Feb 8, 2024 3 min read

⏩ Olly Alexander, Daniel Ek, MOBO Awards + more

UMG, WIN and Merlin appointments; Daniel Ek sells Spotify shares; MEGS funding; MOBO winners; Nick Cave to score Amy Winehouse biopic; ††† and Chelsea Wolfe dates; Contro Pop closes; new music from Olly Alexander, Caroline Polachek, Ghetts, Beth Gibbons, Anna Prior, Les Savy Fav, and more

⏩ Olly Alexander, Daniel Ek, MOBO Awards + more


Tom March has been announced as the new CEO of Universal Music’s Capitol Music Group, following the departure of Michelle Jubelirer. “I’m THRILLED to be charged with leading Capitol Music Group”, he says. “The company’s deep legacy includes so many iconic artists and records that have long played important roles in my life, and the opportunity to help write CMG’s next chapter is a dream come true”.
The World Independent Network has announced five new board members: Dario Draštata (Dallas Records, Croatia), Fran Sandoval (IMICHILE, Chile), Marty Ro (Sound Republica, South Korea), Alejandro Varela (S-Music, Argentina) and Sridhar Swaminathan (SIMCA, India). Partisan’s Zena White and AIR’s Maria Amato were reappointed as Chair and Treasurer, respectively.
Indie label digital licensing agency Merlin has announced several new appointments. Carol Zuma-Hall joins as Financial Controller, Martin Vovk as Director Of Insights, Gary Watson as Technical Project Manager, Maria Lavric as Manager Of Data Operations, Matthew Price as Data Engineer, Emilia Walsh as Paralegal, and Molly Kempen as the new Royalty Reporting Coordinator.


Daniel Ek sold 250,000 shares in Spotify yesterday for $57,505,000. Make of that what you will. 


UK record label trade group BPI has announced the latest round of Music Export Growth Scheme funding, distributing £1.6 million to 67 artists - the highest amount since 2014. Recipients include Blossoms, Pip Millett, Black Country, New Road, Nubiyan Twist, Nova Twins, Warmduscher and Max Cooper. MEGS is a government-funded scheme to support independent artists and labels pursuing opportunities in new markets. 


Central Cee emerged the big winner at last night’s MOBO Awards, the only act to take more than one trophy, winning Best Male Act and Song Of The Year. Elsewhere, Raye won Best Female Act, Little Simz took Best Hip Hop Act, and Sault were named Best R&B Act. BBC One will air a highlights show on Friday night at 11.30pm, and you can watch the full ceremony on YouTube here


Nick Cave and Warren Ellis are to write the score for Amy Winehouse biopic ‘Back To Black’. “Nick and Warren were the only musicians in my mind to score ‘Back To Black’”, says director Sam Taylor-Wood. “Over the years, I’ve listened to everything they’ve composed and longed to realise the dream of working together. Their sensibility as well as understanding of this story has led to a profoundly deep and moving film score”.


††† have announced their first ever European shows, with UK dates set for June in Bristol, London and Manchester. Tickets go on sale on 15 Feb. They’ve also just released the video for their track ‘Big Youth’, featuring El-P.
Chelsea Wolfe has announced UK and Ireland tour dates in October this year, including a performance at Koko in London on 29 Oct. Tickets go on sale tomorrow. 
The Contra Pop experimental music festival in Ramsgate, which launched in 2015, has announced that its 2022 edition was its last - it having not returned in 2023. “Today's political and economic climate is challenging, to say the least, and huge respect goes to those who keep fighting to make art and music free - or at least affordable - at the point of engagement”, say organisers in a statement.


Olly Alexander will unveil his Eurovision entry ‘Dizzy’ on 1 Mar. Here’s a little teaser.
Caroline Polachek has released new single ‘Butterfly Net’ featuring Weyes Blood. The track is taken from a new deluxe edition of her 2023 album ‘Desire, I Want To Turn Into You’. 
Ghetts has released new single ‘Double Standards’ featuring Sampha. His new album ‘On Purpose, With Purpose’ is out on 23 Feb and he will be touring the UK in March. 
Portishead’s Beth Gibbons has announced that she will release her debut solo album ‘Lives Outgrown’ on 17 May. Out now is new single ‘Floating On A Moment’. UK tour dates are set for June. 
Metronomy’s Anna Prior has released new solo single ‘Tech Não’
Les Savy Fav are back with their first new music for fourteen years, a track called ‘Legendary Tippers’. The band have also announced UK and Ireland shows later this month and in May. 
The Lemon Twigs will release new album ‘A Dream Is All We Know’ on 3 May. Out now is new single ‘They Don’t Know How To Fall In Place’
Bo Ningen have released new single ‘The Climbing’. It is taken from their new album, an alternative soundtrack album to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film ‘The Holy Mountain’, which is out on 1 Mar. 
Mui Zyo has released new single ‘Everything To Die For’.
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