This Week In Music – 24th January 2019

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


Apologies for missing last week. I was on some nasty jet lag timetable and by the time TWIM came round to be written, I was so exhausted I couldn’t even write my name! But the fatigue has faded and TWIM is BACK. This week we have a very cool and funny artist, Lele Pons. I like her tunes and I like her look, but the main thing about her that I find so appealing is her humour. I initially checked her out because of a comment from a friend of mine who works at Universal Music. The track “Celoso”, as seen in the video below, is pretty good.

I like her voice, which is husky and unusual. And then I checked out her other videos which were not music videos, but rather her doing sketches. They are hilarious and so clever. They poke fun at Latino stereotypes and what it means to be beautiful. It is as if she is saying “just because I am hot and a woman I can’t be funny?” If you want to spend a few minutes really laughing out loud, check these out.

It feels like watching a combination of Rosalía and Lucille Ball. Well done Lele Pons for being sexy, talented and funny. Expect great things from this very talented artist.

AD OF THE WEEK: The Truth Is Worth It: Resolve | The New York Times

TV spot from The New York Times’ ‘The Truth Is Worth It’ campaign continues to show the lengths the NYT journalists go to unlock the truth, despite the increasing dangers and new threats that stand in their way. The films – created by Droga5 New York – examine the dangerous trends, both new and old, in government censorship and how these trends are becoming more and more common due to the impunity and lack of consequences that governments feel.

Check out the use of the sound of the keyboard click as the words appear on the screen. The sound is irregular, almost as if the reporter is typing surreptitiously, and this irregular heartbeat of a rhythm ratchets up the anxiety. Strong stuff.


She isn’t tolerating anyone exploiting her name and brand — especially within her own family.

Rihanna has filed a lawsuit in a federal courtroom: against her own father.

In the lawsuit, filed with the US District Court of Central California, Western Division, the singer claims that her father has fraudulently made “millions of dollars” off her fame. Ronald Fenty apparently exploited Rihanna’s name and brand with a company he set up in 2017 with business partner Moses Perkins.

Rihanna – real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty – alleges Fenty Entertainment has claimed a false association with the singer. The company has also solicited millions from “unsuspecting third parties in exchange for…false promises.” These promises include the company acting on her behalf, stating she would perform at various locations throughout the world. The lawsuit also includes claims of false designation of origin, false advertising, violations of California’s right of publicity statute, and invasion of privacy.

Rihanna has asked the court for treble damages, including lost profits, costs for ‘corrective advertising,’ injunctive relief, and legal fees.


By 78% year-over-year, from 66.7 million in December 2017 to 118.5m in December 2018.

The average smart speaker household now features 2.3 smart speakers, up from an average of 1.7 devices per household at this time last year.

The new findings also show that among US adults over the age of 18 – 53 million people – or 21% of the population – now own at least one smart speaker.

The new Smart Audio Report also states that there were 14m new smart speaker owners in 2018 alone, and that 8% of people in the US either bought or received a smart speaker over the holiday season. It also shows that 30% of respondents now own three or more smart speakers, compared with 17% the year before.


In trouble for ‘fake streams’ – again.

Last May, Jay-Z’s embattled streaming music service, Tidal, faced serious criminal accusations.

According to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), in 2016, Jay-Z’s Tidal flat-out lied about its total streaming numbers for two popular albums – Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Even worse, the service deliberately manipulated the numbers.

Despite just having under 3 million subscribers at the time, Tidal had reported that The Life of Pablo had magically achieved 250 million streams in 10 days.  Lemonade had also reached an astonishing 306 million streams in just 15 days

Økokrim – the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime – has launched an investigation into Tidal’s practices.

First State Attorney Elisabeth Harbo-Lervik confirmed that the investigation started last autumn.


Beastie Boys have collaborated with Sonos on a new limited-edition version of the company’s flagship speaker.

The all-white speaker features the band’s name printed on the front grille in a striking red typeface. It will go on sale in December, priced at £499.

Proceeds from the collaboration will go to Peace Sisters and Little Kids Rock in the name of the Adam Yauch Foundation, along with a sizeable product donation.

The announcement coincides with the start of a book tour to publicise the the group’s new memoir, the Beastie Boys Book.

Find out more about the speaker here.

Written by Anthony Vanger

Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf

Artwork by Gustav Balderdash

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