Young musicians to ‘miss out’ after scrapping of EU download levy
 Plans by the European Union to raise a levy on the sale of iPads and tablets to help young musicians benefit from downloads have been blocked by the British government

Helen Parker-Jayne Isibor and The Venus Bushfires Photo: Philip Volkers

Ministers have been accused of caving into big business after scrapping EU plans for a levy on tablet computers aimed at raising money for struggling young musicians.

The levy, which has been adopted throughout most European Union states, is part of a EU directive aimed at legalising the practice of copying music for private use from CDs to tablet computers – such as iPads – or from one computer to another.

In return the computer manufacturers pay the levy, usually set at around £10 per tablet or hand held device, into a fund to supplement the income of musicians, as compensation for their music being copied across different devices for free.

In some countries, such as France, money from the fund is also used to help develop and fund new talent.

But those same manufacturers have lobbied the British government not to implement the levy in this country when the directive is adopted later this year.

The Musicians Union (MU) said: “Unfortunately the big tech companies, who do not want to provide fair compensation have been applying pressure on the Government not to introduce levies.”

Now the MU, which includes Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney among its members, is calling for a change of heart and has accused ministers of paying too much attention to the interest of technology corporations at the expense of more poorly paid artists.

Horace Trubridge, former saxophonist with the seventies hit band Darts and now assistant general secretary of the MU, said: “With fewer record’s being sold because of Internet download today’s musicians are increasingly reliant on small amounts of income from different sources, such as radio play fees, concert tickets and merchandising.

“A levy would be a welcome addition to that stream of revenue and for ministers not to introduce it would remove a potential source of income for struggling artists.”

It comes at a time when musicians and songwriters are already struggling financially, as fewer people buy CDs and rely instead on downloading music from a variety of often cheaper sources. The MU points out that more than half of working musicians earn less than £20,000 a year.

Mr Trubridge, who had hits with Daddy Cool, The Boy from New York City and Duke of Earl, added: “The UK music industry is worth a huge amount to the British economy and for its musicians to be denied revenue because of lobbying by the big technology companies is simply unfair and ultimately counterproductive.”

The campaign to reinstate the levy element of the Copyright Directive has won the backing of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and Lord Berkeley of Knighton, the composer, peer and BBC Radio 3 presenter.

They says the way the Government has drafted the copyright exemption contained in the EU directive will disadvantage musicians, as it does not provide fair compensation and would therefore hit new talent, such as songwriters, composers and musicians.

Campaigners argue the levy would not be passed on to consumers, as it is absorbed by the manufacturers.

A spokesman for the MU said: “Big tech companies absorb the cost and the price of the devices that they sell does not increase. Spain changed its compensation system a few years ago and it had no impact on the price of a device.”

The only other countries in the EU not to have what campaigners call a ‘fair compensation system’ are Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta.

A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “The Government considers private copying levies to be unfair, unnecessary and bureaucratic taxes on business and consumers. We have always said that we will be the first government in modern history to reduce rather than increase the amount of regulation in existence.

“This change to copyright law will mean millions of people no longer have to break the law just to listen to music that they have already paid for – as long as it is for personal use and not for making copies for other people. The changes will be introduced into parliament shortly.”

CASE STUDY: Helen Parker-Jayne Isibor and the Venus Bushfires

There have been several times during Helen Parker-Jayne Isibor’s music career when – like so many other struggling musicians – she has been forced to rely on income from other jobs to make a living.

She’s worked as an office manager, a receptionist, a PA and even a film and TV extra, just to earn enough so she could carry on writing and making music.

Helen Parker-Jayne Isibor (MarpLondon)

It was precisely those moments when any extra form of income from the kind of levy on tablets and computers adopted in many European countries, would have been a lifesaver, allowing her to focus more on her music. And it is why she believes it should be introduced in the UK.

Even now money from the a levy would provide a useful supplement for the Nigerian-born Londoner, who has performed with her band The Venus Bushfiresalongside Sir Paul McCartney and created music for Sony PlayStation, Disney and Channel 4.

