THURSDAY 19 APRIL 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Over 60 events affiliated to the Association Of Independent Festivals have committed to stop the use of single-use plastic on their sites by 2021, including bar cups and drink bottles. As a first step, they will all ban plastic straws from their events this year... [READ MORE]
Available to premium subscribers, CMU Trends digs deeper into the inner workings of the music business, explaining how things work and reviewing all the recent trends.
   
SPOTIFY - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
As Spotify finally lists on the New York Stock Exchange, CMU Trends reviews Spotify's business to date, considers what its SEC filing might tell us about its current direction, and speculates what a Spotify of the future might look like. [READ MORE]
   
CHINA, AI AND MUSIC EDUCATION - SETTING THE AGENDA
As CMU Insights publishes agendas for each of the conferences that it will present at The Great Escape later this year, CMU Trends outlines the background to each theme being explored: music education, AI and the Chinese music market. [READ MORE]
   
AI - THE NEXT REVOLUTION IN MUSIC?
Midem recently published a brand new white paper from our consultancy unit CMU Insights reviewing the potential impact various AI technologies will have on the music industry in the next decade. CMU Trends presents some highlights. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Independent festivals commit to ban single use plastics by 2021
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DEALS Peermusic allies with ICE
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LIVE BUSINESS Eventbrite expands European reach further with Ticketea buy
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Amazon Prime has over 100 million subscribers, many taking advantage of music streaming
Warner licenses classical streaming service Idagio
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THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU@TGE Top Questions: How are Shazam-like technologies quietly revolutionising the music business?
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ARTIST NEWS Prince's incomplete memoir set for publication
Run The Jewels' El-P to score Al Capone movie
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ONE LINERS Boiler Room, Slayer, James Bay, more
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AND FINALLY... Headless Chickens criticised after scattering ashes of dead bandmate on awards stage
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Check out all the latest classified ads with CMU Classifieds. To advertise here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 0906.
   
COOKING VINYL - OFFICE SPACE TO RENT (WEST LONDON)
Cooking Vinyl is pleased to offer a newly refurbished office space in Acton, West London. Ideal to share with other likeminded creatives in a hot desk environment, or alternatively to rent the space as a whole, comfortably fitting 30+ desks.

For more information and to apply click here.
Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 0906.
   
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING - ARTIST DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (LONDON)
Attitude Is Everything is excited to announce an opportunity to join our growing team and lead on a new area of work for our organisation.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
PITCH & SYNC - SENIOR MUSIC SUPERVISOR (LONDON)
Pitch & Sync is looking for a dynamic and inspiring Senior Music Supervisor who will join its growing music synchronisation business operating across advertising and brand sectors.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ONE LITTLE INDIAN - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
One Little Indian is seeking a Digital Marketing Manager to develop and manage the digital campaign strategy for the record label and its diverse roster.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MUSIC MANAGERS FORUM - MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY (LONDON)
The MMF is seeking a Membership Secretary to ensure the smooth-running of the MMF office, servicing its 500-strong membership.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE DISTRIBUTION SERVICES - SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Distribution Services is looking for a Senior Digital Marketing Manager to join its team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BIGFOOT MUSIC MANAGEMENT - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
We are recruiting a Digital Marketing Manager to join Bigfoot Music Management, which represents Adam Beyer, Drumcode and many more.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - ASSISTANT ADMIN MANAGER (LONDON)
The Assistant Admin Manager is a completely new role that will support the global team with the operational day-to-day as well with distribution focused tasks.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - COPYRIGHT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
The primary role of the Copyright Assistant will be to support the team with managing our catalogue in the US across all US PROs by ensuring works and agreements are registered correctly.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
DOMINO PUBLISHING - COPYRIGHT & ROYALTIES ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Domino Publishing requires a passionate music person to assist the copyright and royalties staff.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MAXIMUM BOOST - MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
As a direct assistant to a lead artist manager within Maximum Boost Management you will be entrusted to support, plan and execute a number of processes on behalf of the manager and their artists.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
RAYMOND GUBBAY - TICKETING AND ADMINISTATION ASSISTANT (LONDON)
RGL is seeking a motivated individual with strong analytical and communication skills to join the ticketing department.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
CREAM - MARKETING EXECUTIVE (LIVERPOOL)
Joining Cream's small and busy marketing and PR team, the candidate will be required to support the planning, delivery and analysis of marketing campaigns immediately, with quick progression to managing smaller campaigns.

