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Illustrated by Sevinch Rakhmon-Zoda

Music Column Vol. X

The Music Column is ten, but… its tenth issue is more than 1500 words long.

Feb 12, 2023

Ever since the lockdowns, time has started running faster and faster. That is not a conspiracy theory, but a working scientific hypothesis: ask anybody how they have perceived time since 2020!
But even in this new, post-lockdown, super-fast time-elapsing universe, 10 years is a long time. Long enough to forget many details. However, ten also calls for celebration. It is a big moment! In music, having more than ten fans is a big deal, remaining current after ten years is a huge deal and reaching top ten is a gargantuan deal.
The Music Column just achieved its milestone tenth issue. Here’s to the first ten, and cheers for the next ten…
10 News from the Music Industry
In the midst of awards season, especially with the recent news around the Grammys, the music industry overpower most social media and news outlets. Here’s some of the noteworthy developments.
Beyonce Makes History at the Grammys
Starting off strong with Beyonce’s record. With her winning the Grammy for “Best Electronic/Dance Album” in 2022, Queen B became the musician with the most Grammy awards – 32 in total. However, the win was bittersweet with plenty of fans and critics finding that she deserved the big award of the night – “Best Album of the Year”. Instead, the award was given to Harry Styles for his latest album Harry’s House. Still, it is important that Beyonce’s contributions to music are recognized and celebrated by her fans.
EGOT for Viola Davis
Another historic moment at the Grammys: Viola Davis became one of the few so-called EGOT winners with her latest win for best “Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording” for her recording of the book, Finding Me. An EGOT winner is a person who has received an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. There are only 17 other EGOT winners besides Davis. Her achievement shows how multi-talented and dedicated to her craft she is.
Best Song for Social Change
Final news from the Grammys: Iranian singer-songwriter Shervin Hadjipour won the award for “Best Song for Social Change.” His protest song “Baraye'' was seen over 40 million times in only 2 days. Dedicated to the victims of the Iranian morality police, the song’s message turned it into one of the hymns of the protests in Iran. Unfortunately, Hadjipour was arrested because of it. Only released on social media, this song is yet another example of what a powerful tool these platforms have become.
BRITs Change Categories
On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Britain’s big music awards also made history by [moving away from gendered categories].“The Female Artist of the Year” and the “Male Artist of the Year” categories will be replaced by “Artist of the Year” and most notably “International Artist of the Year “with the intention of bringing more diversity to the nominations.
Rock Hall of Fame Inductee Nominees 2023
The Rock Hall of Fame introduced the list of nominees for their annual induction ceremony. Among the nominees are some of the greats: Kate Bush, A Tribe Called Quest, Iron Maiden, Missy Elliott, Joy Division, Soundgarden, and others. The fan voting platform is also open, so if you feel strongly about who should enter the Rock Hall of Fame in 2023, cast your vote.
Ticketmaster Scandal Continues
After the fiasco with Taylor Swift’s tour tickets, some say Ticketmaster’s days are numbered. Now, with the announcement of Beyonce’s 2023 tour, many expect the same thing to happen again, finally demolishing the monopoly of the company. Ticketmaster assure they have a [new strategy] (, but it remains to be seen whether this new scheme will be effective.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Return to the Stage
The alternative rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs announced a return to the stage with a 2023 US and Europe tour. Fans of the band will hear many of the oldies-but-goldies of the band, plus the tracks from their latest record – Cool It Down – released in 2022 (after nearly 10 years of radio silence).
Le Tigre Also Reunite After Nearly 20 Years The pivotal alternative band Le Tigre will reunite for a tour for the first time since 2005! The band is known for their socially-charged songs and unusual, genre-bending sound.
At the Brink of 5th Gen K-pop: 2023 Debuts
With the end of the 4th generation of K-pop artists approaching, the industry is yet again at the drafting stage for the next generation. In the meantime, many new debuts are scheduled for 2023, with SM Entertainment alone promising 4 new groups. JYP are also launching a new boy group, as well as HYBE and Pledis, and even smaller companies, like KQ Entertainment. Another interesting announcement from the world of the Korean music industry is SM’s plan of establishing at least 3 more subgroups of NCT, including an NCT Saudi!
