Armani launches their own music app!

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If anybody really knows me, they know that I looove fashion and now…

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…Armani has launched their own app centered around music!

Emporio Armani is an Italian fashion house that was founded in 1975 in Milan, Italy. The company brings in a good $2 billion per year and is one of the most respected names in the fashion industry!

Since I can remember, fashion has always been a part of musicians, artists, and band’s lives because well, it’s just another one of the most heightened forms of self expression. What you wear tells a lot about you, and one of a kind style is the best accessory anyone can have 😉

Everyone knows that runway shows have a soundtrack, well now you can know those songs and listen to them again thanks to the new music app by Armani!

I proudly introduce you to…

emprioarmani-app

Emporio Armani Sounds

Sounds is an app with the ability to combine the fashion world with music sourced from Spotify. The way it works is that the app links you to music that is played at the runway shows all over the world, but that’s not all folks! Oh no! It also is going to be updated weekly and will stream exclusive playlists featuring Calvin Harris, La Roux, and many more musical friends to fashion. Then there will also be interviews and performances exclusively for the app as well!

The app allows users to hear the music playing at their local Armani stores too and the coolest thing about it is that global music trends in fashion will be at your fingertips to browse and listen to!

This app sounds like it was made for me! HAHA It’s a free app on iPhone AND Android! I can’t wait to start using it 🙂

Thanks Armani for creating a strong connection between fashion & music!

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will.i.am. says technology is ruining the music industry!

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I was very shocked today when I heard that will.i.am. thought that…

…technology is ruining the music industry!

The frontman of arguably one of the most futuristic bands of all-time is saying that technology is the bane of the music industry?! Say it ain’t so!

Will is of course the leader of The Black Eyed Peas and lately he’s been dogging on technology and its relationship with music.

Ironically, as my eyes were scanning the music news of today, I had a conversation with myself about how tired I am of writing about technology. This isn’t a tech blog by any means, but it has been an impossibility for me to not mention tech as it applies to music.

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Apple Music, Beats, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, Snapchat, OH MY!

Technology is everywhere in the music industry and it has gotten to the point where me and Mr. i.am are sick and tired of it!

will.i.am recently said, “Music will always be music. Whether or not there is an industry is questionable. I don’t really know how we make money moving forward because of the tsunami called mad tech — there was mad men and now there’s mad tech, it transforms everything.”

will-i-am1Dude has a point!

According to will, the tech tsunami “toppled our industry to the point of, how do we make money?” He went on to say: “People still listen to music more than they ever have before, but we have no hardware of our own.”

I see his argument and he’s right. How do you sell somebody a product that they already have for free? Such as YouTube, SoundCloud, or a free Spotify account in which you pay nothing for a monthly subscription.

It’s no doubt that intellectual property has taken a major hit in the 20th century, because the respect for IP is not there.

The concept of “free” is that in which “If I can get it for free, why would I pay for it?” That may be a rational way of thinking, but when intellectual property is involved, it’s the same as stealing in my humble opinion. Yet I don’t see how preaching about paying for a product that people can easily access for free already can be effective.

29-free-elearning-tools#FREE

So the “product” is not concert tickets and artists/bands must do all that they can through social media to create a voice for themselves as well as a band of loyal followers (“fans”) who will come to their shows all over the world. Music is property, yes. However, people would rather pay $100 to see their favorite artist/band play live than pay $9.99 on iTunes to purchase their album. It doesn’t make sense financially, but the live concert experience is one that comes at a premium price…certainly much more than a new album!

will said regarding technology’s newest hero, Snapchat’s creator Evan Spiegel: “The real rock star is the guy from Snapchat. Rock stars are people that bring people together. Yeah, we could fill up a stadium, but that guy aggregates so many eyeballs.”

snapchat-music#Snapchat

I can’t agree with him more! Snapchat is revolutionary in social media and I cannot wait to watch it grow and grow into something even better! The very thought of a better Snapchat might just keep me up at night 😀

The point being, will is right and I have been thinking about this a lot myself. Although perhaps technology enables more & quicker connection and the product is now the concert ticket…which is highly valuable to any & every fan!

Thank you will.i.am. for speaking up & let’s create revenue streams together!

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James Taylor achieves his first #1 album!

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I think it’s highly notable that the singer-songwriter, James Taylor, has just…

…received his first #1 album EVER of his 45 year long career!

James has had a great run! Since his first splash on the music scene in 1970 with his hit single “Fire and Rain”, that came on his second album Sweet Baby James.

Since “Fire and Rain”, James grabbed the attention of many a music listener and became a steady force in the singer-songwriter genre. He went on to win 5 Grammys and now at 67 years old, he’s got his first #1 album!