For more information and to apply click here.
CMU Insights will present three full-day confernces as part of The Great Escape's convention programme this May. Get your tickets here.
   
CMU INSIGHTS PRESENTS THE EDUCATION CONFERENCE
Wednesday 16 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
This full-day conference will put the spotlight on music education, and discuss how business and entrepreneurial skills could and should be integrated into the music curriculum. [READ MORE]
   
CMU INSIGHTS PRESENTS THE AI CONFERENCE
Thursday 17 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
This full-day conference will look at how big data and AI will impact on music, including audio-recognition, fan-messaging, data-driven recommendations and music composition tools. [READ MORE]
   
CMU INSIGHTS PRESENTS THE CHINA CONFERENCE
Friday 18 May | Dukes at Komedia, Brighton
The full day conference will provide a beginner's guide to the Chinese music market, looking at copyright, streaming services, media and social media, and the touring circuit. [READ MORE]

Independent festivals commit to ban single use plastics by 2021
Over 60 events affiliated to the Association Of Independent Festivals have committed to stop the use of single-use plastic on their sites by 2021, including bar cups and drink bottles. As a first step, they will all ban plastic straws from their events this year.

"It is encouraging and inspiring that so many AIF members have taken this initiative and pledged on-board without hesitation and are taking a collective stand against single-use plastic", says AIF CEO Paul Reed. "This is one of the most critical issues facing our businesses and wider society. By working together as an industry and taking affirmative action, we can make a tangible difference".

The commitment is part of the 'Final Straw' campaign, which was launched by Bestival in January. Bestival began providing biodegradable paper straws with drinks last year, banning plastic straws from its site.

"Unless you've been living on the moon, you'll know the plastic problem is not going away", says Bestival and AIF co-founder Rob Da Bank. "I'm very proud that the organisation we started with five members ten years ago now boasts over 60 who have all signed up to eradicate single use plastic in the next couple of years. This is exactly the sort of work the AIF needs to be doing - leading the global charge against essentially unnecessary plastic at all our festivals".

It is estimated that around 8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away in the UK alone each year, adding further to the 150 million tonnes of plastic waste current floating around the Earth's oceans. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicts that by 2050 there will be more plastic items in the world's oceans than fish. Already each year around one million birds and 100,000 sea mammals die due to eating or becoming entangled in plastic waste.

Shortly before the AIF's announcement this morning, the British government announced plans to ban the sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England entirely. The final decision on if and when to implement this plan will follow a consultation to be launched later this year.

The ban would be part of the government's 25 year plan to eliminate avoidable plastic waste, and follows the mandatory 5p charge placed on single-use carrier bags in shops and a ban on plastic microbeads.

"Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world", says Prime Minister Theresa May. "The UK government is a world leader on this issue, and the British public have shown passion and energy embracing our plastic bag charge and microbead ban".

Environment Secretary Michael Gove acknowledged moves by some UK businesses to reduce plastic waste, such as Bestival's existing ban on straws, saying: "We've already seen a number of retailers, bars and restaurants stepping up to the plate and cutting plastic use. However, it's only through government, businesses and the public working together that we will protect our environment for the next generation - we all have a role to play in turning the tide on plastic".

With the consultation process still to begin - and an 'adjustment period' possibly lasting years likely to be part of any government-instigated ban - music festivals are getting the jump on the politicians.

Earlier this year, Emily Eavis announced plans to ban plastic bottles from Glastonbury Festival when it returns next year. People in the UK use 38.5 million plastic bottles per day, 91% of which are non-recyclable.

