YANGAROO and Ireland’s IASCA Enter Agreement

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YANGAROO Inc., a leading secure digital media management company, has announced a multi-year agreement with Ireland’s music writers association, IASCA to provide secure delivery of music from record labels and independent music artists to broadcasters, music reviewers and other destinations in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Yangaroo’s Digital Media Distribution System (DMDS) has been successfully delivering music securely and electronically to radio broadcasters and other destinations in North America and other territories for over a decade.dmdsireland

The DMDS service will be officially launched in Q4 of 2015 in Ireland, and the introduction of this world class technology solves a number of issues for artists, labels, as well as broadcasters and other media outlets. For the former, it delivers the highest quality, watermarked, broadcast ready files, instantly, securely, inexpensively, and directly to the decision makers, in a format in which they prefer to receive it. For media, DMDS is for exclusive use to pre-approved recipients, and these releases are easily accessible in one library via computer or mobile device.

“The Canadian Music Industry led the world in the move to digital delivery of music to broadcasters beginning in 2003 virtually all music that is heard on radio in Canada is delivered via DMDS.” Said Cliff Hunt YANGAROO Vice Chairman and COO. “We have, of course expanded into the U.S. and other territories since then, and are excited to have Ireland and IASCA leading the way in Europe.”

Sinead Troy, General Manager of IASCA and DMDS Ireland says “It’s an exciting time for us, Irish radio have been hugely supportive of the plan for DMDS, and are ready to begin testing the platform next month”.

Labels, Artists and Media who would like more information, please register at



International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Announces 2015 Judges

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Kesha, Boyz II Men, Moby, Pat Metheny, Lorde, Tom Waits, Sara Evans, Bastille, Avicii, Daddy Yankee, Casting Crowns, And Many More To Judge ISC 

Called “the songwriting competition to take note of” by the prestigious New York Times,” the International ISCSongwriting Competition (ISC) today announced its esteemed panel of judges for the 2015 competition. The panel includes many iconic, high-profile recording artists, as well as Presidents and CEOs from Atlantic, Epic, Elektra, Sony Music Latin, Warner Bros., Tommy Boy, Wind-Up, Alligator, Concord Music Group, and more. Designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and promote excellence in the art of songwriting, ISC offers the opportunity for songwriters to have their music heard by some of the most influential decision-makers in the industry. ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among 68 winners) including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash and $30,000 in merchandise and services. In addition to prizes, winners gain recognition, press, kudos, and more career opportunities. Open to both amateur and professional songwriters, ISC offers 22 categories to enter, representing all genres of popular music. More information on entering ISC can be found at

Last year’s ISC Grand Prize winner, Australian singer/songwriter Vance Joy, was honored for his memorable hit song, “Riptide.” In a statement, Joy said, “It is such an honor to win this songwriting prize. Writing songs is what gives me purpose, and I’m proud to receive this award.” The winning song “Riptide” turned out to be the song that launched Joy’s career worldwide and has since become a classic. He is currently on a six-month tour supporting Taylor Swift.

Joy is one of many winners who have included artists such as Bastille; Gotye; Lindsey Stirling; Kimbra; The Band Perry; Andrew Bird; Passenger; Gin Wigmore; Missy Higgins; King Charles; For King And Country; and more. The complete list of 2015 judges includes: Recording Artists Kesha; Tom Waits; Bill Withers; American Authors; Lorde; Pat Metheny; Sara Evans; Bastille; Casting Crowns; Keb Mo; Avicii; Boyz II Men; Bill Withers; Keane; Hardwell; Robben Ford; Danilo Perez; Moby; Jon Secada; Daddy Yankee; Afro Celt Sound System; Anthony Hamilton; Gerald Casale (Devo); Sean Paul; Justin Townes Earle; Hawk Nelson; Jean-Luc Ponty; Shakey Graves; Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.); Chayanne; Joy Williams; Matt Maher; Art Alexakis (Everclear); Far East Movement; Femi Kuti; and more to be announced.

