Music Biz Headlines, May 17, 2021

Kardinal Offishall (pictured) offers up life lessons, DJs entertain vaccine seekers in Toronto, and Canadian vinyl sales are booming. Also in the headlines are TikTok, Kandle Osborne, Money Musik, Rockin' River fest, Julia Michaels, UMG, Brit Awards, Chris Blackwell, Blackie Dammett, Death Row Records, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul Weller.

Music Biz Headlines, May 17, 2021

By Kerry Doole


Five lessons from rap legend Kardinal Offishall

Looking back at his career while considering the responsibilities of his new corner-office position, the 45-year-old Offishall spoke with us about the evolution of hip hop in this country and the lessons he’s learned on how to start fires in the music business. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Canadian voice actor Bev Standing sues TikTok for alleged illegal use of her voice

In her untested statement of claim, Beverly (Bev) Standing is seeking unspecified damages and a permanent injunction against the short-form video site for what she alleges is the unauthorized use of her voice and lack of compensation. Standing alleges she found out in November that TikTok was using her vocals for its female computer-generated voice.– Yahoo News


DJs help make vaccination a celebration at Toronto pop-up clinics

Clinic organizers say DJs give hard-hit communities a morale boost and make standing in long lineups less boring. – Julia Mastroianni, NOW

A pandemic bright spot: Canadian vinyl sales skyrocket

Based on sales stats for the period ending last week, Canadians are gobbling up vinyl again and at a furious rate. MRC Data says that as of the week ending May 6, vinyl sales are up a whopping 62.2 per cent from a year ago. So far this year, 338,529 units have been sold compared with just 208,754 at this point in 2020. Extrapolating things through the end of the year, vinyl is on track to sell somewhere well beyond 1.2 million units in 2021. – Alan Cross, Global

Money Musik: Nav's right-hand man 

Mohkom Singh Bhangal – a.k.a. Money Musik – estimates that in 2020 alone, he composed more than 1,000 beats. Currently, the artist who hears most of his creations first is Nav, who’s factored in 15.3M records sold as an artist, and another 3.7M as a producer. He scored his first two Billboard chart-topping albums with Money Musik working the boards. – Nick Krewen, Words & Music

Rockin' River Music Fest cancelled for second year

The organizers of the Rockin' River Music Fest have just announced that it has been cancelled for the second year due to Covid. The four-day event was scheduled to take place in Merritt, B.C., from July 29 to August 1, 2021. The festival was cancelled in 2020 as well, when scheduled performers included such country superstars as Keith Urban and Travis Tritt. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight 


Live shows are full of invisible threads that weave into the vital fabric of life

I miss everything about live music. The big things like the thrill of a band starting an encore, but also the many little things. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

New announcements for Vancouver concerts at the Hollywood Theatre, Commodore Ballroom, and Imperial

There's been a flurry of activity on the Vancouver concert-announcement front. Bands with 2022 shows now listed include Ashe,  Sons of Kemet, Cory and the Wongnotes, and Caribou. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

Singer Kandle Osborne is ready to Set the Fire with new release

In 1984, an exciting new band named 54-40 released its debut album, titled Set the Fire. In 2021, Kandle Osborne chose that title for her new album. It’s a play on words for the daughter of 54-40 frontman Neil Osborne. Her well-received 2014 debut, In Flames, produced a Juno-nominated and Prism Prize-winning video for Not Up to Me. – Stuart Derdeyn, Postmedia


Influence Media Partners buys catalog from Grammy-nominated songwriter Julia Michaels

New York-based music and entertainment investment firm Influence Media Partners has acquired a portfolio of copyrights from the catalog of Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Julia Michaels. The company launched a $100M fund in March to invest in what it described as “award-winning catalogs of some of music’s most influential female music creators”. – MBW


UMG executive committee’s big payday

Universal Music Group’s 11-person executive committee was paid a total of $128.4 million in short-term employee benefits -- most likely salaries and bonuses – in 2020, according to financial information released by the music group’s parent company Vivendi. When post-employee benefits and share-based payouts are added, that total jumps to $132 million -- almost double the $62.2 million paid to the executive team in 2018. – Billboard

Lights, music, action and an audience mark return of live music at Brit Awards

More than a year since musicians had graced the stage of London’s O2 Arena, the venue came booming to life with flashing lights and thunderous beats for the Brit Awards 2021.A sea of key workers rose from their seats, cheering with delight. –The Independent


6 new albums you should listen to now: J. Cole, Sons of Kemet, Jorja Smith, and More

Also stream new releases from Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Giant Claw, and LSDXOXO. – Allison Hussey and Evan Minsker, Pitchfork

Where I work: Island Records founder Chris Blackwell

Chris Blackwell has spent the majority of his life on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, but when he likely wanted to be there most — during the coronavirus pandemic — he found himself stuck in New York, US. Thankfully, he found his imposed five month residency quite fun. – Country Life

Who killed Mac Dre?

Donald Morrison read through thousands of pages of documents provided by the Kansas City Police Department to shed light on one of hip-hop’s biggest mysteries. – Passion Weiss

RIP Blackie Dammett, the colourful father of the RHCP’s Anthony Kiedis

Anyone who’s read Anthony Kiedis‘ biography, Scar Tissue, will know all about Blackie Dammett (real name: John Kiedis), the guy who raised Anthony in California. Blackie was…unconventional. He was a part-time drug dealer (allegedly), introducing his son to a variety of substances and (it is said) a hooker or two. He was also a bit actor, landing roles in Magnum PI, Lethal Weapon, Starsky and Hutch, and Night Court. – Alan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things

Bruce Springsteen teases neew album, Plays four-song acoustic set

After receiving the Woody Guthrie Prize, Springsteen played two Guthrie covers along with “Across The Border” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” – Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

Death Row comes to life with a virtual museum

L.A.-based Death Row Records, now owned by Entertainment One (eOne), has launched a virtual gallery to celebrate the label’s 30th anniversary. Created by Flux88 Studios in partnership with TillaVision, the retrospective is open to the public now. Albums by the likes of 2Pac, Snoop, Dr. Dre and more are available, and new features will be added the 30th of every month. – Brett Callwood, LA Weekly


Paul Weller ages gracefully, if at all, on Fat Pop

After all the showbiz wear and tear he’s survived since launching his legendary mod-retro outfit The Jam in the mid-’70s, before streamlining his tastes into a jazzier, more soulful Style Council and then flying solo afterwards with a volley of diverse solo sets leading up to his new ear-candy-effervescent Fat Pop, the man affectionately known as The Modfather hasn’t changed too much since his punk-era genesis. – Tom Lanham, Paste

A teen American Idol contestant has dropped out of the show due to a suspect video

A 16-year-old “American Idol” contestant has dropped out of the singing competition after a video circulated of him sitting next to someone wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan hood. Caleb Kennedy, advanced into the Top 5, apologized for the video on Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday, saying “it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way.” – AP

Courtesy Photo
Chart Beat

Drake Diss Track 'Family Matters' Debuts at No.6 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100

The Canadian megastar holds two spots in the top 15, while Kendrick Lamar — Drake's opponent in the chart-dominating rap feud — grabs the No. 2 spot with 'Not Like Us.'

The rap battle between Drake and Kendrick Lamar dominates the charts this week, with the Toronto superstar debuting the seven minute missive “Family Matters” at No. 6 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100.

Lamar's final word, "Not Like Us," is proving even more popular, topping the U.S. Hot 100 and coming in at No. 2 in Canada.

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