Time’s Up leader to head Grammy effort on women

Tina Tchen will head The Recording Academy's new task force focused on inclusion and diversity. (File photo: AP)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Time’s Up leader to head Grammy effort on women

NEW YORK: The body that administers the Grammy Awards on Tuesday named a leader of the Time’s Up anti-harassment movement to lead a task force on better including women.
The Recording Academy named Tina Tchen, a chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama, to head the effort after controversy over women’s low representation at the music industry’s latest awards.
Tchen is the co-leader of the legal defense fund of Time’s Up, a campaign launched in January by Hollywood women to combat sexual harassment across industries in the wake of dozens of abuse allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
“The music industry faces numerous challenges — from combating long-held biases to making sure women are represented and respected within the community,” Tchen said in a statement.
Tchen heads of the Chicago office of law firm Buckley Sandler LLP. She had also led the White House Council on Women and Girls started by the Obama administration to incorporate female welfare into federal government decision-making.
A number of female artists voiced dismay that not more women won or were nominated at the January 28 Grammys, where funk revivalist Bruno Mars was the night’s big victor.
Adding fuel to the controversy, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, asked by a reporter why more women were not winning, said that female musicians needed to “step up.”
Portnow, who faced calls by female executives to resign, hailed Tchen’s appointment.
“In this moment, the Recording Academy can do more than reflect what currently exists; we can help lead the industry into becoming the inclusive music community we want it to be — a responsibility that the Board and I take seriously,” he said in a statement.
The Recording Academy said that the task force, whose other members are yet to be announced, will make recommendations on how better to bring in “under-represented communities,” including in the telecast gala and in deciding the awards themselves.


Mashrou’ Leila to headline Apple’s first-ever Balcony Music Sessions in Dubai

Mashrou’ Leila will perform in Dubai on Dec.14.(Supplied)
Updated 13 December 2018
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Mashrou’ Leila to headline Apple’s first-ever Balcony Music Sessions in Dubai

  • Mashrou’ Leila will headline the Apple Music’s first-ever Balcony Music Sessions in Dubai
  • Other regional artists will be performing at the Apple event as well

DUBAI: Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila will headline the Apple Music’s first-ever Balcony Music Sessions in Dubai on Dec. 14.

The popular band will perform on the balcony of the brand’s flagship retail space in The Dubai Mall and will be joined by a host of other artists from the region.

Saudi singer Hamza Hawsawi will perform his singles “Find You,” “Frame of Mind,” and “Somewhere in Between,” while Jordanian singer-songwriter Hana Malhas will take to the balcony with her songs “Nasi,” “Code,” and “How We Love.”

Syrian-born singer Ghaliaa, known for her original style of acoustic storytelling, and Emirati singer-songwriter Hamdan Al-Abri, lead vocalist for the band ABRI who are known for their sharp lyrics and suave soul-funk sound as well as their performances alongside musical greats Kanye West and Quincy Jones, will also perform at the event, which kicks off at 2 p.m. local time.

After the performances, fans will have to chance to ask each of the indie artists about their musical inspirations and will also be treated to short talks by the musicians.

“We are excited to see the launch of The Balcony Series this week. Support from major brands is rare in the region and to have a forward-thinking and daring brand like Apple initiate a project like this is strongly needed. We can’t wait to be back in Dubai and see everyone there,” Mashrou Leila’s composer and multi-instrumentalist Firas Abou Fakher said in a released statement.

“This is a one of a kind opportunity. I’m so thankful for the insane love, support, and motivation I have been receiving since day one from the community. We, as artists in the Arab world, are very thrilled to have a platform such as Apple Music which features our creative work with the world and helps us gain exposure and resonance,” Ghaliaa added in a released statement.