Master of None: Music supervisor Zach Cowie shares his soundtrack secrets

Master of None: Music supervisor Zach Cowie shares his soundtrack secrets

How does a hit song end up in a TV show? It’s not as simple as it seems. Every musical moment has to be tested, approved and licensed before it appears on a soundtrack; and that process can take months upon months upon months. It’s all the responsibility of a music supervisor, who plays a critical role in establishing the atmosphere and tone of a series, hand-picking tracks to accompany the action, and getting them…

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Shaun Ryder voices trams in Manchester for BBC Music Day

Shaun Ryder voices trams in Manchester for BBC Music Day

Media playback is unsupported on your device Step On! Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder is voicing announcements on MetroLink trams in Manchester for BBC Music Day. The singer riffs on some of his biggest hits, including the Gorillaz’ single DARE, telling commuters: “It’s coming up, it’s coming up, it’s… Anchorage!” “I enjoyed doing it,” he told 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins, “but I’ll never listen to it. I hate hearing my own voice.” Ozzy Osbourne, Alfie…

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Don't look back in anger: Music helps Manchester remember, and forget

Don't look back in anger: Music helps Manchester remember, and forget

Five days after the Manchester attack, 50,000 people turned out for one of the city’s biggest concerts of the year. It was a chance for music fans to unite and remember the victims – but also to get lost in music for a while. There were a few signs that The Courteeners’ show at Old Trafford cricket ground on Saturday was not an ordinary gig. There were the armed police outside the ground, the flags…

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Music festivals: Here's one way to stay dry

Music festivals: Here's one way to stay dry

Last summer, on my fourth day of sploshing through Glastonbury’s sodden fields, I thought: “Why do I keep doing this to myself?” Sure, the music was great. Skepta, Adele and Grimes gave unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime performances; and Philip Glass’s Heroes Symphony, an orchestral tribute to David Bowie in the dead of the night, was unexpectedly moving. Even Coldplay – previously the only band who’d provoked me to walk out of a concert early – won me…

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What's so great about Now That's What I Call Music 48?

What's so great about Now That's What I Call Music 48?

Who wants a copy of a 16-year-old compilation album? Quite a lot of us, it seems. Sales of Now That’s What I Call Music 48 surged last week, after the double CD (“featuring 41 top chart hits!”) provided the soundtrack to the BBC sitcom Peter Kay’s Car Share. It even entered Amazon’s compilation chart, despite being out of print, on the strength of second-hand sales. Prices shot up too, rising from as little as 11p…

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Ikutaro Kakehashi: Roland founder and music pioneer dies aged 87

Ikutaro Kakehashi: Roland founder and music pioneer dies aged 87

The music world is mourning the loss of Roland founder and electronic instrument pioneer Ikutaro Kakehashi, who has died aged 87. The Japanese engineer created many popular drum machines, including the iconic TR-808. Its sound is a staple of hip-hop and electronic music, used by everyone from Kanye West to Marvin Gaye. Kakehashi received a technical Grammy in 2013 for contributions to electronic music technology. Dave Smith – Kakehashi’s co-winner – told the BBC he…

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Harry Styles hints solo music could be out in April

Harry Styles hints solo music could be out in April

Harry Styles has hinted his first solo material will be out in April. The One Direction star posted three blank squares on Instagram, after months of silence on social media. Then he appeared in an advert during last night’s semi-final of The Voice UK, which hints at the release date April 7th. It came within minutes of band mate Liam Payne announcing the birth of his first son with Cheryl. The video has been posted…

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Chuck Berry: Music stars pay tribute to rock 'n' roll icon

Chuck Berry: Music stars pay tribute to rock 'n' roll icon

Musical stars are paying tribute to Chuck Berry after the influential performer died aged 90. US singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen said he was “the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived”. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones said Berry “lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers”. The guitarist and songwriter died Saturday in the US state of Missouri after a seven-decade career. Seen as one…

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