|FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER 2022||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The families of two of the people who died at last year's Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas have seemingly settled their lawsuits against the event's organisers, Live Nation and its Scoremore subsidiary. Terms of the two settlements are not known... [READ MORE]|
Two Astroworld victims settle their lawsuits
Ten people died and hundreds more were injured when a crowd surge occurred during the headline set of Travis Scott at the festival he founded. Hundreds of lawsuits were filed in the wake of the tragedy, including by the families of all of those who died. All that litigation was consolidated in January and has been going through the motions ever since.
One of the lawyers involved in that litigation, Tony Buzbee, yesterday issued a statement confirming that one of his clients - the family of Axel Acosta, a 21 year old who died during the crowd surge - have now settled their lawsuit.
The statement read: "The claims brought by the family of Axel Acosta against Travis Scott, Live Nation and others involved in the Astroworld tragedy have settled. Acosta was a beloved son, brother, and student. He was kind and loving. He is greatly missed. Please keep his family in your prayers".
It has also been reported that the family of another of those who died at the festival, sixteen year old Brianna Rodriguez, have likewise settled. Terms of two settlements are not known, though the damages being demanded by all the combined lawsuits in relation to Astroworld were running to billions of dollars.
Although Buzbee's statement referenced Scott himself as well as Live Nation, a source close to the rapper's team told Billboard that his lawyers were not involved in negotiating any such settlement, which presumably means it was agreed with the live music giant.
It remains to be seen if any further details of these settlements become public, and whether other settlements are likely to be agreed anytime soon.
Pras accused of fraud in relation to Harbourview rights deal
Open On Sunday allows artists and songwriters to access upfront cash by selling their copyrights or royalty rights to the firm, with the option to buy them back down the line. Harbourview, meanwhile, is one of those equity funds that has been going around of late buying up music rights in big money deals, backed by Apollo Global Management.
In its lawsuit, Open On Sunday says that it agreed a deal with Pras back in January which included a loan agreement secured on royalties that the musician earns from Sony Music in relation to the Fugees' output and his 1998 solo album.
In February, it alleges, Pras asked for that agreement to be amended so that the loan would be secured on a book deal for an autobiography rather than the music royalties. But Open On Sunday declined to amend the agreement in that way.
The musician also allegedly asked for another $3 million loan to fund his defence counsel in relation to the criminal investigation into his connections with Malaysian businessman called Jho Low and the so called 1MDB scandal.
Concurrent to all that, Open On Sunday claims, Pras failed to meet his obligations under the loan agreement. As a result, in May it began legal proceedings which included foreclosing on the assets the loan was secured on, ie his Sony royalties.
It was at that point that Open On Sunday discovered that Pras had done a deal with HarbourView. Or, in the words of the lawsuit, "after issuing the notice of default, plaintiff discovered that defendant [Pras had] fraudulently transferred the assets to defendant Harbourview".
The lawsuit then alleges that - in order to "induce Harborview" into acquiring the Sony royalty rights - Pras and his legal team forged a release document showing that Open On Sunday had agreed to accept the theoretical book deal as security on the loan, which it had not.
Open On Sunday also reckons that Harbourview should have done more due diligence. It accuses the investment fund of being "wilfully blind", adding that it "eagerly accepted the release that they knew or should have known was forged".
Pras is accused of breach of contract, while he and his legal team are also accused of fraud.
However, legal reps for Pras strongly dispute the version of events presented by Open On Sunday, insisting that an agreement was reached to secure the loan on the future book deal. With that in mind, attorney Robert S Maloni told Law360: "There was no forgery. It's a bogus claim, the whole thing".
IMPALA publishes diversity report
Among other things, it highlights the free equity, diversity and inclusion training programme IMPALA runs, and the diversity of guests who appear on the organisation's 20MinutesWith podcast. It also devotes a section to the ongoing debate around artist remuneration - going into more detail on why it doesn't think so called equitable remuneration is the way to address any concerns over the streaming royalties artists receive, a position it reaffirmed just last week.
