Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 7, 2021

Alessia Cara (pictured) muses on pandemic purgatory, The Weeknd teases a new album, and Jann Arden discusses her hit show’s new season. Also in the headlines are Shad, Mitsou, Alanis Obomsawin, Robert Munsch, Kevin Chen, Kiefer Sutherland, Dolly Parton, WMG, Community , Eddy Grant, Little Steven, Tina Turner, Dice, Next Big Sound, Coldplay, Patti Smith, and Adele.

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 7, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Alessia Cara's In The Meantime encapsulates a year in pandemic purgatory

The pop star muses on pandemic purgatory on new album, finds hope in heartache. – Amy Lloyd, NEXT

The Weeknd provides "Dawn" album update

The Weeknd revealed his new album is finished on the latest episode of his radio show "Memento Mori." He has been teasing his next album, tentatively titled Dawn, for weeks. – Hot New Hip-Hop

Jann Arden imagines alternate universe without Covid-19 on her sitcom ‘Jann’

The Calgary singer-songwriter says she met with the writers’ room of “Jann” last year and together they agreed the show’s fictitious world wouldn’t dabble in real-life problems. Arden says the sitcom is an alternate universe where real-world political, social and pandemic troubles don’t exist. But Canadian celebrities still do, including a roster of new guest stars including singers Michael Bublé, Bif Naked, and Tegan and Sara. – David Friend, CP


On his new album, the Canadian rapper Shad digs deep into the ups and downs of being human

The Chinese concept of “Tao” translates to the idea of a specific path – a way of living and being in the world. For his new album, Tao, Toronto rapper Shad (aka Shadrach Kabango) drew on this notion of what it means to be human, finding our way forward through the ever-changing, often confounding world we live in. – Tabassum Siddiqui, Globe and Mail

Music stars Bif Naked, Fefe Dobson, and Mitsou will serve as guest judges on Season 2 of Canada's Drag Race

Crave has announced the lineup of guest judges as well as guests who will make special appearances on the sophomore season of the fierce drag competition. Among the stars serving as guest judges this season are singer-songwriter, longtime LGBT+ advocate, and former Vancouverite Bif Naked, and Quebec pop star Mitsou, who scored a nationwide hit with “Bye Bye Mon Cowboy” in 1988. – Craig Takeuchi, Georgia Straight

Glenn Gould Prize winner Alanis Obomsawin strikes tone of hope for Indigenous future

Alanis Obomsawin shared hope for the future of Indigenous Peoples as she accepted the Glenn Gould Prize on Monday for her lifetime contribution to the arts. Nearly one year after the 89-year-old documentary filmmaker was named by an international jury, she appeared at an in-person ceremony for the $100K honour. “I feel so much love everywhere, so much respect,” she said in a speech that focused on progress towards a greater understanding of Indigenous lives. – David Friend, CP


'The stories will be the last thing to go': Robert Munsch on his legacy as one of Canada's great storytellers

The iconic storyteller reflects on his career as he reveals he has dementia. –CBC Radio

NOW Magazine releases four classic music covers as NFTs

Memorable covers featuring Drake, Grimes, Arcade Fire and Daniel Caesar are up for bidding via the platform Rarible. – NOW

The future is bright, if undecided, for piano prodigy Kevin Chen

Call it the storm before the calm. In those minutes and seconds before 16-year-old classical pianist Kevin Chen is set to perform or compete, he is usually distracted by an epic battle with his nerves. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald 

Kiefer Sutherland is releasing an album named after a major Toronto street

Toronto-raised Kiefer Sutherland is more than just a film and TV star: He has also been making a name for himself on the country music scene since releasing his debut album in 2016. Sutherland is back again, returning with another addition to his musical repertoire, set to be released on Jan. 21. Titled "Bloor Street," the upcoming album's eponymous track is a sentimental trip through Sutherland's childhood memories of the city. – BlogTO

Musical Stage Company concert of Dolly Parton’s hits is the pick-me-up we need

Yee-haw! Aside from a couple of shots of vaccine, UnCovered: The Music of Dolly Parton was just what the doctor ordered at this point in the pandemic. The latest edition of Musical Stage Company’s long-running UnCovered concert series, which sees theatrical performers tackle ambitious arrangements of popular songs, returned live and in-person at Toronto’s Koerner Hall this past weekend in the form of an unapologetic Parton party. – JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail


Celtic Colours to mark 25th anniversary

Wow! It’s hard to believe that later this week, on Friday to be exact, the 25th Celtic Colours International Festival will get underway. As part of the 25th Celtic Colours International Festival, Kimberley Fraser will join a long list of local artists paying tribute Saturday night to CBC Cape Breton's "Island Echoes" which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. – Dave Mahalik, Saltwire



