|FRIDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Lily Allen has told BBC podcast 'The Next Episode' that her label, Warner Music, has so far failed to take any action after she accused a music industry executive of sexual assault. However, the major insists that "we take accusations of sexual misconduct extremely seriously and investigate claims that are raised with us"... [READ MORE]|
Lily Allen says Warner failed to act after she accused industry exec of sexual assault
Allen first spoke about the alleged assault - which took place in 2016 - last year, first in a Guardian interview, and then in her autobiography 'My Thoughts Exactly'. She has so far not publicly named the man she accuses of assaulting her, though the BBC says that it "understands the alleged attacker continues to work with Warner". Meanwhile Allen adds that she believes "most of the music industry knows who it is".
In the new interview, Allen explains that the alleged assault occurred during a work trip to the Caribbean. She had been with the accused record industry exec at a party before they returned to the hotel where they were both staying.
"We got to my hotel", she then says. "I couldn't find my room keys. So he was like, 'well, why don't you sleep in my bed while I go and get the keys'. So I passed out in his bed". Then, later that night, "I woke up and he was in my bed naked slapping my bum and trying to insert his penis into my private parts".
As for why she never made a formal complaint, she goes on: "I made a decision, I didn't want to go to the police. I didn't want to make a fuss and I wanted to keep it quiet ... I remember thinking about his mum and how she would deal with the news that her son was a sexual predator and I was prioritising everybody else in this situation except for myself".
Allen then says that she decided to write and talk about the incident last year in the wake of the #MeToo movement. She subsequently met with the boss of Warner's recorded music business Max Lousada who, she says, told her he only became aware of the allegations by reading her book.
Asked if, after that meeting, the record company had taken any action regarding the 2016 incident, Allen replies quite bluntly "no". She adds that she can only guess what might have been said or done at the major after she went public with her allegations, because "no one is willing to have a conversation" with her about the assault.
She later says that she is certain that going public with her allegations has "fucked with her career", but she is still convinced that it was the right thing to do. She explains: "I would feel awful if I found out that somebody much younger and more vulnerable had had a similar experience that could have been prevented".
Speaking to the BBC, Warner said that the incident described by Allen in her book last year was "appalling" and that it was "very focused on enforcing our code of conduct and providing a safe and professional environment at all times".
You can listen to the full interview with Allen, which also discusses the wider issue of sexual harassment and assault in the music industry, here.
Warner launches JV label with hip hop website Masked Gorilla
"We're incredibly excited to be partnering with Roger to launch Masked Records", says the boss of Warner Records US Aaron Bay-Schuck. "What he's done as a young entrepreneur over the past decade has been nothing short of amazing - literally redefining the hip hop landscape, time and time again identifying ground-breaking artists while they were still way under the radar. And that's what real A&R is all about - great ears, impeccable taste, and the discovery and nurturing of original talent".
With all that in mind, Bay-Schuck adds that his team is "looking forward to giving Roger and Masked the platform and resources to grow organically and create culture-shifting music".
For his part, Gengo says: "For the past ten years I've dedicated my life to discovering and sharing new artists through Masked Gorilla and Unmasked. Over the years I've been able to establish incredible relationships with artists by not asking how I could benefit, but instead asking how I could be of service. As my insight grew, my drive to help and influence artists' careers in a more major way grew as well".
On the label venture, he goes on: "It's always been my dream to not only service these artists in a more major way with a record label, but to do it in partnership with a company that has the vision, integrity, and progressive environment to best serve the artists who have trusted us with their music". And that company, by the way, Bengo reckons, is Warner Records. "They truly believe in me as much as I believe in these artists, and I can't wait to get started".
Spotify further expands is artist services by acquiring SoundBetter
Celebrating the buy, Spotify cranked up its waffle machine to splurge out the following: "Community. It's tough to imagine a concept so integral to the career of every artist, manager and label that's so difficult to crack. The truth is, community doesn't just happen overnight - it takes time, dedication and work to build a network you can trust with the most important parts of your career".
By which, it means, artists need collaborators and a creative team, which means finding and hiring the right creative people at the right time. Which is what SoundBetter aims to facilitate as, in Spotify's words, "the world's leading music talent marketplace".
Confirming, in case there was any doubt, that it was "THRILLED" that SoundBetter would now sit under the Spotify For Artists banner, the streaming firm then added: "SoundBetter will continue operating as usual, and, over the coming months, we'll be investing in making the experience even better".
