Report: How Music Creates Jobs, Drives Tourism, Improves Wellness & More

Donna Missal at SXSW 2019

Photo: Lorne Thomson/Redferns/Getty Images


Report: How Music Creates Jobs, Drives Tourism, Improves Wellness & More

Recording Academy partner Sound Diplomacy unleashes "a set of tools, case studies and lessons to increase the value of music in your city"

GRAMMYs/Mar 14, 2019 - 09:43 pm

For anyone working in the music world, Austin, Texas is the place to be in mid-March each year. South By Southwest brings together the industry's brightest minds, biggest players and sharpest talents to explore the business and craft of music. Attendees network, listen and soak up wisdom to bring home and implement in their own music communities, wherever they may be. For over three decades, this ritual has helped music professionals tackle the challenges of building and sustaining music in their city.

In the spirit of this connectivity of resources, and to coincide with this year's SXSW, international strategic consultants Sound Diplomacy released a special report titled "The Music Cities Manual: How Music Increases Economic, Social And Cultural Growth In Your City." The extensive report details the what, why and how of supporting music locally through everything from city policy to education and communication and beyond, providing a fresh and tangible idea bank for music people in cities and towns of all sizes to spur and sustain growth.

As partners of the Recording Academy, Sound Diplomacy shares the mission of supporting music by thinking big but starting small and understanding the power of local music markets have to lift up the industry at large. The Academy's 12 Chapters serve music communities nationwide based on the core philosophy that when local music economies innovate and thrive, the entire community benefits. Many of the principles in Sound Diplomacy's report speak directly to the work the Academy does each day to keep music strong across a diverse array of local marketplaces.

Inside The Music Cities Manual

"The Music Cities Manual" describes itself as "a set of tools, case studies and lessons to increase the value of music in your city," i.e., a report for everyone involved in the music process from musicians to developers, city government to bar owners and festivals to hoteliers. The report also showcases music's uncanny ability to create jobs, drive tourism, enhance social inclusion and even improve wellness. However, as the report points out, "few cities understand how to plan, manage and develop music for economic, social and cultural gain." 

In other words, how can cities best optimize the power of music to benefit their local economy? 

"Music pumps from speakers in shopping malls and metro stations, hospitals and car parks. From choirs in churches to the call to prayer, from the boardrooms of our multinational record labels to the basement of a pub, music fosters creativity, dialogue, creates commerce and incubates talent."

Music As Infrastructure

In order to solve a problem, we must first understand it. Sound Diplomacy's method outlines 13 key indicators of a thriving music policy, centering around the idea that music is infrastructure. This means city governance declaring, through official communication, music's importance to its community. Let's look to the Midwest: The report cites Chicago's 2007 Chicago Music Policy as one of the first to send this message to not only its own local community, but to people everywhere about the importance of music's role in Chicago.

The report's 13 key indicators are chock-full of resources for action items such as creating a coalition, asset mapping, sparking tourism, supporting venues, encouraging entrepreneurs, expanding music education, and prioritizing affordability. All of these measures speak to a connectivity between creatives, policymakers and business owners that can grow a city's music community in a healthy and lasting way.

Cities As Agents Of Change

Sound Diplomacy also presents several case studies, taking a closer look at Melbourne, Australia's "Agent Of Change" principle, which set new obligations on property developers to adequately soundproof buildings within 50 feet of an existing venue, London's Music Venue Trust task force, which provided an outline for the city's grassroots venues to thrive, and New York City's repeal of its outdated Cabaret Law, making the Big Apple much for more friendlier for live music and entertainment. These real-world cases provide easily relatable change examples, and considering the sheer size of the cities referenced, the notion of making an impact in smaller music communities seems far less daunting.

Creating Inter-City Music Networks

In fact, the report goes another step to show how connection between music cities can benefit local markets on a global scale, examining Music Cities Network, a resource for improving communication and cooperation between music communities around the world. This is just one tool the report offers toward its encouragement to "be international," by starting, "With your sister cities and existing partnerships in other municipal departments, from tourism to economic development."

This top-down and bottom-up approach provides everyone who touches or is affected by music with steps to take toward a stronger community. And the best news is the benefits of a healthy music city go beyond cultural, social and even economic areas. Music's ability to improve health and wellbeing means, as the report states, "Better, happier, more efficient people, from birth to death."

As thousands descend upon Austin and SXSW 2019 kicks off its Music Conference, the Sound Diplomacy report provides the framework to implement new ideas across the musical landscape in any town, making the adage of "think globally, act locally" more than a bumper sticker.

Likewise, the Recording Academy continues its work on behalf of music creators across many tiers of the industry, from local events to educate and connect members to game-changing Advocacy work on Capitol Hill. Through these tireless efforts, and projects such as working with Sound Diplomacy in its Chapter cities, the Academy continues to support and foster a better tomorrow for music.

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards


Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.

Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour


Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images


Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour

El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances

GRAMMYs/Mar 20, 2019 - 12:25 am

Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.

El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.


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"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.

Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork. 

Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist. 

Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.

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