|TUESDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2022||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: UK Music has revealed that the number of women working in the British music sector, including in senior roles, is increasing. Although female execs are more likely to leave the industry when they reach their 40s. Meanwhile, ethnic diversity has actually declined, possibly because employees from black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities were disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19... [READ MORE]|
UK Music report sets out ongoing diversity challenges in the music industry
This is according to the cross-sector trade group's latest workforce diversity study, which seeks to track progress within the music industry to boost diversity and inclusion.
In terms of gender diversity, UK Music's study reckons that 52.9% of the sector's workforce identify as female, which is up from 49.6% in its 2020 survey. The number of women in mid-level roles has also risen, from 40.4% in 2020 to 45.1% in 2022, while those in senior roles has increased from 51.2% in 2020 to 53.3% in 2022.
However, the study notes, "it is still the case that more young women are accessing the industry at an early stage but start to leave the industry in their mid-40s. Women are well represented in the 35-44 age category (53.0%) but the 45-54 age bracket (44.3%) is the point at which female representation starts to drop, with the numbers reducing further for those aged 55-64 (33.3%)".
One factor contributing to that trend is likely the specific challenges faced by parents and carers in the music industry, which tend to impact more on women than men. And the UK Music study reveals that "parents and carers are underrepresented in the music industry - 29.7% compared to 44% of UK working population".
In terms of ethnic diversity, the number of people working in music who identify as black, Asian or another ethnic minority group is down slightly - according to the new UK Music stats - at 21% compared to 22.3% two years ago. There was an increase in the 25-34 age bracket - from 24.8% in 2020 to 26.3% in 2022 - though in entry-level positions there was a pretty significant decline from 34.6% in 2020 to 23.6% in 2022.
Just under a sixth - 14.9% - of respondents reported a disability, up from 12.2% in 2020, which - as UK Music says - "could indicate that more individuals with a condition are working within the industry or that a greater number of individuals are comfortable disclosing their condition". Or possibly a bit of both.
Alongside the stats, UK Music has also published a new action plan to accelerate existing efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in the music business. That plan is structured around "the five Ps" - those being: people, policy, partnerships, purchase and progress.
Commenting on the latest survey and report, the Chair of UK Music's Diversity Taskforce, Ammo Talwar, says: "Our 2022 survey shows how those from black, Asian and other diverse communities have been hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19. The drop in the percentage of employees in several sectors of the industry is further evidence of why we must not take our foot off the accelerator when it comes to driving positive changes on diversity and inclusion as swiftly as we can".
"We need to create a consciously inclusive culture right across the music industry and right across the UK", he adds. "Our hope is that the five Ps - our Music Industry Action Plan - provides a robust and clear framework that anyone can use to help deliver that change".
Co-Chair Paulette Long adds: "As part of our work for this report, we carried out a series of round-tables to learn from the lived experiences of those from diverse communities working in the music industry".
"Listening to them has informed key parts of the recommendations outlined in the five Ps", she goes on. "The challenge for the music industry is how we use the plan to move beyond the work that is already under way with the industry's membership organisations and ensure that it is rolled out into the wider music business and creative community".
Warner Chappell signs Amy Allen
Warner Chappell Music President North America, Ryan Press, says: "Amy has made a name for herself in pop music, helping to pen many of the genre's biggest hits. Her recent Grammy nomination for the first ever Songwriter Of The Year Award is a huge, once in a lifetime opportunity and an incredible moment for her. We're so proud to be on this journey together at such an exciting and pivotal time in her career".
Allen adds: "I'm beyond excited to be joining the Warner Chappell family in this next chapter of my songwriting career. It's an incredible feeling to work with creatives who push you to be better, and who wholeheartedly believe in you, so I feel especially grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the legendary Ryan Press, and of course my partner in crime, Gabz Landman [Warner Chappell's VP A&R], who has been with me from the very beginning".
Earlier this month, Selenz Gomez released Allen co-written track 'Me & My Mind'.
Gorillaz vocalist Murdoc to livestream cocktail mixing masterclass
Gorillaz launched their own limited edition Smirnoff bottle design last month, publishing recipes for cocktails designed around each of the band's animated members at the same time. Apparently people need help making the Vodka Murdini though, so the latest stage of the collaboration is a video tutorial from Murdoc himself.
"Would you like to know the secret to my signature cocktail, The Vodka Murdini?" asks the cartoon vocalist. "Or maybe you just want to see me shaking one of those cocktail things while I spin inspiring yarns and solve all your problems? Then tune in to my live mixology masterclass with Smirnoff! Not into cocktails or top-draw banter? Just sit back and behold my dazzling new tuxedo!"
Head of Smirnoff GB, Mark Jarman, adds: "When we blend our creativity with our partners, we create innovative and disruptive new experiences for audiences to enjoy. Gorillaz are entertainment originators and real pioneers. This masterclass is a true testament to the endless possibilities that arise from embracing the true power of originality".
The video will be livestreamed at 6pm UK time on 24 Nov, via the Gorillaz YouTube channel. To mix along at home, you will need to have with you a cocktail shaker, jigger, ice, a martini glass, vermouth, olive brine, pickles and some vodka. They suggest Smirnoff No 21 vodka, but any old shit will do.
