Toronto teen Johnny Orlando has signed with Universal Music Canada. CBC News has the backstory to this 15-year-old who has built a sizeable tribe on and offline. Orlando’s latest single, a duet with 13-year-old American actress and social media star Mackenzie Ziegler, was released on Friday and by the time you read this it will probably have hit 400K+ views.
– In October, Phil Collins reneges on his earlier promise to retire from the stage with a 15-city North American tour, dubbed “Not Dead Yet.” The two dates this side of the border are Toronto’s ACC on the 11th and Montreal’s Bell Centre on the 16th.
– Here, The Beat: the Economic Impact of Live Music in BC research report will be released May 30, at the Creative BC Offices in Vancouver.
– Darcus Beese OBE has been named President of Island Records. He was formerly president of the UK division and effective July 1 will be operating from UMG’s label-group offices in NYC.
– The finalists for the 2018 SOCAN Songwriting Prize have been announced. Music fans can vote online and through social media starting now, through June 7. Winning artists receive $10K and other prizes. The winning songs in the anglophone and francophone categories will to be announced the week of June 11. Check the list of nominees and vote here
– Festival de musique émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (FME) organizers have announced the first round of performers for the 16th annual in Rouyn-Noranda over the Labour Day weekend. Included are Montreal duo Milk & Bone, Random Recipe and Galaxie.
– Dean Brody, Jann Arden, Marianas Trench and Burton Cummings are included in this year’s PNE Summer Nights nostalgia series that also has Boyz 11 Men, Air Supply, Chicago, Village People, Cyndi Lauper, and Kool & The Gang appearing between Aug. 18 and Sept. 3.
– Classified has released a video to support the April 27 release of “Changes” featuring Juno Award-winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter Anjulie. The setting is in his high school auditorium where he gave his first performance. Incidental facts about the Canadian rapper born Luke Boyd: His self-titled 2013 release has sold over 1M singles and 171K albums in Canada, spawned two top ten singles (“3 Foot Tall” is Platinum and “Inner Ninja” featuring David Myles is 4x Platinum).
– Buddy Guy’s June 15 album, The Blues Is Alive and Well, features Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, and James Bay. Below is audio from the lead track, “Nine Below Zero.”
– Metz continues its global conquest with a concert tonight (May 25) at Beijing’s 500-capacity Yue Space, with renowned classical violinist Xiao Wang opening the show.
– America’s boundary-pushing Kronos Quartet has created pieces with Philip Glass, George Crumb and Canada’s own Tanya Tagaq. Recently they recorded with Mali’s Trio Da Kali. “Eh Ya Ye” is the first video from the Trio-Da Kali and Kronos Quartet LP that was released late last year.
– This summer, one winning town or city in Canada will host a concert featuring Canadian country music stars Dallas Smith, Tim Hicks and Kira Isabella. To enter, just take a picture or a video “of life around your parts” and tweet it or post it on Instagram with #OneHorseTown before May 28.
– Montreal trap duo Banx & Ranx has a runaway hit in the UK with the track, “Answerphone.” The song debuted on the BBC Top 40 at #19 and cracked the top 10 after nine weeks. The video has over 7 million views on YouTube.
– POP Montreal has announced its first wave of artists for the 2018 edition taking place September 26-30. Among those named are Wanda Jackson, Daniel Lanois, Wolf Parade, The Proclaimers, Thus Owls, and The Charlatans UK.
– Cadence Weapon takes on urban gentrification in “High Rise,” taken from his Jan. 19 self-titled album. The shoot was directed by Lester Millado and produced by Toronto creative collective, PIQUE, with choreography by Caden Mackinnon and Chantelle Mostacho. Upcoming tour stops include NXNE, Jazz Winnipeg, Hillside Festival, and Halifax Pop Explosion.
– Queen Celine is back! An ear problem requiring surgery forced the Canadian superstar to cancel shows in her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, but she returned to the stage there on Tuesday. With her return, Dion debuted her new song, “Ashes,” from Deadpool 2, the blockbuster new film. The song and video, which trended at #1 on YouTube upon its release and is rapidly climbing the charts, will be a feature during Celine's shows at the Colosseum and throughout her 2018 Asia-Pacific tour.
– CIMA has announced the performers who will be paying tribute to this year's award recipients on the evening of June 11 at the 4th annual CIMA Celebration & Awards Gala at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto. The list comprises Ryan Langdon, Taurey Butler, Stephen Stanley, Sam Cash & Basil Phoenix, and Lights. See the Award honourees and nominees here
– As it prepares to close for extensive renovations, Toronto's premier concert venue, Massey Hall, has just announced a special birthday concert set for June 14, one celebrating the storied venue's 124th anniversary. Performing double duty as featured performers and the house band, Whitehorse will lead an all-star lineup including Jim Cuddy, Sarah Harmer, Sam Roberts, and Buffy Sainte-Marie, with more TBA. Tix are $18.94, to honour the year that Massey Hall was gifted to the citizens of Toronto. They'll go fast.
– Polaris Music Prize plans to release its long-list of 40 contending albums June 14 at The Drake Underground, with a live stream on its Facebook page. The media scrum will feature a live performance by one of the List artists. The 10 album Short List is to be released July 17 via Polaris Facebook Live and the winner at the Sept. 17 Carlu Gala.
– Danko Jones launched his memoir, I've Got Something To Say, at the Toronto Reference Library on June 4. “This book is a collection of essays that, unlike the music I play, are lighthearted and playful," he explains. "Nothing less than fierce fandom for rock was what made this book come to life."
– The month of June at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is a long tribute to Peter Oundjian, who will be honoured with the title of Conductor Emeritus when he completes his tenure of 14 seasons as Music Director of the TSO at the end of the 2017/18 season. The month of events will include appearances by many of the Maestro’s closest collaborators and friends. The season culminates with three performances of Beethoven’s "Symphony 9"—a fitting finale. More info here
– The SOCAN Foundation awards emerging Canadian musical and audio-visual composers and songwriters producing high-quality original works across various genres. The deadline for this year's competition is June 15. Apply now by visiting socanfoundation.ca.
– The Cavendish Beach Music Festival has announced the performers for the SiriusXM Emerging Artists Stage. Included are Ava & Livy, Graywood, Hypochondriacs, Ian James, JD Clarke, Julia Dunn, Kevin Davison, Makayla Lynn, Sons of Daughters, The SoP All-Stars, Tomato Tomato and Viper Creek Band. The fest runs July 6-9. Included is a Songwriters Circle featuring Gordie Sampson, Gordie Cox & Brian Langille, Ian James, Jimmie Allen, Kenton Bryant, Michael Daniels, Mike Biggar, Shae Dupuy, Sons of Daughters and Steve Azar.
– This year’s Tin Pan North Festival Gala at Hugh’s Room Live in Toronto takes place this Saturday. The high-calibre lineup comprises Danny Marks, Benita Hill, Suzie Vinnick, Blair Packham, Chris Tait (Chalk Circle) and Thomas Wade.