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Four Elements That Make Great Music: Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music



Ed Sheeran joined Zane Lowe live from his home last night (October 28) for an exclusive Apple Music ‘First Listen’ event. During the livestream he discussed his brand new album ‘=’ and played fans a selection of tracks for the first time.

Speaking with Zane Lowe, Ed revealed his close relationship with Elton John and shared that he calls him everyday, reflected on the importance of honest songwriting and how ‘uncomfortable’ that has been for people close to him, discussed how major life events including the loss of close friend Michael Gudinski have changed his outlook on life, and more.

Fans can listen to = now on Apple Music, with the album also available in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. Find out more about Apple Music’s Spatial Audio here: Introducing Spatial Audio 

Please find ProRes clips, key quotes and image below — please credit Zane Lowe / Apple Music First Listen if you’re able to use.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About Quarantining And Not Cancelling
I hate letting people down and… I rarely, rarely, rarely ever cancel. I only cancelled gigs from breaking my arms and then one time there was a thunderstorm in Hong Kong… but I rarely, rarely cancel s*** but it was quite heavy at the beginning of the week and I’ve rested a lot, a lot of vitamin C and zinc and D and these pills and I feel a lot better now.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About Writing During The Pandemic
I was sort of writing songs anyway and then the pandemic hit. And I sort of took the stillness aspect of it and I did a bit of painting. I did some carpentry, made my daughter’s stuff for her bedroom and then I sort of had the itch, I think. And started trying to write a song a day. And out of those—I probably wrote 20 songs in the space of, like, 20 days, every single day I’d wake up and write a song. And then my friend Johnny who I’d been making the album with, you know, his partner lives in America so he was leaving alone so he came and quarantined in the house next door here for two weeks and then moved in and we basically started working in the studio in our little commune. But that was, like, the beginning of it. I think the first song we wrote for that was the single that comes out with the video today.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About Inspiration Versus Hard Work
How can you expect divine inspiration to hit if you haven’t got a guitar in your hand all day every day? That’s my thing, I think the harder you work the luckier you get so I just make sure I’m in the position to always be writing songs and then at some point when that really special moment hits, I’m in a studio rather than, like, driving a car or falling asleep… I just put myself in the position where every single time that that’s hit I’ve been next to a vocal booth basically.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About Eminem Influencing His Work-Life Balance
I primarily thought the hip‑hop sessions were nighttime, that’s how I first really started off, was going to the studio at, like, 6:00 p.m., having a bit of food, having a chat, about 9:00 p.m. you get in the booth and then by, like, 6:00 a.m. you’re going home, and that was just the norm. And I remember going to work with Eminem in Detroit and he was like, “No, bro, I get in 9:00 a.m. and leave at 5:00, I can go out to dinner and hang out with my kids.” That I think is the way to do it. Since then the time between 9:00 in the morning and 11:00 in the morning is the most inspiration to me, that’s when your brain is really, really working, so I find all the best stuff is written in the morning and then throughout the day you wind down and by the end of the day you’re kind of done.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About The Inspiration Behind “Bad Habits”
I never worried about making the song authentic because I’ve lived it so I knew exactly what I was talking about, when I say “Nothing happens after 2:00” like everybody, “Nothing good ever happens after 2:00.”
I think in terms of writing the song, it was more a song that I feel like, I hadn’t really… I sort of like delved into it a little bit with “bloodstream” but I hadn’t really written a song like that to a kind of pop level. And yet it just felt like the right thing to do at the time. I wasn’t actually expecting it to be a single for this album, I was working with Fred who goes on to Fred Again, he has a dance group called Rain Radio and he played me that tune “Talk About” months before it came out, and I was like “We should make a tune for Rain Radio featuring me and it should be this song “Bad Habits.” When we finished it actually Fred said, “Oh, we should make this a country tune” so we did a version with loads of slide guitars and lots of, like, thing to pick style stuff. I say country but it was closer to Avicii “Wake me up” than anything.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About Four Elements That Make Great Music
