Playlist placement is big business in the music streaming industry, but the major playlists from the services themselves aren’t the only ones with millions of daily listeners.
Much like Spotify, Deezer’s most followed playlists are totally dominated by their own editorial playlists, with only two non-editorial playlists in the top 50 on Deezer. Here are the 10 most followed playlists from third-parties.
Both rappers have been pardoned of their Federal charges And Kodak Black receives commutation.
Well to finish off what was a pretty strange and unpredictable four years of his presidency, Donald Trump on his last day of office pardoned rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black. The two rappers reprieve comes amid a flurry of pardons as some of the outgoing presidents final acts. Other high profile names on the list included the controversial Steve Bannon, former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and Death Row Records co-founder Michael “Harry-O” Harris.
Back in November, it was revealed that Lil Wayne faced a federal weapons charge relating to a December 2019 incident at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade Police tipped off federal authorities that a private plane transporting Lil Waynefrom California to Florida was also carrying marijuana and weapons. The rapper was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by convicted felon. He pleaded guilty in December and was facing up to ten years in prison.
The statement about Wayne’s pardon released by the White House notes the rappers commitment to charity and quotes support from Sovereign Brands’ Brett Berish (who calls him “trustworthy, kind-hearted, and generous”) and Deion Sanders (who praised him as a “provider for his family, a friend to many, a man of faith, a natural giver to the less fortunate, a waymaker and a game changer”).
Kodak Black’s current sentence stems from a May 2019 arrest for indicating on paperwork that he was not under indictment while trying to purchase firearms. At the time, the rapper was out on bond for sexual assault charges in South Carolina. In March 2020, Kodak pleaded guilty to second degree criminal possession of a weapon following an April 2019 arrest at the border between the United States and Canada. His pardon came whilst he was serving time in prison.
The official White House statement commutation noted the support of Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty,Lil Pump, Baltimore Ravens player Lamar Jackson and more. “Before his conviction and after reaching success as a recording artist, Kodak Black became deeply involved in numerous philanthropic efforts,” the statement reads. “In fact, he has committed to supporting a variety of charitable efforts, such as providing educational resources to students and families of fallen law enforcement officers and the underprivileged.”
In another strange turn of events Trump also commuted the sentence of Michael “Harry-O” Harris, co-founder of Death Row Records. Harris had served 30 years of a 25-to-life sentence for conspiracy to commit first degree murder. “He is a former entrepreneur and has mentored and taught fellow prisoners how to start and run businesses,” the White House’s statement reads. “He has completed courses towards business and journalism degrees.”
The end of Trump was just as his presidency, confusing, odd and totally unpredictable. Who would have thought Trump would be pardoning some of the countries most popular and controversial rappers in his final days? Certianly not me.
What’s up with the recent viral obsession with sea shanties?
TikTok is a miraculous, bizarre place. Where else can you see a centuries-old sailing tradition go viral? Depending on your age and leisure pursuits you might have noticed sea shanties have been trending on the platform and over on Twitter for the past week or so. Yep. Sea shanties. As in ‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor?’ As is the way with viral trends, once the media have caught up they’ve probably missed the boat, but it was a marvellous thing that for a while the world couldn’t get enough of the songs.
‘Sea shanties’ had been searched for online more than ever before, according to Google Trends. A centuries-old tradition, the word Shanty is said to derive from the French verb ‘chanter’, to sing. Singing to a rhythmic beat helped sailors keep in time with each other as they hauled ropes and raised the anchor. The original story behind ‘The Wellerman’ has even been unearthed – the song was probably composed by a teenage sailor or whaler in New Zealand in the 1800s.
Everyone’s getting on board, with the British Library even bringing forward the publishing date of illustrated book of shanties Sailor Song: The Shanties and Ballads of the High Seas by Gerry Smith because of the buzz. The book features more than 40 shanties and 10 ballads. Imagine the possibilities.
In RouteNote’s home county the popularity of sea shanties is nothing new. Since 2003 Falmouth in Cornwall has hosted the International Sea Shanty Festival, with 65,000 people dropping anchor in the town to watch over 70 sea shanty groups in 25 venues. Cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions, fingers are crossed for the event to return this year. Perhaps there’ll be new faces from Shanty TikTok joining the crew next time.
Which artists have the most followers, likes and streams across all major platforms such as TikTok, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, and many more?
This data comes from Chartmetric who measure performance on platforms such as TikTok, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Deezer, SoundCloud, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Bandsintown and Twitch. Whether it’s followers, likes, listeners, streams, subscribers, views or fans, the results are tallied to give this definitive list.
Interactive online music service Yousician now features music from the movie Soul, so that users can teach themselves to play the songs.
