Apr 4, 2024 4 min read

⏩ One Liners: Kiss, Downtown, Charli XCX, Chilly Gonzales + more

Pophouse + Kiss deal; Downtown appointment; UD Incubator Programme; Rough Trade Liverpool opening; TuneCore's Studio One integration; TikTok law campaign ads; Charli XCX tour; new music from Chilly Gonzales and Ibibio Sound Machine

⏩ One Liners: Kiss, Downtown, Charli XCX, Chilly Gonzales + more


Pophouse has announced a deal to acquire a stack of rights from Kiss, including the band’s share of their recording and song rights and revenues, plus brand and likeness rights. The Swedish company - best known for its involvement in the Abba ‘Voyage’ shows - is already working with Kiss on a similar show based around digital avatars of the band’s members, which were showcased on the final date of Kiss’s farewell tour last year. Pophouse CEO Per Sundin says the company will “safeguard and enrich” the band’s legacy “through future global endeavours, by breathing new life into their characters and personas while also leveraging and elevating the visual world of Kiss”. 


Downtown Music Holdings has announced that Pieter van Rijn is now CEO of Downtown Music, having previously been President of Downtown Music and CEO of its FUGA business. The new role follows the most recent rejig of the Downtown group, as a result of which all of the company’s businesses now sit under the Downtown Music banner, including distributor CD Baby, which was the last unit to operate as a separate division. So, as well as CD Baby, that also includes Downtown’s publishing, label and neighbouring rights services, plus FUGA, Sheer, Songtrust, Curve, found.ee and Soundrop. Above Downtown Music is Downtown Music Holdings, which consists of various corporate functions. Van Rijn reports into Downtown Music Holdings CEO Andrew Bergman


Talent development organisation UD - based at Talent House in Stratford, East London - has announced the ten artists that will participate in its Incubator Programme, which was piloted in 2023 and is supported by collecting society PPL. Says UD MD Pamela McCormick, “The Incubator programme addresses a clear need in the industry for young musicians making music of black origin and facilitates their transition from educational or vocational training to the commercial market or professional workplace. By identifying and developing their creative skills and business knowledge, we are making them industry-ready and preparing them for a sustainable career in music”. The ten participating artists are: Allyson, Charlotte Dowsson, Izzy Withers, J2, MARACHÉ, Olympia Vitalis, Skee, Skye, TayoLoxs and Zuko Rosemeid


Music retailer Rough Trade has announced that its new Liverpool store will open on 18 Apr, just in time for Record Store Day on 20 Apr. The new space also has a bar and venue on its first floor which will open fully in May. Says the company’s Head Of Retail, Rich Nemeth, “We are very excited to be coming to Liverpool, a fantastic city with world-famous musical heritage, known for its community. We have recruited a fantastic team, with a vast range of music knowledge, who are all very excited to welcome our customers to the new store. We aim for Rough Trade Liverpool to become a central hub for music fans of Liverpool and to reflect the rich and diverse music scene”.


Distributor TuneCore has announced a new integration with Studio One, the digital audio workstation from PreSonus. It means users will be able to “set up a TuneCore artist account, verify the metadata for their recordings, and send their music to digital stores and streaming platforms, all from within Studio One”. Says TuneCore CEO Andreea Gleeson, “As part of our ongoing mission to make artists’ lives easier, we are excited to partner with PreSonus to streamline the distribution process for Studio One users”. 


Following the news that TikTok is spending over $2 million on an ad campaign opposing the proposed sell-or-be-banned law that is working its way through US Congress, Advancing American Freedom - an organisation founded by former American Vice President Mike Pence - is spending the same amount on an ad campaign supporting the proposals. The House Of Representatives has already passed the law, which would force TikTok’s China-based owner ByteDance to sell the app or face a US ban. It is now being considered by the Senate. Pence told The National Review, “TikTok is the Chinese Communist Party’s way to feed America’s youth their propaganda and collect data on all TikTok users. Last week, TikTok launched a $2 million ad campaign to stop the legislation that would disentangle the app from the CCP, but AAF is fighting back, launching an ad campaign to urge Congress to get the bill passed and signed into law”.


Charli XCX has announced details of a number of arena shows in November and December, including in Manchester, London, Birmingham and Glasgow. She releases her new album 'BRAT' on 7 Jun. Fans who pre-order the album before 9 Apr will get early access to tickets on 10 Apr, before they go on general sale on 12 Apr.


Chilly Gonzales has released new single ‘F*ck Wagner’, which considers the timeless question “Should we separate the artist and the work?”, name-checking “monstrous historical and contemporary figures from Wagner to Kanye, whose cultural contributions are nonetheless undeniable”. The release is accompanied by a petition calling on Cologne to change the name of the city’s Richard Wagner Strasse to Tina Turner Strasse. Citing how Wagner “used his platform to encourage anti-semitism”, the petition notes “Un-naming the street is not an act of ‘cancel culture’ but an act of separating the art from the artist. We are not calling to stop the performance of his music. But when we name a street after an avowed antisemite, we are honouring an unworthy man”. Much better to instead honour Turner, an artist who made Cologne her home for nine years. You can sign the petition here
Ibibio Sound Machine have shared new track ‘Mama Say’, which comes from their new album ‘Pull The Rope’, which is out on 3 May. Say the band, “This track is simply about honouring women - the main chorus vocal is sung in pidgin and says ‘Mama say make I honour am’, in other words ‘mother says I must honour her’ - it is essentially about empowering and uplifting the women in our lives”.
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