|TUESDAY 24 MAY 2022||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: A rep for Travis Scott has hit out at allegations made against the rapper in a new legal filing in relation to a stampede that occurred at the 2019 edition of the Rolling Loud festival in Miami. That rep insists that the allegations are a "blatant, cynical attempt to attack Travis" as he faces legal action in relation to the fatal crowd surge at last year's Astroworld event. Not only that, they add, but the new claims totally misrepresent what happened at Rolling Loud in 2019... [READ MORE]|
Travis Scott faces new claims of negligence over stampede at 2019 Rolling Loud festival
Marchelle Love first sued various companies involved in the Rolling Loud festival back in 2020. She claimed that she suffered severe injuries as a result of a stampede that occurred during Scott's set at the festival in May 2019, which - she alleged - was the result of negligence on the part of the event's organisers and the companies involved in planning and delivering its security.
A revised version of that lawsuit filed with the courts earlier this month makes a number of specific allegations against Scott himself.
Those new allegations come as the rapper fights hundreds of lawsuits in relation to the 2021 edition of the Houston festival he founded, Astroworld. Ten people died and hundreds more were injured as a result of a crowd surge that occurred during his headline set at that event.
The Astroworld tragedy put Scott's live shows very much in the spotlight, with allegations that the rapper had a long history of encouraging his fans to behave in a reckless and dangerous way during his concerts, resulting in fans getting injured and various previous legal woes for Scott himself.
In her sixth amended complaint in relation to Rolling Loud 2019, Love focuses in some detail on Scott's alleged role in causing the stampede in which she was injured.
"Shortly after Travis Scott's performance commenced, police officers rushed to the backstage area to request that Travis Scott stop his performance due to the crowd becoming dangerous and uncontrollable", the new filing claims. "The intervention by local police resulted in Travis Scott being required to stop his performance due to the crowd becoming uncontrollable".
But, she then alleges, when Scott's set resumed, he "continued to verbally and physically incite the crowd to engage in a mosh pit and other hazardous activities", despite "his being ordered by the authorities to cease his continued incitement of the crowd".
"As a direct and proximate result", the legal filing continues, "the crowd once again broke into a panic and multiple stampedes broke through the 2019 Rolling Loud Festival during Travis Scott's performance. Despite the fact that Travis Scott was aware of and could clearly see concertgoers being injured, suffocating, losing consciousness, fighting, and being trampled, he continued his performance while authorities were forced to attempt to render aid to these injured concertgoers".
"At all times material it was foreseeable that Travis Scott's refusal to comply with the directives of law enforcement and continued incitement of the crowd would result in foreseeable injury to concertgoers including the plaintiff", it adds, "and further constituted a breach of his duty to refrain from conduct which would incite the crowd to violence, panic, and to otherwise refrain from behaving in a manner in which would create an unreasonable risk of foreseeable injury".
The lawsuit also notes that there had been crowd control issues at earlier points during the festival, in particular on the day before Scott's performance when false rumours to the effect that there was an active shooter on site caused panic among the audience.
In Love's lawsuit, she argues that this should have made Scott extra cautious about encouraging his fans to act in a reckless way. Although in their response, Scott's reps counter that it was similar false rumours spreading around the festival site - rather than anything happening on stage during the rapper's headline set - that caused the unrest in which Love was injured.
Responding to the latest version of Love's lawsuit, Scott's rep told TMZ: "This is another blatant, cynical attempt to attack Travis, in this instance for a three year old incident that is deliberately misrepresented".
"As even the complaint makes clear, this incident was related to a false report of a shooting mid-show, completely unrelated to Travis's performance. The video shows police were informing Travis that the show was stopped for that reason - because of the false report - and he fully cooperated".
"This cheap opportunism is based on a blatant lie that's easy to detect", the rep added. "And it is particularly telling that this plaintiff's lawyer didn't even assert a claim against Travis when he originally filed the complaint on behalf of his client more than two years ago or in four prior versions of that complaint".
Warner Music invests in Polish live music firm
The deal will result in a number of partnerships between the two companies, including the launch of new festival brands, the expansion of Big Idea's merchandise business, and the minting of some NFTs around shows promoted by Big Idea because, well, you know, that's a thing now, innit?
Generally speaking the major music rights companies have never got massively involved in the live side of the music business - even in the 2000s when the record industry was slumping and live was booming - while the big players in the live sector have generally avoided getting too involved in recordings and music publishing.
However, that's not to say there hasn't been plenty of dabbling along the way, and the majors do sometimes invest in or acquire live music businesses in certain markets, like Warner has done here.
Given both labels and promoters do sometimes get involved in the merchandise and brand partnership activities of the artists they work with, there is a definite crossover, and so investments in live music companies by the majors can result in some interesting collaborations between the two sides of the business.
Although, that said, often when the majors get involved in live music, those live divisions end up operating quite autonomously, meaning there are fewer label/promoter collaborations than you might expect. But maybe joining up around some NFT nonsense is the way to get long lasting collaborations between labels and promoters off the ground.
