YouTube announce three new tools to build hype around Premieres

YouTube are bringing three new features to Premieres: Live Redirect, Trailers and Countdown Themes, helping creators build excitement prior to the release.

YouTube launched Premieres in 2018, giving viewers of pre-recorded videos the sense of watching live, by debuting a video at a certain time all around the world. Arrive on the landing page early, chat with other fans, wait for the clock to strike and everyone can watch the video at the same time. For creators, it’s a fantastic way to engage with fans in real-time and generate excitement.

Today, YouTube announce three new features coming to Premieres, that all centre around the idea of building excitement prior to the Premiere, helping creators provide an interactive experience.

Live Redirect
Image credit: YouTube

Host a live stream as a pre-show in advance of the Premiere. Once the live stream ends, your audience is seemlessly directed to the upcoming Premiere before it starts. Similarly to a pre-party or red carpet, Live Redirects are a fantastic way for creators to engage with their audience live, create excitement and anticipation.

You may have seen this already. The feature has been tested over the last few months on big accounts such as We Are One Film Festival, New York Comic-Con, BTS, Cardi B, and Justin Bieber. YouTube claim they’ve seen great results from this feature already.

Image credit: YouTube

Trailers allows you to upload a pre-recorded hype video that’s played in advance of the Premiere. Videos must be between 15 seconds and 3 minutes in duration, so it’s specificially for a short trailer-style video. Should your trailer be engaging, this should encourage viewers to set a reminder for the big event.

Countdown Themes
Image credit: YouTube

Before every Premiere, a countdown video is played to build excitement as fans around the world tune in. Now you choose what kind of countdown shows prior to the Premiere. Select a custom countdown video from a range of themes, vibes and moods. This ensures you can match your videos mood, be it something calm, playful, dramatic or sporty.

Live Redirect and Trailers are rolling out to eligible creators now, with Countdown Themes coming in the next few months.

Many creators, artists and publishers have made use of Premieres to great effect, such as BLACKPINK, Tiny Desk, James Charles, Supercell and Cirque du Soleil. Since 1st March 2020, YouTube has seen an 85% growth in daily Premieres from 8 million channels, 80% of which had never used Premieres before. Clearly, Premieres were the perfect feature for the pandemic, with many events moving online.

BTS – Dynamite breaks YouTube Premiere and 24-hour records with over 100m views.

TikTok Top 10 – Vibe Check: Top viral videos

Image credit: TikTok

With 2020 coming to a close (thankfully), TikTok have compiled the top 10 in certain categories, such as viral videos, trends, hashtags, challenges etc.

TikTok has seen tremendous growth in 2020, becoming the social media platform of choice for many Gen Zers and beyond, around the world stuck at home during the pandemic.

It’s been our honor to watch these videos and creators grow and share what have become iconic, sometimes even life-changing, moments of 2020. TikTok is here to bring joy, and with the year we’ve experienced, I’m thrilled to take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the myriad of ways the TikTok community helped us come together, bridge divides, and find both lightness and poignancy when we needed it most.

Pappas, Interim Head of TikTok
Vibe Check- Top viral videos

You can find the full top 100 here. Here are the top 10 viral videos according to TikTok.

1. @bellapoarch – Bella does M to the B.

To the 🐝 🐝 🐝 #fyp

♬ M to the B – Millie B

2. @420Doggface208 – Skateboarding his way to fame.

Morning vibe #420souljahz #ec #feelinggood #h2o #cloud9 #happyhippie #worldpeace #king #peaceup #merch #tacos #waterislife #high #morning #710 #cloud9

♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac

3. @itscaitlinhello – The coworker you love to hate because WFH is hard.

#fyp #foryou #foryoupage #zoom #workfromhome #comedy #gonnabefriends

♬ original sound – Caitlin Reilly

4. @nba – Jalaiah shows us how it’s done at the NBA All-Star Game.

Jalaiah (@jalaiahharmon ), creator of Renegade, performs at the NBA All-Star Game!

♬ Lottery – K CAMP

5. @willsmith – Will wipes it down.

I don’t remember making this…? @chrisashley


6. @awa_de_horchata_uwu – An obscure cereal jingle that isn’t bread becomes a bread sensation.


♬ Mi Pan Su Sus – .

