Hey Music Mag - Issue 6 - September 2019

Hola! Welcome to the sixth edition of Hey Mag! As always, it’s jam-packed with music news and features from around the world. This edition is something of a songwriter special, topped with a little bit of Latin spirit. We have a chat with the 17-year old outspoken American singer-songwriter, Billie Eilish, who talks frankly about fame, therapy and lets slip that she’s seeing someone (ooooh!). One of the UK’s finest songwriters, Sir Paul McCartney, unveils his new project - a children’s book - and English-Swedish Mabel Alabama-Pearl McVey reveals high expectations for her new album (please don’t mention her famous mum!). We also grab five minutes with Take That’s Gary Barlow and introduce you to Dubai-based British-Indian newcomer, Leah Depala. And then we take you on a whirlwind tour of Latin America, explaining the ‘Despacito Effect’ on modern-day Latin Music, followed by a chat with a Colombian reggaetón artist and offer the lowdown on five Peruvian bands. Around the world in 60+ pages. Vamos!

Hola! Welcome to the sixth edition of Hey Mag! As always, it’s jam-packed with music news and features from around the world. This edition is something of a songwriter special, topped with a little bit of Latin spirit. We have a chat with the 17-year old outspoken American singer-songwriter, Billie Eilish, who talks frankly about fame, therapy and lets slip that she’s seeing someone (ooooh!). One of the UK’s finest songwriters, Sir Paul McCartney, unveils his new project - a children’s book - and English-Swedish Mabel Alabama-Pearl McVey reveals high expectations for her new album (please don’t mention her famous mum!). We also grab five minutes with Take That’s Gary Barlow and introduce you to Dubai-based British-Indian newcomer, Leah Depala. And then we take you on a whirlwind tour of Latin America, explaining the ‘Despacito Effect’ on modern-day Latin Music, followed by a chat with a Colombian reggaetón artist and offer the lowdown on five Peruvian bands. Around the world in 60+ pages. Vamos!


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SIR PAUL<br />



SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong> ISSUE 06<br />


From “creepy weird scary girl”<br />

to being described as<br />

the future of pop<br />

MABEL<br />



GARY<br />

BARLOW<br />

Travis’<br />


Latin <strong>Music</strong> is more<br />

popular than ever<br />





MOVES US.<br />

We celebrate your talent, value your<br />

music and champion your rights.<br />

To all of our songwriters and composers,<br />

your passion is ours.<br />

“<br />

Screw whatever’s ‘going to<br />

work’ — you just have to go<br />

with the thing that you<br />

feel is the most you.<br />



“<br />

2 DECEMBER 2018<br />





<strong>Hey</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

EDITOR &<br />


Darren Haynes<br />

darren@heymusic.com<br />


Aiez Mirza<br />


Decca Aitkenhead<br />

Alex O’Connell<br />

Lucy Mapstone<br />

Aaron Slater<br />

Nick Stephenson<br />

Cliff Goldmacher<br />

Natalia Hagen<br />

@heymusicofficial<br />

@heymusictweets<br />

@heymusicofficial<br />

@heymusicofficial<br />

www.heymusic.com<br />

To read previous issues go to<br />

www.heymags.com<br />

LOCATION: London<br />

<strong>Hey</strong> <strong>Mag</strong> is published by <strong>Hey</strong> <strong>Music</strong>.<br />

All rights reserved. Reproduction<br />

in whole or in part without written<br />

permission is prohibited. The publisher<br />

regrets that they cannot accept liability<br />

for error or omissions contained in<br />

this publication, however caused.<br />

The opinions and views within this<br />

publication are not necessarily those of<br />

the publisher or editors. All credits are<br />

accurate at the time of writing but may<br />

be subject to change.<br />

EDITOR’S<br />

LETTER<br />

“Everybody’s talking ‘bout the new<br />

kid in town.” No! I’m not referring to<br />

me - I’m just deputising the editor’s<br />

role for this issue - I’m talking about the<br />

United Arab Emirates as a live music<br />

destination for big international acts.<br />

Abu Dhabi and Dubai have hosted some<br />

incredible crowd-pullers. Justin Bieber,<br />

Ed Sheeran, The Eagles, George Ezra,<br />

Coldplay, Rihanna, Bryan Adams, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez,<br />

Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, Sia, Pink and even the 500-mile walking<br />

Proclaimers have performed for eager expat crowds. The<br />

problem is; there’s only a short season in terms of being able<br />

to play outdoor venues. The heat makes it unbearable for the<br />

musicians … and the audience. In 2012, Madonna famously<br />

kept her Abu Dhabi audience waiting for 90 minutes before<br />

she came on stage. It was, she claimed, “too hot”. June?<br />

Outdoors? Hot? In a desert? No shit!<br />

Until recently, there were only a few indoor arenas that could<br />

accommodate big-names. Dubai’s World Trade Centre could<br />

be converted into a concert venue with a standing capacity<br />

of around 11,000. The stylish Dubai Opera (opened in 2016)<br />

has 2,000 seats and has hosted artists as diverse as Plácido<br />

Domingo, James Morrison and Rag’n’Bone Man. Yes, you read<br />

that correctly, it’s not only used for opera, ballet or classical.<br />

‘Bums on seats’ are valuable to any venue, anywhere in the world.<br />

The ‘new kid’ on Dubai music’s scene is a shiny new 17,000<br />

seater venue; the Cola-Cola Arena. With corporate boxes<br />

around the perimeter, it’s reminiscent of London’s O2. It’s<br />

the largest climate-controlled arena in the region and is the<br />

only arena of its kind between Istanbul and Singapore. Since<br />

its opening in June, Maroon 5, The 1975 and Westlife have<br />

performed to sell-out crowds.<br />

The UAE is no longer ‘just’ a stopover on the way to, or from,<br />

a tour Down Under; it’s now a specific destination and part<br />

of the touring schedule. There are major music venues, and<br />

some avid music lovers, of all ages and nationalities, ready to<br />

pay top Dirham to see their favourite artists. The Middle East<br />

is ready for music tourism; it’s ready to dance and sing-along.<br />

Enjoy the issue!<br />

Darren Haynes<br />




Diploma and Degree courses available<br />

Saturday school, half term workshops<br />

Study in a one of a kind environment<br />

More free bookable studios that any other institution<br />

Professional tutors direct from the music industry<br />

Mentoring and Artist development<br />

In house record labels<br />

Scholarships and bursaries available<br />

“This is obviously a great place. If you’re here you’re dedicated and this is<br />

a great environment for that. Dedicate yourself, this is the place to do it!”<br />

- Chad Smith / Red Hot Chilli Peppers<br />

don’t miss a beat... follow us now to keep up to date with all things ACM!<br />

acm_uk acm_uk acm_uk<br />




6 NEWS<br />

What’s in the music news across<br />

the UK and around the world<br />



17-year old, Billie Eilish wanted a pair of<br />

Nikes, now she can afford hundreds<br />

16 HEY GRANDUDE!<br />

Paul McCartney writes a children’s book<br />


Making it on her own without the help of her<br />

famous parents<br />

50<br />

44<br />

16<br />


For lovers of the long player<br />

30 HOW I WROTE...<br />

Why does it always rain on Fran Healy?<br />

34 ON THE RECORD<br />

BMI’s insider tips for songwriters<br />

34 HOW I WROTE...<br />

Friedman & Rich run to Whitney<br />


Is Latin music more popular than ever?<br />


Examining the most successful Spanish<br />

language song in pop music history<br />

58<br />


Meet the Colombian Reggaetón artist<br />


Five Peruvian musicians for your playlist<br />

48 BLOCKED!<br />

Getting over songwriter’s block<br />


Steps’ stomping songwriter<br />


Philosophical musician musings<br />


Dubai’s unsigned singing sensation<br />


Take That’s Gary Barlow gives us five<br />


Stats and facts behind PRS for <strong>Music</strong><br />


62 GET IT ON!<br />

Unstoppable Carter talks about his career in<br />

the music biz<br />




DISCOVER: Miss June<br />

Bad Luck Party (Frenchkiss Records, <strong>2019</strong>)<br />

Raised in the embers of punk rock and described as “some unholy union between<br />

Sonic Youth and Le Tigre,” the Auckland four-piece harness jagged, noisy guitars. The<br />

band has built a reputation for fierce, formidable and head-spinning live shows which<br />

have caught the attention of acts such as The Foo Fighters and Wolf Alice. Combining<br />

elements of post-punk, no-wave and rock, Miss June hold close to their DIY roots while<br />

creating a blistering, reckless sound full of melodic hooks and overdriven riffs.<br />

MERCURY PRIZE <strong>2019</strong><br />

The nominees for the<br />

<strong>2019</strong> Hyundai Mercury<br />

Prize were announced<br />

back in July, with<br />

Slowthai, Dave and The<br />

1975 all up for the title.<br />

It’s great to be nominated<br />

but even better to win.<br />

The prize will be awarded during a ceremony at the<br />

Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith London on<br />

19 <strong>September</strong> and broadcast on BBC Four at 9pm.<br />

Mercury facts<br />

• PJ Harvey is the only artist to have won the<br />

Mercury Prize twice, having won with Let England<br />

Shake in 2011 and Stories From The City, Stories<br />

From The Sea in 2001.<br />

• Radiohead have the most nominations ever<br />

with five, having never won, followed by Arctic<br />

Monkeys (one win) and PJ Harvey (two) with four<br />

in the 27 years the contest has been running.<br />

Mercury Prize nominees <strong>2019</strong><br />

Anna Calvi - Hunter<br />

Black Midi - Schlagenheim<br />

Cate Le Bon - Reward<br />

Dave - Psychodrama<br />

Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1<br />

Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel<br />

IDLES - Joy as an Act of Resistance<br />

Little Simz - Grey Area<br />

NAO - Saturn SEED Ensemble - Driftglass<br />

Slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain<br />

The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships<br />


NOW!<br />

The nominees for the<br />

<strong>2019</strong> Latin American<br />

<strong>Music</strong> Awards have been<br />

revealed. Ozuna leads<br />

the pack for the second<br />

consecutive year with nine<br />

nominations. The Puerto<br />

Rican artist is followed by<br />

Bad Bunny and Romeo<br />

Santos (8), Anuel AA (7) and Banda MS (5).<br />

The <strong>2019</strong> Latin AMAs nominees are based on key fan<br />

interactions with music, including sales, streaming<br />

and social activity.<br />

Sech, Lunay and Daddy Yanke posted on their social<br />

media to thank the fans for their support and to<br />

encourage them to vote.<br />

The awards will be broadcast live on Telemundo from the<br />

Dolby Theater in Hollywood on 17 October, 8pm (ET).<br />


Ellie Goulding has married art dealer Caspar Jopling.<br />

The 32-year-old arrived at York Minster in a blue<br />

Volkswagen camper van, where she was greeted by<br />

cheering fans.<br />

Celebrity friends and A-listers among the<br />

congregation included Katy Perry and her fiancé<br />

Orlando Bloom, Ed Sheeran, James Blunt, comedian<br />

Jimmy Carr, as well as Sarah, Duchess of York and<br />

her daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.<br />

6 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

FACE IT,<br />

BLONDIE!<br />

Iconic Blondie<br />

frontwoman, Debbie Harry,<br />

will release her first ever<br />

authorised memoir on<br />

1 October <strong>2019</strong>. The memoir<br />

entitled “FACE IT” will<br />

include Harry’s own personal,<br />

previously unseen photos<br />

as well as a curated section<br />

of fan art. It promises wild<br />

stories from the New York<br />

underground of the 1970s,<br />

to global superstardom and<br />

the creation of some of the<br />

most beloved pop songs of<br />

all-time.<br />




17-year-old singer, Billie Eilish, didn’t hold back on<br />

Instagram as she criticised a German magazine for<br />

posting a photoshopped image of her without permission.<br />

The Instagram post - which has since been deleted -<br />

showed her without any hair from the shoulders up, and<br />

with her skin looking metallic.<br />

Responding to the photo, Billie wrote: “What the f**k is<br />

this s**t.<br />

1. i was never approached by nylon about this piece<br />

whatever. i did not know it was happening nor did anyone<br />

on my team.<br />

2. this is not even a real picture of me. i had absolutely no<br />

creative input.<br />

3. youre gonna make a picture of me shirtless?? thats not<br />

real?? at 17? and make it the cover??? even if the picture<br />

was supposed to look like some robot version of me... i<br />

did not consent in any way.<br />


HAIR? booooooooooo to you (sic)”<br />

The US branch of the magazine has posted a statement<br />

apologising to Eilish. Taking to Twitter, they wrote: “Nylon<br />

America is a different company than Nylon Germany and<br />

we strongly disagree with their decision to appropriate<br />

Billie Eilish’s image without her consent. Nylon America<br />

is very sorry to Billie and her fans. We love Billie and<br />

everything she stands for. Her message to young women<br />

is important and we vow to continue to help spread it<br />

appropriately.”<br />



Gary Barlow and Dave Grohl are among the stars who will front<br />

programmes on a special pop-up DAB radio station celebrating the<br />

50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. The Beatles will<br />

be honoured as a group, as individual artists, and as songwriters.<br />

The four-day pop-up on BBC Radio 2, entitled Radio 2 Beatles, will<br />

be broadcast from <strong>September</strong> 26 to 29 from London’s Abbey Road<br />

