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Music & the Spoken Word: Our own ‘Silent Minute’

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Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This was recorded in London, England, on June 16, 2022, and will be given on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023.

Standing behind me in newly refurbished glory after almost five years of reconstruction, polishing and paint is the British icon known as Big Ben. It stands prominently on the north end of the Houses of Parliament, on the edge of the River Thames.

To be precise, Big Ben is actually the name of the largest of the tower’s five bells. The tower itself is officially titled Elizabeth Tower, after Her Majesty the Queen, and the clock is named the Clock of Westminster. But to many people here in London and around the world, the bells, tower, and clock together are known simply as Big Ben.

Much has happened during Big Ben’s lifetime. Motor cars have replaced horses and carriages, electricity has replaced gas streetlights, and the Tube — London’s underground rapid transit system — was built below where this famous timekeeper stands. Since 1859, with only a few interruptions, the reliable chimes of Big Ben have helped Londoners mark the passage of time. But at a pivotal moment in British history, Big Ben’s chimes marked something more important than simply the start of another hour.

Big Ben clock tower is centered between two buildings and all are dark silhouettes against a sunset, with purple, red, pink and orange.

The Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben, of the Houses of Parliament, is seen in London, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023

Kin Cheung, Associated Press

During World War II, when England was subjected to nightly air raids, a British major had the idea of inviting citizens to unite in a regular moment of silence — a time to pause and pray for peace. The idea was embraced by King George VI, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and millions of people in and out of the United Kingdom, regardless of their faith tradition.

Each day at 9 p.m., Big Ben’s familiar bell tolled on British radio, signaling to listeners the nightly beginning of what came to be called the “Silent Minute.” It might be said that Big Ben was helping the people mark, in Churchill’s words, “their finest hour” (see “Their Finest Hour,” Winston Churchill’s address to the House of Commons, June 18, 1940, winstonchurchill.org).

World War II, of course, has ended. But the need for peace in our lives has not. And while we can’t stop time from ticking away, perhaps we can stop ourselves occasionally. Maybe we can pause and take some time — if only a minute — to pray and ponder and hope for peace. Our own silent minute could be just what we need to renew our intent to pursue peace of mind, peace of conscience, peace in our relationships, and peace in the world around us.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL News Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, KSL.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM (Ch. 143),  tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoir and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time on these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.

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Davido Speaks On Retirement From Music

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Nigerian award-winning singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, has vowed to retire from the music industry before he turns sour.

Naija News reports that Davido made this known in a video shared online by his friend and entertainment blogger, Tunde Ednut, stating that his greatest fear in life is when his music career starts going down.

The ‘Unavailable’ crooner explained he is really scared of the moment in his career when things start to slow down and people no longer go crazy whenever he gets on stage.

Davido admitted that everybody goes through a phase in their career when people no longer go wild for their music.

However, he never wants to get to that point in his career and he often jokes with friends that he will retire before he goes sour.

In his words: “The only thing I’m really scared of is that moment maybe…when I get on stage, people cry, they go crazy.

“But it’s going to get to a point in my career where it’s going to start slowing down, everybody goes through it, so that’s what I’m really scared of, that point.

“I never want to get there. I always make a joke to my friends, I’m gonna retire before I turn sour”

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Arnhem Land metal band Wildfire Manwurrk sings

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The Rostron family is in its element thrashing guitars, riding on the back of troupes and hunting on stone country in Central West Arnhem. 

Victor Rostron, his four sons and nephew make up the band Wildfire Manwurrk, which last week won two National Indigenous Music Awards.

Their song Mararradj took out the community film clip award, and shows the band painting rock art, singing around a campfire, and setting fire to the country, as they play guitar in creek beds and dance on top of the Arnhem Land escarpment.

The band has been 12 years in the making, and Mr Rostron says although making the film clip in remote Arnhem Land was a “really, really big struggle for everyone”, it is a work of great integrity.

“The story, the songlines, everything [is] there, and that’s where we should be doing it, on country,” Mr Rostron said.

From a cave in the middle of nowhere

Mr Rostron remembers the night his family started creating the sound that would become Wildfire Manwurrk.

A group of men stand around a campfire at night with clapsticks

Wildfire Manwurrk are self-taught musicians.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

“We got a generator and got a little second-hand instrument, we went bush — middle of nowhere — and then started making noise,” he said.

