Tag: Daft Punk

Jay Z Launches Tidal, the First Artist-Owned Streaming-Music Service

Jay Z Kanye Rihanna Madonna Tidal
(JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY IMAGES)

Music impresario Jay Z has launched Tidal — positioned as an ad-free, high-quality streaming-music subscription service priced starting at $10 per month — with the participation of numerous big-name artists including Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Kanye West and Madonna.

In January, Jay Z acquired Sweden-based Aspiro for $56 million. The artists announced onstage at the New York event Monday were introduced as co-owners of the company, representing the first artist-owned digital-music service — as opposed to companies like Spotify and Pandora.

“Our goal is simple: We want to create a better service and a better experience for both fans and artitsts,” Alicia Keys said at the event. “We believe that it is in everyone’s interests — fans, artists and the industry as a whole — to preserve the value of music, and to ensure a healthy and robust industry for years to come.”

Tidal’s mobile launch partner is Sprint. Other artists participating in the service include Arcade Fire, Calvin Harris, Daft PunkJack White (formerly of the White Stripes) and Deadmau5. Tidal was launched with the hashtag “#TIDALforALL” — although, obviously, it’s only for those able or willing to pay at least $120 annually for audio and video content.

The Tidal service will compete with other subscription-music services including Spotify and Apple’s forthcoming music-streaming service, based on its acquisition of Beats Music, which is expected to launch this summer.

Tidal will not offer a free version of the service; the standard-audio version (Tidal Premium) will be $9.99 per month and the high-def audio version (Tidal HiFi) will be $19.99 per month. Both tiers are free to try out for 30 days, according to the company.

Tidal says it provides a library of more than 25 million tracks, 75,000 music videos and curated editorial articles. The service is available across iOS and Android devices, as well as in Web browsers and desktop players, available in the U.S. and 30 other countries at launch. Tidal provides streaming quality at more than four times the bit rate of competitive services, according to the startup.

article by Todd Spangler via Variety.com

Pharrell Williams Tops Grammys with Producer, Record of the Year Wins

Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers accept Best Duo/Group Grammy Award
Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers accepting Best Duo/Group  Performance Grammy Award

Although he easily could have been remembered solely for his avant garde Vivienne Westwood hat this Grammy year, Pharrell Williams‘ musical forays trumped his sartorial whims last night, garnering him Producer of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance honors.  Williams also has partial claim to the Album of the Year award, which electronic duo Daft Punk won for Random Access Memories (featuring two Pharrell collaborations.)  Other notable winners were Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, (Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album), Alicia Keys (Best R&B Album), Bruno Mars (Best Pop Vocal Album), Ziggy Marley (Best Reggae Album) and Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, who won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Holy Grail.”

Beyoncé and Jay Z opened the show with the steamy, risqué “Drunk in Love,” kicking off a night filled with larger-than-life performances including Pink‘s literal and vocal acrobatics on “Try” and “Just Give Me A Reason,” Katy Perry‘s witchy snap vibe on “Dark Horse” with Juicy J , Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons‘ brilliant, burning mash up of “m.A.A.d City” and “Radioactive,” and Pharrell, Nile Rodgers and Daft Punk with Stevie Wonder on a version of “Get Lucky” that flawlessly blended in Chic’s “Le Freak” and Wonder’s “Another Star.”

One of the biggest, funnest surprises of the evening came late in the show when Queen Latifah introduced Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert and Trombone Shorty‘s performance of “Same Love.” Midway through the song, Latifah re-appeared to officiate a wedding ceremony for thirty-three couples – heterosexual and homosexual – in the aisles of the Los Angeles Staples Center.  As they said their “I dos”, Madonna strolled out in a white suit, hat and cane, melding the chorus of “Open Your Heart” into “Same Love.”

A full list of the Grammy winners follows below:

Album of the Year: “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk

Record of the Year: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams

Song of the Year: “Royals,” Joel Little, Ella Yelich O’Connor (Lorde)

Best Country Album: “Same Trailer, Different Park,” Kacey Musgraves

Best Pop Vocal Album: “Unorthodox Jukebox,” Bruno Mars

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: “Holy Grail,” Jay Z and Justin Timberlake

Best Pop Solo Performance: Lorde

Best Rock Song: “Cut Me Some Slack,” Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk

Best New Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Continue reading “Pharrell Williams Tops Grammys with Producer, Record of the Year Wins”

Kanye West Takes No. 1 Spot on Billboard 200; J. Cole Takes 2nd in Rap’s “Biggest Week” Since 2011

Official sales numbers are in for the J. Cole-imposed competition with Kanye West and Yeezuslands at No. 1. Cole’s Born Sinner and Mac Miller‘s Watching Movies With the Sound Off enter at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, making it rap’s “biggest week” since November 2011, reportsBillboard.

The Billboard 200 chart tracks top-selling albums nationwide. The coveted first-week sales often determine the trajectory of an album’s overall outcome and strategies for continued marketing.

Kanye, even with the no-marketing marketing strategy, and no single pushed to radio (DJ’s, unconventionally, made their own radio edits from the album), earned his sixth straight chart-topping debut, selling 327,000. This puts him in the third slot for biggest openers this year (behind BET Awards performer Justin Timberlake with 968,000 and electro-pop duo Daft Punk with 339,000); and it puts him in a three-way tie with Eminem and Nas for almost the most No. 1’s. Jay-Z has the most with 12, including his collaborative project with ‘Ye, Watch the Throne.

Continue reading “Kanye West Takes No. 1 Spot on Billboard 200; J. Cole Takes 2nd in Rap’s “Biggest Week” Since 2011″