FRIDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2019 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Many in the music community welcomed the news this week that a dispute in the EU Council over article thirteen of the copyright directive has seemingly been overcome, allowing wider discussions about getting a final draft of the copyright reforms agreed to continue. However, some significant players in the music industry are now calling for the entire directive to be abandoned. So that's fun, isn't it?... [READ MORE]
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MAKING MONEY FROM MUSIC COPYRIGHT SEMINARS
Monday evenings in Feb 2019
These three seminars together provide a user-friendly guide to how music copyright works and how music rights make money, including ownership, licensing and key revenue streams. [READ MORE]
   
MUSIC MARKETING & FAN ENGAGEMENT SEMINARS
Monday evenings in Mar 2019
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TOP STORIES Music industry consensus collapses as copyright directive talks near completion
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DEALS Actress signs to Decca Publishing
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS BMG partners with SESAC on Indian digital song licensing
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ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL HMV "unlikely" to return to Canada, following Sunrise rescue deal
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LIVE BUSINESS AEG Facilities and SMG to merge and create one mega venue operator
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RELEASES Honeyblood announce third album, In Plain Sight
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ONE LINERS Atlas Music Publishing, Mixcloud, Julia Michaels, more
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AND FINALLY... Wiz Khalifa to release first ever single on an Oreo cookie
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RAYMOND GUBBAY - ILLUMINATED TRAIL TICKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Raymond Gubbay Ltd (RGL) has grown significantly in recent years with the expansion of promoting illuminated trails in venues including Kew Gardens, Blenheim Palace, and ZSL London Zoo. A permanent role has been created within the Illuminated Trails department which will be central to supporting the delivery of this growth.

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PROPER MUSIC - SALES LEDGER ASSISTANT (DARTFORD)
Proper Music Distribution is recruiting for a Sales Ledger Assistant to join its dedicated Finance team at its new HQ in Dartford, Kent. The ideal candidate will have relative experience in a similar role, experience of working with SAGE 200 and a proactive and positive approach to work.

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AWAL - HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL MARKETING (LONDON)
AWAL is seeking a Head Of International Marketing, to be responsible for managing AWAL's international marketing teams who create and deliver successful, innovative and global marketing campaigns for a growing roster of artist and label clients.

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DOMINO - DIGITAL MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Domino Recording Company is seeking a full time Digital Marketing Co-ordinator. The role of Domino’s Digital Marketing Co-ordinator is to support the Digital Marketing Team in all aspects of campaign origination and management.

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VISION NINE - SENIOR FESTIVALS MANAGER (LONDON)
Vision Nine Group is seeking to recruit a Senior Festivals Manager to take a leading role in the Event Management team working across our award-winning portfolio of festivals and events.

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SJM CONCERTS - SOCIAL MEDIA & DIGITAL CONTENT CO-ORDINATOR (MANCHESTER)
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Part of the Live Nation Entertainment group, VIP Nation (Europe) provides VIP package solutions to tours, festivals and special events. For fifteen years it has been servicing artists and fans, creating unforgettable experiences in more than 30 countries.

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UNION CHAPEL - VENUE HIRE CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Union Chapel Project (UCP) seek a Programme and Venue Hire Co-Ordinator, on a full time contract. The person would be a key member of our events team, responsible for advancing and delivering on all events held in the Chapel.

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Music industry consensus collapses as copyright directive talks near completion
Many in the music community welcomed the news this week that a dispute in the EU Council over article thirteen of the copyright directive has seemingly been overcome, allowing wider discussions about getting a final draft of the copyright reforms agreed to continue. However, some significant players in the music industry are now calling for the entire directive to be abandoned. So that's fun, isn't it?

In development for years now, the latest European Copyright Directive is in its very final stage, of course, when the European Commission, EU Council and European Parliament must agree a final single version. This is called the trilogue phase.

The music-industry-supported article thirteen, which seeks to reform the copyright safe harbour and increase the liabilities of user-upload platforms like YouTube, has continued to be one of the most controversial elements of whole endeavour. Within EU Council there were disagreements over whether nor not smaller user-upload platforms should be excluded from the new liabilities, which caused trilogue talks to stall.

However, those disagreements have seemingly been addressed, and the EU Council could now agree its preferred directive text later today, allowing it to sit back down with the Commission and Parliament next week. With that in mind, GESAC, which speaks for the song right collecting societies of Europe, said this morning: "It is now time to adopt a mandate [within the Council] and an agreement on the directive in trilogue early next week to send the right message to European citizens: the EU delivers for its people and its values!".