Looking to set a musical New Year’s resolution? Need a project to see you through lockdown? Yousician, an online music-lesson platform, can help you learn a new musical instrument. Already offering interactive learning for guitar, bass, ukulele, piano and voice with lessons, exercises and songs, Yousician have just teamed up with Disney and Pixar to add music from latest movie Soul.
Two songs from the film, ‘Born to Play’ and ‘Bigger Than Us’, are available now for all Yousician users, free or Premium, to learn and play. The app presents a series of musical challenges in a similar way to Guitar Hero, then analyses the student’s performance on their real instrument and provides immediate feedback and guidance. The partnership with Disney and Pixar aims to bring the message of Soul – of the power and joy of music – to musically curious users in their homes.
Soul is a fun and exciting animated movie but, like all Pixar creations, it goes deeper than at first glance. What makes life worth living? For main character Joe Gardner, it’s music – specifically, playing jazz. When a fatal accident means his big shot is snatched away, Joe (Jamie Foxx) finds himself in the Great Beyond – where souls find their personalities before heading down to Earth. Desperate to return to his life in New York, Joe sees a way back through mentoring a difficult soul named 22 (Tina Fey), who’s never grasped the appeal of life. The film is an ode to the immersive power of music and improvisation, and the little things that make up a complete fulfilled existence, via comedy, heart-warming adventure, and great jazz.
Music shimmers throughout the movie. Jon Batiste wrote the jazz arrangements, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross composed the score. Musicians have never been animated so exquisitely – saxophonist Tia Fuller was used as a model for character Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett), every movement in the recording studio filmed to be replicated onscreen with the correct fingerings.
Now beginners and musicians looking to practise their skills can explore the music of Soul using the Yousician app. The platform has seen increased interest as people look for a distraction from quarantines and curfews, and it’s currently the number one app for music instruction online. As the pandemic took hold last year, Yousician also offered free access to their ‘Yousician for Teachers’ platform for music educators and students around the world and partnered with artists like Jason Mraz to offer surprise virtual music classes.
If you’re after a new challenge, have a look at Yousician for an easy introduction to learning a musical instrument – after you’ve got cosy and watched Soul on Disney+, that is.
Now that the finish line of 2020 is in sight, at RouteNote we’re looking back over this endless year and pulling together some of the highlights from the music world. Here’s a selection of the best songs from the past 12 months.
In this year of turmoil and activism, music has been constant throughout, pulling us along, a distraction and a comfort. Songs that were never meant to reference the year have hit a new nerve, and music written in response to current events made us feel less overwhelmed. Across the genres, here are some of the most popular and intriguing music releases we heard in 2020.
Yazmin Lacey – Morning Matters
Lacey’s hazy vocal is backed by Ezra Collective’s drummer Femi Koleoso and the smooth jazzy horn of trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi. Soulful lines to help push us out of bed in the morning, ‘even when it’s miserable’, to face whatever’s going on out in the world with a wry smile.
Run the Jewels – Ooh La La
El-P and Killer Mike lewdly rap about the unequal distribution of wealth, and imagine a future with no money-lines drawn in the sand. Lyrics are spat out about lying in the dirt, looking up and preferring it to the grimy, moneyed corruption up above: ‘I used to love Bruce/But living my vida loca/Helped me understand I’m probably more of a Joker.’
The Weeknd – Blinding Lights
The catchiest song of the year, ‘Blinding Lights’ is an exuberant synth-pop track with a relentless rushing beat. It’s currently been streamed 1.8 billion times on Spotify.
Beyoncé – Black Parade
Dropped on Juneteenth, the US holiday marking the end of slavery, this surprise release saw Bey opening her arms, gathering her people into her ‘hive’, and then ushering them out onto the streets. ‘Being black is your activism’, she posted alongside, stating that money raised would be donated to Black-owned businesses. With a call to Black self-expressionism, African references are peppered throughout, over a cyclical beat.
beabadoobee – Charlie Brown
beabadoobee channels her emotions through a new kind of grunge. Opening with chunky guitar and a sweet vocal line, a smart shift of dynamics and the simple, stomping chorus of ‘Charlie Brown’ rushes in, all cymbals and caterwauling. Bedroom pop mixed with new-emo through a ‘90s movie soundtrack, the lyrics reference mental health struggles without wallowing in sadness.
Kokoroko – Carry Me Home
Mixing Nigerian rhythms with jazz. The
track ripples along at a pace but also lays back on the beat, the bassline and
drums popping whilst simple harmonised vocals and trumpet line float dreamily
Yves Tumor – Gospel for A New Century
Enigmatic performer Yves Tumor slides through genres on this, the title track of their fourth album. There’s a great use of space in this track – snatches of silence before the next drop of drawling vocal over heavy brass and growling bass.