7. @lizemopetey – Is it meatier or meteor? Hmmm.

is this too soon…? IB climaxximus on twitter #fyp #dinosaur #ThatsHot #DinnerWithMe #MorningCheer

♬ original sound – Eliza Petersen

8. @iamtabithabrown – Do you see carrots? Bacon? It’s carrot bacon.

Carrot bacon❤️ #tabithabrown #veganbacon

♬ original sound – Tabitha Brown

9. @thejulianbass – Who’s your favorite hero?

Who’s your favorite hero?? #yougotit #edit #vfx #starwars #ben10 #spiderman #fyp #foryoupage

♬ Watermelon Sugar – Harry Styles

10. @hartyt_ – A goose throws it back.

Shout out to my wonderful family for helping with this 😂#throwit #chicken #chickenforthrowit

♬ Vibe (If I Back It Up) – Cookiee Kawaii

TikTok Top 10 – The Playlist: Top songs

Image credit: TikTok

With 2020 coming to a close (thankfully), TikTok have compiled the top 10 in certain categories, such as viral videos, trends, hashtags, challenges etc.

TikTok has seen tremendous growth in 2020, becoming the social media platform of choice for many Gen Zers and beyond, around the world stuck at home during the pandemic.

It’s been our honor to watch these videos and creators grow and share what have become iconic, sometimes even life-changing, moments of 2020. TikTok is here to bring joy, and with the year we’ve experienced, I’m thrilled to take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the myriad of ways the TikTok community helped us come together, bridge divides, and find both lightness and poignancy when we needed it most.

Pappas, Interim Head of TikTok

You can find the full top 100 here. Here are the top 10 songs according to TikTok.

1. “Savage Love” (Laxed – Siren Beat) – Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo – The cross-continental chart-topper that only could have started on TikTok.

I can’t stop watching this @justmaiko

♬ Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat) – Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo

2. “Savage” Remix – Megan Thee Stallion – Megan’s empowering anthem slays with help from two queens: Beyoncé and @keke.janajah.

My first attempt at the #savageremixchallange 😭😂 🐝🐎

♬ original sound – Megan Thee Stallion

3. “OUT WEST” (feat. Young Thug) – Travis Scott – One of the first and biggest viral hits of 2020.

Kurt loves his new airpods! 70% Airpods using the link in my INSTAGRAM bio 🔥 #foryou #viral #CoolRanchDance #phonekeepsmoving

♬ OUT WEST – JACKBOYS & Travis Scott

4. “WAP” (feat. Megan Thee Stallion) – Cardi B – 🙈

Fantasia 2020. #wap #hippo #dancechallenge #couplegoals #viral #husband @thejoshjones #fantasia

♬ WAP(feat. Megan Thee Stallion) – Cardi B

5. “Say So” – Doja Cat – Bouncy pop jam that helped make Doja Cat one of the creators’ favorite artists.

SAY SO MEETS CATFISH W/ @nevschulman @kamiecrawford 💖

♬ Say So – Doja Cat

6. “Tap In” – Saweetie – Saweetie once again won hearts with this twerkable banger.

#tapinchallenge #queenfoo @callherhelen 🤪‼️

♬ Tap In – Saweetie

7. “The Box” – Roddy Ricch – The TikTok community powered this rap track and its unique ad-libs to 2020’s longest Hot 100 reign.

Ima get laaaaazyyy #fyp #foryou

♬ The Box – Roddy Ricch

8. “Rags2Riches” (feat. ATR Son Son) – Rod Wave – The inspirational rap ballad to soundtrack dramatic glow-ups.

‘Cause that type of shit don’t faze a player, uh #rodwave #rags2riches

♬ Rags2Riches (feat. ATR Son Son) – Rod Wave

9. “Supalonely” (feat. Gus Dapperton) – BENEE – A combination of indie-pop bounce, self-deprecation, and quarantine-appropriate lyrics.