Studios.<br />





On 29 November <strong>2019</strong>, Pink Floyd Records<br />

will release Pink Floyd The Later Years, an<br />

ultimate 16-disc set (5xCDs, 6xBlu-Rays,<br />

5xDVDs) covering the material created by<br />

David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard<br />

Wright from 1987 onwards.<br />

The period generated record sales of over<br />

40 million worldwide and included three studio<br />

albums: A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, The<br />

Division Bell and The Endless River as well as<br />

two live albums: Delicate Sound Of Thunder<br />

and Pulse. Throughout 1987 and 1988 the<br />

band’s live shows became the largestgrossing<br />

concert tour ever to that date and<br />

produced the critically acclaimed, Grammy<br />

Award nominated, Delicate Sound Of Thunder.<br />

The audio-visual package includes over 13<br />

hours of unreleased material, including the<br />

sought-after 1989 Venice Concert, performed<br />

on a floating stage in front of St Mark’s Square<br />

and the 1990 Knebworth concerts.<br />




Avicii is to be honoured with a<br />

star-studded tribute concert in his<br />

hometown of Stockholm, Sweden, on<br />

5 December.<br />

The 28-year-old musician, real name<br />

Tim Bergling, was found dead in<br />

Muscat, Oman on 20 April 2018, with<br />

his family later confirming he had taken<br />

his own life.<br />

According to Variety some of his most<br />

famous collaborators including Rita<br />

Ora, Aloe Blacc and Adam Lambert<br />

will celebrate the late dance star’s<br />

music with a tribute concert. All profits<br />

will go to organisations helping those<br />

with mental health needs and suicide<br />

prevention.<br />



Shakira’s In Concert: El Dorado World Tour<br />

will be brought to cinemas worldwide for a<br />

one-night event on November 13. The film is<br />

due to be shown in more than 2,000 theatres<br />

in over 60 countries, underlining Shakira’s<br />

status as a truly global icon.<br />

The film relives the show on the big screen,<br />

and through documentary footage and<br />

Shakira’s own words, highlights what it took to<br />

bring the career-highlight show to 22 countries<br />

and nearly a million fans, after having to<br />

postpone the entire tour due to a vocal cord<br />

injury in 2017.<br />

The Colombian singer-songwriter has sold<br />

over 60 million records worldwide and has<br />

won numerous awards including three<br />

Grammys and eleven Latin Grammys, to<br />

name a few. She is the only artist from South<br />

America to have a number one song in the US<br />

and has had four of the 20 top-selling hits of<br />

the last decade.<br />

Tickets are on-sale at Shakira.film<br />

8 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>


IN 2020<br />

Jon Bon Jovi has<br />

been working on a new<br />

album and said that<br />

it will be called “Bon<br />

Jovi: 2020”.<br />

Variety reported that<br />

he told fans during an<br />

intimate show on board<br />

his Runaway to Paradise Mediterranean<br />

cruise that its contents will carry “socially<br />

conscious” themes, inspired by today’s<br />

headlines. “It’s an election year, so why not?”<br />

he said. “I couldn’t do any worse.”<br />

During a Q&A session, a fan asked him which<br />

songs he wished he’d written. He said every<br />

tune by the Beatles, Born to Run’ by Bruce<br />

Springsteen, The Boys of Summer by Don<br />

Henley and Pride (In the Name of Love) by U2.<br />



Katherine<br />

Jenkins OBE,<br />

will perform at<br />

Dubai Opera<br />

for one night<br />

only on 22<br />

February 2020.<br />

Cherished as<br />

one of Britain’s<br />

all-time favourite<br />

singers, last<br />

year Katherine<br />

was officially<br />

crowned The No.1 selling ‘Classical<br />

<strong>Music</strong> Artist of the Last 25 Years’ by<br />

Classic FM. She has embarked upon<br />

numerous sold out tours and duetted with<br />

such names as Placido Domingo, Andrea<br />

Bocelli, José Carreras and Dame Kiri Te<br />

Kanawa, amongst others.<br />

REDISCOVER: Stevie Nicks<br />

Bella Donna (Modern, 1981)<br />

The 10-song, 42-minute album - Bella Donna - was released in the<br />

summer of 1981. It was the Fleetwood Mac singer’s first release as a solo<br />

performer and, to date, is her most successful album. The album has sold<br />

over four million copies in the US alone and spent nearly three years on<br />

the Billboard 200 from July 1981 to June 1984.<br />

For her debut solo effort, she teamed up with producer, Jimmy Iovine … in more ways than one. In the re-issued<br />

album’s liner notes, she says “Within half an hour, I knew: there was something happening between us. I knew<br />

that this was going to be a relationship, and this went way beyond any record we were going to make.”<br />

Don Henley, the E-Street Band’s Roy Bittan, Tom Petty and his Heartbreaker band mates, Mike Campbell and<br />

Benmont Tench were all drafted in to the project.<br />

The album spawned four singles, including a duet with Tom Petty (Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around) and the stand<br />

out track that would also become her signature song, Edge of Seventeen.<br />

Bella Donna reached number one on the US Billboard 200 and number eleven in the UK Album Chart. The album<br />

was also included in the “Greatest of All Time Billboard 200 Albums.”<br />

The name of the cockatoo on the front cover? Maxwellington. The bird belonged to her brother, Christopher, and also<br />

appeared with her on the Rolling Stones magazine cover when she was crowned “The Reigning Queen of Rock & Roll.”<br />




TEENA<br />

Photo_Justin Higuchi / Words_Decca Aitkenhead / The Sunday Times / The Interview People<br />

10 FEBRUARY SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />


GE KICKS<br />

Billie Eilish, the teen star, talks<br />

about therapy, her boyfriend and<br />

how sudden fame has altered her<br />

life — for better and for worse<br />

Words_Decca Aitkenhead<br />

all waiting for Billie Eilish, the singer<br />

We’re breathlessly described as the future of pop<br />

by everyone from The Wall Street Journal to The New<br />

Yorker, Rolling Stone to The Washington Post. Currently<br />

the third most streamed artist on Spotify, her debut album<br />

shot straight to the top of the Billboard 100, with 12 of its<br />

songs among the 14 she has in the US singles charts —<br />

an all-time record for a female artist. Its big hit, Bad Guy,<br />

reached No 1 in more than a dozen countries, her 2017<br />

debut EP has now been in the charts for more than 18<br />

months and she has more than 25m Instagram followers.<br />

Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana<br />

drummer, likens the buzz around her to “what was<br />

happening with Nirvana in 1991”. Her last world tour sold<br />

out, her current one soon will too. In June, she headlined<br />

Glastonbury.<br />

Eilish knows this is the stuff of teenage dreams, because<br />

she is all of 17 years old.<br />

Everything about her sounds fantastical — even her full<br />

name, Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell. The homeschooled<br />