Yesterday though, trade bodies for the major and indie record labels and music publishers put out an open letter to EU policy makers saying something very different. Criticising how the most recent discussions within EU Council had amended the proposed copyright reforms, they stated: "We would rather have no directive at all than a bad directive. We therefore call on negotiators to not proceed on the basis of the latest proposals from the Council".

The wider music industry has been unusually united over the last few years in its call for safe harbour reform and a strong unambiguous final version of article thirteen. As YouTube ramped up its lobbying efforts against the directive last year, trade groups for labels, publishers, collecting societies, artists, songwriters and managers all pro-actively supported various campaigns to push back against the tech lobby and keep article thirteen on track.

The music industry has also sought to win the support of other copyright industries for article thirteen, because copyright reform is often more achievable when organisations representing the movie industry, the TV business, newspaper and book publishers, and the sports sector are also on board. Although safe harbour reform wasn't a priority for all those other copyright industries from the off, most have, at various points, spoken out in favour of it.

That said, late last year, as last minute lobbying from YouTube and the tech sector took safe harbour reform off in new directions, some of the other copyright owners started to express concerns that the final draft of article thirteen could actually leave them worse off than they are now. Some even started to suggest that article thirteen should be deleted or at least tweaked so that it only applied to music.

Still, the music community itself seemed to remain united. Until yesterday. Now record industry trade groups IFPI and IMPALA, and music publishers organisation ICMP, reckon the directive should be abandoned. Meanwhile, as noted, GESAC, speaking up for collecting societies and their songwriter members, want law-makers to plough ahead.

This morning UK organisations for artists, songwriters and managers also urged EU decision makers to continue working on the directive. The Council Of Music Makers - that brings together BASCA, FAC, MMF, MPG and the MU - called on negotiators "to proceed with the copyright directive", adding that "we speak with one voice with all the creator-led organisations across Europe and around the world in supporting the copyright directive".

So why is the united front collapsing? It's important to remember that, while article thirteen has got all the press, there are other elements of the copyright directive relevant to music. Articles fourteen through sixteen seek to provide artists and songwriters with more transparency, a contract adjustment mechanism and a dispute resolution system.

Meanwhile, additional elements were added by the Parliament last year that further aim to benefit artists and songwriters. One extra element talks about ensuring "fair and proportionate remuneration" for artists and writers whenever their works are exploited. Another suggested some kind of reversion right where artists and writers have assigned their works to a third party which then doesn't properly exploit them or report on that exploitation.

Article thirteen unites the music community and seeks to strengthen their combined rights against tech giants. However, articles fourteen to sixteen mainly seek to strengthen the combined rights of artists and songwriters against their corporate partners. Or, as you might call them, record companies and music publishers.

So for the corporate side of the music industry there have been two objectives throughout all the directive shenanigans. First, that article thirteen is sufficiently strongly worded to increase the music industry's negotiating power against YouTube et al (and that it doesn't somehow actually make things worse). Secondly, that the labels and publishers manage to sufficiently increase YouTube's liabilities with article thirteen, without too greatly increasing their own liabilities via articles fourteen, fifteen and sixteen.

IFPI, IMPALA and ICMP have not gone into the specifics as to why they would now rather that the copyright directive be abandoned. But it is almost certainly because - with the proposals likely to be passed by the EU Council today and then pushed during any trilogue talks next week - those two objectives can no longer both be achieved.

For their part, the CMM said this morning: "It is sad to see labels and publishers turn on their creators and artists in this way. They are trying to halt the directive not only because of the latest wording of article thirteen but because they want to avoid the improvements to transparency and fairness that articles fourteen to sixteen bring. We are saddened that the short-term commercial interests of these companies can be put before modernisation of copyright legislation that will benefit the whole industry".

The collecting societies allied to GESAC have both songwriters and publishers as members, though the societies themselves will be less affected by the other articles in the directive. Not least because the one that could have been relevant to them - the transparency-focused article fourteen - specifically does not apply to collecting societies, on the basis that they are already subject to transparency obligations stemming from the EU's 2014 Collective Rights Management Directive.

It remains to be seen how law-makers in the EU now respond to the conflicting demands of different strands of the music industry. But the music community's united front that has been a key feature of the directive negotiations is seemingly at an end. Which will be music to the ears of YouTube. And that'll be user-uploaded music protected by safe harbour, obviously.

Here is the open letter signed by IFPI, IMPALA, ICMP and various trade groups representing media and sports companies...

We are writing as a group of rightsholders representing the music, audio-visual, broadcasting and sports industries, regarding the direction of travel for the directive on copyright in the digital single market.

The key aims of the original draft directive were to create a level playing field in the online digital single market and strengthen the ability of European rightsholders to create and invest in new and diverse content across Europe.

Despite our constant commitment in the last two years to finding a viable solution, and having proposed many positive alternatives, the text - as currently drafted and on the table - no longer meets these objectives, not only in respect of any one article, but as a whole. As rightsholders we are not able to support it or the impact it will have on the European creative sector.

We appreciate the efforts made by several parties to attempt to achieve a good compromise in the long negotiations of recent months. Nevertheless, the outcome of these negotiations in several of the Council discussions has been to produce a text which contains elements which fundamentally go against copyright principles enshrined in EU and international copyright law.

Far from levelling the playing field, the proposed approach would cause serious harm by not only failing to meet its objectives, but actually risking leaving European producers, distributors and creators worse off.

Regrettably, under these conditions we would rather have no directive at all than a bad directive. We therefore call on negotiators to not proceed on the basis of the latest proposals from the Council.

And here is the open letter from GESAC...

As the negotiations on the copyright directive enter their final and very critical stage, GESAC, which represents more than one million creators from all sectors through its 32 members from across the EU and EEA, would like to express its strong support for this directive which is essential for the future of creators.

The directive as a whole - and in particular the provisions in article thirteen - creates the long sought after level playing field for creative content in the online market.

It also addresses the major unfairness caused by the enormous 'transfer of value' that favours free-riding tech giants, while it also incentivises European creation, innovation, and investment. The current text is a compromise that goes into the right direction, although further improvements still need to be achieved. You will find enclosed GESAC's priorities and suggestions on the text in this respect.

Without this directive, creators will be entirely deprived of any means to get a fair remuneration in the online environment: the market will be entirely driven by the commercial interests of free-riding tech giants. This would be a fundamental failure for European policy-making and the functioning of our democracy, as it can only be interpreted as an endorsement of the unfair and manipulative practices of tech giants that refuse any rules or oversight.

It is now time to adopt a mandate at [the EU Council meeting] on February 8th and an agreement on the directive in trilogue early next week to send the right message to European citizens: the EU delivers for its people and its values!

We trust your thorough political judgment and sense of fairness will prevail to finalise the last step of this process and remain at your disposal for any complementary clarifications.

And here is the open letter from CMM...

The UK Council Of Music Makers - comprising BASCA, FAC, MMF, MPG and the MU - call on negotiators to proceed with the copyright directive.

We are the voice of UK songwriters, music producers, performing artists, musicians and music managers. We speak on behalf of thousands of makers of the music this 'industry' represents. We speak with one voice with all the creator-led organisations across Europe and around the world in supporting the copyright directive.

While the current text could be improved and still includes some problematic provisions, it is a compromise. At every step of this process the creative community has sought compromise and been open to dialogue.

Most creators and artists in the UK struggle to make a living from music. Without this directive, creators will be entirely deprived of any means to get a fair remuneration in the online environment: the market will be entirely driven by the commercial interests of free-riding tech giants. This would be a fundamental failure for European policy-making and the functioning of our democracy, as it can only be interpreted as an endorsement of the unfair and manipulative practices of some tech giants that refuse any responsibility.

We make the music that people want to listen to and buy. It is our intellectual property and our rights and we need the copyright directive to put in place reasonable and fair safeguards.

It is hugely disappointing to see the music labels and publishers disregard the interests of their creators and artists in this way. They are trying to overturn years of collaborative work at the eleventh hour by killing the copyright directive. Like YouTube, they have lobbied negotiators hard without consulting or informing the creative community. Heavy-handed tactics of heavyweight businesses.

It is sad to see labels and publishers turn on their creators and artists in this way. They are trying to halt the directive not only because of the latest wording of article thirteen but because they want to avoid the improvements to transparency and fairness that articles fourteen to sixteen bring. We are saddened that the short-term commercial interests of these companies can be put before modernisation of copyright legislation that will benefit the whole industry.

The labels and publishers have shown an unsettling disrespect for the talent that they have the privilege of representing, raising serious questions about their suitability to be the custodians of copyright. We have worked in tandem with UK Music and colleagues across the industry to find compromise and solutions that enable legislation to pass. This directive will affect future generations of creators and performers whose interests need protecting beyond the interests of current models.

