This Week In Music – 14th July 2022

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

ARTIST OF THE WEEK: KAMAL.

“Distracted by the surface of your skin…” That’s quite a lyric for an 18-yr-old. And coupled with his buttered vocals and lush arrangements over a sexy groove, it makes for a heady mix. No wonder the “lockdown star” from Harlesden is making a name for himself and quietly playing his way into our ears and hearts. Kamal is an R&B singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Harlesden who was discovered by a manager sniffing around Soundcloud. Born in London to Caribbean-British parents, he began playing piano at six and writing songs on Ukulele a few years later. Raised around the sounds of Sade, D’Angelo, and Erykah Badu, alongside UK Rap, Kamal’s influences can be heard in his lush and jazz-infused arrangements. On top of that kamal. has embraced the “bedroom” sound of muffled vocals and subtle beats that has launched the careers of Lorde, Billie Eilish, and countless others. Definitely one to watch.

@kamal. #kamal. #neighbourhoodrecords #dangelo #joolsholland

AD OF THE WEEK: KIYAN PRINCE’S STORY

Kiyan Prince’s Story won one of the advertising industry’s most coveted honors this year, the Cannes Lions Titanium Grand Prix. But for his father, this is just the start. Mark Prince wants to use the award to honor his late son and expand his mission to help young people. Kiyan, a youth player at QPR, was fatally stabbed outside his north London school on May 18, 2006, when he was 15 years old—another victim of knife violence. But that’s not the story that Mark Prince wants to tell. In 2021, Kiyan became the focal point of a powerful campaign against knife violence that created a virtual persona of him within EA Sports’ FIFA 21 game, imagining the young man as the star athlete he was meant to become. It is both incredibly sad and uplifting to see this avatar running across the screen, so life-like, yet we know the awful truth. But it works. The initiative is focused on elevating young people’s potential, rather than highlighting their misery—developing more “future champions” like Kiyan. Good work from agency Engine, London

NASA SCIENTIST AND BROTHER CREATE MUSIC FROM THE OCEAN’S COLOUR DATA

A NASA scientist and his brother have created music from the ocean’s colours. Ryan Vandermeulen, a scientist at the Ocean Ecology Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, worked alongside his computer programmer brother on the ambitious project that melds ocean colour data with musical notes.

The OceanColor Web program aims to provide an “immersive experience into the ocean imagery Goddard scientists study every day in an effort to understand the complexities of a large, changing ecosystem,” according to the Ocean Ecology Lab. Vandermeulen was inspired to launch the project after being impressed by an ocean colour image of Río de la Plata, an estuary formed from the Paraná and Uruguay Rivers in South America, and wanting to capture its sound.

Dive into the ethereal sound of Río de la Plata below, which sees blue light (Rrs-443 and Rrs-469) pick an acoustic guitar, while green light (harp) and red light (bass) sculpt the rhythmic backbone. 

NASA is proving to be a reliable source of music-related stories, having recently acquainted us with an audio recording of a black hole, as well as revealing that Mars has two speeds of sounds

AUTHORISED AMY WINEHOUSE BIOPIC BACK TO BLACK TO BE DIRECTED BY SAM TAYLOR-JOHNSON

Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson has been selected to direct the new Amy Winehouse biopic, expected to be titled Back to Black.

Written by Matt Greenhalgh, the biopic will delve into the life and death of the iconic singer with the approval of the Winehouse estate.

Taylor-Johnson – who was close friends with Winehouse – has also previously worked with Greenhalgh on the film Nowhere Boy.

The biopic will be based on Daphne Barak’s book Saving Amy, and co-produced by Studiocanal, Alison Owen, Debra Hayward and Tracey Seaward.

Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse is said to be in full support of the film yet back in 2015 in an interview with The Guardian he said that the Oscar-winning documentary, Amy was “horrible” and that it painted him in “the worst possible light”.

Back in 2018, the Winehouse family partnered with producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward for the film with proceeds from the film going towards the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

LIVERPOOL’S 2022/23 AWAY JERSEY IS A NOD TO THE CITY’S ‘90S DANCE CULTURE

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Nike has unveiled Liverpool F.C.’s new away jersey for the 2023/23 Premier League season.

The shirt was first debuted in Liverpool’s pre-season friendly against Manchester United this week and fans saw the design that has been inspired by Liverpool’s popular dance music scene throughout the ’90s. The overall design of the jersey comes with a white base along with a distorted and psychedelic-looking graphic. Dashes of purple, green, and turquoise can be seen throughout the jersey along with black trims on the cuffs, sponsor, branding, and the club crest.

When reversing the jersey inside-out, Nike and Liverpool have paid homage to the children, women, and men who lost their lives during the Hillsborough disaster with a “97” emblem that has been surrounded by eternal flames. Traditionally, the number attached to the disaster has been 96, however, it has been changed to the number 97 in recognition of Andrew Stanley Devine who was recorded as the 97th person to lose their life in 1989.

IS THIS THE FUTURE OF FESTIVALS FOR DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING MUSIC FANS?

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At this year’s Mighty Hoopla festival, deaf music fans trialled state-of-the-art suits that allow them to ‘feel’ the music.

At Mighty Hoopla in Brockwell Park on the Jubilee long weekend, Vodafone invited deaf and hard-of-hearing festival-goers to try ‘haptic suits’ in a world-first. Unveiled during Jessie Ware’s epic Saturday set, the suits enabled the wearers to feel the music unlike ever before. 

So, how do they work exactly? Basically, they’re enabled by Vodafone’s low latency 5G network, and developed in collaboration with tech company Music: Not Impossible. The suits use 24 different touchpoints on the wrists, ankles and torso to provide a multisensory experience. Not only can they capture the on-stage music, but they also use Vodafone’s 5G network to capture the energy and sound of the crowd live, and transmit it to the wearer in real-time. 

Alysha Allen, a profoundly deaf Hoopla fan from London, agreed that it’s a genuine game-changer. ‘It was just amazing. Getting to wear the suits with all my friends – it was sensory overload, it was incredible. We could feel the crowd all around us, which is a totally different experience to only being able to focus on the stage. It let us really feel that connection with the crowd and the festival atmosphere around us.’ 

Written by Anthony Vanger

Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf

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