I’ve always had this obsession with dance music. I feel, like, quite similar to ’90s hip‑hop as well, has always, like, four great elements, right? So I listen to something like “We Found Love,” Calvin Harris and Rihanna, which I think is a perfect dance song, I mean, it’s perfect. It has four elements, apart from Rihanna’s voice, has four elements that are really, really, really strong on their own. It has the “bling‑bling-bling” on it’s own, very, very catchy, and you’ve got the bass “doom-doom-doom,” very catchy, then the “sss”, and then the kick. And those four together, some drop out, some get put in at some point, that are four key elements that sound great and you bring them in and out. I thought if we nail them with “Bad Habits” we get four things so we get the “ding-ding-ding-ding” and the bass, the kick and the snare, which is pretty much all I have on the loop when I play… If those key elements are there and we get the sound right—like the bass, we spent months and months and months getting that bass crunch proper, getting the kick proper—and that’s in my mind how you would make a perfect dance song, is just finding the key elements and make sure each one is the best sounding piece it can be basically.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About “Bad Habits” Reception
For the first three days, my fans were, like, “No, no, we don’t like this one.” I remember, like, three days into it… On the Monday that it came out, I was like “Man, I think we put out the wrong one.” This song is so odd because it’s not even peaking now, it’s still getting bigger and we’re sort of like five months into it and I sort of thought it was over three, four weeks ago and it’s still going.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About The Meaning Of The Butterflies On The Album Cover
I’ve spent a lot of my 20’s questioning who am I, why am I here, why do I do this, if I’m a singer what do I add to the world, it’s so much questioning. I’ve turned 30 and I feel like some of these questions have started to have answers but they started to have answers through two very, very massive moments in my life which is, one, my daughter being born, which is new life and, one, my friend Michael [Gudinski] dying, which is death. Both hit me in a way where you appreciate tomorrow more because of each one, if that makes sense, and I saw the symbol “equals.” An equals symbol is the end of a question and the start of an answer, it’s in the middle of the two. I definitely feel like being 30 I’m on either sides. In my 20’s there’s a lot of question, in my 30’s there’s a lot of answers, so the butterflies were essentially from a chrysalis, new life. It came to me one day, I don’t know why, but I have a lot of things come to me when I go running and I think it’s because your creative side of your brain sort of opens when you have nothing else to focus on.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About Writing “Visiting Hours”
Anthony Clemons had sent me a song called “Visiting Hours.” It was a completely different song. I remember pressing play and one of the lines in it “I wish heaven had visiting hours.” I thought that was a clever thing. I contacted him and I said “Do you mind if I take that line, find inspiration, and create a song from it,” and he said “Go for it.” That was the start of it. The end of it was feeling just, you know, like, I’ve felt grief before because my grandparents passed away and I feel like when your grandparents pass away you’re expecting it because it’s just a thing, people who are old eventually die and that’s just part of life. But this was, like, different I just, like, woke up one morning at 4:00 in the morning with a call from Michael’s son telling me and then that was that. I wasn’t going to speak to him again and that was something I just had to deal with. And I went back to that line, I remember I heard being, like, “I wish heaven had visiting hours.” I remember thinking “Man, I’m sure I’m going to process this and eventually I’m going to find peace with it,” but something that would help me find more peace with it is if I could just have five minutes with him, and to go up there and be, “Hey, man I know I’m not going to see you for a very, very long time but this, this, this, this, and I love you, I’ll see you when I’ll see you,” and that was a way of just writing a tune that’s about acceptance in grief but also just having the door a tiny bit ajar so you can wave goodbye.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About His Songs Belonging to Everyone Once Released