There will also be a live Q&A with Murdoc after he's mixed the drink, so you've got something to look at while you sip your creation and munch on your pickle (not a euphemism). And if you're wondering why there's a pickle in this cocktail, it's because Murdoc's nickname is Pickle, on account of his green skin.
Universal launches classical music subscription service around its Deutsche Grammophon label
The major says that the new service will bring subscribers "closer than ever before" to its roster of classical artists with "a wide range of content - including exclusive live premieres; long-form concert and opera programmes; music videos; documentaries and behind-the-scenes interviews; new audio releases, as well as albums from the legendary Deutsche Grammophon and Decca catalogues".
Says Deutsche Grammophon's VP Consumer Business, Robert Zimmermann: "We are about to enter an exciting new era for streamed classical performances. Stage+ will explore the limitless creative and curatorial possibilities that digital technologies have to offer to bring the creative work of DG's artists - and beyond - closer to their audience".
The mainstream streaming services have never really provided a compelling experience for classical music fans, although Apple is developing a standalone classical app following its acquisition of Primephonic last year. That said, Universal says that Stage+ is intended to complement rather than compete with the streaming services that it also licenses its catalogues to.
Dickon Stainer - President and CEO of Universal's Global Classics & Jazz and Verve Label Group - explains: "Stage+ uniquely immerses the fan in a dedicated multi-dimensional classical experience of the highest quality, complementing the breadth of our repertoire presented on our partners' services. It offers artists the place for their live and filmed performances to sit directly alongside their studio recordings, enabling an integrated experience for classical artist discovery by devoted fans of the genre".
Lewis Capaldi and Sam Ryder to play for the BBC (and you, I guess)
Capaldi will play in front of a small audience at the BBC's Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House in London next month.
"I absolutely love Lewis Capaldi", says Jo Whiley, host of 'Radio 2 In Concert'. "I last saw him when he performed a brilliant session on my Radio 2 show back in January 2019, so I can't wait to catch up with him to find out what he's been up to since then and, of course, hear some more of his amazing music".
Jeff Smith, Head of Music for Radio 2, adds: "Lewis Capaldi is one of the UK's most outstanding young music stars so I'm so THRILLED he'll be entertaining our listeners with his performance for 'Radio 2 In Concert' this December".
The show will be recorded on 8 Dec, which tickets handed out by ballot. Register your interest in attending here. The recording will then be aired on Radio 2 on 15 Dec at 7pm.
After that, a couple of week's later, Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder will play the annual BBC One New Year's Eve show, as you gear up to watch the fireworks and wonder how you ended up not going out to celebrate the new year yet again.
Now, you might be sitting there thinking to yourself, 'I literally only know one of his songs', how is he going to keep me - and indeed the nation - entertained for a whole hour, or however long those things are?' Well, you see, they've thought of that. By the sounds of it, Ryder will be doing a lot of covers, and he'll be getting on a load of guests to help him out with them.
"I can't think of a better way to round off 2022 than singing some of my favourite songs with some very special guests", he says. "It's been such an incredible twelve months full of fabulous blessings thanks to fabulous people, and I'm so excited to bring in 2023 with you! As always, thank you for the opportunity!"
Reiterating that there will be songs and faces you know in this show, Jonathan Rothery, Head of Popular Music TV at the BBC, adds: "Sam and his all-star friends performing a party playlist of big songs will be the perfect way to bring in the new year on BBC One".
Still not convinced? Here's BBC Studios' Creative Director Mel Balac: "Sam will be performing an exclusive set of NYE bangers with some unexpected musical surprises and unique twists along the way. Sam's energy and charisma is off the scale as a performer and it promises to be one heck of a party for BBC One viewers".
You'll be flicking between that and Jools Holland's 'Hootenanny' anyway, so I don't know why you're complaining. And don't forget the fireworks. Oooh! Aaaah!
Actually, you could actually go an see the whole show live. Then you'd both be watching the Sam Ryder show and be out for New Year's Eve. You can apply for tickets here.
Iggy Azalea has sold her recording and song catalogues to Domain Capital for an eight figure sum, according to Billboard. She will reportedly retain full ownership of her future work, continuing to collaborate with Sony Music Publishing on the songs side via an administration deal.
Superstruct Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in the Y Not Festival.
If you're in the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand and like your streaming service massively bloated with stuff you didn't ask for, then good news! Audiobooks have now gone live on Spotify - having first appeared in the US back in September. Audiobooks are not included in your subscription and have to be bought individually. Also, they seem to cost three times as much as they're on sale for elsewhere. Why not celebrate by paying 30 quid to listen to Matthew Perry's autobiography?
Ferdy Unger-Hamilton has reportedly left Sony Music's Columbia Records UK, where he has been President for the last six years. It has not yet been announced what his next role will be.
Vinyl manufacturer elasticStage has announced the hiring of Raoul Chatterjee as its new Chief Operating Officer. He joins from SoundCloud. "The opportunity to be part of a revolution that will see elasticStage provide a complete vinyl D2C solution for music creators around the world was something I couldn't turn down", he says. "I started my career selling vinyl records in 1990 so there is a wonderful symmetry to my new role".