We have been engaged and willing to negotiate, and we remain engaged and progressing in good faith, with both tech and industry. We have not given up on this important legislation.

We call on UK government and UK Music to support the adoption of the copyright directive.

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Actress signs to Decca Publishing
Electronic musician Darren J Cunningham, aka Actress, has signed a new deal with Universal's Decca Publishing.

"I'm excited about this new relationship", says Cunningham. "This is an important moment in my career, and I feel the team at Decca and Universal are entirely right for me to realise my ambitions as a composer. We have several new projects already underway, from commissioned work to new technologies I am developing".

Decca Creative Director Danielle Wade adds: "We are over the moon to have Actress join us here at Decca Publishing. He is in an incredible fertile creative place and it is a privilege to support and amplify his ideas - further cementing his reputation as one Britain's most forward-thinking artists".

With various projects coming up this year, Cunningham's next is a performance of new composition '(Sin {x} II)' at London's Royal Festival Hall on 14 May. A reimagining of Karlheinz Stockhausen's 'Welt-Parliament', the piece includes recordings of members of the UK's House Of Lords debating the subject of love during the Brexit negotiations.

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BMG partners with SESAC on Indian digital song licensing
BMG has signed a deal with American collecting society SESAC which will see the latter's Mint business managing the digital licensing of the former's Anglo-American songs catalogue in India.

Many music publishers now license their Anglo-American repertoires to digital services directly in various markets. However, that is usually done in partnership with a collecting society, because societies and publishers together control the rights that the streaming platforms need to exploit.

BMG works with German society GEMA on direct licensing in multiple territories, but is now partnering with SESAC and Mint in India. Mint is itself a joint venture between two collective management organisations, SESAC and Swiss society SUISA.

"The new licensing agreement with SESAC through Mint for the emerging Indian market is a huge benefit for our publishing clients and delivers on BMG's core values of fairness, transparency and service", says BMG General Counsel Ama Walton. "In addition, both international and national music users can now efficiently license the repertoire of our Anglo-American writers in India".

Alexander Wolf, President of SESAC International, adds: "With the world's largest, most authoritative database of musical works linked to recordings, Mint and SESAC Digital Licensing are looking forward to cooperating with BMG in this emerging marketplace. We're excited BMG has selected SESAC as its trusted partner and we are happy to provide our expertise in a market with so much potential".

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HMV "unlikely" to return to Canada, following Sunrise rescue deal
When it was announced earlier this week that Canadian music retailer Sunrise Records was taking on the HMV UK business, many people's first question was whether that meant HMV stores here would be rebranded under the Sunrise name. In Canada, it turns out, the opposite question was posed.

Sunrise greatly expanded its Canadian business two years ago by taking over a whole load of old HMV Canada stores, after the Canadian HMV business was wound up. Those stores were then rebranded as Sunrise Records. But after Sunrise then bought HMV UK, and confirmed it would keep the HMV brand alive on the British high street, some wondered whether the company might therefore want to bring the brand back to Canada too.

So much so, The Canadian Press asked Sunrise President Doug Putman whether the UK deal might result in HMV returning to the Canadian high street. That, Putman said, was "unlikely, but definitely possible".

The Sunrise boss also elaborated on his plans for the UK chain in the same interview, confirming that he'd employ the same strategy as in the old HMV stores in Canada, with vinyl front and centre. "We have to get a handle on the market and what is happening here, but we know we want to add a lot of vinyl to the mix", he says. "Vinyl has been doing great".

As for those who don't believe even a big vinyl push will be enough to save a legacy retailer operating in an eternally shrinking market, he adds: "Who doesn't like to prove people wrong? We know there is an ability to make money at this. When you can do something you love and it makes money, those are great things".

Elsewhere in HMV news, back in the UK - while 100 of the entertainment retailer's stores have been saved by the Sunrise deal - 27 are closing down. Including a branch in Plymouth. Noting that turn of events, a call has been put out on social media for people to stand outside the closed Plymouth store later this month and shout "nooooooooo" en masse. Said call has so far attracted 2000 possible attendees on Facebook.

The plan is simple: "Everybody meets outside the closed HMV in Drake Circus and screams the classic line from 'Star Wars' - "NOOOOOOO!" Then leaves as if nothing happened".

