Rina Sawayama covers the September issue of Music Week

Rina Sawayama covers the September issue of Music Week

Say hello to pop’s new alternative: Rina Sawyama is Music Week’s September cover star.

Ahead of the release of her bombastic second album Hold The Girl, Sawayama is joined by label Dirty Hit and management team House Of Us to tell a story of identity, growth and rebellion. 

In a no holds barred interview, the star – who first broke through in lockdown back in 2020 – reveals what it was like to write a new album without being able to tour the first and the impact it made on her mental health. Having already changed the rules at the BRITs, the star sets out her plan to make the music industry more progressive and calls for us all to move on from pop’s tired tropes.

Alongside Sawayama in calling for change this month are our previous cover stars the Black Music Coalition. Chair and executive committee member Sheryl Nwosu writes exclusively for us about the BMC’s recently unveiled Excellence Honourees list, which the organisation conceived to shine a light on the best Black talent in the business.

We also meet four of this year’s honourees – Motown UK/EMI’s Knacai Ceres-McLeod, LiveSource’s Debbie Gayle, YMU Group’s Shanice McConnachie and Parlophone’s Sthenkosi 'Kosi' Sompeta – to hear their stories.

Brett Morgen’s upcoming film Moonage Daydream is about to make its mark as the first official David Bowie documentary, and we bring you the full story in a special feature. Alongside Morgen, we talk to Warner Chappell Music’s Guy Moot and BMG’s Fred Casimir to find out how Moonage Daydream can add a new dimension to an already legendary legacy.


This month’s Music Week Interview sees SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman reflect on the continuing recovery of the business, which, under his stewardship, has moved beyond streaming, further into tech and beyond. According to Weissman, SoundCloud is a unique music industry proposition and, as well as revealing his plans for the future of fan-powered royalties, he suggests that the rest of the industry needs to address the way it thinks about artists and fans. Coming after SoundCloud’s Music Week Awards win earlier this year, the CEO’s interview is unmissable.

BBC Radio 1 were among SoundCloud’s fellow winners at the Music Week Awards and we celebrate their victory with a visit to new Broadcasting House to meet station head Aled Haydn Jones alongside star Drivetime presenters Vick Hope and Jordan North. The trio tell us why Radio 1 will always be the home of breaking talent, both on and off the airwaves.

Finally in September’s features section is a special report on music royalties, gathering a selection of the sector’s most prominent names to debate all the big issues.

Our latest edition of Hitmakers features Busted’s James Bourne, who tells the story of noughties mega hit Year 3000, which was based on his voracious appetite for sci-fi films. Bourne reveals how an appearance for the song on The Simpsons cemented the single’s legendary status.

The latest edition of Mentor Me – a collaboration between Music Week and Girls I Rate – stars DJ and producer Siobhan Bell, who gives her tips for making it in the industry.

We welcome Joan Armatrading to this month’s edition of The Aftershow. Ahead of the release of the upcoming The Weakness In Me: Selected Lyrics, the singer charts her music industry journey, taking in Bob Dylan, Nelson Mandela and The Beano. 

Our latest Big Story introduces central London’s brand new music venue Outernet, as Philip O'Ferrall and Karrie Goldberg outline what the venue will offer the business as it brings live music back to Soho. Also in Frontline, Prolifica/Lower Third co-founders Colin Schaverien and Stefano Anselmetti unveil a brand new release strategy that flies in the face of the industry’s traditional push for week one album sales. Their idea, they say, could change the way the business approaches new album campaigns.

Merlin CEO Jeremy Sirota talks licensing, streaming and the metaverse in our new Spotlight Q&A. Our Start-up of the month is music licensing platform Freshound,while our chosen podcast is Sian Bennett’s Business Keeps On Dancing.

Ayra Starr stars in the latest edition of On The Radar, as the Mavin Records star talks about her journey so far and explains why her revolutionary approach can pave the way for a new generation of African female artists.

Keane’s Tom Chaplin opens up about sobriety and middle-age for our latest Incoming interview, and introduces his new solo album Midpoint. 

Our latest Rising Star is BMG’s senior YouTube manager Sunjay Kohli, while in Making Waves, we introduce Bru-C, the Nottingham rapper at the heart of the UK’s drum’n’bass revival. This month’s Sync Story features an Orla Gartland track crucial to Netflix’s coming-of-age smash Heartstopper. 

Mark Davyd’s most recent Centre Stage column calls on the music industry to take the initiative and come up with a long-term plan for protecting the grassroots sector. 

And as ever, the expanded Archive section sees us flick through the pages of Music Week of yesteryear. 

There’s all of this and our expanded monthly charts section, in which we present the Top 75 Singles and Albums of the previous month, accompanied by revamped analysis pages, plus a host of new listings. These include specialist genre Top 20s for Americana, Classical, Hip-Hop & R&B, Jazz, Country, Dance, Folk and Rock & Metal. The issue is also home to streaming, compilations and vinyl charts.

The new issue of Music Week is available from August 16.

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