Skepta wins Mercury Award for Konnichiwa!

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Thursday night saw yet another incredible breakthrough for Skepta as he stepped up to claim his award at the Mercury Prize ceremony for Album of the Year with the chart topping Konnichiwa!

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Described as the highly anticipated album from Boy Better Know’s own. The UK #2 album features guests such as Jme, Novelist, Wiley and global superstar Pharrell Williams as well as the full Boy Better Know crew. Including the top singles ‘Shutdown‘, ‘It Ain’t Safe‘, ‘That’s Not Me‘, ‘Ladies Hit Squad‘ and Top 40 monster ‘Man‘.

Have a read of the interview with Skepta after receiving his award at the Mercury Prize 2016 ceremony.

Click here to watch the full night and see Skepta claim his prize for album of the year!

Read more here.

The story of Bear Tree Records!

We’d like to introduce you to Bear Tree Records, our newest indie store of the month!

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Sheffield’s newest vinyl-only record shop, owned & run by the ever affable Joe Blanchard, is currently undergoing expansion thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign to move the premises to a bigger space after less than a year of operation. Bear Tree is a fantastic shop for all genres, and a real treat for anyone looking for music outside the norm, stocking plenty of left-field electronica, indie film soundtracks & limited editions, black metal and even pop.

Joe has established a prime example of a contemporary store that holds traditional indie record shop values while embracing a forward thinking approach, and we’re excited to see where he takes the business with a new space.

 here’s Joe… 

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“I opened the shop in Orchard Square in October 2015 in a tiny unit hidden in their ‘craft workshops’ area, which is basically just some smaller units inside a building just on the balcony overlooking the main Orchard Square area. For anyone that’s been to Sheffield, this is where the old Virgin Megastore used to be (now Virgin Money – lame). So it’s bang in the city centre, and a perfect to try make a small indie work.

The shop was working better than I imagined it would considering how small the stock was, but I tried to make it different to everywhere the city has. Info on every title in the racks, different stock, restocking different titles rather than ordering the same titles over and over. Keep it fresh and clean. We had to add more racks down the other side of the already narrow store, and by the time we did that you could get about 6-8 people in at a squeeze. 

Hence, time to move to a bigger spot. The spot is literally next door, but the shop floor is probably three times the size, with a room off it bigger than the current shop which will be used as a store room for stock, mailorder supplies and maybe an office space. As the margins are so low, we have very little in the bank, so after careful consideration and discussions with some of my buddies who also have small new shops, I decided to ask my customers to help via crowdfunding. I worked it all out in about 6 hours on a Saturday and discussed with a few regulars who were pretty enthusiastic at the idea and the rewards we offered. £5 got you a random record, £20 got you a shirt in an exclusive colour, then we did subscriptions where you got a record a month for 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months, for a discounted rate. And the last reward was £100 gets you 10% off any purchases for a year. 

We did £2000 in under 48 hours. The target was £4000, we did it under a week. It was insane. I didn’t even think we’d do it.”

https://www.gofundme.com/2rkargzw

https://www.facebook.com/beartreerecords

https://twitter.com/beartreerecords

Instagram Introduces ‘Stories’!

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Popular photo sharing platform Instagram has launched a new feature called ‘Instagram Stories’, incredibly similar to that of Snapchat where users can upload instant photos or videos to be viewed in a consecutive stream of content by their existing followers, meaning that users will not have to build a new following in a third-party app.

The Facebook-owned social media platform assures users that ‘you don’t have to worry about over-posting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want‘ allowing for the use of filters and stickers to make Stories more fun and personal for viewers.

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The Stories appear in the top bar of the Instagram home page where below users will see the usual visual news feed from the accounts they follow. All stories appear in chronological order in what was most recently updated and each story is only viewable for 24 hours. This allows users to share their moments instantly as they happen without over populating their account library.

To read more about this new feature, visit the Instagram Blog.

Vevo Revamps It’s Platform!

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Premium video streaming giant Vevo has gone for a complete design revamp of it’s desktop website, IOS and Android apps! Known as ‘the world’s leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform‘ Vevo see’s over 18.7 billions views per month from dedicated users, with hours of original content including sub-series :60 With, Dscvr, Lift, Vevo Presents and Hot This Week.

New features have been introduced making the video platform even more easily accessible for fans to find new exciting content. The main priority for developers is the enhancement of high-quality live production, artist discovery, and unique personalities across the platform aiming to make Vevo more social, personalised and immersive for fans.

