A Recovering Gibson Relocates Into Downtown Nashville — and Relaunches Its Gibson Foundation

Gibson, which filed for bankruptcy in May 2018, is now showing signs of recovery.

Gibson has just announced plans to move its headquarters to downtown Nashville. And after years of silence, the company is also relaunching the Gibson Foundation, a charitable organization that aims to support at-risk and in-need youth by introducing them to the world of music.

In the wake of a grueling bankruptcy, the company shuttered unprofitable divisions that made non-guitar products and/or focused on research and development.  In the years leading up to Gibson’s financial meltdown, far-flung forays included risky bets on technology like auto-tuning pegs, a diversion into digital rights management, and bloated advertising budgets.  The guitar giant even purchased the shuttered Tower Records store in West Hollywood, but did little with the property.

Gibson’s headquarters have been located on the outer edge of Nashville for about three decades. By moving into the heart of the city, company officials hope to establish a better connection with local musicians and the thriving Nashville music scene.  Additionally, the new building is reportedly bigger and more modern than Gibson’s current headquarters, and it will include a comprehensive guitar showroom.

A timetable for the move is expected to be released soon.

As for the Gibson Foundation’s relaunch, it was revealed that Dendy Jarrett will serve as the group’s executive director.

To celebrate the revival, the Gibson Foundation plans to give away one guitar per day for 1,000 days.  In the same press release, the organization emphasized that all donations will be given to at-risk youth for the purpose of learning, playing, and enjoying music.

Since 2002, the Gibson Foundation has provided more than $30 million worth of support to children and music-focused charities.

Gibson first declared bankruptcy in May of 2018, though a year can make a huge difference.  Now, the question is whether Gibson’s leaner operation will keep the company afloat over the long term. Part of that answer depends on what demand for guitars looks like over the coming decade.

Spotify Launches the Disney Hub Featuring Classic TV and Movie Songs

On the video side, Disney is taking on the market with a dedicated SVOD platform. That’s not the case with music, however.

The Walt Disney Corporation has unveiled a partnership with Spotify.  The music streaming giant will now feature a “prominent spot” for Disney in its iOS and Android mobile app.

Starting today, users in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will find a designated music hub after searching for “Disney.”

On a blog post, the company explained,

Stream playlists full of everything from The Little Mermaid to modern favorites like Frozen to Star Wars instrumentals and even Marvel movie soundtracks.  Plus, Disney compilations made for every part of your day — road trip, shower, or sleep time — will help ensure your life is nothing short of magical.

Songs featured in the music hub include those featured in films, television shows, and theme parks.  As stated above, the new hub will feature music from Disney’s properties.  These include songs from the upcoming film The Lion King, including ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ and ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.’

According to Spotify, Disney’s catalog has a strong presence on the platform.  Fans have streamed over 2 billion combined minutes (more than 333 million hours).  The 10 most-streamed songs are Idina Menzel’s ‘Let It Go,’ Auli’I Cavino’s ‘How Far I’ll Go,’ Dwayne Johnson’s ‘You’re Welcome,’ Rascal Flatts’ ‘Life is a Highway,’ Agatha Lee Monn’s ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?,’ Donny Osmond’s ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You,’ Alan Menken’s ‘A Whole New World,’ Shakira’s ‘Try Everything,’ and Kristen Bell’s ‘Love is an Open Door.’

The move comes alongside Disney’s aggressive efforts to establish Disney.

The dedicated subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform is a direct stab at entrenched behemoths like Netflix and Hulu, neither of whom enjoy Disney content licensing.

Perhaps a direct play in the streaming music market makes little sense for Disney — though of course, Disney apparently thought the same about video up until recently.

Both companies refused to provide financial arrangements about the new deal.

Current playlists offered include Disney Hits, Favorites, Classics, Singalongs, Princess, Marvel Music, and Best of Star Wars.

Spotify has previously rolled out a collection of content themed around talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.  Dubbed the Ellen Hub, this includes exclusive content from her show.

 


 

Warner Music Group Revamps Its Age-Old 'Classics' Imprint

Warner Classics & Erato has revamped its website, with classical aficionados the target.

