Crossover darlings Camelphat rejoin vocalist Jem Cooke for a brand new earworm on Sony RCA. “Rabbit Hole” is just what its name implies, sucking listeners into a throbbing landscape filled with buzzing synths and vibrant grooves. Naturally, Jem Cooke’s warm vocal tones remain the track’s centerpiece; the melody she’s chosen for her lyrics is mysterious and hypnotic. From there, the rest of the tune falls into place, with harmonic peaks and valleys complimenting the sonic adventure Cooke takes consumers on through her verses. Cool but catchy, expect this latest addition to their collective discography to become their next joint hit.
Last time Jem Cooke and Camelphat joined, it was alongside Cristoph for “Breathe” on Pryda Presents. The record earned silver certification in the UK, and would place itself amond Billboard’s top 25 club tunes. More recently, Camelphat have continued their choice release selections through co-producing Duke Dumont’s latest record, and collaborating with Jake Bugg for “Be Someone.”
America’s wholesome DJ extraordinaire and ever-iridescent life force in the flourishing US house music arena, Kaskade, has rendezvoused with one of the most fiercely sought-after pop voices of the moment, Meghan Trainor. Their dance pop lovechild, “With You,” is liable to be a resounding go-to in both summer festival sets and personal playlists abound.
The “Atmosphere” artist is known for his prismatic four-on-the-floor style, an already-accessible sound as far as dance music goes. But Kaskade kicks his digestibility up a notch on his latest offering, “With You,” with the help of Trainor’s commanding set of dance-friendly pipes. The track’s ricocheting synth line and fluttering, pitched-up vocal chops ensconce the track like celebratory glitter. “With You” gets the ubiquitous go-ahead across dance floors, pool fronts, and car radios alike.
Both artists have yet to make an official announcement regarding an album release. Tyler’s last album, Flower Boy, came out in 2017; since then, he has kept fans engaged with music projects including his soundtrack work on the animated re-make of The Grinch and an EP inspired by it, a series of loosies including “GELATO,” “435,” “PEACH FUZZ,” and “PUFF.” Harris also put out Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 in 2017. The superstar shared a remix package of his 2009 track “I’m Not Alone” featuring remixes by Camelphat and Thomas Schumacher on April 5. He also released single “Giant” with Rag’n’Bone Man.
Harris’ and Tyler’s names are found under a subsection titled “Noteworthy projects for the quarter ending June 30, 2019” in the report along with Bruce Springsteen, Mark Ronson, and Chris Brown, although no project titles are listed. Among other artists with albums already announced or released include Khalid’s Free Spirit, DJ Khaled’s Father of Asahd, BTS’ Map of the Soul: Persona, and more.
Tropical house tycoon, Kygo, and Rita Ora have teamed up for a new track, “Carry On,” to be featured in the brand new Pokémon: Detective Pikachu movie.
The track arrives alongside an Ora-starring visual, in which the syrupy songstress sweeps across the screen in a Pikachu yellow trench coat. Shots of a dancing Ora flash between scenes from the actual feature film (out May 10), while Kygo’s redemptive piano melodies flutter about. Fittingly, Ora portrays the role of Dr. Ann Laurent in the movie itself.
The track is out now via Sony’s RCA Records, and will be featured in the movie’s official soundtrack, as well.
Rights clearance startup, Dubset, which helps DJs publish licensed songs in their sets and monetize, recently signed a major deal with Warner Music. Ultimately, the contract aims to give DJs access to the major label’s immense library that includes acts like Daft Punk, Cardi B, Bruno Mars, and Migos.
Additionally, DJs can expect to obtain full monetization on their mixes that use a song from Warner’s register. This means DJs will now be legally able to incorporate songs from Warner’s catalog in their full-length mixes and distribute the mixes to Apple Music and Spotify as they please.
“Dubset’s team has worked tirelessly to expand its catalog, giving DJs a broader set of tracks to use in DJ sets that can be distributed to streaming services,” Dubset announced in a newsletter originally reported on by The Verge. “The licensed songs that DJs can include in their mixes has expanded at a blinding rate due in large part to deals signed with Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Merlin (also known as the fourth major).”
Sony became the first major label to partner with Dubset in August 2017. Soon after, Merlin and Tidal also penned deals with the disrupting startup. In October of 2018, SoundCloud partnered with Dubset to add their platform to the mounting list of available distributors. Dubset CEO Stephen White recently expressed that the deal aims to create an atmosphere in the industry where artists are “fairly compensated for the use of their works.”
As a myriad of artists including Chance the Rapper, Lady Gaga, and Celine Dion, pull their productions with R. Kelly from streaming platforms in response to sexual misconduct allegations made against the R&B crooner, Skrillex doesn’t think that JAY-Z needs to follow suit. “You know, I don’t think he needs to do so,” Skrillex told TMZ cameramen when asked if he felt that JAY-Z should remove his songs with R. Kelly from streaming services. JAY-Z and R. Kelly co-released “Best of Both Worlds” in 2002, and “Unfinished Business” in 2004. “It’s hard,” Skrillex added, “It’s like, look: there’s a word. It’s called ‘occhiolism.’ It’s the awareness of the smallness of your own perspective. If JAY-Z wants to keep [the] music because it’s music he made a long time ago, it’s part of the archives, it’s part of history, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. That doesn’t mean he supports bad people.”