When Bestival announced the 'Final Straw' campaign in January, Kendal Calling and Bluedot were already on board. Director of both festivals, Ben Robinson, said at the time: "Festival culture has always been inspired by the search for alternative experiences and radical action. Making the psychological change to not accepting single use plastics as 'normal' or acceptable is something we can support in the fields and take home to our everyday lives".

"Small changes that make a difference every day are what will drive the global movement to save our planet and our oceans from the current hammering they are getting with the waste created from day to day convenience items in our society", he continued. "We can all survive without straws pretty easily".

Meanwhile Chris Johnson, co-founder of Shambala Festival, which along with Glastonbury has already begun working with the RAW Foundation to reduce plastic use, adds: "There's loads that festivals can do to design out disposable plastics such adopting re-usable cups, banning drinks sales in plastic and encouraging festival goers to bring re-fillable water bottles. Festivals inspire change in people, so we just need to take the steps collectively and create the new normal - a better normal".

As part of the 'Final Straw' campaign, festivals involved in the plastic ban - including Bestival, Boomtown Fair, Shambala and others - will have their websites "wrapped in plastic" for Earth Day on 22 Apr. Visitors to the websites will be presented with various facts on plastic, as well as the opportunity to purchase reusable metal water bottles.

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Peermusic allies with ICE
Independent music publisher Peermusic has followed Downtown in allying with copyright hub ICE on multi-territory digital licensing in Europe.

How about a bit of 'Digital Dollar' style background here? When it comes to song rights, streaming services can get licences for most of the songs they stream via the collective licensing system.

However, the big five music publishers - Sony/ATV, Universal, Warner/Chappell, BMG and Kobalt - often license their Anglo-American catalogues through direct deals. Albeit in partnership with the Anglo-American collecting societies, which actually control the performing rights in those songs - streaming services needing to exploit both the 'mechanical' and 'performing' rights that exist in music.

The big five reckoned they could get better rates from the streaming services by going the direct licensing route on their Anglo-American repertoires, and in most cases that worked. So much so, the bigger indie publishers decided they wanted a bit of that direct licensing action too.

In the main that was achieved via a venture called IMPEL, run by the UK mechanical rights collecting society MCPS and its owner the Music Publishers Association. IMPEL in turn outsourced the work to PRS which, more recently, outsourced the work to ICE, in which PRS is a shareholder.

IMPEL is currently in the process of re-inventing itself as a standalone entity separate from MCPS and MPA. In the meantime some publishers - like Downtown and now Peermusic - are seeking to ally directly with ICE.

That way their repertoires will be included in the multi-territory licensing deals ICE negotiates with streaming services on behalf of its owners - collecting societies PRS, STIM and GEMA - and its other clients. Which they already were via IMPEL/MCPS/PRS - but now said indie publishers will be directly linked into ICE instead.

This means that music publishers are now directly licensing their Anglo-American repertoires to streaming services via a collecting society-owned hub alongside collecting society-controlled repertoires in partnership with the collecting societies which control the performing rights in the songs in which they control the mechanical rights.

That's probably better than directly licensing their Anglo-American repertoires to streaming services via a collecting-society led scheme administered by a collecting society that outsources the work to a collecting society-owned hub so that it can be licensed alongside collecting society-controlled repertoires in partnership with the collecting societies which control the performing rights in the songs in which they control the mechanical rights.

And they say music licensing is overly complex!

Here's Peermusic European President Nigel Elderton with a quote: "As the online business evolves, we continue to evaluate our digital strategy and review our service providers around the world to ensure that our songwriters and composers receive the best service and achieve the most competitive rates possible".

He goes on: "We chose to partner with ICE directly in Europe as they offer a tailored service with the business intelligence tools necessary to effectively track and police our royalties. ICE has continued to demonstrate that they are at the forefront of the pan-European licensing business having negotiated deals with all of the major digital service providers across Europe and beyond".