daughter of jobbing LA actors began writing<br />

music at 11, and was 13 when she posted a recording on<br />

SoundCloud of herself singing Ocean Eyes, a haunting<br />

ballad written by her big brother, Finneas. Within weeks<br />

she’d been signed by professional management; by 14<br />

she was signed to a record label. In the words of The New<br />

York Times, her debut album — When We All Fall Asleep,<br />

Where Do We Go? — “redefines teen pop stardom”.<br />

She sings about Xanax, unrequited love and adolescent<br />

envy in a husky slur of a voice, her genre-defying music<br />

looping effortlessly from ethereal acoustic to explosive<br />

electronica. She co-writes all her songs with Finneas,<br />




now 21, who records and produces them in<br />

his childhood bedroom in the modest twobed<br />

LA home Eilish still shares with her mum<br />

and dad. She designs her own merchandise,<br />

controls her own styling, curates her own<br />

videos — but is still technically a child. At an<br />

awards ceremony earlier this year, a camera<br />

caught her sucking on a lollipop.<br />

Eilish is by a long way the coolest human<br />

being I have ever met. The simultaneous<br />

nonchalance and polish with which she<br />

poses for the camera is breathtaking; she<br />

has that mysterious quality of otherness<br />

that makes stardom look less like ambition<br />

than destiny. She is clever, self-aware and<br />

socially conscious, fortified by a self-belief<br />

too impregnable to be<br />

mistaken for conceit.<br />

Yet she can also be<br />

charmingly naive and<br />

contradictory, just like<br />

any other child, and<br />

at lunch sits gawkily<br />

cross-legged on a<br />

sofa, burping loudly,<br />

and accidentally drops<br />

a diamond into her<br />

scrambled tofu.<br />

She still hasn’t got used to the thrill of getting<br />

stuff free. “It’s crazy. Jewellery, clothes,<br />

shoes, nails — you can just get it. That’s f******<br />

dope! If I knew that when I was 11?” Her<br />

eyes widen. “All I wanted was a pair of Nikes,<br />

and I couldn’t afford them. And now I have<br />

hundreds in my house. Unreal.” Yet she can’t<br />

nip out for groceries without being mobbed,<br />

and needs a security team to go anywhere in<br />

public.<br />

When I turned 16,<br />

I died, and I got<br />

reincarnated as<br />

Billie Eilish<br />

Has her internal world altered along with her<br />

external reality? She laughs. “Something<br />

people say is, ‘I’m still the same me.’ I feel<br />

like, no, you’re not. You really are not. Not at<br />

all. How could you be? I honestly feel like I’m<br />

a different person. You know when you see<br />

stories about little kids who’ve had past lives?<br />

I feel like that. I remember everything about<br />

who I was, but I don’t recognise that person<br />

any more. Around when I turned 16, I died,<br />

and I got reincarnated as Billie Eilish.”<br />

What makes her meteoric rise so remarkable<br />

is its defiance of the orthodoxy about<br />

mainstream musical tastes. The music<br />

industry operates on the assumption that<br />

children want shiny bubblegum pop and<br />

commodified sex appeal<br />

— but Eilish’s work is<br />

borderline arthouse,<br />

often dark and always<br />

singular. How did she<br />

know that was what they<br />

really wanted? “I wasn’t<br />

creating ‘my brand’ or<br />

trying to break the rules.<br />

I wasn’t doing something<br />

to make kids like me. I<br />

just literally did what I<br />

wanted. That’s the only reason it worked.”<br />

Her appeal extends far beyond her teen<br />

fanbase; everywhere I travelled in the week<br />

after we met, people kept telling me how<br />

much they loved her. To be equally popular<br />

with a middle-aged Jamaican estate agent, a<br />

Swedish logistics manager and a Wall Street<br />

banker, without trying to please anyone, is<br />

a feat beyond the wildest dreams of most<br />

marketing professionals, and Eilish pulled it<br />

off without compromise. I wonder if she’d be<br />

a Billie Eilish fan too, were she someone else,<br />

and she grins.<br />

“I spend so much time thinking about that.<br />

If I saw me I’d think, oh my God, she’s<br />

dope. Like, look at her outfit, dude! I think I<br />

would think I was so cool. But I would also<br />

think I was really annoying.” Because? “I<br />

have always hated people who are like me.<br />

Whenever I meet someone with a similar<br />

personality to me, I think, ‘Eeww, shut up!’ I<br />

just always wanted to be the only one doing<br />

me.”<br />

Does she ever doubt her own creative<br />

judgment? She shakes her head. “I’ve always<br />

just known what I wanted. Always. The only<br />

time it was different was when I was 11 and 12,<br />

12 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

What do you expect<br />

from a 15-year-old’s<br />

mouth? To not say a<br />

bunch of dumb shit?<br />

when I tried to be like everyone else. I tried<br />

to fit in. I remember shopping at the stores<br />

where other people shop, I started talking<br />

different, I tried to change my laugh, because<br />

I always had a deeper voice. It was the<br />

worst year ever. It made me miserable, and<br />

it also made me annoying, because it wasn’t<br />

authentic. But that year I thought, oh my God,<br />

I have to be someone else, because I am the<br />

worst.”<br />

I’m fascinated by how her fame must have<br />

altered the family dynamic. The four are so<br />

close that until Finneas turned 10, they all<br />

used to share one bed — but he is now her<br />

producer, her dad is her stage lighting director<br />

and her mum is her assistant. In other words,<br />

they all work for the youngest in the family —<br />

so who is in charge? “I’m in charge,” she says<br />

firmly. “But then I’ve always been in charge.<br />

That sounds annoying, but I was just bossy as<br />

f***. I’ve always been the boss.” The prospect<br />

of turning 18 in December and assuming full<br />

legal control of her career doesn’t faze her<br />

one bit. “Now I think I could handle it. I can’t<br />

do this for ever with my family, and I wouldn’t<br />

want to, and I don’t think they would want to.”<br />

Control matters so much, and success has<br />

come at such a pace, that Eilish is already<br />

chafing against the constraints of the public<br />

image she herself created. She used to enjoy<br />

people finding her intimidating, “But over time<br />

it’s kind of become a thing, ‘Billie Eilish, the<br />

creepy, weird, scary girl.’ And I don’t like that.<br />

It’s lame. I just don’t want to stay one thing.”<br />

Photo_MTV International<br />

The trouble is, people take everything she<br />

says for some sort of fixed ideological<br />

position. “People are like, ‘Oh, Billie Eilish, she<br />

said this and now she says this.’ I’m like, bro!<br />

I was 13 when all this started. What do you<br />

expect from a 15-year-old’s mouth? To not<br />

say a bunch of dumb shit?”<br />

Everyone inferred from the Vanity Fair videos<br />

that fame had already ruined her. “And I’m<br />

like, bro, no! The first one was shot on a day<br />

when I had a photoshoot, I had glam hair, I<br />

had just eaten. The second one, I had just<br />

woken up, so looked tired. It wasn’t like, I was<br />

happy and now the industry has destroyed<br />

me. No, the industry is great! This is all I ever<br />

wanted to do.”<br />

Of course, success is not uncomplicated.<br />

She’s had no time to write anything new since<br />

November — and knows it’s going to be hard<br />

to keep writing relatable songs when “literally<br />

nothing about my life is normal any more”.<br />

Eighteen months ago she would have said<br />

she had at least 15 truly close friends. “Maybe<br />

more. Dude, I used to have friends on friends<br />

on friends on friends. I was popular as hell.”<br />

And now? The smile fades. “One. Two.” I ask<br />

what happened. Her voice drops unhappily. “I<br />

don’t know. People don’t like my job. I can’t<br />

tell anyone about it. Because either it sounds<br />

like I’m bragging, or it sounds like I’m being<br />

ungrateful. I’ve started going to therapy,<br />

because it’s the only person I can talk to.”<br />

Has trust become a problem? “A huge one.<br />

Some really close friends last year that I<br />

thought I could trust completely just used the<br />

f*** out of my name. And then complained<br />

about it. I was like, what are y’all doing? I<br />

don’t know who to trust any more.” For a<br />

while she worried, too, about how to know<br />

if a boy was really interested in her or ‘Billie<br />

Eilish’. “But I think I nailed that,” she grins. “I<br />

know I’ve got somebody who is not like that.”<br />

She has a boyfriend? “Mm-hmm,” she nods<br />

happily. “But no one else knows that.”<br />




14 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

w w w . g l a s s i n g . a e<br />




Photo_ Raph_PH / Words_Alex O’Connell / The Times / The Interview People<br />

16 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

HEY<br />


The musician talks about being a grandfather<br />

to eight, the impact of knife crime in London —<br />

and his new children’s book, <strong>Hey</strong> Grandude!<br />

Words_Alex O’Connell<br />

Paul<br />

McCartney is a grandude<br />

on a mission. Now 77,<br />

he has just finished a tour of North<br />

America, is back writing songs and<br />

busy turning the film It’s a Wonderful<br />

Life into his first Broadway musical.<br />

More surprisingly, he has written<br />

a bedtime story, <strong>Hey</strong> Grandude!,<br />

a picture book about a magical<br />

grandad who takes his grandchildren<br />

on adventures.<br />

After a day’s work in the studio in<br />

London, he calls me as he’s driving<br />

along the Thames, apologising for<br />

the poor reception. “Yeah, this is<br />

Paul,” he says, the fuzz on the line<br />

like the distortion you get when a<br />

whammy bar is placed next to an<br />

amplifier. “I hope the signal holds.<br />

So let’s get going!” he says.<br />

Why write books for babes when<br />

your own children are grown up?<br />

Heather, the daughter of Linda —<br />

and Paul’s adopted daughter — is<br />

56. Mary, Stella and James, his<br />

children with Linda, are 49, 47 and<br />

41, and even his youngest child,<br />

Beatrice, with his former wife,<br />

Heather Mills, is 15.<br />

“I’ve got eight grandchildren of<br />

my own,” says McCartney. Mary<br />

and Stella have four children each,<br />

whose ages range from 7 to 20.<br />

“One day one of them just said,<br />

‘Grandude, can you do this?’ and<br />

it kind of stuck — the kids started<br />

calling me that for a joke and I<br />

thought, ‘Well, it is kind of funny.’<br />

It’s a nice old thing, so I wrote<br />

some stories about the character<br />

Grandude.”<br />

Scribbling a children’s book is a<br />

different process to songwriting and<br />

McCartney, who has written more<br />

than 500 songs in his lifetime, felt<br />

somewhat liberated. “It’s different<br />

because with lyrics you are thinking<br />

of fitting them to music, they’re<br />

more like poetry,” he says. “In this<br />

case, you are just telling a yarn, so<br />

there are not so many structural<br />

constrictions, you can go anywhere<br />

you want.”<br />

