MUSIC: WHY THE PRESENT AND FUTURE ARE IN BACK CATALOGUES

By Hans Ebert
@HansEbertMusic
Visit: www.hans-ebert.com

She’s a singer- a professional singer who would be in her early Forties. There we were chatting about some MOR and Adult Contemporary songs, but the conversation came to a screeching halt when she asked, “Who’s Norah Jones?”

Okay, for a number of reasons, I have always been an admirer of Miss Jones who, like Karen Carpenter, has one of the most distinctive voices in Pop music, and an artist who uses that unique voice to take her music to places where it hasn’t been. I love her for being an artist who takes her time and takes musical chances. She’s no one trick pony.

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IF IT’S STARING YOU IN THE FACE, THAT’S THE ANSWER

By Hans Ebert
@HansEbertMusic
Visit: http://www.hans-ebert.com

Sometimes there’s a hit- not the kind where you’re smacked- staring you in the face, but for some reason, many being paid the Big Bucks to identify these are looking elsewhere. Again, it’s more proof of a world continuing to be dumbed down. But thinking it’s being smart.

One has to only look at social media and the silliness that goes on in this pretty faked up world. Forget the numbers that don’t add up. No, let’s not.

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THE FEMALE SINGER IN ASIA: NEXT CAREER PORT OF CALL?

By Hans Ebert
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For those female artists in Asia who know that no matter how “mature” they might be that their pulling power at those huge and often way over the top ‘live’ concerts worth millions to them will always be there along with Star Appeal, especially at home and which might travel to markets nearby, international fame, no matter how small, eludes them.

Is this fame important to them? Not financially, but as part of their portfolio- part of enhancing their image, and that thing called face/pride, definitely. Maybe not much anymore as no one knows where music is heading and what’s in it for anyone other than coasting along and making that existing brand as relevant and expensive as it can be. Of course, one must first actually have a brand.

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WHAT IF? WHY NOT?

By Hans Ebert
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How long is a ball of string? It’s always something going through my head when around experienced creative types with proven track records and being challenged to think differently. Come up with ideas. It forces one to be at the top of their game. It’s not the time to play a hand with Jack high and pray to hell it’s high enough.

It happened last weekend in Sentosa at a Think Tank session comprising a couple of people in music, a few from technology, others in marketing aka “social media”, and sports and sponsorship marketing and management. No HR people needed. No need for those who have a new idea every nanu second and hope something sticks.

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OPENING THAT FRONT DOOR AND MINING THOSE BACK CATALOGUES

By Hans Ebert
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It’s not always about finding new talent. It’s often about going back in time and revisiting that back catalogue.

It’s like being Indiana Jones. It’s about rediscovering those gems lying there dormant. All the great music that’s still relevant. Often in a different class. With legendary back stories. But unknown to at least two generations of music fans. It’s all about embarking on a wonderful journey of discovery. Making up for lost time. And lost musical notes. It’s reviving that Indie spirit.

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WHY THE HONG KONG MUSIC SCENE REMAINS STUNTED

By Hans Ebert
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“We’re not pushing the envelope. We’re licking the envelope.” I said that to a musician friend of mine recently who shan’t be named as he has to work in Hong Kong and do what he has to do to make a living.

As for myself, I’ve now come to a point where I really don’t care what anyone thinks and am spending more and more time away from the usual chatter that doesn’t seem to have an Off switch. It’s boring as none of it leads anywhere except maybe to a Facebook page that has no relevance to where I’m heading.

Forget the tiresome excuses about there being a lack of venues. There have been venues and they closed because they went bust. The Morrison Cafe comes to mind. So does the doomed-from-the start Orange Peel. There’ve been more.

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MUSIC: THE TIME TO SET NEW STANDARDS

By Hans Ebert
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It’s not the latest “hip” music, but then, what is- Florence and the Machine? Sia? Drake?- but a friend and I were listening to our friend Maricel, the resident singer at the Champagne Bar of the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong, perform a set of standards- “Moon River”, “The Way You Look Tonight”, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” “This Masquerade” etc- great SONGS that have BECOME standards.

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WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? WHAT’S MUSIC SAYING TO YOU

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It probably started with Chris Cornell: Slowing down an uptempo song and giving it a new twist just as he did with his amazing version of “Billie Jean”.

Michael Jackson and producer Quincy Jones had given the world a slice of slick, danceable pop aided by a hugely important music video during those early days of MTV which helped enormously in breaking a black artist into the mainstream consciousness when Sony Chairman at the time- Walter Yetnikoff, below, played hardball with the new music channel: Put “Billie Jean” on Heavy Rotation or else you don’t get any other video by Sony artists- Springsteen, Journey, Billy Joel, Cindi Lauper etc etc.

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HONG KONG AND ITS OPEN MIC SESSIONS AND WHEN TO PULL THE PLUG ON THEM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It was raining. And these days one has to almost force one’s self to get out as there’s really nothing much happening in Hong Kong that’s worth making the effort to see or looking for new people to meet. It seems like it’s all been said and done and heard before and the only sensible thing to do is to get away from it all and find a new perspective in life. So, with my friend having made a spicy tofu salad with Chinese spinach, we decided to stay home and watch The Voice, something I hadn’t done in over a year.

I gave up on these television karaoke competitions years ago, but my friend, who still holds onto the dream of being a high powered female music executive, wanted to see some of the talent appearing on this particular night and who she knew.

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