Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 26, 2018

Ebhoni (pictured) goes back to her roots, Shawn Mendes expresses a love of country music, and Jill Barber is energized. Others in the headlines include Harley Card, the Kids In The Hall, STP, art song, Zing, Simon Cowell, Zappos, ARIA, music journalism, Sean Combs, Tracy Chapman, Nicki Minaj, Alessia Cara, Ethan Hawke, Anthony Kiedis, XXXTentacion, Greta Van Fleet, and Sonic Youth.

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 26, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Guitarist Harley Card strives to make music that's honest, organic and fun

The Ottawa-raised, Toronto-based musician brings his contemporary jazz quartet to GigSpace this Friday. –  Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

Shawn Mendes teases a future in country music

The pop heartthrob got a taste of the country life when he met the Zac Brown Band in Toronto recently. "I love country music," he revealed. "I wouldn't say that's not a possibility. Maybe in the future."  – Cydney Contreras,

Rising Toronto R&B singer Ebhoni goes back to her roots

Ahead of her performance at Red Bull Music Festival's Collision showcase, she tells us why she's no longer blonde – and how that links her to the city's exciting freshman class. –  Sumiko Wilson, NOW

Singer-songwriter Jill Barber gets down to the dark matter with pop-infused Metaphora

If Jill Barber sounds happy and energized, there’s a good reason for that: when we reach the East Van resident she’s in Toronto, and still savouring the glow of having headlined her old hometown’s prestigious Roy Thomson Hall the night before. –  Alex Varty, Georgia Straight


Zing floods the Chinese Music Industry with more than 3,000 new songs within its first month

In September, the much-awaited music composition application launched in its official version on both iOS and Android platforms, with the support of close of 100 artists from various levels of the Chinese media industry, as well as numerous partner entities ranging from schools to music distribution platforms. Markets Insider

British music bodies look to end 'costly' visa restrictions for visiting  acts

A group of politicians, promoters, venue owners and music industry associations are calling for the British government to scrap controversial new visa restrictions for visiting artists from the United States, Canada and South America.   Richard Smirke, Billboard


'A total visionary': Simon Cowell to receive A&R Icon Award at MBW event in London next month

The A&R Icon Award, a highlight of the evening, recognizes an individual who is considered a legend of music business A&R – and someone ‘whose professional feats will influence generations to come’. There can be no doubt that Cowell more than fits the bill. –  MBW

Zappos wants the hard-of-hearing to listen to music — here is the technology for it

Recently, the Zappos Adaptive line — which sells apparel for people with disabilities — took a step toward making it possible for the deaf and hard-of-hearing to experience music. Zappos invited a group of 150 hearing-impaired people to the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas last month, then outfitted them with a product that allowed them to enjoy the music of Greta Van Fleet. –  Daniel Bukszpan, CNBC 

ARIA unveils big changes to chart streaming rules

Currently, all streams are treated equally, but a new shift will see the Australian trade org give greater emphasis to paid subscription streams over free ad-supported streams. –

What crisis? Why music journalism is actually healthier than ever

A steady decline in circulation of the music press, epitomised by the closure of NME this year, has created new opportunities for stalwarts and niche titles alike. –  Dave Simpson, The Guardian


Talent and touring

Sean Combs donates $1 Million to NYC school

The hip-hop mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has pledged to donate the hefty sum to a network of charter schools in New York. His gift to bosses at Capital Preparatory Schools will help them expand another location in The Bronx in September 2019.  –

Tracy Chapman sues Nicki Minaj over Nas collaboration "Sorry"

According to TMZ, Chapman claims Minaj stole 1988’s “Baby Can I Hold You” for her own track “Sorry” featuring Nas, which was initially supposed to be on Nicki’s fourth album, Queen.  –  Kyle Eustice,

Ethan Hawke, Charlie Sexton launch new record label with ‘Blaze’ Star

Filmmaker and actor Hawke, musician-actor Charlie Sexton and Louis Black, co-founder of the South by Southwest festival, have announced the launch of SexHawkeBlack, a label based in Austin and an imprint of the Nashville-based music company Dualtone. The first signing is Ben Dickey aka Blaze Foley. –  Stephen L. Betts, Rolling Stone


Alessia Cara's empowering advice on dating, growing up and finding fame will totally change your life

The Canadian star is wise beyond her years, and her all-singing-all-dancing CV is a testament to that. Here she acts as your agony aunt, serving up all the empowering life advice you need. –  Josh Smith, Glamour

Here’s Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis getting thrown out of a Lakers game

Things got heated during a recent basketball game between LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets. The ejection list included Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis, who was led away by security after flipping off and shouting at Chris Paul as he left the court. –  Indie88

Greta Van Fleet: Anthem Of The Peaceful Army

The debut from the young Michigan rock band is stiff, hackneyed, overly precious retro-fetishism. Greta Van Fleet sound like they did weed exactly once, called the cops, and tried to record a Led Zeppelin album before they arrested themselves.  –  Jeremy D. Larson, Pitchfork

XXXTentacion discusses abuse and stabbings on tape released by prosecutors

The 20-year-old musician had been on an accelerated track to mainstream success. At the same time, the rapper faced potentially career-hobbling criminal charges — including aggravated battery of a pregnant victim, false imprisonment, domestic battery by strangulation and witness tampering — that made him one of the most contentious figures in music at the time of his death. –  Joe Coscarelli, New York Times

Sonic Youth to sell career-spanning collection of gear and records on Reverb

On October 30,  the noise rock pioneers will sell more than 200 pieces of gear and memorabilia from across the history of the band. –

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys perform onstage during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 13, 2009 in New York City.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys perform onstage during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 13, 2009 in New York City.


Alicia Keys and Jay-Z to Perform ‘Empire State of Mind’ on 2024 Tony Awards

The song always packs a special jolt of excitement when performed in New York City.

It was too perfect an opportunity to pass up: Alicia Keys and Jay-Z will perform “Empire State of Mind” during the 77th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 16. The show is set to air live on both coasts from the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City (8:00-11:00 p.m. ET/5:00-8:00 p.m. live PT) on CBS, and to stream on Paramount+ in the U.S.

“Empire State of Mind” is featured in Hell’s Kitchen, the musical based on Keys’ early life and music which is nominated for 13 Tony Awards. That put it in a tie with the play Stereophonic as this year’s most-nominated production.

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