When I record, they’re my thoughts and emotions sort of put into songs and largely quite embarrassing things in my mind that I’m putting down, but I often think if a song doesn’t make me go, “Oh, I don’t want to put that out” then I really shouldn’t put that out, like if it makes me feel embarrassed to release it it’s the right song to do. Because always when I hear songs that I love, be it, you know, connecting with Damian Rice for the first time through music or Eminem and going back to Joni Mitchell, whatever it is, there’s lines they say where you go “Oh my God, that’s exactly what I’m thinking, but I would never say that. And that’s what I would try to do with songwriting. Like sometimes I write a line and I go, “Oh, that’s silly, like, why am I saying that” and that’s the light magic in songwriting. When I write the songs, they’re very, very personal to me but then when I release them, they belong to everyone, therefore, they’re not mine anymore. Which is why, I got asked do I get emotional playing “Visiting Hours” at shows now, I’m like “I don’t, because that song is so important to so many other people now, I don’t feel like that’s my song to hold.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About Preferring Writing Songs Than Being A Virtuoso
I know so many people that are amazing musicians that can’t write songs and I know so many songwriters that can write songs that aren’t amazing musicians, and I know which one I’d like to be. I’d much rather write songs than wow you on your guitar.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About How The Album Tracklist Reflects His Life Journey To Date…
It was essentially a journey through the end of my 20s, into my 30s, so it essentially starts off in absolute chaos. I wanted the album with tides it basically starts with really, really quiet. I wanted people to be like f*** it’s not loud enough, and slap you in the face with noise. Then the verse is just chaotic, it’s just…It’s just relentless and then suddenly it just cuts out, time stops still ‘when you’re in my arms’ and there’s this acapella chorus and essentially that’s what the album’s going to be, chaos and calm.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About Making The Album For Vinyl…
Vinyl, I made this album for vinyl. It all fits on one, I actually cut off a few songs that I played you so they all fit on one vinyl. “Be Right Now” is exactly the same key and pretty much the same tempo as “Tides”, you flip it over and starts again, it sounds like it’s one loop, basically. Yeah, that’s my little nerd out for the vinyl.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About “First Times”….
Yeah, literally down to walking off stage at Wembley and being like “Am I meant to feel something?” and going into my dressing room, my wife was handing me a beer and oh, my God such a tiny thing that makes you feel so much, the first kiss, the first song that made you cry, first drink, red wine on a step in Brooklyn opposite a pizza restaurant that we love to go to in Brooklyn, it’s bring your own bring your own bottle and they basically give you two glasses and then you sit across the street and wait for your table. The song is basically our first times.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About The Song He Cut From The Album For Lacking Honesty…
There was actually one song on this album before I took it off so it could fit on the vinyl that was a really, really great pop song but it wasn’t 100% honest. It was just, like, it was just good, it just sounded good but it wasn’t like it was something where I could be, like, oh, that was something me and Cherry definitely did or that’s something that’s definitely happened or that something that definitely happened, so I ended up taking it off and it made the album flow so much better.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music That Writing Songs About Loved Ones Has Been ‘Uncomfortable’ For Them…
Zane Lowe: As authentic and honest as writers want to be sometimes, they feel the need to preserve their relationships and protect them or be more metaphorical or be more ambiguous with it, you love to write songs about the loves of your life.
Ed Sheeran: Yeah, and I guess it’s been quite uncomfortable for people that I’ve been with but, like, it’s something that I’ve always done and I do feel like honesty is what I expect from an artist and I don’t want to hear 20% of what you feel, you know, I listen to something like The Marshall Maters LP or the Slim Shady LP and it’s pretty f***** heavy but they felt it, and you listen to it and you’re like “Oh my God, I believe you.” But that’s what you want to hear and you want to hear unfiltered artists.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About His Unique Relationship With Elton John…
