Music Blog Love 02- Noel Gallagher, Zola Blood, Drake vs Sade, Lil Uzi, Mostacks

Week 2 of the Blog Love feature is here, rounding up some particularly interesting articles from music blogs, published this week.

This edition features

Zola Blood – Infinite Games Breakdown! (from The Blue Walrus)

I was very excited to see this pop up on my screen, because I know these guys.  They’re based in the same studios (and same floor) that I work on the Laya Laya songs in. I often talk to the band whilst making tea or at lunch time and I’ve heard stories of their album as they’ve been working on it.

For this reason, and the fact they make good music, I simply had to share this post.

Drake vs Sade Mashup Playlist (from The Fader)

Errr…Say what? No seriously this has happened. Brooklyn DJ/Producer Vacations has put together a 5 track playlist mad up of mashups from the 2 artists. Cue titles like Lover’s Smoke. Some of the tracks have been played on OVO Sound Radio so they have the official seal of approval.

Piano Covers of Lil Uzi Vert (from Pigeons and Planes)

Lil Uzi Vert and his contemporaries like Wee Boaty McBoatface Lil Yachty have been getting a fair bit of hate for being mumble rappers and not for not even making real rap. These piano covers have certainly opened my ears to his music in a very different way. If you’re not a fan, this may just show why he’s so popular. At the very least, there’s some nifty piano playing in the videos.

5 Black Women Rocking It Big Time (from One Stop Record Shop)

Anything that runs contrary to stereotypes always grabs my interest. So this article about five black women who are separately taking rock by storm was obviously going to feature this week. Given Rock’s roots this kind of article shouldn’t really need to exist, but hey. Asli Omar of The Tontons, Tamar-Kali, Sate, Andy Allo and Lydie La Peste make up the list. Enjoy.

Bigging Up Mostack’s Producers (from The Link Up)

It’s rare to see producers getting this much of a shoutout for a mixtape project. I’ve met Sevaqk and Steel Banglez and they both came across as cool guys. For this reason it’s nice to see them getting recognised for their great work, along with iLLBLU, Zeph Ellis and Rowntree Ranks. The mixtape is doing big things right now.

*Break – I Fancy Your Mum

Take a literal 1 minute break with this Spoken Word piece.

Noel Gallagher (from The Clash)

Needless to say it’s been an emotional couple of weeks for Manchester after the horrific suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert.

After a minute’s silence, a crowd sang Don’t Look Back in Anger. An amazing song and perhaps a very poignant message. Noel Gallagher spoke about the video that went viral and The Clash did a quick report on it. I’m not convinced that a little anger can’t be used for positive change in this case though. (Update: The crowd also sang this at Ariana Grande’s I Love MCR concert on Sunday).

The Avalanches New Album (from The Fader)

Having got their  follow-up to Since I Left You out of the way, they are ready to unleash. The block has been busted after releasing Wildflower.

Washed Out – Get Lost Video (from DIY Magazine)

If you like cool AF videos that look made out of cut up images this is right up your street. The tune is decent too.

Blog Love is a fortnightly feature highlighting some of my favourite posts of the past 14 days. 

* Extra Credit

Need some music after all that reading? Have a listen to one of my songs.

Blog Love -01-Disco Trap, Leaks, Migos and Selena Gomez

The first of many Blog Love features, here are some of the articles that I found particularly interesting this past week.

This edition features Stereogum, The Fader, Pigeons and Planes, Surviving A Golden Age and The Autumn Roses.

Rap is Still Good and Trap is the New Disco! (from Stereogum)

The writer prefaces 6 quality underground rap albums by describing Trap as a modern day equivalent to Disco. I’ve never heard that comparison so I had to read on, and share

Music Leaks (from The Fader)

The Fader got their staffers Ruth Saxelby and Jason Parham to debate the pros and cons of music leaks for fans and artists alike. It’s definitely a conundrum.

Sofia De La Torre – DGIT (from The Autumn Rose)

A really cool track from the Spanish artist Sofi De La Torre. Nothing more to say really. Play it in a new tab and keep reading

Selena Gomez – Bad Liar (from Surviving The Golden Age)

If you told me that I would feature a Selena Gomez song in this list I would have been very surprised.  However this song is pretty cool. If some indie act had made it, it would be cool to like it. I can’t knock a pop act for not regurgitating the same old. Not sure how many repeats I’ll be giving it but hey, it’s ok for now.

