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The incremental rollout begins. (1/26a)
Nobody's got more experience in putting music on the tube. (1/25a)
David Byrne and Diane Warren have noms as well. (1/24a)
Merck's a belieber. (1/25a)
Sisters doin' it for themselves (1/24a)
The astonishing first half-century of a world-rocking genre.
in the catalog game is...
More independent music rises at the DSPs.
At last, America can focus 24/7 on Hunter Biden's laptop.
Blighty Beat

A number of British trade bodies have written an open letter to the BBC urging it to protect the future of its artist development program, BBC Music Introducing.

As part of major cuts at BBC Radio, every presenter working at every local radio station has been put at risk of redundancy, according to a report in Radio Today.

This places BBC Music Introducing—a platform supporting unsigned, undiscovered and under-the-radar U.K. music talent—at risk, as local radio shows are where acts first get played. The program also provides local gigs, festival stages and broadcasts on nationwide radio stations. Artists showcased through the platform include George Ezra, Self Esteem, Izzy Bizu, Soft Play (who were, until recently, called Slaves) and Jack Garratt.

The letter, signed by orgs including Music Venue Trust, Music Managers Forum, Association of Independent Music and LIVE, expresses “grave concerns” about the possibility of Introducing being scrapped.

Addressed to the chair of the BBC Board Richard Sharp, the letter calls BBC Music Introducing “a fundamental cog in the machine of the grassroots sector.”

“This work is not done by any other broadcaster; it is unique. Its reach extends to every corner of the country and it is especially important in left behind communities, where access to music and music opportunities is already incredibly challenging.”

Cutting local shows “would be a fundamental blow to the health of the entire grassroots sector,” according to the letter. “New and emerging artists already face significant obstacles to breaking into the music industry, challenges that are amplified for those artists and musicians living outside of the major cities.

“BBC Introducing has been essential in providing access routes into the industry, with local and regional opportunities available right across the country. Whatever reorganization might be required to meet the demands of the future stability and viability of the BBC, it should not be the case that BBC Introducing is the unintended victim of those changes.”

The orgs conclude with a call for “urgent assurance” that the BBC Board understands the role of Introducing and a plan for how it will be protected in future.

Other signees include the Association of Independent Promoters, Featured Artist Coalition and the Association of Independent Festivals.


Composer Dan Fable is flanked by North West Songs head Ben Bodie, right, and his manager George Tyekiff.

The publishing arm of Nick Raphael’s new venture North West Songs will be run in partnership with Universal Music Publishing Group. Its most recent signing is Top 5 songwriter Dan Fable.

The company has already a landed a hit—Fable co-wrote “Messy in Heaven” for Columbia artist Venbee, which hit #3 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart earlier in January.

Other artists on the roster include singer/songwriter Sekou and R&B vocal group No Guidnce, who had the sixth most viewed artist account on TikTok in the U.K. in 2022. North West Songs is also working with electronic artist Daniel Avery through a new JV with producer Paul Epworth.

As reported last week, the pubco is run by former Ministry of Sound Publishing head Ben Bodie.

“We are already very excited about the artists we are signing,” Bodie said. “Dan is exceptionally talented and we’re delighted to be launching the company with such a big hit. There is a lot of heat and excitement around Sekou and No Guidnce."

The intention for Fable "is to establish him as a composer in the film and TV space, as well as help enhance his already flourishing artist career.”

Sitting under North West Songs is NW Sync, which is focused on building a stable of writers, composers and artists that operate in the film, TV and advertising space.

Recent signings include recording artist, composer and sound designer CJ Mirra—a BAFTA nominee and Sundance winner—and electronic outfit CMD/CTRL, who have received placements with brands including Sky, Ford, Nintendo and EA Sports.

North West Songs and North West Sync form part of NWS Music Group. Founded by Raphael and Christian Tattersfield, it’s a newly created independent venture housing recordings, publishing and sync under one umbrella.


Harry Styles will perform at The BRIT Awards on 2/11, joinin Wet Leg and Sam Smith & Kim Petras on the bill.

