Collab, Bro?

A major running joke amongst young producers on the internet is asking to “collab, bro”.

The internet and entertainment industry alike are no strangers to the concept of collaboration, however this year there was a massive stride made for “internet music” and main stream collab-ing.

In reference to the importance of the song “Where Are Ü Now” from one of my previous posts, Skrillex and Diplo (otherwise known as the super-duo Jack Ü) won the Collaboration Of the Year at the American Music Awards. Jack Ü were up against main stream, arena artists such as Rihanna, Kanye, Kendrick, and T- Swift.

The two electronic stars also revealed that the world can expect a new Jack Ü EP coming early in 2016.

Personally, I was stoked to see them win mostly because, though dance music has seen lots of attention in recent years, I still feel like a lot of people tend to not see the genre as an equally legitimate form of attention-deserving (and maintaining) music. Its a monumental accomplishment to see dance music beat out pop, especially in an environment like the AMAs which are apparently determined by fan votes.

See the red carpet interview here: http://runthetrap.com/2015/11/23/new-jack-u-ep-2016/

http://www.youredm.com/2015/11/22/jack-u-justin-bieber-win-best-collaboration-award-at-the-american-music-awards-video/

 

The Zoo

Childhood stardom has always been a tricky topic. Its undeniable that there is so much young talent in the world and that many if not most young people want to be a star in their own right.

Our general industry (Music/ entertainment) is also notorious for finding and exploiting much of the young talent and creating super performing machines out of them, all the while (sometimes not so) secretly screwing them out of rights and a ton of money without them even knowing.

Dutch Big-Room House DJ Superstar Martin Garrix is a prime, current example of this situation. He has just announced his split from one of the biggest labels in Electronic Dance Music, Spinnin Records. This is the same 17 year old phenom the world was freaking out about two summers ago for the mega hit “Animals”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCYcHz2k5x0

Earlier this year, Garrix announced his split from Spinnin and, now-former, manager Eelko Van Kooten of MusicAllStars and has taken the two to court. He is claiming that the label has refused to grant him the rights to his own music, and even after acknowledging his request, has failed to do so. He’s also claiming that Van Kooten had given him “false and misleading information”.

While as unfortunate of a situation for the young star as this is, it is not particularly surprising, as Garrix had had little to no major music industry experience prior to “Animals”.

My personal take on the situation is that, while it is unfortunate for the young DJ, it is not surprising in the slightest, as Spinnin is an incredibly powerful, money making machine in the EDM world. It will likely be a while before Garrix gets to see the money that he is owed. He is obviously not the first, and is, unfortunately, certainly not the last.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/6760688/martin-garrix-reportedly-files-lawsuit-against-ex-manager-spinnin

http://www.youredm.com/2015/11/10/martin-garrix-is-suing-spinnin-records-former-manager/

The Zoo

Childhood stardom has always been a tricky topic. Its undeniable that there is so much young talent in the world and that many if not most young people want to be a star in their own right.

Our general industry (Music/ entertainment) is also notorious for finding and exploiting much of the young talent and creating super performing machines out of them, all the while (sometimes not so) secretly screwing them out of rights and a ton of money without them even knowing.

Dutch Big-Room House DJ Superstar Martin Garrix is a prime, current example of this situation. He has just announced his split from one of the biggest labels in Electronic Dance Music, Spinnin Records. This is the same 17 year old phenom the world was freaking out about two summers ago for the mega hit “Animals”.

Earlier this year, Garrix announced his split from Spinnin and, now-former, manager Eelko Van Kooten of MusicAllStars and has taken the two to court. He is claiming that the label has refused to grant him the rights to his own music, and even after acknowledging his request, has failed to do so. He’s also claiming that Van Kooten had given him “false and misleading information”.

While as unfortunate of a situation for the young star as this is, it is not particularly surprising, as Garrix had had little to no major music industry experience prior to “Animals”.

My personal take on the situation is that, while it is unfortunate for the young DJ, it is not surprising in the slightest, as Spinnin is an incredibly powerful, money making machine in the EDM world. It will likely be a while before Garrix gets to see the money that he is owed. He is obviously not the first, and is, unfortunately, certainly not the last.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/6760688/martin-garrix-reportedly-files-lawsuit-against-ex-manager-spinnin

http://www.youredm.com/2015/11/10/martin-garrix-is-suing-spinnin-records-former-manager/

A Mau5 In The Courtroom

International dance music superstar Joel Zimmerman (p.k.a. Deadmau5) has found himself in the courtroom once again. The notorious twitter bully and social media antihero is back in the face of justice, though this time it is to defend his… moral rights?

Mr. Zimmerman recently filed a multimillion dollar law suit against Play Records its operator, artist Meleny “melleefresh” Brown over the use of bootleg remixes and mashups.

For any of those who do not know the difference between a remix and a mashup: a remix is an approved recreation of a piece using stems from the original recording, and a mashup is a combination of two or more songs (i.e if you laid Twinkle Twinkle Little Star over the Star Wars theme song). A mashup does not use stems from an original recording, but rather pieces of full recordings placed on top of each other to create a new, still recognizable work).

