Jay-Z becomes most GRAMMY-nominated artist ever

Jay-Z has become the most Grammy-nominated artist of all time following the announcement of artists in the running for accolades at the 2022 ceremony. 

The rapper, songwriter, record executive, and media proprietor has picked up three nods for collaborations and appearances with Kanye West and the late-DMX. This brings his lifetime total to 83, with 23 wins, surpassing the previous record-holder, Quincy Jones, who claims 80 nods and 28 wins. 

Jay-Z’s wife, Beyoncé, had been tied in second place, however Paul McCartney’s two nominations for 2022 cements his position as the sole second runner having made shortlists no less than 81 times. Stevie Wonder is in joint fifth place alongside classical conductor Georg Solti (both have 74 nominations), while movie score greats Henry Mancini and John Williams are tied in sixth with 72. 

As per Variety‘s report, Jay-Z was first put forward for a Grammy Award in 1999, and has appeared in 18 of the 22 editions since then. This year’s ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on 31st January 2022, and features a number of changes, including the introduction of an “inclusion rider” and two new categories, the Latin urban-focused Música Urbana Album, and Global Music Performance. 

Earlier this year, Jay-Z was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Bespoke, free modular – jamming – livecoding – production tool, looks serious at 1.1.0

If you need a break from big monolithic production environments, Bespoke wants to be your alternative – for free. Plenty of you liked that idea and responded, and the result hits this month with the major 1.1.0 milestone.

Led by developer Ryan Challinor, veteran of game dev Harmonix, Bespoke is a fresh new environment that brings together a lot of the ideas that have rejuvenated computer-based music making. That short list:

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  • Modular synthesis
  • Non-linear arrangement
  • Live looping
  • Live jams
  • Livecoding (in Python!)
  • Plug-in hosting (so you can still use your VSTs)
  • Open source development and community support

It’s all wrapped into a friendly, open-ended, blank-canvas environment. That also means you can just have at whatever bits interest you and not worry about the rest. But it also looks like a nice entry point into patching and livecoding even for those who hadn’t pondered that before.

Open-ended is the point, though – as Ryan puts it, “like if I smashed Ableton to bits with a baseball bat, and asked you to put it back together.”

“…like if I smashed Ableton to bits with a baseball bat, and asked you to put it back together.”

Ryan has been working on this for a full decade. Quite a few readers have been asking why I didn’t cover it at launch, to which I answered – oh yeah, why didn’t I? Ryan volunteered the answer – it was during Superbooth. (Ah, that’s why I remember a haze of beers, rainy east Berlin forests, and knobby hardware modules.)

But now is a good time to catch up with Bespoke for any of us who haven’t already, because this week 1.1.0 arrives with a ton of improved functionality and polish. Ryan got in touch to share what’s new, on the occasion of the release and an updated pricing model.

All about the modules – like a lot of modular environments, part of the fun is some of the particulars built into the tool.

Free, open source, give to charity if you want

This is fully free and open-source stuff. With 1.1.0, it’s been reorganized to be a better-organized open-source project, too, including cmake building which makes it much easier to build from source. (It runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux.) Paul Walker and Matthias von Faber of the wonderful Surge synth project, also open source, got involved in that effort, says Ryan.

There’s a price adjustment, but now if you do spend money, funds directed to a good cause, the NAACP legal defense and education fund. That seems doubly sustainable – fighting for justice, remembering that electronic music wasn’t built alone and shouldn’t have a future without justice, and keeping pricing sustainable for all developers.

Where to get started

Like a lot of dataflow/visual patching environments, Bespoke is all about starting with nothing. That may mean you don’t know exactly what to do next, so best to start with this walkthrough:

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Don’t be too afraid, though. Important things to know:

The interface is zoomable. (It looks so small in the screenshots, I know, but it is 2021 – zooming is a thing. I got nervous, too, as I have some vision problems.)

