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Noonday Dream

Ben Howard North America Tour Confirmed to Promote Noonday Dream

British musician Ben Howard has confirmed dates for his headline North American tour. The announcement comes following the success of Howard’s hugely triumphant sold out UK European tour. The tour, set to begin this Fall, will promote his new album Noonday Dream which is due to be released June 1 2018 via Republic Records.

Howard wrote and produced the tracks that will feature on Noonday Dream, with contributions from the musician’s bandmate and regular collaborator, Mickey Smith. Noonday Dream was recorded over a two-year time frame in studios throughout Europe.

The first track to be released from Noonday Dream, is Nica Libres at Dusk and the album has already started to gain widespread acclaim. “A Boat to an Island on the Wall is a sprawling, mesmerising track that shifts restlessly, rocking back and forth like that small boat on the waves, with the familiar sound of Howard;s low, gruff vocals,” said UK news outlet The Independent.

Since the release of his debut album back in 2011, Howard has seen unbridled success with major chart toppers and global critical acclaim to boot. Every Kingdom (2011) sold more than one million copies worldwide. The album, which features favorites including Black Flies and Old Pine, received a Mercury Music Prize nomination and led to a win of two prestigious BRIT awards in 2012 for best British Breakthrough and best British Solo Male Album.

The artist’s second album I Forget Where We Were (2014) reached similar levels of success. Alongside a track featured on AMC’s The Walking Dead (2010-present) and receiving a nomination for the Ivor Novello Award, the album topped the charts in the UK.

At the time of writing, Howard’s music has racked up over half a billion digital streams.

Noonday Dream tracklist:

  1. Nica Libres at Dusk
  2. Towing the Line
  3. A Boat to an Island on the Wall
  4. What the Moon Does
  5. Someone in the Doorway
  6. All Down the Mines (Interlude)
  7. The Defeat
  8. A Boat to an Island Part II Agatha’s Song
  9. There’s Your Man
  10. Murmurations

Howard’s North American tour will begin September 20 in Burnaby, BC.

Further reading: Years & Years Announce New Album Palo Santo

Palo Santo

Years & Years Announce New Album Palo Santo

Synth pop British trio Years & Years have announced their highly anticipated second album Palo Santo. The new record is due to be released via Interscope Records July 6 in North America.

While there is still some time to wait for the first single of the album to hit the shelves, the band have published an exciting trailer for short film, Years & Years. The trailer features frontman Olly Alexander and Academy Award-winner, Judi Dench, teasing fans and building anticipation in the run up to its release.

Palo Santo follows the massive success of Years & Years’ debut album, Communion which was released in 2015. The album reached number one in the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Album Charts, hit top 10 in the Billboard Digital Album charts and went to number one in the UK Album Charts. As if this wasn’t enough, the album shot to dizzying heights with nominations for five Brit Awards after the sale of more than 1.5 million copies.

The new album has a line-up of big collaborations including Kid Harpoon, Greg Kurstin, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter and Jessie Shatkin.

A press released described Palo Santo as, “Part full-blooded, escapist fantasia and part social comment, for Years & Years this is about outlier pop as futurism once more, offering solutions when the wider world is transforming beyond recognition.”

The new album sees the band’s talented vocalist pull musical inspiration from pop legends including Lady Gaga, Prince and Bowie by exploring intimate, human themes of sexuality, identity and performance.

The standard edition track list for Palo Santo:

  1. Sanctify
  2. Hallelujah
  3. All for You
  4. Karma
  5. Hypnotised
  6. Rendezvous
  7. If You’re Over Me
  8. Preacher
  9. Lucky Escape
  10. Palo Santo
  11. Here (Interlude)

Fans can pre-order Palo Santo by Years & Years now on iTunes and Amazon and most major digital retailers.

Further reading: Martin Garrix and Loopers Release Game Over

Martin Garrix Game Over

Martin Garrix and Loopers Release Game Over

Young EDM superstar Martin Garrix and Dutchman Loopers have joined forces to release the highly anticipated single Game Over today (Friday 20 April) via STMPD RCRDS.

The track was initially premiered during Garrix’s set at EDM and dance music festival Tomorrowland back in 2017, and fans have been urging the DJ to officially release it ever since.

Game Over is nothing short of what fans would expect from Garrix—spunky, fun, full of bass with a big sound—but the collaboration with Loopers gives this new release a unique flair.