Read the summons here:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2487472-deadmau5-vs-play-records-inc-10-26-15.html

Deadmau5 is essentially most upset over the fact that Play Records has authorized remixes and mashups to be made without his consent, and released without his approval. In addition to the pending unauthorized releases, Zimmerman claims that they are also not of “good technical and commercial quality.” One interesting piece outlined by this case is the differences of moral rights and laws in various countries and the varying definition of “Fair Use” from country to country.

Read the full article here:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/deadmau5-sues-remixes-mashups-834630

Keep It Sexy

Keeping up with the electronic music theme, Israeli DJ and producer Borgore has just recently dropped a massive new EP entitled “Keep It Sexy”. The new record features stadium sized collaborations with artists such as G-Eazy, GETTER, Styles & Complete. The record was released on his Los Angeles based label/ imprint, Buygore Records.

The mini record is complete with three new music videos for the tunes “Forbes”, “Squad” and “Wanna Do” (links below).

Forbes has seen multimillion play success in its first month of being out across streaming platforms such as Spotify and Soundcloud, and broke into the top 20 for iTunes Dance, and even gained Wall Streets attention and congratulatory approval.

As far as pertaining to the ghost production theme of the previous two entries, there has been some web based controversy as to whether or not Borgore has produced all of his own music, as well as even performed some of his own shows. These accusations are false.

There is constant controversy over Asaf’s lyrical content. He has been labeled the “Most Hated Man in EDM” objectifying and a misogynist. It’s certainly easy to jump to that conclusion based on his videos and lyrical content, as they are mostly about women, sex and alcohol abuse, however there are more to the man and label than just that. They are all professionals, goal oriented and good people.

Molly Hankins recounts her time while working for the imprint and outlines how much of a professional Asaf actually is, and how his image and brand are often misconstrued in her article “What its Like Being A Feminist and Working for Borgore”.

https://thump.vice.com/en_us/article/what-its-like-being-a-feminist-and-working-for-borgore

I personally think the Keep It Sexy EP rocks, as it is playful, fun and the sound design in his drops is absolutely disgusting (of course in the very best way possible) and I hope that it sees similar billboard support to his 2013 single with Miley Cyrus, “Decisions”. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQd5OEl1W-Q)

Good For Ü

In my last post, I talked about the never-ending debate that is ghost production.

This week, two of the most famous and active producers in the world, Skrillex & Diplo, have just achieved the RIAA double-platinum status with their hit “Where Are Ü Now” featuring Justin Bieber. This is monumental. Forbes magazine analytics report that not a single album reached platinum status in 2014. The last artist to be so celebrated and move that many units was Adele, when she got her G&P certification in May, however it was for her record 21 which was released in 2011.

While there are other artists who have certainly released records that have achieved multiplatinum sales (Lady Gaga – Just Dance, Justin Bieber – Never Say Never , Kid Rock – Born Free), upon closer investigation, these records have been released years prior and have been cooking up awards ever since.

Where Are Ü Now came out in 2015.

I personally find this accomplishment a massive step for electronic music. The entire Jack Ü record did fantastic in terms of general popularity and sales. This is not Skrillex’s first platinum award, as Scary Monsters as an album hit platinum, and the single went double, however, the rate at which Where Are Ü Now was accepted by the masses was amazing.

This record was a major power move from both Skrillex and Diplo for incorporating so many pop icons in one place, and releasing a dance record with so much immediate weight (the record features Bieber, Missy Elliot, 2Chainz and more). And not one tune on it was ghost written by Maarten Vorwerk.

http://www.edmsauce.com/2015/10/03/jack-us-where-are-u-now-reaches-double-platinum-status/

https://riaa.com/newsitem.php?content_selector=riaa-news-gold-and-platinum&news_month_filter=6&news_year_filter=2011&id=8DAA857A-1CFB-E0F5-308D-6CC65C10C538

Ghost Producers n’ Stuff

(Written 09/27/2015)

https://ryanbrownee.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/ghost-producers-n-stuff/

Ghost production is typically a touchy, emotionally driven, and often argumentative subject between fans, aspiring producers/ DJs and industry professionals. Many fans and aspiring producers/DJs tend to take the side against ghost production and producers, as they (the fans) believe that DJs should play their own music, created by themselves at their performances. Contrasting that opinion, however, is the reality of the music industry, which is that a producer’s job is to be a producer, regardless of their genre.

Maarten Vorwerk is perhaps one of the most notable ghost producers, having written for names such as Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Quintino, and numerous other Beatport Chart-topping, festival-headlining acts. Many people are quick to criticize the artists as they are not creating their own work, but rather piggybacking off of someone else, then claiming fame from work they didn’t do.

In a recent tell-all interview with Wonderland in Rave, Vorwerk explains how he is content working as a producer, rather than a festival headliner (but don’t forget to vote for him on the DJMag top 100!): https://wonderlandinrave.com/wir-entrevista-maarten-vorwerk/

Personally, I see no difference between ghost producing for another electronic artist and producing a pop track for Rihanna or Beyonce. While sometimes there is an NDA involved with dance music to keep things hush-hush, I find the principle to be the same: artist needs beat -> producer gets paid to make beat -> artist performs song. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Here are some more links to Maarten Vorwerk’s music.