As the 16 Feb event drew increased interest, the person who proposed it commented: "Well this got way out of hand. I didn't expect it to get this much attention. Especially as it started off as a simple joke. But looks like it's happening. So I'll see you all there".

For those who can't attend, there are 26 other closing HMV (or Fopp) stores around the country that you could go and shout at instead.

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AEG Facilities and SMG to merge and create one mega venue operator
Two of the world's largest entertainment venue operators - AEG Facilities and SMG - have announced plans to merge. The main AEG parent company and Onex - the private equity firm that acquired SMG in December 2017 - will each own 50% of the new combined entity, to be named ASM Global.

"This merger is a major step for our industry", says SMG CEO Wes Westley. "We are excited to bring together these complementary businesses to further elevate the standard of excellence in venue management".

He goes on: "We plan to accelerate innovation by combining our expertise to deliver increased value and offer enhanced capabilities to municipalities and venue owners worldwide. At the same time, we expect that this transaction will offer employees at both our corporate headquarters and field operations tremendous new opportunities".

Set to be based in LA, the new company will oversee 310 venues across five continents, including London's Wembley and O2 arenas, the Barclays Center in New York, and the Staples Center in LA.

Following the merger, current AEG Facilities President Bob Newman will become President and CEO of ASM Global. Westley, meanwhile, will join the board of directors of the new outfit.

"AEG Facilities has flourished under Bob's leadership since it was established a decade ago and this combination will position ASM for growth by joining the resources and talents of these two companies", says overall AEG CEO Dan Beckerman. "ASM will offer an impressive array of capabilities that will accelerate the development and deployment of new services and bring diverse business, sports and entertainment experiences to municipalities, partners and fans around the world".

Pending regulatory approval, the two companies are aiming to complete their merger by the end of this year.

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CMU Insights training for your team at your office
The latest season of CMU Insights training courses is currently underway, with two more upcoming on music copyright, and then three sessions on music marketing and PR. You can book your places here.

But don't forget, CMU Insights also provides in-house courses, where we run seminars for music companies and companies working with music, as part of their own training programmes.

These sessions are a great way to ensure that your team is fully up to speed on all the technicalities, current trends and best practice in music rights, music industry deals, streaming, marketing, social media, music distribution and artist management.

They also double up as great team-building sessions where employees can ask lots of questions and share their own insights.

For more information on the in-house courses currently available, click here.

Honeyblood announce third album, In Plain Sight
Honeyblood's third album, 'In Plain Sight', is set for release in May. The album will be the first with Honeyblood being a solo project for Stina Tweedale, following the departure from the outfit of drummer Cat Myers, who has been playing live with Mogwai since 2017.

"I started writing this at home on my own", she says. "At first I felt like a bit of a loner, but once I got used to the cabin fever, I couldn't turn back. This album felt like me being left to work out what felt like this giant puzzle on my own. All the songs fed into this idea of trickery and deception, of half truths".

"Every move, every song, everything I was doing on this record was new territory", she goes on. "I really didn't know what was gonna happen. It was a big jump but a very eye-opening experience. I didn't want to play off the same tricks I'd used before".

'In Plain Sight' is out on 24 May and lead single, 'The Third Degree', is out now. Tweedale and her new live band will also be touring throughout the summer, with all these dates:

30 Apr: Norwich, Waterfront Studio
1 May: Cambridge, Junction 2
2 May: Leicester, Academy 2
3 May: York, The Crescent
4 May: Stockton-on-Tees, Georgian Theatre
7 May: Wolverhampton, Newhampton Arts Centre
8 May: St Albans, The Horn
9 May: Tunbridge Wells Forum
10 May: Ramsgate Music Hall
11 May: Southampton, The Joiners
13 May: Southampton, Sub89
14 May: Bath, Moles Club
15 May: Exeter, The Cavern
31 May: Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree
3 Jun: Edinburgh, Summerhall
4 Jun: Newcastle, The Cluny
5 Jun: Sheffield, Plug
6 Jun: Guildford, The Boileroom
7 Jun: Bedford, Esquires
8 Jun: Oxford, Academy 2
10 Jun: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
11 Jun: Liverpool, Arts Club
12 Jun: Preston, Guild Hall
13 Jun: Hull, The Polar Bear
14 Jun: Stoke-on-Trent, The Sugarmill
15 Jun: Kendal, The Brewery

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Atlas Music Publishing, Mixcloud, Julia Michaels, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings has acquired the Richard Stumpf founded Atlas Music Publishing. "Richard has built an incredible publishing business with Atlas and we are excited to bring him and his team into the family", says Braun. "By working with Richard and his team, we will have a direct line to some of the most creative writers making the publishing process more streamlined and personal".

