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Stephen Sims releases ‘Fix Me’ – a personal and powerful ballad. All eyes are on the next power ballad after Capaldi’s massive success. The track was written by Sims & James Poole. I can’t help to hear a little of Sam Smith in Sims voice. He’s performed for the Elton John Aids Foundation, BBC, and ITV. Moreover, his track has been synced on the HULU trailer for ‘Handmaidens Tale’.

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Distribution is in free fall today. Artists are releasing singles daily, weekly, and monthly. Over-saturation and noise are real issues today. It’s more challenging to get the word out with everyone fighting for attention. We are living in an attention economy. Other advise such as Jimmy Iovine that quality, not quantity should be barometers. The breakout artist of the year was Billie Eilish (Interscope). But she didn’t oversaturate with content. Everything she put out was good followed by spellbinding visuals. Plus, her music wasn’t commercial and radio wouldn’t touch her music. Ironically, her streams were through the roof. New breakout artists won’t be commercial. People are searching for really bizarre stuff. They’ll be outliers that will find an edge, building their own quadrant. Songs today focus on different topics. Issues like depression, anxiety, politics will probably be the focus in 2020. Artists today feel comfortable talking about their weaknesses. Of course, there are no rules. That can make it difficult to find a NO.1 . A big topic of discussion are influencers vs musicians. Although two can co-exist it has become a difficult puzzle. Should artists be influencers and can influencers become artists? Both are mutually exclusive. Sure artists are ultimately influencers but the Motivational Mandy or Be Yourself Brandy haven’t moved mountains in the artist space and deals will become less for those type of influencers. This takes a lot of reflection to figure out and ultimately 2020 will be an interesting year.

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Watch out for ZEDSU. The New Jersey native is generating chatter in the hip-hop space. He also has a feature on the track THOT! with the Spotify viral artist TOKYO’S REVENGE . If you haven’t heard, Tokyo inked a deal with the 740 Project via Scooter Braun. If anything, check out the track Insomnia. He cleverly mixes alt-rock guitars with trap beats, something you don’t hear to often.

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Look out for the Finnish native producer Perttu and his new release Damage Control. His remixes for Billie Eilish and Gnash hit the viral charts. The new track was released via his own label Perttu Music Oy. It’s good to be your own label when you have over 70k monthly listeners, and several tracks landing on Spotify Playlists (Coffee Club, Impulso Creativo, Indie Highlights), garnering over 20 million streams. Give it one more stream!

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OUSIVILLE, KY – According to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), federal officers have recently seized nearly 3,000 counterfeit driver’s licenses and more than 3,100 blank card stocks used to make fake licenses in Kentucky.

The IDs were traveling from China to various locations in New York, the federal agency said, adding that the fraudulent driver licenses were intercepted at an Express Consignment Operations center in Louisville, Ky. The licenses were for several states, including Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, and Ohio. The blank cards that were seized are used to create Fake IDs by other manufactures across the U.S.

Louisville authorities alerted CBP officers in Memphis as fake identification cards were also delivered to that state, leading to an additional 527 fake driver licenses in Tennessee, officials said.

According to CBP, one of the confiscated packages was heading to a convicted child rapist in the New York area, adding that authorities believe the person would entice minors with liquor and fake IDs before engaging in illegal activity. Homeland Security is also investigating.

Thomas Mahn, director of Louisville Port, said fake IDs are often obtained and sold via purchases on the “dark web.”. Fortunately, you do not actually have to access the Dark Web to purchase fake IDs. They are readily available from vendors across the world that accept payments via cryptocurrency.

“Some of the major concerns related to fraudulent identity documents are identity theft, worksite enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, fraud related to immigration-related crimes such as human smuggling and trafficking in human beings, and these documents can be used by those associated with terrorism to minimize screening of travel screening measures,” Mahn said.

This is just a small dent in what is the current Fake ID marketplace. Estimates have Fake ID transactions in 2018 over 12 million dollars in just the United States alone. In a report released by the Center for Alcohol Policy come interesting data as it relates to alcohol sales and service, fake IDs can have severe financial implications, the question is how much. U.S. alcohol-related economic costs exceed more than $175 billion annually.

Underage drinking costs nearly $57 billion annually, including $14.6 billion in lost labor costs, $5.4 billion in medical costs, and $36.9 billion in costs of pain and suffering. We do not know, however, exactly how much of those costs is caused directly or indirectly by the use of fake IDs by the access to alcohol by underage drinkers. We know that public sources, including federal, state and local governments, are responsible for many of the financial consequences.

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