A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: GERRY CINNAMON
This Scottish troubadour, with his impossibly thick Glaswegian accent and trademark Lenin cap, is the best thing I have heard in ages. The first time I played his hit, Sometimes, it was stuck on heavy rotation for 24 hours. Gerard Crosbie, 35, akaGerry Cinnamon, is something of an industry outsider. In 2017, he funded his first album, Erratic Cinematic, via the PledgeMusic platform and released it without a label. Even without traditional label support, the album has given Cinnamon a sizable following, especially in Scotland, and he is now starting to crossover into the mainstream south of the border and beyond.
His music carries shades of Gerry Rafferty and Paolo Nutini (fellow Scots) – and maybe Dylan too – but his sound is very much his own. A beat, an acoustic guitar, and his husky voice singing brutally honest lyrics. Some things I’ve learned about myself, Being in sticky situations, I won’t bore you with the filth, Breaking bones and sniffing gear, Pouring blood and sweat and tears, In a nutshell I suppose, It’s the way the water flows.
AD OF THE WEEK: APPLE | DAUGHTER
Wow! This 8-minute ad packs a punch. I loved watching it because, aside from the story and the acting, I relished the peek into daily contemporary life in the Middle Kingdom. We are only drip-fed information about China and most of it barely reflects reality, so I am told by friends who live there. I found it endlessly fascinating and watchable. Add to that the fact that it was all shot on the triple-camera iPhone 11 Pro – yes, you read it correctly – and you have something of a paradigm shift. Note to all future Spielbergs out there, you only need an iPhone. Created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab’s Shanghai office, the ad stars Chinese actress Zhou Xun in the role of a single mother who makes a living by driving a taxi. Her daughter accompanies her on trips. While some passengers are delighted to have a kid share the backseat with them, others are less than understanding.
Check out the behind-the scenes video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj6Lw7jnqBI) showing how director Theodore Melfi and cinematographer Lawrence Sher used the iPhone 11 Pro features with drones, rigs and other creative tools to pull off the 8-minute film.
BILLIE EILISH TO SING THE NEW JAMES BOND THEME
Popstar Billie Eilish has recorded the title track for the new James Bond film, No Time To Die. The US singer, who turned 18 last month, is the youngest artist in history to write and record a theme for the franchise.
“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way,” said the star, who called the assignment “a huge honour. James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock.”
The last two Bond themes, Adele’s Skyfall and Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall (from Spectre), have both won an Oscar. Previous singers include Shirley Bassey, twice, (Diamonds are Forever and Goldfinger), Tom Jones (Thunderball), Paul McCartney and Wings (Live and Let Die), and my personal favourite, Carly Simon (Nobody Does It better).
STREAMING MARKET EXCEEDS £1 BILLION IN THE UK FOR THE FIRST TIME
A report released by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has found that sales from music streaming last year exceeded £1 billion in the UK for the first time.
The figures echo another recent report from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) which said that UK consumers streamed 114 billion songs through official platforms in 2019. The ERA’s information also revealed that music streaming helped overall music sales in the country increase by more than 7% bringing the figure up to £1.4 billion for 2019 in the UK.
Contrasting the above is the bad news for physical sales in the ERA’s report however with sales revenue falling by 17% to £318 million in the country for the last 12 months. The figures for vinyl did increase with the trend back towards vinyl records showing no signs of letting up just yet. Sales rose by 6.4% to £97 million for the same year.
WAR OF THE WORDS – STORMZY & WILEY
The row between these two stars has rumbled on ever since Stormzy teamed up with Ed Sheeran on his No 1 song Take Me Back To London in 2019 and then on Own It. Wiley – Richard Kylea Cowie Jr, MBE – claimed Ed was “using grime to look good”, while Stormzy defended him on Twitter. He said: “Ed’s the kindest, nicest soul ever. He’s just trying to travel the world and he’s probably getting notifications. But I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll do all the trolling’.”
Stormzy – real name Michael Owuo Jr – went on to release the track Wiley Flow on his new album, Heavy Is The Head, which some fans saw as a tribute to the “godfather of grime” while others thought it was a diss. Then on New Year’s Day, Wiley kicked off the feud again with another attack on Ed and the grime star, which led to Stormzy lashing out in response.
The pair’s online war of words eventually made its way onto a grime beat when Wiley dropped his diss track, Eediyat Skengman 1 (Skengman being one of Stormzy’s nicknames which means someone who becomes violent during beef). The feud is somewhat surprising seeing as Stormzy has always been vocal of his admiration for Wiley.
THE DRUME HAND
The DRUME Hand, made by Drume Music, is a percussion instrument in the idiophone family (instruments that create sounds through the vibration of the material itself without requiring strings, membranes, or external resonators).
It is a melodic percussion instrument and highly appreciated for its relaxing sounds and ease of playing, which does not require any particular technique. Anyone can easily pick one up and start playing, with the number of slats or “tongues” equal to the number of notes it can produce. You can either use mallets or your own hands to produce sound. The strong meditative tones of our instruments are calming and great for relaxing anytime. Meditation. Yoga. Sound Therapy. Hiking. Camping. Music Development.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash