RouteNote Sessions at Tropical Pressure Festival: Kongo Dia Ntotila

Last week the RouteNote Sessions team took to the magical celebration of music around the world that is Tropical Pressure. We got to see many amazing acts, and even capture a few to bring the grooves back to you.

The first session we have for you is the phenomenally vibrant and colourful Kongo Dia Ntotila.

Kongo Dia Ntotila were so full of energy that even the sun had to come out and watch the show. Their action-packed set had the whole festival jumping and here they are to get you moving too.

Kongo Dia Ntotila


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SiriusXM are going beyond the car with unlimited streaming

SiriusXM are a big name in digital music, but most of that notoriety comes from in-car streaming. Now they want people to start streaming them from everywhere.

SiriusXM rule the online radio-waves, offering more than 300 million radio channels for digital streaming. A lot of their focus has been on creating an in-car experience but this year they revealed their focus on bringing ‘outside of the the car’ experiences.

Earlier this year SiriusXM announced their ‘Essential’ subscription plan offering their full range of radio channels at over half price of their car radio service. Essential offers their satellite streaming services outside the car on smartphones or on devices at home.

They’ve now just launched a series of other upgrades so that listeners can sign up for the streaming experience that most fits their lifestyle. SiriusXM Select subscribers can now join All Access, Essential, and Premier Streaming for unlimited streaming on their phone, online and on home devices.

SiriusXM’s President of sales, marketing and operations, Jennifer Witz said: “We have always been dedicated to delivering our customers great value for their subscriptions, and we have achieved remarkable growth and listener loyalty by delivering unrivaled and exclusive content in an easy-to-use way.

“These new initiatives represent another tremendous step forward in that effort, and give our customers more value for their money than ever before. Tens of millions of SiriusXM Select subscribers now get access to SiriusXM outside the car, and the many benefits of the SiriusXM app, at no additional cost.”

SiriusXM have also introduced Personalized Stations. These will allow listeners on All Access and Premier streaming packages to create their own personalised stations, powered by Pandora.

Witz added: “We are also especially proud that only six months after completing the merger with Pandora, our teams have brought unique music personalization to the Sirius XM app using Pandora’s industry-leading technology for our million of All Access and Premier Streaming customers.”

Viagogo ticketing company has been blocked by Google for advertising

Google are making a stand against ticket touting with the suspension of Viagogo as an advertising partner.

Ticket touting has become a serious problem with ticketing companies online. Viagogo are often at the centre of that controversy and with the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) going after them again, Google have dropped their advertising slots with the ticket sellers..

On Wednesday Google said in a statement: “When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust. This is why we have strict policies and take necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach.”

Viagogo have been accused of misleading their users with hidden fees and not providing information about ticket sellers, particularly in the case of ticket touts. Last November the CMA were victorious in court against Viagogo, forcing them to reveal the identities of ticket sellers to enforce better rules against ticket touting.

The CMA are now taking the ticketing website to action again saying that they haven’t done enough to change their business practices despite warnings and court actions in recent years. Viagogo say they are “working with the CMA” to improve their services and make them more transparent.

In response to Google ending Viagogo’s adverts on their platforms, the ticket company responded saying: “We were extremely surprised to learn of Google’s concerns today. We are confident that there has been no breach of Google’s policies and look forward to working with them to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

The company have a long line of criticism that isn’t being properly resolved despite legal action enforced against them. Last year one unlucky mother spent £1,421 unknowingly on tickets advertised for £263 due to the company’s hidden costs and misleading business. This resulted in a UK minister warning against using Viagogo.

When will they learn?

Tropical Pressure Festival brings world culture to a weekend of pure joy

RouteNote and the Sessions team made their way to the Cornish coast to spend a weekend with artists from around the world amongst one of the most magnificent festival celebrations around.

Music festivals are the light that keeps so many of us going, waiting year round for the season to begin when you roll out the sleeping bags, load the car with cans, and make the journey to the field becoming your home for the weekend. Every now and again a festival stands out amongst the crowds of great festivals and goes beyond the music and dancing to become something so much more – encapsulating you in a pop-up community for 3 days.

What the Tropical Pressure team creates every year is without a doubt one of those stand-out festivals. Imbued with the passion and creativity of every single person involved, Tropical Pressure lights up the north coast of Cornwall with a blazing array of colour that sets the stage for a plethora of incredible and unique artists coming from the far-reaching corners of the world.

The festival is all about celebrating world culture by bringing music and people from some of the planet’s furthest corners to join the people of Tropical Pressure. Each day is unique and fascinating in their own right.

The weekend begins with Latin American day on Friday. Tropical Pressure has become renowned for its ability to bring the sun out no matter what the week before has brought. Though the sun had a long lie-in before peeking out on the first day this year, the festivities began in riotous fashion. As the gates opened and the music started it was clear to see the festival was in for another incredible weekend of whirling to tunes with far-reaching smiles.

  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review

The crowds near the main stage found themselves parted by a line of drums. Led by dancers in beautiful dresses, the drumming waved its way through the audience and made their way on stage to perform as the incredible DakaDoum. Truly a roaring introduction to the incredible sets to come from the weekend.

As Friday went on, so did more and more artists hailing from Colombia to Japan, Malaysia and further. Highlights taking to the beautifully decorated main stage include the raucous La-33, the very talented Malphino, Mira Mundo, Penya, and many more amazing acts.

Take a walk up the sensory overload of the food alley, sitting just up from the main stage, and you find delectable delights of delicacies spanning the continents. There are too many food stalls to try in just one weekend, which is a true shame as it’s all delicious.

After passing through the tasty temptations a secret pathway transports you to the other side of the festivities. Here you can go up the hill to the gorgeous amphitheatre where bands take to a more intimate yet none-the-less exciting stage to jump around under canvas or sit on the hill and look out over the gorgeous surroundings.

Africa is the culture of choice for Saturday and saw artists from all over busting out incredible poly-rhythms that no sensible feet could resist moving along to. Amazing performances included the jumping bass playing of Kongo Dia Ntotila, the wow-ing stage presence of Pat Kalla, and fantastic shows from
Têtes de Pois, The Scorpios and many more.

Move into the night and glowing mushrooms erupt from the ground, projections light up walls and ceilings and the tunes evolve into a mixture of psychedelic greatness made for dancing long into the night.

You can travel between the fabled Fandangos dancehall, swimming through a hall of glowing jellyfish as incredible DJs like Nickodemus and Edna Martinez sparking up the sound systems. Head back to the amphitheatre for a transformed experience with an awning covered in the lights of trippy paint effects and lose yourself to a selection of psych-beats to keep you waving until the early hours.

  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review

Once the evening’s acts have died down there’s no rest for the wicked, unless you want to head back to your tent and drift into the quiet of the night. A campfire by the main coffee site keeps burning into the night with an unlimited stream of chilled reggae beats and enough hot drinks to keep the festival moving to the sunrise.

The final day awoke with sunshine falling down across the entire grounds. Where Fandangos had been pumping in the shadows, it was now a bright musical room that became the setting for a variety of dancing workshops. Groups huddled together to follow the rhythms and learn traditional African dancing, salsa and more over the weekend.

Outside Fandangos there was even more to discover on the Sunday as stalls lined the walls. From quirky creations from waste, fitting the heavy ecological focus Tropical Pressure has, to unique foods from the cultures on display – it was a mini-market of many mystical manners.

  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review
  • Tropical Pressure festival routenote sessions artists colourful cornwall world music caribbean latin american africa music review

The order of the day for Sundays at Tropical Pressure is the bright music of the Caribbean. This year saw acts like Samson Sounds who, despite their Scottish origins, find their musical roots from across the ocean. The amazing L’indigo brought the ethnic history and traditions of Reunion Island to the Cornish Isles, dub-fuelled Royal Sounds had the crowd pulsating, and The Bongo Hop were among many of the sounds that had the coast bouncing to top the festival off.

As L’indigo brought the day to a close the sun moved down the sky and dropped into the sea between the cove that sits below the festival. The beautiful sight eclipsed the feeling you get from a festival that is so passionate about creating something amazing.

Tropical Pressure is a festival that cares about the music, the people, and the culture. There’s no more to it and every cell of the weekend breathes the creative inspiration and pure passion that has been put into every element of this truly unique weekend.

Tropical Pressure is something you have to experience yourself to really understand and once you do, you’ll feel the draw back to it every single year.

Keep your eyes on the blog and RouteNote Sessions Facebook page and YouTube channel for more Tropical Pressure 
content coming very soon.

Spotify Direct Uploading Alternatives

Spotify recently announced that they would be closing their direct uploading feature that was available to a very selective number of artists via Spotify for Artists.

Many artists were left with a month to find an alternative.

RouteNote is a good alternative to upload directly to Spotify as we offer artists and labels a mixture of both a Free option and a Premium option. Artists and labels are able to move between our Free and Premium options for each release to make sure that they maximise their earnings.

Additionally, artists and labels have the ability to choose stores and streaming services far beyond just Spotify to make sure they get their music to all their fans across the world!