There are a bunch of examples. It’s not all “hey, let’s live code the sound of cats being stepped on inside a wormhole” – like, arpeggiator, 2-deck DJ rig, simple synths, all that stuff. Although… okay, yeah, now you should try to make that quantum cat screeching example, too. You can go either way.

You’ll find help built-in.

Live coding / scripting example – note the Python window.

What’s new in 1.1.0

That “point-one-oh” bit sounds minor, but this is a big release. The full changelog is on GitHub:

https://github.com/BespokeSynth/BespokeSynth/releases/tag/v1.1.0

But let me cherry-pick the big stuff for you:

  • Improved VST management and support
  • VST transport following, MIDI out
  • Python is packaged with the tool (no Python version/path Hell, hurrah)
  • Improved UI, tips, and more
  • New and improved modules – including new notetable, notetoggle, noteexpression
  • Tuning support – SCL/KBM and Oddsound
  • Channels beyond 16 ins/outs
  • Visual improvements
  • Tons and tons of fixes

Basically, this is a great release to get started with.

How this compares

Almost right out of the gate, I heard comparisons between Bespoke and VCV Rack. I think some of that was in the hopes that Bespoke development would be open to participation as a free project in ways that maybe Rack has not been. But they’re different animals. It’s not just aesthetics or friendliness to hardware lovers that makes the faux-Eurorack UI of Rack or Reaktor Blocks distinct. What you get is a different design methodology and workflow, too.

(I’m very curious to try teaching modular synthesis with Bespoke and not only Rack or Pd partly because each of these three is different!)

It’s interesting to see Ryan call this a “modular DAW.” It’s a pretty easy comparison to look at Bespoke as related to software like Usine Hollyhock, or even, going back in time a bit further, stuff like Plogue Bidule and AudioMulch. Usine is a lot broader in capabilities and has a deeper UI and works with lighting and visual elements as an AV tool, but the basic idea is the same. I’m sure there will even be overlap in user areas.

Bespoke is special partly because of its own character, the character of its modules, its minimalistic design (drawing a lot on TouchDesigner), and its focus. It seems of all the tools I just mentioned one of the most approachable in trying to work creatively in new ways. And I’ve never seen live coding and patching combined in quite this way.

Anyway, the usual rule applies. Don’t worry too much about tool choice. See what you like – with ample patience to wrap your head around an environment before you dismiss it.

But the pricing and development model, openness to community contributions and interoperability, and this gorgeous and unique design all hold a ton of promise. And after some ups and downs, it’s now a great time across the open source world, from Ardour to Pd, SuperCollider, VCV Rack, Surge, and now Bespoke, in various ways.

And yeah, you can patch together a clever host, load some plug-ins (even free proprietary ones), and wire together a digital DJ rig or looper – then decide later if you want to dabble in Python or fancier coding.

Sounds good to me. Plus more lockdowns are coming, so maybe software can keep us healthy, warm, and happy.

https://www.bespokesynth.com/

Sadistik and Kno show us what lies beneath “Neptune Skin” [Video]

Seattle, Washington-based alternative hip-hop artist Sadistik teams up with producer Kno for this short experimental collaboration entitled “Neptune Skin.” Clocking at just 2 minutes in length, the track is ripe with Sadistik’s distinct laidback flow and stream of consciousness style where he takes us deep into the dark crevices of his mind. From evolving species, solar flares, and aborted flight missions, Sadistik paints a gloomy tale detailing his journey over Kno’s ominous and somewhat cryptic production.

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Directed by Kno and theolddustytrail, the visual takes viewers to what we can presume to be the planet, Neptune. Here, Sadistik plays the role of a space adventurer who crashed on the planet and now tries to find a semblance of the meaning of his surroundings as he faces the adverse environment and an unknown individual lurking around. “Neptune Skin” is the first collaboration between Sadistik and Kno since their 2015 EP Phantom Limbs.

