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Claire-Martin-Commercial-Director

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Claire Martin – Commercial Director

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Claire Martin – Commercial Director

 

How long have you been at KVH Studios?

I started as an Account Executive in 2008 and have worked through all various different roles in Client Services since!

What does your job involve?

I wear many hats in my role but essentially, I’m responsible for the commercial side of the business and the overall growth. Which includes (in a nutshell) supporting our Head of Client Services in the development of existing accounts, new revenue opportunities, brand and marketing, new business sales, implementation, new and retention contracts and product development. It’s a busy one but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

What did you do before you worked at KVH Studios?

I studied Journalism at University then had a few temporary positions before starting my search for my career in media. Most of my adult life has been at KVH Studios!

What do you love most about what you do?

The variety, the pace and the people. No day is the same and we’re constantly evolving and learning through new challenges. We’re a small division that’s part of a big business so whilst we’re super busy all the time, we also have the flexibility and freedom to grow into new areas and try new things, which is really exciting. I’m surrounded by incredibly talented people every day that I have worked with for many years now so we’re like a family and work so well together. Also, it doesn’t feel like a ‘job’ to me anymore which is a nice feeling.

What’s your favourite memory at KVH Studios?

Yikes, there’s so many! I really don’t know how to answer that one! Sorry!

How would you describe KVH Studios in 3 words?

Exciting, passionate and dedicated.

If you could pick one, what would be your favourite music track?

I like all sorts of music and have favourite tracks for different reasons so, for this, let’s go with my wedding song ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers as it’s just fills me with warmth and makes me think of great memories with my husband and friends, which is why we chose it.

What do you like to do when you’re not at KVH Studios?

I really love family time. Weekends with my mum, dad, brother, husband and 3-year-old daughter are the best weekends. But I’m also a big fan of girl time and can’t beat a night out with friends. Other than that, I love holidays, renovating my home and planning!

New Music Feb

NEW MUSIC THIS MONTH: February 2020

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As we approach the end of another month at KVH Studios, Head of Music Nick Bewes looks back at some of the new music that we have added in February to our in-store music services.

Let’s be honest, the only place to start our review of music in February is with Eilish, Billie Eilish. She released the theme song from the new Bond movie, No Time to Die. After 90,000 equivalent chart sales in its first week, including 10.6 million streams. It became only the second 007 song to go to Number One, in the UK Charts.

Elsewhere, Noel Gallagher continued having fun with new music, since leaving Oasis. He has produced some great tunes with his High Flying Birds band.

The first couple of albums were very much what you would expect, but with his last album, Who Built the Moon, he began experimenting with different styles of music with the help of legendary producer David Holmes. In 2019, he began releasing EPs which continue with the adventurous theme with the latest called Blue Moon Rising.

Dua Lipa is gearing for the release of her second album, Future Nostalgia, with Physical being another perfect pop song. If the first three songs from the album are anything to go by, the new album is going to be a cracker.

As well as playing the big acts, we love supporting new talent here at KVH Studios. And this month, we are pleased to give exposure to Leeds artist Sfven. His latest single Flower Beds is a great song, it deserves to be heard by many more people. One to watch this year.

And finally, this week we added the fabulous new track from Shaun Escoffery called River. It’s a big catchy pop song with an even bigger chorus. It’s taken from new album Strong Enough which is out in April on Decca Records. This is the first time that a massively talented singer that we have been supporting since 2014, has been on a major label.

You can keep up to date with our main new additions on our Spotify playlist here.

Brit Awards 2020

The Brit Awards 2020 Roundup

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Last night saw the biggest night in British music. No not the Voice UK final, it was The Brit Awards! It was the show’s 40th anniversary, however the only real nod to the history of the event was the sketch at the beginning of the show with host Jack Whitehall trying on several classic outfits worn by people of the past including Liam Gallagher’s duffle coat and Geri’s Union Jack dress! Then it was time for the music to begin with Mabel performing her hit Don’t Call Me Up. A performance that included lots of dancers and big phones!

In contrast, the next performance was so simple, just Lewis Capaldi & a bloke playing a piano, performing the biggest selling single of 2019, Someone You Loved. Straight after he won the Best New Artist. Obviously, he was a bit fruity with his acceptance speech, because the sound was muted!