I feel like people think I’m exaggerating and lying when I say he calls every day. He calls me every single morning. Even if it’s like 10 seconds, every single morning he calls … This morning, he’s very excited about his album, it’s going to be number one this week and he’s super, super excited. We’ve kind of been following each other’s stuff…. But no, man, he’s, like, you know, just he’s such a caring human. He didn’t ring me every day before. Like, he rung me quite a bit to check up on Lyra, he’s got two kids and he loves seeing parents and blah, blah, blah but when Michael passed away he rung me the day after to check how I was and I really wasn’t good. And then just from that point he’s literally ringing me every single day. I mean, at first it was just to check up on me and now it’s kind of just become part of a daily routine, I’m sort of feeding porridge to Lyra, got a call from Elton, say hi to Lyra, it’s just become a daily thing. There’s not many people in my life like that and, yeah, I really, really appreciate him.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music Why He Doesn’t Consider Ballads To Be His Primary Style Of Songwriting…
I am the ballad guy but, you know, if you look at my repertoire, like, the big songs are, you know, “Shape Of You”, “Perfect”, you’ve got, “Thinking Out Loud,” whatever, “Photograph”, so you’ve got three ballads in there but largely my thing has always been the singing with an acoustic guitar and rapping over it. So ballads came when “Thinking Out Loud” became massive. And then suddenly everyone was “He’s a ballad guy” and I don’t know if I can do that again and “Perfect” comes out and it does it again and more and then I’m, like, I don’t know if I can really do that again. So when “The Joker and The Queen” happened, I wasn’t trying to write a ballad.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music That Playing Zane Lowe “The Joker and The Queen” Gave Him Confidence In The Song…
I was like “Alright metaphors, card game, show your cards on the table, heart, joker, queen, king, diamonds” and it was written very, very quickly and I was very skeptical of the song for months, actually. I was like “I don’t rate it at all.” The more and more people like you that would listen to it, that was a turning point for me, coming to play it for you and you listening to it, I was like “Maybe it is good”, because in my head I was so convinced it was a ‘blah’ song because I’ve made so many ‘blah’ songs that people eventually think of ‘blah’ if that makes sense.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About the Emotional Aftermath of His Record Breaking Tour…
I walk off stage and I’m 28 and I’m sitting in my dressing room and I’m like “That’s it and it’s downhill from here.” I kind of had a month of figuring out if I was OK with it going downhill. And then for the rest of that time it was actually coming to peace with it’s not actually being downhill or bigger it’s not trying to be, like, I’m going out on this tour and I’m not trying to beat my record at all, that’s not on my agenda. I’m not trying to put this album out and sell more copies and divide, it’s not about that at all anymore….It’s about looking at someone like Elton John or a band like Coldplay who I hugely admire… So my view of career now is less about more, more, bigger, bigger, I need to do this because I haven’t done this, it’s more about just like right, I made a really, really great body of work that I love and I really want people to hear this.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About An Unreleased Album From 2017…
I made an entire record for a movie soundtrack in 2017 and it’s beautifully made and I did it in a day with Nashville players, I wrote the songs and I went in acoustically with a classical guitar and I recorded my bits and then I went in with Nashville players and I played it in one day, done. It’s there and it’s all right, like, it probably would have worked just putting it out. I can do that, I can do that tomorrow. That doesn’t excite me. Like, this excites me [‘=‘]. I’ve, like, honed and crafted these songs over the course of, like, four years. I’ve made what I think is a perfect album…  I mean, I would love to put out the record I made at Blackbird in Nashville, but it’s just,  I think the moment’s passed but I do that all the time. All the time I write a bunch of songs and then I get a bunch of players together and then I record it and then it just sits there and it’s, like, for me, that’s not a challenge.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music About What Most Interests Him Creatively…
You expect me to sit down with an acoustic guitar, right, and play songs but you listened to “Bad Habits” and you were, like, “Oh, oh, I didn’t think you’d go in that direction” and that’s what excites me. The fact that I can on “Collaborations” be on a song rapping with Eminem and 50 Cent, that excites me, “Shape of You” which can get played at a kid’s birthday party or a club at 2:00 in the morning, that excites me. Like, that’s the sort of thing that gets me excited about music, not doing what everyone thinks I can do.

