Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 20, 2019

Lil Berete (pictured) is making moves, rumours about the Silver Dollar Room, and the storm around Taylor Swift. Others in the headlines include Moonwake, the TSO, Emily Triggs, FKA Twigs, Spotify, Boomplay, Sony, Shutterstock, Kanye, Paul McCartney, Joe Henry, and Ariana Grande.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 20, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Lil Berete makes “Money Moves” across the pond with Headie One

Lil Berete’s recent string of singles are sure signs that he’s one of the most exciting new rappers emerging from Toronto. – Aron A. Urbanology

Downsized Toronto Symphony upsizes musical pleasure with Vivaldi and more

Say what you will about how overexposed Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” are, it was a treat to hear the quartet of violin concertos performed by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday night. – John Terauds, The Star 

Moonwake’s shifting tide 

The synth-pop band celebrates a new direction at a trio of Halifax Music Co-op shows. – Andrew Bethune, The Coast

Emily Triggs offers resilience and hope on sophomore album, Middletown

An initial spin of the Calgary-based artist’s 10-song sophomore record does suggest there is more than a little darkness lurking beneath the explorations of love, loss and heartbreak. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald 


Will there be two Silver Dollar Rooms? Notice spied in Parkdale window suggests it’s possible

There’s a tale of two Silver Dollars brewing in this town. More than a year after Toronto lost one of its most cherished live venues to the developer’s wrecking ball — albeit with a city-mandated promise from that same developer to build an exact replica in its place — there appears to be a second Silver Dollar Room on the rise in Parkdale. – Ben Rayner, the Star

Concert review: FKA Twigs completely owned the stage at Rebel

From her gut-wrenching emotion to her gravity-defying pole dancing, the British artist showed why she's a true performer, willing to leave everything onstage. – Kelsey Adams, NOW


Concerts are new arenas’ main attraction, rather than sports

An arena can generate twice as much net income from hosting a concert than a National Basketball Association or National Hockey League game, according to Oak View. Live music is expected to balloon to a $38 billion industry by 2030, from about $28 billion currently, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. — Anne Steele, WSJ

Sony inks major licensing deal in Africa with Boomplay (and its 60m users)

TikTok isn’t the only Chinese-owned app making waves in the music business right now. Streaming and download music app Boomplay, which covers multiple regions in Africa, is jointly owned by two large-scale Chinese companies, as part of their Transnet Music Limited JV. – Tim Ingham, MBW 


How live streaming is altering the music business for artists and fans alike

 As technological innovation continues to sweep the music industry, live streaming has become an increasingly important component of bands and artists’ promotional arsenal. Here we look at why you need to livestream and what you need to do so effectively. – Ian Courtney, Hypebot

Spotify needs to make a decision about its future

Out of all the buzz that Spotify continues to amass as a leading music-streaming service, one problem that virtually no one in the music business has discussed yet is the gaping hole between Spotify’s oft-trumpeted mission statement and its actual business model. – Cherie Hu, MBW 

How Sony is protecting rights of digital creators using Blockchain on AWS

Traditional approaches to managing music rights are struggling to keep pace with this ever-accelerating world. Protecting the rights of creators takes on new urgency. It also requires innovation. Solutions that simplify royalty tracking and collection ensure fair compensation and free musicians to focus on the artistic rather than the administrative. – Forbes

In escalating dispute with Scooter Braun, Taylor Swift uses social media to ask fans, investment firm to help 

The singer-songwriter tweeted an impassioned plea asking U.S. asset management firm Carlyle Group and fans to help her in efforts to secure ownership of six albums she previously recorded under Big Machine Label Group. – Lucas Shaw and Melissa Cheok, Bloomberg


Taylor Swift, Elizabeth Warren and the private equity debate, explained

Taylor Swift’s ongoing dispute with her record company, the Big Machine Label Group, its founder Scott Borchetta and new owner Scooter Braun has caught the attention and elicited responses from at least two high-profile politicians: Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren and freshman New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. –  Randy Lewis. LA Times

Shutterstock’s new music subscription offers affordable music licensing for content creators

The $149 US per month plan includes standard licensing to more than 11,000 music tracks, with hundreds of tracks added monthly. – Amy Gesenhues,  Marketingland

Paul McCartney: a safe but satisfying Glastonbury headliner

Having long since embraced a Beatles-heavy set list, McCartney still has what it takes to send a crowd into rapturous singalongs. He has just been named as the headliner for next year's fest.  – i


NYC Playboy Club bunnies to hang up tails and ears after just one year

After just one year in business, the owners of the new Playboy Club at the Cachet Hotel on West 42 Street are packing up their Hugh Hefner memorabilia and rebranding the space as a steak house and entertainment venue sponsored by events promoter Live Nation, sources say. – Lois Weiss, NY Post

Kanye West talks about serving God during visit with Osteen

Rapper Kanye West told parishioners at Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch on Sunday that his recent spiritual awakening has made him realize he’s no longer in the service to fame and money but “in service to God.” – Juan Lozano, AP

Joe Henry and the art of disappearing into a song

In 2018, he was told he had Stage 4 prostate cancer and months to live. This week, he released his 15th album and is more dedicated than ever to finding humanity in music. – NYT

The 25 Best Music Videos of the 2010s

Music videos can often serve as fun, even necessary, additions to a song—almost like a happy bonus. Videos from the 2010s spanned short stories and frivolities, mini docs and visual masterpieces, dance parties and comedic satires. – Soleil Collins, Paste

Ariana Grande tells fans she’s struggling with an illness

Singer Ariana Grande is telling her fans that she has a bad sinus condition that has made her “very sick” and might force her to cancel upcoming shows on her world tour. – AP

The Doobie Brothers are reuniting with Michael McDonald for a 50th anniversary tour next year

It marks the first time in nearly 25 years that McDonald, Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons and John McFee will hit the road together, on a 30-date tour. – UCR

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024


The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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