Monthly archives: October, 2017



This guest column comes from Chrysalis Records co-founder Chris Wright: “Last month, thousands of people crowded together in the Eventim Apollo theatre in Hammersmith to celebrate some of the best of British music at the Mercury Awards. The eventual winner, Sampha’s ‘Process’, was hailed as a challenging, individual kind of album and a fitting recipient…

The 20 Hottest Songwriters in Pop Music Right Now


Ricky Reed has written hits for Meghan Trainor, Phantogram and Jason Derulo. In 2017, more than at any other time in history, writing Top 40 hits is often a by-committee affair. A typical Rihanna song like “Work” may have as many as seven different songwriters; Demi Lovato’s latest album, Tell Me You Love Me, has…

Bernie Grundman wants to change the way you hear music — for the better

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“A mechanical tool is following an intricate signal.” “These are coaxial speakers, and the tweeter’s in the throat of the woofer.” “Now you have 16 sets of stampers for a set of lacquers.” The language can get pretty heady when Bernie Grundman is talking shop at his sprawling, 20,000-square-foot studio in the heart of Hollywood….

The Enduring Empathy & Beauty of R.E.M.’s ‘Automatic for the People’


On its 25th birthday, revisit the seminal album that changed the course of alt-rock—and the Athens, GA quartet’s career. R.E.M. are an absolute anomaly, and, coincidentally, perhaps one of the biggest benefactors of the cultural sea-change that was the early 1990s alt-rock explosion. In the mid-’80s the Athens, GA, quartet were already college radio stalwarts,…

Billboard Magazine Won’t Add YouTube Views Into Its Album Charts


Under pressure from the music labels and Apple Music, Billboard magazine is ending its practice of giving equal weight to paid streams and free streams in its music charts. Currently a single that is bought from Apple’s download store or streamed on its paid subscription service is viewed the same as a free stream on…

Spotify Announces Emerging Artist Program, Troy Carter Names First Four Picks: Exclusive

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The world’s biggest streaming service is kicking its music discovery efforts into a higher gear. Friday (Oct. 20) marks the launch of RISE, an emerging artist program that leverages the platform’s promotional resources for a hand-picked roster of up-and-coming musicians. “We have the biggest distribution system in the world for streaming music so why not…

an in-depth conversation with kendrick lamar


This article originally appeared in The Sounding Off Issue, no. 350, Winter 2017. “I… don’t… know,” Kendrick Lamar says when asked to explain why Donald Trump became President of the United States. Few people understand America the way Kendrick does, so surely he must know something about how the billionaire reality TV star has happened…

Best Ways To Invest In Your Music Career And In Yourself


When cultivating a career in music, cash can be hard to come, and when it does finally begin to roll in, it’s critical that you take the time to reinvest at least a portion of the funds back into your career. Here we look at some smart and effective ways to invest in your music…

Spotify Debuts Music Initiative, “I’m with the banned” with Pusha T, Desiigner, X Ambassadors, BJ The Chicago Kid, K.Flay and more


In every era and in every country, groups of people have been excluded for their differences and ideas. Today is no exception. But we know that cultural tensions and injustices inevitably find an expression in music — and champions in artists. This is why today Spotify is launching its original series, “I’m with the banned,”…

Pitch perfect: the trends around pitching to Spotify and Apple Music playlists

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In 2017, pitching tracks to the in-house playlisters at Spotify, Apple Music and other music-streaming services is an important cog in labels’ marketing campaigns. But it’s also a discipline with plenty of mystery around it. How do labels pitch these curators, and what kind of pitches are most likely to succeed? A panel at Music…