Miss Isibor, who moved to Britain with her family at the age of seven, currently relies on fees from concerts, along with selling CDs and merchandising, such as T-shirts, direct to fans at her gigs. “There have been various points in my career when money from the kind of levy the EU is proposing would have been a big help for me,” she said. “There are some young musicians starting off now for whom it could mean the difference between carrying on with music and simply giving up.”

Miss Isibor, who sings and plays the hang drums, also believes the technology companies who make big profits from the sale of tablets and computers to music fans have a responsibility to put something back into the music industry.

She said: “Basically if it wasn’t for the music we produce as artists they would sell far fewer of these items and its only right they put something back to help nurture new talent. It’s not a tax on consumers, which I wouldn’t agree with as I’m one of them, its a small cost the manufacturers can absorb.”

Miss Isibor, 35, who has also performed at London Fashion Week, is currently writing an opera in west African pidgin – about her own experience of growing up with two cultures – to be premiered in Lagos in July followed by performances in the UK.


Linkin Park Announces Carnivores Tour with Thirty Seconds To Mars & AFI

The blockbuster tour kicks off August 8 in West Palm Beach, Florida

Linkin Park, 30 Seconds To Mars, and AFI have announced the Carnivores Tour that will be taking place in amphitheaters this August and September.

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds To Mars and AFI held a press conference this morning, (March 4) at Milk Studios in Hollywood, CA to announce this summer’s Carnivores Tour (dates below). The news leaked ahead of time on band fan site, Linkin Park Association. Tickets go on sale this Friday, March 7.

“We share a lot of fans,” said Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda during the conference. “When I listen to the radio, I don’t hear a lot of that visceral guitar rock right now. I feel like this is a great moment for these bands to come together and hit the road.”

“This is a dream come true,” added Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto. “To stand on a stage in front of the Linkin Park army and the Mars army…it’s going to be an incredible adventure. It’s a meeting of the minds and something people are not going to want to miss. An orgy of art and music.”

Check out the dates below :

08/04 − West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
08/05 − West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
08/06 − West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
08/07 − West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
08/08 − West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
08/09 − Tampa, FL @ Steinbrenner Field
08/12 − Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless
08/13 − Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
08/15 − Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
08/16 − Mansfield, MA @ Comcast Center
08/18 − Holmdale, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
08/19 − Wantagh, NY @ Jones Beach
08/21 − Buffalo, NY @ Darien Lake
08/23 − Montreal, QC @ Parc Jean Drepeau
08/24 − Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Center
08/26 − St. Paul, MN @ Minnesota St. Fair
08/27 − Winnipeg, SK @ MTS Center
08/29 − Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Pavilion
08/30 − Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
09/06 − Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Pavilion
09/06 − Dallas, TX @ Geza Energy Pavilion
09/08 − Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green
09/10 − Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Arena
09/11 − Irvine, CA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
09/13 − Quincy, WA @ The Gorge
09/15 − Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
09/16 − San Diego, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
09/18 − Sacramento, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
09/19 − Concord, CA @ Concord Pavilion

Amal Fashanu Celebrates UK’s Entertainment Flavour

We loved Amal Fashanu’s feature in the Huffington Post – Celebrating the UK’s Entertainment Flavour!


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Celebrating UK’s Entertainment Flavour – 6 of the Best ! At a Q and A for 12 Years A Slave in London this week, Director Steve McQueen told the story of one of his first meetings in Hollywood, how an Irish person had been expected …and about the shock when he showed up. It’s extraordinary that in the 21st Century there are still elements of society that are surprised by the ethnicity of artistic, indeed creative genius and simple career expertise. I would like to take this small opportunity to celebrate some people who have brought some exquisite flavour to the UK, Vanity Fair Style.


Steve McQueen is the globally and critically acclaimed British artist & filmmaker who has received multiple awards for his art exhibitions and film work. He broke through into the mainstream film industry with his 2008 film, Hunger. His 2011 film, Shame, earned many accolades. McQueen’s 2013 film, 12 Years a Slave, won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Best Picture at the Golden Globes and gained him two Academy Award in 2014 nominations for Best Picture and Best Director.
The son of Trinidad and Grenada working-class immigrants, McQueen started in the arts at age 4 or 5, when a drawing he made of his family was chosen for a banner outside London’s Shepherds Bush Library.
In 1996, McQueen left London for Amsterdam, where he settled with longtime partner Bianca Stigter. Together they are raising daughter, Alex, and son, Dexter. McQueen isn’t the typical artist who lives in a studio. In fact, he doesn’t even have one. In an interview with W Magazine, McQueen revealed that he has generated his best ideas when at home cooking or vacuuming. He doesn’t hang out with other artists, stating, “That’s like if you’re a butcher, hanging out with other butchers. You chop meat this way, and I chop meat that way. What’s there to talk about?”