Ed Sheeran Tells Apple Music The Poignant Way He’s Celebrating His Album’s Release…
I’ve basically got a statue of my friend Michael in my pub and I’ve got a bottle of his favourite wine and I’m going to open that and have a drink with him after this and wait for the album to come out.

More background on Apple Music’s First Listen global event series…

First Listen is a series of free Apple Music hosted virtual launch parties, harkening back to the album listening parties of yore but now with almost unlimited ways for artists to connect with and treat their biggest fans to something special before releasing new music to the world. Acting as a live event extension of some of Apple Music’s most popular and influential playlists, these virtual listening parties could include everything from unreleased tracks, to special surprise guests and more. Previous events featured some of the world’s biggest artists including Olivia Rodrigo, Shawn Mendes, BLACKPINK, Bruce Springsteen, Keith Urban, Rauw Alejandro, Karol G, Moneybagg Yo, Migos, Dan + Shay, Belly, J Balvin and many more.


World News

Vevo releases highlights of annual year-end recap with top artists, pop culture moments, and key trends of 2021



Karol G
Vevo, the world’s leading music video network, today released part one of its annual year-end look back on music video viewership, with more end-of-year insights to come this month.
Globally, Karol G tops the most-viewed artist chart of 2021, with 3.11 billion views, followed closely by The Weeknd, with 3.10 billion views.
In the U.S., Lil Baby is Vevo’s most-viewed artist of this past year (770 million views), followed by The Weeknd (558 million views). Newcomers to this year’s top 10 most-viewed artist list include Doja Cat and Lil Nas X (full U.S. and global charts are below).
Both in the U.S. and worldwide, Lil Nas X secures the top spots in the Vevo Engagement Chart, which ranks videos according to the most likes, shares, and comments across the Vevo network. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” was #1, with “INDUSTRY BABY” featuring Jack Harlow in the second spot. Lil Nas X’s success can be attributed to his consistently creative releases and imaginative marketing efforts, such as his sneaker launch in partnership with art collective MSCHF ahead of the release of the MONTERO album, which drove the viewership of Lil Nas X music videos six-fold.
Another notable mention is singer/songwriter Olivia Rodrigo has grown her viewership 8x to 357 million views in the U.S. in 2021, after breaking into the mainstream with her debut album, SOUR.
“Vevo is the music video destination for artists of all genres and career stages. Our charts feature both established stars, such as Taylor Swift and Future, and newer names who also made big headlines this year, like Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo.
“In 2021, fan consumption and engagement with music videos continued to yield many insights about the vital nature of the music video in driving, shaping and reacting to cultural moments. And artists such as The Weeknd, Doja Cat, and Ariana Grande collaborated with Vevo to further develop their visual catalog and storytelling through Vevo’s original content series, such as LIFT and Official Live Performances,” said Alan Price, Chief Executive Officer, Vevo.
Music videos served as soundtracks to events throughout the year. Here are some of the top pop culture moments and themes of 2021 through Vevo’s music video viewership:
Cultural Zeitgeist
With this summer marked by celebrity romances, Jennifer Lopez saw U.S. viewership lift following news reports of her rekindling with actor Ben Affleck, who appeared in Lopez’s “Jenny from the Block” music video. In September, viewership of Machine Gun Kelly’s “Bloody Valentine”, starring actress Megan Fox, doubled in the U.S. after he and Fox hit the VMAs red carpet.
Big Artist Returns in the Fall
During the fall, there were several new recordings from beloved artists such as ABBA, Adele, and Taylor Swift. In October, Vevo saw Adele’s catalog trending following the announcement of her new studio album, 30, with a 10-fold lift in views, and “Easy On Me” generated engagement with fans, becoming the #7 most-engaged-with Vevo music video of 2021 in the U.S.
That same month, ABBA announced a reunion and their first new album in 40 years, and their hits, such as “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me”, saw a 170% lift in U.S. views. In November, Taylor Swift’s catalog also jumped 5x as she released “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” the first 10-minute song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Remembering DMX and Young Dolph Through Music Videos
Fans turned to music videos to remember rappers DMX and Young Dolph, who passed suddenly this year. In April, DMX’s music video catalog saw 19x its usual viewership in the U.S., particularly around “I Miss You” (210% lift) and “Slippin’” (200% lift). Young Dolph’s catalog saw a 550% lift in the U.S. following his tragic shooting in November.
Social Media Platforms Foster Music Video Discovery and Rediscovery
The increasing popularity of social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram fostered the discovery of new music in 2021, in turn driving the search and viewership of music videos on Vevo. This was especially evident in reviving music videos from years, and even decades, prior, bringing previously-released music videos to new audiences in 2021. Some of this year’s top rediscovered Vevo music videos in the U.S., fueled by the likes of TikTok, include Mitski’s “Washing Machine Heart” (310% lift); Trinidad Cardona’s “Dinero” (520% lift); and J. Cole’s “She Knows” (710% lift), all of which were first released in the 2010s.
Coupled with this, consumers are increasingly seeking out and enjoying nostalgic content, evident in Vevo’s decades-based linear TV channels, such as Vevo 70s, Vevo 80s, Vevo 90s, and Vevo 2K, which consistently deliver high viewership. Older hits such as Boney M.’s “Rasputin (Sopot Festival 1979)” (270% lift), and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Let’s Groove Tonight” (580% lift), are also examples of music videos from prior decades that have made a comeback in 2021 in the U.S., particularly via TikTok dance challenges by younger generations.
More data and trends from Vevo’s 2021 review, including the most viewed music videos of the year, are set to be released later this month.
Vevo identified and analyzed music video viewership spikes from the end of 2020 through December 2021, comparing the current two-week rolling average vs. the prior two-month rolling average. The dates of these spikes were then matched with the current events and developments that drew viewers to these music videos.
(Source: Vevo Internal Analytics, Global and US 12/1/20-12/1/21 views.)
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World News