Lighting a massive fire behind them, they jammed. 

Weaving ancient stories and songlines, with metal, rock, and punk music, something magical happened out there on stone country.

“That’s where we start the band from, the bush, middle of nowhere,” Mr Rostron said.

The band started playing as Karrkad Kanjdji or KK band, doing gigs at stations and festivals in the Northern Territory for years before recording its first EP, The Next Future, in 2021 under its new name Wildfire Manwurrk.

‘The only chance we’ve got’

The Rostrons and their extended family are some of the last speakers of Kune, an endangered dialect of the Bininj Kunwork language, which is spoken to the south of Maningrida.

“We don’t want to lose that language, our Kune, because some languages [are] already gone,” Mr Rostron said.

Six men stand on a rock shelf holding spears.

Wildfire Manwurrk won the Archie Roach Foundation award.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

The members of Wildfire Manwurrk each speak at least five Indigenous languages, and most of their songs are in Kune language.

“We want to sing in our language so people can hear we still got that language and culture,” Mr Rostron said.

Australia has one of the fastest rates of language loss in the world.

While more than 250 Indigenous languages were spoken prior to colonisation, only 40 now survive, according to a 2021 study by the Australian National University.

“We got a big, big chance, that’s the only chance we got, through music,” Mr Rostron said.

“We want to keep that language and culture really strong.”

‘Heartbreak is really powerful’

The band is passionate about sharing traditional knowledge alongside the harsh contemporary realities its community faces.

A white troupe drives over sand in the bush with five people sitting on the roof

A still from film clip Mararradj.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

Lead singer Sires Rostron, 31, said his song Don’t Smoke was inspired by what he saw in community.

“I saw parents smoking cigarettes near children,” he said.

“That’s so bad, small children smelling the smoke, bad for their health.”

He wanted to send a message.

“I was thinking, I’ve got to make this song so parents can listen and think, ‘Ah yeah, don’t smoke cigarettes near children, our children.'”

Mr Rostron agrees that health problems, from smoking and heart disease to diabetes and mental health are overwhelming in community, and their impacts are felt intimately.

“In every remote community there are suicides. And suicide is not our culture, it’s really new for us mob,” Mr Rostron said.

After speaking about the impact of suicide at Wildfire Manwurrk performances for years, tragedy hit Mr Rostron last month when he lost his eldest daughter to suicide.

“Heartbreak is really powerful,” he said.

While Mr Rostron continues to grieve, he emphasises “the healthy country behind us” is one of his key sources of strength.

“Always three things: music, art, and country. Put together, they make you strong and powerful,” he said.

Six men stand on a rock shelf in front of rock art spirits painted in white.

Mimih creation spirits are depicted in rock art dating back 50,000 years. (Supplied: Renae Saxby)

The family are traditional owners of Mimih ceremony, and mimih creation spirits are depicted in rock art that dates back 50,000 years.

Mr Rostron and Jay Jarrupula Rostron, mother of Mr Rostron’s sons in the band, are respected artists and continue the family tradition of painting rock art on country.

Most of the family works as rangers as well as playing music, and Mr Rostron’s younger daughter Cindy Rostron, 18, has established a second career as a model.

A young woman modelling clothes on a runway.

Cindy Rostron walked in nine shows at this year’s fashion week.(ABC News: Harriet Tatham)

Frequently flying between Maningrida and Sydney Ms Rostron models for major labels, has appeared on the cover of Vogue, and has more than 150,000 TikTok followers.

Balanda and Bininj, Whitefella and Blackfella, way

Despite the family’s gradually growing public profile, the challenges of walking in two cultures and worlds are constant.

“For bush people, it is really hard to get out from the Northern Territory,” Mr Rostron said.

In the wet season, roads out of Maningrida are inaccessible, and every time the band of six leaves its community, it costs tens of thousands of dollars in flights alone, which is almost impossible to finance.

“I’ll be honest, it’s really hard for bush people like us trying to get funding,” Mr Rostron said.

Six men sit and stand on the sand around a campfire in front of a rock shelf, holding didgeridoos and spears.

Wildfire Manwurrk won the community film clip award.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

Even though Maningrida has money for arts and community development, the band struggled to find funding to record its music, eventually getting support through East Coast connections.

