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MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, PART 361: THINGS WORK OUT BEST FOR PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE BEST OF HOW THINGS WORK OUT

I woke up yesterday and realized it was Monday. I usually write some thoughts down on Monday, but it didn’t seem like the right time. I’m not even sure if today is the right time.

You see, I’m a workaholic. I don’t look forward to weekends. I rarely take vacations because I don’t like them either. I’m usually ecstatic at the beginning of the work year. But this year was way different; I simply couldn’t pull myself away from MSNBC and CNN long enough last week to exert my usual laser focus.

The insurrection was shocking, horrifying, unnerving. It was also, unfortunately, Must-See TV. And it’s evolved into the greatest civics lesson ever. I didn’t know that Washington, D.C. couldn’t access the National Guard because it isn’t a state. Nor did I know that an impeachment trial could occur AFTER an official leaves office. I definitely didn’t know the full extent of the powers of the President.

I really don’t want to miss anything. 

But we’re back, and it’s time to focus on business. So I’ve really buckled down, reducing my TV-news consumption to no more than four hours per day. This has enabled me to gather a few key points about the industry for the present discussion.

First, it’s abundantly clear that the Internet saved the music business during this ongoing pandemic, and it has clearly positioned the industry for continued growth and investment. The value of songs, both current and catalog, has never been greater as publishing companies and investment groups push harder for ownership of the past and the future. 

Secondly, Olivia Rodrigo is monstrously big. It’s a great statement for Geffen/Interscope and for John Janick’s bid to repeat as marketshare leader. Olivia has stormed out of the box with “Driver’s License,” a song that should stick for the entire year. You can picture the industrywide Zoom meetings, during which label heads ask their entire A&R staffs about how they could possibly have missed this one.

I’m starting a 2021 list of deserving Grammy Song of the Year candidates (even though “deserving” is an unclarified term in the Secret Committees). Olivia’s new smash instantly joins Justin Bieber’s “Anyone” and Taylor Swift’s “Willow” on my list. 

And speaking of Bieber, whoa, is he ever hot. His career—which has had giant highs and devastating lows—is now supercharged by a series of solo and feature hits that are consuming a good part of radio’s rotated songs. It’s a great start to ’21 for Jeff Harleston and Team Def Jam

I’m also betting that this is the year The Kid LAROI becomes a household name. Like superstars Biebs and Ariana Grande, he currently has two songs breaking simultaneously at streaming and radio that will have a significant marketplace impact. And although it’s been a relatively quiet, steady build, his album is already at 550k in activity to date. It should cruise to 1m; how much bigger could it get?

So let’s all put our holiday food consumption to the side, turn our TVs down, hope for sanity in our nation’s capital and get back in shape for the music-biz game.

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Myriad lawyers, no waiting. (6/18a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
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Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
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