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TAYLOR’S LOVER: READING BETWEEN THE LAYERS
It goes deep in places. (8/23a)
THE GRAMMY CHEW:
ALBUM CONTENDERS
These machers have one-track minds. (8/23a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
IT’S TAYLOR’S TIME
Looking at her big week from a different angle. (8/23a)
LOVE FOR LOVER FROM SCOTT AND SCOOTER
An olive branch? (8/23a)
UNDER HIPGNOSIS: MERCK CATALOGS HIS PLAN (PART 1)
From the horse's mouse (8/23a)
TAYLOR SWIFT!
Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift? Taylor Swift; Taylor. Swift. Taylor Swift!
TAYLOR SWIFT.
Taylor Swift...  
TAYLOR SWIFT?
Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift.   
TAYLOR. SWIFT.
Taylor!
Blighty Beat
HUGHES RESURFACES AT TILEYARD
8/22/19

The Tileyard crew gathered before heading out for the morning fry-up to eliminate the effects of a night at the pub. From left: Michael Harwood, Natasha Brooks, Paul Kempe, Tamara Witt, Giovanni Damiani, Nick Keynes, Sophie Dorrington, George Corton, Neil Hughes, Charlie Arme, Jason Shape, Sara Alpert, Matthew Neequaye, Catalina Wrye, Graham Phipps, Maddy Valder

Former RCA U.K. Managing Director Neil Hughes has joined independent London-based company Tileyard Music as MD. The firm encompasses management, publishing and records, and has had successful releases with Sigala, Ella Eyre, The Chainsmokers, Kygo, Sigma and Rudimental.

In his new role, Hughes will be working with Tileyard co-founders Michael Harwood, Charlie Arme, Paul Kempe and Nick Keynes to continue to grow the business.

“Working with Tileyard Music on campaigns over the last few years, I have always been impressed by their tenacity and innovation,” Hughes said. “Tileyard Music has a clear vision for the future, and an ambitious team to help them realize it.”

…Read more

AWAL AND PRS FOUNDATION PARTNER FOR WOMEN MAKE MUSIC FUND
8/14/19

AWAL, Kobalt’s recording company, has entered into a year-long partnership with UK's leading charitable funder PRS Foundation for Women Make Music, today (8/14). The flagship fund offers grants to support the development of music in any genre by women, trans and non-binary artists, of all backgrounds and at different stages of their career.

The partnership includes a £50k contribution and, alongside supporting between 40-50 grantees across three intakes, members of the AWAL and Kobalt team will be taking an active role in mentoring several artists throughout the year in addition to annual workshops, co-curated sessions at events AWAL are involved in.

Speaking about the partnership, Head of UK Creative at Kobalt and AWAL Alison Donald says, “We’re proud to be a part of such an important cause in the industry to support a significant number of outstanding female creators and invest in the future of music.” VP of A&R Matt Riley adds, “We're delighted at the opportunity to use the AWAL team’s expertise to mentor and advise grantees on the development of their careers ranging from global marketing and campaign coordination to A&R and sync.”

"Women Make Music has had a significant impact on hundreds of women music creators' careers. A broader range of talent is being empowered and we are championing the U.K.'s most exciting new music," said Joe Frankland, CEO of PRS Foundation. 

Set up in 2011, Women Make Music began as response to the low representation of women amongst songwriters and composers and lack of applications for funding featuring female composers/songwriters.

The next deadline for grant consideration is 10/1. More info can be found here.

U.K. MIDWEEKS: SLIPKNOT TIED TO #1
8/12/19

Slipknot is in the driver’s seat to end Ed Sheeran’s four-week run atop the Official Albums Chart. At singles, though, Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello’s “Senorita” (Syco/Virgin EMI) is set to hang on at #1 for a fifth week.

Slipknot’s first album in almost five years, We Are Not Your Kind (Roadrunner), leads the midweek update, currently ahead of Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project (Atlantic) by more than over 13k chart sales. The masked group have sold the most physical copies and digital downloads, while Ed still has the edge on streaming.

While Slipknot has had five consecutive Top 5 albums, the group’s 2001 release. Iowa is their only U.K. #1.

 Another act, Welsh duo Feeder, are heading for their ninth Top 10 album with Tallulah (Believe). The band’s 10th studio album is currently at #3 and could become their highest-charting record since 2006 retrospective The Singles.

