WEDNESDAY 8 MARCH 2017 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: George Michael died from a combination of heart failure and liver disease according to a coroner's report. As previously reported, Michael was found dead at his Oxfordshire home on Christmas Day last year. Police at the time said that the death was "unexplained but not suspicious"... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Former Jahcoozi vocalist Sasha Perera is set to release her second solo album as Perera Elsewhere, 'All Of This', on 2 Jun. Preparing the ground for the record is its first single, 'Something's Up'. This track very much sees her build on the sound of 2013 debut album 'Everlast'. It's soulful pop at heart, but also seems to float in front of you at a distance somehow. [READ MORE]
 
LATEST CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including SoundCloud's new mid-price streaming option, the music industry's failure to agree on transparency and Parliament's views on the matter, plus Vivendi's stern response to Spinal Tap's $400 million lawsuit. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
 
LATEST CMU TRENDS: UK music creatives and their managers have called on the government to assist in their bid to secure more transparency in the digital music market. What do music creatives want to know, why do they need to know it, and can government really help? We review the transparency debate. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES George Michael ruled to have died of natural causes
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LEGAL Cher's lawyers tell graphic designer to font off
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LIVE BUSINESS SXSW to remove deportation threats from artist contracts
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MANAGEMENT & FUNDING PRS Foundation evaluates first five years of Women In Music fund
Jay-Z's Arrive has arrived
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify buys audio ID maker Sonalytic
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ARTIST NEWS Chance The Rapper donates $1 million to Chicago school system
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AWARDS IMPALA announces European Album Of The Year contenders
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ONE LINERS Sony/ATV, PledgeMusic, AEG Presents, more
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AND FINALLY... Rupert Grint doesn't even look that much like Ed Sheeran, really
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
KOBALT - ASSOCIATE, CEO'S OFFICE (NEW YORK)
The Associate will work closely with Kobalt's CEO, his Executive Assistant and other senior leadership to execute work plans, projects, and day to day workflow. He or she will ensure streamlined activities within the organisation based on the priorities of the CEO.

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RSK ENTERTAINMENT - SALES ACCOUNT ASSISTANT (NEWBURY)
Sales, marketing and distribution company, RSK Entertainment, requires a Sales Account Assistant to cover a portfolio of retail accounts and responsible for the solicitation and sales of new releases, as well as back catalogue orders and the proactive instigation of label promotions and campaigns.

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BASCA - TEMPORARY AWARDS ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
BASCA is seeking to employ a temporary events administrator on a short term fixed contract to offer administrative departmental support on the Ivor Novello Awards. We are looking for someone with previous office administration experience who has a ‘can do’ attitude, impeccable attention to detail and can remain calm under pressure.

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!K7 MUSIC - DIGITAL MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER (LONDON/BERLIN)
!K7 Music is looking for an experienced digital marketing and social media professional to help direct and implement robust online marketing strategies across multiple in-house artist and label projects. Candidates will need to be closely familiar with the components of successful music marketing campaigns, including social media presence, press results, online advertising, viral content spread, and performance metrics.

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MELODY VR - PROJECT MANAGER RESEARCH & OUTREACH (LONDON)
MelodyVR is the destination for music in virtual reality. Our Project Manager for Research & Outreach is responsible for identifying and connecting with the right artists, partners and opportunities as we continue to build a world-class content portfolio.

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SOLD OUT - JUNIOR SOCIAL MEDIA EXEC (LONDON)
Sold Out is an independent full service advertising agency, specialising in arts and entertainment for over 25 years. We are looking for two Junior Social Media Execs to support the business through effective implementation of social media campaigns for a variety of clients across the entertainment market.

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KUDOS RECORDS - SALES & LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
Kudos Records is an independent music distribution company (est 1992). We provide physical and digital distribution services to a hand-picked selection of quality, independent record labels. Due to continued expansion, there now exists an opportunity to join our sales and label management team.

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MELODY VR - HEAD OF DIGITAL (LONDON)
MelodyVR is the destination for music in virtual reality. The Head of Digital (Content) is responsible for driving the strategic content strategy for MelodyVR, working in close collaboration with artists and our label partners to deliver this.

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MPA GROUP - TRAINEE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTANT (LONDON)
The MPA Group of Companies (MPA, MCPS, IMPEL and PMLL) is seeking a trainee financial accountant to assist the Director of Operations with all of the finance functions across the four companies as well as providing assistance with other finance related projects.

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George Michael ruled to have died of natural causes
George Michael died from a combination of heart failure and liver disease according to a coroner's report.

As previously reported, Michael was found dead at his Oxfordshire home on Christmas Day last year. Police at the time said that the death was "unexplained but not suspicious". An initial post-mortem then proved inconclusive, with funeral proceedings being delayed for further investigation.