Cody Foster, better known by his stage name Sadistik, is an American alternative hip hop artist from Seattle, Washington. He is currently unsigned to a label. In 2008, he released his debut album The Balancing Act on Clockwork Grey Music.

Kno is a producer/rapper and a member of the renowned alternative hip-hop group CunninLynguists and also Built to Fade.

“Neptune Skin” on all DSPs here.

Connect with Sadistik: SoundCloud | Twitter  | Instagram

Betta Lemme gets you ‘Ready for the Weekend’ with the release of her sophomore EP [Interview]

Since the release of Canadian artist Betta Lemme‘s debut EP Bambola, Betta has continued to see her stock rise with the releases of “Kick The Door“, “I’m Bored“, and “Ce Soir” in the lead up to her sophomore EP Ready for the Weekend. To coincide with the release, Betta Lemme sat down with EARMILK to chat about the sophomore EP, a project Betta saw as the right cathartic artform of choice to express herself vocally and textually.

“Writing is truly cathartic,” Lemme says to EARMILK at the top of our chat, “However I did have some difficulty finding the words during this chapter of life and I learned that taking a step back is important.”

This might sound wild, but Lemme never felt as if there really was a start to the creative process for her sophomore EP, and at this point in her career, is still trying to make sense of it [the EP]. However, the initial thought of a second EP dates back to Lemme’s debut EP, which is her baby per se. Lemme’s debut EP was written with gusto, sans limitations and that can be heard in the final product, “I was able to put all of me in those songs, thanks to Rick Markowitz and Scott Harris,” Lemme continues in our chat. “It’s a body of work that I’m incredibly proud of.”

The dust hasn’t settled yet and things are still blurry which is why the album cover is what it is… I’m just trying to make the best of it.

Lemme’s early work was filled with vibrant royal colors… gold, silver, crimson… rich and worldly in both sonics, vibrations, intent, and texture. It encapsulated her dreams, aspirations and gave her strength. However, Lemme’s sophomore EP feels different, as initially, Lemme wanted to sing about being empowered and be as vocal about her thoughts as she was on her first EP, and in fact, some of those notions are spread throughout a song like “GIRLS”.

“I like the story behind GIRLS because it’s about a letter I gave to my mom when I was a kid,” Lemme explains on the meaning of the song, “and her reaction was one that I wish every parent would have.”

As Lemme’s environment changed, so did her songs, “I love the weekend was born out of sarcasm,” Lemme reveals. “GIRLS, (which was supposed to be an EP on its own) somehow made it onto this EP as well.”

“The creative journey with this EP has kept me on my toes, to say the least! I think the songs that weren’t included will be much better suited for the future.”

While there are five songs in total across nearly 14 minutes of runtime, “I’M GOOD”, is one of two further songs of interest as it was a song Lemme wrote nearly 10 years ago, and it is a song that goes hand-in-hand with another song titled “Ce Soir”, due to the fact both of the songs include French. “[I’m] glad that these bilingual songs were included because that is how I started my project and how I plan on continuing it,” Lemme tells EARMILK. “As a Montrealer of Italian origins, I think it’s only natural.”

With that said though, “I’M GOOD” additionally has a sense of sarcasm in its lyrics, which has been a useful coping mechanism Lemme leaned on over the last couple of years.

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This group of songs was put together amidst a tumultuous time in my life. The dust hadn’t settled and this EP reflects that.

Ready for the Weekend is just the latest phase in Betta Lemme’s affluent music career. With this release, you’re getting five songs that touch on personal notions, struggles, and triumphs that showcase the best production and writing aspects of her career to date. “I remember being a kid and going to school and looking forward to the weekend,” Betta continues. “But as I grew up, I noticed how the workweek would take my mind off of real-life depression or anxiety.”