Industry Executives: Craig Kallman (Chairman/CEO, Atlantic Records); Sylvia Rhone (President, Epic Records); Dan McCarroll (President, Warner Bros. Records); Jeff Castelaz (President, Elektra Records); Nir Seroussi (President, Sony Music Latin); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Rosie Lopez (President, Tommy Boy Entertainment); Glen Barros (President, Concord Music Group); Bryan Stewart (VP of A&R, Curb Records); Jason McArthur (VP of A&R, Provident Label Group / Sony Music Entertainment); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Edward Chmelewski (President, Blind Pig Records); Sharon Tapper (Head of Publishing, Glassnote Records); Kevin Welk (Chief Creative, Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records); Angel Carrasco (President, Discos 605); Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Joseph Burney (VP of A&R, RCA Inspiration/Sony Music Entertainment); Richard Stumpf (CEO, Atlas Publishing); Steve Greenberg (CEO, S-Curve Records); Kim Buie (VP of A&R, New West Records); Albert Schilcher (VP of Music and Music Marketing, MTV International); Jamie Masada (Owner, Laugh Factory); Cyndi Nelson (General Mgr., Zanies Comedy Club); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Gary Briggs (A&R Executive); Claire S. Green (President, Parents’ Choice Foundation); Leib Ostrow (Founder/CEO, Music For Little People); Julie Kertes (General Manager, National Parenting Publications Awards, NAPPA); Nate Dern (News Editor, Funny Or Die News); Wende Curtis (Owner, Comedy Works); and more to be announced.


Biggest ever TechXplore set to ‘tech’ Belfast forward

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Third year of TechXplore gets underway on 3rd September 2015. techexplore

Now in its third year, the biggest ever TechXplore event was launched today and sees an unparalleled list of speakers from the US, UK and Ireland gather in Belfast on 3rd September for the digital technology event. Set to ‘tech’ Belfast forward, TechXplore offers those attending unlimited access to global experts in digital start-ups, music tech, media tech, health tech and a range of investors. Bespoke workshops with global experts will also be available to limited numbers of attendees. The day will be rounded off by Northern Ireland’s first ever dedicated TechCabaret full of comedy, tweets and quizzes for geeks.

TechXplore organiser and partner at MW Advocate, Carl Whyte was joined by event partners Edel Mullan from Belfast City Council and Kathryn Walls from Mills Selig to launch the event today at Belfast City Hall. Speakers confirmed so far include leading music industry figure and investor Jon Vanhala, US publishing expert Amanda Hale, Storyful Managing Editor Áine Kerr and digital music guru Bill Campbell. This will be Bill and Amanda’s first visit to Belfast. A range of local firms and participants will also be speaking and TechXplore favourite and BBC The Apprentice Tweeter David Levin will also be dropping in. The event will be compered by BBC Panorama’s Declan Lawn.

“TechXplore is now Belfast’s largest home-grown technology event and this year offers an unmatched number of speakers and events including multiple opportunities to meet industry experts and investors. 2015’s event also includes Belfast’s first ever TechCabaret showcasing a tech take on traditional Belfast comedy and music,” said Carl.

“The event is now Belfast’s largest and best-value home-grown technology event and has the sole aim of helping and inspiring people across Belfast, the UK and Ireland to bring their tech ideas to the world. We’ve developed an exciting and affordable day and event which anyone with an interest in technology can afford to attend,” he added.

Councillor Deirdre Hargey, Chair of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee at Belfast City Council who are the event’s principal partner said: “The Council is committed to promoting start-ups, supporting growth, encouraging innovation and promoting Belfast as a dynamic business location.

“TechXplore plays a vital part in allowing local companies to learn from and build connections with national and international experts within the tech industry. It is also significant in supporting those who work here to access global markets.”

Kathryn Walls, Director at Mills Selig, event partner said: “Mills Selig works with a range of technology companies across Northern Ireland and we’re delighted to see so many prominent speakers at this year’s TechXplore. Building a vibrant technology start-up and business network is vital if Belfast  and Northern Ireland is to compete on the global market and events like this allow people here to access global expertise.”

Full details of the programme can be found at where tickets can also be purchased.


