|FRIDAY 23 AUGUST 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Got time for another uncleared sample lawsuit? Of course you have. Drake nabbed the beat from a 2000 song called 'Roll Call' for not one but two tracks on his 2018 album 'Scorpion'. Or at least so says 'Roll Call' maker Samuel Nicholas III, who performs as Sam Skully... [READ MORE]|
Drake sued for allegedly using sampled beat without permission - twice!
Nicholas claims that Drake sampled his beats on 'Scorpion' tracks 'In My Feelings' and 'Nice For What'. Both were co-produced by Adam Pigott, aka Blaqnmild, and Nicholas says he became aware of the allegedly uncleared sampling after seeing an interview with the producer, in which he discussed using a certain beat for the two Drake tracks.
According to Law360, the lawsuit filed by Nicholas this week claims: "The sound recording called 'that beat' by producer defendant Adam J Pigott p/k/a Blaqnmild is in fact the sound recording 'Roll Call (Instrumental)' in which plaintiff Samuel Nicholas III p/k/a Sam Skully has a copyright. The sound recording called 'that beat' is a direct copy of the copyrighted 'Roll Call (Instrumental)', not a new performance or new interpretation".
Nicholas then confirms that he was never approached by Drake or any of his people about the allegedly uncleared sample. To that end he wants damages and a cut of the profits generated by 'In My Feelings' and 'Nice For What', as well as an injunction invalidating the current copyright registrations for those two works.
Fun times. Drake et al are yet to comment on the lawsuit, which was filed with the Louisiana federal court on Wednesday.
US children's entertainer sues Pinkfong over Baby Shark
The claim is complicated, because the origins of the 'Baby Shark' song are unknown. The campfire chant is thought to have developed through children's summer camps in the US at some point in the 20th century, possibly inspired by the film 'Jaws'. Though that version was somewhat less toddler-friendly than the one popularised by Pinkfong, with the lyrics running through a loss of limbs one by one as the shark attacks.
Wanting to bring the song to a younger audience, Only rewrote it all to focus on a family of sharks, rather than having the song's narrator eventual eaten away. He has been performing that version now for around two decades. So when he heard the Pinkfong version, he felt he'd been ripped off.
Hence he is now suing Pinkfong's parent company SmartStudy for copyright infringement. The first hearing in the case actually took place at the Seoul Central District Court last month. The Korea Copyright Commission is now set to review both songs before the case can proceed further.
"On a personal level, it has been a bit weird", Only tells USA Today. "Especially because I feel like I am the one who started [the 'Baby Shark' phenomenon]".
However, SmartStudy dismisses Only's claims of ownership of a family-themed version of the song, saying: "Pinkfong's 'Baby Shark' is based on a traditional singalong chant which has passed to public domain. Produced by SmartStudy, we are the producer and publisher, we own and control 100% of [our version of the song]".
Only published his version in 2011 and produced a YouTube video for it, which currently has a little over 100,000 views (compared to Pinkfong's five billion for its various videos of the song).
Proving that Pinkfong ripped Only off may prove difficult though. 'Baby Shark' has a long history that pre-dates his rework and other more young-child friendly versions definitely exist in various forms online that pre-date his recording. His and Pinkfong's versions also differ musically and lyrically.
Still, Only insists that there are too many similarities for it to be an accident, adding: "The shortened length, the key, the addition of instrumentation, the type of instrumentation, the rhythm, the tempo, the sanitation of the lyrics for toddler age audiences, the tempo change mid song, the splash at the beginning ... even some of the harmony styles and things like adding a lower voice when they introduce daddy shark [are all the same]".
You can compare the two versions here, assuming you don't mind having that bloody song stuck in your head for the rest of the day like I now have.
Warner Chappell signs Afro B
Warner Chappell CEO Guy Moot says: "Afro B is a special talent who is right at the forefront of a fresh and vibrant music scene. He's in very high demand and I'm delighted that we've been able to get him on board at Warner Chappell Music".
