Music News Digest, May 13, 2020

On FB yesterday, Corey Hart leaked news of a new single and video coming, May 29. Never Surrender (Angels) is a pandemic-themed remake of his '80s smash. Hart posts that "Today as I gaze out onto the uncertain sea of change, I'm reminded of the kind, resilient people in our world who keep moving forward with steely determination and steady stride."

– Music PEI has announced programming for the 2020 Canadian Song Conference, a two-part initiative that aims to support musicians in developing diverse revenue streams while fostering collaboration between PEI and Canadian songwriters. The project uses digital platforms to offer virtual panels, workshops, and listening sessions. Among this year’s delegates are renowned producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed) and music supervisor Michael Perlmutter (Instinct Entertainment).

– The CSC includes the Canadian Songwriter Challenge, which gives songwriters from across Canada the opportunity to collaborate with PEI artists by co-writing and recording new music. Confirmed producers include Gavin Brown, Hill Kourkoutis, Jason Barry, Daniel Ledwell, Erin Costello, Colin Buchanan, and Dajaun. Artists will then present their songs to participating CSC delegates (music supervisors, publishers, labels, broadcasters, and more) in online listening sessions.

– Red Cat Records' second Vancouver location, on East Hastings Street, has closed permanently. Opened in Sept. 2016, the independent retailer sold new and used vinyl records, merch, and local concert tickets. In an Instagram post, the store blamed the coronavirus-pandemic closure and the end of its lease at that location for the shuttering.  The original store at 4332 Main Street remains open. Source: Georgia Straight

– Albertan country artist MacKenzie Porter has gone gold in Canada with her recent single These Days, and the track is now Top 10 most added at US Country radio. Current Canadian single Seeing Other People is also seeing action.

– Stuck With U, the new joint single from Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, is, unsurprisingly, already a hit, with the video for the quarantine love song already gaining over 31 million YouTube views. It features such celebrities as Michael Buble and Chance The Rapper, alongside Emma MacKley, a Grade 12 student from Dartmouth, NS. When Bieber shared an instrumental version of the song on social media and asked fans who couldn’t go to prom because of the pandemic to record themselves dancing to it. Mackley’s mother Janice, a strong Belieber, encouraged Emma to tweet a video clip, and she made the cut. Source: CTV Atlantic

– US rockers Black Stone Cherry and Hamilton rock band Monster Truck have come together to launch a brand new web series, The Cherry Truck Band, on May 13. Fans will get the chance to see, live, the two groups collaborate on writing a song together. Jon Harvey of Monster Truck said; “We couldn’t be more excited for BSC to pop our collaboration Cherry! Haha! Can’t wait to write some serious rock n roll and come out the other side with a banger. People will be singing this tune for the rest of their lives.” The web series will be on both bands' Facebook pages every Wed at 3 pm CT.

– Two country-rock favourites from western Canada, Corb Lund and Colter Wall join together for a New West Records-backed Instagram Live live stream on May 15, 7 pm CT.

– Toronto rapper Pressa has released a new song/video, 96 Freestyle, written and recorded in LA with producer/co-writer Bluxz (Killy). OTM, a recent Pressa track, has accumulated over 900K YouTube views and 2M combined streams. He is currently working on new music and a doco, with plans for release later this year.

– Music Managers Forum (MMF) Canada hosts two webinars this week. Today (May 13), 1-2 pm ET, Mike Lawless and Katie Schlosser Vitolins from Amazon Music walk you through the ins and outs of Amazon Music in Canada and highlight the newly launched Amazon Music for Artists app. Tickets here. On May 15 (1-2 pm ET), Jake Gold (The Management Trust) and Helen Britton (Six Shooter) host a Community Chat session that focuses on industry advocacy and the work done behind the scenes by organizations such as MMF. Register here

– To nobody’s surprise, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto has been cancelled because of the covid-19 outbreak. The event had been set to run Aug. 21 to Sept. 7. This is the first time since World war 11 that it has been cancelled.

– Calgary soul singer Jess Knights releases her debut LP, Best Kind of Light, on June 19, with a focus cut, Baby Won't You Stay, coming out today (May 13). She live-streams from her home on May 20, at 7 pm.

–  Virginia to Vegas (Derik Baker) is living up to his hit single betterman by working to benefit frontline workers. He has created a custom Instagram filter encouraging fans to perform acts of kindness and spread the initiative on social media. For each person sharing the BetterManChallenge Filter and their act on socials, Baker donates $1 to the Red Cross Covid-19 Relief Efforts. If sharing the filter on TikTok, include the hashtag #BetterManChallenge. 

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