Kaytranada Calls Canadian Music Scene “Out of Touch” over Junos Snub

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Kaytranada Calls Canadian Music Scene "Out of Touch" over Junos Snub

Montreal producer Kaytranada has had his 2016 JUNO Awards nomination for Dance Recording of the Year rescinded by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) — and he’s not too happy about it.

A press release explains that following the nominee announcement earlier this week, an internal review discovered that Kaytranada’s “At All” was originally released outside of the eligibility period for the 2016 awards, running from September 1, 2014, to November 13, 2015. CARAS subsequently ruled that the song did not qualify and chose “Zero Gravity” by Borgeous & Lights in its place.

Following the decision, Kaytranada took to Twitter to voice his displeasure. Look below to see how the Dance Recording of the Year category looks now, and read through the artist’s tweets below.

Juno Awards 2016: Dance Recording of the Year:

A-Trak – “We All Fall Down” (ft. Jamie Lidell)
Autoerotique & Max Styler – “Badman” (Torro Torro Remix)                         
Borgeous & Lights – “Zero Gravity”                                                   
Keys N Krates – “Save Me” (ft. Katy B)                                  
Sleepy Tom & Diplo – “Be Right There”                               






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Someone Actually Sued SFX for Stealing His Idea…

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SFX Logo

According to reports SFX Entertainment has now settled one of the two outstanding lawsuits against it.  The suit involved allegations of a stolen idea.

Last August, SFX brainchild Robert Sillerman was accused of fraud and breach of contract, which resulted in a class action lawsuit.  Paolo Moreno of Disco Donnie Presents filed the legal case, claiming that he came up with the original concept for SFX.   Two others claimed that Sillerman had cut them out of the business once the company began to take off.

Initially, Moreno’s claims of fraud and breach of contract had been moved forward to trial by a California judge of the California, due to email evidence that confirmed Moreno’s involvement in the SFX partnership early on.  However, despite the credible claims, the class action has now been settled according to documents obtained by Mixmag.

“sham process”

That removes one giant weight off of SFX’s shoulders, thought the EDM promoter still faces a completely separate suit.  This second case seeks compensation for allegedly misleading investors in Sillerman’s bid to take the company private.  The lawsuit refers to the acquisition proposal as a “sham process” designed to make the firm attractive to a third-party purchaser and maintain the share price before liquidity problems became apparent.

SFX hasn’t had the best luck recently, with bankruptcy and lawsuits dominating the day-to-day.  But the troubled firm has also secured $ 20 million in new financing, thanks to help from Canadian private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group. The new financing has reportedly boosted company shares by 57%, albeit from distressed lows.

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Charlotte Hassan Digital Music News


Universal, Sony and Warner License New Streaming Platform CÜR Music

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CÜR Music, a platform vying to compete with heavyweights like Spotify and Apple Music, has launched in the US this week with 10 million licensed tracks.

According to Music Business Worldwide, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group have all licensed CÜR Music in the past few weeks.

CÜR Music is most commonly described as a “hybrid streaming service” that “intersects internet radio services like Pandora and on-demand services like Spotify”.  But most recently, the company has raised $ 1.75 million in financing led by members of the company’s management and board of directors, which has sparked changes.

On the steering level, Bob Jamieson has now resigned as the vice president of CÜR’s Board, and Barefoot Media boss Bill Campbell has joined the company’s Board.

Perhaps more important, big deals have now been completed.  According to an 8K SEC document filed last Tuesday (January 19th), CÜR Media has entered into a “Framework Digital Distribution Agreement” with Sony Music Entertainment for a “limited non-exclusive license under SME’s copyrights to digitally distribute a wide catalog of certain sound recordings and related materials owned or controlled by SME”.  Sony has protected itself with a guaranteed advance from CÜR which reportedly starts at the end of this month.

The same SEC filing also revealed that CÜR entered into a ‘Subscription Streaming and Enhanced Radio Services Agreement’ with Warner Music Inc on January 13th.  Warner has granted CÜR ‘with a limited non-exclusive license to stream certain sound recordings and display related artwork and other materials owned or controlled by Warner’ within the US.

And just like Sony, there’s a guaranteed advance involved.