Styles, who had the biggest selling U.K. album and single of 2022, is up for four gongs on the night. He’s in the running for Album of the Year for Harry’s House (Columbia), Song of the Year for “As It Was,” Artist of the Year and Pop/R&B Act.

He’ll make an appearance at the BRITs in the middle of his Love On Tour, which started in the U.S. in September 2021 and has since seen him play to a combined audience of more than 2m people.

The BRIT Awards 2023 with Mastercard will mark the first time the show will be held on a Saturday in its history. It will be broadcast live on ITV1 and ITVX from London's The O2 arena and hosted by comedian Mo Gilligan. More performers will be announced in the coming weeks.


DJ, producer and A&R exec Anton Powers has joined Sony Music U.K.’s Ministry of Sound as head of A&R. He has history at Warner Records and 3Beat.

Powers was most recently at Warner Records, where he spent three years. Among his signings was LF System, who had an eight-week stint at the top of the U.K.'s singles chart in 2022 with “Afraid to Feel.” He also co-signed Eliza Rose, who topped the chart with “B.O.T.A. (Baddest of Them All).”

Reporting into Dipesh Parmar, President of Columbia Records U.K., Powers starts his new role immediately. “Anton lives and breathes dance music and is well respected in the scene,” Parmar said. “He is at the top of his game and I’m confident he is the best person to help Ministry of Sound continue to sign and develop the artists of the future.”

Throughout his career as an A&R executive, which has spanned roles at Universal's 3Beat and a prior stint at Ministry of Sound, Powers has signed artists including Armand Van Helden, Martin Solveig, Kungs, Sigma, Duck Sauce, Philip George and M-22.

He has also established himself as a DJ and producer, having performed at festivals including Tomorrowland and Creamfields. He’s racked up more than half a billion worldwide streams on his own releases, including Top 5 hit, “Alone No More” (3Beat).


Miley Cyrus currently has the highest new entry on the U.K. Official Singles chart while the 15th anniversary reissue of The Courteeners’ debut, St. Jude (Polydor/UMR), is sitting at #1 midweek at albums.

If The Courteeners hold on, it would be their first U.K. Official Albums #1.

The highest new albums entry, at #2, is Gaz Coombes’ fourth set, Turn The Car Around (Hot Fruit). The debut mixtape from rapper Clavish, the 28-track Rap Game Awful (Polydor), is #4.

Circa Waves could secure their fourth Top 10 with Never Going Under ([PIAS]) starting at #9. Belle & Sebastian’s Late Developers (Matador) is lso new at #10.

Outside the Top 10, Joesef’s debut, Permanent Damage (AWAL), is heading for a Top 20 debut at #16.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweeks, RAYE’s “Escapism.” f/070 Shake (Human Re Sources) is still #1. However, with Cyrus’ “Flowers” (RCA) going straight in at #2, the track could be knocked off the top spot by Friday.

“Creepin’” (Republic) by Metro Boomin f/The Weeknd and 21 Savage has been rising steadily over the last few weeks, and now it could finally leap into the Top 10 for the first time at #10.

Two dance hits are on the rise: Joel Corry & Tom Grennan’s “Lionheart (Fearless)” (Atlantic) is up eight to #16 today and Tiësto & Tate McRae’s “10:35” (Atlantic/Ministry of Sound) is up one to #17.


Lewis Capaldi has his fourth U.K. Official Singles #1 with “Pointless” (EMI) while Taylor Swift scores a fifth week atop the albums chart.

“Pointless,” co-written by Ed Sheeran, rises 14 places to hit the top of the chart this week. It finished 1.2k sales ahead of its closest competition, “Escapism.” (Human Re Sources) by Raye f/070 Shake.

The track is the second single and second #1 from Capaldi’s upcoming second album, which is set to land in May. His debut, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, is back in today’s albums Top 10 at #10.

Elsewhere on singles, SZA’s “Kill Bill” (RCA/Top Dawg) is up one place to claim a new peak at #3.

