Australia’s Live Music Industry Has Lost AUD$23.6Bn In 2020, Says Report

A new report by bank EY shows that Australia’s live music industry has lost AUD$23.6bn in economic output due to Covid-19.

‘The Economic Cost of Covid-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry’ shows that Australia’s live music industry was worth an estimated AUD$36.4bn to the economy last year. This year, that figure is down 65% to AUD$12.8bn.

Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry Forum has asked the Federal Government to urgently consider targeted support measures to support the sector.

The preliminary findings from the report, which will be released later this month, show that the sector supported 122,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2019, and forecast that in 2020 this will fall to just 43,000 full-time equivalent jobs if current restrictions on gatherings remain in place until the end of December.

LEIF, which represents Australia’s largest live entertainment employers, said that it is grateful for the support provided to the industry to date but added that the new data shows urgent ongoing and additional Government support is essential to prevent further job losses and lasting damage to the sector. LEIF has recommended industry specific initiatives that include:

  • Continuation of a JobKeeper-style support program for employees in the music industry until the live entertainment industry returns to normal operation and without the constraints of major restrictions
  • A moratorium on goods and services tax on live event tickets, following the precedent set in the UK
  • An industry-led Live Entertainment Business Interruption Fund underwritten by Government; and
  • A significant expansion of the RISE grant funding programme, with a particular focus on assisting commercial, non-subsidised live entertainment operators to deliver popular live events in COVID-safe format.

[via Access All Areas]

The Silhouette Project Has Returned With The New Single From Meron T & Pedro Retro

Joining The Silhouette Project is the talented singer, Meron T and Pedro Retro for the stunning new single, Standing There, produced by Paya and Kosher.

The Silhouettes Project is a new platform for up and coming Hip-Hop, Soul and Jazz artists from the UK. It is not a record label or management team, it is a community project. The Silhouettes Project provides an open space – a recording studio and live venue located within the Total Refreshment Centre in Hackney, London – where MCs, singers, musicians and producers can connect and create. 

The Silhouettes Project was founded by community organisers/artists Asher Korner (aka Kosher) and Jaden Osei-Bonsu (Eerf Evil) in 2019. When they told us about the project and played us some of the music we were instantly hooked and joined the collective as label partner. The art direction is executed by Sergio “SagaUno“ Alferez, an acclaimed designer and illustrator from Medellín, Colombia.

Check out the single below, and let us know what you think:

New Spotify Format Allows Podcasters To Place Songs Between Talk Segments In Shows

Spotify is testing what it describes as a new “listening experience” that combines music and spoken-word content in a new playlist-style podcast format.

Shows that use this new format, which the company says is one of its most-requested features, will see talk segments and individual tracks stacked together, allowing Spotify’s listeners to interact with music within episodes in the same way they normally interact with tracks on the platform.

The company states that this new format marks an evolution from its personalized Your Daily Drive podcasts that combine podcasts and music, which were launched in the US in June last year, followed by Germany in October 2019 and in the UK last month.

Shows using Spotify’s new format rely on the platform’s music catalog licenses, which means that musicians and songwriters are compensated “just like any regular stream of a music track on Spotify”.

Spotify Premium listeners will hear full tracks as part of these shows, and Free tier users will hear 30-second music previews.

Shows using this format are also exclusive to Spotify.

Study Finds COVID May Cause Sudden And Permanent Hearing Loss

A new UK study has found that COVID-19 may affect some people by causing sudden and permanent hearing loss.

Experts at University College London have published findings in the journal BMJ Case Reports, relating to the treatment of a 45-year-old man with asthma who was taken into intensive care with COVID-19.

During treatment the man was ventilated and given drugs such as antiviral remdesivir and intravenous steroids. A week on from leaving intensive care he developed tinnitus and then hearing loss in his left ear.

The man had never previously had hearing problems, and none of the drugs used to treat him are known to cause hearing damage.

Tests revealed he had suffered sensorineural hearing loss in his left ear. This was able to be partially treated with steroids.

A co-author of the study Dr Stefania Koumpa said a possible explanation is that “the Sars-Cov-2 virus enters inner ear cells and brings about cell death, and/or causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that can be toxic to the inner ear. Steroids likely help by reducing inflammation and therefore production of cytokines.”

The report has recommended that patients coming out of intensive care should be assessed for hearing loss and emergency treatment.

The author Michael Rosen, who was admitted to intensive care after contracting coronavirus, said he experienced similar issues, writing on Twitter: “I’ve been saying this since I first became conscious after Intensive Care. So, since late May! My inner ear – either the auditory nerve or the cochlear is out of action.”

Studies into the varying issues the virus can cause, such as loss of taste and damage to organs, are ongoing.