Selena Gomez “Bad Liar”

Guess The Migos (from Pigeons And Planes)

2 for 1 in this section. After causing the worldwide music blogging community to have an existential crisis (music blogs don’t matter), they decided to fnd out if anyone can recognise the members of Migos. This video is good with tea, especially the rapping in Spanish guy. names


Bonus reading on International Rap from Pigeons and Planes:

As someone who also raps in languages other than English, this article was of particular interest to me when it first appeared. Although it’s technically outside the usual window for this feature, I’m going to include it anyway as Blog Love didn’t exist then.

Blog Love is a fortnightly feature highlighting some of my favourite posts around at the time.


* Extra Credit

Fancy some music after all that reading? Have a listen to one of my songs.

How Do Publishers Find New Talent (My Repost from Midem)

This article originally appeared on the Midem website. I wrote it on behalf of Music Gateway. You can see the original post here.


The impact of technology and the digital age of the recorded music industry has been widely documented. One result is that more and more labels have opened up publishing divisions, both to help provide a better service to their artists and ensure their own revenues. It also makes growing the publishing roster easier. At the same time, more writers are looking for publishers. So, how do Publishers find new talent?

We asked a few Publishers from various different sized companies on how they go about finding talent. As you would expect, there are a number of common tools.

1. Demos

Nowadays, demos tend to be online links rather than CDs. Whilst every publisher says they listen to all submissions in the hopes of finding a gem, the success rate is unanimously low, regardless of company size.

2. ​Online Platforms

Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube and similar – trawling through these sites is laborious so number of plays is a big part of attracting attention from the larger publishers. Whilst metrics are also important for smaller ones, they tend to be perhaps as interested in personally liking lesser played work.

3. B​logs/Tastemakers

This is more important for niche publishers, though equally valid for more general companies.

4. R​ecommendations

This is from talent on the roster as well as lawyers, managers and labels. The value of a trusted opinion is not to be underestimated.

5. Briefs

In some cases and with some publishers the A&R team attempt to find writers to help them pitch to a certain brief.

What some Publishers had to say:​

“As well as the traditional methods, we focus a lot of energy on writing camps centred on briefs. These take place in various places often with partners. Our next one is in collaboration with Tileyard Studios in London and will have 60 writers taking part. Equal splits are agreed before entering the studio, to. We also get a lot of submissions from songwriting masterclasses that we hold in various places.” (John Saunderson, Head of A&R, Notting Hill Music)

“Facebook and Youtube are the most-used discovery tools, followed by Soundcloud. We only ever distribute briefs to our own roster. We are focussed on our own writers. Recommendations are also very important. We often get tips from A&Rs at Labels with their own publishing arms, because they like our work. We take this as a compliment.” (Jens-Markus Wegener, Managing Director, Imagem Music)

“Demos have dwindling success rates but recommendations, especially for writers already on our roster, are a valuable way of finding new writers. In fact we have had good success in just this way recently. One of our writers, I am Willow, suggested Jay Scott to us. We have placed a number of cuts for him including the title song for Auryn’s number 1 album in Spain, called Ghost Town. We focus a lot on co-writes and this track in particular was written at a writing camp.” (K​iern Pettican, ​A​&R Co-Ordinator at Fairwood Music International,​ whose roster includes LA Reid).

“We publish 90% of the label’s repertoire, so that forms a big part of our acquisitions. Beyond that we publish a number of writers who we don’t release, for example techno producer Kamikaze Space Programme. Our publishing intake can be brief driven depending on our roster. Aside from that, we often use Soundcloud and other similar platforms or look for exciting and interesting talent.” (S​am Birkwood, ​H​ead of Publishing at Songs In The Key of Knife).

“I started growing the company as a result of a conversation. A film-maker came to me for advice on setting up a publishing company for his soundtrack and ended up signing the soundtrack to his film to Buzz-erk. We’re doing something similar for a song that we produced. The artist hired me as a producer and then wanted us to look after the publishing and release too. Familiarity and trust goes a long way.” (N​iraj Chag,​ C​omposer and Publisher at Buzz-erk Publishing).

“We tend to find new writers through blogs and Soundcloud tastemakers. We found Welsh band Trwbador via Soundcloud and have had some good sync placements for them. We often attend gigs too.” (T​om Prové,​ General Manager at Touch Tones Music,​ whose cuts have included Groove Armada and Joss Stone).