Even before the pandemic, the music industry was shifting. TikTok has, in a sense, become the new YouTube, where aspiring singers can go viral overnight and sign a record deal the next day. Teenage newcomers can shatter records previously set by the world’s biggest pop stars (here’s looking at you, Olivia Rodrigo). When it comes to music, there is – and always has been – a lot to talk about.
That’s why The Independent is launching its new weekly newsletter, Now Hear This. Each Friday, we’ll be sending you an easy-to-digest mix of the latest headlines, commentary, insider gossip and tips on the best new music, including a link to our Spotify playlist (also updated each week).
Over the past 12 months, the music landscape in the UK has changed dramatically. Music venues that were once lively, bustling hubs for hopeful new artists and stadium-headlining rock gods fell silent for the first time in living memory.
Labels panicked and put some of the year’s most anticipated new releases on hold, thinking it would be a few months before we returned to normality. Plans for a triumphant 50th birthday celebration at Glastonbury Festival were scuppered.
Yet the creative industries are nothing if not, well, creative. Musicians quickly started popping up in livestreams, their voices soothing us as we stayed at home to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
Artists recorded entire new albums, inspired by the unprecedented time they had to themselves – for once not surrounded by label executives, producers, publicists or fans. New conversations about mental health and the way the industry needs to change, on so many issues, struck up.
All of this and more will be tackled in the Now Hear This newsletter. You’ll get objective coverage of the industry’s most pressing issues, insights into how things work behind the scenes, and commentary on the latest news headlines.
There’ll also be exclusive sneak-peaks at forthcoming interviews, plus a reminder of the ones you may have missed earlier in the week. All of that, plus exclusive offers from our partnership festivals, competitions, and giveaways from your favourite artists. As the Ramones once said, “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!”
Now Hear This will be launching on June 4.