The company's UK Head Of A&R Amber Davis adds: "Afro B has the potential to be a global success as a writer and an artist. We're already seeing his sound gain traction on both sides of the Atlantic with Brandra [Ringo] from our US office having a plethora of incredible writers lining up to work with him".
And Afro B himself comments: "Afrowave is becoming popular all over the world and working with Warner Chappell Music I know we can spread this infectious sound even further. Guy, Amber and their team see and believe in my vision and will be able to help take African music to the next level".
As well as releasing solo tracks, Afro B has worked with rappers including Wale and Yxng Bane. He also hosts a weekly Saturday night show on Capital Xtra.
Hasbro buys EntertainmentOne
Enough about TV though, why is this of interest to the music industry? Well, in addition to all the TV stuff, EntertainmentOne also owns various music companies. There's record label Dualtone, live firm Round Room, production music library Audio Network and a swathe of artist management operations - Last Gang, People's Champ, Nerve, Quiet As Kept, Amelia Artists, WRC and Hardlivings. So that's why. All those music set-ups are now owned by the company that makes My Little Pony.
"The acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro's portfolio and provides a pipeline of new brand creation driven by family-oriented storytelling, which will now include Hasbro's IP", says Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, immediately honing in on the eOne assets with toy potential.
Though he doesn't completely forget the zombies, adding: "In addition, Hasbro will leverage eOne's immersive entertainment capabilities to bring our portfolio of brands that have appeal to gamers, fans and families to all screens globally and realise full franchise economics across our blueprint strategy for shareholders".
OK, I don't really know what any of that means, but let's assume it had something to do with the zombies. Or maybe eOne CEO Darren Throop can help explain what his new boss is on about. He says: "Hasbro's portfolio of integrated toy, game and consumer products, will further fuel the tremendous success we've achieved at eOne".
OK, cool. He adds: "There's a strong cultural fit between our two companies; eOne's stated mission is to unlock the power and value of creativity which aligns with Hasbro's corporate objectives. eOne teams will continue to do what they do best, bolstered by the access to Hasbro's extensive portfolio of richly creative IP and merchandising strength".
Yeah, these statements are just a load of corporate nonsense aren't they? "In addition", Throop goes on, "the resulting expanded Hasbro presence in Canada through eOne's deep roots will bring world class talent and production capabilities to Hasbro". Ah, country specific corporate nonsense! Good times.
Meanwhile, I await Hasbro's My Little Zombie range with anticipation.
Warner Music partners with Audiomack
"It's important that we take a principled but adventurous approach to empowering entrepreneurialism", says Warner's Digital Strategy & Business Development Allan Coye. "We're pleased to have found an innovative way to structure a commercial partnership with a discovery platform like Audiomack. The service is a terrific addition to our ecosystem, opening up exciting avenues for our emerging artists to directly engage an active audience thirsting for new music".
Audiomack CEO Dave Macli adds: "We're extremely excited to embark on this revolutionary deal with WMG. Warner has helped to break thousands of artists to a broad audience and our partnership with them will only foster the growth of their burgeoning talent by connecting them to Audiomack's eight million monthly users".
Launched in 2012, originally with a focus on mixtapes, Audiomack is credited with helping to launch the careers of rap acts like Migos and Chance The Rapper. Artists on the platform are able to upload an unlimited amount of music, with options to monetise based on ad revenue.
Anna Meredith releases new single with AR app
"Moonmoons are the moons of moons", says Meredith. "This idea of intergalactic worlds within worlds and of doubling and playing with scale, of zooming in and out is explored right through the piece, down to the cascading climactic slowing down textures which are actually constructed using the rest of the electronics compressed into two second gestures".
Of the app, Carabott adds: "Augmented reality and spatial audio enable a way of exploring the details of a piece of music that is very natural, and allow the listener to play an active role in their own experience of a piece".
Kobalt has promoted Ann Tausis to CEO of its Kobalt Neighbouring Rights business. She has already been heading up the division since 2013. "Ann's commitment to neighbouring rights is second to none", says overall Kobalt CEO Willard Ahdritz.