Drake withdraws his 2022 Grammy nominations



Drake’s management has asked the Recording Academy to remove him as a nominee on the final-round ballot for the 64th annual Grammy Awards and the Academy has honored the request. (Variety first reported the news.) (more…)

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World News

Hangout Music Festival announces Post Malone, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, more for 2022 Lineup



Hangout Music Festival has announced the lineup for its highly-anticipated return to the beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama from May 20-22. The festival will serve as the official kick-off to summer with an epic weekend that brings together a diverse group of artists across the worlds of pop, rock, hip-hop, electronic, country, and more for the first time since 2019.

For three unforgettable days, attendees will gather together on the stunning white sand beaches of Southern Alabama’s famed Gulf Shores for a community-focused festival that has become a favorite for fans and performers alike since its debut in 2010. Part music festival and part immersive travel experience, guests will also get the chance to take part in a variety of activities and events that help to make Hangout a true music vacation.

With its 2022 lineup, Hangout once again has provided something for everyone. Headliners for the three nights of the festival will be acclaimed genre-bending singer and rapper Post Malone, Australian psychedelic rock act Tame Impala, and Grammy award-winning vocalist Halsey.

Additional headliners and highlights on the 2022 Hangout lineup include R&B and rap sensation Doja Cat, iconic Chicago pop-punk group Fall Out Boy, beloved dance music stand out ILLENIUM, Houston hip-hop artist and fashion icon Megan Thee Stallion, award-winning country vocalist Kane Brown, Louisville rapper Jack Harlow, Grammy-winning German-Russian DJ and producer Zedd, Texas-born country-pop artist Maren Morris, Grammy-nominated Los Angeles singer Phoebe Bridgers, soul singer and songwriter Leon Bridges, and more.

Attendees can also look forward to performances by pop-leaning electronic duo Louis The Child, Bay Area indie-pop artist Still Woozy, Tennessee indie-rock and pop group The Band CAMINO, the high-flying dance duo SLANDER, multi-talented artist and Internet favorite Oliver Tree, Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty, Connecticut pop and electronic singer Chelsea Cutler, iconic reggae-rock band Sublime With Rome, Washington indie-folk act The Head And The Heart, multi-genre Texas duo Surfaces, R&B/rap vocalist and songwriter T-Pain, and more.

Beyond the music lineup, Hangout is a one-of-a-kind experiential festival featuring stage-side VIP pools, hammocks lining the beach, majestic oceanside views, and plenty of activities for attendees including beach volleyball, disco skating at a full-sized roller rink, dance parties by the water, and much more to be announced. 

Pre-sale registration for tickets to Hangout 2022 is now available on the festival’s official website. Those interested can sign-up for a limited time to take part in the December 10th presale date, while the General Onsale for the festival will take place on December 13th. 3-Day General admission tickets are $339 during the Early Bird sale and will increase to $359 after that. There is also a 3-Day GA Plus option priced at $509 that includes access to the GA Plus Grove with private air-conditioned restrooms, premium food offerings, and areas to relax, along with Priority GA Plus entrances at all festival gates.

Guests seeking the VIP treatment can choose between two options. With the 3-Day VIP choice priced at $1,219, guests will have access to exclusive artist performances, upfront viewing areas at designated stages, a stage-side pool at the Hangout Main Stage, private air-conditioned bathrooms, a VIP Grove with complimentary cocktails, beer, wine and snacks, priority VIP entrances, and more. The 3-Day Super VIP option priced at $1,839 will include all of those amenities along with access to the viewing deck at the Hangout Stage with hot tubs, jacuzzis, and a full bar, a VIP dining room with complimentary gourmet meals prepared by award-winning chefs, golf cart shuttles to designated stages, and more.

Gulf Shores and its neighboring city of Orange Beach also offer a wide variety of places to stay including condos, homes, cottages, and hotels, as well as a mix of locally-owned restaurants offering the best in Gulf seafood. For all the details on Gulf Shores, visit or visit the Hangout website for lodging options and more information.