"In the meantime", it went on, "it's easy to get started on SoundBetter - just visit their site, describe an upcoming project in seconds, get free proposals from top professionals, choose someone to hire and get started". Lovely stuff.
BBC launches new music education programme for young children
At the core of the venture is a series of easy-to-follow educational videos. A long line of artists and musicians from various genres are also backing and/or taking part in the programme, including Zara Larsson, Nile Rodgers, JP Cooper, Evelyn Glennie and YolanDa Brown.
The latter says of her involvement: "The heartbeat of every generation are children and it is important that we nurture them and teach them to dream. I am pleased to be an ambassador of the Bring The Noise campaign, introducing children all around the country to music, music making and the endless joy that comes with it".
Meanwhile the Beeb's Alice Webb adds: "We're really excited to launch Bring The Noise and help children across the UK take their first musical steps. With the help of some the biggest names in music, our partners, school teachers and parents, we'll get young feet tapping across the country and build a love of music from early years".
The whole thing is also endorsed by record industry trade group BPI. It notes the widespread concerns that have been expressed in recent years about the decline of music teaching in schools. With that it mind, it says that any initiatives that can help educators - especially those who are not specialist music teachers, as is the norm in primary schools - to introduce more music making into the classroom are to be welcomed.
The trade group's Director Of Public Affairs Ian Moss states: "We've seen an alarming drop-off in access to music in state schools, which could threaten the long-term success of British music. Creating practical access to music in schools can bring wider benefits to young people - stimulating performance, encouraging confidence and cohesion, and providing a creative outlet for their talent. Denying pupils access to music is a huge false economy, and we are delighted to support BBC Education's timely 'Bring The Noise' initiative."
You can find out more here: www.bbc.co.uk/bringthenoise
Little Boots announces tenth anniversary celebrations for debut album
"'Echoes' was due to be a follow up single after 'Hands'", she says. "It was co-written with RedOne, who I wrote ['Hands' track] 'Remedy' with, and who'd been working on a lot of the early Gaga stuff at the time. It's super pop and 80s, and fans loved it when I played it live. Given it took on almost mythical status on fan forums I'm very happy to be able to finally share the song a decade later".
On the anniversary itself, she adds: "I'm so touched at the overwhelming response to the ten year anniversary of 'Hands'. I initially floated the idea of doing something commemorative on my socials earlier this year and the reaction was just so huge I had to do something about it! I'm really excited to be able to share some never heard before tracks from this period, as well as performing a special live show of the album start to finish for the first time".
"I'm so proud of this record and it's so special that it meant so much to so many people", she concludes. "I can't wait to share it with my fans again".
The London live show is at The Garage on 23 Nov.
Angel Olsen releases new single, Lark
"'Lark' is a song that took many years to finish", she says. "The disjointed feelings and verses of this song began to make sense as a way for me to exercise a kind of journey through grieving, a kind of personal struggle".
She goes on: "The message of the song developed at first from an argument I once had with someone about trust and support. Later, I pulled from recurring themes in my life as a musician and as a human that dreams for a living. It's easy to promise the world to those we love, but what about when our dreams change and values split?"
The new album is out on 4 Oct and she will be touring the UK in February next year. Here are the dates:
10 Feb: Bristol, SWX
LABELS & PUBLISHERS
Universal production music unit Killer Tracks has rebranded as, well, Universal Production Music, bringing the US division in line with the mega-major's other production music units around the world.
BMG has made John Clifford head of its whole production music business. "In many ways BMG Production Music has followed the same growth trajectory as the core BMG business", says Clifford. Good to know. How's that then, John? "First of all defining a unique market positioning and then growing swiftly by acquisition". Coolio. But what now? "Organic growth and service delivery". Good times.
REM have made a previously unreleased song, 'Fascinating', available on Bandcamp. Money raised from the sale of the track will be donated to Mercy Corps to aid relief efforts following the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
Rick Astley has announced a new greatest hits compilation called 'The Best Of Me'. "What's that, just 'Never Gonna Give You Up?' on a loop?" you're probably snorting to yourself right now. No, actually. I mean, for starters, there's also the new Pianoforte version of 'Never Gonna Give You Up?' AND EIGHTEEN OTHER SONGS, I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW. Plus a second CD with ten more alternative versions of previous releases. Oh yes, and a brand new single called 'Every One Of Us'. So much best stuff!