Thom Yorke has put together a zine, titled 'I See You', in collaboration with Crack Magazine. It sees eight interviewees, plus Yorke himself, answer the same set of questions. Profits will go to Greenpeace.
Missy Elliott has released new EP 'Iconology' - the closest she's got to putting out an album for fourteen years. From it, this is 'Throw It Back'.
Lana Del Rey has released a video featuring two new tracks, 'Fuck It, I Love You' and 'The Greatest'. She's also announced UK arena shows in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham for February next year. Her new album, 'Norman Fucking Rockwell', is out next week.
The 1975 have released new single 'People'. Their fourth album, 'Notes On A Conditional Form', will be released on 21 Feb 2020.
Vince Staples has released the first episode of new video series 'The Vince Staples Show', which contains new track 'So What?'
Alter Bridge have released new single 'Take The Crown'. Their new album, 'Walk The Sky', is out on 18 Oct.
The CD edition of Perfume's new best of compilation 'P Cubed' will also come with a DVD featuring highlights of their Coachella set earlier this year. From that, here's 'My Color'.
Burna Boy has released the video for his single 'Pull Up'.
Diiv have released new single 'Taker'. New album 'Is The Is Are' is the is out on 4 Oct.
Shhe has released new single 'Saint Cyrus'. "The track is in constant transition", she says. "When I wrote it, I was thinking a lot about identity. How no one is ever complete. Things are added, taken away, obscured, manipulated; certain characteristics, behaviours. In the track there are parts that disintegrate, disappear, are reintroduced elsewhere. But the words stay the same".
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Taylor Swift confirms plans to re-record first five albums in 2020
Earlier this week, 'CBS Sunday Morning' previewed an upcoming interview with Swift where she confirmed that recording new versions of the old material was a formal plan.
Now that's been trumped by 'Good Morning America', which yesterday aired an interview in which she said a bit more than just "oh yeah" and "yeah, absolutely". Which I think might be why CBS was so keen to get its minimal bit of chat out into the world so promptly, even before their 'Sunday Morning' show had aired on, well, Sunday morning.
The latest conversation steered to the topic of masters after Swift referenced that new album 'Lover', which is out today, will be "the first one [where] I will own of my work". That's a reference to her new record deal with Universal Music, which kicks in with this album and allows her to keep her master rights, rather than handing them over to her label.
She has previously said that one of the hardest things about parting company with former label Big Machine was having to leave the masters of all her albums to date behind. Then what she described as the "worst case scenario" occurred, when her apparent mortal enemy Braun became the new owner of that label.
The suggestion that she re-record her previous albums - mainly to spite Braun - came up shortly after his Big Machine deal was announced. But it seemed unlikely Swift would go through the tedious process of actually doing it.
However, now she's laid out plans to record new versions of the first five LPs in full. And she's confirmed that, while her Big Machine contract banned re-records for a time period - as is normal - that time period expires towards the end of next year.
"It's something that I'm very excited about doing because my contract says that starting November 2020, so next year, I can record albums one to five all over again", she told 'Good Morning America'. "I'm very excited about it. Because I think that artists deserve to own their work. I feel very passionate about that... it's next year. It's right around the corner. I'm gonna be busy. I'm really excited".
In case you didn't get any of that, it's next year and she's excited. It's still not clear exactly what she plans to do with this re-records project. The most vindictive method would be to painstakingly recreate the original recordings so the new versions sound identical, which would be difficult, not least because she was fifteen when she started recording music.
The other option would be to record new versions more in-keeping with her style nearly fifteen years into her career. That might bring those albums to an audience more familiar with her more pop-focussed material, but the many fans who've been around since the beginning (or have maybe even gone off her since she went pop) would probably stick with the originals that they love.
Maybe everyone would just end up confused. Maybe that's the best thing for everyone. Maybe I don't know. Maybe I don't care. Anyway, the new album, 'Lover', is out now, and would be brilliant if it stopped dead after track ten, rather than plodding on aimlessly for eight (EIGHT) more songs. But, hey, at least she owns them all. She's also put out a new video for the album's title track, which you can watch here.