[Via: Guardian]

The Glasgow African Balafon Orchestra (GABO) Announce Their Debut Album

Photographed by Harrison Reid

The Glasgow African Balafon Orchestra (GABO) is a unique blend and fusion of musicians, folklorists and storytellers representing the best musical flavours and stories of our shared humanity—musical stories that are lived by everyday people around the world—rhythms and tales that we can well appreciate and relate to from the past to the present, and the future.

They have announced the debut release of their new album titled, Jungle Fever which is set for release on the 19th of October. In the lead up to the forthcoming project, they have released two singles, Ambatayala and Co.

You can pre-order forthcoming here

Also, you can listen to their recently released single Ambatayala, let us know what you think:

UK House DJ Fat Tony says “DJs Are Not Dispensable”

Fat Tony has used an appearance on Sky News to blast the UK government’s approach to nightlife during the coronavirus pandemic.

Appearing on Kay Burley’s show yesterday, the long-serving UK house DJ spoke at length on how the government is currently failing the UK’s night time industry, which brings in £66 billion a year for the country’s economy.

Fat Tony’s seven-minute interview followed an appearance from government minister Gillian Keegan, who was promoting the government’s new drive to retrain workers in industries that have been devastated by the pandemic. Keegan also said nightclubs would not be reopening “until we have some kind of long-term way to deal with coronavirus.”

“My career is not dispensable – it’s not something you can throw away,” Fat Tony said.

“I’ve worked a lifetime to get to the point in my career where I am. [DJs] train to do what we do, it’s not something we do overnight, it’s an art,” he added.

Nightclubs and music venues are currently relying on the government’s furlough scheme and arts bailout in order to survive, however a roadmap for their reopening has not been introduced by the government despite some venues proving that they can open safely during the pandemic.

Venues have been further hampered by the 10pm curfew that was recently introduced and a new ban on dancing and singing, even while attending a socially distanced event in a group of six.

Self-employed DJs have been able to apply for the Coronavirus Self Employed Income Support Scheme which has so far paid out two grants, covering 80 per cent and 70 per cent of monthly profits of up to £2500 and £2190 respectively, over the last six months. However this will drop to 20 per cent of monthly profits of up to £1875 per month from November through to February 2021.

“Just to say ‘that’s disposable and we’ll leave that on ice’ and let a million people lose their jobs is despicable,” Fat Tony said, referring to those working within the night time industry.

Watch the whole interview with Fat Tony below.

[Via Sky News]

Four Postboxes Across the United Kingdom Are Painted Black To Honor Significant Black Britons

Four postboxes have been painted black to honour black Britons including Sir Lenny Henry and nursing pioneer Mary Seacole.

The Royal Mail postboxes – in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast – have been painted as part of Black History Month in October.

Each features a significant figure in the British black community and has a social media link.

Royal Mail says the aim is to help mark the success of black Britons.

A QR code on the postboxes can also be scanned to bring up a list of the black Britons who have appeared on special stamps.

Footballer Walter Tull, who became the first black player to sign for Rangers (before he was killed in 1918), appears on the Glasgow postbox in Byres Road. He had played as a forward with Spurs and Northampton Town.

He featured in a set of stamps released in 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of World War One and was also the first black Army officer to command troops in a regular unit.

Mary Seacole, a Jamaican-born nurse who cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War, features on the Cardiff postbox in King Edward VII Avenue.

And Sir Lenny Henry, a stand-up comedian, actor, singer, writer and television presenter and co-founder of the Comic Relief charity, is honoured by the postbox in Bedford Street, Belfast.

Peter De Norville, Royal Mail’s head of diversity and inclusion, said: “Black History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the contributions that black people have made to this country over many generations.

“We are also using it as an opportunity to celebrate the vital work that our black employees do throughout the nation, from the mail bag to the meeting room.”

The Live Events Sector Takes Action With The #WeMakeEvents Campaign

With the government making little to no action towards saving the night economy, which generates up to £6 billion a year, and employs over a million people.

Today, the live music sector will unite for the #WeMakeEvents. The campaign aims to hold a day of action, a 24 hour protest alerting others to their plight.

The pandemic has crippled live music, with curfews, enforced shutdowns, and caps on the volume of performances rendering live music next to impossible.

Some countries – notably on mainland Europe – have provided funding for creative industries impacted by this… the UK’s response, however, has been lacklustre.

Learn about how you can help support the industry here.

Glastonbury figure Emily Eavis is amongst those getting behind the campaign:

Along with Reprezent radio host Dan Alani:

Q&A: Have You Met… Ryan Murgatroyd

Off the back of his July release, Wooma, featuring the wonderful vocals of Sobantwana to lift the single to another level! Ryan Murgatroyd, the founder of South African based record label, Swoon Recordings to some time to join our Q&A series:

Where are you from? Describe the kind of creative culture within the city you were raised in?

