This Week In Music – 23rd May 2019

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


Scottish singer’s debut album tops charts

Misery loves company. There is a twisted comfort in knowing that other people are suffering at the same time as you. It takes a pile of courage to write a song like Someone You Loved. Raw, unwavering and committed. Add to that the skill to construct a piece of music that shirks the maudlin and the technical focus to deliver a world-class vocal and you have a global hit with more than 24m views on YT and 209m listens on Spotify. Check out the way his voice soars at around 2:20, reaching an impossibly high note without losing any of its richness. Youth and strength, tempered with precocious wisdom.

Capaldi recently said, “You know, I like making sad songs. I never set out to make an album full of ’em but it just transpired that way. When you’re sad, you think about it, you get into your feelings – you’re wallowing in it and overthinking it.” Capaldi reminds me a bit of Paolo Nutini and James Morrison, a pair of young soulful singers who hit the big time right out of the gate with tear-jerker hits that were at once deeply emotional but also incredibly uplifting. As with Nutini and Morrison, it will be interesting to see how Capaldi, whose album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent is the fastest seller of 2019, can maintain this level of success. The oxygen gets pretty thin up there and most end up climbing (or falling) down to more hospitable altitudes.


Macs at the center of all things creative.

The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” was never truer than in this week’s choice for Ad of The Week. Using fly on the wall shots of iconic and contemporary artists such as Paul McCartney and Marc Ronson, Mac quietly and unequivocally demonstrates that its computer occupies center stage when it comes to the creation of art, writing and of course music.

Sitting here in my studio surrounded by two laptops and an iPad all running Logic software (also owned by Mac), it is hard to argue the Silicon Valley giant is wrong. I love my Macs, don’t get me wrong, but it would be nice to have some options. Apple is generally thought to be, as Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple, famously said, “a force for good in the world beyond our products”, but it would nice to have some alternatives. Such a monopoly is never good for the consumer.

Soundtrack produced by Swindle and vocals by Rider Shafique. Also released as a single listen here


TikTok owner ByteDance is planning to launch a paid music streaming service to rival the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.

The platform will primarily be aimed at users in emerging markets where leading streaming services have not yet scaled, and could launch as soon as fall 2019 “in a number of territories”, according to a report in Bloomberg.

The unnamed app will offer on-demand music and video and has reportedly already been demonstrated to “many music executives”. While ByteDance has secured rights from the likes of T-Series and Times Music, it is yet to lock down deals with Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music.


BBC 1 suffers a heavy rating fall.

According to Digital Spy, BBC Radio 1 has suffered a heavy fall in the ratings, losing nearly half a million listeners by the end of 2018.

In the latest RAJAR figures, the station is averaging 9.37 million listeners a week. Last October, it was listened to by 9.6m, and at the end of 2017, it was heard by 9.8m – a fall of almost 500,000 over one year.

But despite Radio 1’s slipping audience, new breakfast show host Greg James, who took over from Nick Grimshaw last August, has some more decent numbers to celebrate.


The series has been approved by the late rapper’s estate.

Helmed by director Allan Hughes of HBO’s The Defiant Ones, the documentary will be divided and released in five parts. The director was able to successfully close a deal with the Shakur Estate, giving him full access to all of the rapper’s released and unreleased recordings, writings and poetry. With access to this material, Hughes is aiming to create the first extensive and definitive project about the legend.

The Defiant Ones is an award-winning four-part docuseries focusing on the relationship between Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, co-founders of Beats Electronics. If the upcoming show will follow a similar formula, we can expect never-before-seen photos, home videos, relics and a number of high-profile guests to share their personal stories with ‘Pac.


Part of an upcoming exhibition at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art

Designed by Virgil Abloh, the CDJs and mixer are to appear at the artist and fashion entrepreneur’s Figures Of Speech exhibition at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art from 10th June to 22nd September.

The transparent models of Pioneer’s CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2 are, according to a statement, intended to inspire “different sound while DJing. And perhaps a new way for music technology and human interaction to equal a different result”.

Sadly there’s no news that the transparent set-up will be going on general sale in the future but be sure to check out the exhibition if you’re in Chicago – tickets

Written by Anthony Vanger

Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf

Artwork by Gustav Balderdash

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