Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 7, 2023: The Return of Iskwē, Charlotte Cardin On A Roll & More

A weekly compendium of interesting headlines from Canada and around the globe.

Charlotte Cardin

Charlotte Cardin

Courtesy Photo


After A Few Rough Years, Iskwē Recharged Her Creative Batteries

Pandemic isolation, a divorce and a bad break-up — those are in the rearview as the Cree Métis artist prepares for a majestic return. - Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Mandatory Cancon Contribution Could Prompt Cuts: Spotify

Audio streaming platform Spotify says that requiring it to make a contribution aimed at supporting Canadian content could force the company to cut its existing investments in order to maintain its financial viability. - Sammy Hudes, CP

L’Rain on The Transformative Power of Repetition

L'Rain's third full-length album, I Killed Your Dog, is more playful than its dark title might suggest. A Vancouver date is planned.- V.S. Wells, Georgia Straight


Charlotte Cardin’s Pop Tour de Force Comes To Halifax

The 99 Nights singer-songwriter has sold out back-to-back December shows at the Light House Arts Centre. And in March, she’ll return to perform at the 2024 Juno Awards. - Martin Bauman, The Coast

Neil Young's 'Before and After' Offers One Continuous Stream of Rarities

Leave it to Neil Young to give streaming songs a whole new meaning with a new album, Before and After, out Friday. - Scott Bauer, AP


Taylor Swift is Spotify’s Most-Streamed Artist of 2023, Ending Bad Bunny’s 3-year reign

According to Spotify Wrapped, Swift was 2023’s most-streamed artist globally, raking in more than 26.1 billion streams since January 1. - Maria Sherman, AP

Spotify Wrapped, In Review: Indie Fixations, A First Dance, and Taylor Swift

Let’s temporarily forget all those big debates about whether society is moving into a monoculture, or how much meaning is lost when data dictates music trends, or how little most working artists get paid from streaming services: It’s Spotify Wrapped time! - Staff, Globe and Mail

Spotify Slashes Global Workforce By 17% in Latest Cost-Cutting Effort


Co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek said the "Spotify of tomorrow must be defined by being relentlessly resourceful in the ways we operate, innovate, and tackle problems." - Marc Schneider, Billboard

Major Labels Have the Fight of Their Lives Against AI Tech Giants

Digital Music News has tallied the tens of billions of dollars that AI giants have already amassed in funding. But that’s not the biggest threat facing major labels as they lock horns with AI behemoths like Google, Meta, Amazon, OpenAI, and Microsoft — time is. - Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News

Hall & Oates Lawsuit Ruling: Judge Blocks Oates From Selling to Primary Wave (For Now)

The judge granted a restraining order preventing John Oates from selling his share of the duo's joint venture until an arbitrator has heard Daryl Hall's objections. - Bill Donahue, Billboard

Daryl Hall Is Suing John Oates After 50 Years Together

14 million albums sold. Now a legal battle jeopardizes pop's most successful duo. - Lyndsey Parker, Yahoo Music

Kiana Ledé is Taking Back Control of Her Music and Her Life

She's one of R&B’s brightest rising stars but that doesn’t mean she always embraces the compliment. - Gary Gerard Hamilton, AP


This Is Spinal Tap Director Says Sequel Will Feature McCartney, Elton John and a 'Few Other Surprises'

Rob Reiner also teased other musical appearances in the upcoming film, including Garth Brooks. - Jen Juneau, People

TikTok Last Week Launched Artist Accounts

These accounts can be activated by any musician and come with tools to help artists reach new fans and increase engagement with existing ones. One of the new features, the Music tab, curates catalogs for artists and automatically adds new music so fans can more easily discover their work.” - The Verge

Kiss Takes Its Final Bow

Fifty years ago, four young New Yorkers dragged their guitars, amps and drums to a loft on 23rd Street in New York, dreaming of becoming the biggest band in the world. - Wayne Parry, AP


Kanye West Features Antisemitic Lyrics In Dubai

The Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee have Kanye West for what they've called a "particularly pathetic and sad" resurfacing of anti-Jewish rhetoric after the "unrepentant antisemite" was seen performing his new song “Vultures” at a party in Dubai. - Mary Whitfill Roeloffs, Forbes

In Shane MacGowan, Pop Music Has Lost One of Its Greatest Capital-C Characters

Consummate gutter poet, meteorically brilliant songwriter, singularly slurry punk-rock frontman and heroic waste case, Shane MacGowan was also a proper character. - Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Beyonce’s ‘Renaissance’ Kicks Off December Box Office With $21 Million Opening

AMC is hoping for long legs for its latest concert film while “Godzilla Minus One” also arrives to $11 million launch. - The Wrap

Music Review: Violent Femmes Debut, a Cult Favorite, Turns 40 With An Expanded New Edition

In 1983, Milwaukee trio Violent Femmes released their self-titled debut, an album that would quickly enter the college-rock pantheon for its spirited acoustic punk. - Jim Pollock, AP

Myles Smith attends the Sony Music's The BRIT Awards 2024 After Party at the Nobu Hotel on March 02, 2024 in London, England.
Shane Anthony Sinclair/Getty Images

Myles Smith attends the Sony Music's The BRIT Awards 2024 After Party at the Nobu Hotel on March 02, 2024 in London, England.

Chart Beat

Hot 100 First-Timers: Myles Smith Shines With Breakthrough Single ‘Stargazing’

The song debuts at No. 77.

English singer-songwriter Myles Smith lands his first career entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated May 25), as his breakout single “Stargazing” debuts at No. 77.

Released May 10 on It’s Okay To Feel/RCA Records, the track arrives on the chart with 6.7 million official U.S. streams, 34,000 in radio airplay audience and 6,000 downloads sold in its opening week (through May 16), according to Luminate. It also starts at No. 10 on Digital Song Sales.

keep readingShow less