In the 32-page book, illustrated by<br />

Kathryn Durst, Grandude, a twinklyeyed<br />

adventurer with a white beard<br />

and sandals, takes the grandchildren<br />

— “the Chillers” — on epic voyages<br />

with the help of a magic compass.<br />

“It’s really just a little bedtime book<br />

kinda thing.” McCartney has form as<br />

the king of understatement having<br />

famously calling the Beatles a “great<br />

little band”.<br />

What sort of a grandad is he? The<br />

sort who parachutes in when there’s<br />

a childcare crisis? “Er, no,” he says.<br />

“The main time I am with them is<br />

on holiday. We have a couple of<br />




Photo_ Kubacheck<br />

holidays every year with<br />

them.” Earlier in the month<br />

he was in the Hamptons,<br />

where McCartney has a<br />

family house and Stella has<br />

a cottage. “That is mainly<br />

when I read to them.”<br />

One of the reasons he wrote<br />

the book, he says, was to<br />

have something to read to<br />

the grandchildren. “I’m not<br />

stuffed with kids’ books, I<br />

did all of that. So now, when<br />

the kids come to stay, I<br />

have grown-up books, you<br />

know?”<br />

One evening when the<br />

grandchildren were over he<br />

was so desperate that he<br />

turned to poetry.“I had to<br />

read to the kids that night so<br />

I looked for a suitable poem<br />

and hoped that it was suitable<br />

for bedtime.” He chose an<br />

E.E. Cummings anthology and<br />

started on May I Feel Said He.<br />

McCartney chuckles. “But<br />

as I went through it, it<br />

became more and more<br />

inappropriate. It was a little<br />

raunchy, you know, and the<br />

kids loved it, of course. And<br />

I thought, ‘I don’t know this<br />

poem!’ — well, I knew it, but<br />

I didn’t know exactly how it<br />

went. It’s kind of a boy and<br />

a girl talking. It’s this little<br />

romantic, flirting thing going<br />

on. The kids were giggling<br />

as I was digging a hole for<br />

myself. It was fun and the<br />

joke is that they keep asking<br />

for it every year. ‘Grandude,<br />

read the poem!’ they say.<br />

That’s why I did the book,<br />

I haven’t got many kids’<br />

books left any more.”<br />

McCartney does not recall<br />

being read to as a child,<br />

growing up in Liverpool with<br />

his mother, Mary, a maternity<br />

nurse, and father, James, a<br />

cotton salesman and jazz<br />

pianist. “I didn’t know my<br />

grandparents, they died<br />

before I was born, either on<br />

my mum’s side or my dad’s<br />

side,” he says.<br />

“My mum and dad weren’t<br />

the reading-to-children<br />

type, my dad had fixed up<br />

headphones in the bedroom<br />

which went to the radio<br />

so we listened to the radio<br />

instead of reading a book.”<br />

Radio Luxembourg was his<br />

Enid Blyton.<br />

“It was only when I grew up<br />

and had kids of my own that<br />

I thought to read to them,<br />

and they loved it, things like<br />

Narnia [The Lion, the Witch<br />

and the Wardrobe by CS<br />

Lewis], the famous ones...<br />

Harry Potter was too late,<br />

Lord of the Rings was too<br />

heavy and complicated,<br />

18 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

more like How to Catch<br />

a Star [a picture book by<br />

Oliver Jeffers].<br />

Once he could read,<br />

McCartney remembers<br />

tucking in to Treasure Island<br />

by Robert Louis Stevenson<br />

(“I was given that as a kid”)<br />

and Anna Sewell’s classic<br />

Black Beauty, “which<br />

was lovely”. “I was also<br />

given [John Bunyan’s] The<br />

Pilgrim’s Progress, which<br />

I didn’t get on with. It was<br />

one of my aunties who was<br />

trying to educate me and<br />

cleanse my soul,” he says<br />

with a laugh. Not much<br />

chance of that.<br />

I tell him that I like how his<br />

Grandude is not afraid to<br />

put the kids in challenging<br />

situations; a two-fingers<br />

up to risk-averse culture.<br />

McCartney pauses to<br />

consider. “I agree with<br />

you,” he says, “but it wasn’t<br />

conscious. I didn’t really<br />

worry about<br />

whether it was<br />

PC or not. They<br />

just had fun.<br />

It’s a rainy day,<br />

they are bored<br />

and grumpy,<br />

they discover<br />

that Grandude is<br />

magic and has<br />

this compass<br />

where he can<br />

take them to<br />

all the places<br />

on the postcard. The other<br />

important thing for me was<br />

that it wasn’t too long,<br />

because some of these<br />

stories go on for ever and<br />

you are asleep before the<br />

kids are. And I wanted it to<br />

end with the kids going to<br />

bed to get them nice and<br />

sleepy.”<br />

He says he was never going<br />

to produce a dystopian<br />

door-stopper. “When I<br />

started writing it, it fell off<br />

the end of the pencil, I was<br />

just having fun. I thought,<br />

‘Wait a minute, I don’t want<br />

to get too serious about<br />

this.’ I am not a children’s<br />

author, I am a songwriter and<br />

a performer kinda thing.”<br />

Kinda thing? “I just wanted it<br />

to remain loose.”<br />

The grandchildren have<br />

given their seal of approval.<br />

“They have read it<br />

themselves. They like it, I<br />

am very glad to say.” He is<br />

not reinventing himself as a<br />

children’s author, however.<br />

“I don’t want to become the<br />

eyeball of David Walliams,”<br />

he says, archly. “It’s too<br />

much like work.”<br />

Parenting, he says, is far<br />

harder than grandparenting.<br />

“You are less responsible.<br />

The parents are going to<br />

say how much screen time<br />

they can have and see to<br />

it that they go to bed on<br />

time. You [as a grandparent]<br />

don’t have to bother with<br />

that. I like the babysitting<br />

“Wait a minute, I don’t want to<br />

get too serious about this.’ I am<br />

not a children’s author, I am a<br />

songwriter and a performer”<br />

thing because you can spoil<br />

the kids a bit. I picked up a<br />

rug in America, that says:<br />

‘Grandchildren spoilt here!’ ”<br />

He says he was always<br />

pretty laid-back about a bit<br />

of rough and tumble. “My<br />

kids always used to climb<br />

over the sofa and jump<br />

behind and off, sometimes<br />

they would fall, but you<br />

just cross your fingers and<br />

think, ‘I hope they don’t<br />

hurt themselves.’ By and<br />

large they didn’t and they<br />

learnt how to fall, it was<br />

Photo_Oli Gill<br />

good for their physical wellbeing.<br />

I think if you are too<br />

mollycoddled then it can be<br />

dangerous because if you<br />

are in a situation where you<br />

need to react quickly you’re<br />

not ready for it. So I gave<br />

them quite a bit of physical<br />

freedom.”<br />

I congratulate him on his<br />

adult children<br />

and their<br />

achievements:<br />

Heather, the<br />

artist; Mary, the<br />

photographer;<br />

Stella, the<br />

fashion<br />

designer;<br />

and James,<br />

the musician.<br />

They appear<br />

grounded — no<br />

mean feat. “Well that’s nice<br />

of you to say that, thanks,”<br />

he says. “We certainly tried<br />

to not have spoilt brats<br />

and tried to treat them like<br />

most of their schoolmates.<br />

I remember asking the<br />

other parents, ‘What do<br />

you give the kids for pocket<br />

money?’ I didn’t want to go<br />

any higher than they were.<br />

Our kids weren’t Little Lord<br />

Fauntleroys. [He puts on<br />

a toffee-nosed voice] “Oh,<br />

I get £20!” They are great<br />

kids, they have their feet on<br />

the ground, so that’s nice.”<br />




I ask him about his<br />

grandchildren’s generation<br />

and the challenges they face.<br />

McCartney is optimistic.<br />

“I think you have to take<br />

it as it comes. When we<br />

were kids it was a different<br />

set of dangers. You know,<br />

internationally, Suez was<br />

happening when I was a<br />

kid and you would hear the<br />

parents talking about it, but<br />

I didn’t care at all. I thought,<br />

‘It is nothing to do with me.’<br />

He’s more concerned about<br />

environmental issues and<br />

knife crime, although he<br />

thinks young people are<br />

managing.<br />

“The situation in the big<br />

cities is more<br />

dangerous. While<br />

there are more<br />

reports of tragedies<br />

happening, the kids I<br />

know just kind of get<br />

on with it.”<br />

He tells me that one<br />

of his grandchildren,<br />

he won’t say which, was<br />

mugged at knifepoint<br />

recently.<br />

“In London, one of my<br />

grandkids, one of my older<br />

grandkids, was mugged<br />

and got his phone taken.<br />

That takes me back to<br />

my childhood when I was<br />

mugged in Liverpool, so I<br />

am able to talk to him. He<br />

was saying the worst thing<br />

was that he should have just<br />

thumped the guy; he came<br />

back and felt a coward. I<br />

said, ‘No, no, no, no! The<br />

guy had a knife and you<br />

don’t know, the guy might be<br />

able to use that knife.’ So it<br />

is scary these days.”<br />

He explains what happened<br />

to him in Liverpool, all those<br />

years ago. “When I was a<br />

kid it was four guys and they<br />

nicked my watch. I was of a<br />

similar age. I just happened<br />

to be on my own, bigger kids<br />

came along and it was the<br />

same feeling. [I thought at<br />

the time] ‘I have got to learn<br />

karate and be a black belt —<br />

and then I’ll get ’em!’ It was<br />

the worst thing.”<br />

McCartney is reluctant<br />

to say that the world has<br />

become more perilous.<br />

“Each generation has their<br />

own set of dangers so you<br />

do your best, and hopefully<br />

come through it, and show<br />

them kindness and love and<br />

try to show them the good<br />

things in life and” — he<br />

pauses, ever the pro, pulling<br />

the subject back to the book<br />

— “and reading to kids at<br />

bedtime is part of it.”<br />

“Each generation has their<br />

own set of dangers so you do<br />

your best, and hopefully come<br />

through it<br />

Yet books must compete<br />

with screen time. McCartney<br />

understands this and says<br />

he would have been a<br />

gamer if he was growing up<br />

now. “There’s no ignoring<br />

them, they are here to stay,”<br />

he says. “Once kids have<br />

got great video games they<br />

are gonna want to play<br />

them. If I was a kid these<br />

days I’d be the same. What<br />

I notice is that some parents<br />

limit the amount of time.<br />

‘OK, you can have two hours<br />

on a Saturday morning and<br />

that’s it.’ The kids<br />

have been upset,<br />

but that is too bad.<br />

It’s like when I was<br />

a kid, you can’t<br />

stay out till 11pm<br />

playing football,<br />

you have to come<br />

in and go to bed.<br />

It’s a whole different<br />

world — I think that<br />

is what everyone is dealing<br />

with — it’s just a new set of<br />

challenges.” He puts on a<br />

mock-advertiser’s voice. “So<br />

I suggest that you just get<br />

hold of <strong>Hey</strong> Grandude! and<br />

read it instead!<br />

20 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>





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but since 25 March <strong>2019</strong>, BASCA has become The Ivors Academy.<br />