That is the LAST TIME I try to be a tiktok dancer…also I’m bleeding severely and just glad I filmed this #quarantine #injury #fyp

♬ Supalonely (feat. Gus Dapperton) – BENEE

10. “What You Know Bout Love” – Pop Smoke – #ForeverPop

Dancing to 10k followers so my kids will think I’m cool. 😂 The things you do for 5th graders. #teacher

♬ What You Know Bout Love – Pop Smoke

Turn Up The World Festival Returns With Winter Wonderland Edition

Image credit: Turn Up The World Festival

After a successful summer edition the virtual festival ran by our own Nana Darby returns for a winter wonderland edition

Earlier in the year, during June it became upsettingly apparent that festival season was cancelled. One after the other festivals cancelled and in addition to that almost all gigs canceled or rescheduled. It felt bleak, especially as the weather was so glorious. One could almost taste the the overpriced festival beer and sun glistening on the large stages, but alas the coronavirus had different plans. As such live music was put on hiatus but thankfully people like Nana didn’t let that stop her from organising entertainment and live music for an eager audience. 

This is how Turn Up The World festival was born, a totally virtual festival that brought a variety of artists from all around the world to our screens and raised money for Black Lives Matter and Defending Black Lives. After a successful first run during the summer the virtual festival now returns with its Winter Wonderland Edition. Not only will they bring live music to a global audience they will also be raising money for FareShare and Campaign Against Living Miserably. 

Speaking about the festival, founder and CEO Nana explained: “Life can feel so much lonelier and scary in these difficult days in terms of both mental health and financial stability. Turn Up the World Winter Wonderland Edition was born out of the refusal to resign ourselves to not helping each other through these challenges.” She continues, “with fantastic music, yoga and meditation classes to enjoy, our audience can help us fundraise for a safer and happier world. Not to mention, it’s definitely in the Christmas spirit.”

The Winter Wonderland Edition line-up has been announced (with more to come) and includes Cornwall’s Daisy Clark, X-Factor sensation Samuel Storm and the brilliant Nico Turner. In addition to this there will be yoga and well-being classes from Lisa Sanfillipo and Lucy Hayes.  

This is a fantastic opportunity to scratch that live music itch, have a good stretch, support independent artists and raise money for charity. Keep up to date everything on their socials (Facebook, Instagram). 

Don’t forget to save the date 11th-13th December 2020. 

Live Nation reports losses of $7 billion as revenues drop 95%

Image credit: Live Nation

The renowned events company details their heavy losses in 2020 and plans for the future with the release of their Q3 2020 report.

Live Nation has faced a devastating year in the wake of COVID-19. Specialising in live events from concerts to some of the world’s biggest festivals, the company has lost almost all of their business this year as events have been cancelled. 

Their Q3 earnings report really cements the difficulty the company is in, showing that their revenues have declined by 95% from the same period last year. Revenues of $184 million in the third quarter of 2020 represent a significant drop from the $3.77 billion made last year in the same period.

However, the figures do represent faint optimism compared to Live Nation’s Q2 results which saw a 98% decline. With vaccines entering the conversation and the potential for the return of events once more on the horizon, the company is now looking ahead with plans to re-invigorate their business to heal from their huge losses.

Live Nation has made various cuts this year to reduce costs by up to $900 million by the end of the year, as their new target sets out. In April, company CEO Michael Rapino forfeited his year’s salary of $3 million to help cut costs, whilst other senior executives cut their salaries by up to 50%.

Looking forward to 2021, Rapino says the company have a “focus on remaining flexible” as events return but at varying rates. They report that tickets for next year are still selling well in anticipation of the return of live music, adding that “EDC Las Vegas sold out in less than 24 hours at a higher capacity than last year.”

The company told investors that they “believe this level of liquidity provides it with the ability to fund operations until the expected return of concerts at scale in the summer of 2021, preceded by ticket sales earlier in the year.”

Amazon Music Unlimited now lets you stream music videos

Image from Amazon

Amazon Adds New Feature In Hopes To Match One Of The Perks Of YouTube Music

Amazon is adding a large vault of music videos to its Amazon Music Unlimited service. However, the feature is reported to only be available to paying subscribers, according to Android Police. This doesn’t come as a surprise though and is on par with other music streaming services. 

Music videos will show up as their own section in search results and on artist pages. In addition to this there will also be music video playlists. Like YouTube Music there will be the added option of either watching the video or just listening to the audio. 

The news follows the introduction of Amazon’s X-Ray feature to the music streaming service, first debuted on their TV streaming service. Customers can now see behind the scenes trivia and “fun facts” about currently playing tracks. 