Recording its EP in the NSW North Coast town of Mullumbimby in 2021 was the first time most of the band had left the Northern Territory.

“It feel different down there, we were a little bit homesick for the NT. It was a big change for us mob,” Sires Rostron said.

Natalie Carey, who has co-managed the band for 10 years with Mr Rostron, says Wildfire Manwurrk’s rise has been slow and deliberate, prioritising integrity and self-determination.

“Victor is much more than just the face and voice of the band, he’s controlling where it goes,” she said.

As Mr Rostron learns management skills, Ms Carey says he is starting to build up the next generation.

“Victor is excited to be a role model for bands coming out of community, mentoring them around how the music industry works,” Ms Carey said.

A band silhouetted at sunset.

Wildifire Manwurrk was nominated for three awards and won two.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

Mr Rostron’s vision is bigger than his own family. He dreams of a network of independent “bush musicians”, who can create a future by celebrating and sharing knowledge and culture through music.

“We’ve been talking about working in double tools, Balanda and Bininj, Whiteman and Blackfella, and we did it,” Mr Rostron said.

Wildfire Manwurrk plans to record a second EP and make its first east coast tour in 2024.

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Quavo, Hozier, Doechii, Addison Rae and More –

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Billboard’s Friday Music Guide serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond. 

Explore

Explore

See latest videos, charts and news

See latest videos, charts and news

This week, Quavo pays homage while moving forward, Hozier takes us to church (and the Inferno), and Doechii wants you to dance at all costs. Check out all of this week’s picks below:

Quavo, Rocket Power 

Quavo’s nephew and Migos co-leader, Takeoff, was nicknamed “The Rocket” — and less than a year after the rapper was killed at the age of 28, his family member and group mate is drawing upon his thoughts and instincts as inspiration for his new solo album. Parts of Rocket Power are racked with grief, including the soulful highlight “Hold Me” and the memory-flooded title track, although Quavo also makes ample room in the sprawling full-length to celebrate life, as on the Future-assisted hit “Turn Yo Clic Up” and the crackling “Stain” with BabyDrill; ultimately, the album depicts a long-running rap star in a more complex light, and immediately makes the case as Quavo’s best solo project.

Hozier, Unreal Unearth 

When Hozier revealed that his third studio album — which follows 2019’s Wasteland, Baby!, the first No. 1 album of his career — would be inspired by Dante’s Inferno and include passages sung in Irish Gaelic, fears that the “Take Me To Church” singer-songwriter was turning inscrutable were only natural. Yet Unreal Unearth not only showcases the strength of Hozier’s voice and songwriting, but also remains accessible to hardcore fans and casual alt-rock listeners, from the snappy single “Eat Your Young” to the gargantuan Brandi Carlile duet “Damage Gets Done” to the restrained grace of closer “First Light.”

Doechii, “Booty Drop” 

“Shawty, what it is? / Bring that ass to the club,” Doechii commands on “Booty Drop,” a late bid for the summer’s most kinetic dance song. The Tampa native has shown promise as a recording artist and performer over the past year — signing with TDE, scoring an opening spot on Doja Cat and Ice Spice’s upcoming tour, and mesmerizing audiences whenever she hits the stage — but her latest single, a gleefully explicit take on the Jersey club style that never stops moving, might be the moment where her appeal spills over into the mainstream once and for all.

Addison Rae, AR EP 

Although Addison Rae’s newly released EP rescues a handful of tracks intended for the influencer’s never-released debut album, AR does not sound like a collection of odds and ends: instead, the five songs engross the listener with fresh melodies and bursts of personality, showcasing the 22-year-old as a quick study within this brand of pop. “2 Die 4” with Charli XCX is the highlight — marvel at the mini-hooks jam-packed into that chorus! — but the whole project is worth bookmarking as the potential start of something big.

Anitta, Funk Generation: A Favela Love Story 

When Anitta released her single “Funk Rave” in June, the Latin music star hinted that a deeper dive into Brazilian funk music would be both a way to honor her roots and a rewarding sonic exploration; with Funk Generation: A Favela Love Story, a three-song project that follows up “Funk Rave” with two new heaters, Anitta has more or less confirmed her suggestions. “Casi Casi” and “Used to Be” adopt different approaches — the former a chattering sashay, the latter a slow-building reflection — but Anitta excels at both tempos, and has us hoping for even more to come.

