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Charts analysis: Sam Smith & Kim Petras debut at No.1 with Unholy

An alliance between Sam Smith, whose last single peaked at No.52, and Kim Petras whose last single peaked at No.100, Unholy scampers to a No.1 debut for the two 30-year-olds, with first week consumption of 55,928 units – 2,837 from ...

Charts analysis: 5 Seconds Of Summer's late surge brings albums glory

In a week in which Sports Team, Mark Owen and D-Block Europe all topped the sales flashes, none of them ended up at the top of the chart, thanks to a late charge from 5 Seconds Of Summer. The Australian pop/rock quartet secured their third No.1 album in all, and second in a row,with their fifth album 5SOS5 on consumption of 14,853 units, made up of 3,782 CDs, 3,440 vinyl albums, 4,428 cassettes, 913 digital downloads and 2,289 sales-equivalent streams.   Full of pithy songs – 19 of them on the deluxe version of the album with a playing time of little more than an hour – 5SOS5 had a 58.49% smaller opening week compared to previous album Calm, which racked up an impressive introductory tally of 34,941 sales in 2020. Their line-up unchanged since their 2011 formation, 5 Seconds Of Summer have made the Top 3 with all of their studio albums. Their biggest seller to date is their eponymous debut, which debuted and peaked at No.2 with first week sales of 66,973 copies in 2014, and has to-date consumption of 357,892 units. A little over four years after they made their albums chart debut, London rap duo D-Block Europe have their seventh Top 20, sixth Top 10 and second No.2 album with Lap 5. The album derived the bulk – 79.98% – of its overall consumption of 13,546 units from 10,834 sales-equivalent streams. Lap 5 is technically the pair’s second album – the rest are categorised as mixtapes – and the follow-up to The Blue Print: Us Vs Them, which achieved consumption of 10,901 units when it debuted and peaked at No.2 behind fellow UK rapper Headie One’s Edna in October 2020. So-called, they say, because 2022 is the fifth year of D-Block Europe, Lap 5 has 16 tracks – all co-penned by Young Adz and Dirtbike LB (Adam Williams and Ricky Banton) – compared to the 29 that populated The Blue Print: Us Vs. Them, but seven of them have already made the Top 75. Their only album chart entry to fall short of the Top 10, and their only collaboration, was introductory 2018 effort Any Minute Now, which peaked at No.4 and also featured Yxng Bane. Since then, it has been Top 10 entries all the way. Their biggest seller is 2019’s PTSD, which peaked at No.4, and has sold 227,259 copies, while The Blue Print has sold 172,317. Home Alone and Home Alone 2 – No.6 albums in 2020 and 2021 respectively – have also gone gold, with to-date consumption of 132,883 and 137,734 copies. London indie-rockers Sports Team opened at No.2 with their 2020 debut album Deep Down Happy Sad, and might have dreamt of trumping that with follow-up Gulp, which was No.1 on the first of the week’s sales flashes on Saturday. It was not to be, however, and the album opens at No.3 on consumption of 7,092 units – though 3,536 of those sales were on vinyl, in which format it tops the chart. Mark Owen might also have dreamt that he would land his first solo No.1 to go with the eight he has had as a member of Take That when his fifth solo album, Land Of Dreams edged past Sports Team to top the week’s second sales flashes on Sunday. Owen’s first solo album since The Art Of Doing Nothing in 2013, comprehensively trumps that album’s No.29 peak – which was the highest position of Owen’s solo career – debuting at No.5 (5,808 sales).  Twenty years after their formation, 17 years after their chart debut and 15 years after the first of their two No.1 albums An End To A Start, Editors’ seventh album, EBM, is their first to fall short of the top six but extends their Top 10 run, debuting at No.10 (4,598 sales). It is 30 years to the week since ABBA’s Gold: Greatest Hits compilation debuted at No.1, and to mark its pearl anniversary it has been released in new vinyl, cassette and CD variants, which propel the chart perennial to its highest position in 54 weeks, at it jumps 11-6 (5,753 sales). The rest of this week’s Top 10: Harry’s House (6-4, 6,702 sales) by Harry Styles, The Highlights (7-7, 5,496 sales) by The Weeknd, = (8-8, 4,802 sales) by Ed Sheeran and AM (10-9, 4,794 sales) by Arctic Monkeys. Alongside Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (9-11, 4,357 sales), last week’s Top 5 have all departed the Top 10. They are: Born Pink (1-37, 2,103 sales) by Blackpink, Autofiction (2-39, 2,052 sales) by Suede, Animals (5-58, 1,746 sales) by Pink Floyd, Hold The Girl (3-92, 1,462 sales) by Rina Sawayama and (Self-Titled) (4-110, 1,290 sales) by Marcus Mumford. The last of these, as stated last week, is the highest-charting album by a Japanese act but the previous top placing was by Joji, whose Nectar reached No.6 in 2020 not, as stated, by Babymetal. My apologies – it happened during my ‘retirement’ and was therefore not logged by me at the time. A little over six years after her last album, Kidsticks, peaked at No.40, and almost 26 years since she made her chart debut with Trailer Park, 51-year-old singer/songwriter Beth Orton’s eighth studio album brings her eighth chart entry, debuting at No.27 (2,652 sales). Also new to the Top 75: Here’s What You Could Have Won (No.38, 2,064 sales), the second album by Hastings quartet Kid Kapichi, whose 2021 debut This Time Next Year peaked at No.132; and Ali (No.47, 1,894 sales), a tribute to late Malian singer/guitarist Ali Farka Touré, delivering the first chart entry for his son Vieux Farka Touré, and third for Texan trio Khruangbin.  No.42 in 1992, Alice In Chains’ second album and first chart entry Dirt secures a new peak (No.36, 2,125 sales) after being issued in 30th anniversary vinyl editions. Marina & The Diamonds’ 2012 No.1 album, Electra Heart is a re-entry at No.46 (1,910 sales) after being released in a 10th anniversary ‘platinum blonde’ edition.  The Greatest Showman is No.1 on the compilation chart for the second week in a row, and 29th week in total since it was excluded from the artist album chart at the start of 2020, on consumption of 2,049 units.  Overall album sales are up 2.56% week-on-week at 1,905,456, 9.85% above same week 2021 sales of 1,734,570. Physical product accounts for 275,270 sales, 14.45% of the total.

