TODAY'S TOP STORY: Dance music has been having a good year in the UK music charts according to new number crunching from record industry trade group BPI. It says that dance tracks are now only second to pop music when it comes to dominating the top ten... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Dance music accounts for quarter of UK top ten tracks this year
DEALS Morrissey allies with Capitol US for new album
LABELS & PUBLISHERS The Orchard founder reveals new venture to "fractionalise ownership of music royalties"
Skepta formally launches Big Smoke creative agency and announces plans for label

MEDIA Marathon Music and Radio Nova partner to release archive sessions
AWARDS Oram Awards winners announced
ONE LINERS Rihanna, Noel Gallagher, Bastille, more
AND FINALLY... BTS's Jin says he originally planned to join the South Korean army in June
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Dance music accounts for quarter of UK top ten tracks this year
Dance music has been having a good year in the UK music charts according to new number crunching from record industry trade group BPI. It says that dance tracks are now only second to pop music when it comes to dominating the top ten.

According to the BPI's analysis of Official Charts Company data, 26.1% of all the tracks to enter the UK singles top ten this year have been from the dance genre, which is an 80% increase on 2021, and nearly three times as much as in 2019. It means that dance music is dominating the singles chart more than hip hop and rap, which has accounted for 21.7% of the tracks to enter the top ten this year. Though pop music, however that's defined, is still way ahead at 40.6%.

More than half of the dance hits to enter the top ten come from or feature UK artists, so that's good news, for UK artists. That includes Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Becky Hill, Calum Scott, Calvin Harris, Eliza Rose, Ella Henderson, Jax Jones, LF System and MNEK.

Non-UK acts to boost the dance stats include David Guetta and Tiesto, as well as Beyonce and Drake, whose new music is dancey enough to be classified as dance. Indeed, a number of artists better known for making hip hop and pop have helped to boost the dance music stats by releasing records that have been classified under that genre.

So that's all fun isn't it? Though if those stats aren't geeky enough for you, here's another one. Presumably because dance music is more dominant chart-wise at the moment, the average beats per minute of tracks in the UK top 10 is now 127.9bpm, up around 9% on 2018 when the average was 117.3bpm, with the average going up each year since then. That's the sort of thing that you'd like to see in an infographic right? So, you know, why not make yourself an infographic?

Says BPI boss Geoff Taylor: "Britain has always excelled at dance music, so it's gratifying that the genre's renaissance is powered in part by homegrown talent, including breakthrough artists LF System and Eliza Rose, who have both spent multiple weeks at number one on the Official Singles Chart this year. It's fascinating to see how other genres such as hip hop and pop are morphing into dance and to see dance music being embraced by global superstars including Drake and Beyonce".

While Drake was indeed one of the artists from other genres to move into dance this year, he doesn't actually appear in the BPI's overall dance top ten. While two tracks from his 'Certified Lover Boy' album made it into the UK dance singles chart, neither performed well enough to be counted as one of the biggest dance tracks of 2022.

If you care, here are the ten biggest dance tracks so far this year...

1. Lost Frequencies & Calum Scott - Where Are You Now
2. LF System - Afraid To Feel
3. Belters Only - Make Me Feel Good (feat Jazzy)
4. Jax Jones - Where Did You Go (feat MNEK)
5. Luude - Down Under (feat Colin Hay)
6. David Guetta, Becky Hill & Ella Henderson - Crazy What Love Can Do
7. Bad Boy Chiller Crew - BMW
8. Beyonce - Break My Soul
9. Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal - BOTA (Baddest Of Them All)
10. Tiesto & Ava Max - The Motto


Morrissey allies with Capitol US for new album
Universal Music's Capitol Records in the US has signed Morrissey and will release his new album next year. What could possibly go wrong with that?

The new album is called 'Bonfire Of Teenagers' and features guest spots from Flea, Miley Cyrus and Iggy Pop. Flea's current and former Red Hot Chili Peppers bandmates Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer are also the main session players on the record, which has been produced by Andrew Watt.

Capitol has also seemingly acquired the rights to previous Morrissey albums 'Southpaw Grammar', 'You Are The Quarry', 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors', 'Years Of Refusal' and 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business', and will release deluxe vinyl editions of each of them.