Beyond the music itself, the community aspect of Hangout remains at the core of the festival’s experience. This starts with the festival’s logo known as the “shaka,” which symbolizes the “hang loose” mantra of beach and surf culture to many with a deeper meaning that represents solidarity, friendship, compassion, respect, and mutual understanding.

This extends to every aspect of Hangout, who focus much of their attention on social and environmental responsibility along with community engagement. This includes measures related to diversity, equity & inclusion, taking steps toward environmental sustainability, and supporting local charities. More information on these actions can be found on Hangout’s website.

To put it simply, Hangout Music Festival is a music vacation on the beach. The award-winning festival takes place on the beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama — just a short drive from the Pensacola, FL and Mobile, AL airports. Hangout is as much a vacation as it is a concert event. Beyond a diverse music lineup of top acts, fans can also take advantage of festival amenities including seaside beach clubs, a full-size roller rink, beach volleyball, main stage inground pools, Gulf-front hammocks, delicious food, VIP options, and more. It has been awarded as Pollstar’s “Music Festival of the Year” and is continuously recognized as one of the best festivals in the US. The festival also adds over $40 million into the local economy each year.

Full Lineup
Post Malone
Tame Impala
Doja Cat
Fall Out Boy
Megan Thee Stallion
Kane Brown
Jack Harlow
Maren Morris
Phoebe Bridgers
Leon Bridges
Louis The Child
Still Woozy
Oliver Tree
Lil Yachty
Chelsea Cutler
The Head And The Heart
Sublime With Rome
Flo Milli
DIESEL (Shaquille O’Neal)
Moon Taxi
Tyla Yaweh
Remi Wolf
The Brook & The Bluff
Paul Cauthen
Role Model
Surf Mesa
Joy Oladokun
Briston Maroney
Bankrol Hayden
LP Giobbi
Ship Wrek
Zach Hood
Blu DeTiger
Neal Francis
The Blossom
Tre’ Amani
gabriel black
Bren Joy
Petey Martin

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Brent Faiyaz follows Drake, Tyler, Keem, Meek collaborations with new single



Grammy-nominated singer and producer Brent Faiyaz caps another stratospheric year with new single “Mercedes.” With Faiyaz’s idiosyncratic falsetto, “Mercedes” showcases Brent’s distinct musical identity that oscillates between hero and villain while being reminiscent of ‘90s R&B. 2021 saw Brent collaborate with the likes of Drake, Tyler, The Creator, Baby Keem, Meek Mill and Tems, release smash solo tracks, and surpass 8.5 BILLION streams for his catalog that includes 2 Certified Platinum and 5 Certified Gold singles.


Listen to “Mercedes” here:


In 2016, Faiyaz formed his own independent record label, Lost Kids and released his Fuck The World EP in 2020, which debuted at #20 on the Billboard 200 charts. To give back to his fans he started the Show U Off Grant Program for Black women entrepreneurs in 2021, with more

details on the 2022 program to follow and he will celebrate the 4th annual Lost Kids Benefit this month in support of youths in his hometown of Baltimore, MD.


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‘Wu-Tang: An American Saga’ star, Johnell Young set to lead in ‘New Jack City’ remake



Johnell Young, best known for his role as GZA on Hulu’s ‘Wu-Tang: An American Saga’ is rumoured to be starring in Warner Bros’ ‘New Jack City’ remake, written by Barry Michael Cooper.

According to sources, Young will play the lead role in the remake of the 90’s classic.
On November 27, Barry Michael Cooper took to Twitter to announce the working title for a prequel to his 1991 crack cocaine-laced classic New Jack City. “The Diary of NIno Brown: The Monster Reagan Created.” Prequel. Sequel. Work In Progress. Soon. GOD Willing. #NewJackCity,” Cooper tweeted.

New Jack City released in 1991 was an American crime thriller directed by Mario Van Peebles, who also co-starred in the film. The film stars Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne, Chris Rock, Mario Van Peebles, Judd Nelson, and Bill Cobbs.


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Kanye West, 21 Savage, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby, others honour Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton Show



Two days after his shocking death, Virgil Abloh’s friends from music and fashion came together to honor him at Louis Vuitton’s “Virgil Was Here” show in Miami on Tuesday. (more…)

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