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Music

What’s next after music streaming? Streaming Awards?

Music - February 15, 2017

Music streaming sites count worldwide subscriptions of 100 million users and are the industry’s new business model. The old yardstick – number of albums sold – is history. The key stat now is number of streams. It’s a watershed moment: music execs now focus on negotiating with streaming services. Thanks to streaming outfits like Deezer, we have millions of songs at our fingertips!

Not only has streaming up-ended the way we listen to tunes, it’s a game-changer for young talent. Record it in the garage, upload it to the Soundcloud, spread your fan base, and get yourself signed by a swank label like Jonas Aden’s (Spinnin Records) and Kungs (Universal).

But even with their Soundcloud notoriety, some young bands still aren’t on the big boys’ radar (MTV Awards, American Music Awards… ) because they don’t have a label. Imagine a Streaming Awards or adding streaming favs to the awards category list.

Chance the Rapper likes the idea. In a recent tweet, he suggested that his next CD may be a Soundcloud-only release. Since they’ll doubtless be Grammy quality tracks, he may just be right!

Chance the Rapper song nominated for a 2017 Grammy:

If you have a Deezer account, kick back and enjoy Chance’s whole album.

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Cameroon’s Roger Milla had the game’s most unforgettable victory dance

Music - February 08, 2017

Roger Milla: this goal-scoring genius just had the rhythm! Winner of the Golden Ball in Africa in 1976, top scorer in the African Cup of Nations (CAN) in 1986 and 1988, named 2nd Best African Player of the 20th century, made Knight of The French Legion of Honor in 2006… This Cameroonian hero is revered in his native land and beyond!

But great as his stats are, Roger Milla is probably even more famous for being the first footballer to celebrate his goals with dances. He’d sprint for the sidelines and dance the Makossa with the corner flag.

Nowadays, most players celebrate with a little post-goal groove, but Roger started it all. MHD even dedicated a song to him called (you guessed it) Roger Milla.;) ) – an Afro Trap song that’s already racked up 35 million YouTube views. Fans across the globe are clamoring to see Roger Milla dance to Roger Milla. Well, wait no more! The legend himself was goofing around with the Cameroonian team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and he hit the dance floor, to the delight of all.;)

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David Bowie predicts the Internet revolution

Music - February 01, 2017

The world-renowned musician, visionary, and fashion icon David Bowie was that rare artist: a man ahead of his time. One of his most astonishing premonitions was the Internet boom. Back in the ‘90s, during the Web’s infancy, Bowie got the scale and the scope of the upcoming revolution. His 1996 single Telling Lies was an Internet-only release, a marketing coup that netted him sales of 300,000 copies of the song.

In 1998, he took it a step further. Wanting “to invest in the Web,” Bowie sold bonds against future royalties, raising a sweet 30 million dollars, which he immediately reinvested in his own Internet provider: Bowienet. For $19.95 a month, fans got exclusive content (songs, videos, photos). And subscribers could create their own website and enhance it by importing Bowie tunes and videos. He dreamed up social media way before MySpace and Facebook!

A year later, during an interview with the BBC, Bowie described his vision of the music industry’s future. He foresaw the end of the artist/audience separation – a new era of direct contact between bands and fans. Right you were, David: with Twitter and Instagram, you can tweet Beyoncé or like a photo on Rihanna’s account!

David Bowie – Telling Lies (an Internet-only release in 1996)

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With artificial intelligence, no need for hands to make a song!

Music - January 25, 2017

Jay-Z, Adele, Coldplay… Google: that’s an eye-opening line-up, eh?;) Google’s making waves in every field, even music. The Web giant is developing Magenta, AI software that would “create art,” starting with music. It generated its premier song in 2016:

OK, so it’s not exactly Mozart, but it’s not bad for machine.

The researchers who came up with Google Brain have a second goal for Magenta: create an artistic community of musicians, coders and researchers. The idea is democratize musical production, using AI. They opened-sourced TensorFlow, their AI software library, spawning AI experiments, a site where internauts can upload their experiments and creations. One of them enables users to sing a duo with an AI partner, using a MIDI keyboard plugged into your laptop. You compose a tune, rhythm, and notes and the AI contributes a musically analogous complement.