Steve Mcqueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE :


Kanya King who has origins from Ghana was brought up in hardship and was a single mum at 16. She is now an internationally recognised entrepreneur and innovator in the British music industry. As CEO and founder of MOBO Organisation, Kanya King is the dynamic force behind the MOBO Awards, Europe’s largest ever urban music awards show.

Spotting a gap in the market, and with determination, the ability to work hard and charisma on her side, she set up the first Mobo awards in 1996, a roaring success attended by then Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie. The awards ceremony has gone on to become a fixture on the music industry’s calendar, with performances by everyone from Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake to Tina Turner, Jay-Z and Amy Winehouse. Today the show has a global television audience of up to 250 million people.
King has mingled with some of the biggest names in the music industry, and indeed, in the world; she has had the opportunity to meet people like Tony Blair, the late great Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, for whom she organised an event at the House of Commons commemorating his inauguration. She describes the US president as “charismatic”, and remembers she considered trying to get him to the awards at one point, but changed her mind when she realised how much his security would cost.

“I’ve met lots of phenomenal people but those humble people who have come from adversity are the ones who inspire me. There are loads of people of my mother’s generation who’ve spent their whole life working for others. And who knows about them? What recognition do they get?”

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Esteemed British-Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor found fame in roles in films like Kinky Boots, as part of the large ensemble cast of 2003’s Love Actually . Ejiofor has earned critical acclaim for his role as Solomon Northup in the biopic 12 Years a Slave, which has also earned him an Academy Award nomination for best actor. It was during the early 2000s, that Ejiofor had lead and supporting roles in many big-screen projects which showed his versatility as an actor, taking work in a variety of genres across the moral spectrum.

Talking about 12 Years A Slave, Ejiofor has claimed in the Bristol Post that people in the UK have a “reflex fear” when it comes to slavery and are afraid of talking about the issue and the impact the trade had on the country. He said: “There is this reflex fear that once you expose something, once you talk about it, you are really talking about your society. That is why we do not really investigate what Bristol or London or Bath would be without the slave trade. Because we really like those cities and the people who live there it is easier to close the door on it and let it go. I want the book that the film is based on to be taught in every school because it speaks to human respect.”

The second of four siblings, Chiwetel lost his father in a car accident whilst on a visit to Nigeria when he was a child, after which he was hospitalized for more than two months and physically scarred. With his mother taking care of the family, Ejiofor developed a passion for reading and the stage, and even performed with the National Youth Theatre before eventually attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He made his television debut in the thriller Deadly Voyage (1996) and made his first film appearance in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad (1997). He has certainly come a long way.

Learn more about Chiwetel here:


Model, actor, activist , mentor and Executive producer of The Face.
You say Naomi, and only on person comes to mind. She may be known as fiery and somewhat controversial, but what I love about Ms Campbell is that she takes no nonsense and does not suffer fools.

The supermodel was born to an 18-year-old unmarried showgirl, she is of Jamaican-Chinese extraction, raised in a working-class neighborhood of London, where she was “discovered” by a fashion executive at 15 while window shopping in London’s Covent Garden. Her breakthrough as a model was the cover shot for Elle in April 1986, and she later became the first black model to grace the cover of the French edition of Vogue.

It has been said that Campbell earned her nickname “Black Panther” from her temper, certainly it has not been a quiet ride, there have been ups and terrible downs, but through it all she has managed to come out the other side and standing strong.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged America’s Gulf Coast in 2005, Campbell organized Fashion for Relief, with help from pals Cindy Crawford and Nicole Richie, and numerous models and designers. They put on a runway show, held an on-line auction, and sold Ralph Lauren T-shirts, with proceeds directed to the storm’s victims. She reportedly works with the Dalai Lama foundation and UNESCO to fund construction of kindergartens for deprived children worldwide, and proceeds from her photo book are donated to the Red Cross Somalia Relief Fund.

