Music Biz Headlines, March 24, 2022

The three finalists in Project WILD (pictured) are set to face off, Toronto’s music city status is under threat, and the IFPI Global Music Report is released. Others in the headlines include Alpha Yaya Diallo, Alberta Baroque Ensemble, Ndidi O, Loud Luxury, Donna Dunn-Albert, ASCAP, Volta, Qanawat Music, Bono, Lollapalooza, Ukraine relief, Devo, Daddy Yankee, Kaskade, Sam Fender, and Willie Nelson.

Music Biz Headlines, March 24, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Toronto was going to be the next big music city. Where is it now?

Six years ago the City of Toronto officially approved a plan to turn Toronto into a “Music City.” Good times, remember? So many pipes, so many dreams. Fast forward to 2022: The city’s live music scene has been battered by two years of lockdowns. Another plague, involving skyrocketing property values and rent prices, is crippling music venues and making rehearsal space for city musicians harder and harder to find. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Local musicians land in Top 3 of Project WILD; winner to be revealed Saturday

Strathmore’s Drew Gregory, Airdrie’s Kyle McKearney and Lethbridge’s Shaela Miller have landed in the Top 3 of this year’s Project WILD and will have one last showdown this Saturday at the King Eddy in Calgary, competing for the lucrative prizes. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald


Alpha Yaya Diallo brings an African groove, with a bit of everything, to Festival du Bois

A good part of Diallo's cross-Canada travels involved playing folk festivals in Edmonton and Ottawa and jazz fests in Toronto and Montreal. He'll be continuing his festival-going ways with multiple appearances at the upcoming Festival du Bois, the family-oriented Francophone music festival taking place at Mackin Park in Coquitlam. – Steve Newton ,Georgia Straight

Review: Alberta Baroque Ensemble ushers in Spring with verve, swing and Allan Gilliland's newest work

The Alberta Baroque Ensemble celebrated the first day of spring in real style on Sunday, opening and closing its entertaining concert with two very different kinds of swing. – Mark Morris, Edmonton Journal 

Ndidi Onukwulu will play Shadbolt Centre for the Arts on March 31

The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts has announced that it will host a concert by Ndidi Onukwulu, aka Ndidi O, next Thursday (March 31). Onukwulu is a previous Blues Artist of the Year winner at the Western Canadian Music Awards. –  Georgia Straight

All that jazz coming to communities across Cape Breton

Cape Breton Spring Jazz Series opens on April 1 and continues until late June. – Christopher Connors, Saltwire

Juno winners Loud Luxury coming home for two London shows

One of Canada’s biggest international acts is coming home to London for two shows, this Thursday and Friday. – Joe Belanger London free Press

The keyboard queen of Burlington's Drury Lane

Donna Dunn-Albert is a self-taught accompanist and musical director, writes Gary Smith. – The Spectator


The art of representation

Black faces on stage and behind works exhibited at Winnipeg’s four main culture centres have been few and far between. – Jen Zoratti Winnipeg Free Press


Global recorded music revenues hit $25.9BN in 2021, up 18.5% yoy

Global recorded music revenues reached $25.9Bin 2021, an increase of 18.5% versus 2020. That’s according to figures published March 22 in the Global Music Report 2022 from IFPI, the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide. IFPI cites paid subscription streaming as a key driver behind the 18.5% growth, with paid subscription streaming revenues having increased by 21.9% YoY to $12.3B in 2021. There were 523M users of paid subscription accounts at the end of 2021. – MBW

'Free' music streaming paid the record biz $4.6BN in 2021… And other insights from the new IFPI Report

The global recorded music industry saw its wholesale revenues increase by USD $4.0 billion in 2021, according to the IFPI’s latest Global Music Report (GMR). That was a significantly larger year-on-year increase in global industry revenues than we saw in either 2020 (+$1.5bn) or in 2019 (also +$1.5bn). It was a larger YoY bump than we’ve seen at any point in the past two decades, according to IFPI data. – Tim Ingham, MBW

ASCAP’s revenues grew by just $8M in 2021, and couldn't catch BMI's annual collections

US music licensing society ASCAP collected $1.335B in the calendar year of 2021, up by just $8M (+0.6%) versus its revenues in the prior year. That annual rise in collections was the smallest in monetary terms for ASCAP since way back in 2013. The reason for such subdued year-on-year growth? Covid-19 lockdowns taking a serious bite out of the PRO’s international income in certain key territories. – MBW