Amazon Music Unlimited costs £7.99 monthly and currently they are offering 3 months totally free. Amazon Music Unlimited also offers a HD tier with lossless and hi-res streaming, a unique selling point that is not offered by larger competitors such as Spotify and Apple Music

DIY Till We Die: School Disco

Image by Liver Tandy

The Brighton Based Band Talk About Their Journey As A DIY Band

In the UK and across the globe there are DIY scenes popping up at an ever expanding rate. There are several reasons for this but a main factor is the internet has made it easier for an artist to sell, distribute, promote and exists without the help of a major labels or management. For every genre there is likely a growing or blossoming DIY scene, from hip-hop to dance music through to garage rock. In every neighbourhood, town or city there is some form of independent artist trying to get heard. You’ll likely have seen them promoting themselves and their art on your social media timelines! 

Before covid-19 and the subsequent hiatus of live music there were flourishing scenes across the globe. There has never been more music, from a wider range of artists available to a generation and it is incredibly exciting. Although the world may feel grey, dystopian landscape at times there is creativity on every corner, whether that is online or in person. The internet hasn’t only made it easier for bands and artists but also for new music fans. It’s not a difficult task to find your next favourite band or song thanks to the internet. It is for this reason that DIY artists need to be supported and talked about because without them we’d all be listening to Rita Ora or Tekashi69 (no offence). DIY artists are for the most part, creativity manifest. They’re dedicated artists looking to expand sonically, bringing you real, thought out and original music. 

With this in mind we want to chat to an array of independent to get to know more about what it means to go DIY, how it works and its advantages and disadvantages. First up in this article series is Brighton’s freaked out garage rockers School Disco. Lead singer and guitarist Rory Lethbridge give us the nitty gritty on how the operate as a DIY band and how it works for them. 

So, what is the attraction of operating as a DIY band and how has it benefited you?

Rory: I think nothing has really attracted us other than we wanted to push the band forward and got addicted to doing it ourselves and achieving small goals as a band that then mount up to bigger overall gains. I love working out how things work as well as cleaning about it. I feel this will allow us to have a substantial career as a band and not get left in the dust.

The benefits are that everything is completely on your own terms and what you put in is what you get out. If you want to make freak-out-post-black-metal-shoegaze-folk as a DIY artist no one is gonna tell you not to. You have complete creative control. Also, the flip side of this is that almost every artist starts as a DIY artist and I think it’s a really important step in your career. Knowing and learning what a band does beyond recording music and playing live music is super important. Learning how to write emails, approach people, form relationships, write a press release are really important skills that go beyond just the music industry. Learning all of this and creating a network around the band to help move your career forward is super important. Doing things on your terms is important so if you do end up getting a manager or an agent you can be more engaged and know what’s going on. You don’t want to get left in the dust when things get more serious.

Do you feel DIY is something that is tailored towards rock music or is it a practise that is seen in other genres? 

Rory: I think it works for all genres, some better than others. I’m not particularly well versed in all genres because I mainly play in rock, indie, and pop bands. However, I think the ethos of DIY applies well to electronic music too. I see raves popping up all around Brighton (pre-Covid) for drum and bass and UK hip-hop nights seem to be a plenty and have a really nice closely-knit community. Furthermore, it’s so easy to self-release via Bandcamp or SoundCloud or through services like yourselves at RouteNote that I don’t see why it wouldn’t apply to all genres. I think if DIY is done right it might not seem DIY.

What difficulties have you come up against as a DIY band? 

Rory: I think sometimes it’s difficult for people to take you seriously or it might come across that you’re not as serious. For example, it seems like blogs are way more inclined to listen to well known and established PR agents as opposed from bands sending off emails themselves. However it is all about the relationships, a lot of the coverage we have gotten has been through relationships we have made and we are continuing to make all the time. This is the same with a lot of the gigs we get. We have established relationships with promoters in various places across the country and then continue to work with these promoters so we can all grow together. I also think funding can often be an issue with being a DIY artist, though we have the support of some really amazing DIY labels, we often don’t have the funding to put into things we want to.

