• Bad Bunny Talks Breaking Barriers, Future Collaborations, and Getting Latin Trap on US Radio

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    Bad Bunny and DJ Lechero. (Source: Instagram)

    Rising Latin star Bad Bunny stopped by Power 106 on Tuesday for his first interview with a US hip-hop radio station. The 23-year-old, who burst onto the scene in 2016, is the leading voice behind the surging Latin trap movement.

    With the help of his Farruko collaboration, “Krippy Kush,” Bad Bunny has catapulted the once underground genre into the mainstream. In November, he broke language barriers when he enlisted Nicki Minaj and 21 Savage for the official remix of the track. The bilingual remix has been getting radio play in the US ever since, a rarity for a genre not considered radio-friendly.

    In the interview, which was conducted entirely in Spanish, Bad Bunny discusses breaking language barriers, his upcoming collabs with American artists, and his ambition to get Latin trap on US radio.

    Below are some of the translated quotes from his interview with Power’s DJ Lechero.

    His thoughts on his first interview on a US hip-hop station:

    “I’m proud because we’re doing big things. We’re achieving enough success to the level that we’re breaking language and cultural barriers. And, from different parts of the world, we recognize what the US hip-hop, rap, and trap markets mean. It’s introduced me to a lot of artists in those genres who respect me, and who I also respect. It’s huge for Latin music and for Latin people in general. I think it’s very important.”

    Future collabs with American artists:

    “I’ve got a lot of surprises in store. Some I can’t talk about yet. I do have a track coming out with Future and Anuel AA. … And what else do we have coming? Today, we’re going to be in the studio with Swae Lee. So, I’ve got some tracks coming with American artists that are going to be big.”

    Whether Latin trap will make it to radio:

    “It’s a daily battle that we’re facing, but I rest assured that the moment is coming when we’re fully on just like every other genre. And we won’t have to change the format or the style. I’ve been saying it since I started. And little by little you can see the change and that people are more open-minded to it. Radio programmers are becoming aware of our impact and that the people want our music on. So if the radio is for listening to music, and people want to hear Latin trap, Bad Bunny, and the other artists also making hits, then you have to give the people what they want.”

    Watch the interview below.

    Related: Enrique Iglesias Drops New Single and Video, ‘El Bano’ Feat. Bad Bunny

  • Annie Mac Addresses Cell Phone Usage in Clubs

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    Annie Mac. (Source: Facebook)

    In 2017, Annie Mac presented Who Killed The Night?, a BBC Three documentary which explores the controversies around the closure of almost half of the UK’s clubs over the past ten years. In a recent interview with Music Week, the BBC Radio 1 host discussed how the modern obsession with cell phones is damaging the clubbing experience. She also offered a potential solution.

    Mac, who recently went on a tour for the first time in two years, noticed a “distinct difference,” among club goers.

    “That difference was phones – it was next level. Everything had to be recorded on people’s phones, or they were asking me to take selfies… It was constant phones in my face.” she told Music Week. “I feel like that’s a really big problem in terms of clubbing now, because the ultimate idea and goal of clubbing is to connect…”

    As for a possible solution, Mac used New York’s Output and Berlin’s Berghain nightclubs’ no photos or videos policy as an example:

    “You’re either not allowed to bring your phone in, which I think is a bit extreme, or they put a sticker over your screen so that you can’t take photos,” she said. “I think what will happen moving forward is that it will become the thing to not have a phone in a club. I hope it will become the norm – I think that would be really good for clubbing in general.”

    Related: How California’s Proposed 4 a.m. Law Could Affect DJs

  • The Challenges With Music Streaming

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    The New York Times’ Popcast show recently hosted a comprehensive discussion about the current state of music streaming, with a focus on the industry’s current leader, Spotify.

    Although streaming has become one of the main sources of music consumption and distribution, it still faces challenges.

    In the hour-long conversation, Popcast host Jon Caramanica is joined by three music journalists to discuss the obstacles that artists and fans have encountered on Spotify: from low royalty payouts and preferential treatment of major labels to a limited catalog and lack of discovery.

    Listen to the podcast on The New York Times’ website or iTunes.

    Related: Facebook Signs Licensing Deal With Sony/ATV

    Posted in Music Industry
  • Jermaine Dupri Talks DJing and Producing on ‘The Breakfast Club’

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    Legendary producer, rapper, and executive Jermaine Dupri recently paid a visit to The Breakfast Club show. Despite an awkward beginning, in which he was asked about his ex Janet Jackson, JD discussed some DJ and producer topics.

    The Atlanta native said it was a “huge honor” to be recognized for the Breaking Barriers Award at this year’s Global Spin Awards.

    “It brings me back to my first days of actually even wanting to be in the music business. Even before I wanted to be in the music business, I wanted to be a DJ.”

    JD went on to say that he was nervous about DJing live when he was younger.

