This Week In Music: 28th January 2021

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


Up-and-coming neo-soul UK artist shoots for global fame.

Every artist needs a killer song and every killer song needs a killer hook. Only You, a hooky retro masterpiece by one-to-watch Amber Simone is exactly that kind of creation. From the first bars, when she struts into the track like a true, deep-toned Diva, the music fills your ears. Amber-Simone, originally from East London but now settled in quiet, leafy Hertfordshire, is an original. Reviewers call her voice androgynous, but I think that is off the mark. Anyone who can sound like Terence Trent D’Arby one minute and Sade the next is more like a vocal acrobat. And how good is the chorus? Infectious and feel-good, with the bass pumping over a simple beat, it is just begging you to slide onto the dance floor. I predict this track will become a go-to classic for DJ’s all over the world.

#ambersimone #terencetrentdarby #sade


The Weeknd stars in Pepsi’s new Super Bowl LV Halftime Show national TV ad, as his Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 song “Blinding Lights” brings the thunder.

It’s nearly two weeks to Super Bowl, which means some of the biggest brands in the US are spending large gobs of money to persuade customers to drink, eat or purchase more of their products. An easy choice this week, because any ad that has The Weeknd is a shoo-in and I can’t wait for his performance at the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. Music aside, the ad is actually pretty good, cleverly pulling ordinary people into the build-up and the excitement. You get the feeling all the way through the ad that something big is about to happen. Well, there’s nothing bigger than playing the Half-Time Show at the Super Bowl. Good luck The Weeknd.

#theweeknd #superbowlLV #pepsi #halftimeshow


Glastonbury will have another forced fallow year in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

This year’s event was due to mark the 50th anniversary of the festival, which was originally planned to take place in 2020. It was similarly cancelled last year during the early stages of the spread of COVID-19 in the UK in March, and forced into taking a fallow year.

Earlier this month Emily Eavis said there was “no news this end yet” after Spice Girls member Mel C said the festival was cancelled on BBC Radio 5 Live, telling presenter Nihal Arthanayake: “I know that Glastonbury’s been cancelled, so a lot of big stage performances are on hold again this year, which is sad but we’ve got to get this virus under control.”

Ticket holders for the 2020 edition that chose to roll over their tickets to 2021 will be able to roll their tickets over again to 2022.

However, Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis has suggested that he may throw some kind of related event in September should the circumstances allow.


Culture minister Caroline Dinenage said “taking back control” of Britain’s borders must come first

UK government ministers have rejected calls for EU-wide visa-free work permits for touring musicians, artists and professionals.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage MP said: “That is just simply not compatible with our manifesto commitment to taking back control of our borders.”

A petition calling for said visa-free cultural work permits has received more than 260,000 signatures.

Earlier this month it was reported that the UK turned down an offer from the EU of visa-free tours for musicians, with an EU source involved in the Brexit negotiations telling the Independent that it is standard to offer musicians a 90-day period for travel without having to have various different work visas.

The UK government later issued a rebuttal, with a spokesperson telling NME: “It is not true we turned down a bespoke arrangement from the EU to allow musicians to work and perform in member states. The UK Government has and always will support ambitious arrangements for performers and artists to be able to work and tour across Europe.


Following last year’s initial postponement and then cancellation of Coachella, the festival’s promoter Goldenvoice is now reportedly in talks to get involved in the mass vaccination effort, which will help bring about the return of large-scale events to the US.

Riverside County Public Health director Kim Saruwatari said the county “will take support from anyone who has some expertise to lend … They certainly do, so we absolutely will be in touch with them to see.”

“We know what they can do with the concerts, all the logistics and planning that takes place,” said Perez during a Board of Supervisors meeting last Wednesday.

Locations already transformed into mass vaccination sites in California include the baseball ground Dodger Stadium and Disneyland.


KORG has announced the ARP 2600 M, a portable version of its iconic semi-modular synth. 

KORG’s ARP 2600 M follows last year’s ARP 2600 FS, but this iteration is much smaller – 60 per cent the size of the original. A smaller size naturally means it’s lighter (5.9 kilograms to be exact) which makes it easier to transport for when you need to move in between studios or take to a show. A slick, black carry case featuring custom casters with special anti-shock damping technology also comes with the ARP 2600 M.

A bunch of free music software from comes with the ARP 2600 M, such as iZotope’s track creation and mastering programme Ozone Elements, the keyboard-focused Skoove and Reason Lite. KORG’s M1 Le software synth is also compatible, as well as the brand’s iPad and iPhone apps KORG Gadget 2 Le and KORG Module.

The original ARP 2600 has been used in music by the likes of The Chemical Brothers, David Bowie, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Soulwax, 808 State, Ellen Allien, Underworld and more.

Pricing and availability of the ARP 2600M are coming soon

Written by Anthony Vanger

Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf

Artwork by Gustav Balderdash

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