Panellist Biogs

Amanda Hale, Talking Points Memo


Amanda Hale is Vice-President, Advertising & Creative Solutions at Talking Points Memo where she manages, SHIFT@TPM, TPM’s in-house creative and content studio. She was previously Advertising Director at The Nation, where she created and launched a successful bi-partisan business partnerships with National Review called The Purple Network. Coverage of projects she has managed has appeared in Ad Week, Folio, Digiday, Media Industry News and Slate.

Áine Kerr, Storyful


Áine Kerr is Managing Editor of Storyful; the first social media news agency in the world. She was formerly Head of Content and Political Editor with the company. She is an experienced online and print journalist who covered Irish current affairs and politics for seven years with The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner and The Irish Independent. She is also an experienced media commentator on TV and radio and a lecturer in online journalism with Dublin Business School.

Jon Vanhala, Crossfade Partners


Jon Vanhala returns to Belfast after a successful turn on the Investor panel at TechXplore 2014. This year he will  focus on his first love, Music. Having started his career at Universal Music, Jon went on to become Senior Vice President at Island Def Jam Music Group. He now works with start-ups, with a particular interest in music, whether it’s new bands or apps.

Bill Campbell, Barefoot Media


Bill has over 25 years experience in the music industry. He started in the mail room and worked his way up to Senior VP for Digital Business Development at Sony Music. Bill then set up Barefoot Media LLC and works with start-ups including a number of new streaming services.


US Ambassador Celebrates Creative Minds in Music

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IMRO Creative Minds US Ambassador's Residence 3

Glen Hansard and Paul Williams at Creative Minds, hosted at the US Ambassador’s residence, Phoenix Park

Oscar and Grammy winning songwriter and President and Chairman of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Paul Williams, and Oscar-winning songwriter and composer, Glen Hansard, were special guests last night at an event hosted by the US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin F. O’Malley, in collaboration with IMRO, celebrating the craft of song writing and music copyright.

Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan TD, was also in attendance at the event which took place in the Ambassador’s residence in Phoenix Park as part of the Creative Minds series. Creative Minds invites prominent US artists, writers, filmmakers, digital culture innovators and musicians to share their experience with young Irish audiences.

As part of the event, Glen Hansard was honoured with a special award by IMRO and ASCAP in recognition of the ongoing success of his music in the USA.

Speaking of the event, Paul Williams, President and Chairman of ASCAP said: “It’s clear that Ambassador O’Malley has enormous respect for Irish music and understands the value of our fruitful collaboration… both creatively and economically. He spoke of the great influence Irish songwriters have had on American culture and noted the continuing efforts of IMRO and ASCAP to protect copyright and celebrate our music. The Ambassador’s residence felt like home last night. To all of us.”

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Keith Donald (Chairman of IMRO), Paul Williams (President and Chairman of ASCAP), Glen Hansard and Victor Finn (IMRO CEO) at Creative Minds hosted at the US Ambassador’s residence, Phoenix Park

Keith Donald, Chairman of IMRO added: “The whole night was about creating cross-Atlantic creativity links and all thanks to Ambassador O’Malley for his kindness in putting the event together.”

Niall Stokes, editor of HotPress, led the conversation with Glen and Paul around their approach to the craft of song writing and the role of copyright in music today, before the audience of invited guests were treated to intimate acoustic performances by both songwriters.


Clonakilty International Guitar Festival Launches 2015 lineup

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The Clonakilty clonakiltyInternational Guitar Festival returns this September to celebrate its eleventh edition with another foot-stompin’, fingerpicking, head-banging, eye-catching conglomeration of virtuosos, rogues and three-chord heroes, all descending on the seaside town for one glorious weekend- 17th -20th September. The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival (CIGF) is extremely proud to unveil this year’s world-class line-up.

Tennessee native VALERIE JUNE has been dazzling audiences worldwide since the release of her debut studio album Pushin’ Against A Stone produced by Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys). With performances on Later, Leno and Letterman along with rave reviews everywhere from the New York Times Magazine to Rolling Stone VALERIE JUNE’s inaugural performance at CIGF and only Irish show this year is not to be missed.

