Jul 1, 2024 4 min read

⏩ One Liners: 4music RIP, Taylor Swift at V&A, Megan Thee Stallion, Killer Mike + more

Armada and Reservoir deals; Universal Nordics appointment; ECSA welcomes AI lawsuits; DoJ v Live Nation timeline; US deepfakes review; UK music channels close; V&A Taylor Swift exhibition; Michael Jackson’s debts; New music from Megan Thee Stallion, Killer Mike, Burna Boy and Ray LaMontagne

⏩ One Liners: 4music RIP, Taylor Swift at V&A, Megan Thee Stallion, Killer Mike + more


Armada Music has announced a long-term partnership with Slash, the label founded by Amsterdam-based DJ and producer KI/KI. Armada will provide A&R, distribution, marketing and label management support. “Partnering with KI/KI and her label is an exciting venture for Armada Music”, says CEO Maykel Piron. “KI/KI's innovative approach to music and her deep connection with the underground scene make her a unique force in the industry”. The first release under the partnership is KI/KI's latest EP ‘Slash 010’. 
Reservoir Media has announced a worldwide publishing deal with songwriter-producer Lewis Thompson, who has collaborated with the likes of Joel Corry, MNEK, Raye and David Guetta. Says the company’s Senior Creative Manager Russell Hunt, “Lewis has established himself as a proven hitmaker in the UK, working with some of the biggest European songwriters and artists. His talent, ambition and dedication to his craft are second to none, and our global Reservoir team is excited to support him as he earns even more international acclaim”. 


Universal Music has promoted Joakim Johansson to the role of President for the Nordics. He will continue to be MD of Universal Music Sweden alongside his new role also overseeing the major’s activities in Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Baltic states. “I am honoured and incredibly excited to step into the role of President for the Nordic region, a powerhouse of musical innovation and creativity”, he says.

The European Composer And Songwriter Alliance has welcomed last week’s lawsuits filed against music AI companies Suno and Udio by the major record companies. Suno and Udio are accused of copyright infringement for allegedly training their respective generative AI models on large quantities of copyright protected music without getting permission. “We encourage all composers and songwriters’ contractual counterparts and assignees - across Europe and beyond - to engage in similar legal actions to protect the value and creativity of our members’ works”, says the pan-European songwriter group in a statement
The judge overseeing the US government’s lawsuit against Live Nation, Arun Subramanian, said last week that he hopes the case can get to trial as soon as March 2026. The US Department Of Justice accuses Live Nation and its Ticketmaster subsidiary of anticompetitive conduct, and wants the court to force the sale of Ticketmaster. Although Subramanian says he would like jury selection to begin in his New York court in March next year, Live Nation seems likely to continue pushing for the case to be transferred to a court in Washington DC.
The US Patent & Trademark Office announced on Friday that it is seeking public input on whether existing US laws are sufficient to protect individuals from having their image, voice or likeness imitated by generative AI without authorisation. A combination of copyright law, trademark law and publicity rights may provide that protection, but there are currently ambiguities. In the US, publicity rights sit at a state-level, and there have been calls for a new US-wide federal publicity right to protect performers - and individuals more generally - from unofficial voice clones and deepfakes. A roundtable to discuss these issues is planned for 5 Aug. 


Channel 4 has today closed its music TV channels, including The Box, 4Music, Kiss, Magic, and Kerrang! The Box first launched in 1992, subsequently becoming an entire network of music TV services. Channel 4 acquired a 50% stake in what became known as The Box Plus Network in 2008, with the 4Music channel launching the following year. The broadcaster took complete control of the music TV company in 2013. Channel 4 announced in January that the music channels would close at some point this year as part of a new five year strategy. 


London’s Victoria & Albert Museum will host a Taylor Swift exhibition from 27 Jul to 8 Sep with items loaned by the musician herself, including outfits, awards and storyboards. Says Senior Curator at the museum, Kate Bailey, “We are delighted to be able to display a range of iconic looks worn by Taylor Swift at the V&A this summer - each celebrating a chapter in the artist’s musical journey. Taylor Swift’s songs - like objects - tell stories, often drawing from art, history and literature”. 
Michael Jackson had debts in excess of half a billion dollars at the time of his death in 2009, court documents filed last month reveal. Some of the debts were in default and others were “accruing interest at extremely high rates”, the filings show. It was known prior to Jackson’s death that he was facing significant financial challenges, and that that motivated the star to sign up for the London residency at The O2 that he was preparing for when he died. However, the new filings provide more detail about the extent of those debts. 


Megan Thee Stallion has released new album ‘MEGAN’ via her Hot Girl Productions label. It includes collaborations with Victoria Monet, GloRilla, UGK, Big KRIT, Kyle Richh and Yuki Chiba. 
Killer Mike has released a new track that discusses his arrest for assault backstage at this year’s Grammy Awards in February. The release follows the news last week that LA prosecutors have chosen not to pursue a criminal case in relation to the incident, and also the rapper winning the Album Of Year award at this weekend’s BET Awards for his most recent album 'Michael'. The new track is called ‘Humble Me’
Burna Boy has released ‘Higher’, a song that aims to “elevate his hometown of Port Harcourt, Nigeria”. The accompanying video “documents Burna Boy’s emotional return to Port Harcourt, where he engages in community upliftment activities”. 
Ray LaMontagne has released new single ‘Long Way Home’, the title track from his forthcoming album, which is out on 16 Aug.
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