Ben McEwen over at ICE adds: "Peermusic were one of the first publishers to embrace the opportunity of licensing on a multi-territorial basis when they centralised the administration of their rights via PRS in 2008 and we are delighted to now welcome them as a direct customer of ICE in 2018".

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Eventbrite expands European reach further with Ticketea buy
Ticketing platform Eventbrite has further expanded its European reach by buying up Spanish ticketing firm Ticketea. US-based Eventbrite previously boosted its presence in the European market by buying rival Ticketscript.

Says Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz: "Ticketea's innovative approach to solving challenges for both event creators and seekers, including a robust discovery platform, has helped them achieve impressive brand equity and a strong leadership position in not only Spain, but the broader southern European market. There is incredible synergy between our two companies from a business, platform, and brand perspective. We're THRILLED to welcome their talented team, who shares our core mission of bringing people together through live experiences, to the Eventbrite family".

Meanwhile Ticketea CEO Javier Andres - who becomes Eventbrite's Country Director for Spain and Portugal - adds: "We have been building a significant market presence in Spain for nearly a decade and it's exciting to be recognised by the global leader in event technology as they invest more heavily in our growing market. Joining forces brings tremendous value to our customers, who will now benefit from Eventbrite's proven track record of innovation, global team, and deep resources. We look forward to extending the impact of both our team and technology far beyond country borders to the more than 180 countries and territories where their powerful platform gives rise to millions of events today".

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Amazon Prime has over 100 million subscribers, many taking advantage of music streaming
How many streaming music subscribers is enough streaming music subscribers? That's the big question. At what point does the saviour of the recorded music industry - subscription streaming - actually become a viable business in itself? 100 million? Well that's how many people could be using just the most basic version of Amazon's quietly growing music streaming set-up. Not that most of them are bothering, but it is how many subscribers the Amazon Prime subscription scheme now has.

Amazon is not generally a company that puts out big stat brags. Or at least precise stat brags, with actual real numbers. However, CEO Jeff Bezos has now announced that Amazon Prime has passed the 100 million subscriber mark. For a flat fee, Prime subscribers get faster and free delivery from the retailer, as well as various other perks. This includes free access to its limited catalogue Prime Music service and discounted access to its Music Unlimited full catalogue on-demand streaming platform.

Returning to more imprecise stats when talking about music specifically, in a letter to his shareholders, Bezo writes: "Amazon Music continues to grow fast and now has tens of millions of paid customers. Amazon Music Unlimited, our on-demand, ad-free offering, expanded to more than 30 new countries in 2017, and membership has more than doubled over the past six months".

Although, he adds, it is "Prime Video [that] continues to drive Prime member adoption and retention". Full access to Amazon's video streaming service is free with Prime membership.

Bezos's comments on Amazon Music don't really offer much new insight beyond that already revealed by the company's music man Steve Boom earlier this month. Although it does continue to suggest growing confidence at the web giant in its streaming music offering, which has been quietly gaining on market leaders Spotify and Apple Music for some time now.

Speaking to Billboard recently, Boom said that key contributors to that success were the growth of the firm's Echo smart speakers and the fact that Amazon is targeting more mainstream music listeners than its rivals. "Our goal has been to expand the premium streaming market segment", he said. "Not to run in a horse race with the other players each going after the same demographic".

Because of that, he said, the company is attracting customers who are "either new to streaming in the first place, or new to premium streaming", rather than just relying on smartphone-centric "early adopters" which, he reckoned, have been the main target for his rivals. "Not everybody wants to listen to music on a smartphone, it turns out", he added.

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Warner licenses classical streaming service Idagio
Warner Music has signed a new licensing deal with specialist classical music streaming service Idagio. The agreement will see the entire catalogues of the major's Warner Classics and Erato labels appear on the platform.

"Adding the complete Warner Classics catalogue will enable us to continue offering classical music lovers the streaming experience they want and deserve", says Idagio CEO Till Janczukowicz. "Warner Classics and Erato are labels that, under the inspired leadership of Alain Lanceron, continue to buck the industry trend with their ambition and commitment to visionary A&R".