Connect with Betta Lemme: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Anja Kotar delivers a dose of sunshine pop on relatable track “Fun For You”

Emerging singer Anja Kotar drops playful offering “Fun For You,” a funky production led by bold vocals and a relatable theme of spending hours staring at our phone and forgetting to have any real conversation with those around you. With a burst of sunshine pop founded on pulsing guitars and synths, the groove-laden track draws from simple daily life annoyances, giving us an uplifting, light-hearted musical nook to escape into.

Crafted with a minimal yet melodic soundscape and an easy-going delivery, Kotar channels her ability to take small moments from life and create addictive productions that can be played over and over. Speaking of the process behind the track, the rising singer shared, “The origins of this song go way back to 2019 when Noah and Tyler were staying together in Colorado and wrote the chorus of Fun For You for, well, fun. Noah texted me the demo recording of it and I was immediately hooked. We quickly jumped on a Facetime call and co-wrote the rest of the song that day.”

Anja Kotar has made use of the pandemic in the most creative way possible, refine her sound to build a signature pop sound rooted in everyday things we take for granted. Her recently released EP Songs From Isolation demonstrated an artistry of swirling sonics and a swooning, confident voice and this latest track further creates a unique space for her earworm music in the pop scene.

Connect with Anja Kotar: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Categories:

Pop

Jordan Hollywood talks new album ‘Only the Paranoid Survive’, working with Timbaland, and the music industry [Interview]

Broward County, Florida artist Jordan Hollywood is truly a name worth knowing in the music industry. A songwriter, entrepreneur, label owner, and all-around hustler, Hollywood is a prime example of taking your career into your own hands. The multi-faceted musician started off writing songs for renowned acts like Jason Derulo, while meticulously crafting his own sound through a series of early projects. Branching off after learning everything he could from being in the studio environment, he expanded into production and sound engineering. On the business side of music, he also launched his own label The Wasted Youth with the primary goal of advocating for artists’ rights. His work across the industry eventually caught the attention of legendary producer Timbaland, who co-signed him, and then collaborated with him on his recent single “The Ugly Song”. Now gearing up to release his new album Only the Paranoid Survive, Hollywood caught up with EARMILK to discuss his beginnings, upcoming music, and dealing with the ups and downs of the music industry. 

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Citing the rich, vibrant culture of Broward County, Florida as one of his earliest influences, the area played a large role in shaping Hollywood’s unique, refreshing persona and sound. “Our culture in Broward County is kind of uncensored, and you can hear that in the music, its very truthful and honest. It makes the music funny, entertaining, and interesting”. Hollywood himself was one of the first artists to rep Broward County in his music with his first full-length release Sorry for This in 2016, alongside the likes of Ace Hood, Kodak Black, and more. “When I first started taking music seriously, every rapper that I’ve always loved repped their hometown, but where I came from, nobody was repping it early on. Since my first project, I’ve always wanted to help put Broward County on the map”. 

In order to become one of the area’s prominent voices, however, Hollywood had to make some substantial sacrifices. Dropping out of high school to pursue music full time, the artist dove headfirst into the studio environment, soaking up as much knowledge as he could and sharpening his skillset. “When I dropped out of school, I just knew I wanted a head start on music, I was just so focused on it from the beginning”. The period afterward did not come without its difficulties, however, as is the story for many artists. “For a while, I had to sleep in cars or in the studio. I was using all of my money to invest in my music, and in return I was sacrificing my comfortability. I like to say that you should find a way to feel comfortable being uncomfortable, and if you can master that then you’ll appreciate what you have so much more”. 

Later on, the sacrifices he made paid off for the hardworking Hollywood when he found his stride as a songwriter, crafting songs for other artists who were more established at the time. “The songwriting started happening organically, being in the studio environment often. It actually started with writing female rappers. They really knew how to hustle, while guys wanted everything for free, they were always willing to pay me to write”. While it was never originally his plan to become a songwriter, his buzz grew quickly in Florida, and eventually he penned tracks for household names like Jason Derulo. “I learned a lot from being around Jason Derulo as well as others, like how to approach songwriting from a pop angle. I took the strategy of how they put together pop songs, and put it into the music that I make, whether it’s trap music, hip-hop, or whatever else”. 