Anyone can create a Free RouteNote account within seconds and start uploading their music to stores and streaming services today!

Live music popularity has seen a decline in 2019

Live music has never been as big an industry as it has been in recent years, but so far this year it has seen a surprise reduction in popularity.

Live music is massive. Just look at some of the biggest tours of the past ten years and you’ll see that the scope of live music has grown to immense levels. From the size of the audiences which can go into the hundreds-of-thousands to the massive revenues made from concerts, live music is a major part of the modern music industry.

Despite how giant the live music industry has become this year has seen a dwindling. So far in 2019 the top 100 highest grossing tours have grossed $2.06 billion. It may seem like a lot but it’s a 26.8% decrease from last year, or a $752 million decrease.

This may be worrying for promoters and artists, particularly as live music becomes a more significant portion of artist income. However, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the live music industry as a whole. Independent music is thriving with the advent of music streaming and local gigs are seeing a new surge of life.

It’s not necessarily the case that: whilst the bigger artists are losing out on their concerts smaller artists are picking up the slack. However we are seeing a gigantic shift in the music industry as independent artists are set to
earn more than $1 billion in 2019 and have overtaken both Sony and Warner in their music market share in the UK.

Eric Prydz is DJing in a giant glowing sphere

DJ sets are a bit different to other musicians sets, you have to think outside the box to keep the stage lively. Maybe massive spheres full of light are the answer.

In just over a week Belgium will be taken over once again for the Tomorrowland festival. Known for it’s incredible pyrotechnics, giant moving structures and general overwhelming scale, they’ve got some big plans for when Eric Prydz takes to the stage to DJ his set.

Prydz is no stranger to impressive live shows, his famous DJ set being dubbed ‘Eric Prydz In Concert (EPIC)’. He promises that every EPIC concert combines music and tech to interact in innovative and interesting new ways. There have been holograms, laser beams, and even digital screens bigger than jumbo jets.

Prydz says: “Ever since we started doing EPIC our goal has always been to try and blow people away, but in a way that they haven’t been blown away before at an electronic dance music event.”

Along with his team Prydz has been working on creating the ‘Holosphere’, an eight meter wide sphere that Prydz will DJ from inside when he plays Tomorrowland. They sphere is reportedly so large that the festival had to re-design their grounds to fit it in. As he plays the Holosphere will flash and shoot light out and over the crowds.

The EPIC shows are so grand and the technology often so expensive that Prydz has actually lost money from doing them. Whilst it’s expensive and the venues that can host them are very limited, Pyrdz isn’t worried. “Huge confetti cannons and flamethrowers are very primitive. I thought, we can do better than this. We can do something different and more exciting.”

Independent labels take larger UK music market share than Sony, Warner for first time

As the music industry shifts and independents take the power away from major labels, the UK’s music market shows just how strong independent music has become.

The latest statistics from the Official Charts Company in the UK shows that independent record labels are doing better than ever. They’re doing so well that their market share is now bigger than two of the world’s major record labels in the UK.

Independent Record Labels were shown having a higher market share in the first half of 2019 than both Sony Music and Warner Music. Independents were shown to have a 25.1% market share. That’s almost 4% higher than Sony Music who had a 21.5% share and they vastly surpassed Warner Music who were shown to only have 16.2% for the period.

The third of the 3 major labels, Universal, stayed on top with a whopping 37.3% market share. But beyond Universal the results show a vast growth in the independent music sector which has been boosted in recent years by music streaming and the internet opening the opportunities up outside of label deals to everyone.

Find out more information on the labels and their shares this year from Hits Daily Double.

Spotify to compete with Apple Music in Russia, for cheaper

Spotify are launching in Russia after teasing them for years, and they’re taking Apple Music on at a price level.

Spotify have been building up to launch their music streaming service in Russia for years. At last the service have announced that they will make their debut in Russia this Summer.

They will be joining their streaming rivals, Apple Music, who launched their streaming service there years ago. Taking the competition head on before even launching, Spotify will offer music streaming for less than Apple do.

Spotify are planning to offer a monthly subscription for RUB 150 (roughly $2.35) whilst Apple Music is avaialble for RUB 169 (roughly $2.65). Additionally Spotify will be making their free tier available so that listeners in Russia can listen without paying with ads interspersed between music. Apple doesn’t offer a free alternative.

Russia has notoriously had issues with music piracy, which music streaming services have helped to dwindle in other countries. The massive, Russian social network VKontakte saw major issues with piracy as it allowed users to upload music. They have since launched their own music streaming service to combat piracy, which Spotify will be up against if it intends to make a mark.