Adele, a silence well-orchestrated

adele-hello-video-still-2015-billboard-650

One week ago, nobody would have expected to get so much news and content from Adele, the world critically-acclaimed pop-star. On October 21st, she published a letter on Facebook in which she explains the creative process of the album “25” and apologizes for the long silence because “you know, life happened”. One day after, she reveals the release date of the new album which is basically one month after. On the same day, the new single and video “Hello” is released. That’s a brilliant commercial coup from Adele that makes all the internet crazy and enthusiastic about hearing the singer in a new production.

12017562_10153471860189279_12877880934909346_o

The strategy of the management and label was pretty clear : Get the most out of the last album (which is full of hits and sold 11,2 millions copies in the US) by making it highly profitable for a long period of time (4 years till now). Creating silence and mystery really worked well, Adele announcement came like a bomb! I personally don’t think the reasons of that absence were so “philosophical” as described in the letter, it’s a mix between the time needed for the new album production including the songwriting (and I even wonder if most of the songs were already written way before) and marketing strategies. This is not a coincidence if the release date is just before Christmas, that’s a holy period for the music business. Imagine how much albums of Adele will be wrapped under the tree : “How thank you, that’s exactly the CD I wanted, Adele is amazing, …”

It’s also important to mention that Adele worked a lot on her image by loosing a lot of weight for example. She needed time to fully perform that new strategy and now she gets the benefits of that effort even though I’m sure she would have sold a lot even without working on that aspect. Her voice is far beyond any superficial judgments.

The recent numbers of sales and streams are unbelievable : more than 70 millions views on Youtube 4 days after the release of the video. According to Billboard, Adele would have sold already 450,000 single digital songs in US.

The radio critics are ultra-positive about the new song. For example, Mike Mullaney, WBMX Boston assistant pd/md says :“The amount of passion for this artist and this song is truly incredible. Just look at social media, people’s reaction to the song and support for her as an artist. She is just dominating Facebook and Twitter”. Sharon Dastur, iHeartMedia senior VP programming integration adds : “It’s incredible. With an artist like Adele, expectations are already set so high, and she’s far exceeded those expectations. She draws you in with her compelling storytelling and really has a voice like no other. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this project.”

We can be almost sure that the new album will break records and go beyond the sales of “21”. Adele has everything to be highly competitive : Powerful songs, powerful voice, high effective image, a big database of fans, a wide social media presence… Everything is ready to make the new album of Adele a unique success in the music industry history.

The album “1989”, a gold mine for Taylor Swift, Max Martin and Ryan Adams

Imagine how Taylor Swift and Max Martin (the King writer of pop songs) must feel right now. They co-wrote the majority of the tracks of the successful album “1989” (along with Shellback, Ryan Tedder, …). When Ryan Adams came with the idea of cover, they immediately saw the opportunity of a gold mine. Both RA and TS albums are in the top 10 charts (it’s the first time that situation ever occurred). Let’s do the math : double publishing income for Max Martin and Taylor Swift and huge record royalties for TS and RA. This is literally the dream.

This collaboration is not surprising because the two stars were already friends. They were working on a few demos before her album Red, unfortunately those songs were never released. Actually, Ryan’s work had always been an inspiration for her.

Ryan Adams was a bit bored to play his own compositions (as he delivered enough albums to his label) and then decided to cover “1989”  in its own way : creating a dreamy atmosphere pointed out by the echoes of past. He wanted to change the “colors” of the lyrics.

Ryan Adams said  : “I wanted the music to sound like … inside the movie of my mind … what the parallel universe of my 1989 could be. (-). Where it might have been hopeful before, it might sound more filled with regret, like ‘How You Get the Girl.’ Or like ‘Shake It Off,’ like the way I read the lyrics out loud to myself, I was compelled to side more with the anxiety and the pressure of a feeling like you are the subject matter of people’s conversations that maybe aren’t in the best light. I liked the pressure of that and wanted the music to sound like it was running away from that… That’s a feeling and a place and a time that was inside the movie of my mind — what the parallel universe of my 1989 could be.”

It’s also important to mention that 7 songs of Ryan Adams’s “1989” are in the Billboard charts right now. That album release attracted the curiosity of a lot of users who wanted to hear the way he was transforming the initial records of TS. Surprisingly, songs of Taylor Swift made their way to the alternative songs chart thanks to! “Bad Blood”.  This is an incredible cover success that brings benefits to both parties and it really enlightens the fact that cover projects should be always encouraged by the original artists.

Sources :

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/6714591/more-than-half-of-ryan-adams-1989-debuts-on-hot-rock-songs-chart

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/6715334/before-1989-did-any-identical-album-titles-share-space-in-the-top-10

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/6708212/ryan-adams-cover-of-taylor-swifts-bad-blood-debuts-on-adult-alternative-songs

“Country 2 Country” or the country music expansion in Europe

By Luca Balbo

720x405-GettyImages-489581898

Carrie Underwood. Jo Hale/Redferns

Two days after Carrie Underwood’s live streaming show at the iTunes Festival in London, the news came. She will headline the Country 2 Country festival at The O2 Arena (London biggest venue) in 2016 . The rest of the performers will be revealed on October 6th. This is an incredible news giving the fact that Carrie Underwood has a big reservoir of fans in UK and Europe, more than the other american country singers. This is a great opportunity to promote her upcoming album “Storyteller” (To be released October 23rd) around the kingdom.

C2C_2016_1060x363_01-01-with-flash

Country 2 Country, created in 2013, has become the largest country festival in Europe. Last year 50,000 fans attended the event at the O2 Arena. This is an incredible audience comparing to the other little country events around Europe.

Uk and Ireland are the best gates to introduce country music in Europe. Indeed, besides the fact that the language is facilitating the process, there are a lot of people already involved in folk music (Irish, Scottish, Gaelic, ..) and this is making them closer and more sensible to american country music.

in 2012, Carrie Underwood’s album “Blown Away” reached the #11 position in UK charts. Last year, Brad Paisley’s “Moonshine in the Trunk” reached the #34 position. And finally, Luke Bryan’s last album “Kill the Lights” got to the 47th position this year. We can see that country superstars can find their way in the very competitive UK music market despite poor and insufficient local appearances and promotion.

It’s important to mention that Norway and Sweden are also attractive markets for country singers. Country Music is relatively successful in those areas. Country 2 Country festival was exported to Oslo and Stockholm this year featuring Luke Bryan and Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley did a proper tour in those cities two years ago.

We cannot talk about country music invasion but we can’t deny that its european presence is improving thanks to internet and streaming platforms. Country remains a very particular style associated to deep american roots and therefore it cannot be easily successful among the other genres in Europe but there are more people than we think that could be superfans and involved in that expanding style. There is an opportunity for the country music industry to generate income in selling records and touring if they think properly of a new way to promote it by analyzing the european’s sociology and behavior. It’s a matter of making the marketing and A&R choices. There is potential.

C2C website

Carrie Underwood’s news