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Hollywood’s own creative process contains healthy doses of experimentation, as he always tries to keep an open mind. “I spend the first 20 minutes of making a song just trying to figure out pockets that I’ve never used before. I go in the booth and try to play with my voice and do weird stuff that makes me feel uncomfortable to try for originality”. This is evident when listening to tracks like his Timbaland-assisted banger “The Ugly Song”, with its refreshing, interesting melodies and smooth flows. Showcasing his keen ear and unique vocal style, “The Ugly Song” is pure ear candy, containing winding, electrifying melodies and rhythms.

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Working with a legend like Timbaland on “The Ugly Song” is “like a dream come true” for Hollywood. “He’s the goat, he was always so loving and respectful with us, and treated us so well during the whole process. For someone who’s a legend to be treating the younger generation like that, he deserves so much props”. A re-working of Bubba Sparxxx 2001 hit “Ugly”, the song pays homage to the original while bringing in an exciting dose of Hollywood’s character-rich style. Accompanied by a vibrant music video directed by Austin McCracken, “The Ugly Song”‘s visuals are highly entertaining and refreshingly creative. They depict a variety of off-the-wall situations that keep you anticipating whatever is coming next, including scenes with a horse and brushing his record plaques with a toothbrush. “We were just thinking of a bunch of fun scenarios we can create using a green screen. One of the ideas was getting a horse, but since it was last minute they had to send a guy in a green suit, and I had to walk him on a rope. I was weirded out by it, but they were like “just believe me”, and it turned out sick”. 

Following this release up with his very latest offering “PLEASURES”, a single from his anticipated upcoming album Only the Paranoid Survive, Hollywood’s songwriting takes on a more introspective tone as he discusses topics like family, loyalty, and work ethic. Showcasing his diversity as an artist, the sharply crafted, bittersweet melodies on “PLEASURES” are heartfelt and raw. “I don’t write a lot, but I freestyle a lot. When I do write, I usually get more personal, and more thought goes into it. I wrote “PLEASURES” in about 30 minutes, and I did the whole thing in one take”. The song includes a touching line about relationship with his mother, and how geographical separation prevents them from seeing each other as often anymore. “My Mom lives in Texas and I live in Florida, and we don’t get to see each other as much as I’d like. After she heard “PLEASURES” she called me and was crying on the phone because she heard the line in the song”. 

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Coming soon, Hollywood’s album Only the Paranoid Survive is a product of hard work, focus, and dedication. “I think this is a project where you can really hear the time that was put into it, there are certain songs that you hear and just think “damn this guy must’ve busted his ass on this record””. He is an artist who is meticulous with his process, making sure every little detail fits the bigger picture. “I spend tons of time on post-production, mixing and mastering, and even my adlibs. Everything is very strategically placed”. Produced by his close collaborator SkipOnDaBeat, this album is set to help continue to tell Hollywood’s story and provide a clear picture of his diverse skill-set.

Recently, Hollywood has become more transparent on his experiences within the music industry, detailing some of its highs and lows. His breadth of experience in music has allowed him to confront both the good, the bad, and the ugly in the business. “I always try to respect people I work with, so I’ve never taken credit for any of my accomplishments behind the scenes in the past. But sometimes it sucks hearing songs that you were a part of, and no one has any idea that you played a big role in that song”. With all of the mileage he has put in as a songwriter and on the business side over the years, Hollywood notes some of the complications and difficulties that are intrinsically tied to this type of work. “You can change somebody’s life, but when need them, they won’t necessarily help you at all. Some won’t even thank you. However, those that do treat me respectfully they become like brothers in music, like family. But besides that, this industry is very shady”. 

Label-wise, Hollywood says he is lucky to have a great situation. Signed to renowned label Quality Control and also working with his own imprint The Wasted Youth, the artist maintains full autonomy over his own career, and wishes it could be like that for more musicians. “I’m blessed enough to be signed to an amazing label like Quality Control, but I think some of these other labels need to really sit down and re-think the way that they structure deals and treat their artists. These labels won’t even call their artists to check in on them and make sure they’re feeling okay, even though they make millions of dollars from them”. Moreover, with his own imprint The Wasted Youth, he wants to help up-and-coming artists build framework so they aren’t taken advantage of. “I started signing people to The Wasted Youth and I wanted to really handle the business the right way, helping to change their lives.”. Recognizing a profound lack of morality in parts of the industry, he is one of a small but dedicated group actively working to make positive changes. 

Overall, Jordan Hollywood is a renaissance man in music who has built a lasting career for himself as well as others. Between production, songwriting, and managing a label, he has had an impact in many corners of the industry, expanding his skills and helping other artists with every turn. From humble beginnings in Broward County to working with the legendary Timbaland and becoming label mates with Lil Baby and Migos on Quality Control, he has had a  momentous come-up story. Despite all his success, he maintains an air of selflessness and honesty. “Lots of people are too egotistical to admit that their team is the reason they pay their bills. When it comes to my label Quality Control and the other people on my team, I like to give respect and credit where it’s due. More people should do that, I think it would make the industry a better place”. It is this concern for others and the betterment of the industry as a whole that really sets him apart from the crop, making him even more worthy of esteem. Learning of the character behind Hollywood’s music just adds additional dimensions to his songs, further solidifying him as a voice to keep a close eye on in today’s musical landscape. 

Connect with Jordan HollywoodSpotify | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Kojey Radical announces debut album, ‘Reason To Smile’

Kojey Radical has announced his debut album, ‘Reason To Smile’, which will land on 4th March through Asylum and Atlantic Records. 

The UK-Ghanian rapper has lined up an impressive list of guest appearances for the record, including Tiana Major9, Masego, Shaé Universe, Cashh, Kelis, and his mother. The single ‘War Outside’, featuring Lex Amor, is also included, as is the hit ‘Gangsta’. 

“This is the first time I’ve done it to the scale and ambition of what I speak,” Radical said of working on his first full-length outing. “Previously it’s been ‘I’m warming, I’m warming, I’m warming up.’ But I’m warm now — put me in the game.”

A three-time MOBO Awards nominee, in 2019 Radical joined the likes of Skepta, Major Lazer, and Hot Chip on the soundtrack to ‘FIFA 20‘. In 2020 he also appeared in The Guardian‘s cross-generations artist interview series alongside British hip hop luminary, Rodney P, discussing the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparking Black Lives Matters protests across the world. 

John Summit realizes his biggest release of 2021 to date—stream ‘Human’ featuring Echoes

John Summit realizes his biggest release of 2021 to date—stream ‘Human’ featuring Echoes278c4a 058c00d4186e42d08c82175b848c63b7 Mv2

In 2021 to date, John Summit has released 10 tracks, a tally that reached double digits on November 24 with the delivery of “Human.” Ask him about the significance of the Echoes feature in the context of his 2021 catalog, and he’ll answer unequivocally: it’s his “biggest record” of the year.

“My new single ‘Human’ is the track I think I’m most proud of because it works in a club, but there’s actually good songwriting to it. It’s more than just a banger you hear in the club,” he told Dancing Astronaut in an exclusive interview. “This has probably been my biggest accomplishment of the year as a producer, the branching out a little bit.”

His “club-ready tech-house” approach has paid dividends, to say the least, so it’s natural that “branching out” doesn’t come without some reservations. Although the Echoes feature was of immediate appeal to the crowd at his September Club Space set, where he premiered the then-unreleased tune, Summit wasn’t confident that “Human” would resonate with his following. 

“I really didn’t think anyone was going to like it, especially at Club Space which is such an underground club. I was like, there’s so much singing in this track, is this going to be too moody? Are people going to be like, ‘what the heck is he playing?,’” he reflected.

