Top Music Industry Trends To Watch In 2021

Fri Jan 08 2021
When Will Live Music Return

The Signs are everywhere, 2021 is going to be a breakout year in music. Do you know what kinds of trends we will see in the music industry over the coming year?

If you are involved in the music industry then you’ll know that a lot changed this year. Top artists released songs that no one ever thought they would and smaller artists gained notoriety much faster than usual. Artists have been shaking up the music industry and this is setting us up for an exciting 2021.

In this article, we are going to look at some of the top music industry trends to watch in 2021.

Lack of Genres

You may have already noticed this but the way in which music genres are categorised has been changing a lot recently. With so many new artists creating music, allocating their songs into specific genres has been increasingly more difficult. You can’t simply say that a song is pop now when it could be a mixture of four or five genres. This trend is set to make playlisting and chart lists more difficult in 2021.

Shorter Songs

McCartney Three Is Number One

Fri Jan 08 2021
Paul McCartney

What did you do with your time during the pandemic lockdown? Some people got to some long put off chores. Some read books, some folks binged on NetFlix.

Paul McCartney wrote, produced and played on a new record.

When the lockdown started Paul was with his daughter Mary and her family, 20 minutes away from his studio. “I was working on a tune for an animated film and I went to the studio to finish it up. It only took a half hour but it was so much fun so I kept going. I started finishing up some bits I had and started writing some new ones. The grandkids would ask me what I did in the studio so I’d play them what I’d done. Before I knew it I had 11 songs and thought I have enough for an album. And it was fun.”

This Is The Turning Point

Fri Jan 08 2021
Peter Åstedt

This is the turning point.

I just felt this holiday just passed with little notice. The quarantine just made me stay at home and keep on working on my projects. The only difference was that I left social media and the mailbox with an out of office reply. Even with pandemic still raging,  it has just left me with more work than ever. The major part of the workload is also for preparing when we are getting back to seeing each other, and resuming our time on the road.

No, not going back to normal. We are not getting back to normal. Like when 9/11 happened nothing went back to normal it was a new normal. To be honest 9/11 was a small impact in comparison to something that results in a lock down for the whole world. It is a new normal we will now be facing. What we are lacking is meeting people and interaction so that will come automatically when we resume our post-pandemic roles, it’s just with what restrictions and safety precautions? This is one of the turning points in history, we will talk about before and after 2020.

Happy Birthday Elvis!

Fri Jan 08 2021
Elvis!

On January 8th, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, was born to Gladys and Vernon Presley, a baby boy. He would be named Elvis Aaron Presley, and one day would be known simply as…..The King.

On August 16, 1977, 41 years ago, we lost one of the most significant artists on human beings the world has ever known.  Elvis Presley. Although the anniversary of his death is not as universally recognized as years past his impact on the world has not diminished. In 2010 we wrote the story “The Boy Who Would Be King” and thought it appropriate to rerun it for your reading enjoyment. Elvis didn’t like being called the King and at one show where they held up a sign saying Elvis Is King. He asked them to take it down saying there is only one King and pointed heavenward. Hope you enjoy the read.

Here’s to a Better 2021

Fri Jan 01 2021
Peter Åstedt

This is my New Year's column. Is there anything good to talk about in 2020? This will be remembered as one of the worst years anyway. I could just fill the whole page with all the stuff that was not good. Nearly all conferences were turned from social events to pale online copies with not as much value. All the time I have been missing out on new artists and especially friends that I would have shared moments with that are lost.

No, I won’t do that. This is what you feel but if you look at the whole thing you can really see it from another angle. You really can’t move forward by doing the same things over and over again. I look at 2020 as the break we probably needed. Not that we needed people to die, but I guess that is the only way we get governments and officials to react to serious problems. I guess we can just cynically laugh that COVID-19 is not as deadly as Ebola, the Black Death or the Spanish Flu. ( a fact we will not know until this is finally over)

I’m the Grinch of Christmas Music

Fri Dec 25 2020
Peter Åstedt

Yes, it’s Christmas Day when this goes on. Although in Sweden, we celebrate Christmas the day before. This day it’s the big homecoming day when you go back to your little shit city and meet all your old friends in the local shitty bar since they are also home and has nothing to do. Yes, it’s usually a pretty drunk evening. That won’t happen this year though for obvious reasons!

