Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 3, 2020

Frank Dukes (pictured) is helping to revolutionise sampling, a new Celine Dion biopic is coming, and the 10 best Canadian music video directors are named. Also in the headlines are Drake, Jody Glenham, Van Morrison, London Symphonia, TikTok, live-streams, The Weeknd, LA clubs, BTS, Stevie Wonder, Mark Mothersbaugh, the CMAs, New York Philharmonic, and Bill & Ted.

Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 3, 2020

By FYI Staff

Frank Dukes' Kingsway Music Library could change sampling forever

Combing through infinite beat packs is like a new iteration of crate-digging. Instead of heading to the local record store and finding gems hidden between the stacks, producers now have the entire Internet, including music libraries, as their proverbial playground. One with a ginormous sandbox to dig through. – Kelsey Adams, Complex Canada

Where does Céline's heart beat now? In a new biopic made in France

Producers describe Aline as a film "loosely inspired" by the life of Dion, while some in Quebec wonder why it was made in Europe and not here. – Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette

How Celine Dion coped after the death of Rene Angelil

Céline Dion's husband and manager, René Angélil, passed away on Jan. 14, 2016, after battling throat cancer. In a behind-the-scenes short video for Apple Music, French-Canadian singer Céline opened up about rediscovering herself and healing while making her 2019 album, Courage – her first English-language album since René's death. – Heather Cichowski, Hello

Alex Lifeson reveals his tone and playing secrets behind 11 landmark Rush tracks

In this classic interview from 1996, the Canadian guitar hero dissects Rush anthems from 2112 to Limelight and The Spirit of Radio.  –  Chris Gill, Guitar World


Author André Alexis launches the pandemic-inspired audio drama Metamorphosis

With Metamorphosis: A Viral Trilogy, the novelist explores a global plague through the audio diaries of three fictional women. – Norman Wilner, NOW

The CN Tower lit up with hearts this week and Drake loved it

Toronto's famous landmark lit up in hearts earlier this week and the 6ix God approved. The rapper shared a shot of the tower's flashing red hearts, with "C.L.B." as his caption. He has an album called Certified Lover Boy, expected soon. The CN Tower explained that the lights on this day were for International Overdose Awareness Day, not for Drake. – Lilly Paltsev, Narcity

The 10 best Canadian music video directors

We all know Canada is a hotbed for music, but Canadian directors have been killing it in the music video game for years as well, creating some of the most iconic on-screen musical moments. Here are our choices for the 10 best Canadian music video directors right now. – Complex

5 things to know about Mood Rock by Jody Glenham

Vancouver singer/songwriter Jody Glenham is cool enough to have her own name brand Fluevog design. Have you heard her? – Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

London Symphonia and Aeolian Hall celebrate partnership with virtual concert

London Symphonia has found a new home and is celebrating with a virtual performance by its concertmaster and the founder of Aeolian Hall. – Joe Belanger, London Free Press 



TikTok parent ByteDance says it will ‘strictly follow’ China export controls

TechCrunch reports: “While Beijing has repeatedly spoken out against Washington’s pressure on Huawei, it has remained relatively quiet amid TikTok’s recent struggles in the U.S. As the red-hot video app approaches a final sale in the U.S., however, the Chinese authority moved unexpectedly to make the deal more complicated to go through.” – Digital Media Wire

Behind Kevin Mayer’s sudden exit from TikTok: Bad fit, reputation fears

He “was being maligned … and hated it,” said a knowledgeable insider Kevin Mayer’s sudden exit from TikTok last week after less than three months as CEO followed a culture clash with his Chinese-based bosses but, more importantly, a realization that the job could damage his reputation irreparably, three individuals with knowledge of his thinking told TheWrap. – Sharon Waxman, The Wrap

Creative ways to monetize live-streams

Ever since social distancing became the new normal, live-streaming has taken over the music scene. With everyone hopping on the bandwagon, you’ll need to step your game up to keep your fans excited and ready to tune in for more. Looking for inspiration? Here are some creative ways to monetize your live streams. – Symphonic Distribution

Songwriters Guild of America joins ARA in calling out backroom deals between streaming services and major publishers

We reported earlier that the Artist Rights Alliance (ARA) had called out “secretive agreements” between streaming services and major publishers. Now, in comments forwarded to the U.S. Copyright Office, the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) has voiced similar concerns and issued new calls for transparency. – Dylan Smith, Digital Music News


How music must construct new narratives around environmental protection

We are facing a climate emergency. It manifests in many ways and seems overwhelmingly difficult to address. It’s a struggle of energy, waste, pollution, economy, ecology. It’s also a struggle of culture. This is where music has a unique role to play, alongside other expressions of culture. – Bas Grasmayer, Music x Tech x Future

This must be the place: Is Africa set to become a major player in the global music industry?

