Get a sneak peek at Spotify’s voice controlled mini gadget

Spotify’s ‘Car Thing’ is their first piece of hardware to come out and we finally know a bit more about the funny little device.

Last year Spotify announced their very first physical device, the enticingly titled ‘Car Thing’. A select set of Premium users got to receive the gadget and test it last year to see what it can do and if it’s worthwhile. Spotify said the test was a prototype and they had no plans for mass-production.

As Business Insider have noted, in September Spotify updated their FCC filing with photos of the Car Thing and user manual. It gave us more information on the device but also suggested that they may move forward with it eventually after all.

The small device plugs into the 12 volt outlet in cars, the slot where the cigarette lighter is, and uses Bluetooth to connect to cars and smartphones. The Car Thing is voice activated like a Smart device, responding to ‘Hey Spotify’ and then a request to play music from Spotify’s extensive streaming library.

Spotify’s Car Thing as shown in their FCC filing

The Car Thing connects to the user’s Spotify account so it can access their library and personal playlists to play from. There’s a small screen that shows what is playing and next to it are buttons to control the playback.

Spotify said that the limited test run last May was simply to “learn more about people’s listening habits and preferences to help create an unparalleled experience for our users”. They haven’t officially announced anything or spoken on it since.

Car Thing accessories including it’s car mount on the right

Spotify also said that they “might do similar voice-specific tests in the future, so don’t be surprised if you hear about ‘Voice Thing’ and ‘Home Thing'”. We haven’t heard about them yet, but perhaps soon we will.

GRAMMY’s CEO says the awards show nominations are rigged

Last year’s GRAMMY’s CEO says that the award show is rigged calling out one artist in particular.

The GRAMMY’s awards ceremony is under fire with a bunch of allegations at the moment – the latest being that the awards are rigged. Former president and CEO Deborah Dugan has spoken out against the recording academy.

Dugan was placed on administrative leave last week after taking over from Neil Portnow last August. Whilst the board accused Dugan of misconduct she has hit back with allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, and corruption including the rigging of the awards.

Dugan claims that the board have been selecting artists who are being considered for a nomination to sit on the voting committee for the category they’re nominated within. She says “one artist who initially ranked 18 out of 20 in the 2019 ‘Song of the Year’ category” was nominated regardless.

She claims that there artist or one of her nominated producers were able to sit themselves on the nomination committee for ‘Song of the Year’. Reddit user ‘laughmusic‘ has looked into the claims and seems to think that Dugan is referring to Brandi Carlile and her track ‘The Joke’.

Along with her attorney, Douglas Wigdor, Dugan has been tearing apart the awards show and recording academy. Wigdor says: “The GRAMMY’s really is on life support right now. The statements they’re giving about Ms. Dugan creating a toxic work environment, getting the executive board members to make statements – they are in panic mode right now.”

Previous GRAMMY’s CEO Neil Portnow has faced allegations of misconduct and rape from a female musician. Portnow has called these allegations “ludicrous” and “untrue”.

This year’s GRAMMY Awards ceremony starts this Sunday despite the controversy.

Billie Eilish to sing the new James Bond theme song

Billie Eilish has been revealed as the artist behind the upcoming James Bond theme, making her the youngest Bond singer ever.

The young pop-start has been named as the singer behind the 25th James Bond film’s theme song. The 18 year old will be the youngest person to have the now notorious position of providing the theme song to ‘No Time To Die’, out on April 2nd (April 10th in the US).

Eilish said: “It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way. To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honor. James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock.”

The Grammy-nominated singer has reportedly co-wrote the song with her brother Finneas. Rumours had been swirling in the days leading up to the official announcement. Fans noticed Eilish was one of just 81 people that the director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, follows on Instagram. Eilish had also been adding images from Bond films to her Instagram stories.

No Time To Die’s producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said: “We are excited to announce that Billie and Dinneas have written an incredibly powerful and moving song for No Time To Die, which has been impeccably crafted to work within the emotional story of the film.”

The film is expected to be Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond. There has been plenty of speculation as to who will take his place but the directors have confirmed it will be a man.

Best Lofi / Chill Study Beats [2020] – via RouteNote Sessions

RouteNote Sessions has long been focused on live productions in our studio in RouteNote HQ. However, it is slowly expanding out and here is the first mix session containing some amazing lofi.

Lofi is just amazing to put on in the background while relaxing and studying. Just drop on this mix and 12 minutes will very quickly disappear.

Coachella 2020 lineup revealed: Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, Rage Against the Machine headlining

Coachella drops one of, if not the, biggest and baddest lineup for a festival every year and 2020’s phenomenal set-list is finally revealed.

Coachella 2020 has dropped it’s lineup and the first weekend has sold out within hours. The festival is famous for having a blow-away lineup with hundreds of artists from all over the world. Their lineup is so massive that they put on 2 separate weekends of the same acts, back to back.

This year people are ecstatic for many reasons. A big one being that Frank Ocean will be headlining the Sunday night. The beloved R&B singer is renowned for performing live so rarely that he’s been the source of major rumours for hosts of festivals. His infamously unattainable performances even led to Drake ending a set early from boos last year. Coachella finally managed to nab him.

Also headlining the weekend is rap-star Travis Scott and the return of fastidiously political rockers Rage Against the Machine. Of course beyond the weekends 3 headliners there are hundreds of incredible acts including famed composer Danny Elfman and international superstar producer Calvin Harris.

Check out the full line-up below and see details about all of the acts heading to California for 2 weekends this April from their website.

Official: Tencent, Consortium and Tencent Music Entertainment Acquire 10% of Universal Music Group for $3 billion

It now official. Tencent consortium has officially confirmed they are acquiring 10% of Universal Music Group for over $3 billion.

Two other key elements of the deal: (i) the Consortium can, over the next 12 months, buy a further 10% stake; and (ii) majority-owned subsidiary, Tencent Music Entertainment, is also in separate discussions to acquire a minority stake in Universal’s operations in Greater China.

It now seems like there are additional companies that might acquire minority stakes in UMG in 2020.

Below is the full release from UMG CEO to his employees.

You can read it in full below.

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to write you directly to highlight today’s announcement from Vivendi of a successful investment in Universal Music Group by a consortium led by Tencent.

Details are included in the below press release, but they are essentially in line with Vivendi’s prior statements on this matter: the consortium of investors will purchase 10% of the share capital of UMG with UMG’s full enterprise value set at €30 billion. Vivendi also announced that the Tencent-led consortium has the option to acquire up to an additional 10% of UMG’s shares by January 15, 2021, as well as a second agreement that allows Tencent Music Entertainment to acquire a minority of a UMG subsidiary company that includes our operations in Greater China.

With the exception of additional resources to further advance our strategy, everything else will remain the same: our strategic vision; our company, label and business unit names; our locations; and of course, our outstanding people.

This is an exciting development reflecting a strong validation of our business strategy, our incredible team and your excellent work. It also reflects our shared optimism about UMG’s continued role as the driving force in our industry and how focused we are on the future.

I will continue to keep you appraised of any further developments. In the meantime, thank you again for all you do.