Will we be going to concerts of AI-artists? It’s the logical next step after Daft Punk 😉

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Musk the Muse – when Elon inspires artists

Music - January 18, 2017

Scientific visionary, wildly successful entrepreneur, Elon Musk is also a music-lover, savoring artists from Frank Sinatra to Andrea Bocelli. Better still, he often inspires music.

Often compared to the character Tony Stark in Iron Man, Elon Musk is a test-tube, Bunsen-burner guy, but he’s also a rock star of pop culture. His phenomenal success and free spirit have generated a veritable cult following, and some groups have celebrated his iconic personality in song. In 2016, heavy metal’s Raptor Command dedicated its first single to the entrepreneur: “Elon: champion for humanity.” The words echo with praise of SpaceX and Musk’s fascination with Mars: “Rocketing to the stars, on to Mars we fly.” And, “He’ll take the world beyond the stars.”

Rapper Rob Grimes considers the entrepreneur his mentor and composed a song called… “Elon Musk”! “Elon is one of the people in business I look up to, and I wanted to pay homage to one of my mentors,” he affirms in a clip description.

An internaut by the name of Steven Kaminsky wrote a tribute song, cataloguing everything Tesla’s CEO has accomplished, entitled simply, “Elon Musk Song”.

We’re eagerly awaiting a tribute from Future and Young Thug 😉 (If that one sailed over your head, click here for a refresher.)

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Alien rap gives the Big Bang a whole ‘nother meaning

Music - January 11, 2017

Despite Kanye West’s boast (“I’m the biggest of them all”) he’s no extraterrestrial.

To reach that elite sphere, he’d have to be in a whole ‘nother universe. American rapper Future, for example, invented his own musical universe, “Astronaut Status Mixtape,” way back in 2012 on his first album Pluto, affirming that, “it takes an astronaut so long to get to space – that’s how long it takes to catch up on my music.” Four albums and 17 mixtapes later, there’s no doubt about it: this rapper’s in a UFO of his own, from Pluto, he says on his Twitter account.

This young trap rapper has embraced his spacey reputation, notably in the title and visuals of Esco Terrestrial. And he brings in a lot of talent (from Earth) with guest appearances by 2 Chainz, Drake, Juicy J, and Nef the Pharaoh, and on this mixtape, a song with Young Thug, called Who. No surprise that it features lyrics like, “living on Earth like avatars.”

The space rappers were spotted recently in New York, on the stage of Terminal 5 for Young Thug’s Hihorse’d tour. 2017 is their year, as both artists have confirmed by Twitter that they’ll be releasing a duo project. If the site Booska is right, it’s a mixtape of simple cuts – 4 hands and 2 voices! Who cares if it’s from deep space, we can’t wait to hear what they’re cooking up.:)

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Boogie-woogie drones

Music - January 04, 2017

They’re more than just gadgets or military ordnance. All kinds of unexpected uses are cropping up, including in the arts. Technology and stagecraft are teaming up to transform these little flying objects into stars. Several stage productions this year, notably by Intel and partnering engineers, featured drones. Like a flying constellation, a hundred or so drones with on-board projectors created luminous designs to the powerful strains of Beethoven, a pretty impressive performance, given that the drones’ movements had to be coordinated with the music. Unveiled in 2016 at tech’s most important annual gathering, the Consumer Electronics Show, this performance even wound up in the Guinness Book of World Records!

Another impressive performance, by the Japanese troupe Eleven Play and the Rhizomatics, was an astonishing combination of dance and drones. The dancers were fitted out with sensors, enabling harmony between man and machine.

Mount Fuji was the scene of an aerial pyrotechnic extravaganza in April of 2016 with the drones of Sky Magic. To the music of Japanese guitars, the drones executed tightly choreographed numbers against the backdrop of the famous mountain at dusk. A veritable mechanical ballet, complete with fireworks, music, and sparkling dances.

