‘Do you wanna be in the business?’ – 10 songs about the music industry

I read Mike Love’s autobiography last week, the lead singer from the Beach Boys who isn’t Brian Wilson. It’s actually a wonderful read, and a fascinating one at that for anyone supremely interested in 1960s America. In it, Love documents the sudden rise of the Beach Boys as ‘America’s Band’ after Life magazine ran a cover feature about California’s surf craze. So, writing to a brief almost, the Beach Boys signed a deal to produce seven records in something like two years, on the theme of surfing, girls and cars (Surfin’ USA, California Girls, Little Deuce Coupe respectively). While I was reading it I could help but listen to the band on repeat, which got me yearning for summer during a time in mid-March where we’ve been seeing blizzard-like snow. The interesting thing about the Beach Boys is that Pet Sounds and the re-imagined Smile Sessions aside, they have only around 15 hits that have kept resurging every 10 years or so, as another generation discovers their music and makes out with their boyfriends in the car to it. The memoir also recounts the band’s infamous lawsuits throughout the years which got me thinking about the workings of the music industry since the ’60s. So I made a PLAYLIST of songs about the curious, sneaky inner goings-on in the biz (scroll down for related lyrics*). You can listen to it here.

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Here are a list of other books that I have hugely enjoyed since the turn of the new year: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney; Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, Rookie on Love by Rookie writers and contributors; Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I’ve tried to get into Goodreads as a way to easily share and get recommendations on what I’ve been reading, but I JUST CAN’T RATE A BOOK OUT OF FIVE! I just rate ALL the books I’ve read out of five, mostly as a pat-on-the-back to myself: Well done you! Five stars for reading a book!


I went to Newcastle for St. Patrick’s Day to see my dear friend and Girl Chat co-host Chloe Trayford. It were a right belter. Here’s some art I saw at the Baltic Gallery that I give you full permission to use as your phone wallpaper.

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On the train home, I watched Beats Rhymes and Life, a documentary about A Tribe Called Quest available on Netflix! Watch it! It’s great! It’s so great I had no idea my train arrived 40 minutes late and I got the full price of my ticket back. All good news.


Other things that I’ve been up to: Saw the motherfucking GOAT Milo at Birthdays in Stoke Newington at both his sold-out shows in London a couple of weeks ago. I don’t have any photos. He did completely different sets both nights and it was probably the most life-affirming duo of shows I’ve ever seen (no hyperboles, trust). It was quite otherworldly to be stood at the front of the crowd and see someone be so creative so spontaneously and with such conviction. If you’ve not heard him yet, I suggest you do so wherever you listen to your music. If you want to support independent radio, here’s an appearance he did on NTS Radio. He steps up around 14m 30s, but listen from the start to hear an insanely good Busdriver track.

OK, I have a terrible cold and I’m out. I’ll be back soon having done some REAL writing.


(P.S. Here’s all the lyrics related to the music business in the linked up playlist, in case you didn’t believe me).
*1. Check the Rhime – A Tribe Called Quest
“Industry rule number four thousand and eighty
Record company people are shady
So kids watch your back ’cause I think they smoke crack
I don’t doubt it, look at how they act”

2. Paint a Vulgar Picture – The Smiths
“Best of! Most of!
Satiate the need
Slip them into different sleeves!
Buy both, and feel deceived
Climber – new entry, re-entry”

3. Free Man in Paris – Joni Mitchell
“I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
Nobody was calling me up for favours
And no one’s future to decide
You know I’d go back there tomorrow
But for the work I’ve taken on
Stoking the star maker machinery
Behind the popular song”

4. Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe – Kendrick Lamar
“You shut me down, you like the control
You speak to me like I’m a child
Try to hold it down, I know the answer
I can shake it off and you feel threatened by me”

5. Re: Animist – Milo
“Showboat rappers get stood up in their studio
I heard Wal-Mart signed Jason Derulo
Then dropped him cause he couldn’t sell crew socks
And refused to adopt the umlaut”