The now 21-year-old Garrix shot to fame stardom in 2013 with his hit tune Animals which received worldwide critical acclaim. By 2016, with the number one hit In the Name of Love featuring Bebe Rexha (racking up over a billion streams since its release so far), the artist’s career hit stratospheric heights.

Garrix also launched his own record label, STMPD RCRDS in 2016 to produce and release original tracks and collaborations besides his official global deal with Sony Music International. “There’s so much music out there in this whole EDM thing that sounds so similar,” he said. “I want to make my label more diverse.” Garrix’s commitment to the music industry at such a young age and in such a short time is commendable.

For Looper, Game Over follows a collaboration with dance music titan David Guetta and Brooks with Like I Do.

Watch Game Over by Martin Garrix and Loopers, here:

Further reading: David Guetta and Sia Release Flames

Jessie J

Jessie J Wins China’s Singer 2018 Talent Show

British pop star Jessie J has won major Chinese singing talent show, Singer 2018. The program, which can be likened to television shows like American Idol, is a singing contest for already-established artists.

The London-born artist was one of the first international contestants to ever appear on the show and won the competition with a staggering 48 percent of the vote.

Jessie J sang a selection of her own hits including Domino (2011) and Flashlight (2015), as well as a cover of Whitney Houston’s blockbuster hit My Heart Will Go On.

Many fans of the pop star were initially confused as to why she would enter a singing competition in the first place. “I know a lot of people were shocked when they found out,” she said. “Like why would I compete in a singing competition… I’m probably the least competitive person I know.

“I said yes because I LOVE to do the unexpected and I LOVE to represent the UK and singing everywhere I go. I LOVE to sing. But also it was an opportunity to bridge a gap between two cultures.”

The platinum-winning star added, “Chin is an amazing place and so different to anywhere I have ever been. I have never been made to feel more welcomed and loved as I have done here.”

Jessie J’s appearance on Singer 2018 followed the failed launch of her latest album R.O.S.E at the end of 2017.

Further reading: David Guetta and Sia Release Flames

Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die Return to the Machine Shop, Michigan

After 12 years, Every Time I Die made a triumphant return to the Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. The venue, which had a slight western theme with restrooms labeled as “cowgirls” and “cowboys,” and a literal chain for a barricade, erupted with screaming fans and staff trying to capture crowd-surfers the second Keith Buckley stepped on stage. His vocals sounded as if he has the ability to rip through sandpaper, starting off the show with Roman Holiday. Guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams shred through the riffs with undying power and control, while bassist Stephen Micciche had control of the undertones in each song. Clayton Holyoak, the group’s drummer, had one of the most calming facial expressions I had ever seen on a drummer. Throughout the entire show, he maintained an appearance of being thoroughly at peace with the environment around him.

“Peace,” however, is one of the last things a fan of Every Time I Die should expect at one of their shows. With an abundance of people creating circle pits, crowd-surfers and head-bangers galore, beer seemingly falling on you from every direction, and getting kneed in the head multiple times (personal experience within the photo pit), it’s safe to say that the Machine Shop’s western theme lived up to the hype of Every Time I Die—wild, wild, wild.

The crowd, just as excited as the band were to be back, kept the energy alive throughout the 21-song set. With classic hits like The New Black, Pigs is Pigs, The Coin Has a Say and We’re Wolf mixed in with crowd favorites like Apocalypse Now and Then, Petal, Romeo a Go-Go and Decayin’ With the Boys, there was a bit of something for everyone at the show and it was hard not to be ecstatic throughout the entirety of it. Vocalist Buckley kept the crowd going as well, stopping between songs here and there to not only say a few words of encouragement, but also to check in with crowd members to see if they were still having a good time (shout out to the person on a swing). One interesting highlight of the setlist was that Every Time I Die decided to end their set with Fear and Trembling, which normally is an opener song throughout most of their previous tour dates post their latest album, Low Teens.

For a band that’s been around for nearly two decades and released eight stellar LP’s, it’d be easy to say that a group has “worn out” on stage and in studio, or become “too tired” and “boring” to continue putting on kick-ass shows—Every Time I Die is not one of those groups. During their final song, guitarist Jordan took the initiative to stage-dive and the crowd carried him from the stage all the way to the back of the venue, near where they had their merch setup. As the Flint stop was their final run on their recent US tour until the Vans Warped Tour this summer, I truly don’t think Every Time I Die could have seen a better send-off crowd than the one in Michigan.