Find out more about how we support, protect and represent music<br />

creators in the UK, and join us today.<br />

ivorsacademy.com<br />




Mabel is having the kind of career<br />

that most young stars could only<br />

dream of, with a clutch of top 10 hits,<br />

a Brit nomination and a major US TV<br />

performance already under her belt.<br />

The British singer-songwriter talks<br />

about releasing her hotly-anticipated<br />

debut album after years of hard work,<br />

how she made it on her own without<br />

the help of her famous music star<br />

parents and why she relishes feeling<br />

nervous.<br />

Words_ Lucy Mapstone<br />


HIGH<br />


a Calvin Klein crop<br />

Wearing top and matching<br />

cycling shorts with a cardigan slung over<br />

the top, Mabel laughs at the suggestion that<br />

style is important to her.<br />

I’ve just asked her how much her<br />

appearance means to her as a music artist,<br />

because she’s clearly got a defined image -<br />

just a brief glance over her Instagram feed<br />

shows she favours a 90s-inspired look of<br />

colourful tracksuits with a feminine glam<br />

22 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

“You know what, though, it is important to<br />

me,” she adds, confirming that she loves the<br />

idea of boyish sexiness and is inspired by the<br />

likes of 90s urban icons Aaliyah and TLC.<br />

She laughs and smiles genuinely, talking at<br />

an excitable speed as we sit in Peckham<br />

Levels, a former multi-storey car park in<br />

south-east London that was converted into<br />

an event space. The uber-trendy but casually<br />

cool venue seems the ideal setting for a<br />

chat with one of this country’s hottest rising<br />

young stars.<br />

“I know all of the things<br />

that are making me tired<br />

are paying off”<br />

edge while rocking what appears to be a<br />

different hairstyle every day.<br />

Almost make-up free yet enviably glowing,<br />

she jokes: “I mean, looking down at my very,<br />

very raggedy outfit right now, I’m like, errrr!?”<br />

Photo_ Harald Krichel / Words_Lucy Mapstone / PA / The Interview People<br />

The 23-year-old singer-songwriter has made<br />

waves in the music industry since dropping<br />

her debut single Know Me Better in 2015,<br />

before bursting onto the mainstream with<br />

breakout hit Finders Keepers in 2017.<br />

The R&B and pop artist with a voice like<br />

honey - the daughter of Swedish singer<br />

Neneh Cherry and British record producer<br />

Cameron McVey (her full name is Mabel<br />

McVey) - has seen her star rise since<br />

the release of her debut EP Bedroom<br />

and mixtape Ivy To Roses in 2017. She’s<br />

already got a handful of hit singles and<br />

collaborations under her belt, she has nearly<br />

20 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and<br />

earlier this year she bagged a Brit nomination<br />

for British Breakthrough Act.<br />

But her tropical house-inspired single Don’t<br />

Call Me Up, released earlier this year, is<br />

perhaps her biggest triumph yet.<br />

The catchy track debuted at number 11<br />

before climbing to number three, making it<br />




her highest-charting song to date. It was<br />

recently certified by the Official Charts<br />

Company as the sixth biggest-selling single<br />

of <strong>2019</strong> so far, and the biggest single by a<br />

British female artist.<br />

We’re speaking the day after she heard the<br />

good news and she’s still stunned about it,<br />

wide-eyed and animated.<br />

She reveals she was exhausted and in<br />

the middle of a busy work day when her<br />

manager showed it to her.<br />

“I was like, that’s how I’m getting through<br />

today because that’s an incredible<br />

achievement and I’m going think about that<br />

any time I feel really tired,” she explains.<br />

“It’s the best thing, because then you know<br />

all of these things that are making me tired<br />

are paying off.”<br />

Following years of hard work, growing<br />

success and tiring schedules, Mabel has<br />

unleashed her long-awaited debut album on<br />

the world, High Expectations.<br />

“It’s been a two-year process making this<br />

record - I’ve really put everything into it,” she<br />

says.<br />

“Some of the songs are old to me now and<br />

I’ve been performing them live for a while,<br />

but I can’t wait for people to sing them<br />

back to me. It is nerve-racking and quite<br />

emotional because I’m really attached to it;<br />

it’s been my identity in many ways for the<br />

last few years. It’s been my purpose.”<br />

Mabel reckons the record was the making of<br />

her, both as an artist and as a young woman.<br />

Writing it encouraged her to delve deep into<br />

her psyche, as well as confront her battle<br />

with anxiety, something that has plagued her<br />

for years.<br />

“It was really difficult for me to write my song<br />

OK (Anxiety Anthem) because it was about<br />

dealing with my anxiety and looking at it in a<br />

positive light,” she says.<br />

“I always say it took a day to write the song,<br />

but the actual process was longer than the<br />

making of the whole album, because it’s<br />

about me actually coming to terms with my<br />

anxiety.”<br />

Having addressed her issues, she<br />

acknowledges she is in a better place now<br />

but still has to deal with nerves, particularly<br />

before a live performance.<br />

However, she considers that sick-to-thestomach<br />

feeling to be a positive.<br />

“I get nervous but that’s because I care,” she<br />

notes. “Nerves are really good; I just love<br />

every single person that’s out in the crowd<br />

so much and I just want to give them the<br />

best show possible, so I hope the nerves<br />

never leave me.”<br />

However, as nerve-racking as a gig might<br />

be, nothing compares to performing on<br />

television in front of an audience of millions.<br />

Mabel shakes her head, smiling as she<br />

recalls making her debut on US TV earlier<br />

this year on The Tonight Show with Jimmy<br />

Fallon.<br />

24 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

“It was the most nervous I have ever<br />

been in my life,” she confesses,<br />

adding that her stint on Graham<br />

Norton’s UK show earlier this year<br />

was another real pinch-me moment.<br />

“It’s scary because I’ve watched both<br />

of those shows and like, when you<br />

have watched something and then you’re<br />

standing somewhere where a big artist has<br />

stood, and it’s your turn, those things live<br />

forever.<br />

“And I have a tendency to catastrophise<br />

and be like, ‘this could happen or that’, and<br />

what’s crazy is that when they actually start,<br />

I’m like, ‘Of course I can do this. I spent two<br />

days spooking myself but here I am standing<br />

here and doing it.’”<br />

She says she was “having a meltdown”<br />

before going on Fallon’s show, though,<br />

because she thought she would embarrass<br />

herself in front of “the whole world”.<br />

“It’s been a two-year<br />

process making this<br />

record - I’ve really put<br />

everything into it.”<br />

“But at the same time, I’m really proud of<br />

what they’ve accomplished, and I’ve got to<br />

a point with it where it’s not embarrassing<br />

to talk about and it’s not going to take<br />

away from me as an artist, because they’re<br />

amazing people that have accomplished<br />

incredible things.”<br />

She adds: “With the confidence I have now,<br />

it doesn’t bother me as much.<br />

“I feel confident in what I’m making and<br />

what I’m doing, and I know that it’s not<br />

because of them.”<br />

“Sometimes it’s easy to get impostor<br />

syndrome and think, ‘Oh my God I am not<br />

supposed to be here, everybody can see<br />

that, blah blah blah.’ But it’s important to<br />

have those moments when you stress,<br />

because it then makes the highs feel so<br />

much higher.”<br />

Clearly driven and ambitious to her core with<br />

a work ethic to rival any pop star who has<br />

been in the game for decades, Mabel is keen<br />

to make it known that she got to this point<br />

by herself - she did not use her parents as a<br />

step-up into the industry, although she says<br />

they do offer her all the support she needs to<br />

make her career her own.<br />

“I used to be really afraid that my parents<br />

were the only thing that people were going to<br />

care about and, to be honest, I’ve just spent<br />

years at interviews going, ‘Shall we just call<br />

in my mum?’” she laughs.<br />

“It’s frustrating when you’re making good<br />

music and you’re working hard. You’re just<br />

like, why are we talking about this?<br />





ALBUM<br />


2018 witnessed the 70th<br />

anniversary of the LP, the<br />

‘long player’, also known<br />

as the album. For people<br />

of a certain age and for<br />

vinyl junkies, the album is<br />

everything.<br />

takes a look at the<br />

music format that is making<br />

a comeback.<br />

Words_Darren Haynes<br />

Long<br />

before the days of streaming,<br />

people of a certain age (me<br />

included) would buy an album and listen to<br />

it, in its entirety, only pausing to flip the black<br />

vinyl and drop the stylus on to the second<br />

side. The introduction of tape cassettes<br />

and CDs meant that we didn’t even need<br />

to do that. Play, listen and connect to the<br />

artist through their music. No cherry picking<br />

favourite tracks or skipping the filler songs:<br />

simple, passive aural pleasure.<br />

But when is an album considered an album?<br />

In the pre-digital era, an album was classified<br />

as such by its physical limitations. Vinyl<br />

LPs (long players) became popular in the<br />

1950s. Before this, 10” singles on shellac or<br />

26 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

7” singles on vinyl, with one song on each<br />

side were the norm. The standard album<br />

length was around 30-45 minutes, simply<br />

because that’s how much music could be<br />

etched into the grooves on the vinyl.<br />

Cassette tapes allowed more time for<br />

music (up to 45 minutes on each side) but<br />

cassettes were only an alternative format<br />

to their vinyl counterpart. It wasn’t until<br />

the introduction of the compact disc in the<br />

1980s that the game changed. The CD<br />

allowed 74+ minutes of recorded audio.<br />

The advent of CD technology also allowed<br />

for album tracks to be selected out of<br />

sequence … or even skipped altogether.<br />

Elbow<br />

“Some artists see the album as<br />

a collection of short stories, we<br />

see the album as a novel. Songs<br />

are often included or omitted on<br />

account of the balance of the<br />

overall record rather than on their<br />

individual merits. We looked forward<br />

to our B-sides album from the day<br />

we wrote our first B-side and we<br />

had its title, Dead in the Boot, very<br />

soon after we titled the first album<br />

Asleep in the Back.<br />




Lewis Capaldi:<br />

“Unreal to have finally released my<br />

debut album this year & find out<br />

that not everyone hates it! On the<br />

whole I’m very proud of it, although<br />

I won’t lie there’s probably a few<br />

stinkers on there, but I’m only<br />

human. Hope you don’t hate it but<br />

if you do don’t worry, it’s only my<br />

life’s work.”<br />

UK album 300X30: My Life As A<br />

Playlist, released on<br />

22 March <strong>2019</strong>.<br />

Albums remain popular in the<br />

UK. In 2018, 143m albums were<br />

either streamed, purchased or<br />

downloaded, representing a 6<br />

percent rise on the year before.<br />

Technology changed the ingrained music<br />

culture of listening to an album in its entirety<br />

and our attention spans got shorter.<br />

According to Apple <strong>Music</strong>, the criteria for the<br />

body of work to be considered an album, is<br />

seven or more tracks OR one to six tracks<br />

with a running time in excess of 30 minutes.<br />

Compare Kanye West’s Ye album with seven<br />

tracks, 23m 41s in length versus Drake’s<br />

lengthy 89m 73s double album, Scorpion,<br />

with 25 tracks. Both albums sold well on<br />

both sides of the Atlantic.<br />

There could be a case for saying that less is<br />

more. The Guinness World Records website<br />

reports that the digital album with the most<br />

songs is a bloated 298 tracks, and was<br />

achieved by The Pocket Gods with their<br />

To prove the point, the UK’s<br />

second National Album Day<br />

will be honoured with events<br />

and activities on Saturday 12<br />

October <strong>2019</strong> to “celebrate the<br />

UK’s love for the album and the<br />

craft that goes into making this<br />

culturally significant body of<br />

work”.<br />

The theme, Don’t Skip, follows the notion<br />

that to truly discover the joy of an album -<br />

both new and classic - you need to listen<br />

to an album, as a complete body of work.<br />

In the old days of album creation, track<br />

sequencing was a serious matter, taking the<br />

listener on an aural ‘journey’. If it wasn’t the<br />

artist as part of their own artistic storytelling<br />

(or contract), it would be the record exec<br />

who would decide the order of the songs.<br />

Whether you’re a cherry-picker or a full<br />

length long-player listener, one element<br />

holds true. Each track has involved,<br />

creativity, skill, technique and a thought<br />

process; it deserves the chance to be heard,<br />

again and again. Don’t skip it.<br />

28 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

Top 10 best-selling<br />

albums of all time<br />

Source: Wikipedia<br />

Mahalia<br />

“I’ve been an ‘album girl’ ever since I was<br />

a kid. I’ve always been more interested in a<br />

40 minute listen over a 4 minute one. I think<br />

it came from the way my parents used to<br />

play music around the house and put on<br />

different albums at dinner, when I really got<br />

into listening to full projects whilst eating<br />

together and talking about our days. I found<br />

it comforting then and I still do now.<br />

“I see myself as an ‘album artist, which in<br />

my world means timeless music that you<br />

don’t skip past. I want to make whole pieces<br />

of work that other little girls like me find<br />

comfort in listening to; a 40 to 60 minute<br />

dreamland where they can be away from the<br />

world. Streaming has changed everything. I<br />

want the kids younger than me to feel about<br />

albums how I did.”<br />

Mark Ronson<br />

“The other day I was feeling down, wandering through<br />

Brooklyn with no direction home, and I happened across<br />

the WFMU record fair. I spent A LOT of my 20’s in record<br />

fairs, but hadn’t been to one in a while. Instantly the<br />

sight of all the records, mostly in bins, some tacked onto<br />

make-shift cardboard dividers, lifted my entire mood. The<br />

infinite possibility of stumbling across some random 60’s<br />

psych record or a rare soul record I had never heard of<br />

felt so invigorating. All the dealers with their crazy, wildly<br />

nerdy knowledge. This community of people who existed<br />

around this one thing – the album. I was so happy to be<br />

a part of that. The album has brought me pure joy since<br />

I was old enough to remember. I don’t think it will ever<br />

stop doing that.”<br />




Photo_ Alterna2<br />

HOW I WROTE...<br />



30 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

The Glaswegian frontman talks about piecing<br />

together their precipitative breakthrough hit single<br />

in the arid climes of the Middle East and Spain.<br />

Words_Aaron Slater<br />

in Glasgow in<br />

Formed 1990, Travis are<br />

a Scottish rock band comprising<br />

singer-songwriter Fran Healy,<br />

bassist Dougie Payne, lead guitarist<br />

Andy Dunlop and drummer Neil<br />

Primrose. The group is widely<br />

claimed as having paved the way<br />

for other bands such as Keane<br />

and Coldplay to go on to achieve<br />

worldwide success throughout<br />

the 2000s, particularly through the<br />

band’s second studio album, The<br />

Man Who.<br />

Four tracks were released from<br />

that influential record, but it was<br />

arguably Why Does It Always<br />

Rain On Me? that proved to be<br />

their international breakthrough<br />

single, fueled in part by a<br />

triumphant appearance at the 1999<br />

Glastonbury Festival, where the<br />

song dramatically coincided with a<br />

change in the weather.<br />

Almost two decades on from<br />

its release, the group’s affable<br />

frontman recalls when, where and<br />

how the rhetorically titled song was<br />

made…<br />

“The first song that was written for<br />

The Man Who was written half an<br />

hour after I wrote The Line Is Fine<br />

for [previous album] Good Feeling,<br />

and that was Writing To Reach You.<br />

I can’t think of two more different<br />

songs and yet they happened within<br />

20 minutes of each other. It didn’t fit<br />

with all those other rocky songs…<br />

So I was writing songs for The Man<br />

Who and I didn’t even know what<br />

The Man Who was!<br />

“The other songs just came<br />

along… you’re just dropping things<br />

everywhere, you put in your bag<br />

and don’t think about it, and move<br />

on… I remember going on holiday<br />

and writing the verse Why Does It<br />

Always Rain On Me?, which ended<br />

up being the chorus but I didn’t<br />

know it at the time… Then we came<br />

to record the record and everyone<br />

had a big reaction to Why Does It<br />

Always Rain On Me? People really<br />

liked that immediately – the demo<br />

of it.<br />

“I got [to the Middle East] and it<br />

was pissing with rain! It’s supposed<br />

to be sunny because I met our<br />

accountant and said I wanted to<br />

go away on holiday and he said,<br />

‘You’ve got to go to Eilat, it’s going<br />

to be really sunny there.’ So I went<br />

and it was pissing with rain! I sat in<br />

the hotel room and sung that; just<br />

made it up to myself to be funny,<br />

or something, and cheer myself up.<br />

And I thought, ‘Oh that’s good.’<br />

“Then, later on, about three months<br />

after that, we were in Madrid – I<br />

think it was a promo trip or we were<br />

doing a little gig or something. I was<br />

in a hotel room and Good Feeling<br />

had come out, but it didn’t really<br />

sell many records and everyone<br />

was a bit dejected. I’d just come<br />

off a phone call with my manager<br />

who was trying to cheer me up, and<br />

then I wrote the verse. But I didn’t<br />

connect it with the other ‘Why does<br />

it always rain on me’ thing. I wrote<br />

the ‘I can’t sleep tonight…’ based<br />

on that phone call and my state of<br />

mind, and I remember finishing it<br />


31 29


and thinking, ‘Oh I’m sure<br />

I wrote something…’ and<br />

I remembered that thing<br />

I thought was a verse – I<br />

found it in the archives of my<br />

brain – and stuck the two<br />

things together. And it was<br />

like, ‘Wow!’ They lyrically<br />

and melodically went perfect<br />

together. But the verse<br />

wasn’t written with the thing<br />

I’d written in the Middle<br />

East in mind – it was just a<br />

moment. I never think, ‘Oh<br />

this is a chorus or a verse,’<br />

it’s just a thing that you<br />

write.<br />

“The bridge part came in<br />

Madrid. It was like two<br />

o’clock in the morning, I<br />

wrote the verse and I think<br />

I got the chorus, and then I<br />

wrote the bridge to connect<br />

the two. I think that was<br />

the only bit that was kind<br />

of manufactured, and it<br />

came very quickly. I think<br />

the middle eight also came<br />

quickly. The song was<br />

definitely finished within 20<br />

minutes or something, it was<br />

very fast. It was so random,<br />

even the writing of it then,<br />

that I wasn’t aware that it<br />

was anything special – it<br />

was just another idea. It was<br />

written on the same Kimbara<br />

acoustic guitar that I write<br />

all my songs on. There’s<br />

something about the tone of<br />

it that goes with my voice.<br />

“After Madrid, we went on<br />

to Beth Orton’s tour and I<br />

remember leaning against<br />

a pillar in some university,<br />

between soundchecks, and<br />

strumming it to myself going,<br />

‘That’s a solid song.’ Then<br />

I made a demo of it. There<br />

was a big thunderstorm in<br />

London and I recorded the<br />

thunder and then the song<br />

starts. Then I played the<br />

demo to Andy Macdonald<br />

and he was like, ‘That’s<br />

fucking great. Good, now…<br />

next!’ That was it. Then I<br />

played it to the band and<br />

I remember it was a little<br />

bit faster at first, almost<br />

the same tempo as Tied<br />

To The 90s – more jaunty<br />

and upbeat. Then we did<br />

it and I was like, ‘Oh that<br />

sounds shit, let’s slow<br />

it right down,’ and I<br />

remember we all went,<br />

‘Oh no they’re going<br />

to love that, that’s<br />

going to be the one<br />

that people like!’<br />

“Then we sort of had<br />

a record, but it wasn’t<br />

until we were cutting<br />

it at Abbey Road with<br />

[sound engineer] Chris<br />

Blair that I remember<br />

hearing it all put<br />

together going, ‘Shit!<br />

This really hangs<br />

well,’ but it was very<br />

quiet and subdued,<br />

and completely<br />

in opposition to<br />

everything that was<br />

happening in the<br />

charts and on the<br />

radio at the time. So<br />

I think we all thought<br />

we were doomed. Then we<br />

had an interview with Mark<br />

Beaumont from the NME<br />

“I never think, ‘Oh<br />

this is a chorus or<br />

a verse,’ it’s just a<br />

thing that you write”<br />

who said, off-record at the<br />

end of the interview, ‘Looks<br />

guys, I really like this record,<br />

but it’s commercial suicide,’<br />

and we were like, ‘Oh f**k!’<br />

And, of course, all the<br />

reviews came out and they<br />

were just shit, they were the<br />

worst reviews we’ve ever<br />

had. But we managed to<br />

get one of the songs on the<br />

radio, and they hammered<br />

it, and that was Why Does It<br />

Always Rain On Me?<br />

Released: 2 August 1999<br />

Artist: Travis<br />

Label: Independiente<br />

Songwriter: Fran Healy<br />

UK chart position: 10<br />

First published in Songwriting <strong>Mag</strong>azine,<br />

August <strong>2019</strong>. Reproduced with permission.<br />

32 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>



29<br />




What’s your top tip for aspiring songwriters to become successful?<br />

Every songwriter wants to know what they should be doing to advance their careers.<br />

asked two members of BMI’s Creative team and Rita Campbell for their top tips.<br />