Mabel was then back on stage to accept the Best Female Artist, after getting a huge hug from mum Neneh when she was announced as the winner. 30 years ago, Neneh was on stage performing and accepting Best International Breakthrough and Solo Artist. How is that 30 years ago?

Next up was Harry Styles, who continues to morph into David Bowie. He didn’t perform any of the three singles from his latest album, instead opting to do album track Falling, while standing in a pool of water, and water was also coming out of the pianos behind him. Looked simple but rather nice. You can tell that the artists have had more say in their performances this year, as they are more in line with their styles.

Next up was the amazing Lizzo, who performed a medley of her songs, with a little bit of help from the Brits crowd. Lizzo and Harry were the stars of the show, more for the interviews with Jack Whitehall than anything else. People on Twitter have been asking for a Harry & Lizzo TV show, which is something that we can certainly get on board with. It would be brilliant.

Next up Ronnie Wood (and his gloves) introduced Stormzy as British Male Solo Artist and Tyler the Creator won Best International Male Solo Artist. In a surprise decision, Foals won Group of the Year. International Female Solo Artist was Billie Eilish who not only received a lot of love from the crowd, but also from Melanie C who presented the award to her, who is obviously a massive fan. Billie had already performed the new Bond theme No Time to Die, featuring her brother Finneas, The Smiths legend Johnny Marr, composer extraordinaire Hans Zimmer and an orchestra! All very good!

The performances kept coming with Brits Rising Star Celeste and the amazing Strange, another simple presentation. That can’t be used to describe Stormzy’s, well storming medley. Song of the year went to Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved, which is apparently is about his Grandma who sadly passed away, and not a former girlfriend, as many thought.

And then there’s Dave. He won the Mastercard album of the year for his number one album Psychodrama, which also won the Mercury Prize last year. This is only the second time that’s happened, and the first since Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Dave also produced the best performance of the night, with the lyrically and visually stunning Black.

All that was left was for Sir Rod Stewart to sing a song for Jack Whitehall’s mum Hilary and then reunite with former Faces bandmate Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones for a rousing finale of Stay with Me. Rod was, well Rod!

I thought Jack Whitehall did a good job presenting the show for the third time, here are some of his highlights.

Please, please, can we have a Jack, Harry and Lizzo show sometime soon!

Until next year, thank you Brits 2020. Now, when is the Voice UK final?

love

For the Love of Music!

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Roses are red, violets are blue, so here are some love songs, just for you!

Yes, it’s that time of year again where love and romance is the air. This year for our Valentine’s Day selection, we have taken a different approach, one that includes heartfelt lyrics as always, but includes more perms than normal! The 1980’s & early 1990’s was a time when male rock bands went chasing hit singles to try and prove they were in touch with their feelings by releasing ‘power ballads’.

The key time for this was around 1987/88, led by three of the biggest rock bands around at the time.

Bon Jovi were the band of the time with massive record sales, huge sell out tours and video after video on MTV. One of the biggest songs was this cracker of a ballad from their New Jersey album in 1988, reaching number one in America.

Whitesnake were formed in the 1970’s in the UK and the band played a mix of Blues and Hard Rock. However, by the mid-eighties, band leader David Coverdale realised that things needed to change if the band were going to be included on the new, hit-making MTV. So out went the rest of the band, denim and leather outfits and scruffy hair to be replaced by a much more ‘glam’ look. Their 1987 album was huge, selling over 8 million copies in America. The key to that success was the videos for the singles – Still of the Night, Here I Go Again and Is This Love, which have been described by Loudersound.com/Classic Rock Magazine as the ultimate power ballad.

And to complete the trio, we head to 1988 which was prime ‘rock ballad’ time, when Sheffield’s Def Leppard scored a big hit in America with their only number one single Love Bites. The band had been popular in the States for a few years while still waiting for a British breakthrough. That came when their 1987 album Hysteria sold over 25 million copies worldwide.

And that’s the top three! Here’s the rest of our alternative Valentine’s Day music playlist. Air guitars and mobile phone lights at the ready!

Click follow on ‘KVH Studios Music’ to keep up to date with all the songs we love and are added to our in-store music services on a weekly basis.

Love

Fallen Out of Love with Your Music Supplier?

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February – The month of ‘love’! Makes us think about relationships and we wonder how many partnerships are still delivering on the promises made years ago?

