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TALK TIME releases EP ‘Year of Self’. The debut single helped the band solidify a base. It was premiered by Nic Harcourt (KCRW, 885fm), receiving spins on (ALT 98.7) and LA’s (KROQ). It also topped the Hype Machine charts and clocked over 300k streams. It all began when the East LA based act captured the attention of music producer Math Bishop (U2, Two Door Cinema Club, The Killers). If you’re fan of Wilco, War On Drugs, and Bon Iver then it’s worth checking them out. You can see them perform at the Bootleg Theatre in Los Angels on 4/16.

Singer-songwriter and producer Pierre-Marie Maulini, aka  STAL, released the track Magic along with a video. This is as good as it gets. The latest track was produced by Eric Palmquist (Bad Suns, Mutemath, Night Riots) and comes off the ‘Fresh Blood’ EP.  Growing up in France and spending time in Ireland, he’s been touring the world with Anthony Gonzalez and his band M83, before residing in Los Angeles. In its short existence, Stal has released an EP and a LP, Young Hearts while the track Close Your Eyes and Jump landed on Spotify’s Viral Charts.

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Soundcloud Rappers are creating emo, pop acts are making hip-hop, and now rappers are making country. The Golden Age of genre blending has arrived. Lil Nas X country-trap hit ‘Old Country Road‘ climbing the Billboard Hot 100 will be the big story of 2019. Nobody could guess that an Atlanta based rapper would be the talk of the town in Nashville. We could see more of this since digital streaming has created its own industry outside radio.

Many artists won’t even label themselves. Anthony Fondale, the keytarist from the up & coming act Recess says, “I’m not sure what we are. Some consider us alternative rock. Others label us EDM infused pop. Heck, Pop Crave said we merge rock & classical music.”

Popular country act Florida Georgia Line takes a similar stance. “If you’re trying to put things in a box or a genre, you’re kind of wasting your time,” Tyler Hubbard said in a Billboard interview. “If you like the song, play the song, if you don’t then don’t.” FGL Brian Kelley further states, “If we sit here and try to figure out if it’s country or not, we miss the point of it being a great song. I mean that as respectfully as possible,” he says. “I love the song. I don’t think the question is whether it’s country or not; it could probably fit in there. I don’t have a problem with that at all.”

R&B artist Khalid told Billboard “I’m coming in from outside the genre,” he said. “I really do enjoy the song. I’m a big fan of fusion of genres, crossover, of hip-hop and country because I feel like that’s something I do as well.”

Of course the king of genre blending is Ed Sheeran. He mixes pop and country with an occasional touch of hip-hop. As the lines blur between genres it will the make the job for a marketer more challenging.  In fact, marketers like genres and distinct boundaries because it’s easier to target an audience. Occasionally, an artist like Lil Nas X defies the boundaries of genres and the sky is the limit.

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Apple Music has surpassed Spotify in paid subscribers. That’s hard to believe because Spotify has been the king of streaming music. But according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple Music has 28 million paid subscribers while Spotify has only 26 million. Spotify still has more subscribers than Apple that comes with their free service. While Spotify and Apple are battling it out, both are trying to lure new subscribers.

Apple Music rise to dominance also follows the extreme backlash towards Spotify’s songwriters royalty rate. Music mogul Irving Azoff said, “Apple understands they’re in the artist business. Clearly, Google, Pandora, Spotify and Amazon don’t.”

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Singer-songwriter, Leandro, has just released the track Talk as well as the video. Drawing influences from Bastille, The 1975, and Coldplay, the latest song follows his previous impressive pop tunes Hey Now and Bad For You. Leandro tells Kings, “The video was super fun to make because of the white room. It allowed myself to really create my own space.” While releasing a video for each track, the indie pop artist has self directed nearly all of his videos. Check it out.

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