Editor’s Pick: FIFTY FIFTY feat. Sabrina Carpenter, “Cupid Twin Ver.” 

Think of FIFTY FIFTY’s new version “Cupid,” featuring Sabrina Carpenter on the remix, as a well-earned victory lap for both artists: the K-pop group crashed the upper reaches of the Hot 100 chart with the undeniable sing-along, while Carpenter is a little over a year removed from Emails I Can’t Send, one of the strongest pop albums of 2022, and its viral hit “Nonsense.” Together, FIFTY FIFTY and Carpenter reinvent a rock-solid hit ever so slightly, as Carpenter slides into the second verse and handles that sugary “I gave a second chance to Cupiiiiiid!” hook with aplomb.

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Oliver Anthony reveals he’s turned down $8 MILLION

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Country music sensation Oliver Anthony has claimed he’s turned down offers for as much as $8million after viral hit ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ soared to No. 1 on Apple Music’s global charts.

The song, released in early August, is sitting at the top above stars including Taylor Swift, Doja Cat, Travis Scott, and fellow country singer Morgan Wallen.

Anthony addressed the speculation about who he is, why he performs and what he thinks led to his sudden rise in a Facebook post Thursday after he claimed to have gotten over 50,000 messages after the video took off.

‘I’m sitting in such a weird place in my life right now. I never wanted to be a full time musician, much less sit at the top of the iTunes charts,’ he wrote, saying he hoped that when he filmed the videos, they might hit 300,000 views.

‘I still don’t quite believe what has went on since we uploaded that. It’s just strange to me,’ Anthony wrote.

He then confessed to have gotten ‘blank stares’ from people in the music industry after having rejected the offers off $8million.

Virginia factory worker Oliver Anthony claims he's turned down offers for as much as $8million after viral hit ' Rich Men North of Richmond ' soared to No. 1 on Apple Music's global charts

Virginia factory worker Oliver Anthony claims he’s turned down offers for as much as $8million after viral hit ‘ Rich Men North of Richmond ‘ soared to No. 1 on Apple Music’s global charts 

‘I don’t want 6 tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don’t want to play stadium shows, I don’t want to be in the spotlight. I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression,’ he confessed.

Anthony feels the secret to his success is that his songs are ‘being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bulls**t. Just some idiot and his guitar.’ 

He then went into his full biography, saying that he had ‘never taken the time to tell you who I actually am.’ 

‘My legal name is Christopher Anthony Lunsford. My grandfather was Oliver Anthony, and ‘Oliver Anthony Music’ is a dedication not only to him, but 1930’s Appalachia where he was born and raised. Dirt floors, seven kids, hard times,’ he wrote.

He said that everyone now knows him as Oliver but that friends and family still call him Chris but adds that ‘either is fine.’

Anthony claims he dropped out of high school in 2010 and got his GED at the age of 17.

He describes in detail the conditions he worked under that ended up inspiring his songs once he left school. 

‘I worked multiple plant jobs in Western NC, my last being at the paper mill in McDowell county. I worked 3rd shift, 6 days a week for $14.50 an hour in a living hell. In 2013, I had a bad fall at work and fractured my skull.’

Anthony addressed the speculation about who he is, why he performs and what he thinks led to his sudden rise in a Facebook post Thursday after he claimed to have gotten over 50,000 messages after the video took off

Anthony addressed the speculation about who he is, why he performs and what he thinks led to his sudden rise in a Facebook post Thursday after he claimed to have gotten over 50,000 messages after the video took off

He confessed to have gotten 'blank stares' from people in the music industry after having rejected the offers off $8million

He confessed to have gotten ‘blank stares’ from people in the music industry after having rejected the offers off $8million

Anthony moved back to Virginia, he says, and was unable to work again until six months after the injury.

In 2014, he started working in ‘outside sales’ in industrial manufacturing, which he says has taken him ‘all over Virginia and into the Carolinas.’ 

‘Ive spent all day, everyday, for the last 10 years hearing the same story. People are SO damn tired of being neglected, divided and manipulated.’

Of his living conditions, he says he lives on a $97,500 piece of farmland (which he claims to still owe $60,000 on) inside a 27-foot camper with a tarp on the roof that he bought for $750 on Craigslist. 

