- #55 - The End Zone 🌞
#55 - The End Zone 🌞
Your Weekly Music Round-Up: Happy Music album review, UMG & Deezer artist-centric streaming, NFT Beliebers, AI Grammys, Zach Bryan #1, Teezo Touchdown.
Happy Sunlighter Sunday! Since football is back in full swing, we’re bringing you an upcoming artist this week who also scores touchdowns. Hook ‘Em Horns and Sic ‘Em Bears 🤘🏼🐻
Here's what we have queued up this week:
🌶️ Review of Happy Music by Supershy.
💿 This Week in Music: Artist-centric streaming model, NFT Beliebers, AI Grammys.
📈 Weekly Charts: Zach Bryan scores his first #1.
🎙️ Teezo Touchdown is our artist of the week.
Rating Rationale: Why do the groovy, disco-influenced beats of Supershy sound like… Tom Misch? That’s because Supershy IS Tom Misch, at least his electronic alter-ego. After releasing his first two songs early last year, his electronic project has finally made its full debut with Happy Music. As you might expect, Tom infuses funky, disco beats and a bit of jazz with a contemporary tempo to create what a sophisticated 70s house party might sound like. There’s a bit of repetition in the sound, but the album is definitely worth the listen. “Keep It Rising” and “Don’t Let Go” are standouts.
💰 Royalty, Royalty, Royalty: Over the last year, Sir Lucian Grainge has been vocal about his gripes with the streaming economy, and this week, he walked his talk. Together, UMG and French streaming company Deezer are launching an artist-centric streaming model, with the goal of increasing professional artist payout by 10%. Deezer plans to launch the model in France next month. More details on what “artist-centric” means here.
🏆 Awards Season: Among 12 nominees, Ezra Collective won the 2023 Mercury Prize, thus becoming the first jazz act ever to win the award. Back on our side of the pond, the Country Music Association revealed 2023 CMA Award nominees, with Lainey Wilson (whom we covered in #10) securing the most nominations for the ceremony.
⭐ Hey Now, You’re an All Star: Last week, Steve Harwell, the lead singer and founder of Smash Mouth, passed away. The band shared a touching post honoring his life.
🏜️ Exodus of Burning Man: The infamous utopian desert campout on the West Coast shut down three days early due to inclement weather, resulting in a mass exodus from the festival. Diplo and Chris Rock documented hitching a ride back to civilization. Here’s hoping the thousands more people still trapped in the desert have a safe return.
📺 You Gotta Watch This: Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album, GUTS, is here, and the first song is your perfect introduction on what to expect. Here’s a version of Olivia rehearsing the track with her band:
❤️ Heart On My Sleeve: Remember that AI mashup of Drake and The Weeknd? Earlier this week, Harvey Mason (CEO of the Recording Academy) stated that because the song was written by a human, it would be eligible for Grammy consideration. A few days later, he said the recording would not be eligible due to its use of AI voice modeling.
🎻 You’re So Classic: After the release of Apple Music Classical, Apple solidified its dedication to classical music by acquiring Swedish classical record label, BIS Records.
☁️ SoundCloud Discover: Like other streaming competitors, SoundCloud launched its “Discover” feature, allowing fans to find new music based on their listening history and musical taste.
🗣️ Join the HYBE: After withdrawing a bid to take control of SM Entertainment earlier this year, HYBE will welcome its competitor and fellow K-pop pioneer to its fan platform, Weverse, on Tuesday. Weverse is a virtual platform where fans can chat with each other, watch livestreams of their favorite artists, and purchase official merchandise. Although Weverse is not exclusive to K-pop artists, notable artists who are already leveraging the platform include BTS and BLACKPINK.
💰 Securing the Bag: Attrakt shows HYBE they have skin in the game with a new K-pop girl group and a $7.5M investment. Music rights company Concord is buying UK royalty fund, Round Hill Music, for a reported $468M.
🌐 Web3 Updates: AnotherBlock, a blockchain music rights collector, partners with Norweigan songwriter and producer Axident to allow Beliebers to become part-owners of future streaming revenues from Justin Bieber’s song, “Company,” from his Purpose album.
🐕 For All The Dogs: Drake finally announced For All The Dogs will be dropping on September 22, with Bad Bunny, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Yachty as featured artists.
🍂 Autumn Leaves: Ed Sheeran shared he will giving two special performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 18-19. Fans who pre-order his upcoming album, Autumn Variations, will receive exclusive access to pre-sale tickets starting now through September 14.
🚶♂️ Artists On Tour: Fall Out Boy and Jimmy Eat World say So Much for 2(Our) Dust with Hot Mulligan and The Maine, all of Bruce Springsteen’s September tour performances have been postponed, Creed is cruising again, Tyler Childers embarks on the Mule Pull ‘24 Tour, Mitski shares intimate shows in anticipation of her new album, The Smashing Pumpkins aim to recreate their 1993 album release concert in Chicago, and Tegan and Sara announce a number of acoustic shows.
📈 What’s Trending? Zach Bryan scores his first number one album while also topping the Billboard Hot 100 with his lead single, “I Remember Everything,” featuring Kacey Musgraves. Zach and Kacey are only the second duo to ever land a country duet in the Billboard Hot 100, and the first in 40 years since Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s “Islands in the Stream.”
Primer: Just as Travis Scott, Post Malone, Khalid, and Lizzo have made a lot of noise in recent years, here’s another Texan who we think will be added to that prestigious list. Teezo embodies eccentricity–think Steve Lacy with a rockstar twist. After reading the tea leaves, we think the industry is positioning him as the “next one up.”
Hip-Hop Rockstar: Just when it feels like the rockstar persona embraced by many contemporary, mainstream hip-hop artists (Posty, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti) has been played out for far too long, Teezo provides a refreshing perspective on the qualities of being a rockstar. If he’s not dressing in rebellion, donning raw, steel nails in his hair, he’s exuding an authenticity of embracing counterculture that reflects both his lifestyle and music. While Teezo’s father, a DJ in his own right, attempted to dissuade him from a music career, he continued to trailblaze his own path. At times, his personal communication style can be unorthodox but thoughtful, sometimes done through the safety of yellow sticky notes. But the least idiosyncratic of all is that he reps the state that his coterie is from: Texas.
Before the Fame: Before his ascension into more mainstream collaborations, Teezo was working odd jobs in Beaumont, Texas, ranging from his town’s local movie theater to Joe’s Crab Shack. After saving up for a camera and a gimbal, he got his first break with support from his crew, CVKE SUPPLY, by rapping over Panic! At The Disco’s iconic, “‘I Write Sins, Not Tragedies.”
Influences: Rick James, Prince, Marvin Gaye, Judas Priest, Soulja Boy
Current Label: Not Fit for Society and RCA Records
Wrap Up 👏
We're closing the newsletter this week with what we imagine was going through the fan’s head when they saw Diplo and Chris Rock hitchhiking.
Who’s Burning? 🌡️
The Merch Table 💳
🌎 Save Our Planet: Chaz Bear, aka Toro Y Moi, teamed up with Los Angeles graphic-centric streetwear company, Brain Dead, in a collaboration last year to commemorate his two shows at Big Sur. While most of this collaboration has sold out, the bucket hat is still available.
The Baddie Flag: If you aren’t familiar, Nicki Minaj’s salute overtaking the foreground of the United States flag became an LGBTQ+ symbol. Is Ice Spice trying to vie for that position?
Sunlighter Playlist 🔀
How do you like our newsletter this week?
We're all ears, click the number of 🔆 you think we deserve and feel free to drop a comment.
See ya next Sunday 😎
Chris and Donya