For starters, Warner Classics has embedded a custom-built streaming player into its upgraded site.  That’s right: crusty classical fans actually know how to stream, contrary to the stereotype.

WMG has a pretty deep classical catalog, as you can imagine.  Now, most of that collection can be sampled, with 30-second streaming previews peppering the site.  All of Warner’s thousands of albums are included in the upgrade.

rs to Apple Music, Deezer, and Spotify can stream entire tracks through warnerclassics.com.

Markus Petersen, SVP Global Operations & Business Development says this is a new era for Warner Classics.

“One of our prime objectives is to provide ready and enjoyable access to new and recent releases of today’s finest classical artists as well as to Warner Classics’ magnificent catalog.”

The move is part of a slow-but-steady resurgence of niche formats, including classical.  While formats like rap, EDM, and pop led the streaming surge, niche formats like jazz, blues, and classical also appear to be rising with the tide.

Warner is aiming for a new, uncluttered and user-focused way to interact with music.  In short, Warner redesigned the site to make it a more engaging experience for classical music fans — and of course, get them to stream a lot more.

Of course, WMG isn’t alone in courting classical fans.  But WMG is a pretty big fish, and its latest moves are probably a good sign for the genre.

The search engine for the site offers text search and filtering through a variety of categories. The site recognizes a user’s location and offers localized content across a regional and national scale. Video content and social media feeds are also integrated into the website.

The new website also features curated playlists including dedicated to classical music artists. Hector Berlioz, Piotr Anderszewski, Martha Argerich, Alison Balsom, Maria Callas and Ian Bostridge are just a few artists highlighted on Warner Classics.

You can also listen to playlists according to their original composer, with mainstays like Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach also on hand.

Warner hired Piccobello — a German-based design agency — to handle the redesign of the site.  The technical infrastructure and content management system was built by FFW Agency’s teams in Berlin and Ukraine.

As Bankruptcy Looms, 7Digital Announces Changes to Its Board

Following an urgent bulletin that 7digital needs roughly $5.7 million to avoid bankruptcy, the company is now announcing changes to its board.

Insert ‘rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic’ quip here.

Amidst some heavyweight financial pressures, 7digital Group is now reshuffling things at the top.  The company has announced that Tamir Koch has joined as a non-executive Chair. David Lazarus joins as a non-executive Director, with both appointments taking immediate effect.

Mark Foster will cease to act as interim Chair and will continue as a non-executive Director.

Tamir Koch currently serves as president of eMusic.com, an online music and audiobook store. The brand started in 1998 and became an important player in the early-2000s indie download scene, though these days, the company has been struggling to launch a ble blockchain-based concept.  And of course, eMusic’s download-based indie music model is facing some serious competitive and consumer headwinds.

Tamir’s recent accomplishments include leading the eMusic Blockchain Project.  The eMusic Blockchain project takes a decentralized approach to music distribution and rights management.

David Lazarus spent six years at Lloyds of London as a Lloyds broker and currently serves as Executive Director of the RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers Group. The RAM Group operates 40 hubs with a fleet of 1,700 delivery vehicles in South Africa.

John Aalbers —  — says he’s happy to see the new members of the board.  Each brings valuable experience that he believes will assist 7digital’s vision on “executing our new company strategy.”

But what is that strategy, exactly?  And can it be executed before this company goes ‘poof’?

Tamir Koch says he believes 7digital may be the perfect partner to help realize his eMusic Blockchain project.

“I envision blockchain as the way to align metadata within the industry, organize direct royalty payments, and create all-new economic models between fans and artists. I aim for 7digital to be at the forefront of those developments.”

Tamir says adding blockchain distribution technology will give 7digital access to the direct-to-fan market. That market is arguably one of the fastest-growing markets in the music industry.

Whether 7digital will remain an ongoing concern into 2020 remains a speculative bet.  In late June, the company issued a dire warning relating to the , with a drop-dead date of July 31st to receive financing in the range of $5.7 million.  Tamir himself offered to pony a portion of that tranche, though we’re unclear how much has been committed.