Skrillex, however, did vocalize his support of Sony‘s decision to nullify R. Kelly’s record dealer with the Sony owned imprint, RCA Records. “I think everyone in their own sort of private world should make their own choices, but I support that,” Skrillex said. Sony has yet to release an official statement regarding R. Kelly’s departure from RCA, which would provide insight on the nature of R. Kelly’s divorce from the label, specifically, whether Sony and R. Kelly mutually agreed to void the vocalist’s deal.
R. Kelly remains at the center of sexual misconduct speculation following the release of Lifetime’s six-part docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly. Surviving R. Kelly chronicles R. Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse of several women who were reportedly underage at the time of their sexual encounters with the artist. R. Kelly has since denied all such allegations of sexual misconduct.
In Kygo‘s mind (and instinctively in his music), the sun never refuses a shine, a soft breeze forever bustles through sprightly palms, and lustrous ocean waves methodically crest and surrender, keeping perfect time. “Happy Now,” Kygo’s latest, assumes its rightful residence here, in this perennial paradise, too.
Vapory synth emissions brush across “Happy Now” like effervescent sea foam, while tropical house textures and fluttering melodies run abound to complete the balmy atmosphere. All the while, Sandro Cavazza‘s vacillating vocals flood the track with Avicii nostalgia, as the singer appeared on the since-deceased producer’s enduring dance-classic “Without You.”
Kygo has virtually single-handedly woven tropical house into dance-pop’s ever-developing infrastructure. His light and whimsical, often piano-centered tracks like “Remind Me To Forget,” “Firestone,” and “First Time” have brought listeners across the board to their dancing feet since his eminent rise just a handful of years ago.
Tyler, the Creator is poised to step back from the mic and direct his creative attentions instead to the development of a series of visuals designed for the small screen. The artist recently inked a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television that will place Tyler alongside Lionel Boyce to design scripted and unscripted material for TV and digital properties projects. The second constituent of Tyler’s Bald Face Productions team, which positions Tyler at the helm of production, Boyce championed Sony Pictures Television as a particularly dynamic content platform. “We’re excited to be a part of a place where we will have the resources to develop new ideas,” Boyce said of the deal.
Ever eccentric in his quotations, Tyler chimed in with “Tacos are great with barbecue sauce, I’m excited,” the meaning of which currently remains up for debate, but could allude to a forthcoming sketch. The president of Sony Pictures Television, Jeff Frost, called the combination of Tyler and Boyce “creative genius” and touted Sony’s partnership with the duo as a “dream come true.” “Tyler’s unconventional ingenuity is unparalleled, and we are excited about the prospect of what we can create together,” Frost added.
Kygo and manager, Myles Shear are the two newest industry entities to announce the establishment of their own label, Palm Tree Records–emblematic of Kygo’s inherently tropical sound. Launched in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment, Palm Tree Records is an imprint devoted to “identifying and cultivating emerging artistry in dance and electronic music,” according to a recent release detailing the label’s foundation.
Palm Tree Records is but one strategic piece of the intricate puzzle that Kygo and Shear continue to assemble as they work to develop a “full-service system” for fledgling artists. Kygo and Shear’s jointly conceived artist-management company comprises another complementary facet of the duo’s long-term goal to consolidate a trajectory of guidance for signees new to the industry.
“I’ve always been very fond of working with talented, undiscovered artists in my own releases,” Kygo said of the initiative. “It’s been an amazing process to watch these artists grow and now I’m able to help projects I love by offering a label and management service with an incredible team.”
Shear echoed Kygo’s enthusiasm about the potential inherent in the imprint: “Palm Tree Records, together with our new management company, now gives us the perfect way to [kickstart artists’ careers]. As a manager, it’s a thrill to be realizing this vision with the partner who I’ve created everything with up to this point,” Shear added.
Shear and Kygo have remained a steadfast professional pair since Shear connected with Kygo on Facebook five years ago in 2013. Palm Tree Records, Kygo, and Shear’s management company will limit its scope to artist oversight and music publication for now, but could expand their focus to canvass “television, headphones, and content creation” in the future, Shear says.
“[Kygo] and I can build an empire together, and this is an ‘open for business’ sign,” says Shear.
Spotify is trying out new business models that test its relationship with major labels. Just a year after renegotiating licensing deals with major labels, Spotify is pushing back against what got them into the industry’s good graces in the first place. The Swedish streaming giant and the record companies that produce its content continue to publicize their tumultuous relationship.
Spotify has already expressed interest in acquiring music by licensing directly from independent artists. They rely heavily on Universal, Warner, and Sony to supply their 35-million-song catalog and recently have been paying advances to management firms and other artist-representation groups in order to obtain direct deals. The major labels see this as Spotify cutting into their territory, and with the current licensing deal, Spotify is not allowed to compete in a substantial or meaningful way with labels’ main businesses. CEO Daniel Ek said “We are not acting like a record label;” however, industry veterans told The New York Times they are growing weary.
Another strain on the relationship comes from music videos. Spotify has started offering video with audio on mobile devices, and they have to pay majors to publish their videos. This has caused disputes over how much the streaming behemoth owes for using those videos. Universal Music Publishing executive Marc Cimino told Bloombergthey want “to allow our digital partners to experiment and at the same time make sure our songwriters are paid properly.” On the other hand, Spotify is arguing their platform’s method of distribution is worth more than what’s credited.
As the methods of distribution shift, this contentious relationship between music licensincing and publishing appears natural. It’s highly unlikely labels or publishers will ever abandon Spotify entirely; however, labels are making it clear they’re restricting Spotify’s leverage in the industry.