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One Liners: Zayn, Blur, Shakira, more

By | Published on Friday 30 June 2023



Zayn Malik has signed a new record deal with Universal Music – releasing through Mercury in the US and Island in the UK. “As soon as Zayn and I met, I knew we had to work together”, says Mercury Records President Tyler Arnold. “I was blown away by the new music, but just as impressed by his vision, drive and spirit. We’re honoured he and his team have joined us at Mercury Records. We’ve got an incredible opportunity to tell the next chapter of his story together”.

Armada Music’s BEAT Music Fund has confirmed two new deals, acquiring the catalogue of New York-based dance label King Street Sounds, and also the recording and song catalogues of producer/DJ duo Chocolate Puma, aka René Ter Horst and Gaston Steenkist. “It is an honour to be trusted with these legendary catalogues, and I’m confident that we will add value through our vision and expertise”, says Maykel Piron, CEO of Armada Music and its BEAT Music Fund.



German song rights collecting society GEMA is getting a new boss, with Tobias Holzmüller – who has headed up the society’s legal department since 2013 – taking over from long-time CEO Harald Heker on 1 Oct. Chair of the GEMA Supervisory Board, Ralf Weigand, says that the society’s incoming CEO is “not only an excellent, globally respected copyright expert but also an extremely well-connected and committed advocate for our concerns”, adding: “We look forward to continuing GEMA’s successful trajectory with him and tackling the immense challenges that lie ahead for us and the entire music industry”.

Music credits database Jaxsta has appointed a new CEO, Josh Simons, who takes over from a departing Beth Appleton. Simons is founder of Vampr, the social network for musicians that Jaxsta acquired earlier this year. Says the new CEO: “Jaxsta has a clear vision and product roadmap … and that’s a credit to the board, Beth and the team who have done a remarkable job … I look forward to building on the current momentum”.



Blur have released new single ‘St Charles Square’. “St Charles Square is a place where the ghosts of monsters can be found”, says Damon Albarn.

Shakira and Manuel Turizo have released a new single together, ‘Copa Vicía’.

Sampha has released new single ‘Spirit 2.0’. “It’s about the importance of connection to both myself and others, and the beauty and harsh realities of just existing”, he says. “It’s about acknowledging those moments when you need help – that requires real strength. I hope people can enjoy that feeling of someone being there for you, even if that person doesn’t have the answers. Just calling someone up without overthinking… letting go and just dancing, wanting to see past the mundanity of things and appreciating the magic of it all, from birds nests to spaceships”.

Armin van Buuren has released new track ‘Motive’.

Claire Richards off of Steps is readying herself to release a new solo album, titled ‘Euphoria’, on 25 Aug. “Every single song is a banger – listening to this album just makes me feel good”, she says. “I want everyone to whack it on before they go out and get themselves completely in the zone of having a good time”. Here’s guaranteed banger ‘I Surrender’.

Ray BLK has released new single ‘My Girl’. She says of the track: “’My Girl’ is a sisterhood anthem, and just a song to celebrate the women in our lives that we love and deserve a shout out”. The track is taken from the soundtrack of Candace Carty Williams’ forthcoming BBC series ‘Champion’.

As Be Your Own Pet gear up to release their first album for fifteen years later this summer, the band have put out new single ‘Goodtime’. Says vocalist Jemina Pearl Abegg: “’Goodtime’ is about those moments where the responsibility of adulthood overwhelms you, and you wonder ‘how the fuck did I get here?!’ You find yourself longing for the days of partying with abandon, not worrying if the babysitter is going to cancel, and jealous of your friends who are still living the carefree life. Moms just want to have fun too”. The new album, ‘Mommy’, is out on 25 Aug.

Sen Morimoto will release new album ‘Diagnosis’ on 3 Nov. The title track is out now.

Clementine Valentine have released another track from their upcoming album ‘The Coin That Broke The Fountain Floor’. Listen to ‘Time And Tide’ here. “Without giving too much away, this song is a kind of mantra of radical acceptance”, say the duo. “Our songs usually overflow with words and imagery, this one we consciously left open – you’re invited to fill the space in between”.

Emmeline has released ‘Small Town Girl’, from her second EP ‘Small Town Girls And Soft Summer Nights”, which is out on 28 Jul.



J Hus has announced UK tour dates in October and November, finishing with two nights at the O2 in London on 5-6 Nov. The rapper’s third album ‘Beautiful And Brutal Yard’ is out on 14 Jul.



Entries are now open for this year’s Scottish Album Of The Year Award. Eligible albums must have been released between 1 Jun 2022 and 31 May 2023. Submissions close at midnight on 21 Jul. Put forward your albums here, people.

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily – updated every Friday.

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