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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 9, 2019

Del Barber's new album gets kudos, a look at Drake's monster mansion, and Avril Lavigne's memorable Toronto comeback. Others in the headlines include Bob Dylan, PUP, George Canyon, Lil Def, Jessie Reyez, Apple, Silver Lake, Disney, Silver Lake, iTunes, Gary Glitter, and Taylor Swift.

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 9, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Why Del Barber went off the grid to record his new album ‘Easy Keeper’

The Canadian songwriter seeks to bridge the divide between rural and city living with his folksy LP. – Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone 


Drake's digs: OVO basketball court, singing toilet and more

It seems like Drake's monster Bridle Path mansion is complete. In a video obtained by TMZ, the Toronto rapper’s home is seen in all its grandeur. That includes the singing toilet plus the full-size OVO basketball court, which features a large black centre-court OVO logo. – Canoe

Drake speaks out against his estranged father with rare statement

Drake wrote on his Instagram Stories:  "Woke up today so hurt man. My father will say anything to anyone willing to listen to him. It's sad when family gets like this but what can we really do that's the people we are stuck with. – Pamela Avila, Eonline

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Here’s what the creators of the Bob Dylan stage musical learned about his songs along the way

While writer/director Conor McPherson and orchestrator and musical supervisor Simon Hale most definitely worked hand-in-hand in crafting the moody theatrical production “Girl from the North Country,” Dylan himself was more of a silent partner in the process. Silent to the point of invisible, really. – Ben Rayner, The Star

In what's both a blessing and a curse, Morbid Stuff has meant downtime in short supply for PUP these days

As much as he loves his hometown of Toronto, PUP frontman Stefan Babcock has discovered that nothing compares to the place he’s now fortunate to call his own, a cabin near Sudbury. The only problem is his band's career ascent keeps him on the road. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Avril Lavigne welcomes new member to the family at Canadian comeback concert

The singer welcomed an addition to her family onstage at Toronto’s Meridian Hall when her cousin Bernie proposed to his girlfriend. The 75-minute set was special anyway — her return to performing in Canada after a five-year absence, during which she had to gain back her health after contracting the debilitating Lyme Disease. – Karen Bliss, Billboard

From singing country to stumping for the Tories in Central Nova

In a riding that expects its MPs to deliver, George Canyon battles the knock that, politically speaking, he’s all hat and no ranch. – Lindsay Jones, Maclean's

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Said the Whale continues its West Coast pop mission on Cascadia

"You sit in a van often for eight hours a day ... You're just surviving for those moments on stage," says Said the Whale's Tyler Bancroft. – Shawn Conner, Postmedia

Four out of five small businesses broadcast music illegally: survey

You enter a small store with a cozy atmosphere and are drawn in by the music playing in the background, bringing back memories of days long past. The only problem is, in four out of five cases – according to a recent survey – the music is being broadcast illegally, depriving composers, producers, editors and musicians of the royalties they’re entitled to earn. – Pierre Saint-Arnaud,  CP

Lil Def, 20-year-old artist from Nunavut, reflects: Finding his image, staying indie, and new music

Isolated in the arctics, he has grown his independent efforts as an artist to reach worldwide capacity. From his bedroom to a tour with Lil Windex, Lil Def is making headlines through the north. – Daily Music Roll

Classical music: Society caters to hungry suburban chamber music lovers.

City of Vancouver aficionados are spoiled for choices; far fewer options exist in our ever-growing suburbs. That's where Vancouver Chamber Music Society steps up. – DG Duke, London Free Press

U.S. immigration crackdown inspires Jessie Reyez’s charged new music video

In the visually compelling video for her latest song Far Away, Toronto’s Jessie Reyez pulls no punches when depicting immigrant persecution in Trump’s America. – Nick Krewen, The Star

Montreal director hits all the right keys in pipe organ documentary

Stacey Tenenbaum might not have initially seemed an obvious choice to write, direct and produce a documentary about pipe organists. – Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette 

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'The future of acoustic blues,' Jontavious Willis, makes Calgary debut

Jontavious Willis does not know how old he was when he first heard Muddy Waters. After all, his father had the bluesman on heavy rotation when Willis was growing up in Georgia. So it was often in the background. But he does clearly remember the first time he felt a deep connection with Waters. It’s not an exaggeration to say it was a spiritual experience. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

SOCAN presented beat-making workshops during Pop Montreal

Held on Sept. 27, at the Rialto Theatre, in Montréal’s Mile End neighbourhood. The popular sessions featured Ouri, Tati au Miel, Tshizimba, and Foxtrott. – Marie-Michèle Bouchard, Words & Music

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International

Some record labels 'nervous' about Apple Music & TV subscription bundle plan

FT report claims labels are concerned about the idea of Apple potentially bundling its music streaming service and recently-announced TV+ video service for a single monthly fee. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Silver Lake acquires entertainment & ticketing giant TEG

Silicon Valley-based technology investment firm Silver Lake has acquired Sydney, Australia-headquartered TEG, one of Asia Pacific’s leading live entertainment and ticketing companies.  –Celebrity Access

Bob Iger imagines an alt-history where Disney and Apple merge

In his new memoir, the Mouse House CEO claims that if Steve Jobs were still alive they would've discussed combining their companies.– Wired

US congress quizzes Spotify over Apple antitrust complaints

Spotify’s anti-competition battle with Apple may have found another receptive audience: members of the US Congress. “US lawmakers have requested information from Apple critic Spotify as part of an antitrust probe,” reported Reuters. – MusicAlly

RIP iTunes: Apple kills its music-subscription service after 16 years in latest Mac update

The Mac software update called macOS Catalina replaces iTunes with three separate apps for music, films and podcasts. – Stacy Liberatore, Daily Mail 

Could Gary Glitter really make hundreds of thousands from the Joker film?

The convicted paedophile could profit from the use of one of his tracks. Should those convicted of crimes continue to earn money from their intellectual property? – Eamonn Forde, The Guardian

YouTube Music is sponsoring the hugely prestigious Icon Award at the 2019 A&R Awards

The award is presented to an individual whose actions have truly changed the game for the creative side of the music business, and whose influence continues to reverberate today. Previous winners include industry legends Muff Winwood and Simon Cowell. – MBW

The business of being Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has always had a healthy regard for her side of the story. Ever since Our Song, a bit of sparkling banjo-pop that topped country charts over a decade ago and set her on a path to becoming the world’s biggest crossover act, she has made no secret of her fanatical interest in authorship. – Olivia Horn, The Nation

Fake concert promoter duped investors with promises of Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Maroon 5

A Northern California man has admitted he defrauded concert promoters and investors of more than half a million dollars after claiming he could secure concerts with Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Maroon 5 and others, the US attorney’s office announced Monday. – Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, LA Times

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DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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