He reiterates that his success is ‘nothing special’ to do with him to the point of self-deprecation.

‘I’m not a good musician, I’m not a very good person. I’ve spent the last 5 years struggling with mental health and using alcohol to drown it. I am sad to see the world in the state it’s in, with everyone fighting with each other. I have spent many nights feeling hopeless, that the greatest country on Earth is quickly fading away.’

He then calls for unity and a deviation from the same internet culture that has made him famous. 

‘I HATE the way the Internet has divided all of us. The Internet is a parasite, that infects the minds of humans and has their way with them. Hours wasted, goals forgotten, loved ones sitting in houses with each other distracted all day by technology made by the hands of other poor souls in sweat shops in a foreign land.’

Anthony feels the secret to his success is that his songs are 'being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bulls**t. Just some idiot and his guitar'

Anthony feels the secret to his success is that his songs are ‘being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bulls**t. Just some idiot and his guitar’

He said that everyone now knows him as Oliver but that friends and family still call him Chris but adds that 'either is fine'

He said that everyone now knows him as Oliver but that friends and family still call him Chris but adds that ‘either is fine’

He goes on to say that we should be fighting for ‘what is right’ and freedom of speech and that people should turn toward God. 

‘Just like those once wandering in the desert, we have lost our way from God and have let false idols distract us and divide us. It’s a damn shame,’ he finishes his letter.

‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ has gained mass notoriety for its ‘bone-chilling’ portrayal of life for the ‘average man’ in the United States. 

Lyrics include: ‘Lord, it’s a damn shame / What the world’s gotten to / For people like me and people like you / Wish I could just wake up and it not be true.’ 

The music video for the song, which includes Anthony strumming a guitar and singing soulfully to camera, has amassed more than 18 million views in a week. 

The song, released in early August, is sitting at the top of the Apple Music charts

The song, released in early August, is sitting at the top of the Apple Music charts 

Anthony, who lives in Farmville – an hour outside of Richmond – has said the song is meant to share the struggles of the blue-collar worker. 

‘The universal thing I see is no matter how much effort they put into whatever it is they’re doing, they can’t quite get ahead because the dollar’s not worth enough, they are being over-taxed,’ Anthony said. 

‘I want to be a voice for those people. And not just them, but humans in general,’ the singer-songwriter explained of ‘Rich Men North of Richmond.’ 

‘As long as you’re above the dirt, you’ve got a fightin’ chance,’ he continued. 

On Spotify, the song has captured nearly 6 million listens in just five days. 

It is also currently being predicted as a contender to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart come late August.  

The tune has been adopted as the ‘working class anthem’ by many conservatives while some progressives have remained skeptical due to its lyrics. 

The song touches on human trafficking of children, even alluding to late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and his illicit activities involving minors. 

‘I wish politicians looked out for minors and not just minors on an island,’ Anthony sings in the song, which is just over three minutes long. 

The singer also touches on out-of-touch politicians, high taxes, and those who take advantage of the system by ‘milking welfare.’ 

‘Lord, we got folks in the street, ain’t got nothing to eat and the obese milking welfare,’ he sings. ‘Well God, if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds, taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds.’

Its message has been amplified by major voices including Fox News’ Laura Ingraham and popular podcast host Joe Rogan. 

Morgan Wallen

Taylor Swift

Oliver Anthony’s song beat out country singer Morgan Wallen (left) and Taylor Swift (right) 

Reaction to the song has been instantaneous with the song climbing up the charts and millions around the world sharing how the song has touched them. 

‘I’m a 40-year-old Iraq vet Marine. This one got my eyes a little soggy too… But I’m very proud of this young man for having the cahones to tell it like it is. Semper Fidelis Oliver,’ one person wrote on YouTube. 

‘This is the first time a non-gospel song has brought tears to my eyes and left me speechless. This is beautifully written and so true,’ a woman shared. 

‘I’m 75 years. I worked overtime for bullshit pay my entire life and I approve this message,’ another added. 

‘I’ve been an iron worker for 17 years and broke is an understatement to my finances. This song is the ‘American dream,” wrote one person who resonated. 

Outside of the U.S., supporters of the musician have weighed in across social media 

‘Speaking from Ireland, this song is an emotional masterpiece. It genuinely moves me multiple times every single time I play it,’ one person wrote. 