But in a statement yesterday, Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire Darren Salter said that "there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, [therefore] the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further enquiries".

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition, sometimes inherited, which stops the heart from being able to pump blood around the body efficiently, while myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle - a combination of which can lead to heart failure, as in this case. Fatty liver, meanwhile, is the accumulation of fat in liver cells.

A flood of tributes were made to Michael following his death, celebrating both his music and also his many often secret donations to both individuals and institutions in need.

Meanwhile the music industry's big award shows in the US and the UK, the Grammys and the BRIT Awards, both paid tribute to Michael last month. Adele performed a version of 'Fastlove' at the Grammys, while Coldplay's Chris Martin performed a virtual duet of 'I Swear' at the BRITs, following a speech by Michael's former Wham! bandmates Andrew Ridgeley and Pepsi & Shirlie.

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Cher's lawyers tell graphic designer to font off
Lawyers for Cher and her label Warner Bros are attempting to have a font infringement case that has been launched against the singer dismissed on the basis that the plaintiff's typeface is not protected under American copyright law.

The lawsuit relates to the way Cher's name is written on the artwork for 2013 album 'Closer To The Truth'. Graphic designer Moshik Nadav says that the letters spelling out the singer's name on the record copy - without permission - a typeface that he created called Paris Logo. He adds that the "artistic elements" of that typeface create an "aesthetic look and feel" that graphic designers associate with him and his company.

Whether or not copyright protects a typeface varies from country to country, and the rules can be confusing even when there is some protection (and all the more confusing given the technical different between 'typeface' and 'font' - the latter might be protected but the former not). But, generally speaking, US copyright law doesn't protect typefaces.

That's a point that is unsurprisingly at the heart of a legal filing made by Cher's attorney Leonard Venger, who is attempting to have Nadav's case dismissed.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the lawyer notes that Nadav also suggests that the way Cher is written on the 'Closer To The Truth' cover copies the logo for his Paris typeface, which is protected by US copyright law. The logo for the typeface is simply its name written in the typeface itself. But Venger rejects that claim too.

He writes: "Perhaps based on the inability to rely on their typefaces as the basis for their claim, plaintiffs also allege that the Cher logos are substantially similar to the Paris Logo and the Paris Pro logos, for which plaintiffs own copyright registrations. That claim fails as a matter of law due to the profound differences between plaintiffs' logos and allegedly infringing works".

The legal man continues: "The Paris and Paris Pro logos share just one letter with the Cher logo - an 'r'. In addition, plaintiffs' attempts to rely on other letters included within the Paris typeface (but not in the Paris or Paris Pro logos) to support their infringement claim is improper and unavailing".

So that's fun isn't it? In other fun font news, it turns out that the typeface we use on the CMU website doesn't have a ÷ symbol, an oversight that has become something of an issue thanks to a certain Ed Sheeran. Thanks Ed.

SXSW to remove deportation threats from artist contracts
SXSW will remove threats to report international artists to immigration authorities from future contracts, Billboard reports.

As previously reported, earlier this month New York band Told Slant cancelled their appearance at the festival in protest against the language of the contract. The document informs bands arriving from overseas on certain visas that playing unofficial shows at the event "may result in immediate deportation, revoked passport, or denied entry by US Customs Border Patrol at US points of entry".

SXSW said that it was merely informing artists of legal obligations pertaining to their visas. The festival's CEO Roland Swenson told the Austin Chronicle: "We've had these restrictions in the agreement for about five years and never had to enforce them. It's intended for someone who does something really egregious like disobeying our rules for pyrotechnics, starts a brawl in a club, or kills somebody. You have to really fuck up for us to do this stuff".

In its official statement at the time, SXSW did note that Donald Trump's controversial attempted travel ban had made immigration a more sensitive topic, adding: "We understand that given the current political climate surrounding immigration, the language that was published seems strong".

Although it added that it "would be remiss not to warn our participating acts of the likely repercussions" of breaking US immigration laws, SXSW has now decided to remove that language from its contracts, starting next year.

In other political SXSW news, it has been announced that FBI Director James Comey will now not speak at the event, as had been planned, "due to scheduling conflicts keeping him in Washington DC".

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PRS Foundation evaluates first five years of Women In Music fund
Coinciding with International Women's Day today, the PRS Foundation has released a report evaluating the impact of its Women In Music fund, five years after it was launched.

In 2011, the foundation discovered that only 16% of the projects it was funding involved female creators. Meanwhile other research found that only 13% of songwriters registered with PRS For Music were women.