The Capitol deal excludes the UK, where Morrissey seemingly remains unsigned. Because, well, I guess we know why. Unless there's some big old UK-specific deal in the pipeline. But probably not.

It's not the first time Morrissey has worked with a label within Universal's US-based Capitol Music Group. Last time he allied with its Harvest Records label. And that was, well, an interesting alliance. Maybe someone should get some Fuck Capitol t-shirts printed up and ready to go.


The Orchard founder reveals new venture to "fractionalise ownership of music royalties"
Scott Cohen has revealed more about the new venture he is leading following his departure from Warner Music. According to Billboard, he has taken on the role of CEO for a fintech platform that aims to facilitate the sale of fractional shares in good old song catalogues.

Cohen, perhaps best known for co-founding The Orchard digital distribution business that became Sony Music's main services division, announced in September that he was stepping down from his most recent major label role as Chief Innovation Officer at Warner.

At the time he promised on social media that he'd announce more details about his next venture on 1 Nov. In an email to Billboard, Cohen says that that new venture seeks to "fractionalise ownership of music royalties", allowing lower level investors to invest into music rights and revenues by buying smaller fractional shares.

Cohen adds that he has already secured rights from major artists and catalogue owners into which people will be able to invest, and that his team is now working on developing the new venture's tech platform. In terms of a launch date, he says "we have a very aggressive timeline".

It's no secret that there has been increased interest in investing in music rights in recent years, of course, with various investment funds now competing with more traditional record labels and music publishers to buy into recording and song catalogues and revenue streams, especially less risky catalogues of existing hits.

A number of start-ups have explored ways to open up music copyright investments in recent years, but Cohen's moves in this space should be particularly interesting to see.


Skepta formally launches Big Smoke creative agency and announces plans for label
Skepta, aka Joseph Adenuga, has formally launched his new company Big Smoke Corporation and confirmed plans to open up a record label through the venture.

The new company will provide creative consultancy to media and brands, and also operate a talent division active in music, film and culture at large. The latter will also include the Big Smoke Records label, more details of which are promised in the months ahead.

Around the release of his 2021 EP 'All In', Adenuga said that he was stepping back from releasing new music and would be focusing on production work and other projects moving forward. Then in September this year a big old creative partnership with Puma was announced.

That partnership will be run through the consultancy side of Big Smoke, which has also been hired by Channel 4 to provide "content, talent insight and strategic vision" to Channel 4.0, the broadcaster's new digital platform that is hoping to engage an audience from early teens to mid-20s.

As for the talent side of the new venture, Big Smoke says it will "focus on signing new talent who represent and champion the ethos of Big Smoke Corporation; trend setters, who break the mould and do things differently". And, it adds, "the growth of Big Smoke Corporation's talent division will be accelerated by the launch of Big Smoke Records which will be announced in the coming months".

Commenting on all this, Adenuga himself says: "During my career I've seen many brands and corporations capitalise on the cultural currency of the music and creative industries without adequately supporting artists or the those working within these industries".

"This is a unique opportunity for brands and corporations to collaboratively tap into the influence of the industry and culture whilst ensuring they are authentically and adequately supporting creatives and artists", he goes on. "Launching with Puma and Channel 4 has shown future brand partners how they can succeed greatness when they are open to working collaboratively. Me and my team look forward to working with like-minded thinking creatives and brands".


Marathon Music and Radio Nova partner to release archive sessions
The London-based Marathon Music Group has announced a new partnership with Paris-based Radio Nova to release sessions recorded by the broadcaster over its 40 year history.

Originally launched in 1981 by Jean-François Bizot, Radio Nova has long championed more niche and underground artists and releases from a diverse mix of genres via a music policy that has evolved quite a bit over the years, taking in electro, new wave, reggae, jazz, hip hop and world music along the way.

Marathon and Radio Nova intend to put out four or five tracks a month from the station's archives, with taster playlists on the different streaming services making it easier for people to access and navigate those releases.

Marathon Music Group COO Tanguy Giraud says: "Taking the form of a journey across genres and geographies, this exciting new partnership with Radio Nova will see our joint approach to curation combine the savoir faire of radio programming with world class digital strategy and audience development. We are both striving to create an alternative mode of music discovery beyond mood and genre that celebrates the joy of serendipity and the excitement of travel".