Here’s what they said:<br />

Mary Nelly Russe, NY Creative (Latin), bmi.com<br />

I think it really comes down to: don’t copy<br />

others, don’t imitate. Look for your own<br />

voice, your own words, your own story,<br />

your own sound. It’s ok to have influences<br />

from admiring other songs, but so many<br />

songwriters want to be like one artist<br />

or another and they end up being just<br />

a copy of the original. There is nothing<br />

more refreshing than to hear a song that<br />

is different and crafted with soul. Don’t be<br />

afraid to get together with other writers<br />

and fuse styles, twist, experiment. Also,<br />

listen to other people’s feedback to help<br />

you grow. Know the difference between<br />

negative and positive criticism and<br />

dedicate time into creating something that<br />

moves you, that represents you, that you<br />

are proud to call your own. Don’t settle,<br />

be meticulous and trust in you. When you<br />

believe in your work, those energies are<br />

captured in recordings and transmitted<br />

when played. Spread the right ones.<br />

Tim Pattison, NY Creative (Pop), bmi.com<br />

The thing I stress the most for<br />

aspiring songwriters is to have<br />

patience, which isn’t what they want<br />

to hear. But it really is taking the time<br />

to hone your craft and evolve as a<br />

songwriter. Work with other people<br />

and figure out what your strengths are<br />

in writing sessions and work outside<br />

your comfort zone to allow for growth.<br />

Also, keep in mind that this is a job.<br />

Yes, while it’s exciting and creative,<br />

it is still a job and you have to put<br />

in hard work and be professional<br />

in order to be successful. Being<br />

a songwriter is owning your own<br />

business, and I believe that means<br />

learning about the things that make<br />

up the business of songwriting. The<br />

more informed you are about PROs,<br />

publishers, record labels and how<br />

they relate to you as a songwriter -<br />

the better.<br />

Rita Campbell, UK, Songwriter<br />

My best advice to anyone who wants<br />

to become a successful songwriter<br />

is to co-write. Write with as many<br />

different people, in as many different<br />

genres as you can. Don’t be precious<br />

with your songs because you need to<br />

let people hear your work. The more<br />

you do it and the more people you<br />

write with, the better you become.<br />

If you’re insular and you write alone<br />

because you want to keep everything<br />

to yourself, you don’t grow.<br />

When you’re co-writing with other<br />

people, you share their experiences<br />

and their knowledge, just by chatting<br />

about life.<br />

34 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>






‘RUN TO YOU’<br />


36 SEPTEMBER JULY <strong>2019</strong> <strong>2019</strong>

How one of the lucky few original songs to appear on The Bodyguard<br />

soundtrack was inspired by a real break-up.<br />

Words_Aaron Slater<br />

the late 80s, Whitney<br />

In Houston rose to<br />

international prominence as<br />

an exceptional vocal talent<br />

and was already on her way<br />

to becoming one of the bestselling<br />

music artists of alltime.<br />

But by 1992, the soul<br />

diva from New Jersey made<br />

her screen acting debut<br />

starring alongside Kevin<br />

Costner in the romantic<br />

thriller, The Bodyguard, and<br />

took her career to dizzying<br />

new heights. The film’s<br />

Original Soundtrack Album<br />

won numerous awards,<br />

topped charts the world<br />

over and broke records – it<br />

remains the best-selling<br />

soundtrack album of all<br />

time, selling over 42 million<br />

copies worldwide.<br />

The LP spawned a number<br />

of massive hit singles,<br />

including the cover of<br />

Dolly Parton’s I Will Always<br />

Love You, but the fourth<br />

single would be the original<br />

song, Run To You. Despite<br />

only achieving relatively<br />

moderate chart success, it<br />

became one of Houston’s<br />

most recognised songs, and<br />

was nominated for a 1993<br />

Academy Award for Best<br />

Original Song.<br />

The songwriting duo of Jud<br />

Friedman and Allan Rich had<br />

previously scored a No 1<br />

with I Don’t Have The Heart<br />

for James Ingram, but that<br />

didn’t mean the pair were a<br />

shoo-in for The Bodyguard<br />

soundtrack. As we discover,<br />

it was a miracle Run To You<br />

got selected at all…<br />

Jud: “In those days I worked<br />

in a studio at Peer <strong>Music</strong> in<br />

the Hollywood Hills – Allan<br />

lived close by – and virtually<br />

every day of the week we<br />

would show up and work<br />

all day long. Everyone had<br />

heard that Whitney Houston<br />

was doing her first movie,<br />

which was going to be a<br />

huge deal, but we were<br />

hearing conflicting reports<br />

about how much music<br />

was going to be in it. By<br />

the time we got involved,<br />

all the songwriters in the<br />

world had been receiving<br />

breakdowns saying they<br />

needed four songs. They<br />

didn’t know, but it turned<br />

“Holy shit, this is<br />

actually<br />

really good.”<br />

out that virtually all of those<br />

would be ‘inside’ songs,<br />

mainly covers. There ended<br />

up being just one ‘outside’<br />

song written by songwriters<br />

who had nothing to do with<br />

the project, directly. When<br />

we got a breakdown from our<br />

publishers we thought, ‘Well,<br />

this is worth a shot. It’s going<br />

to get killed by the critics, but<br />

it’s going to be huge.’”<br />

Allan: “I had a verse and<br />

a chorus, and gave it to<br />

Jud, who wrote the most<br />

beautiful music and helped<br />

me with the lyric. I did write<br />

it specifically for Whitney,<br />

but it coincided with a 10-<br />

year break-up in my life. Jud<br />

and I like to move and touch<br />

people, that’s the goal for our<br />

songs, and I’m an emotional<br />

person. So it was a happy<br />

coincidence, if you want to<br />

call it that, that they were<br />

looking for a Whitney song<br />

when I was raw – it worked<br />

very well.”<br />

Jud: “Allan put in this lyric<br />

idea and then I sat down<br />

and started playing stuff,<br />

singing and showing him<br />

ideas. We actually wrote two<br />

pieces of music and then<br />

went home; I wasn’t sure if<br />

either one of them was any<br />

good. Then we came back<br />

the next day and thought one<br />

of them – the version that<br />

ended up sending to Whitney<br />

– was like, ‘Holy shit, this<br />

is actually really good.’<br />

The lyric happened pretty<br />

quickly, probably a day<br />

or two, then we recorded<br />

a bare-bones version. I<br />

played it as we were writing<br />

it, and I liked the feel so<br />

much that I kept the out-oftime<br />

version and layered stuff<br />

on top – we did it as piano,<br />

vocal and some strings…”<br />

Released: 21 June 1993<br />

Artist: Whitney Houston<br />

Label: Arista<br />

Songwriter(s): Friedman, Rich<br />

Producer: David Foster<br />

UK chart position: 15<br />

US chart position: 31<br />

First published in Songwriting <strong>Mag</strong>azine,<br />

<strong>September</strong> 2018. Reproduced with permission.<br />


37<br />








It’s been called the ‘Despacito Effect’ by industry observers<br />

but is it true that Latin <strong>Music</strong> is more popular than ever before?<br />