‘You speak of the majority of the 🌎 F**k the rich men north of Richmond.’ 

‘Just a guy from Greece here… Lifelong dream to move to the US one day. Some would say a song like this should only discourage me, but damn… I’ve always been inspired by its people, its true people, its heart and soul, and this man singing this song is a fine example,’ another commenter shared on YouTube. 

‘This song isn’t just for the US, this song should bring all people together, at least all of those whose heart’s in the right place,’ the commenter continued. 

Since going live, Anthony’s song has also been met with open arms from many in the music industry. 

One man, Jason Howerton, said on Twitter that ‘legendary country producer’ John Rich has offered to pay for Anthony to record his debut album. 

Howerton also claimed in a tweet that Rich will produce the album for the singer. 

On Thursday, rapper Gucci Mane also showed interest in the country singer in a post on Instagram. 

In a post, the ‘Black Beatles’ crooner told his followers that he would love to sign Anthony to his 1017 imprint. 

‘Aye fam I need y’all help on this one I’m trying sign these guys as my first country artists to 1017!!!’ the rapper wrote. 

Gucci Man shared a screenshot of the song on Apple Music and urged his 17 million followers to help him get in contact with the ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ singer.  

‘I need the info asap,’ he shared. 

Since finding seemingly overnight success, Anthony has taken a step back briefly to cope with the newfound fame. 

Clearly overwhelmed by the chart topping climb, Anthony posted on Facebook that he is ‘so thankful’ for the support and is working on new music and shows. 

‘I’m working on getting gigs scheduled and will post a calendar when it’s available.’ 

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TikTok Music Division Reportedly Grapples With

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About one month after TikTok Music became available in nations including Brazil and Indonesia, the division behind the streaming service’s music offerings is reportedly grappling with layoffs.

Word of TikTok’s music-side personnel cutbacks, including across its TikTok Music streaming service and its SoundOn distribution platform, entered the media spotlight in a report from Billboard. At the time of this writing, ByteDance and TikTok execs hadn’t addressed the matter publicly.

Similarly, none of the reportedly impacted individuals – seven staffers in total, all based in the United States – seemed to have weighed in on the less-than-ideal news on LinkedIn. Inversely, in a sign that the layoffs might be one component of a broader shakeup, two-year company vet Alex Shahparnia today announced his elevation from SoundOn artist and label partnerships lead to label and promotion lead for the overarching TikTok.

According to anonymous sources cited in the noted report, though, the team-size reduction has reached the aforementioned units as well as TikTok’s global music division. One of the affected persons, senior product strategy and operations head Kelly Chen Solomero, had per her LinkedIn profile led a more than 30-person team “to launch SoundOn.”

Another now-former TikTok employee, U.S. music partnerships and operations lead Marisa Jeffries, started with the highly controversial short-form app in March of 2021 following a total of over 15 years at Sony Music and SoundCloud, her own LinkedIn profile shows.

Needless to say, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for additional (and potentially farther-reaching) layoffs from TikTok, which in July of 2022 moved to trim a comparatively substantial 100 or so positions. Specifically when it comes to music, however, logic suggests that the video-sharing giant could largely maintain (and possibly keep on growing) its team in the approaching months notwithstanding concerns about the economy and ByteDance’s massive losses.

Expanding upon the point, ByteDance and TikTok, far from avoiding music expansion initiatives, have during 2023 rolled out a livestream music competition, an artist-promotion program called Elevate, a “portable audio workstation” called Ripple, a bolstered song-discovery hub, and a “talent manager portal,” to name some.

Meanwhile, TikTok has also continued to build out the previously highlighted TikTok Music and scored a major licensing agreement with Warner Music Group on the year. But recent headlines haven’t been entirely positive for the platform, which was this week banned on government devices in New York City due to longstanding security concerns associated with its use.

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New documentry shares backstory of music mogul

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You know Michael Bivins as one of the members of the iconic R & B groups New Edition and BBD. He’s also one of music’s most successful businessmen, but what you may not know is how that came to be.

The new documentary, “The Hustle of @617MikeBiv,” sheds light on the story of his success from his childhood dreams of the NBA to a career that still brings stadiums full of cheering fans to their feet.

The Hustle of @617MikeBiv premieres on ALLBLK starting Thursday, August 24, with an encore run on WE tv Thursday, October 5.