If you are in a long-term relationship with your music supplier, it’s worth asking the questions…

“Do they still provide me with the best value for money?”

“Do they take a proactive and creative approach by presenting new ideas?”

“Do they offer me cost reductions when available?”

Long term relationships can often get into a rut, become boring, same old same old, taken for granted etc – not always of course, but if you think you might benefit from new eyes, new energy, new ideas and a bit of pizazz, it’s time to give KVH Studios a call to see what we can offer.

We’ve listed some of our best ongoing qualities and if we were to partner with you, we promise that our qualities will always be the same, perhaps even stronger.

  • We listen! Oh boy do we listen! One of our greatest strengths. Understanding our partners requirements, how they feel and what they want.
  • We’re here for you! Always accessible and available when our partner needs us, for whatever it is that they need.
  • We’re responsive! Our turnaround times are impressive. Whether its new creative scripts, a technical issue or simply an information request, we won’t keep you waiting!
  • We’re focussed! Our Account Managers are here to make sure you get everything you need. We believe in attention to detail. Everything we do at KVH Studios is unique to your brand, curating a bespoke music profile and content programming aligned with your listener demographic and footfall. All whilst ensuring we meet your brief and budget!
  • We’re honest! We won’t over promise, but we often over deliver! If it can’t be done, we’ll tell you. With KVH Studios, you’ll always be kept informed.
  • We value you! We never take any client for granted. We will always work hard for you, trying to add value and going that extra mile when possible
  • And we’re really passionate! Passionate about our music and passionate about what we create for our clients. We just love what we do!

Of course, it’s easy to say all the above and we know that most relationships start off on the premise of such good intentions. You only really get to know your partner once the relationship begins. But, at KVH Studios, we have a high retention rate and fantastic client testimonials. So, we know we deliver on our promises, and so do our clients.

So, if you’ve fallen out of love with your music supplier and your contract is due for renewal this year, give us a call on 0113 233 7800 today.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Music

NEW MUSIC THIS MONTH: January 2020

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Here we are, it’s time for the first new music review of 2020 from KVH Studios, all have which have been added to our in-store music services.

We start with a duet by two singers with a combined age of 143, who have sold one or two records in the 50 years they have been in the music industry. It’s the title track from Ozzy Osbourne’s new album which is released in February and features another legend in the shape of Sir Elton John on vocals and piano. And it’s not just those two, it also features Slash & Duff from Guns N Roses and Chad from Red Hot Chili Peppers. Oh, and it’s a cracking single.

At the other end of musical scale, Celeste is starting out. She’s the Brits Rising Star and the winner of the BBC Sound of 2020 Poll. Her new single Stop this Flame is so different from her last track Strange, which shows how good she is.

We’ve been big fans of the amazing Ella Eyre for so many years, having burst onto the scene with Rudimental’s Waiting All Night. Now she’s back with the first new music from her second solo album.

Another singer returning, but after a little bit longer than Ella, is Andrew Roachford. He hit the charts in 1989 with Cuddly Toy and is back with a superb new single Love Remedy. It’s taken from his 11th album Twice in a Lifetime, which is out in April.

April also sees the release of Gregory Porter’s new album All Rise. The first taste of the album is Superb Revival. He says of the track “Yes, you could say that I went big,” and he does. It’s a single with a big sound. And we like that sound.

Keep up to date with all our new music additions on our Spotify playlist.

Music costs

New Decade, New Supplier, New Savings!

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Our first ever music sale is now on!

It’s unusual for a music supplier to have a January sale, in fact unique, but we know that in order to help the UK High Street to survive and thrive, music costs need to be managed and reduced. That is why we have decided to do our bit and help retailers to lower the costs of their in-store music.

Lower cost doesn’t mean compromise. Retailers working with KVH Studios enjoy the best quality music available. We recognise we must deliver world class service, choice and support, and that is our promise to you. If your music contract is due for renewal soon, it’s time to give us a call!

KVH Studios are one of the leading UK suppliers of audio and visual services to the retail, banking and hospitality industries, delivering the ‘sound of your brand’ for customers and colleagues to enjoy and interact with whilst in your stores.

Our copyright catalogue features the widest range of music available, whether it is chart dominated, indie based, chilled or a bespoke arrangement to suit specific requirements. In addition to our copyright options, KVH Studios are the ‘go to’ company for non-copyright music from emerging talent and breakthrough artists, saving clients thousands on music licence fees which can be allocated to their other projects.

