RouteNote expand across Asia with new Seoul-based office in South Korea

Kevin Kim

We are thrilled to welcome two new hires to RouteNote in South Korea, empowering connections with artists in Asia and boosting our relationships with the booming music services across the region.

We have welcomed Kevin Kim and Jude Kim into the RouteNote team. Based in Seoul, Kevin and Jude are empowering RouteNote’s expansion into Asia following our partnerships with the continent’s biggest music services in recent years. Working with local artists and services, this fantastic move marks our spread into new territories so that we can create even deeper connections with creators in all countries.

Kevin joins us as head of our expansion into Asia following years working as Associate Director of Global Business at YG, one of South Korea’s most notorious hubs for music. Before working with YG, Kevin has earned decades of experience working in music and with musicians in the digital realm and it is our pleasure to introduce him to our team with the launch of our new office in South Korea.

Kevin Kim said: “Working with various artists and labels around Asia, I have realised the difficulties they face to capitalise on their creatives. Whilst talking to Steven (RouteNote CEO), I got to understand the thoughts and efforts he and his teammates put in to support those artists. Then I realised the enormous potential of RouteNote services in Asia where the music industry is the fastest growing in the world lately.”

RouteNote’s CEO, Steven Finch said: “It’s great to have Kevin join the team. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about the industry and region. RouteNote plans to invest a lot into Asia and this is only the beginning. It is amazing to bring both Kevin and Jude onto the team as they both have a great background of experience.”

Jude Kim

Jude Kim joins with 20 years of experience working in music licensing for some of the biggest media companies in the region including CJ E&M and YG. Jude’s extensive experience has seen his work in the music industry stretch across numerous digital platforms, labels, and government departments in Korea .

Jude said: “In the era of a non-contact world, I thought there was a need to eliminate the boundaries between countries and ensure that digital content can be delivered and consumed by lots of people in an efficient and precise way. I believe RouteNote is the most innovative company in this field and lots of Korean content can be introduced overseas through RouteNote.”

RouteNote currently works with South Korea’s biggest platforms MelOn, Bugs!, and Flo to bring music from across the globe to millions of listeners in Korea. Further afield we offer artists distribution to China’s top platforms Kanjian, NetEase, Tencent; Japan’s AWA; and JioSaavn in India. We are excited to reach even further into the exciting potential of digital music in Asia.

We welcome both Kevin and Jude to the team with open arms and look forward to the exciting potential for RouteNote as a company connected around the world to empower creators of all shapes and sizes, wherever they may be.

Led Zeppelins ‘Whole Lotta Love’ voted greatest guitar riff of all time

Image credit: Rolling Stone

The iconic guitar riff was recently voted as the greatest guitar riff of all time, beating AC/DC and ZZ Top.

A recent poll by Total Guitar/Guitar World asked its readers to vote on the greatest riff of all time and Led Zeppelins ‘Whole Lotta Love’ has claimed the top spot. The iconic riff was crafted by Zeppelins guitarist Jimmy Page and set loose on the world in 1969, the same year mankind put a man on the moon. Making it humanity’s second greatest achievement of the time. 

‘Whole Lotta Love’ beats Ozzy Osbourne’s classic ‘Crazy Train’ and AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’. The track was released on Led Zeppelin’s second album, ably named Led Zeppelin II. It was an impactful album that boasted the band’s natural ability to craft their own path and solidified them as one of the world’s rock n roll behemoths. 

Other songs that were nominated was Deep Purples classic ‘Smoke On The Water’, Van Halen’s ‘Aint Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’, Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’, Pantera’s ‘Walk’, ZZ Top’s ‘La Grange’, and Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’. 

Led Zeppelin’s music has remained one of the most influential rock bands to have ever existed as the decades have passed by. This poll is further evidence of the band’s impact on music and music fans alike.  

Listen to ‘Whole Lotta Love here:

Download Festival 2021 going ahead as Pilot event

Image Credit: Download Festival

After being cancelled in March, Download Festival is back on – as a government pilot festival to monitor Covid-19 transmission.