The there mentioned Alain Lanceron, President of Warner Classics and Erato, adds: "We are happy to launch this strategic partnership with Idagio, a truly dedicated service for streaming classical music. Idagio has worked on a new model and technological solution to ensure enhanced search functionality, specialist curation and audio quality".

He goes on: "They care as much about delivering quality and choice to the audience and the artistic community as we do at Warner Classics and Erato. We are looking forward to an innovative and exciting collaboration with Idagio".

Available for iOS and Android devices, as well as via a MacOS desktop app, Idagio offers access to classical music recordings in lossless audio format. In the UK, a subscription currently costs £7.99 per month.

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CMU@TGE Top Questions: How are Shazam-like technologies quietly revolutionising the music business?
With The Great Escape now just a month away, over the next fortnight we'll be considering ten questions that will be answered during the three CMU Insights conferences that are set to take place there this year: The Education Conference (16 May), The AI Conference (17 May) and The China Conference (18 May). Today: How are Shazam-like technologies quietly revolutionising the music business?

Shazam probably remains the highest profile of all the technologies that can recognise music. When Apple announced its plan to buy the company last year, we were reminded just how long Shazam had been telling people what tracks they were listening to - the service having launched long before the smartphone, initially informing users of a track's name by SMS.

Over the fifteen years that Shazam has been live, lots of other companies have been developing technologies that can also identify your favourite tunes. Some have tried to compete head-on with Shazam by offering music recognition services to consumers, either via their own apps or by bundling their technology into other people's applications. Although other start-ups dabbling in audio-recognition have business-to-business, rather than business-to-consumer, ambitions.

Platforms offering audio-recognition are usually based around what are referred to as 'digital acoustic fingerprints', or some variation of that term. The platform creates a 'condensed digital summary' of each piece of audio it is exposed to. That 'condensed digital summary' is unique to that track, hence 'fingerprint'. Metadata is then attached to each fingerprint to identify the audio and provide other key information about it.

Once a database of fingerprints has been built, when the audio-recognition platform is re-exposed to a piece of audio it should be able to identify which fingerprint the track is associated to. It can then deliver the accompanying metadata to the user.

From a technical perspective, advances in the audio-recognition domain include the ability to more quickly identify a track from a smaller sample of the recording being identified, and being able to ID a track oblivious of sound quality and background noise, or where the track has been slightly altered in some way.

Then there is the separate challenge of recognising songs rather than specific tracks, so that a platform can identify new and live versions of songs as well as officially released recordings. Recognising new versions of existing songs is obviously a little more challenging that matching an already logged sound recording.

Commercially speaking, the biggest potential for audio-recognition is probably in business-facing technology.

Perhaps the highest profile B2B use of this technology so far is YouTube's Content ID. YouTube's system is designed to allow copyright owners to more easily identify and manage user-uploaded videos that contain their content. In the case of music, that might be user-uploads of official music videos, user-generated content soundtracked with someone else's tune, or a cover version of an existing song.

In theory, Content ID means that artists, labels, songwriters and publishers need only upload their music once into the YouTube system. That system should then automatically spot if that content is included in any other people's videos. Whoever controls the copyright in the music can then either decide to block that user-uploaded video or share in the ad revenue it generates.

Although Content ID is probably the best known, other user-upload sites have developed or bought in similar audio-recognition systems.

Such websites are obliged to provide copyright owners with some tools to remove uploads that contain their content without permission. If they don't, said websites could be held liable for copyright infringement for hosting unlicensed copyright material.

However, these tools don't currently have to include anything as sophisticated as audio-recognition. The music industry would like that obligation to be added to copyright law, especially in Europe where a new copyright directive is being negotiated.

Even without the legal obligation, those user-upload sites which want to engage with the music industry have usually had to invest in audio-recognition, in order to make their proposition - "let our users exploit your music and we'll share our ad income with you" - attractive to the wider music community.

This means more and more sites are looking to develop ever more sophisticated audio-recognition tech. Even more will do likewise if copyright law does indeed change.