Alibaba's Xiami Music Partners with MQA to Offer Lossless Audio Streaming in China

British audio tech startup MQA has been quietly building partnerships in the music industry.

Several months ago, Jay-Z’s music streaming service, TIDAL, (Master Quality Authenticated) streaming on iOS and Android devices.

Rhapsody International with the audio tech startup in May.  The partnership between Rhapsody-owned Napster and MQA means listeners can now stream the original, highest resolution versions of tracks on the service.  Napster’s premium subscription platform currently operates in 34 countries, with the company targeting growth in Asia.

The deals arrived nearly two years after indie label collective Merlin Network .

So, what makes this company so special?  The MQA file format delivers deep-range, hi-res audio in a small streaming package.  The company also has long-standing deals with the big three: Warner, Sony, and Universal Music Group.

Yet one key question remains.  With paid streaming on the rise, do listeners really care about HD-level audio?  According to Napster’s Chief Commercial Officer Angel Gambino, yes.  High-resolution audio is the future.

Backing up Gambino’s claims, the RIAA states over 33,500 albums and 400,000 tracks of studio-quality formats are now available.  This figure has jumped 29% year-over-year, underscoring major labels’ interest in studio-quality streaming.

Now, MQA has unveiled a new partnership.

High-quality music listening in China.

Alibaba-owned Xiami Music has partnered with MQA.

Starting immediately, the Chinese music service will offer high-definition audio playback to all users.  Listeners, however, will first have to sign-up for a free trial period.  Premium ‘SVIP’ subscribers can then stream high-quality music on Xiami’s Android and iOS apps.

In addition to TIDAL and Napster, other music services offering MQA streaming include Nugs.net, Onkyo Music, e-Onkyo, and Hi Res Audio.  The British company’s hardware partners include Sony, Technics, Pioneer, Onkyo, LG, Bluesound, Astell and Kern, and Meridian.

Speaking about the agreement with MQA, Long Yang, Director of Xiami Music, explained,

We’re very proud to be the first music service in China to offer MQA, as we continue to push the technological boundaries in pursuit of improved sound quality to benefit our music fans and all musicians on our platform.

According to the British startup, China remains the fourth largest market in terms of sales of MQA devices.  With the new partnership, the British company hopes to increase its revenue in the region.

 


Featured image by Philip Jägenstedt (CC by 2.0).

"Super Size Me 2" Explores The Reality Behind "Healthy" & "Organic" Fast Food

It’s been thirteen years since Super Size Me put McDonald’s on blast which subsequently put a halt to the Super Size option at America’s favorite fast food joint. Many who’ve watched it stopped eating McDonald’s altogether after finding out the truth behind what’s in their Big Macs and other favorite menu items. Morgan Spurlock, the director behind the documentary, is apparently still on the mission to expose the fast-food giant so he decided to make a sequel to 2004’s game-changing documentary.

Super Size Me 2 will ficially see the light day on July 12th with a digital and theatrical release. The trailer debuted earlier today which continues to explore the fast-food industry but this one is focused on how poultry is raised. With labels like “healthy” and “organic” being slapped across products, Spurlock and his team open up a chicken joint and investigate how these chickens are ranged. At one point, Spurlock explains how technicalities can get the USDA’s approval despite for chicken products to be labeled as “free-range,” “hormone-free,” “cage-free,” “humanely raised” 100% chicken.

Spurlock’s latest documentary was supposed to be released in 2017. In the midst the rise the #MeToo movement, he wrote an open letter admitting to sexual misconduct which later prompted YouTube Red to drop the film as well as other projects Morgan Spurlock had in the pipeline. 

US-Based Streaming Music Revenues Slated to Reach $8.4 Billion In 2019

 

U.S. music streaming revenues are slated to jump another 33% in 2019 at least according to this report.

Despite signs of a streaming slowdown, total revenues are still increasing dramatically.  According to the Consumer Technology Association’s U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts, the forecast for 2019 remains green-n-sunny, with continued growth ahead.

The report is published twice per year, in July and January.