Love the WGN Morning News? We love you, too. And you can have all the hijinks delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. Sign up and subscribe to our WGN Morning News newsletter.

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Abbie Chatfield announces she’s leaving hit radio

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Abbie Chatfield has announced she’s quitting her radio show.

The former reality star turned media success story, 28, has been hosting her Hit Network show Hot Nights With Abbie Chatfield since the beginning of 2022.

Chatfield took to Instagram Thursday afternoon saying she made the call “a little last minute” following a recent holiday, with her final show to air tonight.

“I’m really happy with my decision and super proud of myself for letting this role go,” she wrote.

“I simply need to put my energy into projects that bring me joy and that energise me, rather than draining me.”

She said she was looking forward to spending more time with friends and family, as well as focusing on her host of opportunities elsewhere.

“It’s also time to give someone else a go who would enjoy and appreciate the opportunity more than myself. I have so much on, and daily radio takes up so much time. I simply wasn’t enjoying myself day to day in that environment,” she added.

“This was my decision entirely, and I’m so glad I made it.”

Chatfield added her podcast would stay within the Hit Network, and that she would be adopting the segment she started on-air, Australian Made.

“I still am planning on doing Australian Made every week, just in a slightly different way. I’m so passionate about Australian music that this was the main reason I didn’t quit earlier, so I’m glad I can take it with me,” she said.

SCA Chief Content Officer, Dave Cameron, said: “For personal reasons, Abbie Chatfield has made the decision to step away from Hot Nights, her national radio show on the Hit Network.

“We are pleased to say that Abbie will remain with SCA, and we look forward to continuing to support the ongoing growth of her extraordinarily successful podcast, It’s a Lot with Abbie Chatfield, published on LiSTNR.”

Chatfield’s career went rapidly uphill after starring on The Bachelor in 2019, with the star now a prominent force in the Australian showbiz landscape.

She hosts a successful podcast, It’s A Lot, won the 2021 season of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, became a judge on Masked Singer Australia and also embarked on a sellout national live show tour.

Last year, she was the host of the debut Binge reality series, FBoy Island.

And it appears her multiple opportunities have certainly paid well, with Chatfield dropping nearly $1.8 million on a Sydney apartment in May 2022.

It marked her second property purchase, after acquiring a $1.45 million Byron Bay home the previous year.

Originally published as Abbie Chatfield announces she’s leaving hit radio show



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Shine Music Festival intentionally accessible

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Summer music festivals bring music lovers together in a shared experience. The Shine Music Festival does that, but opens the experience to people with disabilities. It’s intentionally accessible to create inclusion for all music lovers. Festival founder, Shawn Satterfield, spoke about what she loves about the festival on First at Four.

“Definitely, the community and shared experiences it’s created. Our first year, we had someone thank us for giving her the gift of a music festival that she was able to navigate on her terms and her timing without the need of a sighted person.”

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This year Shine lost some large donors at the last minute, and was in danger of having to be cancelled. But many non-profits which serve the disabled community came together to raise money to make it happen because it’s become such an important event in their community. Also several vendors gave discounts and a new venue was located again at a greatly discounted fee.

“I truly believe that when we come together as a collective whole, we’re able to just move that change needle so much faster then we are independently,” Satterfield explained.

The music starts at Shine Music Festival at 1:00 p.m. and goes until 8:00 p.m. There is a deep lineup of great acts this year. Denver band, SunSquabi is the headliner. Neal Evans Fro Down will play, which has some well known members including Felix Pastorius, Harry Waters, and Greg Harris.

“One of our missions has always been to empower venues and events to think outside of the minimalistic ADA laws and create more inclusive spaces,” Saterfield told CBS News Colorado’s Karen Leigh.

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Shine Music Festival

CBS


The Festival goes to great lengths to make sure that any person can access the event and enjoy the music. Beyond wheelchair ramps, there will be menus written in braille, technology that allows those with hearing lose to feel the music, and sensory soothing spaces.

“We are bringing x-ray glasses in this year, which is live close captioning that comes across the lens,” Satterfield said.

LINK: Shine Music Festival

Shine Music Festival is Saturday, August 26, 2023. The doors open at 12:00 p.m., and the music begins at 1:00 p.m. at ReelWorks Denver. Admission is free.

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