With increasing numbers of Latin artists, releasing more and<br />

more tracks each year and then topping the charts, not just in<br />

Latin America, but around the world, one has to assume … Sí.<br />

investigates.<br />

Words_Darren Haynes<br />

The<br />

headlines speak for<br />

themselves:<br />

Latin <strong>Music</strong> Is Reaching More Listeners Than<br />

Ever – Rolling Stone (11/18)<br />

Latin <strong>Music</strong> Is Now More Popular Than<br />

Country & EDM In America – Forbes (01/19)<br />

Latin <strong>Music</strong> Streams Jumped 37 Percent in<br />

2018, Thanks to Video’s Dominance & Gains<br />

in Listening – Billboard (01/19)<br />

The IFPI, in their Global <strong>Music</strong> Report<br />

2018, announced that “Latin America’s<br />

positive growth story is no secret, with a<br />

17.7% growth in music revenue. Overall,<br />

the region showed the highest level of<br />

growth globally, driven largely by a 48.9%<br />

increase in streaming revenues. Growth<br />

was seen across the whole region, but<br />

most notably in Peru (21.7%), Brazil<br />

(17.9%), Chile (14.3%), Colombia (10.5%)<br />

and Mexico (7.9%).<br />

While it’s interesting to see that music<br />

consumption is on the increase in Latin<br />

American countries, it’s even more<br />

interesting to see the continent’s artists<br />

and repertoire crossing over into the<br />

global musical mainstream.<br />

Latin America’s breakout hit of 2017<br />

was, of course, Despacito by Luis Fonsi<br />

which topped the chart of more than 40<br />

countries. This was the first time in 20+<br />

years that a song played in Spanish had<br />

reached number one in the Billboard<br />

Hot 100. The last time? The annoyingly<br />

catchy La Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)<br />

in 1996.<br />

Since 2017, the music industry has been<br />

building on the success of Despacito with<br />

the aim of surpassing the very high bar<br />

that it set. There have been a spate of<br />

strategic bilingual collaborations between<br />

Latin and non-Latin artists, with some<br />

artists fusing their musical styles into<br />

38 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

Photo_ Andrew Solioacebook<br />

catchy Spanglish tracks. Spanglish? A song<br />

with Spanish and English lyrics, of course.<br />

These Spanish-English collaborations have<br />

brought Latin stars to the fore in the Englishspeaking<br />

world as well as in their native<br />

countries.<br />

In recent times, CNCO teamed up with<br />

Little Mix for Reggaeton Lento (Remix);<br />

Ozuna joined DJ Snake, Cardi B and Selena<br />

Gomez on Taki Taki; Latin reggaeton icon,<br />

Maluma featured<br />

on Madonna’s<br />

‘Medellín’; Pedro<br />

Capó featured<br />

on the remix of<br />

Alicia Keys’ track<br />

Calma; Demi Lovato<br />

and Luis Fonsi<br />

(Despacito’s writer)<br />

worked together on<br />

Echame la Culpa;<br />

Beyoncé lent her<br />

voice to J Balvin<br />

Ozuna<br />

and Willy William’s remix of Mi Gente and<br />

2018 saw Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin<br />

collaborate on I Like It.<br />

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of<br />

Spanish-language entries on the Billboard<br />

Hot 100 jumped from a mere four to 19. In<br />

2018, 24 Spanish language songs hit the<br />

Billboard Hot 100, not including more hybrid,<br />

English-dominant such as I Like It, or the<br />

salsa-inspired sound of Camila Cabello’s<br />

Havana.<br />

It is widely agreed that Despacito opened<br />

the global door to not only Latin pop songs<br />

but also to reggaeton and Latin urban pop.<br />

Unfortunately, the Anglo market tends<br />

to lump together Latin music under one<br />

massive umbrella and this goes some way to<br />

explaining why ‘Latin music’ is the fifth-most<br />

popular genre in the USA.<br />

Data company, BuzzAngle, stated that in<br />




terms of album consumption, Latin took a<br />

9.4% share of the US market in 2018.<br />

Hip-hop led the way (with 21.7% of all album<br />

consumption) and was followed by pop, rock<br />

and R&B. The report confirmed that Latin<br />

music now ranks ahead of country music,<br />

which has a 8.7% share of the market.<br />

When it comes to talking about the Latin<br />

music market stats, one word keeps popping<br />

up: ‘streaming’. Technology is enabling<br />

geographic and cultural crossover. It is<br />

now easier for new grassroots artists to<br />

be featured in genre playlists and build an<br />

audience. For example, flagship playlists<br />

such as Spotify’s Baila Reggaeton and Viva<br />

Latino! can almost single-handedly create<br />

hits around the world.<br />

For example, Venezuelan artist, Danny<br />

Ocean, broke the record for the longest<br />

running entry in the Spotify Global Top 50<br />

with his song Me Rehúso. J Balvin, Ozuna<br />

and Bad Bunny were amongst Spotify’s most<br />

listened to artists in 2018.<br />

Eight of YouTube’s top 10 most viewed<br />

videos worldwide in 2018 were songs played<br />

in Spanish - interestingly enough - with<br />

Puerto Rican singer, Ozuna, appearing in<br />

four of them.<br />

According to Nielsen <strong>Music</strong>’s 2018 year-end<br />

numbers for the US, Latin (defined as “music<br />

whose lyrics are more than half in Spanish”)<br />

saw a 57.1 percent upturn in total audio<br />

streams, from 16.1 billion in 2017 to<br />

25.3 billion in 2018. As for video, there were<br />

44.5 billion streams in 2018, accounting for<br />

18.4 percent of the total video streaming<br />

market.<br />

Latin <strong>Music</strong> is gaining in popularity. Fact. We<br />

are seemingly in Latin music’s big moment<br />

in terms of dynamism in the market and fan<br />

engagement with the music. Latin music’s<br />

growth is only making better business for<br />

everyone: for the industry, for the artists and<br />

for the music lovers around the world.<br />

Vamos!<br />

Danny Ocean<br />

J Balvin<br />

Photo_Danny Ocean Facebook<br />

Photo_Ralph Arvesen Facebook<br />

40 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>



In 2017, a Spanish language urban-pop<br />

track from a Puerto Rican artist who was<br />

relatively unknown outside Spain and Latin<br />

America topped the charts in 47 countries<br />

worldwide and reached the top 10 of six<br />

others.<br />

Despacito was written by Luis Fonsi,<br />

Erika Ender and Daddy Yankee with the<br />

accompanying music video shot in La Perla<br />

neighbourhood of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico<br />

and in a local bar, La Factoría.<br />

Three months after the release of the original<br />

version and after seeing how people reacted<br />

to the song in a Colombian nightclub, Justin<br />

Bieber expressed interest in recording<br />

a remix of the song. The proposal was<br />

accepted and Bieber sang in Spanish, for<br />

the first time in his career, with the help of<br />

Colombian musician and Latin Grammy<br />

Award-nominee, Juan Felipe Samper.<br />

The original version combined with the<br />

Bieber-remix has been streamed 7.5 billion<br />

times, including 1.9 billion times on Spotify<br />

and 6 billion views on YouTube … and<br />

counting.<br />

Before Despacito, Luis Fonsi had a<br />

successful career that delivered several<br />

number one albums in Latin American<br />

territories and on Billboard’s Latin chart.<br />

However, ‘Despacitio’ was a total game<br />

changer.<br />

Fonsi followed Despacito with Echame La<br />

Culpa, a duet with Demi Lovato. It went to<br />

number one in 14 markets.<br />

Despacito has received Latin Grammy<br />

Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the<br />

Year, Best Urban Fusion/Performance, and<br />

Best Short Form <strong>Music</strong> Video at the 18th<br />

Latin Grammy Awards. The remix version has<br />

received three Grammy Awards nominations<br />

for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and<br />

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the<br />

60th Grammy Awards.<br />

It is, without doubt, the most successful<br />

Spanish-language track in pop music history.<br />




THE<br />

MAN<br />

FROM<br />


JuanDa Lotero is a Colombian<br />

Reggaetón artist. He has officially<br />

released 20 singles as a solo artist;<br />

more if you include his work as a<br />

featured artist. His collaboration<br />

with Dani y <strong>Mag</strong>neto (Ve y Dile) has<br />

received 1.4M views on YouTube. He<br />

is something of a local sensation with<br />

fans in the United States, Mexico,<br />

Chile, Paraguay, in his home country<br />

and further afield.<br />

Words_Nick Stephenson<br />

Tell us something about Latin American<br />

music that we might not know<br />

Where to start? Latin America is very diverse<br />

in its culture. I know that for many people, we<br />

are seen as if we’re from the same country.<br />

You know what I mean? The Mexican<br />

stereotype with a hat and moustache. In<br />

reality, there is ethnological diversity as well<br />

as its music. Personally, I love Afro-Antillean<br />

music, el son Cubano, la salsa and all the<br />

rhythms that merged to form Reggaetón.<br />

42 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

I used that talent in my favour. I remember<br />

doing shows in class and writing songs<br />

for my teachers to pass the subjects.<br />

Tell us about your songwriting process<br />

How would you describe your music?<br />

The truth is that I don’t have a step-bystep<br />

that I always follow. It depends on<br />

what comes first. I have had songs that<br />

were born from a simple looped bit, or<br />

some that were born from dreams that I<br />

had. When I woke up, I’d write fragments<br />

of them. Once you have the idea of what<br />

you want to write, it is good to start by<br />

having a melodic base and keep working.<br />

It is 100% Colombian Reggaetón which<br />

has a lot of differences from the Reggaetón<br />

made in Puerto Rico. Reggaetón was born<br />

in Puerto Rico but in Colombia we make<br />

it in our own<br />

distinctive way.<br />

Which of your<br />

tracks best<br />

represents<br />

your sound?<br />

La Invitacion. I<br />

remember that<br />

I had to make more than 30 recordings<br />

because it had to sound perfect. It was<br />

my commercial single for that year.<br />

“Who cares if a musician<br />

doesn’t like your music?<br />

If people like it, that’s<br />

what matters.”<br />

What motivates or inspires you?<br />

I really get inspired by other people’s<br />

situations or by listening to someone talk<br />

about their problems. I don’t want to make<br />

music that only talks<br />

about me, music<br />

must identify us all.<br />

It’s nice to know that<br />

your music crosses<br />

borders. Receiving<br />

a message from<br />

someone saying that<br />

they heard your music;<br />

that motivates you to make more music.<br />

Which is your favourite city to perform in?<br />

When did you first discover<br />

your love for music?<br />

I think it was at a party with my family. I<br />

was quite small and I began to play with<br />

some congas as if I knew how to do it.<br />

After that my parents noticed my interest<br />

in music and enrolled me in percussion<br />

classes. That was the best decision. I<br />

am grateful to my parents for doing it.<br />

When did you write your first song?<br />

When I was at school, I used my notebooks<br />

exclusively to write my songs, so I came<br />

back to my house without any lesson notes.<br />

Without any doubt, Medellín, my home<br />

town! If you sing Reggaetón, you will<br />

surely need the Paisa audience supporting<br />

you. It’s a very demanding audience, but<br />

they are always open to new artists. I<br />

will always enjoy performing in Medellín<br />

because it connects me with my beginnings.<br />

They saw my career from scratch.<br />

What’s the best piece of musical<br />

advice you’ve ever been given?<br />

Don’t make music for musicians, make<br />

music for people. Who cares if a musician<br />

doesn’t like your music? If people like it,<br />

that’s what matters.<br />




FIVE<br />



FOR YOUR<br />


Like me, I’ve bet you’ve been caught<br />

out at the local pop quiz for not being<br />

able to name any Peruvian musicians.<br />

Just to ensure this never happens<br />

again, here’s a list of musicians<br />

from Peru who, over the years, have<br />

created the country’s most toetapping<br />

sounds.<br />

Research_Nick Stephenson<br />

Dengue Dengue Dengue<br />

When the Peruvian duo from Lima, Dengue Dengue Dengue,<br />

first broke onto the club scene, local music fans quickly lapped<br />

up their unique hybrid cocktail of traditional cumbia with the<br />

modern electronic rhythms of dub, techno and dancehall<br />

sounds. Felipe Salmón and Rafael Pereira are the men behind<br />

the music, and the masks, which they started wearing in 2010.<br />

They are best known for putting on impeccable audio-visual<br />

shows that involve amazing visuals, neon colours, geometrical<br />

patterns, allusions to shamanistic tradition and those ever<br />

present masks. Their name derives from the slang definition of<br />

the word “dengue,” which means an urge to party. If you want<br />

to go out, get drunk and party, you have to say that you have<br />

“dengue,” according to the band. The word also comes from<br />

Cuban rhythm, also called “dengue.”<br />

44 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>




46 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

Novalima<br />

Photo_Vito Mirr<br />

Y<br />

Y<br />

Y<br />




Four Tips For<br />

Getting Over<br />

Writer’s Block<br />

Writer’s block. The mythical beast<br />

that plagues writers of all stripes.<br />

While songwriting is a somewhat<br />

unpredictable activity, I happen<br />

to believe that there are ways to<br />

hedge against freezing up when it<br />

comes time to write.<br />

To that end, I’ve put together a<br />

few ways to get you past writer’s<br />

block that require nothing more<br />

than taking your craft seriously<br />

and paying attention to what’s<br />

going on in your creative process.<br />

Words_Cliff Goldmacher<br />

1<br />

CO-WRITE<br />

Two - or more - heads are better<br />

than one when it comes to dipping<br />

into the creative pool. If you’re<br />

finding yourself low on inspiration,<br />

scheduling a co-write can have a<br />

few benefits. Sometimes just the<br />

mere act of working with someone<br />

else can spark a fresh round of<br />

creativity. But, even if you still<br />

find yourself struggling, leaning<br />

on a co-writer’s inspiration for a<br />

while will go a long way towards<br />

rekindling your own.<br />

48 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

2<br />


Just like squirrels put away their<br />

nuts and berries for the upcoming<br />

winter, stockpiling title ideas,<br />

lyrical and melodic snippets, can<br />

save you from having to stare<br />

at a blank page at a time when<br />

that’s the last thing you want to<br />

see. Knowing you can go to your<br />

notebook of song titles or a file<br />

on your smartphone with melodic<br />

ideas, will go a long way towards<br />

giving you a jumpstart when your<br />

creative momentum flags<br />

3<br />


Part of the origin of writer’s block is the desire to write something<br />

as good as what you’ve written in the past. Putting that kind of<br />

pressure on yourself is almost guaranteed to put the brakes on<br />

your songwriting. There’s a decent chance that when you wrote<br />

that earlier song you’re trying to measure up to, you were just<br />

writing and not comparing it to anything. It might be better to relax<br />

and write something “good enough” instead of pressuring yourself<br />

to write something “perfect” knowing you can always revisit the<br />

song once it’s done and revise and edit it until it really is great.<br />

4<br />

Hopefully, the above tips will take some of the pressure<br />

off and help you out the next time the writer’s block wolf<br />

is at your door. Good luck!<br />

Cliff Goldmacher is a songwriter, music producer and educator with<br />

recording studios in Nashville, TN and Sonoma, CA. Through his<br />

studios, Cliff provides songwriters outside of Nashville with virtual, live<br />