CÜR’s Universal deal is covered in a separate SEC 8K document, filed yesterday (January 25th).  It says that CÜR has entered into an “Audio Streaming and Conditional Download Agreement” with UMG effective January 15th.  UMG has agreed to provide a limited, non-exclusive license under Universal’s copyrights to ‘digitally distribute a wide catalog of certain sound recordings and related materials owned or controlled by Universal in connection with the Company’s CÜR-branded Internet music service’.  There is no mention of advances, yet.

CÜR has two ad-free subscription tiers: one at $ 2.99 a month (‘Octo’), and one at $ 6.99 a month (‘Inked’).  ‘Inked’ gives users an option to listen offline, but both are significantly cheaper than Spotify and Apple Music, whose typical premium service costs users $ 9.99 per month.

The price point sets CÜR apart from the existing music streaming companies monopolizing the market.  The new agreements with the major music companies could be what differentiates CÜR from its competitors.

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Charlotte Hassan Digital Music News


Executive Shuffles: Bertlesmann, Twitter, Roadrunner, Fueled by Ramen, Spotify…

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Executive Ladder


It’s been an insanely hectic month for human resource departments, with companies across all sectors shuffling their executive decks.  The latest changes are coming from Bertelsmann, which has just re-signed CEO Thomas Rabe to an five-year extension.  Alongside that move, Bertelsmann has tapped Bernd Hirsch to become Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a role being temporarily filled by Rabe.  Effective April 1st, Hirsch will also be named to the Bertelsmann Group Management Committee (GMC).

And more has materialized at a tumultuous Twitter.  After hard-flushing a handful of top execs, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has named Leslie Berland as chief marketing officer.   More updates undoubtedly ahead as Twitter battles a stalling growth curve and extremely pressing monetization issues.

In label-land, Mike Easterlin has been bumped from general manager to president of Fueled By Ramen and Roadrunner Records.

And, look for some Japanese staffing assignments from Spotify, with job openings and whispers pointing to an imminent launch in the country.  Japan is regularly one of the largest global music markets.

Got a shuffle? Email it to news@digitalmusicnews.com…

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Paul Resnikoff
Digital Music News


Spotify Finally Launches Video Shows on iPhone and Android

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Static at Spotify

On Monday, DMN reported that Spotify was going to launch new video content.  True to Monday’s report, Spotify has now launched its video channel with content from ESPN, Comedy Central, MTV, BBC, Vice News, Slate, and others.

By tapping on the ‘Browse’ section and choosing ‘Shows,’ users can access Spotify’s videos on both Android and iOS.  There are two choices just below the featured row on the app: video shows and audio shows.  Once a user chooses a show, there is the option to follow which adds content to the users library.

As expected, the content includes small snippets and clips, like The Daily Show. 

Spotify is most commonly used as a music app, so it will be interesting to see how popular the video content becomes.  Or, if it even becomes a thing at all.  At the moment, the video content is not part of the main menu, but in time it presumably will be incorporated.  This may be part of a low-key launch strategy plan until the service is broadened and more content is added.

Skeptics view the expansion as somewhat pointless, especially with YouTube and ESPN.  But this seems like a tactful move from Spotify, and a strategy for diversifying their services while growing into other markets.  It’s also a way for the company to set itself apart from competitors, especially those with less traction in music.

Maybe that’s a suicide mission.  As previously reported, Spotify is entering into a very crowded realm, with platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, all of which are well-established and dominant among users.

As a way to maximize interest and uptake, Spotify is offering the video content to all its users ad-free.

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Charlotte Hassan Digital Music News


Madison Square Garden Executives Caught In Dirty Ticket Reselling Scam

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Ticket-buying bots and secondary markets are typically blamed for jacked-up prices and scalping.  But maybe there’s bigger problem is at the source.

Earlier this week, news surfaced that several Madison Square Garden employees were implicated in a ticket resale scandal.  The employees, in both ticket sales and corporate hospitality, had special access to tickets.

The employees involved included six sales executives and a senior executive.  According to reports, they had been reselling tickets to Knicks and Rangers games and other events at the Garden for a handsome profit.

A Madison Square Garden spokesman said in a statement to the New York Post:

“It was uncovered through an internal investigation that a small handful of employees were breaking company policies and, as a result, they were relieved of their responsibilities.”

One source point to a really simple operation: “They were buying the cheapest tickets for sporting events and reselling them at higher prices on StubHub.”