For example, we don’t tour as much as we’d like as we all have lives outside of the band and can’t always afford to take time off or afford to just play shows sometimes.  We also have all these amazing ideas for merch but that requires investment. 

Was going at it DIY a decision made before forming School Disco or is it something that naturally fell in place? 

Rory: It naturally fell into place I think, we really wanted to do more things as a band and just ended up learning and doing things ourselves. When I started playing gigs when I was 16, I didn’t know what a promoter was or did! We just approached venues who said we could put nights on ourselves.  We couldn’t afford to record records in studios, so we ended up recording ourselves and learning along the way. We’ve not got a booking agent, so we learned to book gigs ourselves.

Watch their RouteNote Session in full here:

What makes a solid DIY scene and how do you get involved in one? 

Rory: I think as mentioned before developing solid relationships with like-minded and passionate people, it really is as simple as that. Just be nice and put your ego to one side and just help everyone and allow everyone to grow together.

Is there a way to remain DIY but still be signed to a major label? 

Rory: I think the major label is maybe a step too far as the infrastructure there is so great that there wouldn’t be much left to do yourself. With a marketing team, press team, social media teams it’s hard to keep your imprint on the music or bands visual depiction, not to mention the label may have a vision for you. Major labels are often putting in major investments into artists and they don’t want to leave anything down to chance. I’ve never been signed to a major though and probably won’t ever get signed to a major with the music School Disco are making, so I couldn’t tell you! If it happens, I’ll let you know!

It appears that DIY scenes are popping up all over the country. Why do you feel this is? 

Rory: I think with the Internet now it’s never been easier to release music via Bandcamp, Soundcloud, or even Spotify etc. Furthermore with Facebook, Instagram, free video editing software, free Photoshop alternatives, mobile phones, cheap recording equipment. It has never been easier to write, record, film a video, edit the video, take a press photo and release it.

Maybe we should make that a challenge. Can you write, record, make a music video, edit a music video, and release a song all in one day!

Why do you feel more artists are opting for a more DIY approach? 

Rory: Like I said before, it’s never been easier. Also if you have a passion and a vision for a project, you might not want someone else’s’ fingers in your pie! Furthermore, having a manager, an agent, a record label etc are really fanatic tools but also they are taking a slice of said pie. Starting out it might not be financially beneficial to pay someone to book gigs or manage the project if there is no money to be made. On the flip side, it might make total financial sense as they might be able to book gigs that are way better than you are able to with your network, in which case it might totally make sense.

Do you think post-Brexit the DIY scene will flourish or will it struggle? 

Rory: I think a bit of both, a lot of DIY bands rely on going and touring the EU as a source of income for the band as they generally treat bands better and buy more merch than people in the UK. On the flipside bands always will overcome and adapt in the DIY scene and people will make it work and use the opportunities to grow and develop the scene within the UK. I’m both terrified and interested to see what Brexit brings.

Do you think the internet has made it easier to be successful in a DIY scene? 

Rory: I totally think it has. Anyone can have a viral moment now. There are so so so many people across the globe who are interested in all styles of music and there is a massive market to tap into. With more artist-focused platforms like Bandcamp it’s never been easier to upload a track and see what happens. These platforms help artists communities grow and it’s an ever improving one too. If you’re wanting to take things more seriously planning a release across multiple platforms with full self-promoted PR EPK’s etc then there is a wealth of information and resources available that are great sources of information for DIY.

Lastly, what advice would you give to an artist looking to start their own scene or get involved with their local DIY scene? 

Rory: Just be nice, no one wants to get involved with someone who isn’t and it can hurt and taint your career. I can think of a couple of bands who have let their ego get in the way and have damaged their reputation with promoters I know because of their stinky attitude. Relationships are one of the most important things in the music industry, so don’t go burning bridges. I also think it’s super important to grow your socials and brand as this is a great transferable skill as the Internet and social media is a huge part of everyday life now. 

The Power of Music Collaboration

Image Credit: John Hult

The rise of featured artists and collaborations in the music world shows no signs of slowing down. Here’s how you could benefit.