Women In Music therefore attempted to redress the balance, and has gone some way to doing so. In the funding scheme's first year, 86% of applicants had never applied to the PRS Foundation for funding before. Demand remains high, and the organisation has only been able to support 12% of the 1300 applications it has received.

"Based on everything we've learnt from this evaluation, there's no doubt that our Women Make Music fund is still needed in the short term", says PRS Foundation CEO Vanessa Reed in her introduction to the report. "Our commitment to developing it further with new partners forms part of this report's recommendations. In the longer term, the success of this fund will be determined by how soon it becomes redundant".

"At the Foundation we are setting ourselves the target of achieving a 50/50 balance of male-female music creator applicants by 2022", she continues. "This report calls on government, fellow funding agencies and other industry partners to work with us on this goal by endorsing and investing in good practice, and positive action, like our Women Make Music fund, promoting role models for the next generation and improving working conditions for women in music. Only then can we be sure that a broader range of talent will be empowered to develop a career in writing music and that the music industry will better reflect the world around us".

Read the report in full here.

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Jay-Z's Arrive has arrived
As expected, Jay-Z has launched a new venture to support early-stage start-ups.

There have been rumours of late that the rapper and his longtime business partner Jay Brown were setting up a venture capital firm. The new start-up supporting set-up will be called Arrive and will provide selected entrepreneurs with branding and business development services as well as cash. Primary Venture Partners and GlassBridge Asset Management are also involved in the new business.

Head Of New Ventures at Jay-Z's Roc Nation company Neil Sirni says: "Arrive was created to leverage our experience and resources in building brands, developing consumer facing businesses, managing artists and representing athletes. We've opened that diversified, global range of expertise to a new vertical: entrepreneurs and their early stage businesses".

So that's all exciting isn't it? I love a bit of leveraging experience and recourses in a new vertical; let's build some brands and get in some consumer faces I say.

Spotify buys audio ID maker Sonalytic
Spotify has bought itself a Sonalytic, because why wouldn't you?

Sonalytic, in case you wondered, is a company that makes some of that audio detection technology type stuff that can spot tracks and songs, and bits of tracks and songs, and all that gubbins, which can - of course - help enhance both music discovery services and rights management or royalty processing.

Spotify is keen to enhance both of those elements of its platform, the latter in the US especially where the lack of a proper mechanical rights collecting society shifts the responsibility for working out what songs are streaming within what tracks onto the digital services. And a failure to identify what songs are streaming can lead to litigation, as Spotify itself knows.

While there are plenty of audio ID solutions out there now, London-based Sonalytic has been employing ever more sophisticated technologies to spot tiny elements of recordings. The company's Martin Gould told CMU last year: "Sonalytic analyses music at the microscopic level of its constituent parts, to extract detailed fingerprints of the individual sounds. This means that we can identify not only whole songs, but also stems, loops and samples within them".

It remains to be seen quite how Spotify utilises Sonalytic, but it confirmed the acquisition yesterday, saying: "We're happy to announce that Sonalytic is joining the Spotify family. The Sonalytic team is passionate about creating technology to improve the music ecosystem for artists and fans. Their advancements in audio feature detection will be used in several ways to advance Spotify's mission: from improving Spotify's personalised playlists to matching songs with compositions to improve our publishing data system. Stay tuned for new products we'll bring to market with Sonalytic's help".

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Approved: Perera Elsewhere
Former Jahcoozi vocalist Sasha Perera is set to release her second solo album as Perera Elsewhere, 'All Of This', on 2 Jun. Preparing the ground for the record is its first single, 'Something's Up'.

This track very much sees her build on the sound of 2013 debut album 'Everlast'. It's soulful pop at heart, but also seems to float in front of you at a distance somehow, never quite allowing you to fully focus in on it.

The video for the track fits that description too, and is part of a trilogy of clips created by director Hugo Holger Schneider for singles from the new album. Watch that here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Chance The Rapper donates $1 million to Chicago school system
Chance The Rapper held a press conference yesterday to announce that he is donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools. He also plans to work on raising further funding for the city's school system.

The announcement comes after the rapper met with Illinois governor Bruce Rauner last week, after which he complained that he had been given "vague" answers to his concerns about education and social issues in Chicago and Illinois as a whole.

"This isn't about politics, this isn't about posturing, this is about taking care of the kids", he said at yesterday's press conference. "The cheque that I donated is a call to action. I'm challenging major companies and corporations in Chicago and across the US to donate and take action".

Responding to the donation, Chicago Public Schools spokesperson Emily Bittner said: "As a CPS graduate, Chance has shown Chicago students not only the heights they can achieve but the generosity they can share. We also appreciate his strong advocacy for Chicago schoolchildren, who suffer under the state's racially discriminatory system of funding, which Governor Rauner continues to perpetuate".