“Before This World” is James’ first album of new songs in 13 years and has sold 96,000 albums and was streamed 411,000 times!

The album was just released on June 15th!

BeforeThisWorld_500#BeforeThisWorld

James gave a lovely interview to Here & Now in which he described his time between songs as “full” and that it took him a lot to focus in on writing new music. Check out that interview here [hereandnow.wbur.org/james-taylor-before-this-world].

Marianne Zumberge from Variety magazine said: “Taylor’s milestone is a win for aging musicians. His album debuted in the same frame as new releases from three young solo artists — Adam Lambert, Hilary Duff and Nate Ruess, who are all under the age of 35 — and left them all in the dust.”

#AnotherOneBitesTheDust

Aging musicians…I never thought about that before! Well I guess you could think of Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, and all the other amazing “aging” musicians out there! I love how Marianne categorized it and now I’m more aware of the age ranges of artists as a factor to how relevant they can be in today’s music market.

imagesEveryone loves Babs!

I guess this just goes to show that JT still has it! I’ve known it all along and I’m so proud of him for getting his first #1 album! I can’t wait to listen to this album and see what all the hubbub is about! I know it will be worth the listen!

Sorry for not posting this weekend guys! I’ve been battling pneumonia, believe it or not, but I’m on the mend so expect to hear from me again on a daily basis 🙂

Congratulations James Taylor on your first #1 album! You deserve it!

Record producer Scott Storch files for bankruptcy!

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Scott Storch used to be on top of the world and now…

…he has officially filed for bankruptcy!

I thought about writing about Scott a few months ago while I read an interesting article about how he blew all of his money on a lavish lifestyle, partying, and cocaine.

Not that I like to highlight the toils of the rich and famous, I just think that it’s important to note that a record producer that made so much money before people stopped buying music, threw it all away!

Scott used to claim a net worth of $70 million, but now he’s claiming just $3,600 in assets which includes $100 cash and his closet of designer clothes!

This is all he has left! 😦

Storch was IT back in the day. He produced several Top 10 hits back in the early 2000’s…all the way up until 2007!

Those hits include:
“Fighter” by Christina Aguilera
“Can’t Hold Us Down” by Christina Aguilera featuring Lil’ Kim
“Baby Boy” by Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul
“Naughty Girl” by Beyoncé
“Let Me Love You” by Mario
“Lean Back” by Fat Joe featuring Remy Ma
“Candy Shop” by 50 Cent featuring Olivia
“Just a Lil Bit” by 50 Cent
“Run It!” by Chris Brown featuring Juelz Santana
“Gimme That [Remix]” by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne
“About Us” by Brooke Hogan featuring Paul Wall
“Make It Rain” by Fat Joe featuring Lil Wayne
AND
“Impacto (Remix)” by Daddy Yankee featuring Fergie

His songs were memorable,statement pieces in the music industry. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE back in the day knew Scott Storch. He was infamous and well sought after to produce songs…if you were lucky enough to get a hold of him!

Back in September 2014, Scotty gave an eye-opening interview to Billboard in which he explained his woes from having too much money and how he intended to make a comeback! Go ahead and read that article to get a glimpse behind the man who made hit after hit in the music industry: [billboard.com/scott-storch-makes-a-comeback].

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His plans were to write/produce songs for Rick Ross, Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, and DJ Steven Lee. He even wanted to reshape his career as an electro-pop singer too! I didn’t know he had solo work as his own artist, so now I’m going to look all that up! HAHA

In the bankruptcy papers, Storch claims that he made just $10,000 last year and his music companies are valued at $0.00! That’s so sad to me from someone who once had it all!

Back in 2009, he filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and lost his home due to foreclosure! He was arrested for grand theft auto at the same time for failing to return the 2004 Bentley GT he leased for Lil’ Kim.

Look at the cars he used to own!!! Just look at ’em:

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Lambos, Ferraris, Bentleys, OH MY!

In regards to his fast life & fast spending, he told Billboard last year: “I would always be going from L.A. to Miami to New York, to Russia, to St. Tropez. Costs about $50,000 for a domestic flight, $250,000 for overseas. Yeah, that’s an expensive habit.”

BOY, I’ll say!

The lesson learned here is #1 Don’t squander your money and #2 Don’t think that your success will sustain itself without you putting more effort in.

I imagine that Scott could have been the DJ Mustard, Mike Will Made It, Dr. Luke, Shellback, or Max Martin of today, but he gave it up for the celebration of a lifetime.

You win some, you lose some, but hopefully Storch will make a comeback!

Neil Young doesn’t want Donald Trump to play his music!