Radio Nova Director Mélanie Mallet adds: "The feeling was immediate between the teams of Marathon Music Group and those of Radio Nova, we share the same organic and cosmopolitan vision of music; 'Paris-London' has never been so fast and exciting! This collaboration marks a historic turning point for radio".


Approved: Uh
Sibling duo Dominic and Fionnuala Kennedy say they chose their band name, Uh, because it is one of the most common sounds heard in the English language but holds no linguistic meaning - an ambiguity that appealed to them. It also suits their experimental sound, which can seem both defined and abstract at the same time.

They released their debut EP, 'Seasick In Salts', back in 2019, and have now announced that their debut album, 'Humanus', will arrive on 24 Feb, via PRAH Recordings. Following on from last month's 'Attention' - the first single from that album - they're now back with 'Hit', a track recorded live in one take at PRAH Studios.

"This is a dub infused post punk cyber novelette", they say of the track. "A sleazy-noire breakbeat piece of pulp fiction following an imagined protagonist driving us though dirty streets in search of her hit".

The duo will be supporting The Umlauts in Southampton, London and Brighton next month, followed by a headline show at Ormside Projects in London on 8 Dec.

Accompanying the release of 'Hit' is an extended live version recorded at Dalston's Tentacle Studios, which you can watch here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Oram Awards winners announced
Organisers of the Oram Awards have announced this year's winners, ahead of a ceremony at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival later this month. Alongside the six UK-based winners, this year there are two international winners as well, via a new partnership with the British Council.

Also supported by the PRS Foundation, these awards recognise innovation in sound, music and related technologies among women, trans and non-binary music creators. The UK winners of the sixth edition of the awards are Ella Kay, Amble Skuse, Lula.xyz, Kelly Jayne Jones, Amy Cutler and Lia Mazzari. The two winners in the new international category are Rani Jambak and FRKTL.

Three of the winners will receive special commendations and bursaries of £1500, while the other five will get £500. All eight will be given access to the Oram Awards Mentoring Programme.

Lead producer of the event, Karen Sutton, notes how the awards "have gained increasing acclaim across the UK in the last five years", resulting in organisers "constantly evolving" the initiative, "amassing a cohort of 32 winners and developing a mentorship programme for the winners".

"As the next step in our development", she continues, "in partnership with the British Council we have launched a new international category for 2022, looking beyond the UK and recognising worldwide talent. We have worked with twelve esteemed nominators worldwide to seek the world's most innovative artists".

Co-founder of the awards, Matthew Herbert, adds: "It's always thrilling to hear the annual submissions for the Orams. I am reminded how spoiled for creative musicians we are in this country. I'm particularly grateful to the British Council for their support this year in allowing us to expand internationally".

"It is worth noting, however, that despite being probably the very best place in the world for the sheer breadth and quality of our musical output, the last decade has seen a substantial decline in music teaching in schools, as well as proposed plans to limit places at universities and colleges to study music", he goes on.

"It is to all our detriment, including economically, if the government continues to make it even harder for the next generation to try an instrument, study music or travel around Europe with ease. Likewise, if streaming platforms and labels don't distribute income fairly, the ecosystem is likely to fray even more".

"At its heart ours is - or should be - an industry that brings joy, fulfilment, creativity, collaboration, employment, and revenue to millions of people, it should be championed and celebrated", he concludes. "In this, our sixth year, we're delighted to be able to continue to support and highlight some brilliant women who've made fascinating work this year".

The ceremony will take place on 24 Nov at 7.30pm in Huddersfield's Bates Hall as part of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.



Warner Chappell Music Korea has extended its worldwide partnership with independent music publisher 153/Joombas Publishing. "This partnership has enabled us to access a global network of creatives, as well as services that have effectively enhanced our resources and grown our reach", says 153/Joombas founder Hyuk Shin. "We are very excited about this new deal and can't wait to celebrate many more successes together".