Roger Waters Addresses the UN… On Behalf of Russia?!
Former frontman of the supergroup Pink Floyd Roger Waters has delivered an address at the UN Security Council. He was invited by Russian diplomats to speak on their behalf since he had been mostly in agreement with the actions of the Federation. UN representatives questioned the qualifications of Waters, an acclaimed musician, to talk as a weapons expert. Waters apparently called for a cease-fire, but not without spreading unproven theories of Ukraine provoking Russia into military action. His statement raises concerns about the involvement of celebrities in major UN events and task forces.
Throwback: 10 Albums Turning 10
Don’t feel old yet? Let me change that. In 2023 Lorde’s debut album turns 10. That is exactly right, you have not lost your ability to read: the sensational Pure Heroine is already a decade old. Feels like it was released yesterday. But guess what, Childish Gambino’s* Because the Internet* is also turning 10. So is Paramore’s Paramore, The 1975’s (drumroll please) The 1975, and The Neighbourhood’s modern classic I Love You. That is not all! Remember “Do I Wanna Know?”, “R U Mine?” , and “I Wanna Be Yours” by the Arctic Monkeys (you probably do, they recently became quite trendy on TikTok)? Yes, we’ve been enjoying them and the rest of the masterpieces on their album AM for 10 entire revolutions around the sun. “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, featuring Pharell Williams at the peak of his career from the electro-dance duo’s album Random Access Memories? Also 10 years old. The album that literally raised me – Sempiternal by Bring Me The Horizon – is among the albums turning 10 as well, which feels just like the last straw… until you realize that Twenty One Pilots released their major-label debut Vessel in 2013. Oh, and that brand new Spotify suggestion, Night Time My Time by Sky Ferreira? Not new, 10 years old already. If there was a faster mode of transportation than flying, time would be doing just that…
10 Upcoming Projects
SuperBowl Half-Time Show
With the US sports event of the year just done, one is left waiting for them to upload Rihanna’s half-time show. Hopefully by the time you read this it is already up on the streaming platforms, so take a well-deserved break from reading and check it out.
Jack White to Play at SNL
The renowned experimental rock musician Jack White will be the musical guest of Saturday Night Live on Feb. 25, hosted by the actor Woody Harrelson. Looks like it’s going to be quite the show
Valentine’s Special Editions
Artists around the world are releasing special Valentine’s EPs and singles. Tune in to Saint Levant, Rio Romeo, and Niall Horan, among others. Also, follow the hashtag #CoversforLovers to hear famous artists covering their favorite romance-themed songs.
New Broadway Productions
Broadway has quite the line-up of new musicals and musical revivals scheduled for 2023. For those of you currently on a study away in NYC or planning to go in the fall, do check out the most highly anticipated shows. Live my dream.
TONY Awards
If you thought we were done with the awards season, you would be wrong. It is actually a year-round thing in the States, with the TONYs held in June. Many new musical productions mean many surprises at the award ceremony for theater arts.
Bernstein Movie
The craze for biopics on musicians is not over. This year we will see Bradley Cooper impersonate the legendary American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. The film will be released in the fall on Netflix.
Upcoming books on music and musicians
Not only biopics, but also autobiographies and bio-books are also on the rise. Keep an eye out for the deep dive into the world of psychedelia in Pink Floyd and The Dark Side of the Moon: 50 Years and Hailey Kiyoko’s upcoming YA novel, a debut for the singer-songwriter in the “book” industry.
Touring artists
Beyond the return of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Le Tigre, many artists are going on tour this summer. I recommend that you follow your favorites on their social media accounts because tours are just beginning to be announced. Stay tuned!
UAE Music Festivals
The UAE is about to host quite the selection of music festivals. Starting off with Elrow XXL on Feb. 18 and then closing the winter season with Wireless Festival on Mar. 11(headlined by Travis Scott), the schedule is packed with all kinds of music events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Upcoming Albums … will be announced in future Music Columns. You thought that after reading the longest music column so far you would be able to get away? Tough luck! See you next week with specially selected recommendations.
Yana Peeva is Senior Columns Editor. Email her at
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