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Donald Trump was shocked by the fact that Neil Young didn’t…

…want him to play his music for his campaign!

It just so happened that Neil’s song “Rockin’ in the Free World”, was playing when “The Don” got onstage to make his bid for the Presidency last week at the Trump Tower in Manhattan.

In Mr. Trump’s words, “All of a sudden I get this like, thing, ‘Neil Young protests Trump’…Of course, in all fairness, he’s super liberal; I’m the exact opposite. His manager said, ‘Oh how terrible it is for Donald Trump, the music.’ And I’m saying to myself, ‘How can this be possible?’ The guy’s calling me all the time, he loves me. And then all of a sudden this happens. Like, it’s amazing. Tough business.”

1434801955854Tough business is right!

Trump’s campaign reported that they paid for the right to use Neil’s song, but they will respect Mr. Young’s request to not use it from here on out.

A lot of people thought Donald Trump’s announcing he was running for President was a publicity stunt, but I think it’s the real deal! I love Donald and I think as a person who has always wanted to make it big in business, he’s incredibly inspiring!

dt-101My button hasn’t come in yet!

Neil Young is a former member of the famous Crosby Stills Nash & Young which of course is now Crosby Stills & Nash. He’s also the inventor/creator of the PonoPlayer, a Kickstarter-funded high quality portable music player!

I’m sorry about the fight with Neil, Donald but let’s go TRUMP 2016!

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James Horner died in a tragic plane crash!

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Such sad news for a Tuesday morning as I just read that…

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…famous composer James Horner died in a plane crash 😦

Despite being a celebrated composer for many a film soundtrack, James was an avid pilot! He unfortunately crashed his plane yesterday morning around 9:30 am in an area 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, California and was pronounced dead at the scene.

James owned three planes and two helicopters! Friends of Horner said that he was an experienced pilot and flew all the time, so it’s so sad to hear this!

When I say “famous composer”, what I really mean is “brilliant” because that’s what James Horner was and grew to be.

James’ film soundtracks include:

Braveheart

Titanic

Avatar

Star Trek II

Star Trek III

A Beautiful Mind

Aliens

Apollo 13

…and one of my favorite movies as a kid:

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Balto

He co-wrote “My Heart Will Go On” that Celine Dion sang for the Titanic soundtrack which everyone loves! It’s one of the greatest love songs ever written 😀

The reaction on Twitter has been heartwarming:

…and a special note from his songstress he worked with for Titanic:

It’s a beautiful array of comments that I’m sure will keep pouring in!

We’re half past award season here and the Oscars will come back in February! I expect one hell of a tribute to a man that contributed so much quality work to films. His soundtracks are absolutely mesmerizing in every way!

James will be missed, but his brilliant, musical contributions are here to stay!

Apple responds to Taylor Swift’s open letter!

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Taylor Swift is a powerhouse in the world of music and she just posted…

…an open letter to Tumblr yesterday about Apple Music!

Taylor’s “To Apple, Love Taylor” letter just appeared yesterday on Tumblr and has caused a big stir in which Apple’s Senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, has responded overnight!

#EddyCue

First of all, I’ll link you to Taylor’s letter which you should definitely read for reference: [taylorswift.tumblr.com/post/to-apple-love-taylor].

I’ll go ahead and quote it here too and bold the parts I find interesting:

“I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music. I feel this deserves an explanation because Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.

I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.

This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.

These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.

I realize that Apple is working towards a goal of paid streaming. I think that is beautiful progress. We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out.

Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.

But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

iphonefreeNo, no! Not a free iPhone! HAHA

I like how she said “I think this could be the platform that gets it right” and I completely agree with her. Again, we all know that she’s withdrawn her entire catalog of music from Spotify which was a big move and one that certainly didn’t go unnoticed because well, it’s TAYLOR SWIFT! 😀

Eddy has personally spoken to Taylor today and reached out to her to let her know that they acknowledged her open letter and that they will pay artists for the 3 month trial period that begins when the service launches on June 30th! She was on her U.K. tour and in Amsterdam at the time he reached her, but he wanted it to be a personal conversation!

I love how influential Taylor is and I’m so glad that Apple is deciding to change their plans and pay artists during the 3 month free trial period! That’s a hallelujah moment in the world of music in 2015!

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Check out the full exclusive interview with Eddy from my friends at Billboard right here: [billboard.com/articles/fallout-from-taylor-swifts-letter-apples-eddy-cue-answers-9-burning-questions].

Apple certainly loves Taylor and that’s great to see! They also love music and I adore the way that Eddy said that at Apple “music is a part of our DNA”.

Congrats Taylor for getting your voice heard & thank you for fighting for music!