And KVH Studios don’t just do in-store music, customers switch to us to become their audio and visual partner managing the full media package in their commercial environment, plus externally through commercial radio, podcasts and more. Bringing many benefits such as consolidation of suppliers for increased efficiency.

If you want to know how much your business could save and how you could benefit by switching to KVH Studios, give us a call on 0113 233 7800 or drop us an email on info@kvhstudios.com today.

Christmas

Merry Christmas from KVH Studios!

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For as long as we can remember, it’s the chart battle that generates the most publicity. It’s the one that people bet on every year. It’s the battle for the Christmas number one which is the big one!

We’ve spent hours looking at the Official Charts to gather these amazing facts about the songs that have been festive chart toppers since 1952.

And that is as good as any place to start, the first official Christmas number one, and in fact THE first Number One in the new singles chart, was ‘Here in my Heart’ by Al Martino. It was at the top for 9 weeks.

The Beatles were quite popular and became the first band or artist to have three consecutive Christmas number one singles, between 1963 and 1965. Then they had a fourth in 1967. That feat was equaled in the nineties by The Spice Girls who had three consecutive festive chart toppers between 1996 and 1998.

Cliff Richard featured on three consecutive festive number ones as well, but only two as a solo star, ‘Mistletoe & Wine’ in 1988 and ‘Saviours’ Day’ in 1990, and in between he was on Band Aid 2’s version of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’.

Which leads us nicely to that song. Versions of it have topped the chart in 1984, 1989 and 2004. (Band Aid 30 in 2014 was a number one, just not at Christmas). This means, by our reckoning, it’s the song that has topped the chart at Christmas the most. Here’s the often forgotten second version of the track.

The only song to reach Christmas number 1 twice by the same artist is ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen in 1975 on its original release, and then again in 1991 following the death of Freddie Mercury.

The first festive favourite to actually feature the word Christmas (or its variants) was in 1973 when Slade topped the chart on the 25th with ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’. And only six more since have featured the word. Like this one from 1985…

For many years, the Christmas Number One belonged to the X Factor. The show produced 7 festive chart toppers between 2005 with Shayne Ward, until 2014 with Ben Haenow. However, in 2009, people had had enough so a campaign was launched to get Rage Against the Machine to the top. And it worked. Of course, the X Factor wasn’t the first TV talent show to produce an artist who reached the top spot at Christmas. That accolade goes to Popstars The Rivals in 2002, with Girls Aloud’s debut hit ‘Sound of the Underground’.

There have been some very unusual songs to top the chart at this time of year, which in all honesty, probably wouldn’t get close to number one at any other time of year. Yes, we are talking about Benny Hill, St Winifred’s School Choir, Mr. Blobby, Bob the Builder, and Ladbaby!

And spare a thought for a trio of the biggest Christmas tracks that didn’t even get to number one. Wham released ‘Last Christmas’ in 1984 but because of Band Aid, it stalled at number two for 5 weeks. It does win the award of being the biggest selling song ever in the UK not to be a number 1 single! In 1987, the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s ‘Fairytale of New York’ – the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century – was kept off the number one spot by Pet Shop Boys covering Elvis’ ‘Always on my Mind’. And finally, in 1994, Mariah Carey released ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’. It was destined to top the charts before these four chaps from London put their big furry white jackets on!

So, there you have it, our fun* fact-filled look at Christmas Number One singles. Merry Christmas from all of us at KVH Studios!
(* because it’s ‘fun’, we haven’t mentioned – until now – the most depressing Christmas Number One from Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules and their cover of Mad World in 2003)

19 From 2019

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As another year draws to a close and, as is the way at this time of the year, let’s take a look back at the music from the past 12 months. There has been lots of great songs in the singles chart over the last 12 months, but there has also been some amazing music that didn’t make the Top 40. Here are 19 songs from 2019…

In January, Chaka Khan returned to the music scene with her first album in 12 years. ‘Hello Happiness’ is the title track and it went straight onto our playlists. It sounded so fresh and relevant. Superb.

Another artist returning this year was the amazing Jack Savoretti. The first single from his new album ‘Singing with Strangers’, ‘Candlelight’ was a departure from his previous tracks. Much more epic, sweeping soundtrack material. We were lucky enough to have a chat with Jack about his new music, which you can listen to here.

