On Saturday 23rd January, the world’s leading music industry conference, MIDEM, was kicked off by a panel discussion with MofoHifi co-founder, Hal Ritson of The Young Punx and Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls discussing the artist’s perspective on new models for the promotion of music in the digital economy. Other speakers following included Pharrell, Ed O’Brian of Radiohead and Fallout Boy.

There has been a lot of press coverage of the event, but here are a couple of examples :

MIDEM(net) Blog

Hal Ritson and Amanda Palmer at MIDEM

Hal Ritson and Amanda Palmer at MIDEM 2010

Artists are getting in early with their views on digital music innovation this MidemNet – the opening panel on day one features Amanda Palmer (centre, of Dresden Dolls and now solo fame) and Hal Ritson from The Young Punx (left)… It also made history as the first ever MidemNet session to kick off with a ukulele cover of Radiohead’s Creep (Palmer), interpretive dance (Ritson) and a sock puppet (representing Paul Van Dyk).

Ritson talked about his own online activities, saying an artist has to do three things nowadays: first, get people to listen to the music; second, get some emotional contact with them; and third, find a revenue stream from somewhere.

“We’ve totally embraced the point that writers of music blogs are totally taking over as the new tastemakers of music,” he said. So Ritson looks at blogs giving away free music not as a threat, but as the modern equivalent of radio promo. “You’re getting people to hear your music,” he said.
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(from the BBC web site)

From the teenage grime producer who pored over the pages of heavy metal weekly Kerrang and sampled Japanese chamber music, to the pop star Jeremy Paxman calls ‘Mr. Rascal’ when soliciting his views on US president Barack Obama, Dylan Mills AKA Dizzee Rascal likes confounding expectations.

In 2003, his radical debut album Boy in da Corner scooped the Mercury Prize. He’s since redefined UK urban music with a trademark style which blends raw street lyricism with radio friendly melody and draws as easily from grime as hip hop, R&B or pop music.

In the last 12 months, Dizzee hooked up with producers Calvin Harris and Armand Van Helden for an untouchable trio of electro-grime anthems – Dance Wiv Me, Bonkers and Holiday. All three UK number one singles feature on upcoming fourth album Tongue N’ Cheek – a recession-beating collection of upbeat party bangers. Enjoying his recent reinvention as a pop star, Dizzee is now in a place where he has artistic free rein; “I don’t know what people think I am now, and that’s good, because it means I can do whatever I want”.

Continuing to confound expectations, for BBC Electric Proms Dizzee Rascal delivers his first ever full length live show with a band, horns and string section. Dizzee is joined by Heritage Orchestra and backed by electronic mash-up collective The Young Punx under the musical direction of Hal Ritson. A celebration of the artist’s diverse influences, expect a party set of mash-ups, radical reinterpretations of Rascal favourites plus a few closely guarded surprises.

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