Many hands make light work, and music artists are collaborating now more than ever. Take a glance at the Top 40 on this week’s UK Singles Chart: There’s 15 collabs, including ‘Prisoner’ by Miley Cyrus feat. Dua Lipa and Justin Bieber & Shawn Mendes lamenting their fame together on ‘Monster’. Permanently-lurking Ed Sheeran has always collaborated with anyone who happened to accidentally catch his eye at the time, and done pretty well out of it. Music collaborations have been steadily growing in the last decade, and there was a huge jump in 2017, where most genres saw collaborations increase by 40%. What is it about sticking artists together in a studio that translates into streams and sales?

What’s the history of music collaboration?

Taking a broad overview of the recent history of musical collabs, you could argue the modern ‘featured artist’ credit originates from jazz. Think Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s duets, or Duke Ellington’s orchestra in the 1920s featuring a guest vocal refrain. Bebop groups improvised and fed off each other, the soloist who stepped up to feature then launching their own path, forming other collectives and releasing their own records. Towards the ‘70s it was all about the music, and successful blues and rock musicians at the top of their game formed supergroups – like Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Cream – revelling in the chance to work with like-minded artists.

Then came the rise of Hip-hop, and suddenly featured artists started to be credited on tracks. Hip-hop as always been the most-collaborated genre. A genius idea for creativity and career longevity is to put lots of MCs together in one collective, who can then break out as solo artists just like in jazz groups. From the 1980s novelty collaborations such as the ultimate cheesy genre-blending team of RUN DMC and Aerosmith walked onto the scene. Soon after came the emergence of electronic dance music where DJs feature multiple artists. And more recently remixes and mashups emerged, prolonging the commercial lifespan of a song.

Now, in the digital age, two camps can promote one track across many bases. If the collab takes the form of a guest feature on an existing track it can target different playlists on streaming services like Spotify. This ends up prolonging the success of the original song as listeners browse and discover it or are led to it by the ever-present algorithm. The other highlight of collabs is a visual one – you can see how the artists, who might not have worked together before, interact. It fits nicely with the interactive nature of TikTok, where a remix can go through multiverses of lives on the app, soundtracking the visual creations of thousands of users. And six of TikTok’s 2020 Top 10 Songs of the Year were collabs. Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyonce – ‘Savage (Remix)’ is an example of remix that did incredibly well across TikTok and Instagram, as did ‘WAP’, Stallion again but with Cardi B. That viral hit then leads the listener to seek out the original song: A cycle of success all round.

And what are the benefits of collaboration for artists?

The main draw of a collab for musicians is finding new audiences who wouldn’t usually hit play – there’s a big strategy going on here, aiming to retain a position in market. Returning to the 27th November UK Top 40 for a minute: The duetting pop icons appear again on the chart, but alone this time – Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus and Shawn Mendes all have solo tracks charting as well as their joint ventures. (And Justin Bieber is there TWICE with two further collaborations with Benny Blanco and Chance. Bieber loves a collab.) So, the streaming algorithms also add to artist’s advantage to gain plays over time across their whole catalogue, not just for the shared track.

A song with a featured artist also brings together two different sets of fans who’ll share and create their own content around it, be that on TikTok or elsewhere. There’s also a definite curiosity factor – did the artists enjoy working together on a creative level? Did they bond? Are they friends now? It’s fun to see your favourite artist interacting with their creative equal or unlikely new partner. This year, there’s the added intriguing factor that most artists would have been forced out of the studio to work remotely instead, working on their own sections of the track alone before stitching it together. Taylor Swift’s dramatic surprise album drop Folklore, for example, features Bon Iver on ‘exile’. The whole album was made entirely in isolation, so did they both have comedy Zoom backgrounds? We can only begin to guess.

So should I get on the collab hype?

The message is clear – buddying up works. Why not reach out to another musician yourself and combine forces? You could feature on a track, or they could feature on yours. Share your skills with each other and see if working alongside another musical mind sparks interesting ideas. Then, get those tracks out to a waiting army of potential new fans. Across all genres, artists are collaborating now more than ever, and that trend looks set to continue. Working together with someone new could offer up whole new creative avenues that you’d never have thought to explore.

MOBO Awards respond to Nova Twins’ call to add Rock/Alternative category at 2021 awards

Image From Nova Twins

Will we see the inclusion of Rock/Alternative To The MOBO Awards 2021?

The MOBO awards recently responded to the open letter written by punk duo Nova Twins, the letter called on the awards to include a Rock/Alternative category in their 2021 awards. 