Moshing is back. In March, Download Festival announced that it was calling off this summer’s event, another musical casualty of the ongoing pandemic. The festival’s 4-6 June scheduling meant it would have taken place too early for the next stage of lifting the UK lockdown due on 21 June. But festival-goers can now rejoice – Download is back on, except this year as a trial to monitor the spread of coronavirus at large-scale events.

With a reduced capacity of 10,000, the one-off Download Pilot could well be the planned 10,000-capacity trial festival with camping which was announced by the UK government last month as part of its Event Research Programme. In a normal year, Download Festival usually has room for 111,000 people.

The significantly reduced capacity allows for revellers to be tested for Covid before entry. Ticket holders will need to take a lateral flow test at home, and take a PCR test beforehand too, but will be refunded if the result is positive. Five days after the festival, another PCR test will need to be returned to complete the research.

All the scientific hoop-jumping means that festival-goers can act like any other year at Download – camping, hugging, and of course moshing, all without wearing masks. The second phase of the government’s research programme comes after the news that the previous pilot events, including a day festival in Liverpool, returned no detectable spread of coronavirus. Only 15 people tested positive for Covid-19 out of 58,000 at the series of pilot events in May.

Download Pilot will take place at the festival’s usual home of Donnington Bridge from 18-20 June. Artists booked to perform include headliners Enter Shikari, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, and Bullet For My Valentine. Tickets went on sale today, Thursday 3 June.

Olivia Rodrigo Breaks Her Own Streaming Record As ‘Good 4 U’ Posts Biggest Weekly Total On Spotify Charts

Image credit: LA Times

The ever popular Olivia Rodrigo has smashed broken the record which she held for her previous release ‘Drivers License’.

Olivia Rodrigo has broken the record for most global Spotify streams in a  single week for a second time with her latest track ‘Good 4 U’.

According to Spotify’s charts, Rodrigo’s ‘Good 4 U’ received a mind-blowing 84,131,760 global Spotify plays during May 21st – May 27th. Her debut single ‘Drivers License’ was the previous record holder with 80,764,045, beating Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings’, which had 71,467,874 plays. 

Not only did ‘Good 4 U’ break Spotify’s records it also now sits very comfortably at the top of the US iTunes song sales chart, dethroning BTS’ ‘Butter (Hotter Remix)’. 

SiriusXM partners with TikTok to bring a variety of new collaborative content and features

Image credit: Tech Crunch

The satellite radio company and Pandora parent has announced that it will be partnering up with the short form video platform.

The satellite radio company has recently announced that it will be partnering with the popular video app TikTok. SiriusXM is also the streaming service Pandoras parent company. The partnership will power several new initiatives such as a TikTok channel on SiriusXM, hosted TikTok playlists on Pandora, and re-airings of Pandora Live events on TikTok. 

As of this week, popular TikTok creators will curate, host, and promote their own Pandora playlists to their fans on TikTok, starting with Bella Poarch. The TikTok influencer, who now has 69.6 million followers, is best known for her viral lip-sync video to “M to the B,” which quickly became the most-liked video on TikTok. She also makes videos featuring singing, dancing (obvs), and other content, this month she also released her first single “Build A Bitch,” which has broken into Spotify’s U.S. and Global Top 50 charts. 


✨ Excited to help launch #TikTokTastemakers on @pandora ✨ Listen exclusively on #PandoraMusic

♬ Build a B*tch – Bella Poarch

Other “TikTok Tastemakers” as SiriusXM has named them, will release their own playlists in the months to come, including Christian Shelton and Nick Tangorra. 

In addition, Pandora users will be able to tune into the TikTok Hits Playlist at any time, which features popular and trending songs from TikTok. 

The idea of a dedicated TikTok playlist isn’t new, however, as Spotify and other streaming services have also recently added such playlists to their platforms. 

SiriusXM will also be launching a TikTok Radio, a full-time music channel featuring tracks trending on TikTok, which will see TikTok creators as hosts. The channel will debut later this summer and will stream exclusively on SiriusXM. 

There are also plans to re-air Pandora’s original events series, Pandora Live on the app.

Speaking on the partnership SiriusXM president and chief content officer, Scott Greenstein said: “We are excited to collaborate with TikTok to create new content that brings the vibrancy of the leading social networking service to life on live radio and our streaming platforms.” Adding: “The effect TikTok has on music, and pop culture in general, is undeniable. Our platforms will provide a unique opportunity for TikTok creators to engage with our listeners with content experiences that have never been done before in audio.”