Michael Kiwanuka has released new single 'You're Not The Problem'. Is it taken from a new album? You bet your old socks it is. The album is called 'Kiwanuka' and it's out on 25 Oct.
Camila Cabello has released the video for new single 'Liar'.
Wretch 32 has released new single 'Spin Around', taken from his upcoming album 'Upon Reflection'.
Alter Bridge have released new track 'In The Deep', from upcoming album 'Walk The Sky'.
Hayden Thorpe has released new track 'Full Beam', an outtake from sessions for his 'Diviner' album. "'Full Beam' was the final track to emerge from the 'Diviner' sessions", he says. "It was designed to be a moment of ecstatic release from the brooding songs that preceded it and as such serves as a calling card for what is to come".
She Drew The Gun have released the video for 'Trouble Every Day', a re-interpreted version of Frank Zappa's song of the same name.
Efterklang have released new track 'Uden Ansigt'. "The lyrics are like pictures to me, based on a moment I once had when biking in Copenhagen", says frontman Casper Clausen.
Blonde Redhead's Kazu has released the video for 'Come Behind Me, So Good!', from her debut solo album 'Adult Baby', which is out today.
GIGS & TOURS
Craig David has announced two dates, in Glasgow and Newcastle next April, to mark the 20th anniversary of his 'Born To Do It' album. "I can't wait to bring my TS5 shows to Newcastle and Glasgow and given that it's 20 years since the release of 'Born To Do It', there will be some special surprises in there", he says. "It's time to party!"
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Sheryl Crow clarifies comments about Taylor Swift's Big Machine beef
Swift, of course, was very unhappy indeed when artist manager Scooter Braun acquired her former label Big Machine, a deal which included the master rights in all of the pop star's albums except the new one. In an angry response to the news of Braun's Big Machine purchase, she accused the manager of past bullying, and said she was distraught to think he now controlled all of her recorded output to date.
In then transpired that Swift's team had previously tried to secure her ownership of the master rights in her earlier albums when negotiating a second record contract with Big Machine. But in the end, no second deal with the label could be agreed, and Swift opted to work with Universal Music on future releases instead, via a licensing agreement that would ensure she retained all the copyrights in her new work.
Crow was presumably asked about all this during a TV interview earlier this week because, earlier this year, she herself signed to Big Machine.
Responding to that query, Crow noted - correctly - that labels and catalogues are bought and sold all the time in the music industry, and it's very common for artists and songwriters to sign deals with one company only to end up with their music owned by another. To that end, she said that she didn't know "what the big stink was" re Swift and Big Machine.
Taken out of context, that quote could seem like Crow was being somewhat disparaging of Swift - ie she was basically saying "why all the fuss about something that, while not ideal, is industry standard?" And that's certainly how some of Swift's fans took it, meaning that Crow - who had to cut a show short earlier this week because of ill-health - was on the receiving end of some good old Swifty fan rage.
But what Crow actually meant was that she simply hadn't been following the Swift/Braun/Big Machine fall out story very closely and therefore didn't know why this particular label acquisition has resulted in some angry statements.
And, to be fair, if you read the full interview transcript, Crow did begin her answer by saying: "I'm gonna be honest with you, I live with my head in a big hole, I stay out of that world". Then, after musing about how often music catalogues are bought and sold, she added "I'm out of the loop, I don't really know".
Clarifying all this on Twitter after the Swift fans went into rage mode, Crow said: "If you listen to the whole clip, I explain that I live with my head in a big hole, and don't know the details. Don't go for the clickbait. And stop pitting women against each other".
Meanwhile, in a video message on the social network, she expanded: "It's been brought to my attention that some people think I was negative about Taylor Swift on the Andy Cohen show, and that was taken totally out of context. To be honest I don't usually weigh in about other celebrities because I don't keep up with celebrity news. So when I said I didn't know what the stink was about, I meant I didn't know what the situation was about".
"You know, I totally support Taylor", she then adds. "I think she does great humanitarian work, she's outspoken politically, and she's an awesome songwriter. So all the stuff about the masters, I don't know what her situation was. I know my masters have changed quite a few times. But I wouldn't weigh in on what her situation is, because I really didn't know".
So, consider that settled angry Swift fans. I'll be honest with you, I don't understand what all the stink was about.