"We're always looking to do more for our artists and this deal will enable us to do just that", says Warner Music Poland MD Adrian Ciepichał. "We're going to collaborate with Big Idea to pour rocket fuel on the success of individual artists and grow the wider local hip-hop scene. I'm looking forward to welcoming new artists to our local roster and helping them find a wider audience in Poland and internationally".
Adds Big Idea CEO Sławek Ostruszka: "This partnership will help accelerate the growth of Big Idea and benefit the whole hip hop community in Poland. Fans will be able to enjoy even bigger, better shows and more artists will get the opportunity to make a huge impact with fans. As live music emerges from the shadow of the pandemic, this feels like the right time to go for growth".
Brian Higgins signs to Dopamine
"I'm delighted to be back working with Brian again", says Peermusic UK's Head Of A&R Mike Sault. He signed Higgins to Warner Chappell back in 1997, you see.
"Having someone as influential, innovative and prolific as Brian joining us at Peermusic is a complete honour. He's the epitome of what a great songwriter should be, and without doubt one of the best writers/producers of his generation, behind some of the greatest moments in UK pop over the last 20 years or so. Most importantly the new music is incredible, and so here's to the next chapter which we're super excited for".
Higgins himself says: "I'm incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work with Nigel [Elderton, UK MD], Mike and the rest of the wonderful Peermusic team. As I continue moving forward with new projects it's important that I have a collaborative and supportive team at my side, and I know this new partnership with Peermusic will be just that".
The full list of artists Higgins has worked with is far too long to include here, but includes Cher, Kylie Minogue, The Sugababes, Girls Aloud, The Saturdays, Bananarama, Pet Shop Boys, Saint Etienne and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
His latest effort - and the first song released under his Peermusic deal - is 'Delete It' by Dopamine.
Dice launches in Germany
"I'm so excited about Germany, it's the home of some of the best artists in the world but most definitely the best fans", says CEO Phil Hutcheon. "Dice is for fans and we invest heavily in making it easy for fans to buy tickets, discover more amazing events and invite their friends. Our mission is to get people out more and I'm proud that Dice is partnering with the brilliant Goodlive Artists and Z|Art from launch".
"People have asked for years what would it be like if everyone lived their lives digitally", he adds. "Well, with the pandemic, we just experienced it and it's not good. Life is about creating memories and nothing beats the energy you get from a live show. We make it easy to get people away from screens and into shows".
With a new office now open in Berlin, Dice is aiming to have 60 members of staff working in there by the end of the year. Germany is the sixth country in which the company has launched, after the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and the US.
|The xx's Oliver Sim announces debut solo album, Hideous Bastard
Oliver Sim of The xx has announced that he will release his debut album later this year. It's called 'Hideous Bastard' and is apparently inspired by a concoction of Sim's own life and his love of horror movies.
Its first single is 'Hideous', featuring Jimmy Somerville, and comes with a video directed by Yann Gonzalez, with whom Sim has also collaborated on a short horror film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday.
"Early on in the making of my record, 'Hideous Bastard', I realised that I was writing a lot about fear and shame", says Sim. "I imagine that might paint a picture of a dark, 'woe is me' sounding album, but in recent years I've become a firm believer that the best antidote to these feelings can be bringing them to the surface and shedding some light on them".
"I haven't written the record to dwell, but rather to free myself of some of the shame and fear that I've felt for a long time", he adds. "So, I hear a lot of the music as joyous, because the experience of writing and recording it has been the complete opposite of what fear and shame have been for me".
Moving on to the first single, he goes on: "Two thirds in, having a good idea of what the record was about, I realised I'd been circling around one of the things that has probably caused me the most fear and shame. My HIV status. I've been living with HIV since I was seventeen and it's played with how I've felt towards myself, and how I've assumed others have felt towards me, from that age and into my adult life. So, quite impulsively, I wrote about it on a song called 'Hideous'".
"I thought I could release it into the world and be done with it", he continues. "After playing the song to my mum, being the protective and wise mum that she is, she gave me some of the best advice I've ever received".
"She suggested that I spend some time having conversations with people in my life first", he explains. "Either people I hadn't told yet, or people I had told but hadn't wanted to talk much further on it with. Since writing 'Hideous', I've spent the past two years having those conversations, which was difficult and uncomfortable to start with, but has allowed me to feel a lot freer and has only strengthened my relationship with myself and with the people in my life".
Speaking about the guest vocals on the track, he says: "One of the most special relationships I've gained from this has been with Mr Jimmy Somerville. I knew for 'Hideous' I wanted a guardian angel to appear in the song and sing to me the words I needed to hear. Not only has Jimmy been such a powerful voice around HIV and AIDS for decades, but the man quite literally sounds like an angel".