Within the letter, the London based punk duo said that the inclusion of the category would “widen the representation that ourselves and so many others didn’t have growing up”. 

Expanding on that point the duo said that it’s “more than just a category,” explaining” “It’s a message to all young black people, letting them know that they can do and be anything that they choose.” 

The MOBO awards responded to the tweet that included the open letter explaining that “The MOBO Awards Judging Panel have actually discussed this and we will continue to review potential category expansions for future award ceremonies. We will always do our best to represent Black music talent across a variety of genres”. 

It’s an important call from the band and hopefully it is considered for next year’s awards ceremonies. Black people and POC are underrepresented in the rock n roll world, especially in modern rock music. The inclusion of this category would show that any sound or genre is within their reach. It’s also incredibly important to recognise rock music’s roots which is heavily influenced by the blues, a genre founded by black artists. 

Read the full letter from the Nova Twins here: 

Dear MOBO Awards,

We are Nova Twins, a band of two mixed race girls from South East London and Essex who shout through distorted mics and play gnarly bass riffs. 

We are writing this open letter to ask you to help pave the way for Alternative and Rock POC artists. We believe that you can widen the representation that ourselves and so many others didnt have growing up. RocknRoll is of black origin but because of the systemic issues that we still face today, POC contributors to the genre have been lost along the way.

We have a proposition: we would love for you to consider adding a Rock/Alternative category to your 2021 award show, celebrating the best new wave of artists in the scene today, whilst paying tribute to the POC originators and founders of RocknRoll and RhythmnBlues.

We grew up watching the MOBO Awards, feeling grateful for its CEO and Founder Kanya King MBE, who pushed boundaries and helped bring black music and culture into the mainstream. We want to use our platform to raise the voices of the unheard, diversifying the space for Alternative POC bands but we cant do it alone. We need trailblazing, influential platforms like the MOBOs to back us and look ahead to a more diverse future for music.

People often dont know that RocknRoll was in fact largely originated by a black woman. Starting her career in the 1930s, Sister Rosetta Tharpe went on to inspire household names through the decades. You can see and hear her influence in the works of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner and Jimi Hendrix for instance, who then went on to shape the musical world we live in. Her guitar playing technique also had a major influence on the development of British Blues in the 1960s. We all owe her a huge debt and with the help of others, we want to continue the pioneering work she started. We feel strongly that this needs to be represented in the MOBO Awards.

This is more than just a category, its a message to all young black people, letting them know that they can do and be anything that they choose. That they have more creative options available to them, other than the ones society has offered them. Its up to us all to give the new generation the tools and encouragement to do so. Its time to create a different landscape to the one we entered.

2020 has been a time for us all to reflect and re-educate ourselves. Let 2021 be the year we all take action. 

Much love, 
Amy & Georgia
(Nova Twins)

We’re celebrating 500,000 users on RouteNote!

We recently reached a huge milestone with more than a half a million users around the world now using RouteNote to get their music out across the globe.

RouteNote’s humble beginning saw an idea form in a tiny recording studio in Redruth, Cornwall. Noticing that the independent artists they worked with would record their albums, get them sounding great, only to have no way of reaching audiences with their recorded music.

RouteNote’s CEO, Steven Finch, ran with an idea that he thought capable of transforming the music industry for small artists and, joined by RouteNote COO James Bennett, they took to making it happen. Just two men in Cornwall with a dream to give independent artists the same opportunities as major label artists to get heard in the new digital economy of music.

13 years later we are an ever-growing team of more than 70 people and we’re celebrating 500,000 users. That’s right, a whopping half a million people are now getting their music on digital music platforms and getting heard all across the globe through us. 

We have always felt privileged to be able to empower independent artists and labels by putting music distribution in their hands. We have seen the industry transform in the last decade and now more than ever, the artist and label are in control of their music with the help of an ever-changing digital landscape which we are proud to be part of.

The journey does not stop here though! This is the beginning of a journey we have been on since the beginning to empower creators with bigger and better methods of taking control of their content and reaching a global audience on their own terms. 

We want to thank every single person who has joined us along the way and we hope that you join us as we continue to revolutionise industries in favour of the independent creators.Together we are changing the music industry for the better!