Peter Gabriel Says Real World Record Label Can Last Another 25 Years!

Musician Peter Gabriel says his world music label can carry on for at least another 25 years.

Gabriel, who runs Real World records, made the prediction despite dwindling CD sales and the growth in streaming.

“As long as the audience is interested and keeps sustaining us then we’ll deliver what we can”, he said on the 25th anniversary of the label.

The former Genesis musician said consumers had to decide whether to “return some payment” to musicians.

Speaking to BBC News at the Womad Festival in Wiltshire, which he co-founded, Gabriel said: “Records don’t sell in the way they used to.

“We have to make a choice as consumers about whether we want to return some payment, but there is a lot of generosity in people’s hearts.”

He added that the record label would continue to bring new musical artists from around the world to a wider audience and expand its remit, adding more Latin American music while introducing a world hip-hop stage at Womad.

“I think we just want to push our own boundaries a bit and go outside of what’s our comfort zone,” he said.

He set up Real World Records, which grew out of Womad, in 1989 to put world music fans in reach of musicians.

It has released more than 200 albums from artists including the Congolese musician Papa Wemba, The Afro Celt Sound System, The Drummers of Burundi, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Gabriel himself.

Gabriel says a particular highlight was working with the late Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, “the Pakistani Pavarotti”, who was one of the first artists to be released by the label.

“I think that was a sort of a landmark in a sense in that we helped him find an audience outside of Qawwali, and that was always one of the main aims for the label,” Gabriel said.

But he added: “We wouldn’t have got involved with any of the artists if we didn’t love what they did.

“I don’t think we had any idea when we set out that we’d be here 25 years later. But it’s great. I think we’ve worked with extraordinary artists so I think we’ve been very lucky.”

Sri Lanka Gives Sweeping Tax Breaks for Project on Acquired Land…

Sri Lanka has proposed sweeping tax breaks for a controversial project where lands of private citizens were taken over for a commercial development.

The 429.5 million US dollar project in Colombo’s Slave Island area including 130 million US dollars of foreign investments will get a 10 year corporate income tax holiday and a 06 year tax holiday for profits on sale of apartments.
Dividends will also be tax free for 10 years.

A gazette notice under Sri Lanka’s strategic investment law said it was a “pioneer concept for urban renewal enabling the Urban Development Authority to acquire private lands in under developed/underserved areas of Colombo City and provide a better housing/commercial area with amenities to the habitants on a part of the said area.”

Acquisition private lands for commercial purposes by the state had come under fire as a further undermining of property rights and freedoms of citizens in Sri Lanka.

Opposition legislators have also called for giving a legal effect to a policy on involuntary re-settlement of inhabitants by the state, developed in the mid 1990s to protect people from the coercive powers to the state from being used against citizens.

Activists have said that earlier powers of the state to acquire or expropriate private land were only intended for public purposes such as building roads and should not be mis-used for commercial developments.

Meanwhile government officials have defended the move saying people who lost land will be given the same sized or bigger apartments in at least one project involving a foreign investor and their consent have been obtained.

Happy Birthday Garfield Sobers!

One of the best all-around cricketers of all time who came to be a national hero of Barbados.

He made his first-class debut with the Barbados national team at the age of 16, and the following year had his first Test match.

He was the first batsman to hit six sixes, and the historic ball he hit was auctioned off by Christies for a record £54,257.

He was briefly engaged to the Indian actress Anju Mahendru.

Like Sachin Tendulkar, he became a living legend of cricket.

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