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Another major feature to be announced is the ability for users to now create their own profiles. Giving users the ability to get more sociable with others on the platform and create a personalised viewing experience for themselves filled with all their favourite content with feeds now appearing in video form rather than just static images.

Vevo have also introduced a new ‘People To Follow‘ section, making it easier for users to track music experts from a variety of genres, and see what artists, videos, and playlists they desire. In addition to these Vevo curators, there will also be editorial profiles for each genre, such as VevoPop, VevoMetal and many more. that users will be able to follow to gain the maximum new music discovery experience.

Visit Vevo now to start your music video discovery journey and find out more!

Independent Label Market 2016!

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It’s that time of the year again! The Independent Label Market returns to the London Brewer’s Market for the annual summer event on Saturday 23rd July, supported by AIM The Association of Independent Music.

There will be a variety of great indie labels coming together to put forward a number of new releases and limited edition products including rare prints and vinyls specially made for the event!

This year some of our incredible labels that we work with will be participating! Make sure to head over to their stalls and check out what they have on offer.

Our labels taking part this year include:

Cherry Red Records
Mass Appeal
Innovative Leisure
Leaving Records
Anthology Recordings
Mexican Summer
Stones Throw

Visit the official website to find out more about the event!

Spotify and Merchbar partner up!

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Music streaming giant Spotify announced earlier this week that is has joined forces with Merchbar in a new partnership for complete retail integration of products such as merchandise and concert tickets onto the streaming platform for users and artists.

Merchbar is a US based company and official merchandise partner for over 35,000 artists including The Beatles, AC/DC, Justin Bieber and Cheap Trick. Merchbar aims to bring artists and fans closer together through product exposure and to ultimately increase discovery and improve shopping experiences for fans.

The company thrives on features such as “personalised merch alerts, optimised mobile browsing and a mobile app that’s rated 4.5 stars and been featured by Apple over 30 times have allowed Merchbar to become the destination millions of fans turn to when they’re looking for merchandise from their favourite artists.”

The partnership between Spotify and current merchandise provider BandPage is set to end later next month after video streaming platform YouTube owned by Google acquired BandPage in February earlier this year to aid musicians gain further discovery and bring fans closer to their favourite artists.

To find out more visit the Merchbar Blog!

Glastonbury Festival 2016 Begins!!

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It’s that time of year again as everyone makes their way to the annual Glastonbury Festival for a weekend filled with great music – one of the UK’s largest music festival events.
We are very excited to have some of our great artists performing this year so if you are down there make sure you head over to check them out:

Pyramid Stage
Skepta
Madness

West Holts Stage
White Denim

The Park Stage
C Duncan

Acoustic Stage
Patty Griffin

Avalon Stage
The Feeling
Turin Brakes

Left Field
Billy Bragg
The Selecter

Glade
Ozric Tentacles

For more information and to see the full line up for the weekend visit the official Glastonbury website.

Skepta ‘Konnichiwa’ – Great Covers on YouTube!

Skepta has had a huge success with his fantastic newly released album ‘Konnichiwa’ hitting number 2 in the official UK Charts on Boy Better Know and we are not the only ones who are really enjoying it! With featuring artists such as Jme, Novelist, Wiley and Pharrell Williams, no one would have expected anything less than an incredible release.

Below are a few of our favourite videos created by fans that we’ve spotted on YouTube covering versions of the songs from the latest grime album that we wanted to share with you! If you spot any more let us know – these are brilliant!!

Facebook Messenger New Updates!

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Facebook Messenger is becoming an increasingly popular point of interaction on social media with around 900 million people using the instant messaging service every month! Not only for friends to keep in contact but also for businesses to provide quick and efficient customer service through instant messaging, making sure to reach their clients on a more personal level.

Facebook recently announced that it has made some further changes to its application in the past weeks, particularly improving their interface, thus moving more towards a standalone instant messaging application rather than a social media platform extension; much like Whatsapp.

One of the main features launched in this update is the ability to now see favourite contacts, see friend’s birthdays and view contacts that are online, making it easier to chat and stay in the loop. The first few most recent messages will be displayed at the top of the screen, so messages will not go unread.

Last month Facebook also announced the ability of video calling within messenger, essentially creating an all rounded app with nothing missing for dedicated users.

We are sure there is more to come from Facebook as they aim to make connecting with people and businesses as easy and enjoyable as possible.

For more information check out the Facebook News Room!