Specifically, the CTA indicated that the revenue of “on-demand music services” will cross the $8.4 billion mark this year —which marks a growth of about 33 percent.  This continued uptick in music service subscriptions comes alongside a huge increase in the number of smart speakers and innovative mobile devices, including smartwatches and wireless earbuds.

Per the same report, wireless earbuds will be up almost 50 percent in both revenue and sales volume this year, while smartwatch revenue will see a 20 percent bump from 2018 levels.  Not bad for two CE devices that barely existed a decade ago (or even five years ago in substantive quantities).

More encouraging yet is that the broader streaming category is also surging; this point illustrates the nationwide (and perhaps the worldwide) bility of the subscription business model. Video-streaming revenue will near $18 billion in 2019, according to the CTA; this is an increase of about 25 percent compared to 2018.

Also, gaming streaming, memberships, and micro-transactions will coordinate to produce almost $40 billion in 2019, a boost of 11 percent.

Perhaps one caveat worth mentioning: CTA’s numbers are probably on the bullish side, given the trade group’s constituency of CE manufacturers (and its ecosystem of supporters).  That said, CTA’s specific interest in streaming is less direct, given that consumer electronics devices are typically adaptive to the specific format demands of consumers.

In short, consumers are quickly gravitating towards subscription services — especially music streaming services.  As a consequence, nearly every other music format except for vinyl is tanking, including Apple’s once-steady iTunes paid download.

Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Pandora are all “in the mix” when it comes to securing new subscribers and convincing existing subscribers to switch services. For now, the companies have little to fret about in terms of attracting new customers; the market is taking care of that.  But as overall growth slows, these brands may need to draw subscribers in with even spicier deals and features, and accordingly, it appears that customers will continue to win for quite a while to come.

Australia's Music Exports Hit AUS $195 Million — With 10% of Artists Making 97% of the Income

A new report titled ‘Born Global: Australian Music Exports’ says Australian music exports are worth around $195 million ($137 million USD).  But the winners’ circle is small.

The report examines the cultural and economic value of Australian music exports.

Estimated figures included in the report combine the export income of Australian artists, record labels, and music publishers. Data in the report was collected over three years by the University of Newcastle and Monash University. Sounds Australia, APRA AMCOS and the Australia Council for the Arts also contributed.

One quick caveat: the finding itself is coming from the Australia Council for the Arts, so the figures themselves might be a little padded.  There’s also a sizable pro-government bent, though some breakdowns and details are certainly worth examining, including some lopsided artist earnings.

Key highlights from the summary report show that government grants provided the largest source of export support.

Live performances remain the top source of income for Australian musicians in foreign markets. The most lucrative foreign markets for touring Australian artists include the US, UK, and Germany.

Australian artists are also some of the most internationally engaged artists in the world. 40% of musicians and 50% of composers had international engagements from 2010 to 2015.

The report also indicates that Australian music exports are increasing — thanks largely to the government’s support of the industry.

But the export income of Australian artists is highly concentrated — and lopsided — with 10% of artists accounting for 97% of total export income. New export models are evolving to bring a broader range of Australian artists to worldwide attention, however, at least according to the hopeful report.

Concerts have contributed to the growth of artist income primarily in the United States since 2002, according to the report.

Controlled releases through streaming, targeting specific playlists, and digital analytics are three technologies helping Australian artists grow. The report also acknowledges that unofficial sources may broaden Australian artists’ appeal by .

“The wide range of countries identified in YouTube searches for Australian artists in the ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart in 2018–19 suggests that Australian artists have a much broader international presence than that indicated by international royalty payments alone.”

If you’re interested in reading the full report about Australia’s music exports, .

 

Safaree’s "Anaconda" Dildo Is Officially Available Now

After his nude images leaked online last year, Safaree Samuels entertained the idea molding his member to sell it to all the thirsty women in his inbox as a sex toy. He teased that he had gotten a major bag from one provider and finally, the item is being debuted this week.