MSG has a policy in place for employees buying tickets, which involves the employee gaining permission from a supervisor prior to purchasing any seats.  The process also requires an explanation of why the ticket purchase is required.  However, as the ticketing executives in question had direct access to the actual tickets, the process was a bit different for them.

What’s ironic is that typically, automated ticket-buying apps and secondary sales sites are seen as the main culprit.  Now, it’s surfaced that MSG insiders were the ones withholding and reselling the best seats in the house.  Ticket buyers are obviously angered by this and feel somewhat betrayed, as the executives who bought seats for face value had access to highly-coveted Knicks and Rangers tickets.

Instead of providing a genuine service to their customers, MSG exploited the interests of the ticket buyers by shuttling tickets to other platforms for a higher price.  Although MSG is downplaying the incident, this has reportedly happened before.  That raises serious questions about MSG policies and procedures, which presumably were enacted to prevent this exact problem.


Photo by Rian Castillo, Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic, cc by 2.0)

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Charlotte Hassan Digital Music News


Future Announces ‘EVOL’ LP

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Future Announces

Well, that didn’t take very long. After teasing he had a big announcement coming up at midnight (February 4), Future has gone ahead and revealed a few details behind the LP he’s likely due to drop this Friday (February 5). It’s titled EVOL, and while the official ETA has still yet to be announced, the pre-order goes live at midnight EST.

Future used his Twitter account to note that he’s got a “new deal” with Apple, which seemingly makes sense considering DJ Khaled had announced earlier this week that a new Future LP drops through his Beats 1 program “We The Best Radio,” which itself premieres this Friday.

The rapper has also unveiled artwork consisting of a bunch of charred roses. It should be noted that EVOL is love spelled backwards.

While it likely won’t be confirmed until the pre-order goes live, it appears as if Future has been revealing the tracklist, piece by piece, over Twitter. Titles thus far could include “Fly Shit Only,” “Xanny Family,” and “Love Backwards.”

He also posted an emoji of an umbrella, while another tweet suggests that his recent, Christmas-delivered “Low Life” track with the Weeknd may appear on EVOL as well.

UPDATE (2/04 12:00 a.m.): The tracklist to EVOL was revealed once pre-orders went up for sale, though at the moment it’s unavailable in the Canadian iTunes store. The 11-song effort is due to drop February 6. You’ll find the track info beneath Future’s tweets about the LP.


1. Ain’t No Time
2. In Her Mouth
3. Maybach
4. Xanny Family
5. Lil Haiti Baby
6. Photo Copied
7. Seven Rings
8. Lie to Me
9. Program
10. Low Life (ft. the Weeknd)
11. Fly Shit Only

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Watch A$AP Rocky and Skrillex Rock a Fashion Show in New ‘Zoolander 2′ Trailer

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Watch A$ AP Rocky and Skrillex Rock a Fashion Show in New

A$ AP Rocky‘s 2016 has been plenty prolific thus far, what with releasing singles like “Hear Me” and “Yamborghini High,” dropping a video for “JD” and bracing us for his appearance on animated series Animals. He’s also going to be one of many celebs popping up on the big screen for Zoolander 2, and you can catch him rapping with a Blue Steel smirk in a newly released trailer for the high fashion comedy.

The latest trailer for the picture contains some comedic moments shared between the clueless title character (Ben Stiller) and best pal Hansel (Owen Wilson). There’s also a prison showdown between Zoolander and pointy-bearded super villain Mugatu (Will Ferrell) and some mumbly quips from Kristen Wiig’s Alexanya Atoz.

On the music side of things, we get a sneak peek at a fashion show collab between “Fashion Killa” A$ AP Rocky and producer Skrillex. Pretty Flacko even sends a stinging insult to Zoolander, rapping: “Hansel and Derek/I’m handsome, you jealous/I can tell it from facial expression.”

You can catch the A$ AP Mob member roasting the fictional models down below, while Zoolander 2 hits theatres February 12. The film also features cameos from Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Lenny Kravitz, Demi Lovato, and more.

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Black Sabbath Postpone Vancouver Show

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Black Sabbath Postpone Vancouver Show

It sucks to be a Black Sabbath fan living in Western Canada. After the band cancelled their Edmonton and Calgary shows over the weekend, they’ve now gone ahead and postponed their Vancouver show slated for Wednesday night (February 3).