Further reading: Panic! At the Disco Back with New Track

Kate Nash

Interview with Kate Nash

Kate Nash rose to the heights of fame in 2007, dominating the UK charts with her debut album Made of Bricks before hitting 20 years old. More than 10 years later, the musician and actress is back with fervour and busier than ever with her first studio album for five years, Yesterday was Forever, and her dazzling role in Netflix favorite, Glow.

New Wave Nash

Nash tells me that Yesterday was Forever was recorded over four years. “I started recording it in 2014, but it’s been really challenging… I went through this period of kind of writing pop songs again and trying to write songs for other people… There’s a massive scene of writers and producers and song-writing camps and rooms that are really draining and confusing. But I also did find some really cool people that i worked with individually from those sessions and so I worked primarily with two producers.” She tells me that while some of the tracks on the record were written as little as two months ago, some were recorded at the very beginning, four years ago. “I was worried when we were recording it that it wasn’t going to sound like a record,” she remembers. “But when we were mastering it, I was like, ‘Wow. This is a record, this sounds like an album.’” Recording a record this time round wasn’t the stressed out, time-strained process it once was. “Putting together the album was really chilled because I’m not attached to everything in the same way [as in the past] because I have changed a lot since I started writing it… There’s this journey throughout the album from where I was when I started and where I am now and that’s really cool as well. It wasn’t the way I chose to do it, but I do believe everything happens for a reason and I think, you know, that this is that album that’s supposed to exist and I’m really excited about it.”

Nash shot to pop stardom rapidly, having recorded and distributed Made of Bricks before even turning 20. Was fame a difficult thing to cope with? “Yeah, definitely. How can it not be?” The artist replies. “You’re trying to figure out who you are and everyone is telling you all these things… and you’re like, ‘I literally don’t know who I am yet, leave me alone!’ Just being so young, managing all of these people and being a boss and being in control of something that feels really big but also felt like it was controlling me for a while.” Nash credits her close-knit network of family and friends for keeping her stable and grounded during such a crazy time in her career. “Fame is it’s own beast, so you really have to manage it carefully and know what it is. It comes with the job and there’s benefits but it’s not something I’m ever desiring. Fame itself is just very rapid and empty and it doesn’t really do anything, you know? It’s sort of confusing and it sort of creates weird social environments. But I think it’s just changing your idea of how you measure success, which I think is really important in this industry.”

The dark side

When Nash’s second album didn’t hit the same dizzying heights of success of Made of Bricks, she was dropped by her record label. “It felt really fucked up because I found out by text message and no one was there to talk to me about it—and no one really ever talked to me properly about it. I still feel like I don’t really know what happened, but I also don’t mind.” Even after such a crushing time, Nash remained admirably positive. “I feel very lucky to be an independent artist… Being on a label is really great, but there’s also a lot of stuff that comes with being on a label that’s controlling and there’s so much pressure and so many people involved in your vision. I’m in a different place now, but at the time it felt really, like, ‘What the fuck just happened?’ It felt like no one really cared. All these people came and found me when I was really young and wanted to get in on the hype of my MySpace and the shows I was doing in London, but really, they didn’t care about me as a person or as an artist.” Nash tells me how important she thinks it is that artists in the industry have an open dialogue about the negative side to the industry. “It’s important to talk about so that it’s normalised, because I think everyone in the music industry is having a fairly hard time at the moment… We can [artists] all learn from each other’s experiences.”

The topic of conversation progresses to the star’s upcoming North American tour in April. Contrary to usual tour-type questions, I want to know about the dark side of being on the road. “The dark side of touring is how many people on tour are addicts and have ended up in dark situations because of how you party every night and how you’re expected to drink and do drugs and have this adrenaline boost that not everyone can do naturally. There’s a lot of mental health issues on the road; it’s a lifestyle that isn’t suited to everybody. I’m really lucky to have found such great people to go on the road with.” Her advice for budding musicians? “Build your family on the road, build people that make you feel fucking joy and excited to play music because it is such a privilege. It’s just the best job ever; it’s such a cool thing to be able to do. I’ve had times when I’ve been on tour with people who didn’t make me feel good and that’s horrible. But now I have this amazing girl band and all my lighting girls on tour with me. Just making sure you’re curating the environment and bringing only positive vibes—anyone with any negativity just gets, like, fired immediately from now on,” she laughs. “Because it poisons an environment really fast; everyone’s tired and run down, if there’s any negativity then it’s east to become negative. Whereas if everyone’s positive, then even when you’re tired and stressed out and confused about which time zone you’re in, you are still having an amazing ride with people who are filling you with excitement.”