Perhaps the really exciting use of audio-recognition technology in music is in public performance - ie when music is performed or played in a public space. Royalties are due whenever music is used in this way, and that money is usually collected from the venue or concert promoter by the local collecting societies, which then pass the cash on to their members.

Although less high profile than CDs, digital and sync, that income has been slowly growing over the years, even when other key recorded music revenue steams were in freefall. And as copyright regimes and collecting societies are ramped up in key emerging markets, even more live and public performance royalties should be unlocked.

But how does the collecting society know what music has been used and therefore who to pass the money onto?

When artists perform their own songs they can be expected to report that back to their collecting society (not that they always do, but they should). But what about small gigs where people perform other people's music? What about clubs? What about bars, cafes, gyms, shops and workplaces?

The truth is we often don't know what music is being played in these places. Until now, actively monitoring what songs and recordings were being used would have cost more than the royalties these businesses pay in. Therefore market research and market share data has often been used to distribute this income.

Clever use of audio-recognition could change all that - ie little internet-connected boxes with some audio-recognition technology inside could be listening to all the music played and then reporting back to HQ. As the cost of these technologies comes down, while the accuracy of such systems goes up, that is starting to become a reality. It's very much early days, but some collecting societies are now experimenting with all this.

Which is how audio-recognition technology is quietly revolutionising the music business. At The AI Conference at The Great Escape next month we'll be looking at all this in much more detail.

Music lawyer Sophie Goosens from Reed Smith will update us on what extra obligations the new European copyright directive is likely to place on user-upload sites. And we'll talk to Rebecca Lammers from Laika Network and Gideon Mountford from Believe about Content ID and Facebook's Rights Manager.

Plus Russell Chant from PPL and Tim Arber from PRS For Music will discuss their pilot project with DJ Monitor, using audio-recognition technology in clubs. Come join the revolution!

The AI Conference takes place on Thursday 17 May - more info here.

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Approved: Sasha Sloan
Pop singer-songwriter Sasha Sloan has been putting out music independently since last year. Having announced a new record deal with Sony Music yesterday, her singles to date have now been compiled into an EP, titled 'Sad Girl', by the label.

"I wanted to put out a blueprint for who I am with this EP, because I'm still figuring it out", says Sloan. "It's definitely been scary at times, but it's also been exciting to share these songs and hear how people relate to them. I'm so grateful for everyone's support over these last few months and am excited to be a part of RCA and Columbia UK as I continue to grow".

Sloan's progression has been interesting to watch since her excellent debut single 'Ready Yet' last October - as well as earlier appearances on tracks by Kaskade and Kygo - all way up to the recently released 'Normal'. Hearing all her work collected into one release highlights what an emerging talent she really is.

Watch the video for 'Normal' here.

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

Prince's incomplete memoir set for publication
Shortly before his death in 2016, Prince announced plans to publish a memoir. Although the book was not completed, a portion was written and that is now set to be published.

Interviewed on Variety's 'Strictly Business' podcast, literary agent Esther Newberg of ICM Partners, who handled the book deal, said that it's hoped that work will be published "next Christmas".

"He wrote about 50 pages in his own handwriting", she explains, adding that "it'll be a wonderful testament to a great songwriter and performer".

The book, she says, is "about his family". The exact form it will take when published is not yet clear, but, she says, "he wrote himself and he wrote it in longhand and what we may do is show the real pages".

Listen to the full interview here.

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Run The Jewels' El-P to score Al Capone movie
Run The Jewels' El-P is set to score new Al Capone biopic 'Fonzo'. The film will star Tom Hardy as the gangster, with Josh Trank directing.

"Since I was fourteen years old, El-P's music has been one of the most important creative influences in my life", says Trank. "There's literally no greater honour for me than to collaborate with him today and bear witness to this next stage of his artistic journey".

In a tweet, El-P himself said: "Cat's out the bag. I'm scoring 'Fonzo'. Psyched to get the chance to do this shit".