In case you didn’t believe that Safaree was actually going through on his plans to sell a dildo model his own manhood, you are now being proven wrong. Making its premiere at ANME (Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo) today, Safaree Samuels’ first venture into the adult toy industry is available now. The packaging his package was shown on Doc Johnson’s social media story, the manufacturer his dildo. It is being marketed with the perfect name too. With Safaree becoming famous through his longtime relationship with Nicki Minaj, there is no better name for Safaree’s new toy than the “Anaconda.” The Love & Hip Hop star poses in his underwear on the front the box, grabbing his junk while at the top the packaging, it reads that the toy is twelve inches in length and features UltraSkyn Dual Density technology.

City Boys ficially earn a few points from this in the ongoing battle against the Hot Girls. Peep the product below.

Air Jordan 1 High OG "Defiant" Coming Soon: Official Photos

It’s been stated numerous times before but it bears repeating that the Air Jordan 1 is quite possibly the most iconic Jordan Brand silhouette all-time. The shoe first released back in 1984 and was considered to be a basketball shoe at the time. Over the years, new technologies have rendered the Air Jordan 1 useless as a sneaker to be worn on the court, although it is an essential fashion piece that should be a part any sneakerhead’s closet. Every year Jordan Brand gives us new colorways the shoe and this year, they’ve been trying out some more unique designs.

The Air Jordan 1 High OG “Defiant” is among these unique looks as the shoe appears to have a ripped f Nike swoosh on the outside. Instead, there is nothing but red stitching that makes up the outline the infamous logo. On the medial side, there is a yellow swoosh which helps add some color. The rest the sneaker has black overlays, white side panels, and even a white toe box, all while hints red are sprinkled throughout.

As right now, there is no exact release date for this sneaker but the ficial images can finally be found below. According to Sneaker News, this shoe will cost the standard Jordan 1 price $160 USD.

Air Jordan 1 High OG "Defiant" Coming Soon: Official Photos

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Air Jordan 1 High OG "Defiant" Coming Soon: Official Photos

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Air Jordan 1 High OG "Defiant" Coming Soon: Official Photos

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Air Jordan 1 High OG "Defiant" Coming Soon: Official Photos

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NYC Mayor's Office Is Giving $500,000 to Aspiring Women Musicians & Executives

New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) recently announced that it will distribute $500,000 worth of grants to aspiring female musicians and music industry employees who live in New York City.

The funds will be issued with cash from the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theatre, which previously provided funding only for media and theatre.

The grants are unique in that they will be provided to women who’re involved in the music industry—not solely musicians and artists. The grants also cover sound technicians, producers, and other music-related careers.

To apply to receive a grant, one must be a female resident of NYC who is active in the music world.  On the musician side, the artist must have performed multiple live shows — and secured new fans because of these performances.  Verifying the latter could prove difficult, which probably explains why there’s such a long wait before the funds’ recipients are chosen.  Though grant applications are currently being accepted, the winners won’t be announced until March 2020.

Moreover, at least 75 percent of issued funds must be spent in New York City; recipients cannot use the grants to set up shop in Los Angeles, for example.

Some activists have voiced their support for the initiative.  Others have stated their frustration with the initiative’s numerous requirements.

Applicants must include a mountain of information — “a detailed history of the full project,” member biographies, evidence of fans, plans for the use of the funds, a “complete budget template,” and marketing and distribution strategies, three sample songs, and more — with their forms.

That’s a serious pile of paperwork, though the flip side is that the lengthy requirements will naturally thin the applicant pool.  There’s also a pretty serious review process: though the rewards are considerable, it’s clear that MOME doesn’t plan to give grants to just anyone.

Two Fraudulent Resale Ticketing Platforms Settle with New York Attorney General for $1.6 Million

Nefarious secondary ticketing platforms TicketNetwork and Ticket Galaxy have settled an explosive lawsuit.

Both ticket resellers reached a settlement with the New York Attorney General, Letitia James.

The Attorney General had accused both platforms of misleading thousands of consumers into purchasing ‘speculative’ tickets.

In the settlement, the companies – owned by Donald Vaccaro – didn’t admit to liability.  TicketNetwork and Ticket Galaxy had offered consumers tickets on the secondary market.  Yet, after making the purchase, the companies would then purchase the real tickets at a much lower price.