access to Nashville’s best session musicians and demo singers for their<br />

songwriting demos - www.CliffGoldmacher.com<br />






Rita Campbell is one of the hardest working<br />

people in the music industry. Having started<br />

writing songs at the age of 14, she learned her<br />

trade as a backing singer on the live music<br />

circuit. Her vocals and live performances<br />

made her famous in Russia and her<br />

songwriting skills took her to number one in<br />

the UK. The success of being top of the<br />

charts should have been sweet but the<br />

unfortunate coincidence of life turned the<br />

experience bitter-sweet.<br />

caught up with Rita in London<br />

Words_Darren Haynes<br />

50 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

**<br />

of the top<br />




52 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>


“No matter what happens in life,<br />

be good to people. Being good to<br />

people is a wonderful legacy to leave<br />

behind.”<br />

Taylor Swift<br />

“Life is what happens<br />

when you’re making other<br />

plans.”<br />

John Lennon<br />

“Never stop fighting<br />

no matter what anyone<br />

says. If it’s in your<br />

gut, your soul, there’s<br />

nothing, no worldly<br />

possession that should<br />

come between you and<br />

your expression.”<br />

Kanye West<br />

“Everything is scary if you look<br />

at it. So you just got to live it.”<br />

Mary J. Blige<br />

54 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

“And, in the end the love you take is<br />

equal to the love you make.”<br />

Paul McCartney<br />

“You can’t knock on<br />

opportunity’s door and<br />

not be ready.”<br />

Bruno Mars<br />

“Despite<br />

everything, no<br />

one can dictate<br />

who you are to<br />

other people.”<br />

Prince<br />

“Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll<br />

never have the possibility of being great.”<br />

Cher<br />




Leah Depala is a<br />

14-year-old British-<br />

Indian singer-songwriter,<br />

based in Dubai. Her<br />

first single, Cold, has<br />

been streamed across<br />

all international music<br />

platforms, including<br />

Apple <strong>Music</strong> and Spotify.<br />

A&R scouts, take note,<br />

she’s still unsigned…<br />

Words__Darren Haynes<br />



You released your debut single, Cold,<br />

in <strong>September</strong> 2018. Tell us a little bit<br />

about the songwriting process.<br />

Cold was the first full song I’d ever<br />

written. It’s about a hypothetical failed<br />

relationship. Once I’d finished it, I knew<br />

instantly that I wanted to release it. When<br />

I came up with the idea for the song, I<br />

sat down at my piano and played around<br />

to see what I could come up with and<br />

attempted to match it to some lyrics. I<br />

progressively added more and more to<br />

the song, while recording it on my voice<br />

notes on my phone, until the song was<br />

complete. It took me a few hours to finish the<br />

song. I was incredibly proud of the outcome.<br />

Cold was produced by Ayham Homsi<br />

(aka AY) and you have been working with<br />

Iranian singer, Layla Kardan. How did a<br />

13-year old - as you were then - manage<br />

to set up such amazing collaborations?<br />

Layla is a friend of my parents. She<br />

mentored me and guided me throughout the<br />

whole writing and recording process. She<br />

also put me in contact with Ayham. He did<br />

56 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

How many songs have you written so far?<br />

I’ve written about eight songs in total, some<br />

of which have been completed, some of<br />

which have only been written to about<br />

halfway. Whenever I get inspiration for a<br />

song, the first thing I do is turn to my piano<br />

and match the lyrics to a tune.<br />

How would you describe the music that<br />

you make?<br />

I would say the music I create is more ‘chill’<br />

and mellow as opposed to ‘poppy’ - similar<br />

to Lorde, Lana Del Rey or Jorja Smith.<br />

an amazing job of producing and putting<br />

together the song, in only two recording<br />

sessions, each lasting about 3-4 hours.<br />

Who would you like to collaborate with,<br />

or work with in the future?<br />

My dream would be to work with artists<br />

like Lana Del Rey, Khalid, A$AP Rocky or<br />

The Weeknd, as I feel their music styles<br />

complement mine and our voices would<br />

work nicely together.<br />

My biggest inspirations and my favourite<br />

artists would definitely be Lana Del Rey,<br />

The Weeknd and Lewis Capaldi. I’ve been<br />

listening to these artists for years because I<br />

love each of their styles individually and they<br />

never fail to come out with such amazing<br />

music.<br />

What are your plans for the future?<br />

I’m currently working on my next single but<br />

I’m hoping to release an EP, and an album<br />

after that. I want to develop my style and find<br />

my sound as an artist. Long term, I’d love to<br />

be able to have to the opportunity to perform<br />

and sing at my own concerts; singing is just<br />

what I love doing.<br />




58 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

Barlow is an English producer,<br />

musician, songwriter and<br />

singer. He is best known as the lead singer of<br />

the British pop group Take That.<br />

He is one of Britain’s most successful<br />

songwriters, having written fourteen number<br />

one singles and twenty-four top 10 hits. As<br />

a solo artist he has had three number one<br />

singles, six top 10 singles and two number<br />

one albums, and has additionally had<br />

seventeen top 5 hits, twelve number one<br />

singles and eight number one albums with<br />

Take That.<br />

And that’s not to mention his multiple BRIT<br />

Awards, six Ivor Novello Awards and an OBE.<br />

What are the main differences from when<br />

you first started out compared to now?<br />

Well … it was a different time. I was 19 when<br />

the band started. I’d never experienced<br />

success and fame and traveling; being<br />

screamed at, playing in front of thousands<br />

of people. It was a very surreal experience.<br />

I found that I spent most of the 90s just<br />

worrying, just thinking … oh, you know …<br />

you’ve got to make the right decision. I<br />

look back now and I think that’s the biggest<br />

difference for me; I actually enjoy it now.<br />

When you see me on stage, I’m in the<br />

moment, I’m present, enjoying that night. In<br />

the 90s, I’d have been worried about where<br />

the next gig is; Are we gonna get there in<br />

time? Is the set gonna arrive in time? You<br />

know, I spent a lot of time worrying and I<br />

regret that a bit.<br />

When you’re on the road, do you still<br />

manage to find time to write songs? Where<br />

do you record? What’s your portable<br />

setup?<br />

On the laptop! It’s all on our laptop. I mean,<br />

when we’re on a flight, you need to just walk<br />

around and Mark’s tapping away on his,<br />

Howard’s making beats on his, I’m on mine,<br />

it’s just a constant flow of music being made<br />

in a mobile environment. It’s amazing what<br />

you can do now.<br />

A recording studio is essentially a laptop now,<br />

if you look around at the people who are out<br />

there on the road. I don’t think artists have time<br />

anymore to come off the road and think, right,<br />

let me just deliberate for six months. It doesn’t<br />

work like that anymore because audiences,<br />

they want it now… they want you to come off<br />

tour and… right… where’s our next album?<br />

You are constantly trying to keep up.<br />

There’s a musical running that features<br />

your Take That songs [currently running in<br />

Berlin, Germany]. How’s that going?<br />

You know, it’s been amazing to have been<br />

able to tour, make records and now there’s<br />

a musical that features our music. It’s our<br />

repertoire, our music, but it’s made to mean<br />

a completely different thing in this show,<br />

which has got a story to it. It’s just changed<br />

it completely. It’s amazing to see your music<br />

being put emotionally into a piece that’s in<br />

front of an audience on stage and we’re not<br />

on stage… that’s what’s crazy!<br />

What about touring?<br />

You know, it’s funny, one of the things I’ve<br />

noticed over the years that we’ve been<br />

doing this, is that live performance has never<br />

been more important. I think that it’s about<br />

experiences. People want experiences; things<br />

that you can’t just order online … you’ve got<br />

to be there to be a part of it, you know. We<br />

were obviously a big live act in the 90s but<br />

our live shows are bigger than they’ve ever<br />

been … and that’s 20 odd years on!<br />

For the full interview with Gary Barlow and Take That,<br />

go to <strong>Hey</strong> <strong>Music</strong>’s YouTube channel.<br />

Search “<strong>Hey</strong><strong>Music</strong>Official”<br />




PRS for <strong>Music</strong><br />

PRS for <strong>Music</strong> represents the rights<br />

of songwriters, composers and music<br />

publishers in the UK and around the<br />

world.<br />

As a membership organisation it<br />

works to ensure that creators are paid<br />

whenever their musical compositions<br />

and songs are streamed, downloaded,<br />

broadcast, performed and played in<br />

public. With over 100 representation<br />

agreements in place globally, PRS for<br />

<strong>Music</strong>’s network represents over two<br />

million music creators worldwide.<br />

PRS for <strong>Music</strong> can only collect money<br />

and pay royalties for work that has<br />

been registered. To find out how to<br />

register your songs, have a look at<br />

their website www.prsformusic.com<br />

60 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

The Performing Right Society was<br />

founded in 1914<br />

In 2009, PRS and MCPS-PRS<br />

Alliance realigned their brands and<br />

became PRS for <strong>Music</strong><br />

PRS for <strong>Music</strong> administers<br />

the performance rights and<br />

mechanical rights of 25.7 million<br />

musical works on behalf of their<br />

members<br />

Over 500,000 musical works were<br />

registered in 2018 alone<br />

There are 140,000 songwriter,<br />

composer and music publisher<br />

members<br />

In 2018, 11.2 trillion performances<br />

of music were reported to<br />

PRS for <strong>Music</strong><br />

In 2018, £746 million was<br />

collected on behalf of its<br />

members, making it one of the<br />

world’s leading music collective<br />

management organisations<br />

27.8% of PRS for <strong>Music</strong>’s UK<br />

membership is in Greater London<br />

Membership gender split<br />

= Male 83% / Female 17%<br />

40% of the top 10 highest earning<br />

female songwriters are under the<br />

age of 35<br />

Around 350,000 UK businesses<br />

have paid and are licensed to<br />

play music under a PRS for <strong>Music</strong><br />

licence<br />




Get It On!<br />

Super well-connected, Jason Carter, has<br />

worked as an artist agent, promoter and<br />

commissioner of live music and events<br />

for broadcast. After 20 years in high-level<br />

jobs at the BBC, delivering shows with<br />

artists such as Madonna, Elton John,<br />

Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Eminem and Lady<br />

Gaga, he left to start his own agency. He<br />

has the legendary DJs Annie Mac and<br />

Pete Tong, among others, on speed dial.<br />

This is his story…<br />

“I had 20 wonderful years at the BBC,<br />

and was privileged to lead some<br />

awesome projects, but like anything, we<br />

all need change and being a public servant<br />

for so many years, I felt it was well overdue<br />

for me to try my hand in the commercial<br />

sector and set myself some new ambitious<br />

challenges. For the past three years, I’ve<br />

been the Managing Director of Get On<br />

<strong>Music</strong> Media which is a London-based music<br />

agency that works with brands, broadcast,<br />

talent and events. We work with a range of<br />

clients including the BBC, Spotify, AWAL and<br />

Yamaha. It’s still early days but we are making<br />

great strides with a growing client list.<br />

I started out as a music promoter in small<br />

live music venues in central London whilst at<br />

City University. I’d advertise for new bands<br />

in the NME when social media didn’t even<br />

exist. My timing was fortunate. This was just<br />

at the point of the Brit Pop explosion of the<br />

early 90’s. From picking up some decent<br />

bands, I began hiring music venues and<br />

hosting shows. This led to a role at the Mean<br />

Fiddler Organisation (now Festival Republic),<br />

working as a promoter of major UK festivals.<br />

Then I joined BBC Radio 1.<br />

I became Head Of BBC Events across the<br />

radio division, then Head Of International<br />

and Commercial; delivering major BBC<br />

Concerts for the London 2012 Olympics and<br />

the Commonwealth Games.<br />

Two career highlights spring to mind. The<br />

first was being the BBC Festival Director for<br />

Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend. I produced<br />

the show as part of the Cultural Olympiad in<br />

2012, with 100,000 people in attendance and<br />

had Jay-Z and Rihanna headlining. The other<br />

was my role in the creation of BBC <strong>Music</strong><br />

Introducing which has benefited thousands<br />

of musicians and helped discover artists<br />

such as Florence & The Machine, The 1975<br />

and Ed Sheeran.<br />

At the moment, I’m working on BBC <strong>Music</strong><br />

Introducing Live <strong>2019</strong>, which we produce<br />

for the BBC. It focuses on helping and<br />

supporting the future music industry - from<br />

artists to people looking for a career in the<br />

music industry. To achieve in our business,<br />

you should not assume that a qualification in<br />

the sector is the route to success, it helps,<br />

but passion, networking, visibility and being<br />

prepared to do anything, always helps. Be<br />

recognised for being someone that always<br />

delivers whatever the task.”<br />

BBC MUSIC INTRODUCING LIVE <strong>2019</strong> takes place<br />

31 October – 2 November: www.introducinglive.co.uk<br />

62 SEPTEMBER <strong>2019</strong>

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