Follow Naomi latest adventures at :

Jayjay is British of Nigerian and Brazilian heritage and mum to a teenage daughter Dylan. Her Great-Uncle Orlando Martins (1899-1985) was the first African in Hollywood Movies – -, he worked with greats like Robert Mitchum, Ronald Reagan and Bob Hope, it seems something must have rubbed off. Jayjay’s media industry career started off with stints working for US PR Maestro Michael Levine (with whom she did her college internship), and one of the UK’s best known and most powerful players in the Music Business Alan Edwards of the Outside Organisation.

“My first job in London after returning from L.A, following my graduation from the University of Southern California, was as Assistant to Alan Edwards, who was Iman and David Bowie’s PR and Manager amongst several others. On my first day I was asked to call Mr Bowie to tell him about the schedule for the day. If you can pick up the phone to David Bowie at 21 to talk about work and promo plans – you get the confidence to pick up the phone to anyone”. She went on to hone in her skills by working for a number of years with MTV Europe in Artist Relations, and also at all the major record labels. Going freelance through her brother Prince Baba-Jallah Epega’s company EMC3 as her own entity EpegaMedia, she has worked on press campiagns for legendary names and global brands that include George Michael, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, Gerard Butler, Matt Dillon, John Mayer, Ice T and Coco, Sony BMG, Universal Music, The Sundance Channel and Film Festival, TCM, CNN, UNICEF and Versace to name a few.

“It’s not been an easy journey, everyday is a challenge. I was once asked to leave the green room of a very well known UK Breakfast TV show as it was not an area for competition winners – I had to explain I was a Publicist and was there with my client! But it’s not all bad…when you find yourself sitting at the bar in the Royal Opera House with Michael Fassbender during the GQ Awards and cracking jokes about misspent youth – moments like these certainly make up for any madness encountered. As my late mother always said to me, be individual, never tolerate discrimination.”

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Malorie Blackman is a Children’s book author and in her time has been named at the top of a list of the UK’s most influential black figures. Blackman has said: “Lists like these challenge stereotypes and shows that many people are achieving great things. It’s a fantastic showcase of the amazing success stories that often go unreported.” She began her career as a computer programmer and TV scriptwriter before being spurred to write her first book because of a dearth of children’s stories featuring black characters. She has now more than 60 books to her name, written specially for children and teenagers, including Noughts and Crosses, Pig-Heart Boy, Hacker and Cloud-Busting. She has also been made Children’s Laureate.

She is one of today’s most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her work, including the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award. In 2005 she was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her contribution to children’s books, and in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature. She has been described by The Times as ‘a national treasure’. Malorie Blackman is the Children’s Laureate for 2013-15. A true inspiration.

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Nicola Tuer named COO at Sony Music UK


Nicola Tuer named COO at Sony Music UK

Tim Ingham
Nicola Tuer named COO at Sony Music UK

Sony Music Entertainment has promoted Executive Vice President, Nicola Tuer, to the new role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the UK company with immediate effect.

The news comes less than a week after Sony Music UK’s CEO/chairman Nick Gatfield’s exit from the major, and appears to confirm that Tuer will take the role as his interim successor.

In her new role Tuer will oversee the running of the UK business and will report to President & CEO Sony Music International, Edgar Berger. Tuer originally joined Sony Music in 1995.

Edgar Berger, President & CEO Sony Music International said:”Nicola’s competitive spirit, commercial acumen and passion for music are unrivalled in the business. I am delighted to announce her promotion to COO and I am certain she will have enormous impact in leading the UK company to the next level.”

Nicola Tuer said: “I am thrilled to have this opportunity. Sony is home to the most iconic labels and artists in the industry. Add to that our incredibly exciting roster of new artists and our dynamic executive team and we have all the ingredients to grow the company even further.”