Just outside the Top 10, “Creepin’” (Republic) by Metro Boomin’, The Weeknd and 21 Savage rises one place to #11. Miguel rockets 69 places to #14 with "Sure Thing" (Jive)—his first Top 20 single in the U.K.

TikTok star Stephen Sanchez leaps 12 to #16 with “Until I Found You” (Republic).

This week’s highest new entry comes from the team-up of producers Skrillex, Fred again.., and rapper and producer Flowdan, whose "Rumble" (OWSLA/Atlantic) lands at #19.

On the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart, Swift’s Midnights (EMI) beat competition from SZA’s SOS and The Weeknd’s The Highlights (Republic/Island) to remain on top. SOS is #2 today and The Highlights is #3.

Gabrielle Aplin’s Phosphorescent (Never Fade) debuts at #15 and is the week’s highest new entry.

The 1975 kickstarted their U.K. and Ireland tour this week in support of their #1 fifth album, Being Funny In A Foreign Language (Dirty Hit), which jumps 12 places today to #19.


Nick Raphael’s next move has been revealed: He has gone into business with Christian Tattersfield to launch an independent label, publisher and sync company, North West Songs Music Group.

Raphael — who exited the helm of Capitol U.K. at the beginning of last year— discussed the details of the company in an interview with MBW. It marks a return to working with Tattersfield, who was previously CEO of Warner Music U.K.; the two first met at London Records in the ‘90s and later set up NorthWestSide Records within BMG.

The venture is funded by Raphael and Tattersfield, with no affiliation to a major, which Raphael called “maybe the greatest opportunity in my lifetime.”

“The democratization of music through streaming gives everyone a chance,” he told MBW. “British Black music and Latin music in the U.S. has already proved that you can do it in the [major label] system, partnering with the system or completely outside the system. There is no ‘right’ way of doing it now.”

Raphael says the business is up and running and the first music to be released via the label will be in the near future.

Ben Bodie, who previously ran Ministry of Sound publishing and has history at BMG Chrysalis, will run the publishing division. An official announcement about the pubco is due next week.

Raphael spent more than 10 years at Universal, leading Capitol U.K. as President since it launched in 2013. Alongside former Co-President Jo Charrington (who now leads EMI in the U.K. alongside Rebecca Allen), he enjoyed major success with Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer and Liam Payne.

Prior to that, Raphael led a re-launched London Records and Epic Records, again alongside Charrington, for 10 years. At Sony, Raphael broke acts including JLS, Olly Murs and Paloma Faith.

The MBW interview is worth a read: Raphael discusses his disappointment at not getting the top seat at Capitol in the U.S. following Steve Barnett’s retirement and shares some candid thoughts on the state of British music today.


Wet Leg and Harry Styles lead this year’s BRIT Award nominations with four apiece. Others up for multiple noms include Aitch and Arctic Monkeys.

Following a breakout year, Wet Leg are up for Mastercard Album of the Year for their self-titled debut on Domino as well as Group of the Year, Best New Artist and Alternative/Rock Act. Styles will also compete for Album of the Year with Harry’s House (Columbia); he’s also up for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year for “As It Was” and Pop/R&B Act.

Styles will face competition from Central Cee, George Ezra, Stormzy and Fred again… for Artist of the Year, and Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, Cat Burns and Sam Smith in the Pop/R&B Act category.

Styles, Burns and Smith are all up for Song of the Year, which also sees Aitch, Dave, Ed Sheeran & Elton John, Eliza Rose and Lewis Capaldi shortlisted.

As pointed out by the Guardian, the shortlist is dominated by male artists with women-led acts making up just 33% of the overall nominations. This year’s list will be especially scrutinized for gender balance following the scrapping of the Best British Male and Female categories in 2022 after criticism that Smith, who is non-binary, could not be nominated in either.

Wet Leg, Smith and Kim Petras are the first names announced to perform on the night. Winners will be revealed on 2/11 at a ceremony in London’s O2 Arena.