Zooming, sparkling, dancing, enchanting… The drones’ next stop may be the Metropolitan Opera House.;)

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10 hits that rocked 2016

Music - December 28, 2016

As 2016 takes a final bow, the Web is aglow with all sorts of rankings for the year’s best songs and music. Pitchfork, THE music webzine, has posted its best-of rankings (all genres) on its site, and despite the passing of David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, the year was a rich and memorable one.

Whatever the category (albums, genres, songs), several artists, like Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Solange, had fantastic years. Beyoncé’s little sister, who hadn’t released an album since 2012, made a stupendous comeback with ‘A Seat at the Table’ (number 1 on Pitchfork’s Best Album list). The singer was even nominated for her first ever Grammy Award, in the category of Best R&B Performance for ‘Don’t Touch my Hair’. R&B sensation Frank Ocean also made a splash with his new album ‘Blonde’, with his eclectic style and great duos with Beyoncé and Pharell Williams. Critics also hailed Anohni for the music and video of his song ‘Drone Bomb Me’, the runaway champ in the category of pop political activism.

Here are the greatest hits of 2016:

  1. Solange, Cranes in the sky
  2. Kanye West, Fade
  3. Anohni, Drone Bomb Me
  4. Beyonce, Formation
  5. Frank Ocean, Ivy
  6. Radiohead, Daydreaming
  7. David Bowie, Lazarus
  8. Chance the rapper, 2chainz & Lil Wayne, No problem
  9. Rihanna, Kiss it better
  10. Jamila Woods, Blk girl soldier

If you have a Deezer account, click here and cue up the playlist on our account!

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Top 10 cult Xmas jingles, carols, and ditties

Music - December 21, 2016

Oh those by-gone Xmas pasts by the fireside, voices raised in song, holding hands round the tree at grandma and grandpa’s house.

Crooners like Frank Sinatra spun the warm glow while a new generation of stars, like Kelly Clarkson, is busy updating some of those timeless yuletide melodies. From Jingle Bells to Silent Night, this line-up of oldies-but-goodies will warm your heart and send you skipping down memory lane. Here’s our line-up of best-of holiday season covers:

  1. White Christmas – Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, et al
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming Tonight – Bruce Springsteen
  3. Silent Night – Kelly Clarkson
  4. Must Be Santa – Bob Dylan
  5. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire ) – Nat King Cole
  6. Winter Wonderland – She&Him
  7. All I want for Christmas Is You – Fifth Harmony
  8. O’ Holy Night – Mariah Carey
  9. Jingle Bells – Lauren Daigle
  10. That’s Christmas Night – Pentatonix

If you have a Deezer account, click here and cue up the playlist on our account.:)

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Can Xmas songs be both kitsch and beautiful?

Music - December 14, 2016

Can a song be kitsch and be good music? You bet. Just listen to this playlist of yuletide hits that are both kitsch and great pop.;)

In 1972, John Lennon released the peace anthem Happy Xmas (War is Over) with Yoko and the Plastic Ono Band. Though it didn’t make much of a splash in the ‘70s, it became wildly popular in the ‘80s, even climbing to number 2 on the Billboard Charts. A militant anthem becomes a timeless hit.

Soul singers also churn out Christmas hits, especially recently: think “This Christmas” (2010) by R&B king Chris Brown and “Back to December” (2011) by Taylor Swift. And for Xmas mellow, cue up “Something about December”, a sweet piano ballad by Christina Perri (2012). For some cozy hearth and home music, there’s Sam Smith’s velvety voice on “Have Yourself a Little Christmas” (2014). Kelly Clarkson’s first yuletide single, “Underneath the Tree”, was released in 2013 and Andra’s holiday tune “Merry Christmas” would put Scrooge himself in the holiday spirit. 😉

If punk’s your thing, turn it back to 1989 and The Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” (1989). The group Train also knows how to rock out the mistletoe with “Shake up Christmas” (2010). And for the grand finale, The Killers Don’t Shoot Me Santa (2007). Rock’n’roll and Christmas were made for each other.:D

If you’re a Deezer subscriber, click here to cue up the playlist on our account.

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