In a statement, James had explained,

Because of their dishonest practices, these companies defrauded thousands of New Yorkers and duped customers into spending millions of dollars on speculative tickets.  We’re holding these companies accountable for their deceptive practices that swindled New Yorkers out of their hard-earned money and are putting in place reforms to protect ticket buyers in the future.

A slap on the wrist.

James had accused TicketNetwork and Ticket Galaxy of knowingly selling unowned tickets at hundreds of thousands of dollars above face value.

In some cases, the platforms failed to provide customers with their orders.  Vacarro’s companies would mislead consumers, pinning the blame on technical and supplier issues.

As part of the deal, Vacarro has agreed to pay $1.6 million.  News of the settlement came on the final day of ticketing conference event, Ticket Summit.

Spinning the news while actively promoting his untrustworthy companies, Vacarro said,

Our company has now achieved the clarity and certainty that we initially sought through our lawsuit against the NYAG.

He added the company will move forward as a “leader in the ticket resale industry.”  Again, refusing to admit to his fraudulent practices, Vacarro added the platform would provide a “safe, secure, and cost-efficient ways” to obtain tickets to popular events.

TicketNetwork continues to represent the gold standard in customer service in this industry for our many repeat customers.

Whether that ‘gold standard’ means both companies will continue actively defrauding concertgoers remains to be seen.  After all, when charging customers thousands of dollars in premiums, a $1.6 million settlement won’t likely harm Vacarro nor his fraudulent platforms.

 


 

Deezer SongCatcher Music Identification Service Now On iOS

Deezer has announced that its SongCatcher service is available to iOS users.

The proprietary audio recognition feature is available inside the Deezer app.

Much like Apple-owned Shazam, SongCatcher can identify songs you hear on TV, in a cafe, or anywhere else.  SongCatcher can be launched using the search bar function in the app.

SongCatcher claims that it can recognize over 56 million tracks worldwide, which is undoubtedly more than anyone needs.  Incidentally, that 56 million number corresponds to Deezer’s entire collection, a pair-up that prevents any stray matches.

The integrated app allows users to add newly-identified tracks to a playlist or favorites list, which is a nice integration.  You can also immediately play an identified track, though capabilities get more limited with the free tier.

SongCatcher has been available on Android for some time, but this is the first time it’s available for iOS users. ACRCloud powers the music identification algorithm.

Meanwhile, Deezer is available in over 180 countries worldwide and has 14 million monthly active users.  Sounds nice, but that’s far behind the elephants in this race, most notably Apple Music (which owns Shazam), Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

Apple completed its last year for $400 million. The EU scrutinized the deal over antitrust concerns but eventually gave the deal the thumbs up.  Alongside that deal, Apple announced that it would remove all ads from the app.  That deal included removing ads from the Android version of Shazam, too.

Shazam has seen over 1 billion downloads around the world, though it could never turn a profit on its own.

That’s a familiar story in tech, though Apple saved the day.  Apple now says the service sees over 20 million users a day, which is more daily searches than Deezer has as subscribers.

Meanwhile, other platforms are working on music identification services. Google has incorporated the feature into Assistant so that it can identify any song you ask to play. Amazon’s Alexa can do much the same, so the once-novel feature has become standard for music streaming.

In short, Deezer is a little late to the party with this one, and it only seems useful to people who use Deezer. At least Shazam is — for now — an agnostic song identification platform.

Nike React Presto "Tomato Tornado" Drops Soon: Official Images

For the last couple months, Nike has been dropping new colorways the Nike React Presto which is a contemporary take on a classic Nike silhouette. The Presto has been around for a while now and Nike saw fit to give it a healthy dose React technology. For those who don’t know, React is a Midsole technology that is competing with Adidas Boost for the comfortable shoe throne. Sneakerheads are loving React so far and with the Presto React, this fact feeling remains the same.