BRIT Trust Diaries: ELAM's Matt Sheldon on how embracing diversity can boost the creative economy

In the latest BRIT Trust Diaries blog, we focus on education and the untapped potential the creative industries could achieve by more fully embracing diversity, equity and inclusivity.  ELAM, a college for 16-19 year olds, which prides itself on a groundbreaking approach that is seeing, for example, more female and non-binary students forge careers in games programming.    Read on for key insights from Matt Sheldon, principal, East London Arts and Music (ELAM)... Last year the All Party Political Group (APPG) for Creative Diversity launched their excellent Creative Majority report. Through meticulous research and analysis from their King's College research team, they detailed a road map for the UK’s creative industries to become more equitable, diverse and inclusive. As they put it, and with admiral understatement, “The UK’s creative economy has not made use of the diverse talent that exists in the UK.” The report is recommended reading.  Then earlier this year, the Times Education Commission published their report after Rachel Sylvester and her team scoured the UK’s educational landscape for a year. Amongst other areas, they concluded that creative and industry-focused vocational education was crucial to unlocking the life chances of young people as well as to the UK economy.  East London Arts and Music (ELAM) is a creative college for 16-19 year olds. We specialise in music, film and TV and games design and we have our sights firmly on addressing the problems highlighted in the above reports.  At ELAM, our guiding organisational vision is for all children growing up in the UK to see themselves reflected in UK culture. This is not your average school’s vision. So why would we do this, and encourage others to do the same? We have this as our vision because if all children and young people did see themselves reflected in culture, their possibilities would exponentially increase. Put simply, more would believe they could “do it/be it” too. The consequent creative, societal and economic benefits would be huge. After all, is there anything that really defines the best of the UK more than its diversity and creativity?  ELAM was founded in 2014 by a small group of founders - including Chase & Status’ Will Kennard - who recognised the huge potential of untapped UK talent. We were supported by the music industry - notably the BRIT Trust and Universal Music UK - from the start.  Now, in 2022, we have alumni achieving Ivor Novellos, Grammys and BAFTAs. More importantly, we are also reimagining what creative vocational education can look, feel and sound like (see some of recent trainee work here). Despite the Covid-related challenges our alumni are increasingly succeeding in securing entry-level roles in the creative industries without needing to attend university and being laden with the attendant £50,000 of debt.  Our alumni are connecting, collaborating and succeeding Matt Sheldon By baking inclusion and diversity into our guiding vision, we have ensured our strategy is to ensure we are both representative of London’s communities while seeking young people who are traditionally underrepresented in the creative industries. For example, part of our student recruitment strategy focused on increasing the number of women entering the gaming industry. We ran bespoke “girls in games” workshops in local East London schools, showing school children that their creative skills were valued and, equally importantly, there were excellent opportunities and jobs available for them. As a result 35% of our latest games design cohort are female or non-binary (this is against a current industry figure of 11% of games designers and 3% for coders being female) while 75% of our games design class are from racially minoritised backgrounds. This is just one example of how we are seeking, training and supporting the diverse talent pipeline the industry needs.   ELAM is an inclusive school with lofty aims and high expectations. We have high numbers of young people who are in care, who have Educational Health Care Plans and in receipt of free school meals. All of our trainees take English and maths classes in addition to their ‘major’ - way beyond what any of their peers are doing in similar colleges - because we want them to not only access but thrive in the industry when they get there. We strive (and achieve) excellent academic results with nearly 70% of our trainees achieving a distinction in their UAL Extended Diplomas (equivalent of 3 A*s at A Level). This model works. ELAM alumni are increasingly making noises in all the right ways. Just this summer artists such as Flo, Tendai, Sekou, Nia Smith, Ashley Singh, Chrissi, JClarke and Molly Rainsford have been in the music media and recognised as names we will hear more from. Other alumni are in industry roles at places such as 0207 Def Jam, EMI, Snapper Music, UTA, AEG, Island, News UK, Ridley Scott, Warner, Universal and the BPI. Meanwhile, a group of our recent film alumni just directed and shot the first ever feature-length documentary of East London’s iconic All Points East Festival. Our alumni are connecting, collaborating and succeeding.  We invest heavily in our pastoral care, in world-class facilities and in our industry-facing team so that we can support, inspire and then connect our trainees to a life of creative and professional success. The BRIT Trust has helped us create our fantastic showpiece theatre and, when our trainees really needed help in the bleak heart of the pandemic, the Trust supported us so we could provide the mental health support they needed.  Pastoral care, excellent equipment and supporting young people to make industry connections are all expensive. But, crucially, they make the difference between the negative cycle of under-representation and the virtuous cycle of success that inspires others to emulate. Continued support from the creative industries - from financial support, the provision of mentors and to the sponsorship of individual projects - is required to continually make this difference at ELAM.  Please come and visit us to see for yourself, you will always be welcome and we hope that you will leave inspired! To donate, get involved or find out more about ELAM contact Matt at msheldon@elam.co.uk. Visit ELAM’s website here.  

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