"IMPALA has shown that it was not just making a fashionable gesture when it committed to striving for long term change in terms of equality and diversity", says Keith Harris, adviser to IMPALA's equity, diversity and inclusion task force. "The new report makes for interesting reading and shows that the independent sector across Europe is prepared to invest significant time and effort to bring about long term and meaningful change to improve fairness and equity".
"The spirit of cooperation and the willingness to share best practice and learn from each other's experiences has really been commendable and little by little equality, diversity and inclusion is moving to centre stage, and is manifestly becoming central to the thinking of the opinion formers and decision makers across the industry", he goes on.
Ben Wynter - as Entrepreneur And Outreach Manager at the UK's Association Of Independent Music - and who contributed to the report's section on equitable remuneration - comments: "For people from a low socio-economic background, and particularly people of colour, streaming has been a game changer. Whilst there is no doubt that streaming reform would benefit many, my concern is that in any reform there will always be a loser".
"The majority of solutions that I have seen would have a detrimental impact on those from low socioeconomic backgrounds as income would be repurposed from their share elsewhere, threatening to dismantle the democratisation that exists", he continues. "This is why I find it hard to support solutions such as 'equitable remuneration'. When searching for a solution, it is important to take into account the wider impact on all creatives that changes to streaming would have".
SoundCloud launches Discord bot
Discord users can invite SoundCloud's bot to their server, and from there use text prompts to discover new music, play tracks from their SoundCloud library, adjust volume and more. Most importantly, it'll allow the sharing of music within Discord servers without the risk of any pesky takedown notices.
Earlier this year, global record industry trade group the IFPI included Discord on a list of online services that it reckons facilitate music piracy, in a submission detailing what it felt should be included on the next edition of the European Commission's Counterfeit And Piracy Watch List.
Meanwhile, last year a Discord server called RipRequests was taken down after members began sharing pre-release downloads of Adele's '30' album. The RIAA - which submitted the takedown notice on behalf of Sony Music - said that the community was "dedicated to the ripping and sharing of music".
Whether the SoundCloud bot is something actively pursued by Discord to counteract some of these concerns, or simply SoundCloud spying an opportunity, is not clear.
Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe to bring co-headline tour to the UK and Ireland
"After finally getting back on the road and having a monumental summer tour in the US and Canada this year, we're beyond THRILLED to be bringing this massive stadium tour to major cities all over the world, and kicking off Europe in Sheffield where it all started for us 45 years ago", says Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott. "We're looking to forward to seeing you out there, somewhere soon!"
Mötley Crüe add: "We had an incredible time playing The Stadium Tour in North America this summer and we truly can't wait to take the show around the globe with The World Tour in 2023. Crüeheads in Latin America and Europe: Get ready! We're coming for you next and can't wait to finally see all of you out there again next year!"
Oh yeah, there are dates outside the UK and Ireland. But we're just not interested in those. Here are the important dates:
22 May: Sheffield, Bramall Lane
Breakthrough category nominees announced for Artist And Manager Awards
Among them are PinkPantheress, Self Esteem and Wet Leg on the artist side, and Deleon Blake, Josh Sanger and Phoebe Gold on the management side. As well as that, Red Light Management has been confirmed as winner of the Writer/Producer Manager Award.
"It was incredibly tough deciding on this year's Breakthroughs, but I think we're finally satisfied that these two shortlists reflect the past year's range of managerial and artist successes", says MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick.
"I'm also really pleased that we can recognise the achievements of Red Light Management with our Writer/Producer Manager Award", she adds. "As highlighted by the MMF's most recent 'Managing Expectations' report, the vast majority of our members also represent songwriters and producers and it's truly impressive to see how James [Sandom], Tyler [Brown] and their team have cultivated such a diverse and successful roster".
One other newly announced winner is Music Declares Emergency, which will take away the Industry Champions trophy. Featured Artists Coalition CEO David Martin comments: "Music Declares Emergency have brought a new sense of urgency to how the industry approaches climate change".
