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Notables: Usher, NAV, Ally Salort, Yeat

Welcome to this week’s Notables, Boardroom’s overview of the buzziest bits circulating in the music industry.

As always, Notables is here to relieve you of any stress over what you may have missed in music over the holiday weekend. We’ve officially surpassed the halfway mark of 2022, as the likes of Drake, Lil Durk, Travis Scott, and Lil Baby hit The Hamptons for some well-deserved relaxation at Michael Rubin’s star-studded White Party. Niall Horan also participated in the JP McManus Pro-Am, where he teased details about his highly anticipated third solo album.

Elsewhere, the work didn’t stop for Brent Faiyaz. Faiyaz is fully engaged in the rollout of Wasteland, his new album due out this Friday. He and his team are holding a scavenger hunt around Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles, routed by his Rubber Duck’s Instagram page.

Below, Boardroom’s Megan Armstrong and Nate Louis make sure you don’t miss anything worth hitting your group chat(s) about.

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NAV Announces New Album

NAV officially unveiled the name of his newest album, Demons Protected By Angels, in a single, powerful tweet:

The XO Records artist announced the record alongside a mysterious July 29 date, but did not reveal further details. Demons Protected By Angels marks NAV’s first release since his Emergency Tsunami mixtape in November 2020. It will also be his first full-length studio album since Good Intentions, which dropped in May of the same year.

Good Intentions went on to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, while Emergency Tsunami opened at No. 6. Between then and now, NAV has appeared as a guest artist on several tracks, including “Jesse Owens” with Rowdy Rebel, “Burnt N Turnt” with Lil Gotit and “Do Not Disturb” with Vory and Yung Bleu. — Nate Louis

Usher x NPR Tiny Desk (Back in Office) Concert

Usher is still the King of R&B. Between his recently extended residency at Park MGM in Las Vegas and his headlining sets at Lovers & Friends and Pharrell’s Something in the Water festival, Usher pulled up to NPR’s popular “Tiny Desk” concert series.

Celebrating the conclusion of Black Music Month, Usher and his band pulled up to the performance dressed in all-black and performed six songs for the live audience. From start to finish, the nearly 25-minute set included nostalgic and can’t-help-but-sing-along grooves. Usher kicked things off with the 1997 classic “You Make Me Wanna…” He continued running through his chart-topping, early aughts hits “Superstar,” “U Don’t Have to Call,” “Nice & Slow,” “Confessions Part II,” and culminated with “My Way” on its 25th anniversary. It didn’t end there, as this clip has become the internet’s next great meme. — NL

Logic Signs with BMG

Logic departed Def Jam, where he’d been signed since 2014, and signed with BMG. According to Billboard, “the international, multi-album partnership with BMG allows Logic to own his own sound recordings for the first time in his career.” Logic is celebrating in the studio:

The multi-Platinum-certified rapper previously took to Instagram to express his frustration with Def Jam:

“I can sit here and talk about the things that Def Jam didn’t do, or didn’t aid in my career throughout the years I was there,” Logic told Variety in late June. “But [would I be] talking about Def Jam or every major record label and how they affect every recording artist who works for them? It’s not a war that I’m trying to start. I’m just excited to move on and over to BMG. I’m independent now, and being with BMG, they’re distributing my music.” — Megan Armstrong

Ally Salort Covers “Running Up That Hill”

Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” originally graced the airwaves in Summer 1985, but thanks to the fourth season of Stranger Things, it’s also soundtracking Summer 2022. The song re-entered the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 — and finished behind only Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” on the list of top-selling songs for the second-to-last week in June. The resurgence reportedly earned Bush $2.3 million in streaming royalties.

“You might’ve heard that the first part of the fantastic, gripping new series of Stranger Things has recently been released on Netflix,” Bush wrote on her website. “It features the song, ‘Running Up That Hill’  which is being given a whole new lease of life by the young fans who love the show — I love it too!”

Rising singer-songwriter Ally Salort is one of those young fans, as the recent Listen2TheKids/Geffen signee released her cover over the holiday weekend. The piano ballad is the perfect playground for Salort’s silky vocal range. She released her debut single in May, produced by Pop Wansel (Ariana Grande, Kehlani), ironically titled “Stranger Things.”MA

Marshmello x Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola linked up with Grammy-nominated artist Marshmello on a limited-edition flavor earlier this month. The new flavor, which introduces strawberry and watermelon to Coke for the first time, marks the Coca-Cola Company’s first-ever co-created beverage collaboration with a music artist.

To coincide with the global flavor’s IRL launch, an immersive Twitch takeover will begin on July 9 to give fans a chance to control Marshmello via a livestream gaming adventure, as well as gain exclusive access to metamerch designed by Zepeto.

Beginning July 29, a scannable QR code will direct fans to the Coca-Cola Creations hub, where they can generate a unique piece of digital art while experiencing the feeling of listening to Marshmello’s all-new track, “Numb”. — NL

Richest Minion Effect

Yeat is one of the most buzzed-about new rappers on the planet. Every day, the myth of this Irvine, California kid grows stronger. Tapped as the leader of the Soundcloud 2.0 wave, he’s received the most hype since Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert swept up the first Soundcloud wave.

Yeat has had crazy figures thrown at him by major labels, but he has already signed to a joint venture deal with Zack Bia’s Field Trip Recordings and Geffen Records. He also created his own imprint label, Twizzy Rich. As high-demand as he is, Yeat has been very selective with the brands he’s aligned with.

But when Lyrical Lemonade ringleader Cole Bennett decided to team up with Illumination on a special trailer for the return of Minions, it was a no-brainer for Yeat.

After being delayed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minions: The Rise of Gru debuted this past weekend, setting a 4th of July box office record along the way with $127.9 million, according to Deadline. More importantly for our purposes, it marked Yeat’s soundtrack debut with “Rich Minion.” — NL

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