A weekly update on all things music, entertainment and technology, coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic.
CHILDISH GAMBINO SENDS A POWERFUL MESSAGE WITH NEW SINGLE.
‘THIS IS AMERICA’
Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) — comic, actor, director, writer and musician released a powerful new music video last Saturday.
Titled “This Is America”, it has already accumulated over 65 million plays on YouTube in less than a week. Gambino’s track is laced with irony and unremittingly bleak, but its originality and fearlessness sets it apart from other mainstream political art of the moment. It shows how social commentary can merge with the creative industry to smash home a message with references to murder, homicide, racial division, guns, social hierarchy and the list goes on. “This Is America” lands a knockout punch on America’s and the world’s conscience.
Ed note: I cannot remember the last time I watched something that literally blew my mind. Musically, I have never heard anything like it. The backing track is fearless, both technically and creatively, such as the drawn out pauses that leave the listener on edge. His delivery is relentless and trance-like, forcing the listener to grab at intelligible words, hoping to make sense of the whole. The dance moves start off sexy and cool and then explode into a schizophrenic pastiche of everything that ails America. What courage Donald Glover!
ED SHEERAN, RITA ORA AND CALVIN HARRIS JUMP UP SUNDAY TIMES RICH LIST.
The Sunday Times has published their ‘Rich List’ – highlighting the top 10 wealthiest UK musicians.
The establishment still rules the roost, but it is interesting to note how younger artists are starting to catch up and substantially so. No surprise to spot Adele and Ed Sheeran floating comfortably above the £75m mark, but even troubadours like Sam Smith have accumulated the tidy sum of £24m. It shows how if properly managed, musicians can combine traditional revenues from streaming and touring with endorsements and other forms of partnerships to pull in some serious dough.
#METOO – R KELLY IS BACK IN THE LIMELIGHT AFTER MORE ALLEGATIONS ARISE.
10 of his concerts have been canceled.
For more than two decades, the multiplatinum R&B idol repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct, has managed outrun his reputation. But the #MeToo movement that has halted the careers of Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Russell Simmons and many others, has R. Kelly firmly in its sights. Specifically, the R&B singer R Kelly has been accused of sexually abusing a girl since she was 14 years old.
The allegation – the latest in a string of allegations of the sexual abuse of young women by Kelly – was made, referring to another woman, by former girlfriend Kitti Jones, in a BBC3 documentary, R Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes. During two years of dating Kelly from 2011 onwards, Jones, 34, says she was groomed by him, and forced to have sex with him and others at least 10 times in a “sex dungeon”, explains the BBC.
To be clear, he has yet to formally charged and has not admitted to any of the allegations.
Meanwhile, more recently on UK soil, London-based Radar Radio was in the spotlight due to allegations of sexual misconduct – forcing the radio station to shut down whilst investigations are underway.
As a whole, the #MeToo scheme seems to be bringing balance to the entire creative industry. Further updates and information about the campaign can be found here.
TIDAL ACCUSED OF ‘FUDGING’ STREAMING NUMBERS
Listener numbers on TIDAL allegedly manipulated to the tune of several hundred million false plays.
False plays, if manipulated correctly, can generate massive royalty payouts at the expense of other artists.
A newspaper investigation was ignited by its receipt of an illicit hard drive, which it says ‘contains ‘billions of rows of [internal TIDAL data]: times and song titles, user IDs and country codes’. Further investigation found that some users would have had to stream certain albums an unfathomable amount of times per day.
It’s not the first time the streaming platform has been accused of shady tactics. Tougher regulation needs to be introduced to the streaming sector, especially as streaming revenues are soaring.
MUSIC & VIRTUAL REALITY
The start up raises $30 million, launches app.
Virtual reality music platform MelodyVR has launched its app and raised $30 million, bringing the startup’s total amount raised to $70m to date and will be used to help fund global expansion.
Available in the UK and US initially via Oculus Go and Samsung GearVR devices, the MelodyVR app offers music fans a selection of immersive performances from today’s biggest artists to buy as one-off purchases.
Footage has been taken from sold-out stadium shows, festivals and exclusive VIP sessions and over the coming months, MelodyVR will live stream concerts via virtual reality and offer virtual tickets to sold-out shows.
Does that mean that shows will have two audiences: the real crowd and the virtual one? Conceivably, Taylor Swift could play to 80,000 people at Wembley and another 100m virtually worldwide. The mind boggles…
ROLAND AND UNIQLO COLLABORATED.
TR-808 t-shirt collection is born!
All fans of the classic drum machine, check this out.
Roland and UNIQLO have joined forces to release a limited-edition run of TR-808 inspired T-shirts in ode to the legendary drum machine.
Available in both black and white, the two designs feature bright graphic prints as well as the iconic instrument. The Roland x UNIQLO T-shirt’s retail are available to purchase from UNIQLO’s online site.
Happy shopping 🙂