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Universal Music Group has launched Virgin Music Label & Artist Services. Inspired and influenced by the spirit of the legendary Virgin Records label, the global network will deliver premium and flexible artist and label services to the industry’s entrepreneurs and independent talent worldwide.

Virgin was founded by Richard Branson in 1972, came to Universal as part of its acquisition of EMI’s recorded-music division in 2012.

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, said: “Virgin has long been a name synonymous with disruptive innovation, musical creativity and entrepreneurialism.

“We are thrilled to announce the reinvigoration of this iconic music brand as a new model for global distribution and label services – combining UMG’s unrivalled regional executive teams with dedicated resources and best-in-class services and technology, to help foster long-term partnerships and deliver global success for the next generation of independent labels and artist talent.

“In total, this global launch represents an important evolution of our industry-leading strategy to be an accelerator and vital partner for the music’s best independent artists and entrepreneurs.”

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19 year old LA based Keni has released the alt pop song Sid and Nancy which references TheSex Pistols’ Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. The track also comes with a well crafted video. If you like Julia Michaels’ breathy whisper pop, you’ll love this.

The song is based on her personal experience. “When I wrote ‘Sid and Nancy,’ the only thing I knew about love was that I wanted it,” shares Keni. “The intention with this song was not to romanticize a toxic relationship like the one Sid and Nancy had, but to use that as a metaphor for that obsessive, can’t live without each other type of love that I was desperately seeking during a certain time.”

Give it a stream on KOAR’s Indie Invaders.

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Under the EU’s tougher copyright rules, online platforms will be FORCED to sign licensing agreements with musicians, performers, authors, news publishers and journalists to use their work.

The European Commission’s says that “press and quality journalism are not for free” so the Copyright Directive creates the condition for fair bargaining between press editors and online platforms.

Australia has its own problem with the big tech giant.

The former CEO of Facebook’s Australian business Stephen Scheeler urged users to delete the social network’s app in response to Mark Zuckerberg’s “sad” decision to block news from the platform in the country.

He said that Facebook’s controversial move “looks and feels ugly” and blasted CEO Zuckerberg’s motivations.

“I’m a proud ex-Facebooker, but over the years I get more and more exasperated. For Facebook and Mark it’s too much about the money, and the power, and not about the good,” Scheeler said. “Imagine if a Chinese company for example had done this, we would be up in arms. All Australians should be quite alarmed by this.”

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It’s hard not to like mehro and his new track chance with you. If you only have 3 minutes today to listen to one song, make it this. Fans of Elliot Smith, Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright will love, but mehro can also reach a younger generation.

The Los Angeles Lo-fi pop artist also uploaded a video which he directed alongside Ryan Calavano.

“When I wrote ‘chance with you,’ it was an acknowledgement that I let something slip through my fingers,” he says. “I let fear overpower my desires, and I won’t let that happen again.”

Give it a stream on KOAR’s Indie Invaders Playlist.

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In honor of Black History Month, Lets Remember

Amanda Berry Smith (January 23, 1837 – February 24, 1915)was a former slave who funded The Amanda Smith Orphanage and Industrial Home for Abandoned and Destitute Colored Children. She was referred to as “God’s image carved in ebony”.

Smith worked as a cook and a washerwoman to provide for herself and her daughter after her husband was killed in the American Civil War. By the time Smith was thirty-two, she had lost two husbands and four of her five children. Attending religious camp meetings and revivals helped Smith work through her grief and avoid depression. She immersed herself in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

In 1878, Smith arranged for her daughter, Mazie, to study in England. The two traveled overseas and stayed in England for two years. On the journey over, the captain invited her to conduct a religious service on board and she was so modest that the other passengers spread word of her.

She next traveled to and ministered in India, where she stayed for eighteen months. Smith then spent eight years in Africa, working with churches and evangelizing. She traveled to Liberia and West Africa. Smith also expanded her family by adopting two African boys. While in Africa she suffered from repeated attacks of “African Fever” but persisted in her work. As a strong proponent of the Temperance Movement both in Africa and in the United States, she was invited by noted temperance advocate Rev. Dr. Theodore Ledyard Cuyler to preach at his Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York, then the largest church in its denomination, on her return to America.

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