“Fame is it’s own beast, so you really have to manage it carefully and know what it is”—Kate Nash

Girl Talk

The pop star has always been vocal when it comes to talking about being a woman constantly in the eye of the media. The new shift in the entertainment landscape makes it feel like women are having their moment; they’re finally being taken seriously. Does she agree? “I don’t know yet,” she says. “I’m not sure the effects are happening yet but I think people are really inspired to see that we can really change things. Ten years ago, it was not a great environment to be female… [But] I think there has been growth and we should always be striving for growth. Because 10 years ago, it was definitely a different scene for me. I’m seeing changes that are positive; teenage girls have reclaimed their voice and they’ve demanded that they’re taken seriously and they rule the internet and that’s the most powerful thing ever. I think young people are really doing something completely iconic.” I agree, vehemently. “The pendulum is swinging,” she muses, “but it’s also transitional. It’s going to be a painful shift, but there’s definitely been a positive change.”

Way to Glow

In the summer of 2017, Netflix’s smash comedy, Glow, streamed for the first time. Nash landed the role of spunky Rhonda after a pilot she shot with director Jenji Kohen starring Eddy Izzard failed to get picked up. “Because I’d done that, Jenji wanted me to read for the part of Rhonda in Glow, so I auditioned.” Glow is set in the 80s and sees a group of misfit women reinvent themselves in the form of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. “We trained to be wrestlers, we trained to be stunt women and wrestlers. The two best things about the show have been learning how to wrestle and doing it with the most amazing group of women and having this insane bond over our physicality and having a bunch of new female friends who I feel I can really lean on and trust. It’s such a fucking dream job.” She speaks with such verve that I wish I was a part the empowering group of women, too. “Honestly, I can’t believe it sometimes, because I have so much fun with a bunch of ridiculously funny and talented women who I love and are actually my friends. We’ve learned to do really amazing things with our bodies and we feel really strong and powerful. I have such a connection with my physicality that I’ve just never had before; I never thought I’d have it.” I make a mental note to learn to wrestle before asking if TV will take precedence in her career now, or whether it’ll run side-by-side with her first passion, music. “I’m think I’m going to have to find a way to be parallel. I guess that it’s going to be depending on my commitments. Sometimes I have to take a dip out of each one. You know, when I’m shooting Glow, that’s extensive, like five months of physical wrestling and long hours. My time is really taken up by that. I was actually doing stuff for the record on the weekends which was intense. I want to do both, but I’m just going to have to learn how to balance them. I think that it’s key to carve out personal time and healing time, so that I can give my energy to both in a fresh way each time I come back to them.”

Is there anything on the horizon for the artist that we should keep an eye out for in the coming year? She tells me that season two of Glow will be released this year (“that’s gonna be fucking epic,” she says) and her tour is coming up in April. “At the moment, it’s sort of unknown to be honest with you.” But here’s something you didn’t know: Nash is about to study mycology, the scientific study of mushrooms and fungi. “I’m obsessed with nature and just learning about it. I think being in nature is so fucking important, like, it keeps me sane. But yeah, I’m really fascinated with mushrooms.”

> Yesterday was Forever is to be released March 30 and will be available to buy online and in stores nationwide.

Further reading: Dates for Kate Nash’s North American Tour Confirmed

Panic! At the Disco

Panic! At the Disco Back with New Track

Internationally acclaimed award-winning band, Panic! At the Disco, performed their brand new single Say Amen (Saturday Night) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday March 20.

The single is the first to be released from the highly-anticipated sixth studio album by the rock group, entitled Pray for the Wicked. The album, produced by Jake Sinclair, will be released June 22 2018 via Fueled by Ramen/DCD2 Records and is available for pre-order online now.

Pray for the Wicked is due to be celebrated by a full US arena tour produced by AEG events. The band will begin with their first performance July 11 2018 in Minneapolis, MN, right through the summer before finishing on August 18 2018 at the band’s hometown in Las Vegas. Panic! At the Disco will be joined by ARIZONA and Hayley Kiyoko for the 28-city tour.