Immersive live streaming tech company Volta raises $3M from Deadmau5, Robb McDaniels and more

Music tech & XR (extended reality) company Volta has closed an initial round of funding, bringing in support from major players in the music and tech industries. The company says that it allows live streaming artists to use any audio source (desktop audio output, midi controllers, metadata, DAWS like Ableton Live or Logic Pro, etc) to automate various visual effects in sync with their music in real time.” – MBW


Music biz players spar over how to slice up an expanding streaming pie

Currently, the streaming revenue is divided about five-to-one in favor of labels over publishing companies. The digital service provides (DSPs) like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon keep 30% of the total pie. – Forbes

Confirmed: Warner acquires Qanawat Music

Last week, we reported that music's next big-money buyout would be Qanawat Music, which operates as a music distributor across the Middle East and North Africa. Our sources told us that Warner Music Group was favorite to acquire Qanawat Music. March 21, Warner has announced, via a statement issued to media, that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the distributor. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Lollapalooza 2022 lineup announced: Dua Lipa, Metallica, J. Cole, Green Day, and more

Jazmine Sullivan, Charli XCX, Lil Baby, Caroline Polachek, Denzel Curry, and others will also perform at Chicago’s Grant Park from July 28-31. – Pitchfork 

Bono’s ‘poem’ was an insult to the craft of verse

Ireland’s pain is now the Ukraine, apparently. – Sam Leith, The Spectator

Michael Jackson musical to launch national tour in 2023

The new, splashy Broadway musical about Michael Jackson is going to moonwalk across America next year. “MJ,” packed with dozens of songs by the King of Pop and others, plans to hit 17 major cities over two years starting in 2023. It kicks off in Chicago. – AP

Russian rock star Zemfira releases anti-war music video

Zemfira, one of Russia’s leading rock artists, has released an anti-war music video amid her country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The famed musician on Friday deleted all her existing videos from YouTube, replacing them with a new clip for a 2017 track. –The Moscow Times

Devo to donate song revenue to Ukraine relief

The funds will go to Music Saves UA and World Central Kitchen. – Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone

Daddy Yankee to retire after final album and tour

Daddy Yankee is nearing his swan song. The Latin music superstar announced Sunday that he plans to retire after releasing a final studio album and embarking on a world tour. The Puerto Rican reggaeton artist’s final album, “Legendaddy,” comes out Thursday. – Peter Sblendorio, New York Daily News


Judge awards Kaskade $8M over canceled shows at Las Vegas’ KAOS nightclub 

A Nevada federal judge has ordered the owners of Las Vegas’ KAOS nightclub to pay DJ-artist Kaskade nearly $8M after the venue cancelled his his $300K per night residency. The U.S. District Court in Nevada made its decision Friday following a bench trial in November, and ruled in favor of and awarded $7,95M to Kaskade (real name: Ryan Raddon) and Big City Dynasty Corp. – Jem Aswad, Variety

Sam Fender tells his wealthy former classmates to ‘f*** off’ when they ask him to play at their weddings

Singer said he was called a ‘peasant’ for his working class background. – Isobel Lewis, The Independent

Photographer’s 3,200 undeveloped film rolls hold history of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Photographer Charles Daniels has been photographing famous rockers like Rod Stewart, Jimi Hendrix, The Who’s Pete Townshend, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and others since the late 1960s. However, tens of thousands of his photos have never been seen — they are sitting in roughly 3,200 rolls of undeveloped film in his Boston home.  – Phil Mistry, Peta Pixel

Through The Lens: Willie Nelson and friends celebrate 10th anniversary of Luck Reunion

Located on a dusty repurposed Western film set originally built for the 1986 film Red Headed Stranger in Spicewood, Texas, on property owned by Willie Nelson, Luck Reunion returned last week after a two-year pandemic hiatus. Luck presented 40 artists across five stages, including a surprise set by Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit. We had veteran ND photographer Jacob Blickenstaff there to cover the 10th anniversary. – No Depression


Billboard Japan


Music News

Japan’s MILLENNIUM PARADE Coming to Toronto on 2024 Global Tour: See the Schedule

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek on Nov. 2 in Mexico City.

MILLENNIUM PARADE is set to launch its first-ever global tour called the WHO AND HOW TOUR 2024 in November, traveling to nine cities around the world for 10 shows.

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek in Mexico City, then hit Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, London, Utrecht, and Tokyo. The Tokyo shows will take place at Tokyo Garden Theater on Dec. 19 and 20. The tour will mark the first time in three years that the band performs live.

keep readingShow less