As with the previous cancellations, the Vancouver show was blamed on Ozzy Osbourne’s health conditions. While the Alberta press release called his condition “extreme sinusitis,” the Vancouver press release now says Ozzy has “continued severe sinusitis.”

The statement about this latest postponement reads:

Due to continued severe sinusitis, Ozzy Osbourne will be unable to perform with Black Sabbath as scheduled. The Vancouver performance has been postponed. Details regarding the rescheduled date will be announced as soon as they are available. Please hold on to your tickets until further details are available.
Black Sabbath are expected to reschedule their shows in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, though no dates have been confirmed yet.

You’ll find the rest of Black Sabbath’s final world tour dates below, though don’t be surprised if they wind up cancelled.

Tour dates:

02/03 Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
02/06 Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Dome
02/09 San Jose, CA – SAP Center
02/11 Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
02/13 Las Vegas, NV – Mandalay Bay Events Center
02/15 Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
02/17 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
02/19 Detroit, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills
02/21 Hamilton, ON – FirstOntario Centre
02/23 Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
02/25 New York City, NY – Madison Square Garden
02/27 New York City, NY – Madison Square Garden
04/15 Perth, Australia – Perth Arena
04/17 Adelaide, Australia – Entertainment Centre
04/19 Melbourne, Australia – Rod Laver Arena
04/23 Sydney, Australia – Allphones Arena
04/25 Brisbane, Australia – Entertainment Centre
04/28 Auckland, New Zealand – Vector Arena
04/30 Dunedin, New Zealand – Forsyth Barr Stadium
06/01 Budapest, Hungary – Budapest Arena
06/08 Berlin, Germany – Waldbühne Berlin
06/11 Castle Donington, UK – Download Festival
06/13 Verona, Italy – Arena di Verona
06/15 Zurich, Switzerland – Hallenstadion
06/17 Dessel, Belgium – Graspop Metal Meeting
06/23 Halden, Norway – Tons of Rock
06/25 Kobenhavn, Denmark – Copenhell
06/28 Vienna, Austria – Stadthalle
06/30 Prague, Czech Republic – 02 Arena
07/02 Krakow, Poland – Tauron Arena
07/05 Riga, Latvia – Arena Riga
07/07 Helsinki, Finland – Monsters of Rock
07/09 Solna, Sweden – Monsters of Rock
07/12 Moscow, Russia – Olympisky Arena
08/17 Wantagh, NY – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
08/19 Philadelphia, PA – Susquehanna Bank Center
08/21 Washington DC – Jiffy Lube Live
08/23 Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
08/25 Boston, MA – Xfinity Center
08/27 Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
08/29 Toronto, ON – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
08/31 Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theater
09/02 Indianapolis, IN – Klipsch Music Center
09/04 Chicago, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
09/07 Dallas, TX – Gexa Energy Pavilion
09/09 Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Ampitheater
09/11 Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Ampitheater
09/13 Portland, OR – Sunlight Supply Arena
09/15 Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
09/17 Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena
09/19 Hollywood, CA – Hollywood Bowl
09/21 Phoenix, AZ – AK-Chin Pavilion

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I Got a Major Label Meeting and Nothing Happened

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Atlantic Records, My Major Label Meeting

At this point, we all know someone trying to “make it” in the music business.  Thanks to the world of technology we live in, the industry has easily become over-saturated with thousands, if not millions, of aspiring singers, producers, songwriters, musicians, DJs, etc.

Anyone with a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection can simply fill out their social media bio and give themselves whatever title they wish to be called.  With too much supply and not enough demand, it’s no wonder that so many are getting discouraged while in pursuit of their dreams.

Old Way of Thinking

You may have heard the classic “get signed to a major label vs. remain independent” discussion buzzing throughout the industry. The new way of thinking is very much in favor of DIY (Do It Yourself). It’s all about taking matters into your own hands now. Stop whining, stop complaining, and stop looking for someone to “put you on.”

Well, I used to be one of those folks. It took me awhile to accept reality. For years, I was stuck in the old way of thinking. I used to think I needed to get signed to a major label to be successful.

New Way of Thinking

The truth is that you definitely don’t need to be signed to become successful anymore. Yes, of course it helps in some aspects, but there are many pros and cons to either side of being independent versus signed. One major difference is the mindset. Waiting around to “get discovered” (yes I was once naive enough to think that was possible) versus GO out there, bust your ass every day, be fearless of rejection, and go make something happen for yourself.

