Essential Reading Vol. 1

by | Mar 26, 2016 | 0 comments

Welcome to Essential Reading, a bi-weekly round up of some of our favourite music journalism. Check back every other Saturday for a new reading list. Mighty Records is curating what we consider must reads. Feel free to comment your favourite articles in the comments below. Without further ado, Essential Reading Vol. 1…

Before Kanye West released his perhaps still-in-progress album The Life Of Pablo to the world, with a campaign that included name changes, memorial T-shirts, and a fashion show at the world’s most famous arena, he described the project on Twitter as a “gospel album.”

If some interpreted that comment as bombastic, its validity was confirmed when the album’s opening track, “Ultralight Beam,” debuted at Madison Square Garden. A five-minute sprint that wasalso performed on Saturday Night Live, the song starts with the sampled voice of a pious child from Vine, continues with assists from Chance The Rapper and R&B powerhouse Kelly Price, and concludes with a full choir and a prayer from gospel legend Kirk Franklin. Speaking to The FADER earlier this month, Price called the song a “street parable.” She explained: “I can listen to it and hear messages of hurt, shame, anger, and fear, and then I can turn around and see hope, faith, redemption, compassion, rejuvenation, forgiveness, and getting up from a fall.”

Price and Franklin’s contributions to the song, it turns out, are thanks to none other than Derek Watkins, the man better known as Fonzworth Bentley… read more…

Myles Tanzer is a news editor at The Fader. You can see more of his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @mylestanzer

Let’s take a trip back to June 2011, where we find a 23-year-old Kendrick Lamar Duckworth in Harlem’s Stadium Red Studios, located on 125th Street and Park Avenue. K. Dot’s not here to record any music, but to conduct the following interview about his recording process, his origins and where he plans on taking his music. It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and the Compton rapper is in a super laid back mood. But that seems to be his public persona regardless. That is, until this ball of incredible energy blasts his rhymes on stage. It’s something that will be experienced by his first Brooklyn show later that night at the Park Slope sweatbox known as Southpaw… read more…

Datwon Thomas is editor-in-chief of VIBE Magazine. You can see more of his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @Daydog

It’s no secret that the growth of streaming services and the format du jour — the streaming playlist — are having a profound effect on way we promote, market and monetise recorded music. Spotify in particular (being the market leader in the UK) and its many playlists are the focus of great analysis and scrutiny. What seemed inane details of the digital marketing manager’s update 50 mins into our planning meetings a year ago, is now the common lexicon of the senior executive: “are we getting New Music Friday?”, “why aren’t we on Hipster House Party?” The music industry has a new set of influential playlists to worry about now.

So where does this leave radio pluggers? In a very strong position: our skills just got more valuable. read more…

Samuel Potts is Head of Radio at Columbia UK. He is the founder of YGN. Follow him on Twitter @Samuelpotts

IN LATE 2011, Alli Bautista, an artist, was preparing to paint in her bedroom in San Diego. The apartment was spacious yet cozy with warm wooden floors. Bautista’s easel stood in front of large windows accented by crown molding. While she painted, she always listened to music mixes. On this particular day, she had selected a mix on her laptop called Show #49 (Soulection Radio). A remix by the U.K. producer Synkro of a song by Submotion Orchestra called “Always” began to play through her headphones and the smooth groove and soulful electronic sounds instantly captured her attention. read more…

Kieran Meadows is a music & culture contributor at Forbes. You can see more of more of his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @kieranmeadows

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