interviews

Making Waves: Taze

This week's hottest brand new act... TAZE KEY TRACK: Head Shoulders
LABEL: Ministry Of Sound/Sony
MANAGEMENT: versatile@live.co.uk
TWITTER: @TazeAgain WHO: Rapper Taze is bringing new energy to 2019’s wave of UK drill acts. WHAT: We gave it away in the first answer: Taze makes drill and ...


Rising Star: CAA's Bilge Morden

The biz's brightest new talents tell their stories. This week it's the turn of CAA agent Bilge Mordern. How did you break into the music business? I started promoting shows while studying at university when I was 17, and was lucky enough to put on sold-out gigs for artists including Bastille, James Bay, Foxes and Bear’s Den. While I was in my third year of university, I interned at Communion Presents for six months, where I started working with all of the agencies. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an agent. I always saw CAA as the pinnacle, and when they introduced a two-month internship programme that summer, I jumped at the chance to get my foot in the door. Emma Banks gave me a shot, and three years later I became an agent. Who are your music biz idols? I really look up to [CAA agent] Nigel Hassler and, if I can be half the agent that he is in the years to come, I’ll be very pleased with myself! He is probably the nicest agent in the business and definitely one of the most selfless. Somehow, he balances being an incredible agent, a fantastic dad and a mentor to many around him, including myself. What’s the best thing about your job? It has to be the magic of watching an artist perform in front of a room full of fans who’ve looked forward to a show for months as it’s their release or escape for a couple of hours. Playing a role in making those moments happen is what it’s all about. I recently watched my client Sam Fender play the first of his two sold out nights at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire and it was my favourite show that I’ve seen in that venue. There wasn’t a single fan sitting in their seat during the show and the entire floor was one big mosh pit. You could tell everyone in the room was so excited to see him live. What’s your proudest achievement so far? All I wanted for years was to be an agent at CAA, so getting promoted last year was very special. I listen to the artists I work with every day and the fact that I get to work with clients that I’m a fan of makes me proud. What’s the biz’s best kept secret? I’ll just say that @shittyar Instagram account gives me life! BILGE’S RECOMMENDED TRACK:

Hitmakers: The songwriting secrets behind Blur's Parklife?

This year, Blur’s classic Parklife album turns 25. Here, Dave Rowntree recounts how its Bootsy Collins-approved title track changed their lives and began with the drummer chucking his dinner across the studio… Bootsy Collins was interviewed after Parklife came out and he was asked what it takes for a band to be successful. He said, “A band has to have the funk to be successful and have massive hits. Even that band Blur, they have the funk, deep down, they have the funk.” I’ve always remembered that, it was really my contribution to Parklife. I came off the beats and I added in the funk. That’s where my rhythmic sense lies. Quite dramatically, on Parklife, I started adding in offbeats and slanting the rhythms. Bootsy Collins is quite right, that is what it takes, that’s what stirs people up inside and makes them want to dance rather than sit down, drink a coffee and listen. That’s what pop music is, sexy music to dance to. It seems almost ludicrous talking about Blur having the funk, but there we are! We were recording in Maison Rouge and Rak. We were trying to figure out the start, we wanted it to sound like a bottle smashing. The sound effects CDs sounded rubbish. In the end, we’d just finished dinner and I took my plate back in the studio and said, ‘Quickly, record this. One, two, three…’ Smash. I threw it on the floor. It sounded absolutely perfect, dinner and all! We were cutting bits out of magazines, pictures and text, and sticking them on the studio walls. That’s where a lot of the ideas came from. I picked them all up at the end, I thought, ‘These bits of paper are going to be important one day.’ I put them in a folder took it home, promptly lost it and, bizarrely, just recently, having moved house for about the 50th time since then, I opened a box and lo and behold the folder was inside. One of the bits of paper had the word ‘Parklife’ on it; it was talking about a new housing development, very much in the spirit of what that album was all about. Damon [Albarn] had typed out all his lyrics on his non-electric typewriter and we wanted to include them in the CD booklet but we couldn’t find two of the songs, so Damon retyped a couple and the original ones were in the box too! That’s my pension! I’d unhelpfully labelled it ‘towels’ or something. Parklife was one of those times where everything you try seems to work, it just seemed really easy. The chemistry of the band was particularly powerful; we were firing off each other. We had a listening party at the end of the session and we were thinking, ‘Wow, it almost sounds like somebody else has done this.’ It had a magic to it. It was very exciting. We were a tiny struggling indie band back then, we had no idea what was going to happen next. Guitar music was so unfashionable, it was going to be the indie chart or nothing, but Parklife changed that. Between us and Oasis and a couple of others, suddenly guitar music became the mainstream. Everything switched and we’d gone from being a tiny little indie band to being doorstepped by photographers and having fans outside our houses and journalists looking into our parents to find out if there was any dirt. It was really weird. We’d been watching it happen to Take That and all these pop bands and then suddenly the spotlight switched to us. We used to call ourselves the poverty jet set, flying around the world first class on somebody else’s money and getting home not having enough money to buy a box of tea bags. We were living in bedsits around London wondering how sustainable this was and then it all changed, we realised we could have a career. It gave us confidence, too. We’d taken a risk in veering away from the sound of the charts and what the music press was interested in. That set the pattern for our career; by and large we always tried to do something different to what we’d done before. Writer’s Notes Publishers Warner/Chappell, Sony/ATV, Kobalt Writers Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree Release Date 22.08.94 Record label Food Total UK sales (OCC) 445,640

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