Music Biz Headlines, May 5, 2022

Rising star Tate McRae (pictured) is profiled, rocker Jerry Doucette is remembered, and Arcade Fire reflect upon America. Also in the headlines are the ECMAs, Tegan and Sara, Come From Away, Li’l Andy, Vasyl Popadiuk, Toronto hip-hop, Musiio, Spotify, David Israelite, Vinyl Nation, John Legend, Astroworld, DaBaby, Janelle Monae, Patti Smith, The Who, Mal Evans, PSY, and Craig Porteils.

Music Biz Headlines, May 5, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Firebrand rocker Jerry Doucette was known for his anthemic tune Mama Let Him Play

Mr. Doucette’s debut album, also named Mama Let Him Play, earned Platinum status (meaning 100,000 in sales) in his home country. Both the LP and the single charted in the United States. The song is a staple on Canadian classic-rock radio playlists to this day. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Performers anxious as East Coast Music Awards week set to begin in Fredericton

This year, ECMA head Andy McLean says the show will go on in person. Performers, crew members and music industry representatives are pouring into Fredericton, anxious for live music and paying patrons for the 34th annual ECMAs.“There is no substitute for gathering and putting music back where it belongs, which is live onstage."–  Kevin Bissett, CP


Tate McRae: The next Canadian pop superstar has arrived

After five minutes with the Calgary-raised teen pop titan Tate McRae, I find myself shocked that she found the time to speak with me. “I just finished my U.S. tour. I have, like, one week back in L.A., where we’re filming two music videos, we have performances and shoots to film. Then I leave for my European tour next week.” – Rayne Fisher-Quann, NEXT

Tegan and Sara remind us the idiots don't always know best with video for "Fucking Up What Matters"

Think, a second, about all the idiocy that you’ve endured over the course of your working life.  Such memories are guaranteed to maximize your enjoyment of “Fucking Up What Matters”, the new single and video from Canadian indie heroes Tegan and Sara. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

The word is out on Toronto rockabilly trio Ichi-Bons

After forming to play just one show at Black Dice Café, the gig offers kept coming … so they went with it. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Come From Away to return, with federal funding

Come From Away will make a comeback in Canada after all, with financial help from the federal government. The hit Newfoundland-set musical, which producer David Mirvish announced had permanently closed in Toronto because of Covid in December, will return to the stage with an all-Canadian cast in the summer of 2024. A rebooted production will first run at the not-for-profit National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa for July and August. – JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail


Olivia Rodrigo and Avril Lavigne get 'Complicated' on Sour Tour

There's nothing "Complicated" about this dynamic duo. Olivia Rodrigo brought special guest Avril Lavigne on stage during her "Sour Tour" stop in Toronto, Canada, on Friday (April 29). Rodrigo performs a cover of "Complicated" at every tour stop, but she wasn't alone this time. Before Lavigne hopped up on stage, she was introduced by Olivia as her role model. – IHeart

Arcade Fire: ‘America is rotten, but there are beautiful things about it’

After the high-concept hijinks around their last record turned off fans, the indie troubadours have gone back to basics with a rousing new album about Trump and togetherness. – Laura Barton The Guardian

Roots troubadour Li'l Andy goes old thyme as the fictional Hezekiah Procter

Is this 1929, or is it 2022? The answer is yes. Montreal roots-music artist Andrew McClelland (known professionally as Li’l Andy) is in character at Toronto’s Dakota Tavern as Hezekiah Procter, a fictional creation of his.  McClelland as Procter talks about Toronto churches and points out the women in the audience wearing their “simple peasant blouses." – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

The alluring paradox of Future, plus new music from Justin Bieber and Don Toliver, Joe Rainey and more

Plus, new tracks from Lolo Zouaï, Internet Money (feat. Yeat), ODESZA and Wilco. –Toronto Star

Celebrated virtuoso and friend of Volodymyr Zelensky bringing concerts for Ukraine to Hamilton

Vasyl Popadiuk promises a program of stirring eclectic music to help with and highlight crisis when he performs here on May 8 at the Zoetic Performing Arts Theatre. – Jeff Mahoney, Hamilton Spectator


Toronto’s hip hop history runs deep. A new photo exhibit puts it on display

Toronto photographer Ajani Charles’ exhibit Project T Dot is a love letter and celebration of The 6ix’s once simmering and now explosive hip hop scene.  – Demar Grant, Toronto Star


SoundCloud acquires AI music company Musiio

SoundCloud has acquired Musiio, a Singapore-based Artificial Intelligence music curation company founded in 2018. The news was first reported by TechCrunch, which reports that SoundCloud plans to use Musiio's technology to boost its own music discovery capabilities. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. – MBW


