🎄This Week In Music – 13th December 2018🎄

A weekly update on all things music, advertising and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM

So we come to the end of 2018. It has been a tumultuous 12 months. Musically, we lost the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin; French crooner Charles Aznavour, famous for his international hit “She”; producer and DJ Tim Bergling, primarily known by his stage name Avicii; South African trumpet player Hugh Masekela, who shot to global stardom with his collaboration with Paul Simon; a whole slew of young, black, male rappers who were killed by drive-by shootings, in no particular order, Young Greatness, Jimmy Wopo, XXXtentacion.

And lastly, artists who succumbed to mental health disease, again in no particular order, Dolores O’Riordan from the seminal 90s Irish band, The Cranberries; rapper Mac Miller who died of an alleged overdose; Scott Hutchison, lead singer of the band Frightened Rabbit; Patrick Doyle, the drummer for Veronica Falls. Apologies to the many we have left out – we remember you too – and pay tribute to your talent and music.


Number of homeless people sleeping on streets in England hits highest level on record

Straying from this blog’s usual apolitical agenda, in the lead up to Christmas, we wanted to point out that homelessness and rough sleeping are on the rise in the UK, especially in London. More than 4,500 people were recorded as sleeping rough on any given night – a figure that has more than doubled since 2010. Please take a moment to donate to the following charities to help those in need get a warm meal and a place to sleep over the festive season. We cannot imagine what it must be like to curl up under an archway at King’s Cross or Victoria Station with sub-zero temperatures eating away your limbs and fear and loneliness eating away at your soul, but a donation will help these charities below to provide some temporary respite.

Crisis was founded in 1967 and offers direct help to people facing homelessness. The charity also campaigns to find solutions to problems around homelessness in the UK. Shelter was founded in 1966, coincidentally, just weeks after the first airing of Ken Loach’s TV show Cathy Come Home on BBC television highlighted issues around homelessness. Centrepoint offers homeless young people accommodation, physical and mental health support, and skills and advice to help them back into education, employment and training.


This week we look at artists in the plural. We use the Christmas period as a way to gauge what music stars made an impact on the global charts this year.

The list, compiled by Nielsen the global information, data and measurement company, is very commercial, which may or may not be an interesting way to go, but it does provide a litmus test on what people are listening to at the moment. The numbers below show a “total album equivalent consumption”, which is a number based on the following: actual album sales, digital songs and streaming numbers.

10. Taylor Swift: Total album-equivalent consumption: 1,068,000 9. Eminem: Total album-equivalent consumption: 1,081,000 8. The Weeknd: Total album-equivalent consumption: 1,104,000 7. Kendrick Lamar: Total album-equivalent consumption: 1,264,000 6. Ed Sheeran: Total album-equivalent consumption: 1,267,000 5. J. Cole: Total album-equivalent consumption: 1,339,000 4. XXXtentacion: Total album-equivalent consumption: 1,068,000 3. Migos: Total album-equivalent consumption: 1,470,000 2. Drake: Total album-equivalent consumption: 2,474,000 1. Post Malone: Total album-equivalent consumption: 2,624,000

There are seven hip hop artists in the top 10, showing how this once niche genre continues its march to dominate not just the mainstream but a large chunk of popular culture (see English comedian James Corden rapping on his US Prime Time TV Show). However, the rankings should be viewed with a touch of skepticism. For one, they do not take into account concert revenue, which may account for the lack of indie, pop and rock artists in the top 10. Also, notice Taylor Swift is the only female artist. Not sure why, but worth a mention.


Cheeky spot by Adam&Eve/DDB trolls its own Elton John film

Love this ad. Clever poke at the John Lewis Elton John ad which we reviewed a few weeks ago, which was great, but in truth, took itself a bit seriously.


In an open letter posted online, multiple artists and major music executives have slammed Brexit. Published by the Music4EU Initiative, the letter calls the political move a “significant threat” to the UK’s music industry.

“ Leaving the EU’s customs union, single market, VAT area, and regulatory framework (in whole or part) could devastate our global market leadership, and damage our freedom to trade, tour, and to promote our artists and our works.

Artists including Paloma Faith, Annie Lennox, and Billy Bragg signed their names to the letter. Supporting organisations include the Association of Independent Music (AIM), Music Managers Forum (MMF), Musicians Union (MU), and the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors (BASCA), among many others.

Ed note: What are your thoughts? Please leave them in the comments section.


You know you have always wanted one

Take the first step. The Gear4music Ukulele is great for learning and teaching music fundamentals. You can learn to play 100s of songs with just three chords! The sweet, mellow sound will encourage up and coming ukulele players to play beyond a first try and develop skills that you can carry for the rest of your life.

Portable and easy to play. The ukulele is an instrument you can take anywhere – for hours of musical fun. At only £14.99 this makes an ideal stocking filler.


Written by Anthony Vanger

Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf

Artwork by Gustav Balderdash

To join This Week In Music please send me an email: anthonyvanger@gmail.com

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