Slowthai – nhs
In a year that has seen the NHS needed in the UK like never before, Slowthai casts a critical eye over British society in this track, calling for empathy over gentle piano phrases. ‘It took a disaster to make people appreciate the NHS,’ the rapper said. ‘Clapping, how is that helping anyone?’ His second album TYRON will be released in February 2021.
SAULT – Wildfires
Defiant neo-soul from the anonymous collective. ‘Take off your badge,’ the vocal urges crooked police officers, ‘We all know it was murder’. The track stares down the ghouls of corruption with a steady gaze, stating ‘we will never show fear’ through a memorable melody.
Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion – WAP
The female rapper renaissance continues and combining the talent of two idols equals viral perfection. There’s no room for doubt here – it’s a defining moment for Black female empowerment as the two heavyweights join forces, laying out exactly what they want, with no need to offer an explanation as to why they deserve it.
Arlo Parks – Hurt
Over the lurking burr of saxophone and a chomping drumbeat, the calm vocal addresses the character of Charlie in the song and also the listener, beckoning out hope. A deft storyteller, you can hear the poetry in Parks’ songs. A debut album is due to be released in 2021.
24KGoldn – Mood feat. Iann Dior
A cheery, harmless pop-rap earworm, the TikTok success story
topped the UK and Billboard charts for weeks. Simple, well-produced and
effortlessly catchy, it was just what the public wanted to hear.
Roísín Murphy – Murphy’s Law
The Irish singer tells a wry tale of the law of sod in this strutting
disco-funk track. An unexpected earworm, too.
Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé – Savage Remix
In defiance of any haters who might try to pit them against each other, the remix of Stallion’s 2019 hit sees the pair unite effortlessly, shouting out themselves. Beyoncé’s verses are straight in with fiery self-love, playfully referencing the original song’s massive TikTok success as Stallion’s trademark ‘Ah!’s back her up. Two Houston women leading the pack with a shrugged ‘so what?’.
Cakes Da Killa x Proper Villains – Don Dada
Azaelia Banks vibes here, but made their own from a creative
rapper who’s been on the rise for years. Cakes raps feverishly over a bouncing
beat, a pulsing ball of energy.
Joel Corry x MNEK – Head & Heart
As close to a song of the summer we were going to get in
2020. Joyfully, stubbornly upbeat in what often felt like a grey year.
Now all that’s left to do is look forward to when we can finally hear some of those tracks played live. And if you’ve written a song you can picture appearing on a 2021 ‘best of’ list, RouteNote is here to help.
Rhythm & Vines Will Stream To The World Exclusively Via Twitch
For many across the globe the New Years is looking a little unpredictable to say the least. Personally I am not even imagining any form of NYE celebration outside of the comfy confines of my house. However, countries such as New Zealand, who through strict lockdown measures have managed to return to life as normal. Live music is back on as normal and they live in a mask-less world, an almost alien concept for most of us.
Many of us will be looking for some normality to cradle us into 2021, a year already looking shaky at best. Thankfully, New Zealand’s largest New Year’s Festival, Rhythm & Vines will be streaming their event exclusively via the streaming giant Twitch, which is mostly known for it’s gaming streams.
The festival wants to give a little back, knowing that all across the world many of us haven’t been able to enjoy festivals or live music. It’s an open invite for us to join the 23,000 attendees celebrate the new year and some live music.
Each night of the festival, that starts on December 29th we will see a number of live and pre-recorded performances from headline acts as well as a wave of independent and emerging artists. The 5 hour showcase will be filmed and edited into highly produced spectacle, streaming from 8pm each night. In addition to this the festival will also have the New Year’s Eve countdown.
It’s a chance for the festival to showcase Gisborne and the world class venue that is Waiohika Estate. The stream will be hosted by the popular Twitch streamer Ron Plays Games, who boasts 50,000 fans of his own.
If you’re wanting to get the feel of a venue whilst celebrating New Years then this could be the stream for you. Lets face it, you may as well line up some indoors entertainment as there is no chance that Blighty will be out partying, nor most countries at that.
Now that the finish line of 2020 is in sight, at RouteNote we’re looking back over this endless year and pulling together some of the highlights from the music world. And so is former President Barack Obama, who has released a list of his favourite songs of the year.
The 44th US President often compiles lists showcasing his favourite cultural highlights, sharing them with the world on social media. Obama always promises that ‘there’s something in here for everybody’, and the same is true of his latest list, a rundown of top tracks of the year, compiled with help from daughter Sasha. The songs range from Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Ghosts’ to tracks from Bad Bunny and British artist Little Simz.