    “[When] you make mixtapes, you can stop and press play and record and start over. But I used to be scared to go live … Because I DJ on turntables … If the needle skip, if the wind blow, if the power go out, it’s a lot of things that you gotta think about when you DJing and you’re the person that controls the crowd.”

    When asked about the recent allegations that record labels aren’t fairly compensating producers, JD replied that producers have brought it upon themselves.

    “There’s nothing cool about giving someone something that you created, and then they make money off of it, and you don’t. But these producers have to understand that [some of them] started this … .”

    JD cited the producer of O.T. Genasis‘ platinum hit “CoCo” as an example. The producer sold the beat online for only $200, according to JD.

    “They doing this themselves because they want the world to hear these beats so bad, that they putting themselves in these types of situations.”

    “You gotta get the business right from the beginning … Ultimately you don’t know what’s gonna happen with [your] beat.”

    Watch the full interview above.

    Related: Shawn Prez Discusses the Global Spin Awards on The Breakfast Club

  • The Stereotypes Share Their Story, Give Advice to Aspiring Producers

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    The Stereotypes
    The Stereotypes at work in Santa Monica, CA. (Photo source: Wikipedia)

    Jonathan Yip and Ray Romulus, members of the Grammy-nominated production and songwriting team The Stereotypes, recently told the group’s story on Randy Jackson’s podcast.

    Best known for working with Bruno Mars and Far East Movement, The Stereotypes are up for three Grammys this year. They’re nominated for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical), and Best R&B Song and Song of the Year for Bruno’s “That’s What I Like.”

    The Stereotypes’ most recent productions include Bruno’s “Finesse,” Pitbull‘s “Jungle” featurng E-40 and Abraham Mateo, and KYLE‘s “Sunshine” featuring Miguel.

    How they overcame their “down period” after achieving success with Far East Movement:

    Jonathan: “… we really were struggling and we needed to figure out how we’re gonna survive. And so, where we went, we went to [South] Korea. We stared doing K-Pop. … They accepted us because they knew our resume and they knew that we were the guys who worked with Far East Movement.”

    Working with different kinds of artists:

    Ray: “That’s why we created and worked on that Pitbull record, ‘Jungle,’ because we really wanna collab with a bunch of different artists. Putting Pitbull, E-40, Abraham Mateo, like you would never would think to put those guys [on the same track].”

    How they also want to work with new artists:

    Ray: “Everyone’s trying to shoot for like the biggest artists that are out right now, because honestly, every producer and writer is trying to shoot for that. And what better to do than to make your own [artist].”

    Advice to aspiring producers:

    Ray: “Going back to the Bruno sessions, it didn’t feel like we were making music. It didn’t feel like we were working. It just felt like friends together making something that we love. … So, surround yourself with people that are just like-minded and have the same goals and that want to go in the same direction. … And don’t only just be concentrated on the creative side. Be on top of your business …”

    Listen to the interview on iTunes or PodCastOne.

    Related: Watch Pitbull and The Stereotypes’ ‘Jungle’ Video Feat. E-40 and Abraham Mateo

  • DJ Franzen: Do DJs Still Break Records?

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    DJ Franzen
    DJ Franzen at Drai’s Nightclub in Las Vegas. (Source: Instagram)

    DJ Franzen is the definition of an OG. A Bay Area native, Fran helped break The Notorious B.I.G. and JAY Z on the radio and in the clubs on the West Coast in the ’90s. He was also the first DJ to play Luniz‘s timeless anthem, “I Got 5 on It.”

    In 2001, Fran moved to Las Vegas where he took his career to a new level. After holding it down in Sin City for over 15 years, Fran remains a staple in the scene. He’s currently a resident at Drai’s Nightclub and a host on Hot 97.5.

    Fran recently sat down with a new podcast called Reflections of a DJ (R.O.A.D.) to tell his story. The show is hosted by Vegas DJs Crooked, D-Miles, Neva, and Jaime Da Great.

    Among other topics, Fran discussed the biggest records he’s helped break and how the game has changed.

    Watch the clip and listen to the full interview below. New episodes go up on Wednesdays on iTunes and SoundCloud.

    Related: A-Trak Tells His Story in Comprehensive Interview

  • Facebook Signs Licensing Deal With Sony/ATV

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    Facebook has signed a multi-territory, multi-year licensing agreement with Sony/ATV, the world’s largest music publisher. The news comes just weeks after Facebook signed a deal with Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company.

    Under the agreement, users will be able to upload and share videos on Facebook, Instagram, and VR platform Oculus that contain compositions in Sony/ATV’s catalog. Like the UMG deal, it’s presumed that DJs and producers will be able to upload and share videos that contain Sony/ATV material, such as mixes, remixes, and routines.

    Sony/ATV’s catalog has more than three million songs while Facebook has more than two billion monthly active users. The deal provides Sony/ATV’s songwriters with an opportunity to earn royalties from the use of their music on both Facebook and Instagram.

    Sony/ATV’s contemporary roster includes Drake, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Sia. It also represents the songs of legends like The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Queen.

    Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO Martin Bandier said in a press release:

    “We are thrilled that in signing this agreement Facebook recognizes the value that music brings to their service and that our songwriters will now benefit from the use of their music on Facebook. We are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship.”

    Tamara Hrivnak, head of music business development and partnerships at Facebook, added:

    “We’re excited to work with the largest music publisher in the world to bring amazing songs which deepen connections between friends and fans. Sony/ATV is a true leader and an absolute champion of writers in the digital space, and we’re thrilled to work with them as they grab new opportunities by the horns across all of our platforms.”

    Related: Facebook Signs Licensing Deal With Universal Music Group

    Posted in Music Industry
  • How Timbaland Revolutionized R&B and Hip-Hop and Reinvented Himself After Addiction

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    Complex has featured Timbaland on the latest episode of their Blueprint series. The Grammy-winning icon recounted how he went from making his first beat on a Casio keyboard to producing groundbreaking tracks for the likes of Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Missy Elliot, JAY-Z, and Justin Timberlake. The 26-minute convo includes inspirational insights on how he overcame drug addiction and fell back in love with music.

    Watch the full interview above.

    Related: How Poo Bear Went From Being Homeless to Writing Justin Bieber Hits

  • How Poo Bear Went From Being Homeless to Writing Justin Bieber Hits

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    Poo Bear
    Poo Bear at Record Plant studios in Los Angeles / Red Bull

    Songwriter, producer, and singer Poo Bear is best known for co-writing some of Justin Bieber’s biggest hits, like “What Do You Mean” and Jack U’s “Where Are U Now.” However, the Connecticut native got his start in the ’00s, having penned anthems such as 112‘s “Dance With Me” and “Peaches & Cream,” and Usher‘s “Caught Up.”

    In an inspiring interview with Complex’s Blueprint series, Poo Bear discussed his humble beginnings and rise to fame, from being homeless to writing for some of music’s biggest stars.

    Betting it all on music:

    “I never had a back-up plan. [laughs] My teachers [would] just say, ‘you need to pay attention in school ’cause only 1% of people make it in the music business and you’re not that 1%.’ When my teacher said that to me, I was 15 and I had a song on the radio with a group called 112. … I never thought about if this doesn’t happen, what am I gonna do. Never. Not once did I come up with a back-up plan. So thank god it worked out.”

    Transitioning from artist to writer:

    “[I] made a conscious decision to quit my group and just focus on writing songs for other people. And I never really honestly had a real desire to be famous. I just wanted to be able to make a better living for my family.”

    His writing process:

    “I go to my phone and I’m gonna look up concepts that I’ve been jotting down. … The concept is usually the title of the song … the main idea of the song. Then it’s the chords; let’s find the chords that move people’s emotions. And then usually I start off doing the hook first, the most important part of the song. The hook for me is always supposed to be simple and effective, so simple enough for a five-year-old to sing along with it unconsciously … but then clever enough to stimulate a smart person.”

    Staying focused during uncertain times:

    “When you don’t have options and your back is up against the wall, you deliver and you find yourself getting through moments that in reality, they’re trying times, but there really wasn’t any other options. It was like, you gotta go in and you gotta work, you gotta create music, and you have to be honest, and it’s not gonna be great every time but you gotta keep doing it. I think that’s what got me to this place, just not having a back-up plan.”

    Watch the full conversation below.

    Related: Skrillex Teams With Poo Bear for Soulful Single, ‘Would You Ever’

  • Facebook Signs Licensing Deal With Universal Music Group

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    Facebook has signed an “unprecedented” licensing deal with Universal Music Group (UMG), according to a press release obtained by Music Business Worldwide. The “global, multi-year agreement” licenses UMG’s recorded music and publishing catalogs for video and other experiences across Facebook, Instagram, and VR platform, Oculus.

    Under the partnership, users will be able to upload and share videos that contain UMG music to Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus. The deal is particularly appealing to DJs and music producers, who have experienced copyright takedowns over the past couple of years.

    Presumably, DJs and producers will be able to upload and share videos that contain UMG material, such as mixes, remixes, and routines. However, the two other major labels, Warner Music Group (WMG) and Sony Music, haven’t signed deals with Facebook yet. Videos that contain unlicensed content from those companies — and independent labels — could still be taken down.

    According to a press release:

    “The partnership will facilitate deeper engagement between artists and fans, empowering users to express themselves through music, share the songs they love and build communities around music-fueled culture. Enabling a variety of features across Facebook’s platforms, the agreement is intended to serve as a foundation for a strategic partnership roadmap that will deliver new music-based experiences online.”

    Michael Nash, executive vice president of digital strategy at UMG, said:

    “This partnership is an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing – they thrive together. We look forward to Facebook becoming a significant contributor to a healthy ecosystem for music that will benefit artists, fans and all those who invest in bringing great music to the world.”

    Related: Facebook Steps Up Efforts to Reach Deal With Music Industry

    Posted in Music Industry