|WEDNESDAY 29 JUNE 2022||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: LA-based talent agency CAA has completed its acquisition of rival ICM Partners. The merger - which was first announced last September - was delayed because of a lengthy investigation by the competition law division of the US Department Of Justice... [READ MORE]|
CAA's acquisition of rival ICM finally completes
The deal boosts CAA's market share across the entire talent sector, including in live music. It also means there are now three dominant Hollywood talent agencies - CAA, WME and UTA - ICM having being the fourth biggest player prior to its acquisition.
Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that ICM was valued at $750 million as part of the deal, which gives the newly combined CAA/ICM an enterprise value of around $5 billion.
Commenting on the deal, CAA chiefs Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett said in a joint statement: "Today marks a new chapter in the history of our company, positioning us better than ever to deliver extraordinary opportunities for many of the world's preeminent artists, athletes, thought leaders, brands and organisations in entertainment, sports, and culture".
"We are THRILLED to welcome our new ICM colleagues to CAA", they added, "and look forward to combining their expertise, relationships and resources with those of our agents and executives around the world".
Meanwhile, ICM bosses Chris Silbermann and Ted Chervin said: "Combining with the best-in-class agency to build an even greater representation company for our clients and our colleagues is the core strategic reason for this move. We couldn't be more enthusiastic about our future together, and are energised by the sophisticated, forward-thinking representation we offer clients. This is the ideal next step for our companies".
Although the CAA chiefs are "THRILLED" to welcome the ICM team to their newly expanded business, they won't actually be welcoming all of them. According to Deadline, about 425 ICM people will move to CAA, which is about 80% of the total workforce. It's thought the downsizing caused by the merger will happen pretty quickly.
That said, despite the inevitable streamlining of the workforce, THR reports that there is a feeling of relief at ICM, the long-drawn out process of the two companies merging, because of the regulator investigation, having hit morale at the agency.
With the CAA/ICM merger complete, there are rumours that CAA might now follow the lead of its big competitor WME, the parent company of which listed on the New York Stock Exchange last year, albeit after a number of delays in getting its IPO under way.
CAA is currently majority owned by investment outfit TPG, which also had an IPO earlier this year, but the combined CAA/ICM could possibly be spun off as its own publicly listed company. That said, no tangible moves in that regard seem to have been made as yet.
US Department Of Justice confirms seizing of six piracy domains
It was confirmed last week that 226 websites and 461 apps had been targeted in the latest phase of Operation 404, in which Brazilian police and the country's Ministry Of Justice have collaborated with cyber and IP crime experts in both the US and the UK.
For its part, the US DoJ seized the domains associated with six sites that made available unlicensed music, those being Corourbanos.com, Corourbano.com, Pautamp3.com, SIMP3.com, flowactivo.co and Mp3Teca.ws. The first four, by using dot com addresses, were all registered with a US-based registry, while the latter two were administered by a US-based registrar.
In a statement, the DoJ said: "Law enforcement identified these six domains as being used to distribute copyrighted material without the authorisation of the copyright holders. A law enforcement investigation confirmed that copyright-protected music content was present and available for streaming or downloading on each of these six websites from the Eastern District Of Virginia".
"The seizure of these six domains by the government", it added, "will prevent third parties from streaming and downloading copyright-protected content from these sites. Individuals visiting those sites now will see a message indicating that the site has been seized by the federal government, and visitors will be redirected to another site for additional information".
Nnamdi signs to Secretly Canadian, announces new album
A multi-instrumentalist who works on numerous projects beyond his solo work, as well as running his own Sooper Records label, Nnamdi says that the pandemic allowed him to consider where he's at in his career, following the release of his excellent 2020 album 'Brat'.
"I realised I never take time to just sit and take in where I'm at", he says. "It's just nice to not be on 'go, go, go!' mode, and reevaluate where I wanted to go musically. I wanted to be present".
'Please Take A Seat' is set for release on 7 Oct. Watch the video for 'I Don't Wanna Be Famous' here.
Chrysalis and Tommy Boy ally with Proper on physical distribution
Under the deal, Proper will provide physical distribution for both indie labels, and also power the back-ends for their respective direct-to-consumer operations.
Says Chrysalis COO Alison Wenham: "Moving our distribution to Proper will be the beginning of a new chapter for us. We are excited by Proper's relationship with Utopia which will ensure a state-of-the-art global distribution and label services partner. We also applaud their commitment to remaining independent, which is of importance to us".
Meanwhile, Proper MD and VP Of Physical Distribution at Utopia, Drew Hill, adds: "We're delighted to be handling distribution across the world ex Americas for Chrysalis Records and Tommy Boy Records. Chrysalis continues to support its hugely impressive catalogue with a variety of creative releases, while Tommy Boy Records launched the careers of some of hip hop and rap's greatest talents".
Neko Trust and Gallowglass partner on new event crew training programme
Called Future Crew, the new initiative, the Neko Trust explains, "is a direct response to the government's 'levelling up' agenda and the youth employment crisis across London, and represents an opportunity to build the music industry back following the exodus of talent during lockdown".
