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Music News

The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Warner Music Canada Makes Deals with Loophole Records and Carver Music Group

Also in this week's roundup of music industry news: Anthem Entertainment surprises Dan Hill last week with a platinum award, a new music strategy for Calgary and more.

(L-R: MATT BUSER (BUSER LEGAL), KRISTEN BURKE (PRESIDENT, WMC), ELI BROWN, AMISHA SARKAR (A&R, WMC)

(L-R: MATT BUSER (BUSER LEGAL), KRISTEN BURKE (PRESIDENT, WMC), ELI BROWN, AMISHA SARKAR (A&R, WMC)

Courtesy Photo

Warner Music Canada has announced two new deals in the past week. The first is with Eli Brown and his Loophole Records imprint. Working from L.A. and his home base in Brampton, ON, Brown is a platinum Canadian songwriter and record producer best known for his work on Drake’s “In The Bible” with Lil Durk & Giveon, and Chris Brown & Young Thug’s “Big Slimes” featuring Gunna and Lil Durk. In 2022, The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame named him aSlaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award winner.

Separately, The Carver Music Group has partnered with WMC to enhance and expand music licensing and executive music production for Warner Canada’s catalogue and artists. The Carver collective comprises DoGood Music / Post Office Sound (Chris Martin), Loft Entertainment (Kevin Barton), Kingsway Music Library (Josh Pothier), and Prototype Creative Agency (Rob Woe, Chris “CVRE” Kim).


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In a statement announcing the deal, WMC President Kristen Burke stated enthusiasm for the new agreement and the “collaborative and creative approach to film, television, and brands” expected to result in the WMC catalogue.

– Today (May 31),is the final day for the 2024/2025 Allan Slaight Juno Master Class submissions to be tendered. The selected artists will participate in a weeklong mentorship program in Toronto, which includes workshops with artists and industry experts and get access to tools to prepare themselves for the next step in their careers.

– Arrow In The Quiver, Infrastrvctvre, Age of Ashes, Beguiler, and Red Raven Chaos have made the finals in this year’s Wacken Metal Battle Canada event with a grand winner to be culled at a showcase at Edmonton’s Starlite Room on May 25. From here it's on to compete at Germany’s Wacken Open Air festival which runs July 31 through Aug. 3 that routinely attracts an audience of 30,000 Metalhead fans.

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– Canadian country stars George Canyon, Jess Moskaluke and Steven Lee Olsen are the first wave of artists set to appear at Spruce Meadows' soon-to-be-completed outdoor stage. The multi-purpose sports facility on the outskirts of Calgary is also home to a noted equestrian show jumping arena and a soccer field which can accommodate about 5,000 spectators per venue.


– Anthem Entertainment surprised Dan Hill last week with a platinum award for his breakthrough hit “Sometimes When We Touch.” He was also presented with a plaque for his accomplishments from Music Publishers Canada. One of a folio of hits he has had over the years, this particular one has been subsequently covered by over 50 artists including Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Marty Robbins and Donnie Osmond. He’s currently touring on a double bill with Andy Kim until month's end.


– Popular Toronto grunge quartet the Anti-Queens have released a second single from their newest album titled Disenchanted. This one’s called “Overthinking” and owes a nod to the leather queen Joan Jett. Showcase dates start June 1 at hometown’s Axis Club, June 6 at Festival au Lac in Granby, QC and then out west for 10 shows in B.C. and Alberta.

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The Hollywood Reporter has published a list of 42 women they deem to be the most powerful in Canadian entertainment. The intro as per the story: “Here in the USA, we tend to cling to certain stereotypes about our Canadian neighbours. That they’re exceptionally polite. That they’re obsessed with ice hockey. That they say the word 'eh' a lot. Some of that may even be true. But there’s one cliché aboot (sic) — um, about — the Great White North that turns out to be demonstrably false: The place is much more diverse than you might think….” You can see the list here.

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– Okanagan teen trio Freeze the Fall has signed a distro deal with 604 Records. Below is the first single the band released from its debut Thrones EP.


– In collaboration with the provincial government, Alberta Music, and the National Music Centre, advocacy group West Anthem has released a 46-page report that details a framework for boosting music's impact in Calgary. “Resonant Energies: A Music City Strategy for Calgary” As stated in the doc, the strategy aims to bolster the city’s social, cultural, and economic landscape and emphasizes and boost year-round tourism with ongoing events at institutions such as the National Music Centre. Expounding on the economic benefits music can offer Calgarians and the provincial treasury, the report states that hosting the Junos in 2016 supported $9M in economic impact in the City of Calgary and that a further $12M was brought in by supporting the Canadian Country Music Awards in 2019. The authors state that music contributed $1.7B to Alberta’s GDP and supported 20,577 jobs in 2020, “despite being amid Covid-19 shutdowns.”

– John Phelan, Director General of the International Confederation of Music Publishers, will be featured in a June 6 online conversation with Means & Ways publisher Theo Argitis on the rise of artificial intelligence in industrial sectors and how all Canadians can benefit. To sign up for this, click here.

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Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services
Rb Hip Hop

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services

There's a more explicit Biggie verse in the vault, according to the NBA legend.

Shaq’s classic with Biggie is finally available on streaming services. The news was broken by FakeShoreDrive on X earlier this week, and the Hall of Fame big man confirmed the news Thursday afternoon (June 13).

The year is 1996 and Shaquille O’Neal and the Notorious B.I.G. are two of the biggest figures in their respective fields. Shaq was entering the last year of his deal with the Orlando Magic before he headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 1995-1996 season. Biggie was getting ready to release his sophomore album, Life After Death, while in the throws of a beef with 2Pac. Big name-dropped the NBA player on the song “Gimme the Loot” off his debut album, Ready to Die, and the two had a mutual respect for each other ever since.

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