Fans who pre-order Pray for the Wicked via the band’s webstore before March 29 at 9pm ET will be entitled to receive a unique presale code for first access to the tour tickets. Tickets for the tour will be available to the general public beginning March 30.

Panic! At the Disco have enjoyed an illustrious and successful career since the release of their debut smash album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005) which achieved a double-platinum award. The band have achieved chart-topper status with several hits and albums since their inception, including their most recent album, Death of a Bachelor (2016) which debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

With nominations for much coveted awards including a Grammy, Teen Choice Award, Alternative Press Music Award and the Kerrang! Award, the band have long been on the tip of the tongues of fans and critics. In 2006, Panic! At the Disco won the Video of the Year award for I Write Sins Not Tragedies from their debut album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out at the MTV VMAs.

Listen to Say Amen (Saturday Night) on YouTube, here!

Further reading: David Guetta and Sia Release Flames

Ron Pope

Ron Pope Interview

Defining independent artist of the moment Ron Pope has sold more than two million digital tracks worldwide, has racked up over 200 million streams on Spotify and 150 million views on YouTube. On the release of his latest album, Worktapes, he talks music, almost giving up and what’s in store for 2018.

It was in 2012 that I first heard A Drop in the Ocean (2007), one of Ron Pope’s most listened-to tracks on YouTube (with 53 million views at the time of writing). That song marked the beginning of a lifelong love of all things acoustic, so when the opportunity to speak with the man himself arose, I jumped. We’ve just a 20-minute slot in which to speak, but Pope is relaxed, optimistic and ready to go. Naturally, the conversation begins with the release of his highly anticipated EP, Worktapes. “The response has been great,” he tells me. The EP comes just months after the release of Work, the first in the two-album series. “I kind of thought of it as one project, but I wanted to divide it just to give people more manageable, more bite-sized pieces.” Pope explains that with the advent of technology and smartphones (“little computers”, he calls them), musicians have to compete with everything out there now. “Because there is so much that people are doing, and so much in their faces, I think it’s easier on my audience if I give them 10 songs at a time or seven songs at a time and not 20, or whatever.”

 A nod to the past   

Worktapes is a nostalgic trip to the musician’s earlier albums—slow, quiet and vulnerable tracks that have earned him his distinct sound and reputation. I ask Pope if this was a conscious decision. “It’s intimidating writing quiet music. If a crowd makes noise and you’re in a band, you can just play louder, you know? If you’re playing quiet music live, if people aren’t quiet, then it’s ruined, it’s a waste of time. So you have to really believe that people are going to listen to it if you’re going to create it… [quieter music] has come back into my life in a very real way in the last handful of years.” Pope is truly in touch with his intuition and it’s his connection with his emotions that makes his deeply authentic music so attainable to his fan base. “You make music for yourself, and then you release it for your audience, so I’m creating music that feels good to me; I’m shaping the music and I could never manipulate that [process]. What sounds good to me right now is what I will create, that’s why the records sound different from album to album, that’s why sometimes there’s loud songs and sometimes there are quiet songs and it really has to do with what feels right to me.”

On giving up

The indie star attributes the freedom he has to create the music he wants to his label Brooklyn Basement Records, a company that he runs with his wife, Blair. “Music is really keeping me off the streets—which is good for me and good for the streets,” he jokes. But it hasn’t always been an easy journey; Pope’s past encapsulates the old ‘struggling musician’ adage almost entirely. Has there been any point where he considered giving up? “There were definitely times early on where I thought about giving up,” he recalls. “I was playing in the subway, I was paying my rent in rolled change and I was living off, like, hot dogs. One day, when I was down in the subway playing and I hadn’t eaten all day and I didn’t have any money and I was freezing… It was the middle of winter, nobody came, I played a bunch of songs and it was just so cold down there and at some point, I just started crying. I couldn’t control it and I just started crying.” This would become a defining moment for Pope, one that would change his attitude to hard graft in the coming years. “The adversity I deal with in running a business and being an entrepreneur and trying to compete on a global level with the giant multi-national corporations…Even when that gets overwhelming, at least I’m not starving. I try to have perspective.”

 2018

So what does 2018 have in store for the captivating artist? “It’s been 10 years since my first solo album Daylight came out, so I’m probably going to do some ‘stuff’ around that,” he chuckles. “I say ‘stuff’ because I’m not going to tell you what that is yet.” That’s unfair, I think, but I can’t wait. 20 minutes goes by so quickly, doesn’t it, I say; it does, he replies in his cheerful, chippy tone.   