Warner Music strikes partnership with $90m-backed influencer text-messaging platform 

Warner Music has partnered with text message marketing platform Community, marking Community’s first deal with a major music company. The partnership will see select Warner Music artists given the power to “personally text with fans” via a 10-digit Community number – about exclusive releases, ticket sales, merch, and more, “free”, according to a statement “of social algorithm interference, spam, and ads”. – Murray Stassen, MBW

BMG buys bundle of Tina Turner rights in music's latest big-money deal

BMG has acquired what it calls "an extensive portfolio of rights" related to the music and image of Tina Turner. The deal sees BMG acquire the artist’s share of her recordings, plus her music publishing writer’s share and neighboring rights, plus her name, image, and likeness. Warner Music remains the record company for Turner's catalog. – MBW

After raising $122M, Dice buys live-streaming platform Boiler Room

Music Business Worldwide reports: “UK-born ticketing, livestream and music discovery platform DICE has acquired U-based electronic music live streaming platform, Boiler Room. The acquisition of Boiler Room comes just a week after DICE announced that it has raised $122 million in Series C funding.”  – Digital Media Wire

Pandora is shutting down Next Big Sound

The music analytics service will be fully absorbed into Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP), ending its life as a standalone brand.” – Billboard

‘Electric Avenue’ lawsuit derails Trump train

Musician Eddy Grants lawsuit against the Trump campaign following its use of his hit ‘Electric Avenue’ appears to be steaming on through the courts, despite the Trump Campaign’s efforts to get it dismissed.– Hypebot

Adele announces long-awaited return with comeback single, Easy on Me

Due on 15 October, the star’s first new music in six years comes ahead of her fourth album, assumed to be titled 30. – Laura Snapes, The Guardian

David Lee Roth to retire from music

Roth told the Las Vegas Review “I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring. This is the first, and only, official announcement. … You’ve got the news. Share it with the world.” Roth says that his five upcoming Vegas shows will be his last ever shows. Alex Van Halen, Van Halen co-founder and drummer, is expected to join David for the last five shows. – Noise11


How a team of musicologists and computer scientists completed Beethoven’s unfinished 10th Symphony

His notes teased at some magnificent reward, albeit one that seemed forever out of reach. Now, thanks to the work of a team of music historians, musicologists, composers and computer scientists, Beethoven’s vision will come to life.  – Ahmed Elgammal, The Conversation 

Patti Smith live in London: punk’s poet laureate claims legend status

Royal Albert Hall, Oct 4: classic cuts meet thoughtful tributes at this roof-raising show. – Leonie Cooper NME

Billy Bragg to guest judge Australian Music Prize

The Anglo folk-rocker has agreed to be the guest international judge for the 2021 Australian Music Prize. In a statement Bragg said, “Australia has given me so much encouragement and support over the years, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to return some of that sentiment to up and coming Australian artists.” – Noise11

A year of unexpected collaborations includes an intergalactic meeting of Coldplay and K-pop

On the bilingual Coldplay single My Universe, Swedish producer Max Martin brokers a shimmering, sentimental ballad that unites the world in a saccharine treaty. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail 

‘I saw something in Bruce Springsteen that nobody else saw’: The world according to Stevie Van Zandt

The Boss’s trusty sideman has many plans – from saving central America to TV Hogmanay at the Playboy Mansion – and he’s more than happy to share his rock wisdom. – Michael Hann, The Guardian


Dave Grohl on Kurt Cobain, keeping it real and the value of working well with others

Dave Grohl’s new autobiography, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music, is a soulful celebration of friends, family members, bandmates and an astonishing list of legendary musical acquaintances and collaborators. The Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer talked to us about Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney, keeping it real and the value of working well with others. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Drake and 50 Cent

Drake and 50 Cent

Rb Hip Hop

50 Cent Teases Possible Collab with Drake After Toronto Link Up

The American rapper, referenced by Drake in diss track 'Push Ups,' shared a photo with the Toronto superstar while he was in town for a performance at Rebel night club, hinting at a potential TV project in the works.

A hip hop legend linked up with one of Toronto's biggest stars, teasing a potential collaboration on the horizon.

50 Cent was in town this weekend for a Saturday (July 20) performance at Rebel night club, as well as a refreshing pit stop at Cabana Pool Bar earlier in the day. While on the ground in Toronto, he met up with Drake to talk possible upcoming projects.

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