Unquestionably one of the most vibrant and dynamic musical landscapes on Earth, the domestic business often lacks the infrastructure and acumen to match. In the first of a two-part investigation, Ben Gilbert examines the continent’s readiness to go overground. – Synchtank

The Weekend, Ariana Grande and Lady Goga lead post VMAs sales gains

Songs performed during the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30 saw sales leaps surrounding the broadcast, as did songs that won awards during the ceremony. Pacing the group, The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights," which he performed against a striking rooftop background and which won for video of the year and best R&B, sold 5,000 downloads on Aug. 30-31 (the days of and after the VMAs), a blast of 95% from its total on Aug. 28-29, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. – Kevin Rutherford, Billboard

As Covid-19 grinds on, the fate of L.A.’s music clubs rests with a divided Congress

If the Save Our Stages bill passes, likely as part of a larger pandemic relief package, the Bootleg and clubs like it might hang on long enough to turn on the lights again next year. – LA Times

Black Promoters Collective hopes to move the conversation

The Collective is a relatively new group of Black concert industry professionals who saw the need to unite in the face of the industry shutdown caused by the pandemic, but is finding itself in a moment as events grew to include the Black Lives Matter movement and increased societal attention on systemic racism. – Deborah Speer, Pollstar

The 10 Best Albums of August 2020

September is here, which means it’s time to reflect on the music we heard last month. August brought us the return of Phil Elverum’s project The Microphones, a wonderful new Bright Eyes album and a surprisingly dynamic release from The Killers. Find all of our favourite albums from August here. – Paste


BTS tell fans to 'stay strong' during difficult year

The hit K-pop band keeps in contact with their fans - or "ARMY" - on social media. It's a constant conversation with a stream of pictures and videos. This year, more than any other, it seems that may have proved invaluable connection for both the band and their followers. – BBC

Stevie Wonder, paying tribute to Chadwick Boseman, talks Covid, elections, love over hate

For Stevie Wonder, Chadwick Boseman’s death was another challenging tragedy in a stormy year that has left him reflecting. Speaking Saturday from his home in Los Angeles, Wonder told us he first met the actor after an event they had both attended. – Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press

Mark Mothersbaugh nearly died from Covid-19. FaceTiming with his family kept him alive

The 70-year-old member of Devo recounts his near-fatal battle with the coronavirus. – LA Times

Miranda Lambert and Luke Combs head CMA Awards noms

Country star Miranda Lambert turns her “Wildcard” into an ace as she’s the leading nominee at the 2020 Country Music Association Awards, including her first entertainer of the year nomination in five years. She has seven noms, just ahead of Combs' tally of six.  – AP

Unable to open its concert hall, New York Philharmonic brings its music to the streets

A rented Ford pickup, dubbed the "Bandwagon," travels New York's five boroughs each weekend with a sound system, support staff and a handful of musicians in tow. If the people can't come to Lincoln Center, bring the music to the people. – Evan Simko-Bednarski, CNN

The Irish President helps celebrate Van Morrison's 75th birthday

Irish President Michael D. Higgins joined a virtual celebration of Van Morrison's 75th birthday on Monday, namechecking U.S. civil rights champion John Lewis and author James Baldwin in a spoken-word rendition of one of the Northern Irishman's songs. Higgins, a part-time poet, is one of 75 Irish artists and musicians to record cover versions of the "Brown Eyed Girl" singer's extensive back catalogue to mark the milestone in a weeks-long online series. – Reuters

How the team behind ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ assembled a band that could save the universe

In the just-released “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” there’s a new and most excellent brain-tickler to ponder: If you were recruiting a supergroup of the greatest musicians from throughout history to help create a song that could save the universe, who would you choose? – Josh Rottenberg, LA Times


The African drummer who protested US racism

Three years before Rosa Parks' bus boycott, Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji protested against racial segregation in the southern states of America. He was part of a generation of Africans who played an important role in the fight for racial justice in the US - and continue to do so. –  Aaron Akinyemi, BBC

'This Little Light' music video featuring the Rainbow Collective artists

'This Little Light' music video featuring the Rainbow Collective artists

Music News

Theo Tams Brings Together 2SLGBTQ+ Canadian Musicians on Soulful Charity Single

The Canadian Idol winner is celebrating Pride with a moving song responding to rising homophobia and transphobia, 'This Little Light,' with all proceeds from the release going to Toronto-based 2SLGBTQ+ community centre The 519.

Canadian artists are pushing back on homophobia and raising funds for the 2SLGBTQ+ community this Pride Month.

The new single "This Little Light," penned by Canadian Idol winner Theo Tams and performed by over 20 2SLGBTQ+ musicians, credited as The Rainbow Collective, is a soulful ode to living your truth and resisting hate.

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