Universal Music posts strong Q1 earnings, powered by 'Encanto' and The Weeknd 

While year-over-year growth in the wake of a global pandemic is an unprecedented metric for the music industry, UMG posted a robust first quarter for 2022, with revenue up 21.6% (16.5% in constant currency) to €2.199B ($2.31B). Music publishing revenue was up 32.5%, recorded-music revenue up 11.3% and merchandising and other revenue up a whopping 69.8% year-over-year in constant currency. – Jem Aswad, Variety

Spotify added 2m net subscribers in Q1 – despite cutting off 1.5m subs in Russia

All eyes were on Spotify recently for its fiscal announcement... and perhaps its biggest test yet in front of investors as a public company. Well, Daniel Ek's company surpassed expectations in various metrics in the three months to end of March – most notably in both subscribers and Monthly Active Users.  Global subscribers of Spotify grew by 2M quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2022, increasing to 182M subscribers globally. That's up from the 180M subscribers the company counted at the close of 2021. –MBW

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: David Israelite, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association.

In his role as a top-level music industry spokesman, David Israelite moves effortlessly between the music publishing and technology sectors while trying to bridge two cultures that are at odds with each other. Now in his 17th year as president & CEO of the NMPA, Israelite has been at the forefront of the fight to secure higher royalties for music publishers and songwriters. – Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access

Dolly Parton and Eminem inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022

Judas Priest and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis receive special honors while Eurythmics, Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Carly Simon, and Lionel Richie get inducted. Pitchfork

‘Vinyl Nation’ doc looks at why a dying medium became the 21st Century’s physical format of choice

As an excellent piece of propaganda for the format, “Vinyl Nation” wants to portray vinyl hounds first and foremost as people who are maybe deeper into their feels than the rest of us — a diverse army of music fans who take to records’ corporeal qualities because the very element of touch triggers something spiritual in their heart. – Chris Willman, Variety


John Legend’s NFT platform just raised $7.5M led by The Sandbox parent Animoca Brands

In February, we told you about an NFT platform called OurSong with ambitious plans to “reshape the industry” for artists and songwriters. OurSong is the first mobile application from a firm called Our Happy Company, which was co-founded by superstar artist and songwriter John Legend – who recently sold his song catalog to BMG x KKR. –  Murray Stassen, MBW

A documentary takes an unsparing look at Astroworld disaster

Charlie Minn’s documentary “Concert Crush,” on the Astroworld disaster in November that left 10 concertgoers dead, begins with perhaps the best day of Travis Scott’s life as a native Houstonian. – August Brown, LA Times 

DaBaby charged with felony battery after allegedly attacking man at music video shoot

Another day, another scandal for DaBaby. This time, a property manager is hitting the troubled rapper with felony battery charges stemming from serious injuries he claims he suffered from trying to shut down a music video at his rental property.– New York Post

Welcome to Janelle Monáe’s Dreamworld

In her new science fiction book The Memory Librarian, the artist and Afrofuturist icon creates an apocalyptic—and hopeful—vision of the future. –Wired

The Who rocked the Jazz Fest as rapper Mac Phipps celebrated his freedom with surprise set

As The Who geared up for “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on Saturday at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, guitarist Pete Townshend pumped up singer Roger Daltrey’s confidence. “The last time we played it,” Townshend noted, “Roger forgot pretty much all the words.” – Keith Spera,


The reader interview: Patti Smith

‘I experience joy very easily’: Patti Smith on Springsteen, the climate fight and the meaning of punk. – The Guardian

The Beatles road manager Mal Evans' biography coming in 2023

The estate of Mal Evans has teamed with Beatles scholar Kenneth Womack, PhD, to publish the biography of Mal Evans sourced from his diaries, manuscripts and photographs. Evans was one of the closest confidantes of the Beatles. He started work with them as their road manager in 1963 and was employed as their personal assistant right though to the breakup. – Noise11

Noted Australian producer Craig Porteils has passed

The Sydney-based songwriter and guitarist, who collaborated with the likes of  Cher, Billy Idol, Gun N Roses and more throughout his career, died last weekend of cancer. He also recorded film scores for Parenthood, Frankie & Johnny, and Cry Baby before returning to Australia in 1996 to produce multiple albums for Adam Brand, Diesel, and others. – TheMusic

PSY's new album, video turn corner from 'Gangnam Style'

South Korean superstar PSY said his new album marks a “farewell to ‘Gangnam Style’" — the hit song that propelled him to superstardom exactly a decade ago. – Juwon Park, AP

Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


Fresh Sounds Canada: New Songs from Jayda G, Claudia Bouvette and More

This week's discovery roundup of new Canadian songs also includes Indigenous songwriter Celeigh Cardinal and Quebec acts KROY and Mon Doux Saigneur.

In Fresh Sounds Canada, Billboard Canada puts you on to the must-hear songs of the week by artists on the rise and those about to break. Here's what's out this week.

Jayda G, “If We Only Knew”

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