Watch the full press conference here.

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IMPALA announces European Album Of The Year contenders
Pan-European indie label trade group IMPALA has announced its shortlist for this year's European Album Of The Year Award, selecting 25 albums released by labels based in Europe. Several UK artists and companies get in on the action this year. See, those Europeans still love us despite everything.

"The essence of this prize is to put the spotlight on the most exceptional album of the year", says IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith. "It's a great shortlist again with both new faces and well-established independent artists. The jury will now decide which album they believe was the best in 2016".

Here's the full list:

Agnes Obel - Citizen Of Glass (PIAS)
Bisse - Højlandet (Gateway Music)
Blood Orange - Freetown Sound (Domino Records)
Boef - Gewoon Boef (Zonamo Entertainment)
Claudio Capéo - Claudio Capéo (Jo and Co)
Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition (Warp)
Dubioza Kolektiv - Happy Machine (PIAS)
First Breath After Coma - Drifter (Omnichord Records)
Hangutazók - Indulj El (RNC Music / Egység Média)
Highasakite - Camp Echo (Propeller Recordings)
Jolly Mare - Mechanics (42 Records/Don't Panic)
Kase.O - El Círculo (BOA)
Klaus Johann Grobe - Spagat Der Liebe (Cargo Records)
Lost Frequencies - Less Is More (Lost & Cie)
LUH - Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing (Mute Records)
Mark Ernestus' Ndagga Rhythm Force - Yermande (Ndagga)
Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep Of Reason (Nuclear Blast)
Mikko Joensuu - Amen 1 (Svart Record)
One Sentence Supervisor - Temporär Musik 1-13 (Oh, Sister Records)
Oscar - Cut And Paste (Wichita Recordings)
The Radio Dept - Running Out of Love (Labrador)
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool (XL Recordings)
Sara Renar - Tisina (Aquarius Records)
skrtice - skrtice (Lampshade Media)
Zidrūns - Zidrūns Un Tas, Ko Nevar Nest (I Love You Records)

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Sony/ATV, PledgeMusic, AEG Presents, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Sony/ATV UK has appointed Alastair Kinross as its new Senior A&R Manager. "We are delighted", says the music publisher's UK Head Of A&R, David Ventura, adding: "We are all very excited for the future".

• PledgeMusic has appointed Theresa Trenks to the role of Territory Manager for Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and will become the direct-to-fan platform's primary contact point in the region for artists, labels and managers using the service.

• So AEG Live is now AEG Presents and anyone who gets it wrong will be shot. Not my words ladies and gentlemen, but those of AEG Live. Ah, shit, everyone duck. So yes, AEG has rebranded its concert promotions business and even has a new logo. Woo!

• Fleet Foxes have announced that they will release their first album for six years, titled 'Crack Up', on 16 Jun. Here's first single, 'Third of May/Ōdaigahara'.

• Mastodon have released a third track from their upcoming 'Emperor Of Sand' album. Here's 'Andromeda'.

• Joey Bada$$ has announced that he will release new album, 'All-Amerikkkan Bada$$', on 7 Apr. From it, this is 'Land Of The Free'.

• Machinedrum has released a new VR experience, created with Finnish designer Antti Jäderholm, called 'Ocean Of Thought'. Check it out here.

• Ray BLK has released the video for 'Patience (Freestyle)'.

• Julia Holter has released another track from her upcoming live studio album 'In The Same Room'. Here's 'Silhouette'.

• 6lack has released the video for 'Free' from his 'Free 6lack' album.

• The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu are doing something in Liverpool on 27 Aug.

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Rupert Grint doesn't even look that much like Ed Sheeran, really
Brains are funny old things, aren't they? The amount of stuff they can do is amazing, and yet they still manage to be utterly shit at a lot of it.

Recognising people, for example. Half the time when you see someone famous your brain will decide you probably went to school with them. On other occasions, it just picks a couple of characteristics and selects the last person you thought of who fits that description.

Say, for example, you saw Rupert Grint walking down the street, your brain probably wouldn't search long enough to realise that it's Rupert Grint. It'd just think: 'Mid-20s, ginger hair: Ed Sheeran'.

"It's kind of 50/50 now", Grint told James Cordon on 'The Late Late Show' yesterday. "If someone stops me, it could go either way, I could be Ed or I could be me. Leo Sayer came up to me and said he loved my music, of course thinking I was Ed. I just play along".

The actor did somewhat bring it on himself though, having once starred in an Ed Sheeran music video. Still, for future reference, print out these pictures. This is Ed Sheeran and this is Rupert Grint.

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ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
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