Still, I celebrate that from today onwards Christmas is over. Suddenly, I get back more than half of all my favorite radio stations that have been jammed with shitty Christmas music. No, I’m really not a big fan of Christmas music. All this has led to the fact I have become a collector of Christmas music that is obnoxious. Things you really can’t play in a crowd of people since there will be always someone offended. Okay, the truth is 2020 that is hard to find a topic that people are not offended by.

Christmas and New Year’s 2020 Let’s Find The Rainbow

Fri Dec 25 2020
Don Graham

Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the last week of the calendar year are most often a time of constants. At Christmas we sing the same carols and songs we sang as kids, watch the same timeless movies, “A Christmas Carol”, Scrooge and his ghosts don’t get any less scary, while we have our hearts warmed by “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

We decorate the tree with some of the old decorations that have been handed down and open presents Christmas morning and eat the same turkey, stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce that our mothers and their mothers before them prepared. There is something comforting and grounding in tradition. It gives us roots and steadies us.

And New Year’s Eve is the same. We gather and wish each other well and wait patiently for the stroke of midnight and sing Auld Lang Syne like our parents did and theirs before them. We talk excitedly about the coming year and discuss the good and bad of the outgoing year.

Due to Popular Andy Kim Christmas Special Airs Again on Christmas Eve, December 24

Fri Dec 25 2020
Andy Kim

The Andy Kim Christmas Special presented by the air miles® reward program re-airing due to popular demand Television Special in support of Crew Nation, CAMH Gifts of Light and Food Banks Canada to re-air Thursday, December 24 at 9 p.m. on Citytv and Citytv.com

Featuring performances by Andy Kim, Barenaked Ladies, Broken Social Scene, Buffy Sainte-Marie, City and Colour, Glass Tiger & Roch Voisine, Jully Black, Kardinal Offishall, Ron Sexsmith, Sam Roberts, Sarah McLachlan, Serena Ryder & William Prince

Global Sensation Yohio Releases New Single "Undo" From 3rd Album

Fri Dec 18 2020
Yohio

With his extravagant way of expressing himself, the looks of a visual prince, a singing voice which can tackle English, Japanese, and Swedish, his naturally confident stage awareness, and his undoubtedly great fashion sense – YOHIO has captured the heart of thousands of fans all over the world.

The platinum-awarded Swedish visual pop-artist YOHIO released his third album Nov 27th2020,
‘A Pretty Picture in a Most Disturbing Way’, and “Undo” is the current single from that album.

Check out the video on YouTube here:

Consultants Are the New Management Role

Fri Dec 18 2020
Peter Åstedt

I heard from a whining artist the other day that managers only took a percentage of what the artist earned. The artist was angry since he got an offer that he could pay for management services and as usual though he became screwed.

I have seen more and more managers actually turning into more of a consultant. Even more and more of them call themselves consultants. In my opinion, that is also where the management role is going to be, and here are the reasons why.

Yes, in the old days the management role was just a percentage. At the same time, this is quite long time ago and the industry has changed. This is mainly in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s people born in those years are now middle-aged. Back then the artist made money. Touring was a substantial part of the income. Getting a percentage of that and merch sales could make you a living, not a big a living but an income. Same with record sales. The sales came hand in hand with the release that also could be sold and get some monetary value. This was more the 70’s and 80’s, in the 90’s it started to change.

Canada’s ‘First Lady of the Classical Guitar’ Liona Boyd Wants to Wish You a “Happy New Year”

Fri Dec 18 2020
Liona Boyd

Multi-award winning and Gold- and Platinum-selling Canadian ‘First Lady of the Classical Guitar’ Liona Boyd — and her multi-talented friend, singer/songwriter Amanda Martinez — want to wish you a very special “Happy New Year” with this, their newest single — available now!

“It occurred to me many years ago that, apart from ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ there was no well-known celebratory song that welcomes in the new year while bidding farewell to the previous one,” Boyd recalls. “Even then, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is, in itself, a slow and nostalgic song that mostly looks backwards, so I decided to write an upbeat pop song with joyful lyrics that people could enjoy dancing to…

“Play this happy song, be sure to sing along and dance around, even if you’re on your own,” she continues. “I guarantee it will lift your spirits!