• Mixcloud has hired Okayplayer's Daniel Petruzzi as its Vice President Of Partnerships. "Daniel has played a critical role in establishing Okayplayer as a cultural force in the music world and beyond, helping to define and create the gold standard for online music communities comprised of both artists and fans", says Mixcloud's Nikhil Shah. "We are THRILLED to have him join Mixcloud's New York office, where his culture marketing expertise and music industry knowledge will help us greatly expand our community in the world's biggest market".

• Julia Michaels has released the video for 'What A Time', her collaboration with Niall Horan.

• Diplo has released new track 'Nine Shapes', featuring Octavian. "I met Octavian at a party in London", says the producer. "We took a photo and I never thought I would see the kid again. Over the next six months I kept hearing his name and seeing him on great songs. I tried to stay in touch even though he had another twelve phone numbers since we met. Finally, he was stuck in LA for a while and it was easy to pull up on him. After a few weeks we nailed this song and I'm glad it gets to finally see the light of day".

• Dizzee Rascal has released the video for 'Quality', from his new EP 'Don't Gas Me'.

• Superorganism have released 'Hello Me And You', their contribution to the 'Lego Movie 2' soundtrack.

• That follows a collaboration between Beck, Robyn and The Lonely Island, 'Super Cool', also from the 'Lego Movie 2' soundtrack, which somehow I forgot to mention the other day.

• Kristen Hersh has released new single 'Loud Mouth', ahead of UK tour dates in March.

• Soak has released new track 'Valentine Shmalentine', just in time for Shmalentine's Day.

• Tune-Yards' Nate Brenner has announced his new solo project Naytronix. His debut album under the name, 'Air', will be out in May. From it, this is 'Human'.

• The Coathangers have released new single, 'F The NRA'. Frontwoman Julia Hugel has also published an essay on the motivation behind the track, featuring contributions from Kathleen Hanna, Fugazi's Brendan Canty and Refused frontman Dennis Lyxzen.

• Fresh from her collaboration with Kid Koala on his new album, Trixie Whitley has announced that she will release her third solo album, 'Lacuna', on 29 Mar. From it, this is 'Touch'.

• The Meat Puppets have announced UK and Ireland tour dates in June. New album, 'Dusty Notes', featuring the band's original line-up, is out on 8 Mar. Here's a track from it, 'Nine Pins'.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.

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Wiz Khalifa to release first ever single on an Oreo cookie
The Oreo revival continues! Wait, is that a thing? No, it's not. Not least because until very recently, Oreo cookies weren't a physical music format, so it can't be a revival. "But Oreo cookies aren't a physical music format now either", I hear you cry. Yeah? Well tell that to Wiz Khalifa.

Last year, Oreo released a biscuit tin containing a selection of biscuits and what looked like a miniature vinyl turntable. The big gimmick being that you can place on Oreo cookie on the turntable, move a tiny tonearm over it, and it will play a little tune. Not only that! If you take a bite out of the cookie, as people so often do, it will play a different tune when you place it back on the turntable. Just like a real record.

This stupid thing got loads of coverage when it was launched, just in time to be bought as a Christmas present for any avid music fan by people who have no imagination. Realising that they had a viral hit on their hands, the Oreo team have decided to keep things going. To coincide with Grammy weekend, the company has teamed up with rapper Wiz Khalifa to put out the first single released on a cookie.

Khalifa hasn't just sold himself out by writing a song for a biscuit company, he's also monetised his son by putting him on the track and in the accompanying advert too. The song, 'Stay Playful', will be available on cookies in a new limited edition Wiz Khalifa tin of Oreos (spoiler: the song isn't actually embedded in the biscuits, but don't tell Wiz).

"Releasing a song on a cookie is crazy", he squealed at Hot New Hip Hop. "Because it's like technology has been so advanced these days and to incorporate something that is really really classic and then bring it up to date with the technology... it's good for the kids, it's good for everybody but it's also just super cool - like it's fun to see".

Entirely unrelated, Wiz Khalifa has rapped extensively about his love of cannabis. Anyway, this is all happening and there's nothing we can do to stop it now, so you might as well just watch the advert for this thing, which gives you a little take of the song he's recorded.

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ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
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Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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