Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 27, 2021

Mustafa (pictured) and Cadence Weapon reflect upon the Polaris Music Prize, Alessia Cara evolves on her new album, and Elon Musk and Grimes fly to Splitsville.  Also in the headlines are Jr. Gone Wild, Calamine, LXVNDR, ÎleSoniq Redux, The Pack AD, UMG, Brexit, Americana awards, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Don Letts, and the Beatles.

Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 27, 2021

By Kerry Doole

‘I’m feeling the most liberated I have ever felt’

Alessia Cara calls new album ‘In the Meantime’ the ‘best work’ of her career. – Elio Iannacci, Toronto Star

Cadence Weapon reflects the ‘dystopian present’ on his Polaris-nominated album ‘Parallel World’

Will the third time be the charm for Edmonton-born, Toronto-based Cadence Weapon? With the rapper’s latest opus, “Parallel World,” contending for Monday’s $50KPolaris Music Prize with 10 other worthy contenders, will Cadence, a.k.a. Rollie Pemberton, enjoy a victory lap following previous Top 10 finishes for his albums “Hope in Dirt City” and “Breaking Kayfabe”? – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Calamine wins 2021 Prix Félix-Leclerc

Nothing, it seems, will rob queer, feminist rapper Calamine of the momentum generated by the release of debut solo album Boulette Proof in 2020 – especially with the addition of yet another honour to her already long list of distinctions, including the Révélation Rap Radio-Canada 2021, and being a finalist at Francouvertes. This time, its the 2021 Prix Félix-Leclerc, officially awarded earlier this month. – Eric Parazelli, Words & Music


Mustafa softly sings his grief on Polaris-nominated ‘When Smoke Rises’

‘I wanted the songs to feel as beautiful as the people that I lost," says the acclaimed Toronto artist. His much-praised EP “When Smoke Rises,” shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, is an eight-song lament about close friends he’s lost over the years to violence in his Regent Park neighbourhood. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Jr. Gone Wild's new album shows they have still got it 

It will be forever my fave album, the ‘Less Art, More Pop’ from Alberta’s Jr. Gone Wild. Among the first albums I bought after arriving in Oshawa from Dublin in 1984. It was an introduction to a style known then as Cow-Punk now as Alt-country, or even Americana. Such a great record, go listen now, it still stands up. And now there’s another album, after 25 years. – Will McGuirk, Slow City

How the federal government can unlock the enormous potential of Canada’s creative industries

Canada should develop a co-ordinated national action plan to ensure the creative sector’s continued growth. – Margaret McGuffin, Hill Times

ÎleSoniq Redux fest returns with no compromise on sound or experience

Electronic music fest organizers couldn’t go back to an island full of revellers rubbing elbows, but will have the pyro and beats partygoers expect. – Erik Leijon, Montreal Gazette


The Pack AD rocks the Rickshaw Theatre on December 4

The Rickshaw Theatre has announced Vancouver garage-rock heroes the Pack AD will grace its stage on December 4. The duo composed of singer-guitarist Becky Black and drummer Maya Miller will be showcasing tunes from its latest album, last year's It Was Fun While It Lasted. Advance tix now on sale. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

As Elon Musk and Grimes semi-separate, the world’s second richest person owes humankind a relationship column

Musk has been married and divorced three times. He has six children, enough to colonize Mars. He has dated many celebrities, including Amber Heard. But Musk’s breakups are as scandalous as a yard sale. No one cares. – Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

LXVNDR’s music is a pastel punch

The city’s most exciting new name in hip-hop brought punk and metal influences to Hopscotch Festival on the weekend. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Maryanne Epp, former Kitchener musician, reported missing

Former Kitchener resident Maryanne Epp has gone missing and members of the Ontario Provincial Police are asking members of the public for information on her whereabouts. The 64-year-old woman was last seen on Sept. 13, at 7:30 a.m. just outside of Owen Sound.  – Waterloo Region Record


Universal Music’s blockbuster listing: don’t stop me now..

Investors are betting heavily that the ‘boom in music streaming’, which has transformed Universal’s fortunes, ‘still has a long way to go.’ – The Week


10 music stocks investors should consider that aren't UMG

Though U.S. investors are largely shut out of buying Universal Music Group stock, it's not the only publicly traded music company out there. – Glenn Peoples, Billboard

Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson win top Americana awards

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile and Sturgill Simpson were big winners when the annual awards show returned in-person last week at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, after it was canceled last year because of the pandemic. – Kristin Hall, AP

Music, musicians and Brexit

Nine months into Brexit and it is already apparent that musicians are one of the main sectors whose lives and livelihoods are being radically disrupted by Brexit, to the point that it is causing 21% of musicians to consider changing their career. – The Federal Trust


‘We’re like Mork and Mindy!’ Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, music’s odd couple

Fourteen years after their Grammy-winning debut, the roots duo have reunited – facing high expectations. They explain how they left their comfort zones with a ‘nuts but tasteful’ all-star band. – Marissa R Moss, The Guardian

How Netflix's top secret Britney Spears documentary hopes to set the record straight 

Though Spears did not, in fact, collaborate with filmmaker Erin Lee Carr, the movie's release date will coincide with a pivotal moment  a court date that could determine whether the performer’s father is removed as her legal guardian. – LA Times

Rihanna takes time with album as she unveils new Savage X Fenty lingerie line

Rihanna might be extremely consumed with rolling out her popular lingerie line, but finishing her forthcoming album is still a priority. The multi-Grammy winner is just taking her time to “experiment.” She suggests her new music will sound much different than her previous projects. – Jonathan Landrum,AP

Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?! – Don Letts

In this series, we quiz an artist on their own career to see how much they can remember – and find out if the booze, loud music and/or tour sweeties has knocked the knowledge out of them. This week it is punk/reggae legend Don Letts. – Gary Ryan, NME

Beatles on the brink: how Peter Jackson pieced together the Fab Four’s last days

The director’s new documentary weaves together hours of unseen footage to dispel many myths about the band’s final months. John Harris, who was involved in the project, tells the inside story. – The Guardian

50 Cent

50 Cent


50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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