"Alongside their enormously impactful campaigns", he adds, "the organisation is also seeding much-needed practical advice - helping to highlight historical music industry practices that can be harmful to the environment, while providing guidance and support to help the sector tour and release music more sustainably. FAC and MMF are proud to be supporters of their work".
Now, here are the nominees for the Breakthrough categories in full...
The ceremony will take place at London's Bloomsbury Big Top on 17 Nov.
Production music firm Epidemic Sound has announced Rikard Herlitz as its new CTO and Julian Persaud as CCO, both starting in January 2023. Herlitz joins from Google, while Persaud moves over from travel platform Omio. "We're THRILLED to welcome both Rikard and Julian to our leadership team", says CEO Oscar Höglund. "Their in-depth knowledge and global experiences from both the commercial and the technological side will be essential as we move into our next stage of development. I am confident we have found the right talents to help us take Epidemic Sound into the next phase on our journey to soundtrack the world".
Taylor Swift has released her tenth studio album 'Midnights'. The video for 'Anti-Hero' premieres on YouTube at 1pm UK time today.
Lewis Capaldi will release his new album 'Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent' on 19 May. He'll also be touring the UK and Ireland in January and February.
Joel Corry and Tom Grennan have teamed up for new single 'Lionheart (Fearless)'. "Tom is an amazing artist on top of his game", says Corry. "This record is a new direction for me and an evolution of my sound. I wanted a create an anthem for the festival main stages and I can't wait to perform it with Tom around the world".
Orbital have teamed up with Sleaford Mods for new single 'Dirty Rat'. "This track is a giant capital letter", says Orbital's Paul Hartnoll. "Like in the 'Book Of Kells', where the very first letter always gets the big treatment from the monk when he's doing his illustrated borders. It's got that old school dance music vibe with bits of Cabaret Voltaire in there, even bits of The Shamen. It's a little bit punk rock, nice and loud. A really refreshing 'wake up' kind of track. And [Sleaford Mods vocalist] Jason [Williamson] is just brilliant!"
Babymetal have released new single 'Divine Attack - Shingeki' - the first from their new album 'The Other One', which is out on 23 Mar.
Phoenix have released new single 'Winter Solstice'. New album, 'Alpha Zulu', is out on 4 Nov.
Genesis Owusu has released new single 'Get Inspired'.
Okay Kaya has released new single 'Inside Of A Plum'. Her new album, 'Sap', is out on 4 Nov.
Agar Agar have released new single 'The Visit'. "This is a song about your personal space being invaded but it is also a dance song", they say. "The best representation would be when you have an afterparty at your place with strangers you just met, dancing in your living room. At some point you just want them to go away so you can sleep".
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs have released new single 'Terror's Pillow'. The band have also announced UK tour dates running from February to April next year.
GIGS & TOURS
Sam Smith has announced UK tour dates in April next year, including two shows at London O2 Arena on 18-19 Apr. Tickets go on general sale on Thursday.
The Wannadies have announced that they will play Islington Assembly Hall in London on 3 Nov. Tickets are on sale.
Fabric and the Museum Of London have announced a new partnership, which will see them working on a variety of events in the coming years. First is a show from artist Tai Shani, soundtracked by Maxwell Sterling and Richard Fearless. More information on the partnership here.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Shygirl debuts music video on OnlyFans
"OnlyFans is a space for me to get personal with true fans only", says Shygirl. "It's a little experiment to see what I'm inspired to create when I know I have your full attention".
"It's somewhere where I can give better context to my work, the motivations behind it, and a more in-depth look at the things that inspire me", she adds. "I want to be able to create and share my imagery in all aspects, and this platform allows me full visual freedom without censorship. On OnlyFans you will know me best".
OnlyFans CEO Ami Gan adds: "We are delighted that Shygirl has launched an OnlyFans profile to debut her music video. We are passionate about empowering all creators on our platform and look forward to watching Shygirl's artistic vision unfold while her fans experience her brilliance sans restrictions".