Enjoy “Happy New Year (feat. Amanda Martinez)” here:

Award Winning Classical Guitarist Emma Rush Releases “Wake the Sigh”

Fri Dec 18 2020
Emma Rush

The award-winning Canadian classical guitarist Emma Rush has released her third solo album. It’s called Wake the Sigh and brings to light a plethora of relatively unknown female-written guitar compositions from the 19th century, including works from Emilia Giuliani, Delores de Goñi and Julie Fondard — a professor of guitar in Paris, France.

Putting Wake the Sigh together wasn’t as simple as listening to old recordings, taking inspiration from them and re-recording them… No, Emma spent a couple of years researching these classical composers and uncovering their masterful compositions, which went on to inspire the 43-minute work. 14 of the 17 tracks were never-before recorded, so the Hamilton-based musician is technically the first to ever release them.

During pre-production, the ambitious Canuck did a residency in Lübeck, Germany, where she was able to conduct a lot of her research. Pre-pandemic, she visited libraries all across Europe and eventually managed to piece together tons of information about seven different female composers – many of them also renowned performers — and their works written throughout the 19th century.

BTW - Sultans of String, Matthew Cardinal, Diana Krall, Friggin’ Arab Orchestra Company, Adam Solomon, Christina Martin, Nyssa, Walk Off The Earth, Tom Jackson and The Huron Carole

Fri Dec 11 2020
Sultans of String

‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ said judgemental Santa, as he walked by the three young women at Sherbourne and Dundas.

This week we spotlight Second Harvest Central Food Bank 1450 Lodestar Road Unit 18 Toronto, Ontario
Tel: 416-408-2594
email@secondharvest.ca

The Turkey Drive goal is to provide 8,000 turkeys to our agency network to help nourish people who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Member agencies have been coping with the new realities of providing emergency food relief during COVID, whether it’s changing their community dining programs to take away meals or offering prepared hampers instead of food bank access. Many agencies have closed their doors, which has put further strain on the food resources of agencies that have remained open.

Support your local food bank. The need is dire.

It’s a digital Christmas y’all. The otherworldly Sultans of String is doing a zoom celebration of their Billboard charting festive release Christmas Caravan, featured on the New York Time Hits List.

Newfoundland’s Tonia Evans Cianciulli Marks “Christmas Time This Year” With New Single

Fri Dec 11 2020
Tonia Evans Cianciulli

Award-winning Canadian soprano, singer/songwriter, and author Tonia Evans Cianciulli has released a poignant and beautiful song for the holiday season in this, “Christmas Time This Year”.

“Christmas 2020 will be a challenging one for the entire world,” Cianciulli considers. “If we can’t be with our families in person, I pray we can be together in spirit and music.

“With that in mind, I hope this song will weave its way through your heart.”

“Christmas Time This Year” is the latest creation from the multi-faceted artist, and lands ahead of her forthcoming album set for release this Spring, 2021.

Watch “Christmas Time This Year” here:

The new release of all-original music will highlight matters of the heart while further heralding her heart’s true home of Newfoundland. To that, “Christmas Time This Year” enjoys two versions of its lyrics, with alternate words fitting for other locations.

Internet Killed The Nerdiness!

Fri Dec 11 2020
Peter Åstedt

If you know me, you know I am the king of nerdiness. I was out in Stockholm and went into a second-hand store that carries used vinyl, CDs, and Comic books. No, I more or less sighed over the CDs. As a collector’s item, they really are dead. Vinyls, no I’m not a vinyl freak. I guess running a distribution service for over twenty years with vinyls I am pretty bored with the format. Still, it’s a collector's item and there were a couple of strange guys going through the boxes of different vinyls. No, I’m collecting comics, only white men in their 40:s are collecting those I guess the kids of today don’t really know what a comic book is they just think that is a merch item that went with the movie.

In front of me in the queue line was an older guy that wanted to sell some old comics. Usually, they are quite expensive. If you had a pretty good copy of Donald Duck from the 50’s it was worth money. The prices have gone down lately. The old man was unhappy with the price, so I overheard the conversation and after he left talked a bit to the owner about why the comics have gone down.

