On January 14th, M.I.A. was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, according to The Associated Press. She received the honor from Prince William at Buckingham Palace as part of the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours.
M.I.A. said in a statement on Instagram that she accepted the medal in tribute to her mother. “Today I’m accepting this in honour for my mother who worked for minimum wage to give us a better life,” she wrote. “As a working class first generation immigrant it’s great to be recognised for my contribution. Having freedom to speak my truth and to do it through music has helped me speak for those who do not have those privileges. I will continue [to] fight for those who are silenced or persecuted by others.” Find the post below.
According to the Music in Africa and The Guardian, Kehinde Lijadu, one half of the iconic Nigerian duo the Lijadu Sisters, has died following a cancer battle. There is a GoFundMe the family has organized for her memorial service. Taiwo Lijadu, her twin sister and band mate, writes, “Kehinde was my light, my love, my soul mate… my everything. I am bereft and will miss her dearly.” She was 71.
She was born on September 18th, 1948 in Ibadan, Nigeria, where Kehinde and Taiwo began performing together as children. The pair demanded a session of their own after working as session singers in 1969. The Lijadu Sisters released several albums on the Decca subsidiary Afrodisia. They performed at the Munich Summer Olympics with the band Salt. The Lijadus often addressed the political unrest in Nigeria in their music and they also talked about the lack of women in the West African music scene.
Iconic lo-fi singer and visual artist, Daniel Johnston has passed away at the age of 58 after having suffered from a heart attack, his former manager manager Jeff Tartakov confirmed to The Austin Chronicle. Johnston’s sincere and simple music, which was primarily recorded on homemade cassettes, was beloved and influential.
Jeff Feuerzieg directed a documentary about Johnston’s life in 2005 called The Devil and Daniel Johnston. Around the same time, he created his own record label, Eternal Yip Eye Music where he released his last album through Space Ducks: Soundtrack, in 2012. In 2018, the city of Austin honored Johnston by naming January 22 “Hi, How Are You?” Day.
The band Beirut have cancelled the rest of their tour for 2019 after announcing in a message on Facebook that singer Zach Condon had been diagnosed with “acute laryngitis” and was told not to sing or tour, requiring them to cancel shows through the end of the year. Read the full post below.
The band was set to play on September 30th in Stockholm, Sweden.
09-30 Stockholm, Sweden – Munchenbryggeriet
10-02 Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene
10-04 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
10-05 Aarhus, Denmark – Train
10-06 Utrecht, Netherlands – TivoliVredenburg – Grote Zaal
10-08 Paris, France – Salle Pleyel
10-13 Zagreb, Hungary – Culture Factory
10-15 Linz, Austria – Brucknerhaus
10-16 Vienna, Austria – Arena Wien (Open Air)
10-17 Warsaw, Poland – Progresja Music Zone
11-11 Mexico City, Mexico – Plaza Condesa
11-12 Mexico City, Mexico – Plaza Condesa
11-18 Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
11-19 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
11-21 Austin, TX – ACL Live
11-22 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
11-23 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
11-25 Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
11-26 Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
11-27 Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
11-29 Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts
11-30 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
12-01 New York, NY – Terminal 5
Spotify announced today that it is ending its direct-upload program. The feature, which was still in its beta, allowed artists to upload their music directly to Spotify without needing to use a traditional distributor or third-party company to upload their music on the streaming service.
Spotify said today in its announcement, “The best way for us to serve artists and labels is to focus our resources on developing tools in areas where Spotify can uniquely benefit them—like Spotify for Artists… and our playlist submission tool.” In addition, the blog post stated, “We’re working with our distribution partners to help make this transition as simple as possible for the artists who uploaded music through the beta.”
The company will stop accepting new uploads at the end of this month.
Bon Iver played a show on Sunday night at London’s All Points East festival where Justin Vernon and the band closed out the set with recordings of new music, NME reports. Watch clips of the songs fans speculate are titled “Hey Ma” and “U” below. The band performed “Hey Ma” live at Bonnaroo.
Bon Iver also displayed a cryptic link to a new website called “icommai” on the screen. The site’s most recent post features a lengthy list of collaborators, including Moses Sumney, The National’s Bryce Dessner, Brad Cook, Psymun, Bruce Hornsby, and others. Check out the full list on icommai.com.