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Mello Music Group Lacks No “Persona”

MMG_Persona_1500x2015 is going to be a banner year for our friends at Mello Music Group. Out next week, Persona not only embodies the vision of Michael Tolle, founder of Mello Music Group, it’s also a great sneak peak of what’s in store for the label in 2015. The album consists of all exclusive content and spans the majority of the Mello Music Group roster. More than just a label sampler, Persona also succeeds at echoing the all-too-present societal undertones of racial discrimination, excess for the 1%, and the deepening economic disparity plaguing our youth and inner cities. And this isn’t all that Persona touches on: the intertwining stories throughout the record beautifully weave throughout each track creating tension and release like that of a Jazz virtuoso. To borrow from the album’s notes…

“Persona unveils the murderer’s row that is the Mello roster of 2015. Oddisee, Apollo Brown, yU, L’Orange, Red Pill, Open Mike Eagle, Rapper Big Pooh, Quelle Chris. The stars of the present teamed with timeless innovators like Phonte (Little Brother), Blockhead, Ras Kass, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), Oh No, Masta Ace, and Bilal Salaam. The result is something that binds current greats with the pioneers who paved the asphalt. It’s both a historical moment and hard as hell.”

And while this is a long look into what’s to come in 2015 from MMG, it’s barely enough to whet the palate. There are some amazing albums in the works from new additions to the label (see Kenn Starr and Rapper Big Pooh) as well as some true bangers from the tent-pole artists, Oddisee and Apollo Brown. There’s also real excitement from the bullpen, the up-and-comers L’Orange and Red Pill. And while calling L’Orange an “up-and-comer” might do a disservice to his early body of work (see Orchid Days and The City Under The City), you are likely to recognize his name better before the year is out. There are some more surprises in the works too, but we can’t share those details just quite yet. You’ll just have to stay tuned for that!

10 Ways YouTube Changed the Music Biz

YouTube-logo-full_color (1)This year, YouTube celebrates a decade since its launch in February 2005. For those of us who were scouring the internet for videos from the very beginning, you know how much has changed since YouTube’s start-up days. This is especially true when it comes to music. From cover songs to music videos that went viral, the video platform not only changed how we discover music, it’s also created new revenue streams for talent. Let’s take a look at 10 milestones that shaped the YouTube music business as it exists today.

1. Discovery
Can you imagine what the world would be like without this guy? Whether you’re clicking on suggested videos, searching for that awesome band that opened the show last night, or browsing the platform to find pretty much anything else (literally), YouTube has proven to be an incredible discovery tool for all its users. It’s a priceless avenue to success for previously unknown singers and musicians, athletes, pop culture icons, models, and comedians.

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Muzooka: Make Filtering Through That Pile of Demos Fun

Muzooka-LogoAt The Orchard, we get to work with a lot of up-and-coming tools and services. Sometimes, we meet some we know our clients would love — Muzooka is one of them. They’ve just built a tool that should help make discovering your next big artist a walk in the park. Cortney Harding, Director of Media Relations at Muzooka, breaks it down: 

Raise your hand if you have a stack of demo CDs that have been thrust upon you at some point gathering dust in a corner and occasionally threatening to topple over. Now raise your other hand if you have an inbox full of YouTube and Soundcloud links and oversized MP3 attachments.

Now put your hands down and keep scrolling.

Demos are great, and there’s nothing better than finding the next great band in the slush pile. But managing demos is a giant pain — it’s hard to keep track of them, time consuming to make a playlist to easily listen to them, and near impossible to know which slush pile tracks are worth checking out.

At Muzooka, we asked a bunch of labels, venues and producers about their biggest problems, and they kept coming back to demo management. With this in mind, we built the Partner Platform, and hope that we’ve created a simple and elegant (and free) solution.

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Laugh, Cry, Smile in Our Latest Film, “Nasty Baby”

cdn.indiewireIn what Vanity Fair deemed “2015’s greatest ‘shit happens’ movie,” we find actor/director Sebastián Silva, TV on the Radio‘s Tunde Adebimpe and everyone’s celebrity crush Kristen Wiig cooking up a modern day ménage-à-trois dramedy. Nasty Baby finds the threesome grappling with heavy subjects, albeit with a fair bit of humor, and we’ve just picked up this roller coaster of emotion so that we can dish it out to North American audiences later this year.

So what’s all the fuss about here? Brooklyn couple Freddy (Silva) and Mo (Adebimpe) are in the neighborhood for a child of their own, and they’ve asked Freddy’s best friend Polly (Wiig) to add her half to the baby-making process. But when Freddy learns that his sperm count is too low, all eyes are on Mo to take over. Intimate conversations and clashing opinions ensue until the film’s final act, when Silva (as director) throws everyone a nasty curveball. The movie takes a very dark turn, one that, much like life itself, goes from creating life to pondering just how quickly it can be taken away.

Nasty Baby, filmed almost entirely in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, has its initial moments of comedy and naïveté, but matures into a poignant look at how life’s extreme situations can take a toll. The “naturalistic, accessible and likable” performances from the trio (apparently Wiig’s best since Bridesmaids) create a film that could very well hit close to heart and home.

Be on the lookout for the film’s release happening later this year — you do not want to let this one slip you by. For more info on the deal, check out our press release and Indiewire’s coverage.

Our Doors Are Open for a Shoegaze Revival

February 24, 2015 Artist News, Featured News 1 Comment

TheBlackRyderTheDoorBehindTheDoorTrends come and go and cycle back around in the music business — there have been revivals of Punk, Psychedelic Rock, Dance music in various forms from Disco to House to today’s EDM, three waves of Ska, even Rockabilly. So when Ride announced their first major tour since the 1990s, I tried to get tickets to their only NYC show at Terminal 5 on June 4. But sold out, $35 face value tix currently reselling at a minimum of $155 means my only other realistic shot of catching Shoegaze’s most commercially successful band will be at Coachella 2015.

With reunion tours by the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive — and the long-delayed/anticipated release in April 2013 of MBV, a Shoegaze revival could almost be imagined. The genre has come a long way since MBV’s hugely influential and genre-defining classics Isn’t Anything (1988) and Loveless (1991). Of course, while these bands were long-dormant, something weird happened in the 2000s… could it be? “Nu gaze?” Acts like Dangerbird Records’ Silversun Pickups, Maps, Blonde Redhead, and My Vitriol were inspired by all of the above and some of the original source material (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Jesus & Mary Chain, etc.).

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The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

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