The move is a clear push to grab the Gen Z market and bring them to SiriusXM and their streaming service Pandora, which is likely to work. However, if it will be enough to boost their position against the giants such as Spotify is yet to be seen. 

Deezer releases exclusive album of ‘80s songs covered by breakthrough artists

Image Credit: Deezer

Listen to Wolf Alice covering Roxy Music and Laura Mvula playing “Africa” by Toto, in new exclusive Deezer Original album InVersions 80s.

Deezer has launched an exclusive new album of Deezer Originals, InVersions 80s. The second release of its kind from the streaming service this time features indie artists covering hits from the 1980s.

A mix of emerging and established artists from around the globe feature on the compilation album. The UK’s Holly Humberstone appears with her take on Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U,” whilst Ivor Novello-winning Laura Mvula covers “Africa” by Toto. Norway’s Boy Pablo takes on Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” whilst CSS from Brazil return after an eight-year absence to exclusively cover “Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry.

Nigel Harding, Deezer’s Vice President of Global Artist Marketing, said: “’80s music is seeing a resurgence like never before, with a whole new generation of fans embracing the sounds of this unique decade. So it felt completely natural to invite today’s emerging musical stars to put a modern spin on their favourite ’80s anthems, and the results are like hearing them all again for the first time. Just like our last InVersions project, which saw a growth in streams of over 200% for some of our featured artists, I’m confident music fans from all over the world will love this new Originals album.”

Last year’s InVersions compilation, which was one of the most successful Deezer Original projects to date, featured covers from the likes of Fontaines D.C. and Arlo Parks.

Indie pop artist Holly Humberstone said: “The ’80s is an era that continues to inspire me. I chose “I Would Die 4 U” by Prince because he’s my all time favourite artist and I wanted to pay tribute to him in some way. I think it’s a beautifully simple but effective song and I love how the melodies are really static. Being able to put my own spin on it felt super special and I hope you all enjoy listening!”

inversions 80s album on deezer
Image Credit: Deezer

Full InVersions 80s tracklist:

  1. Benny Sings – Dancing in the Dark (by Bruce Springsteen)
  2. Boy – Bette Davis Eyes (by Kim Carnes)
  3. Boy Pablo – Don’t You Want Me (by Human League)
  4. Cautious Clay – Holding Back the Years (by Simply Red)
  5. CSS – Buffalo Stance (by Neneh Cherry)
  6. Cuco – Don’t You (by Forget About Me) (by Simple Minds)
  7. Feu! Chatterton – Joe Le Taxi (by Vanessa Paradis)
  8. Holly Humberstone – I Would Die 4 U (by Prince)
  9. Juan Pablo Vega – Wicked Game (by Chris Isaak)
  10. La Femme – Like A Prayer (by Madonna)
  11. Laura Mvula – Africa (by Toto)
  12. Lido Pimienta – Orinoco Flow (by Enya)
  13. L’Imperatrice – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (by Who Loves Me) (by Whitney Houston)
  14. Milky Chance – Tainted Love (by Soft Cell)
  15. Roosevelt – Feels Like Heaven (by Fiction Factory)
  16. Wolf Alice – More Than This (by Roxy Music)

Listen to 30 second previews of the songs here or stream the album with your Deezer account.

Rockstar Games launches record label In partnership with CircoLoco

Image credit: Rockstar Games/CircoLoco Records

Dance music promoters CircoLoco and Rockstar Games have teamed up to launch the new record label called CircoLoco Records.

Rockstar Games which is responsible for the popular Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption series has teamed up with the iconic techno brand/promotors CircoLoco to create a record label, called CircoLoco Records. 

The announcement was revealed via a short clip that premiered on CircoLoco’s YouTube channel which brilliantly mixed real-life footage from CircoLoco’s party nights with digital audiences in GTA Online. 

Watch the announcement trailer here:

CircoLoco has been entertaining audiences in Ibiza for 20 years and is known for its no-frills, music-focused party nights. Since their beginning they have grown into a techno lifestyle brand, collaborating with visual artists and fashion brands such as Off White. 

