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New signings and rising stars (May-June 2019)

Belako (ES)

Agent: Matt Bates, Primary Talent

Hailing from Mungia in the Basque Country, Belako (Josu Ximun Billelabeitia, Lore Nekane Billelabeitia, Lander Zalakain and Cristina Lizarraga) have been playing non-stop throughout Europe for the last two years, including at some of Spain’s biggest festivals.

They won Radio3 and Gaztea awards in 2012; Best New Band awards from Rolling Stone and MIN in 2015; RNE’s Best Modern Music Band gong in 2016; the Best Live Award at both MIN and the Iberian Music Awards in 2017; and last year saw them add MIN’s Best Band, Best Live and Best Video (for ‘Render Me Numb’) to their growing list of accolades.

Belako are high intensity with hypnotic melodies, great riffs, amazing bass rhythms and powerful drums. Every live show goes from the darkness to the light, from the 80s through to the 21st century, from sweet vocals to screams.

With three albums now under their belts, Belako have been honing their stage presence by playing 100+ gigs per year, and with dates across Europe, the USA, Mexico, Russia, Japan, Korea and the Philippines, they have been steadily growing their international fan base, too.


Belako, George Gretton: new signings and rising stars
George Gretton (UK)

Agent: Sol Parker, Coda Agency

Art-pop and alternative R&B are just two of the genres that can be applied to George Gretton’s debut Tread Water. Growing up in Nottingham and now London-based, the multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer is sculpting a forward-thinking and trendless sound that’s distinctly his, via atypical arrangements, experimental processing and fitful drum samples.

Tread Water was written at a time when I didn’t really have a musical identity or lyrics to draw inspiration from. I had just started to teach myself basic production and I had become fascinated with vocal manipulation and using a contrast between organic and artificial sounds to tell different sides of the same situation,” says Gretton.

“I suddenly found that writing with obscure instrumentation gave me a lot of creative freedom, and the lyrics and arrangement came together pretty quickly after that.”

Out of that desire for musical identity, Gretton’s creative freedom flourished, and he is now making music akin to such iconic artists as Ben Khan, James Blake and with echoes of Bon Iver. The genius in the self- produced Tread Water is in its understated simplicity; organic sounds perfectly collide with electronic, pulling focus to the innovative and stellar songwriting.


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From CTS to Post Malone: IQ 83 out now

The latest issue of IQ landed in many subscribers’ laps today, offering readers a full round-up of this year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC), as well as an in-depth look at the most important industry trends, figures and events of the past few months.

For those who missed the 31st edition of ILMC, the conference’s biggest year yet, or want to relive the highlights, IQ 83 provides a report of panels on ticketing, festivals, Brexit and diversity, as well as a look back at Roger Daltrey’s Breakfast meeting, complete with anecdotes from the Who’s early touring days.

The magazine also covers the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM), the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) and the inaugural Futures Forum, in which IQ editor-in-chief Gordon Masson sat down with international star Dua Lipa and her father Dugi to discuss work ethics, women and the pair’s native Kosovo.

IQ’s latest edition marks the 30th anniversary of live events powerhouse CTS Eventim with an in-depth exploration of the company’s history and a look into the man behind the business, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg (KPS). And beyond the history of the company, we ask what’s in store for the new Eventim Live initiative.

The 83rd edition of IQ Magazine – the essential publication for the international live music business – is out now

Elsewhere, IQ 83 focuses on the Swiss live entertainment market, which has become ever more lucrative and attractive to transnational industry conglomerates, placing a strain on some established, independent operators.

The issue also reveals the secrets behind sell-outs, as some of the world’s most popular festivals spill the beans on how they consistently achieve a full house, despite an increasingly saturated and competitive festival market.

Another sell-out success story, IQ 83 talks to those behind rapper Post Malone’s popular world tour, which has sold out arenas across the Europe and South America.

To get your fix of essential live music industry features, comment and analysis in premium print format, click here to subscribe to IQ now.


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