Warner Records in the US has promoted Ron Stewart to SVP Urban Promotion. Cory Sparks has also joined the label as VP Urban Promotion from Sony Music's Epic Records. "I'm blessed to be able to work with an amazing team of executives here at Warner Records", says Stewart. "And I couldn't be happier to bring in Cory Sparks. He's joining our company with years of experience and a deep knowledge of music, and I know he'll be a stellar addition to the team".

Music publisher Bucks Music Group has hired Howard Price as its new Head Of Media. "We are super excited that Howard will be joining the Bucks team to head up the media department", says A&R Director Sarah Liversedge Platz. "We have known Howard for a long time as our competitor - it will be amazing to have him on our side of the fence at last. His commercial drive and judgement is exceptional and he's vastly experienced in the media field".



Music firm Concord has a "bold and confident" new logo which, and I quote, is "setting the stage for another period of mission-focused growth for the company". So update your logo charts everybody!



Rihanna has released the video for her new single 'Lift Me Up'.

Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds have released new single 'Pretty Boy', featuring Johnny Marr. It's the first single from the band's new album. "For this new record it was the first thing I wrote, the first thing I demoed and the first thing I finished, so it's only right that it's the first thing people get to hear", says Gallagher. "Massive shout out to my mainest man Johnny Marr for taking it somewhere special".

Måneskin have announced that they will release their new album, 'Rush!', on 20 Jan.

Alison Wonderland has released 'Down The Line' - a track that was originally only available on the vinyl edition of her latest album 'Loner'. "We need the dark times in order to get to the light. We need that experience to know that it's going to be okay one day", she says. "The track is me acknowledging that I was alone during a difficult time but knew that I was going to get through it and be okay, down the line. We're all going through a dark time right now, and sometimes we need to be reminded that it's going to be okay. No matter what happens, we will be OK".



Bastille have announced a run of shows in June and July next year marking the tenth anniversary of their debut album, 'Bad Blood'. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

Alfie Boe has announced UK tour dates in September and October 2023, including a performance at the London Palladium on 25 Sep. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

William Basinski has announced headline shows in Newcastle and Manchester next month, leading up to his appearance at the Pitchfork Festival in London on 11 Nov.

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


BTS's Jin says he originally planned to join the South Korean army in June
BTS member Jin has said that he originally planned to enlist in the South Korean army shortly after the band announced their "non-hiatus" hiatus earlier this year. However, the decision was made to postpone until after their concert supporting Busan's bid for the World Expo 2030 last month.

"I originally planned to enlist in June but in order to be courteous to fans, I waited until our October performance", he explained in a live broadcast on the Weverse platform, according to Soompi. "I didn't want a tearful performance so my [enlistment] announcement was delayed [until after the show]".

It was announced last month that - after years of delays - all seven members of BTS will now carry out their mandatory military service in home country South Korea between now and 2025. Jin, being the oldest member of the group, will be the first to enlist.

Under South Korean law, all able-bodied men must serve in the country's military at some point between the ages of eighteen and 28. A change in the law allowed Jin to delay his enrolment until he was 30 - a milestone he will hit in December.

In his livestream, Jin said that he would have enlisted sooner, but the success of the band's 2020 single 'Dynamite' delayed things.

After the international success of that track, it was decided that the group should release 'Butter' and 'Permission To Dance', with Jin remaining in the group to promote them. "As the two songs did well, I honestly think it was right that I didn't leave during that time", he added.

However, he had hoped to begin his military service this summer, and did have the OK from his management and label at Hybe and Big Hit to do so.

And, indeed, he now says, that announcement of the BTS hiatus in June - despite both the group and their management insisting at the time that no hiatus had actually been announced - was basically coded confirmation that BTS would go on hiatus to allow members to do their military service.

"I don't like cold weather so I got the OK from the agency to [enlist] in the summer between May and June", he said. Then "we released the video about halting group [promotions] and focusing on solo [activities] - we were indirectly sharing that we were going to the military".

But then things were delayed for that aforementioned concert. However, the delay did give Jin time to release one last track as a farewell before entering the military for two years, that being the Coldplay-penned single 'The Astronaut' that was released last week. He also performed the song live with Coldplay in Argentina on Friday.

Watch that live performance of 'The Astronaut' here.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
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Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU Insights and CMU:DIY.
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Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
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