In Pod We Trust: OpenDaw Talks

Music Week takes you inside the best music podcasts. Here, host Alex Kenning tells us all about OpenDaw Talks, the podcast which speaks to independent producers, artists and songwriters about their journey and success. Hosted by: Alex Kenning
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Sync Story: Anyone But You/Natasha Bedingfield

For this month’s Sync Story, we turn to Anyone But You featuring evergreen Natasha Bedingfield hit, Unwritten  Spot: Anyone But You Title: Unwritten Artist: Natasha Bedingfield Publisher: Copyright Control/EMI Music Publishing/Kobalt Music Publishing   Master: Sony Music UK Director: Will Gluck Production Company: Columbia Pictures, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, SK Global, Fifty-Fifty Films, Olive Bridge Entertainment Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing Air Date: 22.12.2023 Nearly two decades after its original release, Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten has returned to the Top 20 in the UK singles chart. And this is all thanks to Will Gluck’s latest film, Anyone But You, starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell.  Originally peaking at No.6 in the chart, the 2004 smash hit has racked up over 650 billion global streams on Spotify and 1,280,500 UK sales to date according to the Official Charts Company. And with the track now enjoying a viral moment on TikTok, that tally is only set to increase.  The sync spot came about after Sony Music Publishing got in touch with Bedingfield, whose 2008 track Pocketful Of Sunshine had been used by Gluck in his 2010 film Easy A, featuring Emma Stone. With the knowledge that she would be working with Gluck again, Bedingfield agreed to the sync. And as the film’s production progressed, Unwritten became an integral part of the narrative, featuring throughout the new romantic comedy. Emma Murray, international sync manager at Sony Music UK, reflects on how the global teams came together to make the sync work and how spots like this can bring new life to older releases.  “This sync gave testament to the power of a great song,” she says. “It’s always gratifying to see a sync reaction and we’re delighted to see the result for Natasha. We work tirelessly with affiliates and partners worldwide, especially within the film and TV community, and it is a bonus to see a new global audience make Unwritten their song.” “I’m so happy to see Unwritten being part of celebrating this movie phenomenon,” Bedingfield also says. “It was great to be reconnected to [Will Gluck] and he let me know that he wrote the song into the movie in a unique way. To see it climbing up the charts again is incredible, I feel so touched by the love that people feel for my song.” PHOTO: Sony Pictures, Kristin Burns

Rising Star: Dakota Hoven

Rising Star is our monthly column in which we meet the industry’s brightest new talents. Here, Dakota Hoven, senior artist manager, Chosen Music, talks us through her industry journey so far...  You joined Chosen Music as an intern in 2019. Did you always want to have a career in music? “When I was young, as far back as I can remember, I spent a lot of time in the studio as there was one in the house that I grew up in, so I was lucky enough to be able to watch and listen to incredible music being made. Ever since then, it’s been a huge passion of mine. Chosen gave me the opportunity to build on that and I’ve been able to learn about, discover and ultimately nurture talent from the ground up.” You discovered Caity Baser in 2020. What was it about her music that drew you to her? And what are the challenges for young women breaking through in pop these days? “I discovered Caity on TikTok, and her catchy lyrics and the way she is unapologetic caught my eye with her song Average Student. Soon after that, we jumped straight into working together and Alistair [Goldsmith, Chosen Music president] and I became obsessed with her music. We set up her first recording sessions with the producers Future Cut and it was just clear to me that she was a prolific songwriter with something to say. Pop has always been difficult to break into and I think it is even more so now that there are no ‘gatekeepers’; you can’t skip any steps. We faced hurdles and rejections from different parts of the business when we were developing Caity, but I was relentless! I believed in her talent and had the conviction to create opportunities for her. Being a woman has never been easy in music but I’m just proud of what Caity stands for. Her authenticity really cuts through online; my role is just to help make that as loud as possible.” Caity Baser is one of a wave of young artists that EMI have signed in recent years. What’s it like working with co-presidents Rebecca Allen and Jo Charrington? “It’s inspiring to see Jo and Becky leading EMI with such powerful female energy – that resonates around the team and the artists! Collaborating with them and knowing they’re overseeing my artists’ campaigns gives me encouragement for my career and what can be achieved with success, regardless of your gender.” Alongside Caity Baser, you also manage Michael Aldag and Solomon. What has been your proudest achievement so far? “I’m proud of all the artists I work with. They’re all special in their own way and are true to themselves. Of course, seeing my hard work with Caity over the last few years being recognised with a BRIT nomination gives me a lot of pride but I’m also equally proud of seeing Solomon thrive, whether it’s on his [upcoming] Colors Show shoot or his first headline show, or Michael Aldag’s sold-out shows. I have great memories with all of them and it all means a lot to me.” Finally, how do you see the role of artist manager changing over the next few years? “I mean, how much more full-on can it get? Hopefully, AI can make our jobs a little less admin-based and more creative! That way we can really focus on building value with our artists. It’s been said for years that artists and managers are like partners and I think that’s still the direction of travel. We’ve been Caity’s partners from the start, and it’s that kind of relationship that I think is going to be more normalised, especially in a world where the choices of label and distribution partners that artists and managers have continue growing.” RECOMMENDED TRACK: Solomon – Over

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