A weekly update on all things music, entertainment and technology, coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: CHARLES AZNAVOUR (1924-2018)
French “Frank Sinatra” dies after an 80-year career.
Singer and songwriter Charles Aznavour has died at 94 after a career lasting more than 80 years. The French performer, born to Armenian immigrants, sang in French, English and Spanish, sold more than 180 million records and featured in over 60 films. He was best known for his 1974 hit She which was famously covered by Elvis Costello for the smash film Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017. He married three times and had six children. He was named entertainer of the century by CNN in 1998.
Singing legend Edith Piaf helped Aznavour develop his distinctive voice, where the tongue rolls the “r’s” softly and the sustained notes are warbled with a pronounced and Gallic vibrato. Sometimes described as “France’s Frank Sinatra,” Aznavour sang mostly about love. He wrote or co-wrote musicals, more than one thousand songs, and recorded ninety-one studio albums.
Fun Fact: He wrote over a 1,000 songs, but the one he is most famous for, She, was written by Bobby Hart and Tommy Boyce, the prolific songwriting duo best known for the hits they wrote for The Monkees.
AD OF THE WEEK: GET INTO TEACHING
Havas London has produced a heart-warming ad for the Department of Education in the UK showing a young girl’s journey through the UK school system.
The ad succeeds because it works: when the final shot of the confident, young woman emerges, it sends out a strong message to anyone thinking about making a difference and becoming a teacher. Well done Havas!
SORRELL’S S4 CAPITAL REVEALS PROSPECTUS TO STOCK MARKET
Sir Martin Sorell’s S4 Capital has issued its prospectus, setting out its strategy for growth.
The front cover declares that S4’s goal is “to create a new era, new media solution, embracing data, content and technology, in an always-on environment for multi-national, regional and local clients and for millennial-driven digital brands.”
The main points of the prospectus are as follows: S4 will compete against consultancy firms (Accenture, Deloitte) and ad agencies. It will acquire, having already set this part of the plan in motion with the acquisition of MediaMonks.
Sorrell will make £100K a year base, plus 100% of his salary in bonus. He will also, along with other senior management, be entitled to 15% of the growth in S4 Capital’s value if it hits an annual compound growth rate of 6% over five years by 2023.
Why do we care? Because Hell hath no fury like a Sorrell scorned. The disgraced former boss of WPP seems to be on a mission to prove his detractors wrong. It would be foolish to underestimate him.
GOOGLE INTEGRATES SPOTIFY, APPLE MUSIC, AND GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC INTO MAPS
To save time juggling in between APPs
Google announced the integration of several popular music streaming services with Google Maps. This new initiative will allow users to skip and go back, as well as pause and play.
Some customers may be turned off by the Internet giant’s constant push to integrate itself into everything we do. It may also come under the scrutiny of European regulators who are vigilantly watching Silicon Valley’s over-dominance of the digital landscape.
WARNER MUSIC, SONY ENTERTAINMENT BUY $200M OF TENCENT MUSIC SHARES AHEAD OF IPO
Before it officially filed for a U.S. IPO, China’s biggest music tech company already had major label investors champing at the bit. Warner Music Group and Sony purchased $200 million worth of shares in Tencent Music Entertainment Group in a deal finalised on Oct. 1. The two labels combined to take on 68 million shares in the company, according to an SEC Filing.
VICE AND LEVIS ADDRESSES MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY WITH SIX-PART SERIES
Launching a six-part series aimed at tackling mental health in the music industry in Australia
The series will be hosted on Vice’s music channel Noisey and will feature singer songwriters, stage managers, and agency heads like rapper Briggs, DZ Deathrays manager Maggie Collins and the Amity Affliction’s Joel Birch.
Calling the statistics around suicides and mental health issues faced by artists in Australia ‘alarming’, the ‘Tune Up’ series was created by both brands to support music industry charity Support Act for the October’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
AXE AND SOUNDCLOUD OFFER ASPIRING RAPPERS AND PRODUCERS A CHANCE TO WORK WITH LIL YACHTY AND ZAYTOVEN
The brand – better known for its body sprays supposedly ‘irresistible to women’ – has launched Axe the Label.
Axe the Label, the first project under the Axe Music platform, aims to invest in aspiring artists by offering wannabe rappers and producers the chance to collaborate with Lil Yachty and Zaytoven on SoundCloud.
Using the commenting feature on SoundCloud, they’ll share their lyrics for the hook of Lil Yachty’s latest track, ‘Anarchy.’ The winner will receive a co-writing credit on the track.
For stage two of the competition, Zaytoven will share two instrumental tracks, ‘Gold’ and ‘Phoenix.’ Aspiring rappers will then submit their flow over either track. Producers will use the associated beat and stem packs to create new tracks. Zaytoven, along with ‘music industry insiders,’ will select two rappers and seven producers to appear on a featured playlist. Winners will receive a production credit on the final collaboration with Zaytoven and a sizeable cheque for their efforts – $2,500.
MOOG HAVE RELEASED THEIR FIRST POLYPHONIC SYNTH IN 30 YEARS
Moog, the legendary synth maker, has just released its first analogue polyphonic synth in over 30 years.
The Moog One comes with a top of the line keybed by Fatar, three oscillators per voice, three-part multi-timbral with FM, hard-sync and ring mod. That means that in Unison mode, you can stack up to 48 voices. The arp and sequencer address each part separately and so can the effects.
The 8-voice version comes in at $5,999 while the 16-voice version is a staggering $7,999.
Ed Note: The only way gear heads are going to get one of those is to ask Santa Claus! The price is too steep and with all the amazing virtual synths, I would be surprised if this model manages to notch up any significant sales.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
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