BTS's Jungkook has released new solo single 'Dreamers', which he premiered during the opening ceremony of the men's football World Cup at the weekend.
Noah Cyrus and PJ Harding have released Christmas single 'Snow In LA'. They say of the song: "'Snow In LA' is a dark Christmas song for what feels like a pretty dark time. It's reminiscent of traditional Christmas carols - with all their reverence and hope - but contrasted by images of catastrophic climate change and looming fascism that represent so many of our fears for the future".
Ryuichi Sakamoto has announced that he will release new album '12' on 17 Jan, featuring tracks written and recorded while receiving cancer treatment over the last year. "After I finally 'came home' to my new temporary housing after a big operation, I found myself reaching for the synthesiser", he says. "I had no intention of composing something; I just wanted to be showered in sound. I'll probably continue to keep this kind of 'diary'".
Blur's Dave Rowntree has released new solo single 'Tape Measure'. The song, he says, is about "anxiety - an unpleasant emotion of inner turmoil and dread". His debut solo album, 'Radio Songs', is out on 23 Jan.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre have announced that they will release their 20th studio album, 'The Future Is Your Past', on 2 Feb. Here's the title track. They will also be in the UK for tour dates in January and February.
Joan have released new single 'Flowers', and announced that they will release their debut album, 'Superglue', on 19 Apr. The album, the duo say, is about becoming fathers, explaining: "It's totally wrecked our world and we both have been going through a lot of the same growth that comes alongside being a parent. This album as a whole is about the past and the present happening at the same time, it's about dreams for the future and hoping for a better tomorrow but missing yesterday. It's by far the best and most meaningful music we've ever made".
Someone has released new single 'Could You Go For Me?' "The song is drenched in relief, longing and trepidation for how the fantasy will feel when it becomes real", she says. "The vocals are ethereal and wide, inviting yet fragile: Here is my heart. Be gentle". Her new album, 'Owls', is out on 3 Feb.
GIGS & TOURS
Burna Boy has announced that he will play the London Stadium on 3 Jun. "London Stadium is going to be my fairground", he says. "I've been told that I couldn't achieve anything because of where I came from, I hope this can show people that when you have a dream it doesn't matter where you've come from, your dream can come true. This is going to be legendary, it's history and I can't wait for you all to be a part of that". Tickets go on general sale on Friday.
Becky Hill will stream the final show of her Ibiza Rocks residency this Thursday for 48 hours only. "I've always wanted the opportunity to create and curate my own party, and Ibiza was always going to be the place to do it", she says. "With my Ibiza Rocks residency, it was super important to be as inclusive, diverse and fun as possible". Buy tickets here.
Bad Boy Chiller Crew have announced UK tour dates in May next year, including a show at London's Shepherds Bush Empire on 17 May. Tickets go on general sale on 24 Nov.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Bob Dylan book buyers refunded after "hand signed" copies turn out not to be
Miffed fans - who forked out $599 for each signed copy of the book - discovered that they'd been hoodwinked when they started sharing photos of their signed books online. After they were shipped out to buyers last week, and recipients starting posting those photos, it very quickly became clear that every copy had an almost identical signature.
There had apparently been some effort to cover up the fact that Dylan hadn't actually so much as glanced at any of these books. According to Variety, by Sunday afternoon, fans had identified seventeen slight variations of the machine drawn signature.
The publisher's initial response was to deny that there was anything fishy about the books, saying that the signatures were legit and pointing to the letter of authenticity mailed out with each one. And you can't argue with a letter of authenticity, can you?
Well, actually you can. And Dylan fans did. Because, let's not forget, they'd all just paid over £500 for a book they believed had been stroked lovingly by Bob Dylan himself. And it was clear that nothing of the sort had happened.
Once it became clear that these people weren't just going to shut up about all this, Simon & Schuster changed its stance, offering refunds to anyone who bought the 'signed' book. The twist in the story is that the publisher seemingly did believe that the signatures were real, and has implied that it was not the book firm itself that employed the auto pen technology.
In an email to those who complained, it said: "We apologise for the mistake that was made and are offering a full refund of your purchase. Please keep your copy of 'The Philosophy of Modern Song' at no cost. We hope you will enjoy reading it".
In a further statement on social media, it added: "To those who purchased 'The Philosophy Of Modern Song' limited edition, we want to apologise. As it turns out, the limited edition books do contain Bob's original signature, but in a penned replica form. We are addressing this immediately by providing each purchaser with an immediate refund".
So that's over half a million dollars Simon & Schuster has just had to hand back. Not to mention the postage costs of sending out the books. Won't someone think of the postage costs? Plus, if there's any implication here that this was all Big Bob's doing, there's presumably an awkward phone call or two to be had.
'The Philosophy Of Modern Song' - 66 essays about very modern songs written between 1849 and 2003 - is out now. There's also an audiobook version, which - in-keeping with this whole story - is not read by Bob Dylan. Although it's not read by a mechanical impersonator either, which would have rounded this report off in a more satisfying manner. Damn you, Bob!