $4.6m-valued indie label aiming for an IPO by 2025

Rude Records has big plans. The independent label, founded in Milan, Italy, in 2000 by Ilich Rausa is launching its second equity round this year, and it's also eyeing an IPO by 2025. The new funding round follows the label's successful capital raise of €2.2m  ($2.4m) in 2020, and the company has made substantial investments in A&R, catalog acquisitions and marketing since then. – MBW

Beyond Music, The Korean version of Hipgnosis, is making moves

Beyond Music, an investment and management company focusing on music IP aggregation, has successfully acquired the second-largest music IP holding company in S. Korea and marked its dominant presence in the country. – PR News

Music group Believe advises clients how to work around Russian sanctions

The French music group Believe, which has worked with artists including Björk, La Roux and Slayer, has pledged to keep its operations open in Russia and is advising partners how to work around sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine. –The Guardian

CMT Music Awards Nominations: Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini lead the field

The ceremony will air live April 11 for the first time on CBS. – Haleigh Foutch, The Wrap

Dolly Parton bows out of Rock Hall nomination: ‘I don't feel I have earned that right'

Parton was nominated for the honor alongside artists including Eminem, Carly Simon and more. – Jessica Nicholson, Billboard

John Oliver rips Ticketmaster and live music costs: ‘One of the most hated companies on earth’

John Oliver took a deep dive into the industry of exorbitant pricing for live events on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, and in particular the company Ticketmaster – or, as he called it, “one of the most hated companies on earth”. – The Guardian

Pearl Jam announce 2022 North American tour dates

Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer will play with the band for the rescheduled concerts in support of Gigaton. – Madison Bloom, Pitchfork

Bob Dylan is back with a new book exploring ‘modern song’

Bob Dylan is back — but this time with a new book, not an album. The Philosophy of Modern Song, due out Nov. 8 via Simon & Schuster, mostly focuses on music by other people, with more than 60 essays he penned about Stephen Foster, Hank Williams, Nina Simone, Elvis Costello, and more. – Stacy Chandler, No Depression


Noel Gallagher says rock’s gone middle class: “Working Class kids can't afford to do it"

"Guys from a council estate can’t afford guitars.” – CoS

Céline Dion in 'I Am : Céline Dion'
Prime Video

Céline Dion in 'I Am : Céline Dion'

Tv Film

Céline Dion Calls Prime Video Documentary 'A Love Letter To My Fans' In a Message at Her Montreal Premiere

The Quebec artist is as vulnerable as ever in 'I Am: Céline Dion,' which premiered on June 17 before its official release on June 25. Here's what we learned from the sneak peek of the film, which is raw and vulnerable and sometimes hard to watch.

The Maisonneuve Theater in Montreal was packed to celebrate Quebec's national treasure, Céline Dion.

Monday evening, June 17, Prime Video organized a handful of previews of Irene Taylor's highly anticipated documentary I Am: Céline Dion. In Montreal, where Billboard Canada was among the guests, many people came to attend the special screening.

keep readingShow less