PH, the rest of Asia on radar of big labels

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MARK BONIFACIO

PLUS: Social media sensation HRVY in Manila
Asia is finally on the radar of big labels, as Universal Music Group (UMG) announced an exclusive international recording agreement with Kris Wu, one of the continent’s biggest stars and an artist whose creative success spans music, film and television.

Under the agreement, future music from the multi-talented phenomenon will be released internationally through a partnership of Interscope Geffen A&M in the US, Island Records in the UK, and Universal Music China, as well as UMG’s operations in more than 60 countries including the Philippines. The deal includes delivery of impactful worldwide campaigns across digital platforms, physical releases, audio-visual titles and select live events.

Born in Guangzhou, China, the 27-year-old music producer, singer, songwriter and actor became the only Chinese artist to reach No. 1 on the US iTunes Chart with the smash success of the single “Deserve,” featuring Travis Scott. Along with gaining significant airplay on American radio, Deserve has racked up more than a billion streams to date. Noting its “sensual, harmonizing vocals,” Billboard hailed “Deserve” as a “trap-laden banger built to be played in clubs around the world.”

Over the past few years, Wu has steadily amassed an international following thanks to a series of viral hits that he produced and wrote, including “July,” “6,” “Juice” and “B.M.” Juice was featured in “XxX: Return of Xander Cage,” a 2017 movie that co-starred Wu as a member of Vin Diesel’s super-agent team.


Kris Wu

Wu also starred in other films including “Valerian and The City Of A Thousand Planets” (2017) and “Journey to the West 2: The Demons Strike Back” (2017). In addition, Wu represents leading global brands as well including Mercedes-Benz’s Smart Cars, which introduced the “Kris Wu Edition” in China.

In making the announcement, Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Kris is an incredibly talented recording artist, songwriter, actor and entrepreneur. I’m thrilled that Kris is joining the UMG family and honored that we will have the opportunity to build upon his remarkably successful career.”

On his part, Wu said, “It‘s my pleasure to be part of this collaboration with Universal Music Group. I’m enjoying the time to share creative and vision of my music. As a singer-songwriter and producer, the album I’m working on now is elaborately produced and rounded by me and I will keep working to deliver more beautiful works to all my audiences around the world.”

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Fast-rising teen star HRVY, who was the special guest to “The Vamps Night and Day Tour” and the guy behind the pop hit “Personal” is in Manila this week for a series of promotional shows and media activities. He performed last Tuesday at the Myx Music Awards at the Araneta Coliseum.

Harvey Leigh Cantwell aka HRVY

He will have shows at Megaworld Lifestyle Malls tomorrow, May 18, 6:30 p.m. at Eastwood Citywalk Central Plaza and on Saturday, May 19, 6:30 p.m. at Uptown Bonifacio Mall. His special guest is Filipino teen singing sensation Edray.

Born Harvey Leigh Cantwell, the 19-year-old artist boasts millions of followers on his social media accounts—with more than three million followers on Instagram, more than one million followers on Facebook and more than 400,000 followers on Twitter.

His previous single “Personal” has more than 100 million views on YouTube and more than 80 million Streams worldwide. His current single is “Hasta Luego” with Cuban-American singer-songwriter-dancer Malu Trevejo. He has released two EPs last year under Universal Music – “Holiday” and “Talk ToYa.”

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Two months ago, popular girl group Fifth Harmony announced their indefinite hiatus after six years of being together starting from “X Factor US.” In their statement, the group said they “need to take some time for now to go on a hiatus from Fifth Harmony in order to pursue solo endeavors.”

Normani

The first one to do so, after Camila Cabello left the group when it was still active, was Normani. She recently signed up with Keep Cool/ RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment making her and Cabello labelmates, after she was signed under Epic Records. Normani is the first artist to sign with the label, led by Tunji Balogun.

In April, the multiple award-winning artist released her duet with Grammy-nominated and platinum-selling artist Khalid titled “Love Lies.” Sonically and stylistically the song speaks to the direction of Normani’s personal style of making music.

“Love Lies” is off to an explosive start having debuted at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it has already received over 155 million streams worldwide since its release on February 14. The track is garnering critical acclaim with Billboard raving about Normani’s “smooth vocals” and MTV calling it “a match made in musical heaven.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Normani as the first artist under the Keep Cool/RCA Records imprint. Normani’s talent and charisma really sets her apart as a leading lady in the industry and I know she will bring that same energy and more to her solo career,”RCA Records Chairman and CEO Peter Edge said in a statement.

Born in Atlanta, Normani grew up in New Orleans before moving to Houston at the age of nine with her family after Hurricane Katrina. Always excited about music, Normani began dancing at the age of three and grew up idolizing entertainers like Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, and Beyonce.

Outside of the recording studio, Normani is the Global Ambassador to the American Cancer Society and works with A Place Called Home, lending her name and time to various events. She is also a Diversity Ambassador for The CyberSmile Foundation, a multi-award winning anti cyberbullying non-profit organization.

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It’s awards season once again with the recent Myx Music Awards here in the country and the Billboard Music Awards in the US on Sunday (Monday, Manila time).

Music Geek will be once again all eyes and ears to the winners especially those artists who forget to thank their record labels during their speeches. Every artist must remember where they are now and the hits they made are due to their record label’s hard work and gamble on them no matter if they have issues with them.

It’s not only in bad taste but also painful, irritating and sad to hear whenever recording people are forgotten in artists’ acceptance speeches. It clearly shows their character. Music Geek has a lot of respect for artists who thank not just their fans and their parents but their labels as well.

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