ARTIST OF THE WEEK: KAROL G “Gucci Los Paños”
There is a lot to like in this video. Colombian superstar Karol G and her all-female crew regale the NPR staff to an acoustic concert at the now famous Tiny Desk series. I always feel these concerts work best when the artist offers a different side to their persona and music, something hidden on the slick, produced product that has catapulted them to success. In this track, “Gucci Los Paños”, a biting and witty lament to lost love, Karol G offers up a traditional waltz, a long way from her dance floor hits. Her band works wonders, with the tuba providing the bass line and the accordian weaving in and out of the lyrics, the not-so-secret weapon that has allowed her to become the first female artist to have a Spanish-language album top the Billboard 200 chart. The words are true and confessional but there is always little twinkle in her eye as she sings them. If you close your eyes, you could be in a village fête in deep Mexico. That Karol and her fellow musicians can conjure up this magic in a small radio office in Washington D.C. is a testament to their authenticity and talent.
#tinydeskconcerts #tinydeskseries #npr #nprmusic #karolg
AD OF THE WEEK: JBL CALISTHENICS
TWIM always respects a wacky ad, and this one is right up there with the best of them. The purpose of the ad was to update the image of JBL, an American loudspeaker company created in 1946. While JBL remains popular among old-school audio enthusiasts, younger generations do not see it as a brand for them. To change this perception, JBL hired BBDO Japan and it used the analogy of a how once very popular trend among young people, Japanese radio calisthenics, could also be updated by incorporating elements of break dancing. By incorporating elements of breakdancing into the traditional moves, JBL introduced a whole new style called “Breaking Radio Calisthenics”. JBL transformed an outdated and dull dance style into a hip contemporary trend and in doing so attempted to modernise its brand. The breakdance moves side by side with the old Japanese calisthenics footage really drives the message home. The campaign worked, generating more than 3m views and plenty of traditional press, including TV.
UK GOVERNMENT APPROVES WORKING GROUP TO IMPROVE STREAMING PAY FOR ARTISTS
A new industry working group has been set up to consider how musicians and artists are paid through streaming.
Announced earlier this week, the group will feature experts and representatives from across the music sector who will “explore and develop industry-led actions that support fair remuneration for existing and future music creators.”
The decision to create the group was made after a lengthy investigation from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee (CMS). The findings of the report—which has been in the works since 2020—call for a “complete reset” of music streaming to fairly reward performers and creators.
CMS Committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage MP said the decision was “a welcome step towards addressing the frustrations of musicians and songwriters whose pay falls far short of a fair level given their central role in the success of the music streaming industry.”
MOOG CELEBRATE 70TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW INTERACTIVE SITE
Moog are celebrating their 70th anniversary with a new interactive site.
Inspired by ‘90s video games and websites, it offers “access to the rich history of electronic music through the lens of the Minimoog Model D” and will feature a virtual replica of the famous synth, an online jukebox and “more fun for musicians and synth fans of all ages”.
The virtual online Minimoog Model D lets you make and share your own recordings, while the online jukebox collects 45 of the most memorable songs featuring the Model D. Other features of the new site include an archive delving into the history of the Model D, a gift shop with online merch and an Instagram filter.
The site was created in collaboration with NYC-based design agency Pentagram, led by Yuri Suzuki. “I still vividly remember our first discussion years ago where we envisioned a web experience that celebrates the Minimoog Model D,” says Suzuki. “Our goal was to craft a tightly interactive and fun experience that would capture the essence of Dr. Bob Moog and his team’s groundbreaking innovation.”
DYSON’S BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES WITH BUILT-IN AIR PURIFIER MASK HAVE GONE ON SALE
Dyson’s Zone headphones that come with a built-in air purifier mask have gone on sale.
The brand first announced the launch of their new Bluetooth headphones — their first wearable — in March last year. Available now, the noise-cancelling, over-ear headphones are inspired by the shape and design of a horse’s saddle and promise to remove 99% of pollutants and allergens as small as 0.1 microns, including dust and pollen. They last up to 50 hours as standard headphones or up to four hours with the air purification turned on.
The headphones were created with “urban pollution” in mind, according to chief engineer Jake Dyson. “The Dyson Zone™ provides advanced active noise cancellation combined with purified air, when you need it, alongside intelligent sensing and monitoring of your own environment,” he said.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf