Universal Music UK’s blog on music, the music news stories which interest us most and the wider issues which affect our business. Some food for thought we hope.
Forty staff from Universal Music have set off on their 300 mile ride to Paris in aid of music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins and victim recovery charity FENVAC. Starting from the Kensington High Street offices soon after 7.30am on Thursday morning, our cyclists are spending three days riding across the Channel and France, challenged by the ever-changing weather and terrains.
Over the weekend, more than 40,000 people travelled to Norfolk Showground in Norwich to see the likes of Chase & Status and Krept and Konan grace the main stage at this year’s Sundown Festival. Despite the weather, this year has been the biggest year so far for the festival, which showcased a variety of UK talent over the three days.
After a busy festival run this summer, performing at Boardmasters, Kendal Calling and Glastonbury, Kiko Bun will be taking his party vibes to Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s biggest street party. Not only will he be taking over the biggest billboard at Notting Hill, he will also be performing live across the weekend.
Three dozen of Universal Music’s UK-based staff are limbering up for an epic 300-mile, three-day, charity bike ride from our HQ in Kensington, across the Channel, to the company’s quartier general on the cobbled streets of Paris.
Slaves have made an explosive return with their new single Spit It Out, which was played for the first time this week on Radio 1, premiered as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World. The single came with the announcement of a new album Take Control, which will be released in September.
Universal Music TV is now Universal Music On Demand – and the changes run a lot deeper than a word or two
The shortlist of twelve 2016 Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ has been revealed and features three artists from the Polydor Records stable – The 1975 (released in collaboration with Dirty Hit), Michael Kiwanuka and Jamie Woon. In no previous year since the Mercury Prize launched in 1992 has any one label had three acts on the shortlist.
Bristol-born singer-songwriter Lauren Aquilina has had a huge past 12 months. Things kicked off last summer when she found a fan in Taylor Swift who invited her to support her at Hyde Park. At the beginning of this year, her incredible Elle x Tate session caught the attention of Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo, who added the track to her Top Tracks playlist. She has since racked up almost 10m streams and this week Lauren announced the release of her debut album Isn’t It Strange.
It’s been four years since Michael Kiwanuka won the BBC Sound poll and released his critically acclaimed debut breakthrough Home Again. But the long wait for new music is over as he releases his highly anticipated follow up Love & Hate. Kiwanuka marked his return back in April with his soul-bearing track Black Man In A White World accompanied by a video directed by cinematographer Hiro Murai (Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar), setting the tone for the rest of the album.
Bastille are back, bringing with them the announcement of a new album Wild World - the follow up to their 2013, multi-platinum and global selling debut Bad Blood – alongside their biggest tour to date. The band have been tantalising fans with mysterious hints and messages.