I grew up between Cape Town and Johannesburg, and when I started making electronic music it wasn’t really a thing, other than big old raves from time to time.. I was really influenced by the Black artists around me, merging the more soulful, percussion heavy and deeper styles of house with the more ravey, techno influences coming from abroad.

What made you get into music, who were the people around you which influenced you?

Yeah for me I’ve drawn influence from everywhere – my mum used to listen to the great 70s and 80s pop song writers, Tina Turner, Prince, even stuff like Eric Clapton. My gran was a classical music freak, and growing up I got into the big rave scene and was exposed to uplifting progressive music in my teens, and then onto deep and funky house in the smaller rooms,  and then as my taste developed and matured, I was exposed to European composers like Nils Frahm. Then of course a massive African influence, growing up on the streets of Johannesburg, organic and African instruments everywhere, polyrhythms being played on the street, maskandi guitars and Miriam Makeba playing on radio. So I think you hear every single one of those styles come through in my work. 

If you weren’t making music what would you be doing? 

Without a doubt something related to medical research, integrative medicine. I’m deeply passionate about research and big data equally, so about alternative healing practices like Shamanism and how we can study and learn from those in the Western allopathic system.`

Are there any producers/artists you work with really well, what makes your relationship work?

Well, of course Kostakis, who I’ve done a tonne of work with, our Wicked Eyes remix is a fav still! Just got another video of Solomun playing it still 2 years after release. But yeah I am so lucky in the collab department because I have an insane team of producers and engineers around me.. I think just a common vision is the most important factor, some folks want to come in and write music quickly and then kinda get back to, I dunno, being on instragram and whatever. I like to take my time. And if i have to go back 200 times and edit something, then it’s getting edited 200 times. So I always try to work with people that are patient enough to do whatever it takes to make truly world class electronic music.

What were early experiences in music, did you start with playing instruments or go straight into making beats? (It would be great to have a picture of your set up)

I started with sequencers and trackers and then out of necessity I had to learn some basics about music theory – which then became a huge passion of mine.. Still can’t read traditional music notation but have learnt A LOT about the mathematics and psycho-acoustic aspects of tonality, and it’s something that deeply intrigues me the more I work with it. My setup is a perfect balance between a dedicated music theorist (lots of weighted keyboards, tonnes of orchestral scoring plugins like Quantum leap for epic strings) and then the complete opposite: A modular rack, tonnes of analogue synths to keep things not too classical and a bit grungy.. But yeah, I like to think of myself as a proper modern composer/songwriter who also produces music, not the other way round.

Are there any other musicians, and DJs we should be paying attention to?

Man, so many! Blanka Mazimela, Kususa, De Capo on the South african scene. Corpino and Cioz are two internationals I also have my eye on, both from Italy. 

Why did you decide to start your record label? Is releasing music independently important to you?

Late in 2018 I decided that either I was gonna own the rights to my music or I wasn’t gonna put it out. I had so many experiences with record labels that were either really bad or just indifferent. So I thought it was better to take all the risk and all the reward. But creatively it’s been a blessing not having to change my work according to the opinions of an A&R manager.

How have you tried to change your approach from your recent release to your previous release ‘Wicked Eyes’

Well if anything I’m trying to change to approach less! I think I’ve been so versatile, going from Wicked Eyes to downtempo electronica, to full on melodic techno.. So I’m going to try to tone it down a bit and focus on 2 or three styles/sounds and really build momentum in those..I think my style goes in circles – I’ve just done 3 more African electronica records in a row.. and now I’m back to doing some more big vocal feel good stuff to play in summer, and then I’ll do some electronica/downtempo, and then begin again..hahah

How has Covid 19 impacted your record label? 

We’re alive!! It’s getting warmer in Africa now, the summer is starting, and I’ve had an insanely creative 6 months. So lots of good. Of course everyone is broke, wary, scrambling to find ways to get income in after 6 or 7 months of not working, but there is a sense of renewal and starting afresh, I wouldn’t take it back from a personal perspective but of course I’m empathetic to anyone who has really fell on hard times

Have you got any future shows planned?

We’re waiting for an update on restrictions to get the low down on physical shows,  but I have a new mix out for Deep House Amsterdam this week! It’s fire!

Have a listen to his single, Wooma, and let us know what you think:

OluwaJBeats Finds His Sound For His New Single, Owner

Owner by OluwaJBeats has been gaining traction since the video premiered on GRM Daily’s Youtube channel, and for good reason. Owner is boastful, bold and far from meek in its lyrical content.

The song is definitely geared towards being a summertime smash with AdeJosh anchoring the hook, “Girl I’ll be your sponsor and your donor/So why you playing games like Maradona” (spoiler alert; the chorus is catchy and will most likely get stuck in your head).Reminiscent of WSTRN’s early work, Owner is a fun song laced with a bold theme that carries throughout. With three features fairly balanced with a nice mix of rapping and singing, Owner is the perfect song to see the last months of summer out.