Posted inNews

Kanye West launches a $200 Donda Stem Player with Kano

When will Kanye West’s new album ‘Donda’ come out? Good question: it remains imminent. However, today we learned that when it DOES come out, it will ship alongside some hardware.

Go to West’s official website and you’ll see the ‘Donda Stem Player’, a $200 / £200 device that will be released alongside the album – initially in the US and UK.

What does it do? “Customise any song,” is the pitch. The circular device will be able to split any song into stems, isolate the parts, add effects, and control the vocals, drums, bass and samples.

Judging by the FAQ on the website, owners will load music onto their device using the website. It’s not entirely clear whether it will ship with stems for ‘Donda’ itself, although that seems to be the implication.

The image of the Donda Stem Player includes the line ‘Yeezy Tech x Kano’. Kano is the British company that made its name with buildable computer kits for children.

There is already a link here. Kano’s CEO, Alex Klein, wrote some lyrics for the track ‘Water’ on West’s ‘Jesus Is King’ album. Klein tweeted a link to West’s site today as the player was launched:

Posted inSandbox

Sandbox Issue 260: Twitch for Artists

Lead: Twitch for artists – Artists were drifting towards livestreaming platform Twitch before COVID-19 hit, and Twitch has been making overtures to musicians for a while. But since live performance was halted, interest in the platform has never been higher, and Twitch is welcoming artists – and their fans – with open arms. But Twitch demands […]

To access this post, you must subscribe. If you are already a subscriber, log in here.

Posted inNews

YouTube hails grime and UK rap’s 1.3bn views in 2016

One of the hot events at the UK’s Great Escape festival this past weekend was a YouTube-branded night of grime, headlined by Kano.

Ahead of the gig, YouTube put out some stats on the growing popularity of grime (and UK rap more generally) on its platform.

“Tallying well over 1.3 billion video views in 2016 alone, the platform has seen skyrocketing numbers for a new crop of artists in the last few years, with MCs like Kano, Skepta, and Stormzy delivering the sound firmly back into the spotlight,” explained a blog post from YouTube.