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Exclusive digital cover: Hannah Reid on taking control, double standards and London Grammar's return

Having topped the charts with their last album, London Grammar return with Californian Soil, a record that portrays this award-winning band in a new light, and turns the focus on ingrained inequality in the music industry. Music Week goes behind ...

Start Me Up: Multiview Media

The livestream business is growing – and now it’s ripe for innovation.  Multiview Media is a UK start-up that has launched a video streaming platform with a difference. As hinted at by the company name, there’s an option for multiple camera angles, so fans can enjoy their favourite artists from a range of different perspectives. The concept of the multi-angle, interactive streaming experience came from a music manager, Ray Meadham, now CEO of Multiview.  “I was looking to increase the revenues of my roster and thought, ‘Why not explore livestream in a multi-angle format, which could open up new commercial opportunities,” he tells Music Week. The idea caught on across the industry, and Meadham worked with execs such as IE: Music’s Tim Clarke and artist Imogen Heap to help bring the product to market.  With livestreams now selling substantial amounts of tickets, Meadham suggests that the pandemic has “accelerated viewers’ expectations – they now demand more control, interactivity and options over their viewing experience”. Multiview can also work with artists, labels and rights-holders on archive content for new commercial opportunities, such as pay-per-view, sponsorship opportunities or repackaged box sets that provide access to the footage.  The company’s first client is US music show JBTV, who will provide historic content of artists including Fall Out Boy, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Joy Formidable for the multi-camera format. “There is so much catalogue content sitting with content owners where we can work with them to identify what can be repackaged in a multi-angle viewing format,” says Meadham.  And once the pandemic is over, he predicts that the technology will be part of a new hybrid model for live and virtual. “Can you imagine being at Glastonbury in the crowd physically, and having a piece of technology in your hand that meant that you could visually see all stages and not miss a thing?” predicts Meadham. “This is the future." 

Squid pro quo: Warp aims high with 'awe-inspiring' campaign

Warp Records’ UK head of campaigns Leah Ellis has spoken about the label’s No.1 ambitions for Squid’s debut album. Amid a growing buzz among the industry and tastemakers about the UK alternative act, Bright Green Field is released on May 7. “The reason that we chose them and they chose us was just because of the way we always let our artists have a big creative input,” said Ellis. “We want to create a community around them. “There’s a lot of free rein on the creativity. Their personalities sit really well alongside our artists, you can hear a lot of Warp influences.”  While Warp is best known for electronic artists such as Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, Ellis noted the label’s track record of breaking bands, including Maximo Park, Grizzly Bear and Battles. Maximo Park’s 2005 debut, A Certain Trigger, has sales of 241,405, according to the Official Charts Company. “I don’t think it’s necessarily any different to how we work on breaking electronic artists,” she said. “It’s about who gets the music. The fans are so important and with Squid they have followed them for a long time.”  While the band built up their following with singles including 2019’s Houseplants (Practise Music/AWAL), which has more than a million UK streams, their debut is comprised of entirely original material. It was produced by Dan Carey (Fontaines DC, Goat Girl, Black Midi), who released Squid’s early singles on his Speedy Wunderground label.  Ellis said the band’s work ethic and “creative vision” for Bright Green Field will be matched by the label’s campaign. “I want a No.1 and I think they deserve No.1,” she told Music Week. “There’s so much that we’ve got planned between now and the album release. I think a lot of people are going to be very pleasantly surprised with the creativity of it, how different and awe-inspiring [the campaign] is.”  As well as making the BBC Sound of 2020 longlist, Squid have enjoyed strong radio support from BBC Radio 6 Music. “Steve Lamacq at 6 Music has supported them from day one,” said Ellis. “I hope that people who listen to Steve and 6 Music really get the music.”  The BBC digital station has playlisted the lead single, Narrator feat. Martha Skye Murphy. The album also features Emma-Jean Thackray and Lewis Evans of Top 5 indie act Black Country, New Road. “There’s been such a positive reaction to the album announcement and first single,” said Hoof Management’s Sinead Mills, who manages the band alongside Ina Tatarko and Tash Cutts. “There’s massive excitement at press and retail. Internationally the band are really starting to make a splash.  “The album Squid have made is beyond our expectations from when we joined their journey a few years ago. We believe they’ve made a really important record, which their fans are going to love. Warp have been incredibly supportive and have allowed Squid’s vision to be completely realised, which is quite remarkable for a debut album. No one is playing it safe.” While indie retail and vinyl will be a key element of the debut LP campaign, Ellis said they can also make an impact on DSPs.  “Because they’re so genre-less, Squid are one of those bands that can sit across different formats,” she said. “In the past year since we signed them, they’ve added a lot more followers on streaming. “We’ve had some good playlists for Narrator. We’re working closely with Spotify and Apple. The beauty with Squid is that they appeal to different tastes and to different people.” Warp is handling the global rollout for the record in May.  “They have started to grow in the US, they are getting some really good support at college radio,” said Ellis. “There’s been a lot of interest from France, Japan is super-excited about it. It is growing out of the UK, but getting fans on board internationally is just as important.” Plans for a worldwide tour were put on hold because of the pandemic. But with live music set to return in the second half of the year, there are hopes that Squid can build momentum for their debut album campaign.  “Pre-pandemic, Squid proved themselves to be one of the most incendiary new live acts from the UK,” said Sarah Joy, the band’s agent at ATC Live. “Their show is enough to render you speechless. “We had a full calendar in 2020-2021 throughout Europe and Asia, which we are in the process of rebooking due to Covid-19. When live shows resume safely, they will continue to tour their debut and visit new territories worldwide where there is a huge demand for them. “They have all the hallmarks of a long touring career as well as the creativity and drive to make each show as mind-blowing as the last.”  Extensive UK and European touring is lined up for the summer and autumn, including a date at Printworks London on September 23. “We definitely feel like it’s the right time, it’s released just as we are going to be able to start coming out of lockdown,” added Ellis. “It’s going to be a really good opportunity for them to get back on the road, because I know they have definitely missed that. They are such an amazing live band.”

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