Valerie is joined on the bill by Canadian rock royalty – JOEL PLASKETT– whose new album The Park Avenue Sobriety Test has just been Polaris long-listed; Australian powerhouse MAMA KIN brings her ARIA-nominated, The Magician’s Daughter; Highland troubadour RACHEL SERMANNI; gifted composer, educator and finger style guitarist RICHARD GILEWITZ; Nashville native CASEY BLACK; songwriter and visual artist JEFFREY LEWIS joins forces with Grammy winner PETER STAMPFEL; world renowned local man BILL SHANLEY;  feral rock upstarts THE MINUTES; award winning young Canadian songwriter MO KENNEY with music from her critically acclaimed sophomore album In My Dreams;  Iraqi oud player (and sometime heavy metal drummer) KHYAM ALLAMI; Fresh from winning an award for their film score from Sundance Film Festival will be Texans THE OCTOPUS PROJECT; Irish/Togolese RUSANGANO FAMILY, the most exciting hip-hop act in Ireland today; Clog dancing, Appalachian fiddle-playing hero MATT GORDON with genius exponent of the five-string claw-hammer banjo and the hambone LEONARD PODOLACK; multi platinum award winning JOHN SPILLANE; local balladeer and folk song encyclopedia TOMMY MADDEN; the poet-laureate of Irish guitar, STEVE COONEY ; one of the most respected accompanists in traditional Irish Music JIM MURRAY; the spellbinding music of THE VESPERTINE QUINTET; BREAKFAST TO THE INKSPOTS (DJ SET): THE CHURCH

Every year the coastal town embraces the guitar as the festival surrounds this most scenic of locations in a blanket of string-based sounds.  The festival is an independently-spirited, community-based, audience-friendly weekend of musical treats.  It’s a celebration of Clonakilty: Guitartown.  It is the town that The Hendrix Experience’s Noel Redding chose to call home for 27 years and the legacy of Noel’s impact on his adopted home continues today in the venues and talent that he fostered within the town. The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival was founded by many musicians and music lovers directly influenced by Noel – including renowned producer John Fitzgerald who began his career in the music industry at the age of 15 playing in Noel’s band.

In addition to concerts, the festival presents a programme of workshops, master classes and seminars from some of the world’s best performers and experts, giving a glimpse of the methods and techniques which make them so successful. This years workshops sees master ukulele classes from the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra, Steve Cooney returns to give his now-legendary seminar at he guitar festival. John Spillane’s hugely popular songwriting workshop is back and the genial fingerstyle maestro Richard Gilewitz returns with his “Gilla-camp’ guitar clinic.  The weekend will see the arrival of Music Generation Limerick’s ‘Express’ bus, a double decker commuter bus retro-fitted to be a mobile venue, recording studio and workshop space.

There is also an Acoustic Forum, a concert in the round to give audiences the opportunity to get up close and personal with a selection of the festival headliners.  This year’s acoustic forum features Rachel Sermanni (SCO), Tommy Madden (IRL), Casey Black (US), Kyham Allami (IRAQ).

The Festival is run by a not for profit voluntary organisation of music lovers who strive to make the festival accessible to all with over 85% of the events across the 3 days of the festival are entirely free. The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival is a celebration of the guitar. There’s variety in both the acts and the venues that take part in the festival. Pubs, libraries, camper-vans, churches, street-corners, beaches, butcher shops – anything could happen, anywhere.

This is not a starch collared or stuffy nosed affair from virtuosos to noodlers, all are welcomed and exalted!


Shows on sale:

Valerie June Parish Hall | 19th September 2015 | Tickets on Sale this Friday

Mama Kin; De Barra’s | 17th September 2015 | Doors 8.45pm | Show 9.30pm

Tickets priced at €17.50 including booking fee. On Sale Now

The Acoustic Forum;  O’Donovans Hotel |  Fri 18th September | Doors: 7pm Show: 7.30pm Book tickets online

Guitar Festival Workshops– all workshops unless stated are €7/€5 for students and unwaged. Special deal of €14/€10 (students and unwaged) gets you into all ticketed workshops.


Music City 2015 ready to hit Derry this month

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logo_music_cityMusic City, the festival where everyone can play, will return to the city of Derry later this month. For the 2015 edition, the festival has been expanded to 3 days and will transform the city’s streets, venues, neighbourhoods, churches, offices and workplaces into performance spaces on the weekend of 19th – 21st June. All forms of music will be on show at Music City 2015 so whether it’s classical, country, folk, rock, trad, jazz or house music that is your favourite genre, Music City will have something for every music fan.