The latest colorway the shoe to be revealed is called “Tomato Tornado” and looks exactly how you would imagine. The upper is red, while the cage on the side is black. From there, the midsole is white with hints brown on the back heel, tongue, and back part the midsole. On the insole, there is a cute little caricature a tomato stuck inside a tornado. 

According to Sneaker Bar Detroit, this pair will be dropping soon for $120 USD. Will you be looking to cop or are these a pass for you?

Nike React Presto "Tomato Tornado" Drops Soon: Official s

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Nike React Presto "Tomato Tornado" Drops Soon: Official s

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Nike React Presto "Tomato Tornado" Drops Soon: Official s

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Nike React Presto "Tomato Tornado" Drops Soon: Official s

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Nike React Presto "Tomato Tornado" Drops Soon: Official s

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Nike React Presto "Tomato Tornado" Drops Soon: Official s

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Composer Yurun Wu Is Drawing Acclaim Across Film and Advertising

Known as a versatile and prolific composer, Yurun Wu has sustained and contributed significantly to major studio blockbusters, award-winning films and leading advertising campaigns.

A graduate of the prestigious University of Southern California’s Master of Music in Screen Scoring, Wu was hired to assist the renowned composer Nathan Wang in arranging and orchestrating the original score for the China’s 2019 hit film Crazy Alien, directed by Ning Hao, which has gained more than $327 million in box office revenues and became the country’s second-highest grossing film in 2019.

Wu, who began playing and composing on the piano and other instruments from a young age, received accolades from within the industry for his artistic and technical expertise.  His earlier collaborations include composing original music for Chinese tech giant Tencent for their 2018 World AI Weiqi (GO) Tournament and a commission by China’s No.1 high-end kitchenware brand Fotile to score their 2018 Father & Mother’s Day Special campaign.

Fotile is known to the general public for having innovative and creative commercial campaign ideas. Their 2018 Father & Mother’s Day Special commercial is about the Chinese traditional philosophy of parents putting unconditional love and efforts to take care of their children, as if an artist is devoting and shaping his/her work. Wu’s idea was to have an innocent melody that represents the children and have driving patterns underneath, just like the parents hugging and supporting their children. The music was recorded with top musicians in Los Angeles. The commercial eventually ranked 11th place in the Most Popular Internet Commercial category at the Golden Lion Award (China’s highest award for commercials) with over 19k votes.

Wu’s score to the award-winning short Robot Vacuum’s Escape, directed by the young but experienced visual effects artist and director Jason Zhao, was developed from one simple heroic western theme written by Wu.

“Both Jason and I think that the Robot Vacuum needs to be embellished with the soul of a lone fighter,” Wu says. “I rearranged the theme into many different styles including jazz big band, solo electric guitar, classical waltz, and many more for the vacuum’s numerous attempts until building up to a big orchestral ending as it succeeds.”

The score helped to enhance the comedy as the main actors are all home appliances. This film won a Best Fantasy/Sci-fi award at the Asian on Films Festival.

Wu’s music has been the driving force of many other award-winning films such as indie romantic comedy She Comes in Colors Everywhere, which won 17 awards at 9 different film festivals including the LA Shorts Awards, Miami Independent Film Festival, and Five Continents Film Festival; Underground directed by Shuaiyu Liu which won 4 awards including a Gold Remi at Worldfest Houston for best Sci-fi; and The Longest Day directed by Harvard graduate director Dan Zhou, which won an Award of Recognition at Best Shorts Competition.

Zhou’s latest film, A Birthday Gift, which Wu also scored, won an Award of Merit at The Accolade Global Film Competition. Mom and Me, a short film that deals with Alzheimer’s disease, won the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Award for Documentary Student Short and was selected by Crossing The Screen International Film Festival and Ciudad Del Este Independent Film Festival.  Yurun is extremely versatile and he knows how to capture the right emotion for any genre of film through his music.

In Wu’s music, the audience will hear lots of influences from classical, jazz as well as some cool eastern colors and hip contemporary elements. His compositions span the gamut, stylistically.  He now wants to further establish himself as a multicultural influenced composer in Los Angeles by collaborating with more talented artists and filmmakers to convey his artistic ideas through his music.