It adds: "Participants will be given the opportunity to gain industry recognised qualifications in health and safety ... and will benefit from career development sessions including task-setting and CV writing, as well as mentoring from Gallowglass crew chiefs and Neko's expansive network of live events professionals".
Plus, it goes on, "successful completion of the programme will lead to guaranteed employment as event crew with Gallowglass, as well as the potential to progress into live event production roles".
Commenting on the new programme, Neko Trust CEO Mary Rose says: "Neko Trust is actively driving forward the diversification and re-skilling of the live music sector with its partnership with Gallowglass. Together, we want to attract and support a new talent pipeline in live events production by creating training and employment opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds".
"We will be leaving no stone unturned to ensure this opportunity reaches passionate and motivated young people who want to work in the exciting world of live events but are often overlooked for such opportunities", she goes on. "Levelling up means giving everyone the opportunity to flourish, and we believe Future Crew is not only a direct response to this challenge but a strong and meaningful response to the challenges facing the live music sector when it comes to diversity and skills".
Meanwhile, Chris Parry-Jones from Gallowglass adds: "We all know that there are some real problems at the moment in the world of arts and events - skill shortages, a lack of diversity and very few opportunities for disadvantaged young people. Gallowglass has done what it has always done by offering an entry solution to those problems. We are delighted and excited to be partnering with Neko Trust on the Future Crew initiative which will continue to help young people into our industry".
Village Underground announces fifteenth anniversary programme
"We cleared burnt out cars and years of fly-tipped waste, sandblasted walls, laid concrete over the mud and planted a meadow for our roof", says founder Auro Foxcroft of turning the Shoreditch building into a music venue in 2006.
"There was no plan", he adds, "we just saw an opportunity to do something and took it. In the early years the never ending possibilities of London's creativity ventured through the doors and sowed the seeds of VU to come, gradually taking shape as a grassroots music venue".
"The last fifteen years has been a kaleidoscope of artists from around the world", he continues, "with living legends like Alicia Keys, A$AP Rocky, Blondie, Charli XCX, Jeff Mills, Lee Scratch Perry, Mulatu Astatke, Pixies, Stone Roses and Underworld - sharing the stage with new artists from the underground, emerging scenes and global cultures - and this is the true heart of Village Underground".
Meanwhile, Managing Director Amelie Snyers says: "The one good thing about the pandemic is that it forced us to slow down and spend some time thinking about what Village Underground had achieved by then - the good and the bad - and what needed to change".
"A lot of these changes are reflected in the VU15 programme", she continues, "it also offers clues to what is coming next: more diverse and engaged programmes, making the most of our independent status, working with all sorts of interesting, fun, new promoters, collectives and artists and finding ways to support each other as we all slowly recover from COVID".
"Ultimately, we want VU to be for everyone and this won't just be about our audiences and who is on stage, but also who we work with, how we work together and how we treat each other", she concludes.
Here's the big birthday line-up:
1 Sep: Eat Your Own Ears (line-up TBC)
Babyface has signed with Universal Music's Capitol Records ahead of the release later this year of his first new album since 2015, called 'Girls Night Out'. Why pick Capitol having worked on his most recent two albums with other Universal labels like Motown and Def Jam? History baby! "I am extremely honoured and humbled to be signing to a legacy label like Capitol", he says.
Dance music centric label and management agency Perfect Havoc has signed house duo Just Kiddin to its management roster. Says Perfect Havoc co-founder Adam Griffin: "We've been associated with both the boys for quite some time enjoying their regular high quality and consistent output. When Just Kiddin became available, both [co-founder] Rob [Davies] and I thought they were the perfect match".
Reservoir Media has taken a stake in the catalogue of hip hop producer Marley Marl. Says EVP Of A&R And Catalogue Development Faith Newman: "We're honoured to represent Marley's catalogue. He has been shaping hip hop music since its beginning, and we are proud to support all his impressive contributions to the genre".
The Beatport Group has announced a number of new hires. Emilie Birks joins from Yamaha to become VP Of Marketing; Baptiste Grang becomes VP Of Marketing for Loopcloud and PlugIn Boutique, having previously held business development positions at Ableton, Serato and Magix; and Shana White takes the role of VP Of Legal & Business Affairs, having most recently worked for DCD Rights. "Emilie, Baptiste and Shana are all trailblazers in their respective fields and we are privileged to have them as leaders at Beatport", says the dance music platform's CEO Robb McDaniels.
The UK's Association Of Independent Festivals has appointed Notting Hill Carnival CEO Matthew Phillip as its new Chair. He takes over from Jim Mawdsley who announced he was standing down in February. Phillip is also CEO of the Carnival Village Trust and MD of Mangrove Carnival Arts. On taking on the AIF Chair role he says: "I look forward to offering my experience and expertise to further the organisation's great work and help it evolve to meet today's challenges".