Next up are Bradford’s Fling, who released the fantastic ‘Revolution’ in February. A near perfect slice of indie pop.

Vampire Weekend returned with the sublime ‘Harmony Hall’. Taken from their ‘Father of the Bride’ album, which reached the top 3 in the album chart. It’s a great single.

Emotional Oranges might just have the best band name we’ve heard this year and their music is really good too. In March we added ‘Motion’, which is just superb. Funky, smooth, superb production.

Next, we head to Tennessee for the amazing Amber Mark. Her track ‘Mixer’ is brilliant. This should have been a huge hit.

We’ve been big fans of Jordan Rakei for quite some time, and he really didn’t disappoint when he returned with a new album this year. ‘Say Something’ is about as perfect as you can get.

Some people say that guitar music is dead, it isn’t. Well, they just aren’t looking in the right place! This year has seen the likes of Sam Fender getting plaudits & awards and rightly so. One to keep an eye on are the brilliant Sea Girls. They produce sing along anthems like ‘Damage Done’.

Guendoline Rome Viray Gomez, better known by his stage name No Rome, is a London-based Filipino musician, and he is signed to the same label as The 1975. He’s produced some great singles this like ‘Pink’ which we added in May.

June saw the release of the great new single ‘Let Go’ from Skinny Living. They were one of the bands asked to support Kaiser Chiefs at their Elland Road gig in the summer.

Another artist we have been fans of for a while is the brilliant Kara Marni. She’s being tipped for a big breakthrough next year and we playlisted her single ‘Opposite’ in July.

Haim have been producing great music for a few years. With each album, they change things up while still retaining that Haim sound. August saw them return with ‘Summer Girl’ taken from their third album which is due in 2020.

Michael Kiawanka won the BBC Sound of 2012 and now, 7 years later might have produced one of the best albums of the year with his third release ‘Kiawanka’.

Inhaler’s frontman Elijah Hewson is Bono’s son. Is it an advantage to have a famous parent when you are trying to make it in the music business? On the evidence so far, it’s not doing them any harm.

London four piece The Big Moon also returned this year ahead of their second album ‘Walking Like We Do’ coming out in January 2020. Lead single ‘Your Light’ is a great single.

It can’t be long before the amazing Grace Carter gets the hit single she deserves. She continues to release new tracks on a regular basis and ‘Fired Up’ was added to our playlists in October.

DMA’s are a trio from Australia. We’ve been supporting their music since 2016 and they just get better and better. Their new album is out in April 2020 and are being tipped for a big breakthrough next year.

We’ve already talked about our final two songs on our previous music blogs. Joy Crookes is just brilliant and released one of the best songs of the year with Early.

Joy was on the Brits Rising Star award nomination list alongside beabadoobee and the eventual winner Celeste. 2020 looks like it’s going to be a good year for Celeste. We added the superb ‘Strange’ to our playlists and we very much doubt it will be the last song of hers that we add!

We look forward to seeing what 2020 brings!

NEW MUSIC THIS MONTH: November 2019

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It’s that time again when we look back at some of the new music that we’ve added to KVH Studios in store playlists over the last month…

Tom Walker has had a very good 2019 and finishes the year by releasing one of his best songs with Better Half of Me. The lyrics are beautiful. So, if you are looking for a wedding song, this could be it.

The Blue Stones are a fantastic duo from Canada and have released a great song Shakin’ Off the Rust which has a brilliant video. Could this be the future of gigs?

In 1994, when Beck released his breakthrough track Loser, I’m not sure that many people would honestly have said that 25 years later he would still be releasing music as good and that is relevant, but he is! His 14th album Hyperspace has just been released and it was co-produced by Beck & Pharrell Williams.

Our favourite new track this month is the amazing Baby Blue Eyes by Mathilda Homer, who is starting to make waves with her soulful music. One to watch in 2020 without a doubt.

And, as you would expect at this time of year, we’ve been working on Christmas music. We play the big Christmas favourites but every year we look for new releases that can add something to our music services. This year has seen some great releases from Gabrielle Aplin & Hannah Grace, Idina Menzel and of course, Robbie Williams.

You can keep up to date with our main new additions on our Spotify playlist here.

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