The Legacy of Oscar

This article is courtesy of THE LUXURY CHANNEL

The Legacy of Oscar By Jayjay Epega

The Oscars (image courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

The Oscars (image courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

“I will use the hope of getting an Academy Award a) to honour the people who work so hard and also b) it’s the greatest Good Housekeeping seal in the world. It’s the greatest brand. It’s as good as Louis Vuitton and Dior in the world of movie-making. It’s the Super Bowl.” – Harvey Weinstein

Far from the eagerly anticipated and globally televised event it is today, the first Academy Awards ceremony – a simple black-tie dinner – was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16th 1929. Fifteen statuettes were awarded for cinematic achievements. The first Best Actor winner was acclaimed German American Emil Jannings, who had to return to Europe before the event. The Academy granted his request to receive the trophy early, making his statuette the very first Academy Award ever presented.

About two hundred and fifty people attended the dinner in the hotel’s Blossom Room, with guest tickets costing just $5. The event was held to honour films made from the beginning of August 1927 to the end of July 1928. There was no suspense to the announcement of winners in the five minute ceremony hosted by Douglas Fairbanks, as they had been named three months earlier.

Recognizing the need to honour achievements that didn’t fit into fixed categories, the Academy also presented two special awards at the very first ceremony in 1929: one to Warner Brothers for producing the pioneering “talkie picture” The Jazz Singer, and one to Charlie Chaplin for producing, directing, writing and starring in The Circus. Janet Gaynor was the first woman to receive an Academy Award for Best Actress, and the only woman to do so that night.

Douglas Fairbanks presents Janet Gaynor with the first Best Actress Oscar (image courtesy of  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Douglas Fairbanks presents Janet Gaynor with the first Best Actress Oscar (image courtesy of
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Only three times in its history has the Academy Awards failed to take place as scheduled. The first was in 1938, when massive flooding in Los Angeles delayed the ceremony for a week. In 1968, the Awards ceremony was postponed from April 8th to April 10th out of respect for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who had been assassinated a few days earlier, and whose funeral was held on April 9th. In 1981, the Awards were once again postponed, this time for 24 hours because of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

2014’s eagerly anticipated ceremony is filled with some stand-out nominations in superb movies like American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years A Slave, Captain Phillips and Dallas Buyers Club. I caught up with one of the Best Supporting Actor nominees, Michael Fassbender, who had this to say about his brilliant, sadistic but very nuanced performance in 12 Years A Slave, playing the flawed Edwin Epps: “I just tried to find a human being there, as opposed to some evil plantation owner. This is complex, this sort of relationship. Obviously, being a slave is the worst deal. You get whipped and beaten and suppressed every day, but the suppressor is also going to be affected by that. So how does that affect the person administering all this pain and suffering? He’s a human being who’s caught up in something so complicated and so unjust. I always thought of Epps as a boil on the skin of society, representing how damaged the whole society was.”

Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps (image courtesy of Regency Enterprises, Film4 Productions,  Plan B Entertainment and Summit Entertainment)

Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps (image courtesy of Regency Enterprises, Film4 Productions,
Plan B Entertainment and Summit Entertainment)

He lies in competition in his category with some of the industry’s finest that includes Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips, Bradley Cooper in American Hustle, Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club.

The Oscar is an honour that shouts success to the world, and gives the ultimate seal of industry approval, indeed the pinnacle of any acting career. The legacy of this all-powerful award lives on. What a night….the stars never shine brighter.

First Look: M. Night Shyamalan Directs Matt Dillon in ‘Wayward Pines’ Miniseries


Later this year, Shyamalan is set to debut his first TV series, a “Twin Peaks-y” Fox thriller titled Wayward Pines. And it looks worth a peek, if only for its solid cast. Matt Dillon leads, and Melissa Leo, Terrance Howard, and Juliette Lewis also star. Get the first look after the jump.

When Special Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) finds himself in Wayward Pines, Idaho, it looks to be a quiet, bucolic pocket of seeming perfection. But considering M. Night Shyamalan is the executive producer of this Fox 10-episode miniseries — created by Chad Hodge from the book by Blake Crouch and co-starring Melissa Leo, Terrance Howard, and Juliette Lewis — you may not be surprised to discover that all is not what it appears to be. In fact, things are downright weird and possibly quite dangerous.

Read More Here:  Courtesy Entertainment Weekly and Spolier TV :