Jamie Mulrooney wins Clancy Brothers Songwriting Competition

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dopplerLast weekend was one like no other for local musician Jamie Mulrooney (Pontoon,Mayo) as he headed off to Carrick-on-Suir, Co.Tipperary to take part in the final of the Clancy Brothers Songwriting Competition.

Jamie’s song “The Truth Is Not Your Own” was selected from over 125 entries as winner of the competition at the festival’s highlight event on Sunday the 31st of May.

Jamie, who hails from the west coast of Mayo, was delighted with the win saying that the prize would help finance his first EP which he plans to release in January 2016.

‘It’s made a huge difference in my confidence as a songwriter and I’m going to release an EP with ‘The Truth Is Not Your Own’ as the lead track next January’, said Jamie.

Jamie’s prize includes €500 sponsored by IMRO, Music Matters Ireland and the Clancy Brothers Festival, CD duplication and packaging from Duplication Ireland worth €215, and premium services from


SongCat™ Forges Ahead With New Alliances

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Groundbreaking song demo and music production studio assists

songwriters & musicians in delivering radio-ready tracks

Groundbreaking song demo and music production studio SongCat LLC, is amping its innovation of the modern music industry with a number of newly announced initiatives, alongside its latest customer survey—which continues to demonstrate its overwhelming satisfaction in the marketplace.songcat


Founded in 2014, the firm offers burgeoning and established songwriters, lyricists, composers, musicians, performers and artists access to its hand-picked team of professional session musicians and audio engineers to produce full-bodied tracks—from arranging through mastering.

SongCat™ also provides such services as songwriter demos, music production, audio mixing & mastering, and session singers & musicians. It is the only online production studio to offer a money back guarantee, based on independent reviews.


Among new alliances, SongCat has forged a collaboration with five-time Grammy-winning Engineer Miles Walker, while it is now also integrally involved in the acclaimed annual International Songwriting Competition.

Walker’s exhaustive list of mixing and engineering credits includes countless hits and multi-platinum records around the world. He has worked with the likes of Ne-Yo, Beyonce, Rihanna, Wiz Khalifa, Iggy Azalea, Depeche Mode and Usher. Walker earned a Magna Cum Laude degree from the world-renowned Berklee College of Music. For SongCat, he will provide Grammy-standard mixes for its clientele.

We couldn’t be happier to have Miles on board as part of our prize-winning team,” says Chris Erhardt, CEO and member of the Irish Performing Rights Organisation IMRO. “Our productions are mixed digitally to the highest, radio-ready standards by our in-house audio engineers, however, some clients now need more than we have previously been able to offer. Miles is certainly among the leading industry pros when it comes to mixing.”

The International Songwriting Competition’s (ISC) partnership with SongCat gives the annual contest a valuable teammate in offering its five-dozen prize-winning acts the opportunity to have their demos and/or rough songs professionally arranged, engineered & mastered with pro musicians. ISC’s mission is to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and to promote excellence in the art of songwriting.

Erhardt adds: “We are excited to partner with such a respected leader among songwriting competitions. With ISC’s global reach, we now are able to help its winners reach the world with their songs, which already have traction in storming the global music charts, much like this year’s winner Vance Joyce.”


SongCat has also recently completed its latest Client Satisfaction Survey, which it conducts every 6 months as a benchmark of its services. In May, it surveyed responses for 115 produced songs—garnering a stellar average rating of 4.65 out of 5. The survey also revealed that 96% of its produced songs were ranked “higher quality” than any of SongCat’s potential competitors.

While these ratings exceeded our expectations, we can always improve upon our services,” Erhardt says. “We’ve added new session singers and musicians so we can now create the same standard for country and rock as we have for pop productions. As we continue to survey the needs of our customers, we are only going to grow stronger as the go-to destination for complete production services.”


About the Author

Award-winning Arts & Entertainment journalist Chuck Taylor worked for 14 years as a Senior Writer, Editor and Single Reviews Editor with Billboard magazine in New York. He is also a Grammy voter with NARAS.