It's not the producer's first film score. He previously worked on the soundtrack for graffiti-themed film 'Bomb The System' in 2002.

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Boiler Room, Slayer, James Bay, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• You can now get a daily CMU news summary via our Messenger bot. Click here to get started.

• Boiler Room has hired Stephen Mai for the newly created role of Chief Content Officer. Previously Mai oversaw marketing at LADbible.

• Slayer have released episode two of their YouTube series looking back at their 37 year career.

• James Bay has released the video for new single 'Us'. His new album, 'Electric Light', is out on 18 May.

• Let's Eat Grandma have released new single 'It's Not Just Me', produced by Sophie and Faris Badwan.

• Brian Jonestown Massacre will release new album, 'Something Else', on 1 Jun. Here's first single 'Hold That Thought'.

• Aïsha Devi has released new single, 'Light Luxury'. Her new album, 'DNA Feelings', is out on 11 May. She'll play Oslo in London on 14 Jun.

• Chad Valley has released new single, 'See-Through'. His new album, 'Imaginary Music', on 25 May.

• Gruff Rhys will perform his debut Edinburgh Fringe show at the Pleasance Beyond form 17-25 Aug.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.

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Headless Chickens criticised after scattering ashes of dead bandmate on awards stage
Accepting a prize at the Taite Music Awards in New Zealand, the band Headless Chickens ensured that their full line-up was there to accept it by scattering the ashes of late bassist Grant Fell on the stage.

As the band were presented with the Classic Record Award for their 1987 album 'Stunt Clown', the band's Chris Matthews held up a small vial. "I think Grant probably always wanted to play on this stage", he said, before tipping Fell's ashes out onto the stage. And drummer Bevan Sweeney.

Fell died in January this year, three years after being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour. Although he was given the all-clear in September last year, the cancer quickly returned.

The Taite Music Prize is basically the New Zealand version of the Mercury, a panel of judges choosing the best album released by an artist from the country in the previous year. However, since it was launched in 2010, other awards have been added to the ceremony. The Classic Album Award was first presented in 2013, and last year the event saw the introduction of an Independent Debut Award too.

Headless Chickens' tribute to their late bandmate has divided opinion. There was particular criticism that the scattering of the ashes was not in line with traditional Maori culture and its treatment of the dead.

One of the artists up for the main award, Maori musician Teeks, tweeted: "First time I'm glad I didn't win an award. Wouldn't have gotten on stage with those ashes under my feet ... Still extremely humbled to have been nominated, don't get me wrong, but I was raised in a culture where that shit isn't OK".

He later added: "I'm sure no offence was intended, totally understand the sentiment behind it and why they thought it might have been a good idea. I guess the thing we need to realise is that we live in two different worlds".

Organisers of the awards, Independent Music New Zealand, said that they had been unaware of plans to scatter the ashes. Although the organisation refused to say what had happened to the ashes following the ceremony, a spokesperson told Radio New Zealand that a Maori blessing would be carried out at the Wintergarden venue in Auckland, where the ceremony took place.

Fell's widow Rachael Churchward defended the band's actions in a statement, stating: "We were not setting out to shock or offend anyone, but Grant wanted his ashes scattered in places he loved - and he loved being on stage playing music. I understand it's not in line with tikanga [Maori customs], but we all come from different places and we don't adhere to every tradition. Music is a big part of our identity too".

The main Taite Music Prize was handed to Aldous Harding for her excellent 'Party' album. Preparing to record the follow-up in London, she wasn't at the ceremony and therefore didn't have to make any moral judgement about standing on the ashes-covered stage.

Referencing the NZ$10,000 prize money, she said in a video message: "We start recording the new album in the next couple of days, so I'll put the money towards making the same mistake".

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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
 
CMU supports the music community by providing news, business intelligence, training and education.

CMU Daily covers all the latest news and developments direct by email.

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CMU Premium gives you access to the weekly CMU Digest and CMU Trends.

CMU Insights provides training and consultancy for music companies.

CMU:DIY provides workshops and resources for future music talent.



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