“Music is really keeping me off the streets—which is good for me and good for the streets”—Ron Pope

Ron Pope in the Hot Seat

 CN: If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?

RP: [Laughing] I really don’t have any other skills, so I have no idea—thank God I am a musician.

CN: Which animal would you be and why?

RP: My dog has the best life in the world. If I could be any animal, I would be my dog.

CN: If you were a musical instrument, what would you be?

RP: I would be an old telecaster [guitar], kind of beat up and rough around the edges but still plays pretty good.

CN: Top piece of advice for budding musicians?

RP: Don’t give up! If you’re meant to be a musician, you don’t need me to tell you not to give up—but don’t give up. When everybody else quits, keep going.

CN: Tell us a secret…

RP: I’m still wearing my pyjamas and it’s 1.20pm!

Further reading: Ron Pope Releases Seventh Studio Album

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish to Perform on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

16-year-old musician Billie Eilish is to perform her single Bellyache on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, March 22.

Bellyache has been written from the perspective of a conflicted psychopath. The dark, gritty pop song—described by the BBC in 2017 as the “pop equivalent of a Tarantino movie”—features on her critically-acclaimed debut EP Don’t Smile at Me.

Currently on her sold out Where’s My Mind North American tour, Billie Eilish has proven to be a formidable talent since signing with Interscope Records. Following her performance at this year’s South by South West (SXSW) festival, Billie Eilish was listed in The New York Times’ Acts that Stood Out coverage. “This 16-year-old singer has a misty, sleepy voice that can take on a jazzy quaver—part Lana Del Rey, part Amy Winehouse. Onstage, there was absolutely nothing complaisant about her. As her band played folk-pop tinged with some hip-hop bitterness, Ms. Eilish strolled, slouched and crooned with precisely gauged insolence and nonchalance.”

Bellyache has also featured the latest Music Issue in The New York Times magazine’s 25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music is Going. The piece describes Billie Eilish’s music as “otherworldly”, saying that “our culture demands that young girls crave validation, but Eilish and her cast of characters feel no such thing. There are no apologies in her songs about the disappointments of love—only poetic quips about potential lovers tripping over knives or the subject of a song remorselessly burning the car of an ex-flame.”

Last month saw Ocean Eyes, another track from the highly applauded EP, officially certified with the RIAA GOLD in North America. The EP has, at the time of writing, surpassed more than 300,000,000 streams globally, proving the young star to be a musical phenomenon—and the artist shows no sign of stopping.

Catch Billie Eilish’s performance on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday March 22 at 11:35pm/10:35pm CT.

Bomb Threat

Man Arrested on Suspicion of SXSW Bomb Threat

Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, has been arrested on suspicion of emailing a bomb threat to the Fair Market concert venue during the South by South West (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.

Ingram has been charged with making a terroristic threat and, if found guilty, could face up to 10 years in jail. A statement released by Bud Light, the show’s sponsor, said that police were “able to identify and locate the suspect believed to be tied to this threat and at 11:08pm a warrant was signed” for Ingram’s arrest.

The statement added, “There are no indications of any broader security concerns for any activities relating to this incident.”

The threat, which took place March 17, led to the cancellation of a SXSW concert that was due to showcase hip hop musicians The Roots, Ludacris and Rapsody. Police were called to the venue promptly but found nothing suspicious.

Roots’ drummer Questlove took to Twitter on the day of the threat to say “no one is Mr ‘show must go on’ than me. But we can’t risk our lives if we are told there was a bomb threat.”

The bomb threat comes amid a tense and troubling time for Austin. The city has been on high terror alert following several fatal letter bomb attacks which have occurred in recent weeks and an explosion that injured two people late on Sunday night. No arrests have been made in connection with the letter bomb attacks.

One of the letter bomb incidents killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House on March 2 at his home in Austin, Texas.

Another attack of a similar nature killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason and left his mother seriously injured on March 12. A separate package explosion occurred within hours of the attack, leaving a 75-year-old woman in critical condition.

All victims are people of colour. Austin police chief Brian Manley said “we are not saying that we believe terrorism or hate are in play, but we absolutely have to consider that.”

Further reading: Woman Attempts Murder with Poisoned Cheesecake