Rockstar Games have long been supporters of music within their games, especially in their GTA series. Each GTA game has a radio that players will listen to whilst driving that features a variety of guests, such as Frank Ocean and Tyler, The Creator. Not to mention artists creating music exclusively for the in-game radio, such as the aforementioned Tyler, The Creator, and Danny Brown. In addition to this, GTA Online has also added an expansion that gave its players a chance to party at a digital nightclub. 

Speaking on the partnership Rockstar Games founder, Sam Houser said: “Music is fundamental to Rockstar Games – it’s part of everything we do.” Adding:  “Partnering with our friends at CircoLoco is part of our ongoing efforts to find new ways to bring the very best underground music to the widest audience possible.” 

The label’s first release ‘Monday Dreamin’ EP will be available digitally on June 4th, featuring music from iconic house artists such as Seth Troxler and Rampa. 

This is an exciting development for gamers and music fans alike and with the heavy use of music in their games, surprising this hasn’t happened sooner. However, Rockstar isn’t the only one to use music within its games, meaning other big developers may also be looking to shift into the music industry. 

Bruno Mars sells a portion of his song catalog to Warner Chappell Music

Image credit: Stereogum

Bruno Mars joins the long list of artists who are selling their music catalog.

In the past year, artists have been lining up to sell their catalog and publishing rights to companies that specialise in music IP investment and song management. In particular artists from the golden era of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. However, more recently more modern artists have been selling their publishing rights, such as Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga. 

Now Bruno Mars has become the latest modern artist to sell a portion of his music catalogue for an undisclosed amount to Warner Chappell.  

Speaking on the acquisition CEO of Warner Chappell, Guy Moot, said: “At the heart of his immense talents is his incredible songwriting, which he honed for years before he became a recording superstar. Like only a true great can, he’s mastered and transcended multiple musical genres with extraordinary originality and versatility. The world will continue to fall in love with his songs for generations to come.”

Bruno Mars commented: “I began my career at Atlantic and it made sense to keep my business in the family, with the team who have supported me and grown with me.” Adding:  “This is me doubling down with people I trust. We’re just at the beginning of the journey and there’s so much more to come.”

Get free plugins from dream team iZotope and Native Instruments

Image Credit: Native Instruments and iZotope

Discount vouchers and two free plugins up for grabs as Native Instruments and iZotope celebrate their new partnership.

Back in March Native Instruments and iZotope announced they were joining forces, merging into a new music technology group. Now the two audio companies are offering free plugins and discounts in celebration of the partnership.

Interested? iZotope is giving away a free version of Ozone, its mastering software, whilst Native Instruments is offering Hybrid Keys, a Kontakt instrument.

Free plugin Ozone Elements features:

Image Credit: iZotope
  • Master Assistant – AI-powered mastering helping you to find a start point
  • Equalizer – Find problem spots in the mix
  • Imager – Stereo image adjustment
  • Ozone Maximizer – Add loudness
  • Native Instruments NKS Support – access the effects in your Native Instruments workflow

Hybrid Keys features include:

Image Credit: Native Instruments
  • A range of sounds – Mallets, pianos, plucks, synths and more
  • Collection of presets and macros from top sound designers
  • In-depth editing and customisation

And aren’t you lucky, because the companies are also offering a discount voucher when you download your free plugins. The voucher code gives you $25 off, to use at both the iZotope and Native Instrument online stores.

Get in there quick, because the free plugins and vouchers are only available until the end of May 2021.

Find out more and get your free plugins here.

J. Cole breaks Spotify’s 2021 one-day streaming record

Image credit: Twitter

J. Cole’s sixth studio album ‘The Off-Season’ has broken Spotify’s one-day streaming record for 2021.

J. Cole recently released his sixth studio album ‘The Off-Season’ which has smashed Spotify’s one-day streaming record for 2021, totaling 62 million streams. 

The album features high-profile collars from artists such as 21 Savage, Lil Baby, and Morray. Critics and fans are already labeling it the rapper’s best album to date. Prior to the album’s release the single ‘i n t e r l u d e’ debuted within the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.

J. Cole is having an incredible launch with it breaking Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day this year as well as an expected 300,000 units of sales in the album’s debut week, which will make it the biggest first-week release of 2021.