…Read more

 

U.K. CHARTS: HIGH TIMES
8/9/19

Polydor artist Mabel has ended the week at #3 on the U.K.’s Official Albums chart with her debut, High Expectations, while Drake sits one step behind with Care Package (Island). Over on singles, Ariana Grande & Social House are new at #4.

Ed Sheeran has topped albums for a fourth week with No.6 Collaborations Project (Atlantic) on 32k combined chart sales, made up of 11k physical, 2k downloads and 19k streaming equivalents.

Danish rock band Volbeat have charted at #7 with Rewind, Replay, Rebound (Virgin), while Jax JonesSnacks EP (Polydor) leaps nine places to a new peak of #12.

…Read more

U.K. RETAIL UP NEARLY 10% IN H1
8/8/19

The U.K. music retail market rose 9.9% in H1 2019 to £672.7m ($854.3m) thanks to growth in streaming, which is up 25.8% year-on-year according to stats from the Entertainment Retailers' Association (ERA). Best-sellers included The Greatest Showman ST and Lewis Capaldi’s debut.

Subscription streaming generated £485.9m ($617m) from January to the end of June, which is a massive 72.2% of the value of the entire market. Still, the rate of growth is down from the 37.7% rise streaming recorded across the whole of 2018.

Physical generated £138.8m ($176.3m) in sales in H1 2019, down 13.8% on H1 2018 — a slightly improved rate of decline on 2018’s year-end 16.6%. Downloads dropped 26.1% over the same six-month period to £48.1m ($81.1m), which is generally on par with the rate of decline the format has recorded in Blighty over the last three years.

…Read more

BEGGARS HEARS A VR MELODY
8/8/19

British-based independent company Beggars Group is the latest licensee to allow growing virtual reality company MelodyVR access to its artists and content. The deal will see performances and videos from artists signed to several of its labels available to users of the MelodyVR app.

MelodyVR will have the right to create and distribute live and recorded VR content created with artists signed to 4AD,Matador, Rough Trade, XL Recordings and Young Turks. Artists signed to those labels include The National, FKA Twigs, Jungle, Queens of the Stone Age, The xx, King Krule, Grimes and Interpol.

Beggars is the second independent company to get on board following Roc Nation; the company also has agreements signed with the major labels, and publishers and venues.

…Read more 

U.K. MIDWEEKS: FLYING HIGH
8/5/19

UMG label Polydor has the highest new entries on the U.K.'s Official Albums and Singles midweeks: Ariana Grande Social House, who have shot straight in at #1 on with “Boyfriend," and Mabel at #2 on albums with her debut High Expectations

Should “Boyfriend” hold onto its top spot by Friday, Ariana will have her sixth chart-topping single in Blighty and Social House will earn their first chart entry.

Mabel's album title is apt as Polydor has put a lot of weight and time behind her. She comes from a talented family of musicians: Her parents are Neneh Cherry and producer Cameron McVey (Massive AttackPortisheadAll SaintsSugababes). The effort so far has resulted in three Top 10 hits— “Finders Keepers” f/Kojo Funds (#8), “Don’t Call Me Up” (#3) and “Mad Love” (#8). High Expectations follows her reissued mixtape, Ivy to Roses, which reached #28 in February. 

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WARNER CHAPPELL UPS DAVIS
8/5/19

Amber Davis has been promoted to Head of A&R at Warner Chappell Music U.K. after five years at the pubco, during which time she's signed some of the biggest songwriters to have broken out of the British music scene in recent years, among them Dave, J Hus, Raye, Skepta and Stormzy

Previously A&R Director, her new role will be effective starting 10/1. She reports to Mike Smith, Managing Director of Warner Chappell Music UK.

Warner Chappell Music Co-Chair and CEO Guy Moot hired her as an A&R assistant at EMI Music Publishing more than 10 years ago. “I knew then that she had the drive, determination and diligence to go far, as well as a real feel for how to help songwriters fulfil their potential.”

Smith noted, “Amber’s one of the standout A&Rs of her generation and yet one of the most modest people you’ll ever meet.  Her role in the U.K. urban scene cannot be underestimated, but she’s also proved adept at working with writers from Girls Aloud to Celeste.”

…Read more