How Did I Get a Major Label Meeting?

With that being said, I somehow ended up in a situation last year that landed me a meeting at Atlantic Records.  It was completely unexpected and rare.  My mental picture of a label office consisted of a bunch of greasy suits sitting around a huge corporate conference table scheming about the best ways of maximizing profits from every angle. Of course, this is the MUSIC BUSINESS – the for-profit monetization of distributing recorded music.

So here’s how it happened:

Connections Connections & More Connections

You’ve heard it before, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

That proves to be all true and powerful in the music business, but I would say it even goes a step further than just who you know. It’s who you know that believes they can PROFIT by helping you.  Let that sink in.  Everyone is talented these days, but that’s not enough.  Whenever you meet an A&R, manager, etc., what they ultimately want to assess is your commercial viability.

How likely are you to be commercially profitable?

Started With an Attorney

So, through the wonderful power of the Internet, a relative of a high school friend of mine came across my music and reached out. She believes in me greatly, and wanted to help. She had a connection to some attorneys who were previously successful in entertainment law. Through a series of emails and introductions, my music package ended up in the hands of a well connected music attorney in LA. For non-disclosure and legal purposes, let’s just say his name is… Professor X.

After lots of discussion with Professor X, he felt that I had massive potential and said I was a “rare find.” What a compliment.  From there, Professor X set up a meeting in New York between myself and his A&R buddy at Atlantic.

Day of the Meeting

So fast forward.  It’s just me.  I’ve got my acoustic guitar, press kit, and confidence as I go up the elevator.  Slight feeling of knots in my stomach and heart beating fast, but that’s normal.  I get off the elevator and saw those huge glass doors.  Those doors that I’ve seen in other people’s Instagram pics so many times before with the overtly corny hashtag #meetings in the caption.  Well it was finally my turn to walk through those doors.

Walk Through the Doors

I’m greeted by a stand offish dude that looked like he just finished jamming to old 90s Nirvana tunes in his mom’s basement. After 30 minutes of waiting, I’m finally greeted by the A&R. For non-disclosure purposes, lets call him Doctor Robotnik. (What you know bout that old school Sonic joint from Sega Genesis!)

So, I’m at the conference table sharing my story with Doctor Robotnik. We talk about some of my accomplishments, things that have shaped my musical influences, latest shows, production accolades, etc. Finally, I play him 3 records. Then, I busted out the acoustic guitar and rocked out for about 10 minutes. He was complimenting me up and down about what a unique sound I have, and how he wanted to get me in the studio with Cee Lo and Trey Songz.

Following that, we continued talking for another half hour or so. Discussing my potential as a songwriter and producer. Doctor Robotnik was a fan of my versatility, especially my vocal arrangements and musicianship. I was down for that. I just wanted to build and see where the road could lead. At the end of a near 2 hour meeting, I had all the reason in the world to be optimistic.

I Went from Optimistic –> To Hopeful –> To Huh?

Days, weeks, then finally a month goes by and I haven’t heard from Doctor Robotnik or Professor X. I tried the usual email and text follow up, but got totally ignored. A complete cold shoulder. Needless to say, I was confused and disappointed. I was looking forward to getting in the studio with some new people and building. I wasn’t expecting to become the next superstar overnight. I’m a smart guy with realistic expectations, but I was puzzled as to why I was getting snubbed.

Months later and I actually ran into Doctor Robotnik at an industry event. He saw me, looked down at the floor, and passed by with no acknowledgement. Now, I’m a man of respect and dignity. Maybe I was raised like that because of my traditional Italian heritage. But in my world, there’s no excuse for a grown man being that immature and petty. As an artist, I’m always trying to get better. I would prefer to receive the constructive criticism and learn from it.

Nothing Happened

So that was that.  It’s a sketchy industry.  It happens.  But who cares? Just be you.  Continue to work hard, stay humble, believe in yourself and your gifts, because the only person that can deny you is yourself.



Gaetano is a NYC based Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Guitarist that has worked with some of the biggest names in music. After releasing 2 EPs and producing records for major artists, Gaetano has been documenting his music industry experiences via his blog.

To get in touch with Gaetano, follow him on Instagram: @official_gaetano.

All images provided and owned by Gaetano.

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