6. W.O.E is Entertainment – Jurassic 5
“Welcome to the wonderful world of entertainment
Where life imitate art and people get famous
Welcome to the world of showbiz arrangement
Where lights, camera, action is the language”

7. We Walk – The Ting Tings
We can’t be honest
We call it off
We got the choice if it all goes wrong
We walk, we walk

8. Have a Cigar – Pink Floyd
“You’re gonna make it if you try,
They’re gonna love you.
I’ve always had a deep respect and I mean that most sincere;
The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think,
Oh, by the way, which one’s Pink?”

9. Country House – Blur
“City dweller, successful fella thought to himself
Oops I’ve got a lot of money
Caught in a rat race terminally
I’m a professional cynic but my heart’s not in it
I’m payin’ the price of livin’ life at the limit”

10. Show Business – A Tribe Called Quest
“Let me tell you ’bout the snakes, the fakes, the lies
The highs at all of these industry shing-dings
Where you see the pretty girls
In the high animated world
Checkin’ for a rapper with all the dough
If you take a shit they want to know
And if you’re gonna fall, they won’t be around, y’all
So you still wanna do the show business?”

Listen to the latest episodes of Girl Chat now

EDIT: I’ve stopped updating this page now, but go ahead and listen to the latest episodes in the feed below. 

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Girl Chat is me and my best mate Chloe Trayford speaking to each other on the phone once a week, talking about topics on relationships and love. The idea to record a podcast came from our extremely long phone calls that would often top the 90-minute mark when Chloe was studying abroad in the Netherlands.

The juiciest stuff was always about relationships, so, ever the content creators, we decided to start recording them (with most of the names omitted or changed to protect the truly innocent). Relationships seemed like a good topic to start the project with, as we’re usually the first person we’d both go to concerning matters of the heart, but after the six episodes you’ll find gradually being added below, we hope to venture out to other topics of conversation (career stuff, political stuff, etc, TBC).

Listen to the first series of Girl Chat on iTunes or Soundcloud now (and rate and review if you’re feeling kind). 

#1 Do you believe in soulmates?

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Can soulmates can ever be A Thing? How do you know if someone’s right for you? And how can you decide when to pull the plug on the whole ‘together forever’ deal, if you need to?

#2 Is a long-distance relationship worth it?

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Long distance relationships: are they doable, or just, er… long? In this week’s episode, we talk about why being away from your beau/belle isn’t necessarily all doom and gloom, and offer our best tips for making it work.

#3 Can open relationships ever work?

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There’s a lot of stigma/blame/shame around open relationships, so in this week’s episode, we discuss the line between polyamory and infidelity, and how it might not be as complicated as people make it out to be.

#4 New Year’s Resolutions: a fresh start or a waste of time?

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Whether you’re a fan of them or not, it’s that time of year where everyone’s reflecting on the year gone by and talking about RESOLUTIONS. Is it useful to commit to breaking bad habits or should we stay happy as we are? BIG questions for two slightly hungover Girl Chatters. And this time, Chloe’s in the building!

#5 Sex: Being in the moment and speaking your mind

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This week, we chat about how to stay in the moment during sex, being honest with your partner (and yourself) about what you’re after, plus the importance of always having loads of delicious breakfast stuff stocked in your cupboards to leave the greatest impression of all in the morning.

#6 Codependancy, setting boundaries and knowing what’s right for you

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This week, we’re back discussing the importance of recognising when you need to take time out from something intense; establishing boundaries and communicating them to others; and knowing that you weren’t put on Earth to please other people.

#7 Online dating: do’s, dont’s and how to create the Ultimate Profile™

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This week, back by POPULAR DEMAND (kind of), we’re talking about online dating. We discuss things like how to choose your dating profile photos in a way that’s “basically the opposite of catfishing” and Chloe gives us her foolproof guide on what you’d need to do to get her to swipe right. Swipe us right! Tell your friends!