Live giant AEG has promoted London-based David Jones to the new role of Chief Information Officer within a new AEG Global Technology division, which will - and I quote - "help facilitate the use of data and customer-facing technologies to drive revenue across the business and provide best-in-class customer experiences". Jones says: "As we look ahead, consumer-focused and data-rich technology capabilities will be core to AEG's success. I am THRILLED to be leading the company forward on this journey".
Rina Sawayama has released new single 'Catch Me In The Air'. "I wanted the whole song to sound like it was on an Irish coastline, like a Corrs video", she says. "We put in a key change to go into the chorus, at the end of the pre-chorus, to make it lift and soar like a bird".
Roddy Ricch has released the video for 'Real Talk' from his new EP 'The Big Three', which came out last week.
Bicep have released new single 'Meli (II)', a new version of their "beatless track" 'Meli (I)'. "Truth be told we just couldn't get a drum version right in the studio throughout the pandemic, there were many failed demo versions whilst we were working on [2021 album] 'Isles', it just never felt like it worked", they explain. "We always knew there was room for this version though, hence naming the original 'Meli (I)'".
Superorganism have released new single 'Into The Sun', featuring Stephen Malkmus, Gen Hoshino and Pi Ja Ma. "It's a carefree song, somewhat about being in your own bubble", says the band's Harry. "So bringing those French, American and Japanese artists into that world reconnects the SuperO universe with these other bubbles - a bit of a multiverse!"
The Big Pink have released new single 'Love Spins On Its Axis', co-written by Jamie T and The Kills' Jamie Hince. It is, says frontman Robbie Furze, "probably the most hopeful song I've ever written".
Pale Waves have released new single 'Jealousy'. "Some may see it as ridiculous, but I love a bit of jealousy", says frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie. "Not too much, but just enough. I want jealousy in a relationship because it shows me the person only has eyes for me and me only". The band's new album, 'Unwanted', is out on 12 Aug.
Terrorvision frontman Tony Wright has released 'Buried You Deeper', the first single from his new solo album 'The Anti Album', which is out on 7 Oct. "'Buried You Deeper' is a bit of a country and west Yorkshire kinda tune", he says. "Its roots are quite deep and dark and when I first wrote it I thought that it was maybe a bit too dark. So I changed the lyrics up a bit and hopefully gave it a twist/alternative that people can hear and not be disturbed by it". Wright will also be touring the UK in October and November.
Osees have released new single 'Perm Act'. Their new album, 'A Foul Form', is out on 12 Aug. "After years of having unpleasant to violent encounters with police I had the thought that wouldn't it be fun if they loved each other so much they ate each other", says frontman John Dwyer of the song. "A sort of dark comedy contemporary and executive branch-based 'A Modest Proposal'".
Night Works has released new single 'Lacrymose', the third track from his upcoming new album 'Tongue & Groove', which is out on 30 Sep. The song was "recorded at Studios Ferber in with the Paris Wrecking Crew, where the ghost of Gainsbourg hangs heavy in the air", he says. "It's a song about crying, about letting it out, tears for any reason - anger, frustration, sadness, joy, pate-night experimentation, who knows".
GIGS & TOURS
Travis Scott has announced that he will play London's O2 Arena on 6 Aug, in what will be - at least according to his current schedule - his first major show since last year's Astroworld tragedy. Tickets go on sale on Friday.
Jamie T has announced UK tour dates in November, including a show at Alexandra Palace in London on 18 Nov. Tickets go on general sale on 8 Jul.
Killing Joke will perform their first two albums - 'Killing Joke' and 'What's This For…' - in full at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 12 Mar 2023. "We are living in the most dangerous period in human history in which extinction from nuclear war could happen in the next twelve months", says the band's Jaz Coleman. "If we make it, then Killing Joke at the Albert Hall in 2023 will give great meaning and comfort to all of us. Come share a moment in history with the prophetic and legendary Killing Joke".
The Hu will be touring the UK in November and December this year, finishing up at the Roundhouse in London on 9 Dec. The band's second album is set for release later this year.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Self Esteem discusses Meadowhall Glastonbury outfit
"In 1990 they opened Meadowhall and baby becky lost her tiny mind", says the musician, real name Rebecca Taylor, on Instagram. "Being on the video wall in the Oasis food court is still a major goal of mine. I dunno how to explain but the Americanised shopping mall has always excited me since. As a pre-teen it was one of the first places I was allowed to go to just with friends and I'd march around feeling like a real chic adult - I've been chasing that feeling ever since".
The outfit's corset was made by fashion designer Ollie Spragley, who tells the BBC: "It was her concept and we brought it to life. Rebecca had been saying she really wanted to do something with Meadowhall, as it had always been a dream of hers to get on the big screens there. She also said she wanted to give a nod to Madonna and her Jean-Paul Gaultier corset with the conical bra, so [Taylor's stylist] Luke [Day] came to me and said, do you think we could do something?"
"I saw her looking so happy and proud [on stage and] I have to say I have been absolutely buzzing all weekend from seeing it", he adds. "I have had such incredible reactions from the media, from Twitter, how much it has been shown on TV, it has been amazing".