JAMES CULLETON Uses AR Technology to Bring Children’s Concept Album to Life

Fri Dec 11 2020
James Culleton

Winnipeg-based folk musician James Culleton has used AR technology to bring his new children’s concept album, Unusual Friendships, to life.

Unusual Friendships is based on the children’s story Unusual Friendships: A Little Black Cat and a Little White Rat, written by the award-winning Métis author Beatrice Mosionier — who is also Culleton’s aunt; the 71-year-old novelist wrote the rhyme-heavy book as symbolism for difficulties Métis persons experience.

With a collection of 14 original songs, Culleton effectively turned pen; to paper, back to pen; to paper; to ear drums. The 36 minute-spanning record features a mixture of traditional and contemporary roots song while succinctly retelling the symbolic tale of acceptance and equality relayed through a peculiar friendship which blossoms unexpectedly between a black cat and a white rat. Though rats and cats are thought to be enemies, the dynamic duo stick together throughout Unusual Friendships to fight and earn the respect of others.

Learn How James Culleton Brought Unusual Friendships to Live via YouTube here:

Taking The Measure of Countermeasure

Fri Dec 04 2020
Countermeasure

Carry Away CountermeasureAcapella is the high wire act of vocalizing, You’re out there all alone, just you and your voice and a tonne of expectations; you will rekindle old emotions, awaken the sleeping dogs of memory and bring fresh dynamics to songs your audience thought they knew inside out. That tall order is tough for most acapella crews. For Countermeasure, it’s their specialty, made possible by voices that replicate the sounds of guitar, bass, percussion, trombone and more.

Here’s why there’s not another like this 13 member Toronto-based group. They’re fearless. Their live sets and album are primarily original material, an act bordering on heresy in a genre where idiosyncratic arrangements of popular standards is the norm.

Which Artists Will Survive COVID-19?

Fri Dec 04 2020
Peter Åstedt

I have been talking to many festivals organizers over the past weeks. Mainly I wanted to ask if they are going to try to do them in the summer of 2021 or push them to 2022 or just close altogether. That has been the debate the whole time which bars, gig venues and festivals will survive. The other discussion is which artists will survive has not been covered much in the media but has been discussed behind the scenes activelu in the industry.

Many festivals are taking the same line-up with them from 2020 until 2021. Now of course if they move to 2022, that line-up is not that current. Even if you have the line-up from last year who knows which artists will still be active.

Janelle Monae’s Guitarist & Collaborator Kellindo Steps into His Own with New Single, “Long Gone”

Fri Dec 04 2020
Kellindo Photo Credit Scott Murry

Kellindo is best known as energetic side-man and collaborator to Janelle Monae, playing guitar on her four GRAMMY Award-nominated records and touring the world on some of the biggest stages — including the Oscars and GRAMMYs, and for everyone from David Letterman to Karl Largerfeld to The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Not only is he currently putting the final touches to his epic rock-opera album debut, Shattered Rhapsody, but he can also be heard on Janelle’s new single, “Turntables.”

His musical story however, starts way before that...

Born from a gifted bloodline that includes James Brown band members Melvin and Maceo Parker, and the first black law professor at Columbia University — his father, Kellis Parker — Kellindo was just eight years old when he first picked up guitar.

Now, after over a decade of performing with geniuses like Prince and Stevie Wonder, he’s ready to strike out on his own with his own distinctive brand of soul inflected rock ’n’ roll.

Check out his New Single Release , “Long Gone” here:

The Guess Who's Leonard Shaw with Sandy Chochinov Release Self-Titled Album as Displaced Pieces

Fri Dec 04 2020
Leonard Shaw and Sandy Chochinov

“Be Strong” is the newest single by Displaced Pieces — Leonard Shaw and Sandy Chochinov — from their album, Displaced Pieces. Available now on streaming services Spotify, Amazon Music, and available as a music video on YouTube, this new rock/jazz single was written to remind everyone to not give up in the face of adversity.

Check out “Be Strong” here:

“The music has been developed over the past few years, but not without its challenges. Sandy and I thought it appropriate - even in this difficult time of social distancing - to celebrate what we have accomplished, and some of our shared history,” says Shaw about the new single.