In the end, the comments beneath the YouTube video of the Club Space set would assuage his concerns:

“Everyone was just begging for the track. I was like, ‘no way!’ That’s what I realized it could actually be a hit.”

“Human,” which marks his debut on FFRR, is the product of approximately four months of development time in Ableton, threaded with countless computer crashes. Approximately “30 different versions” later, Summit’s following has “Human” in its queues, and although it “took the longest out of any track [he’s] ever made because it had so many different elements,” that wait is now over. Stream “Human” below.

Featured image: Luis Colato

The post John Summit realizes his biggest release of 2021 to date—stream ‘Human’ featuring Echoes appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

A third of professional musicians are still not earning due to the pandemic, research finds

A third of professional musicians in the UK are still not earning from their work due to the pandemic, according to research by the charity Help Musicians. 

The figures reveal an alarming disparity between the perception of the music industry getting back on its feet, and the reality for many involved. 

In total, 33% of almost 1,000 respondents reported earning nothing whatsoever from music, with 9/10 bringing in a monthly salary of less than £1,000. Just 1% are making more than £2,500 per month. This is only a marginal improvement on research from October 2020, which showed that 55% of professional musicians were no longer earning money from their craft. 

The new study has also revealed that 83% of musicians are unable to return to work, with available venues and backlogs caused by lockdowns throughout 2020 and in early 2021 the key causes. Numbers also show  more than one in five (22%) suggested they were considering leaving music entirely to pursue other careers, while one in eight said they were experiencing mental health problems. This supports Help Musicians’ own statistics, with the organisation experiencing a 60% increase in musicians getting in touch for mental health support. 

Additionally, 30% of those in the study said they now had a lack of confidence in returning to the live circuit as a result of uncertainties around coronavirus and a poor Brexit deal for touring artists. Overall, 45% stated they did not feel confident about the future of the music industry. 

The report comes just after Help Musicians has made a final combined payment of £500,000 to musicians who have been relying on financial support since the start of the pandemic. During that time, the charity has distributed £18million to some 19,000 artists, and it has now announced the move to a new stage of support, focusing on rebuilding careers devastated by the outbreak of COVID-19.  

“Whilst much of the economy is gradually getting back to normal, it will be a long time before musicians expect to return to their pre-pandemic income levels, as we predicted from the start of the pandemic. For the past 18 months, we have been supporting nearly 20,000 musicians with direct financial aid to help them pay their bills and stay afloat. As the industry starts to recover we are shifting our emphasis towards helping musicians re-build with a wide package of support, from advice on diversifying income streams, mentoring to re-build connections, mental health support and much more.

“We recognise that for some musicians, it will take a long time to rebuild and the team at Help Musicians will continue to be available to those musicians who find themselves in real crisis over the months ahead, ensuring we are alongside musicians every step of the way,” said James Ainscough, Chief Executive of Help Musicians. 

Synthesizer cakes keep getting more deliciously realistic

Have your synth and eat it, too. Redditers are on top of enough synth cakes to practically give you sugar shock right through the screen.

I think my favorite has to be this 2019 modular. Not exaggerating, I’ve seen actual Eurorack modules with sloppier-looking front panels, and you couldn’t even eat them.

(It does go well with chocolate.) And there’s always an 808:

But some folks are also digging deep. (And yeah, maybe DIYers were first in with the Reese’s peanut butter cup knob caps – see link at bottom.)

Cake makers are now rivaling plug-in developers in getting way into history.

But the others are terrific, too. I mean, sure, there’s always a Minimoog:

See the full thread; maybe they’ve added more:

So, any CDM readers managed some edible synths? We want to see them.

Or Americans, you can just carve the rig you dream of out of your mashed potatoes tomorrow at dinner, Close Encounters style.

Previously, in sugar-synth crossovers (I did talk to the team who did this, believe it or not):