A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: BABY QUEEN
What do you get if you cross Lorde, Billie Eilish, and Gwenn Stefani? Baby Queen, aka Bella Latham, 23, a South Africa-born, London-based musician hit the road running during the pandemic with her first single, Buzzkill. Since then she has teased out a series of tasty singles and videos, cementing her status as one to watch. Her songs are confessional and appeal on first listen to a young demographic, but between the lyrics, hooky choruses, and videos, you begin to see what the fuss is about. Latham has a distinct style and the charisma to pull it off, switching outfits multiple times in videos and looking straight down the lens of the camera without a hint of self-consciousness. Everything is performed with a nod and wink, including her lyrics, which show wry humor beyond her age. All performed with a deadpan semi-posh South-African twang, where “flawed” becomes “flohawd” and “party” morphs into “pahhrti.” Strong songwriting, great image, confessional lyrics – could Baby Queen transcend the UK pop scene and become the next big thing?
AD OF THE WEEK: SUPERBOWL EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
Winona Ryder and Timothée Chalamet Star in ‘Edward Scissorhands’ Super Bowl Commercial
Amongst a crop of unfunny, star-laden Superbowl spots and a Bruce Springsteen bummer for Jeep, one ad hit the mark. Cadillac’s “Edward Scissorhands” sequel — starring Timothée Chalamet as Edgar Scissorhands, Edward’s son, and Winona Ryder reprising her role as Kim from Tim Burton’s 1990 movie — worked on all fronts. The ad, for the Cadillac LYRIQ, is part of General Motors’ larger star-studded push for its new electric cars. The ad uses Edgar’s different abilities to illustrate the advantages of the LYRIQ’s hands-free driving feature, called Super Cruise. According to Ad Age, “life is hard for the grim-faced Edgar: He’s banned from the bus, he can’t play football without popping the ball and his boss at his food service job squelches his creativity. But when Kim buys a LYRIQ, he is finally able to drive.” Nice work from Leo Burnett, smart casting, and even Tim Burton approved the spot.
PETITION LAUNCHED TO NAME PLANET AFTER SOPHIE
A petition has been launched calling for the planet, TOI 1338 b, to be named after SOPHIE. The late artist died on 30 January in Athens following a sudden accident when SOPHIE tried to view the full moon.
The petition reads: “SOPHIE was a highly influential singer, songwriter, and producer who was a source of great inspiration to the LGBTQIA+ community. Her messages, actions, and music left a lasting impression on many LGBTQIA+ individuals. She always pushed a message of individuality and expressing your true self that resonated throughout everything she did.”
You can sign the petition here
APPLE IOS 14.5 BETA ALLOWS USERS TO CHOOSE SPOTIFY AS DEFAULT MUSIC SERVICE
Users around the world rejoice
Spotify users can finally make the streaming service its default music app with the Apple iOS 14.5 beta.
According to a trial run via Siri by Mashable, the voice assistant will ask the user which music app the user would like to use to play the song. Siri will give a list of the streaming services that have been downloaded on the iPhone and when Spotify is selected, it will ask for permission to access the Spotify data. When permission is given, the song will play from Spotify and Siri will continue to play music via the streaming service without questions in the future.
DUTCH GOVERNMENT PLANS TO ALLOW FESTIVALS FROM JULY
A cancellation insurance fund will cover festivals aiming to take place in the second half of 2021
Festivals in the Netherlands have started revealing plans for 2021 editions following the Dutch government announcing it aims to allow festivals from July 1 and will insure events planned after this date that are canceled due to COVID-19.
Last month, a cancellation fund of at least €300m was announced by the Dutch government to allow event organizers to plan for the second half of 2021 with the security that they will be covered if the pandemic stops events going ahead for a second year running.
It covers events that attract a minimum of 3,000 visitors from July 1 through to the end of the year, with Dutch culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven saying it is not “reasonable” to expect “masses can stand close together on a field” before that time.
She added: “[This fund] is a dot on the horizon for festival organizers. They can fall back on the guarantee fund in which at least €300m has been reserved. The event industry has long come to a standstill due to Corona. The guarantee is needed to get it back on track.”
US TODDLER TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM RECORDED IN THE WOMB
Luca Yupanqui was recorded by her parents using ‘biosonic MIDI technology’
An American toddler, Luca Yupanqui, is gearing up to release her debut album, the world’s first LP made from sounds inside the womb.
Her parents are Elizabeth Hart, a member of psych-rock band Psychic Ills, and musician Iván Diaz Mathé, who has worked with Lee “Scratch” Perry and others. In five-hour-long “joint meditation” sessions, they recorded Yupanqui in utero via electrodes on Hart’s abdomen and using “biosonic MIDI technology” transcribed the vibrations they picked up into synthesizers.
The recordings were then edited down, with Hart and Diaz Mathé “trying to intervene as little as possible, allowing Luca’s message to exist in its raw form”, according to a statement. The album, Sounds of the Unborn, will be released on 2 April.
NEW BOOK HUSH DOCUMENTS BERLIN CLUBS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
A new book called HUSH – Berlin Club Culture in a Time of Silence explores the city’s clubs amidst the global pandemic.
It was put together by photographer Marie Staggat and journalist Timo Stein, who visited more than 40 clubs in the German capital between April and December 2020.
Clubs featured include Tresor, Watergate, SchwuZ, Weekend, OHM, Sameheads, Paloma, Kit Kat, GRETCHEN, Else, Arena, and Suicide Circus.
HUSH will be published on March 1 this year by Parthas Verlag, and will be available from parthasverlag.de, directly from the clubs, or at leading bookstores.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash