Thursday, May 12, 2016

10 quotes from Canadian Music Week 2016

By Emmanuel Legrand

Tony Visconti receives the Nile Rodgers Award from CMW's Neill Dixon
The participants to Canadian Music Week 2016 -- which included a large contingent of Brits, as the UK & Ireland were the countries featured this year -- were treated with a series of keynotes from such luminaries as Tony Visconti, Eddie Kramer, UTA's Neil Warnock, Capitol Music Group's Steve Barnett, Believe Music's Denis Ladegaillerie, Merlin's Charles Caldas, among others.

Here's a sample of quotes picked during the Toronto gathering that took place May 4-7.

"I am not finished doing music. I’m only interested in making quality music, not crass commercial pop. I do love deep pop music, like David Bowie. We have to put out quality music again. It never died, but it has been repressed."  
Producer Tony Visconti upon receiving the Niles Rodgers Global Creators’ Award.

"Three weeks before he passed away, I open my iPhone and I see David's face on FaceTime, and he tells me he has written five songs for the next album. So if he had not died I would probably be working on his next album today."

Tony Visconti, when asked if he thought Blackstar was going to be Bowie’s last album.

"There were people at Capitol and EMI that were so daunted by the past that they were
Capitol's Steve Barnett
afraid of the future."
Steve Barnett, Chairman & CEO of Capitol Music Group, about the mental state of the people who worked for the company.

"I was there at that time and if we did as much blow as they do on the show nobody would be alive today."
A&R legend Seymour Stein on HBO's TV show Vinyl. If he remembers he was there.

"40% of grassroots venues in London have closed. That's about 90. That's a crisis."
Shain Shapiro, Founder and Managing Director of Sound Diplomacy, about the legacy of Boris Johnson as mayor.

"Really? Where were you two years ago because that's what we did two years ago!"
Simon Wheeler, Director of Digital at Beggars Group, commenting on the announcement that streaming is now Warner Music Group's main source of revenues.

“The music business is changing and evolving. We, as the music industry, have a responsibility to leave the industry better than we found it.”
Jeffrey Remedios, CEO of Universal Music Group Canada, taking his job seriously.

“For the Rolling Stones in Cuba, we knew the site could fit 750,000 people but there were
AEG's Meglen & Ralph Simon
more than that, people were all around, on the roofs… It was really massive: we had 61 containers, we shipped the stage from Belgium, we dropped 40,000 botles of water because we did not want to be short of water. We ltterally brough everything, except food. And we should have brought food, but we didn’t!"
John Meglen, President & Co-CEO of Concerts West/AEG Live, expressing reservations about the quality of the food in Cuba.

“Over $20 billion has gone from the industry over the last 16 years. Our creative class is worse off now than in the pre-digital era.”
Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada, cares about the creative class.

“Canadians? They never show up for work and their are drunk. They are from the colonies, that's how it is. You have to be gracious, they still have the Queen's head on their notes."
Neil Warnock, Head of Worldwide Music at United Talent Agency, reflecting on life in the colonies. Of course, he was joking. (he really was!)

Believe's Ladegaillerie & Jeremy Silver

“At this stage the streaming market is not mature enough for subscription models only. Ad-supported streaming services are the best way to convert month by month users from free to pay models. If you only focus of subscription models, you lose the conversion. When BeyoncĂ© gives an exclusive to TIDAL, piracy explodes. We need to find the right balance."
Denis Ladegaillerie, Founder and CEO of Believe Digital, who is not ready to follow Lucian Grainge on this issue.

“Can you build a girfiend? That's the most common request... I always say no.”
John Textor, Executive Chairman of
Pulse Evolution Corporation, about the potential of virtual reality.

"The key challenge for the music industry is to re-attach the value of music to the monetary value of music."
Mark Mulligan, founder of MiDIA, summed up nicely the challenges ahead.

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