"I reached out to him as a complete fan boy, but now consider him a real good friend. He encouraged me to do the song for myself. He taught me 'glamour' is a Scottish word. And, most importantly, he reminded me to not take myself too seriously, no good comes from that!"
"'Am I hideous?' feels far less like a question I'm asking the world now", he concludes. "I know the answer. As scary as it still feels, I'm excited to share this music with you, and I hope you enjoy it".
James Blake releases sleep-including album
Now available in album form, 'Wind Down' was originally created as a soundscape for sleep app Endel, which uses AI to build a personalised sound journey from wake to sleep. Or something like that. They say it's all backed by neuroscience though, and that's quite a long word.
"The 'Wind Down' soundscape I created with Endel lets me explore the more ambient side of my music and create a project to support people in a new way", says Blake. "It's mesmerising to hear how my music blends with the science-based sounds of Endel's AI and I think we've invented something not just beautiful or even meaningful, but truly practical".
Endel CEO Oleg Stavitsky adds: "Artists are learning that there are new tech- and science-enabled formats for expressing their creativity, new ways to engage listeners and play a role in their lives. They can draw on their same sounds and ideas to make a variety of experiences, and Endel's functional sound can serve specific wellness and mental health purposes, enhancing focus, relaxation, and sleep".
Meanwhile, Endel's Head Of Artist Relations Konstantin Elchev says: "It's important to us that we collaborate with artists who are genuinely interested in what we do. From the first call with James, he was clearly passionate about ambient music and excited to experiment with our AI engine. I'm really proud of how the soundscape turned out and happy we're bringing an adapted version to streaming platforms".
Yes, indeed, that's why we're all here, isn't it? To listen to this new album version of the soundscape. You can listen to it here (warning: may cause drowsiness).
Suede have announced that they will release their ninth album, 'Autofiction', on 16 Sep. "'Autofiction' is our punk record", says Brett Anderson. "No whistles and bells. Just the five of us in a room with all the glitches and fuck ups revealed; the band themselves exposed in all their primal mess". Here's new single, 'She Still Leads Me On'.
Ahead of the 17 Jun release of their new album 'The Phoenix', Chester Bennington's Grey Daze have released new single 'Starting To Fly'.
Caribou, in his Daphni guise, has released new track 'Cherry'. "Nothing says love like an endlessly spiralling polyrhythm on an FM synth", he claims. "Making this track was just a matter of getting the snake to eat its own tail".
070 Shake has teamed up with Christine And the Queens for her new single 'Body'. That new 070 Shake album, 'You Can't Kill Me', is out on 3 Jun.
TV Priest have released new single 'It Was Beautiful'. New album, 'My Other People', is out on 17 Jun.
Alex G has released new track 'Blessing'.
GIGS & TOURS
Justin Bieber has added a fourth date to his run of shows at the O2 Arena in London next year. In addition to the other three sold out shows, he'll now also play 17 Feb.
John Legend has announced that he will play the Royal Albert Hall in London on 5 Apr 2023. Nothing like planning ahead. Tickets go on sale on 27 May.
Aitch has announced UK tour dates in October, closing with dates at Alexandra Palace in London on 22 Oct and Manchester's Victoria Warehouse on 24 Oct.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Krept launches baby skincare range
The Nala's Baby range is a partnership with his ex-girlfriend, influencer Sasha Ellese Gilbert, and is named after their one year old daughter Nala. They say they began working on the product before Nala was born, as they were unable to find any baby products rated as having no environmentally harmful ingredients on the Think Dirty app, which provides such ratings.
"Nala's Baby has been a passion project since I fell pregnant with our daughter Nala", says Gilbert. "When shopping for skincare products I was shocked to see that so many baby brands hadn't ever achieved a zero score on the ingredients rating platform Think Dirty, meaning that they were potentially harmful to sensitive skin ... We're so glad that soon Nala's Baby can finally be shared with parents and their children across the UK and hope they love it as much as we do!"
Johnson adds: "Sasha and I are delighted to finally bring to market our zero rated baby product by Think Dirty, something that all parents can take advantage of for their own babies and children. This was crucial for us as we, like many other parents, struggled to find the right products to use from birth for Nala's skin. We wanted the range to be available to as many people and for as many skin types as possible, while bringing the magic to bath and bedtime for all families across the UK".
Anyway, I started writing this because it seemed funny and therefore the perfect topic for an 'and finally' story. A rapper! Launching a skincare range! For babies! But now I think he might have won me over. He just wants his baby's skin to be alright, guys! That's a nice thing. I'm sure he's not even considered how lucrative this market could be. He just wanted some of this for his own baby and had to make a bulk order to get it. What was he going to do? Put it in his garage?
I mean, it does seem a bit weird that they keep banging on about some app I've never heard of. And also that they were seemingly convinced from conception that their baby would have eczema. But probably best not to concern ourselves with such things.
And so, let's just note that this skincare range for babies is set to hit shelves on Father's Day on 20 Jun. It's really fucking expensive, by the way.