Looking back at music in March

Multiple sexual abuse controversies, the death of a legend, and two music titans take it to court

Looking back at music in March

Hello everyone, with the start of a new month it means it’s time to take a look back on the music news of the last month! It was a super busy for me, from photographing single cover artwork to travelling down to Brighton to photograph SpringHill - who I did an interview with not so long ago. As it turns out the world of music has also been just as busy as me so without further adieu I give to you some of the biggest music news from the past month!


R Kelly's bail is set at $1m

Earlier this month, after videos of the artist allegedly abusing underage girls surfaced online, R Kelly’s bail was set by US judge at US$1 million. For any normal human being with a normal job would find this extortionate, yet rather unsurprisingly given his rockstar status, this lump sum was paid pretty quickly and he’s now free to roam the USA. However, Kelly is now banned from international travel after having his passport seized. 

That didn’t stop him from trying to flee to Dubai after claiming he had shows booked there, something that the authorities in Dubai vehemently deny. Whatever the truth might be, this all seems to be unfolding quite fast so stay tuned for more on this as it develops!

Spotify v Apple

Since I work in the music industry myself, I knew about this incredibly baffling story at the beginning of the month but more recently, Spotify have now uploaded a short video appealing to igx users to help them lobby against Apple Music. Why, you might ask…? Well it turns out that Apple take 30% of every Spotify subscription fee in the Spotify App!

The so called ‘Apple’ tax includes a whole host of anti-competition rules that Spotify must abide by such as not advertising that they have 3-months of their premium subscription currently for 99p! In addition, a whole £3.33 going to Apple from every user that has subscribed to Spotify through the App Store is seriously affecting Spotify as a functioning company. 

Time will tell with this one, but the only people with the authority to really put a stop to it are trade organisations and national governments, and given all this Brexit chaos this will likely take a back bench position for the time being.

In memoriam - Keith Flint

From all of the team at Voice we’d like to give our best wishes to Keith’s close family, friends and bandmates in this hard time. Keith was the frontman of UK band ‘The Prodigy’ and his death was announced on Monday 4 March, aged just 49.

Festival headliners 

Full festival line ups for the UK’s festival circuit are now almost completely announced! With some heavy hitters on major festivals like Glasto, Reading & Leeds and Boomtown, this summer is hotting up to be one long epic party. Let me know what festivals you’re planning on hitting up with your friends in the comment section below!

BTS announce next album title and release date

Widely regarded as the world’s new ‘One Direction’ this seven-piece KPOP group sold out their first date at Wembley Stadium in 90 minutes earlier this month before announcing a second. They’ve also dropped the release date for their next album entitled ‘Map of the Soul: Personna’ set to be released on April 12th and after the string of successes they’ve had on their previous album trilogy era I cannot wait to see what they’ve got in store this time...

Great Escape and Brighton Fringe are just around the corner 

With The Great Escape coming to Brighton in just a few weeks, now is your chance to buy tickets to this one of a kind music festival! With shows being played all across brighton by both new and established artists, it’s a little like Brighton Fringe but for music so if that doesn’t prick your ears up then I don’t know what will. 

Michael Jackson documentary reignites controversy

The highly anticipated documentary entitled ‘Leaving Neverland’ detailing the child abuse scandals of world famous Michael Jackson finally came out. The controversial HBO documentary focuses on two alleged victims coming to terms with what had allegedly happened, and has caused wide public debate. However, HBO did not seek comment from the Jackson estate and is now being sued for US$100 million for being ‘in breach of contract’ for disparaging Jackson in the documentary.

Brexit affecting the music industry 

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Brexit is one of the biggest political crises I’ve seen in my whole life, maybe the biggest the UK’s ever faced, and the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal - or one that’s going to screw up the entire way the British Music Industry operates - is growing. Touring Europe for many British bands and artists, is a huge part of their income, and without it many will simply run out of money, and that is worrying. 

Even huge names will struggle to tour, no one has money to be paying thousands to drive some t-shirts in a truck over a hypothetical line in a road. The only feasible way to cover this cost is then by hiking up ticket prices… essentially meaning many fans simply won’t be able to afford tickets. 

Live music is essential for culture and the entire industry can only hope that the EU will take this viewpoint post brexit and make touring there as pain free as possible on a musician’s bank account…


Source: Music Business Worldwide

South Korean KPOP sex scandals

This month, a barrage of scandals have ricoheted through the KPOP industry in South Korea. Singer ‘Seungri’, a member of KPOP band ‘Big Bang’ was taken in by police for questioning about date-rape allegations in the nightclub that he owns. Coined as the KPOP industry’s ‘great-gatsby’ Seungri was known as a man who partied hard, only now it turns out that it was potentially too hard. 

This news broke alongside widespread spy camera scandals in hotel rooms across South Korea. One thing is becoming increasingly clear, something in South Korean culture needs to change to prevent this kind of mistreatment of women in the future.

Seungri has since retired from the industry after giving a public apology.


Source: FT.com (paywall)

Our Spotify jams for March

As is customary, I got to sit down and curate a playlist of some of the music I’ve been listening to this month amongst some new releases. There’s some BTS on there while I wait to see what their next album may hold in store, some Lewis Capaldi (or calamari according to the man himself) and also some more rock based stuff. 

I had to put in a song from The Prodigy and then I just rolled with that vibe. There’s been some amazing indie and rock releases this month, as well as some tracks from these genres that are doing really well in the charts at the moment and more than deserve a spot on here. Like always, regardless of your own music preferences there’s definitely something on this playlist for you and I hope you all love it!

Header Image Credit: Antonio Manfredonio

Author

Sophie McCarthy

Sophie McCarthy Contributor

I'm a freelance photography working primarily within music and I write a lot of the music stuff on here, including the 'monthly music news' blogs so look out for those! I'm based in London and currently intern at an artist and tour management company with offices in Metropolis Studios and love writing for Voice whenever I can...

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