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News

8/29/2017
'Downsizing,' Starring Matt Damon, to Open Venice Film Festival

We're excited to announce that Michèle has two songs in Matt Damon's new feature "Downsizing"! Opening the Venice (Italy) Film Festival soon. The film, directed by Alexander Payne, will premiere at the 74th Venice Film Festival on August 30, 2017 and be released by Paramount Pictures in the United States on December 22, 2017 The satire, written by Payne and his frequent collaborator Jim Taylor, stars Matt Damon as a man who decides to shrink himself in order to find a better life. The cast also includes Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Laura Dern and Jason Sudeikis.

8/29/2017
Earshock Representation

Besides providing our regular day to day services such as legal, accounting, etc..., we’re proud to announce a new powerful creative service. We are now representing one of the top creative music supervision and composition teams in New York City, EarShock: Founded by seasoned music supervisor David Hnatiuk(co-writer of the reference book Music Supervision: The complete guide to selecting Music for Movies, TV, Games & New Media), David Huston (Chief Engineer / Music Director / Sound Designer) & Drew Yowell (Guitar God / Multi Instrumentalist / Life Long Studio Musician).EarShock has been composing original music successfully for well known television networks MTV, VH1, Logo, BET and NBC as well as major retailers Bloomingdales, Beats by Dre, and more. We’re delighted to welcome EarShock to our team, and we look forward to offering you and your clients their expertise and tailor made music-for-visual-media productions. We are ready to respond to any brief you or your clients send our way for any and all Digital Media, Radio, TV, Movies, Live Events & Video Game productions. « sync@music » concierge at your service, just one message, one click away for you!

8/29/2017
All Wrong Season 2

If you followed our news, you must have realized that since the Blackpills streaming platform is available via its free app on Android and iOS terminals, Blackpills offered a catalog of 21 series. For some, upcoming seasons are already announced for 2018. Among the list of mini-series that elongates practically every week, some titles seem to have been well appreciated by the users of the application. This is what we can read on social networks and we couldn't agree more. A little less than two weeks ago, via their twitter account, Blackpills unveiled a season 2 for no less than six series : Junior, Duels, Exposed, All Wrong, Skinford and Pillow Talk , they all made it for a sequel. Watch this space...

8/27/2017
Introducing Szymon Folwarczny a.k.a Stealpot

Szymon Folwarczny is a composer and music producer from Katowice, Poland. Szymon learnt the fundamentals of music through the piano and trumpet classes at the Music School, Audio Engineering studies at the Music Academy and self-taught study of the composition and production. His work has been highly acclaimed by critics, received many positive reviews from listeners and a few notable music industry awards for his achievements. Composer and music producer for few well known Polish artists. His hard work let him to double-Platinum and Golden records. Szymon also wrote or produced a few Polish number one songs. SELECTED AWARDS: - Grand Prix Winner, Debut of the Year (Radio Czwórka) for Stealpot "Mass Mess.AGE" - Honorable Mention, 2013 International Songwriting Competition, pop/top40 - category for Magnetic Clouds "Push Play" Szymon recorded 3 solo albums under the moniker "Stealpot".

1/31/2017
IS THE GLOBAL SYNC MARKET SET TO EXPLODE FOR INDIE LABELS AND UNSIGNED ARTISTS?

Is the global sync market set to explode for indie labels and unsigned artists? Music Business WorldwideJanuary 19, 2017 The amount of money pouring into record companies from sync keeps on growing. According to IFPI figures, record companies accrued $355m from licensing their tracks to video games, movies and TV in 2015 – up 6.6% year-on-year. The US is the world’s largest sync market, accounting for 57% of 2015’s revenue with $203m, while other standout territories included the UK ($33m), France ($30m) and Japan ($30m). Yet behind this lucrative growth stands an entertainment industry in flux. The rise of on-demand television and movies, combined with the increasingly heavy investment in original programming from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, has turned the nature of movie-making and broadcasting on its head. Netflix, for example, says it’s going to invest an eye-watering $6bn in original content in 2017, while Amazon is keeping up with recent blockbuster shows such as Goliath and The Man In The High Castle (pictured). According to UK-based firm Music Gateway, this huge expenditure is starting to create a unique opportunity for independent labels and unsigned artists. Since being founded in 2011, Music Gateway has made its name matching musicians and songs with specific projects online – be that a manager looking for an artist, a DJ in need of a stem for a remix or a movie searching for a soundtrack. As a result, its executive sync team have become close associates of Hollywood’s licensing community – particularly the Music Supervisors Guild and its network of influential members. To better capitalize on these relationships, Music Gateway has this month launched an online Sync Portal to assist music supervisors, brands and ad agencies – offering tailored search tools to uncover the exact sounds they’re looking for. The Portal is currently servicing Music Gateway’s network of 700 music supervisors worldwide, including the likes of John Houlihan (Deadpool, The Book Of Life), Joel C High (The Devil’s Rejects) and Jonathan McHugh (Rush Hour, The Guest). In addition, Music Gateway recently inked a deal with an advertising group which represents over 300 agencies such as BBDO, DDB, TBWA and Vox Global – companies all now effectively plugged into music the company represents. The Sync Portal is obviously a time-saving application for those who clear music for movies etc., but why does Music Gateway believe it can revolutionize the careers of independent and emerging artists? “The sync market as a whole is growing, but the average sync budget of each project has fallen considerably over recent years,” explains Jon Skinner, CEO of Music Gateway. “That’s partly due to expenditure being capped, but also because of a massive change in the market – the vast amount of content now being created by the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Vice. “The sync market as a whole is growing, but the average sync budget of each project has fallen considerably over recent years.” Jon Skinner, Music Gateway “In turn, the major networks in the US are following suit: Disney ABC told us last year that they have moved from a model of 80% of their content being licensed in, to 80% of their content being made in-house.” This combination of reduced sync budgets with an explosion of content investment, claims Skinner, has resulted in a greater need for music in TV, Ads and movie-land; specifically, music which doesn’t cost anywhere close to a Fleetwood Mac or Beatles hit. It’s here, he says, where indies and unsigned artists can clean up. The Music Gateway Sync Portal currently only accepts pre-cleared and approved tracks – whereby the rights holder / creative owns both the master and publishing sync rights to the music. This is not only to keep things straightforward from a licensing perspective, says Skinner – it’s also a response to address one of the sync community’s biggest headaches. “The TV and advertising world works so quickly,” adds Skinner. “People are coming in at 9am stateside and trying to clear music for shows going on air that day at 6pm. “That’s obviously not ideal, but it’s the reality; they’re the constraints supervisors are working under from the producers and their bosses.” “just like A&R people, music supervisors are bombarded. Our Portal helps put power back in their hands.” Jon Skinner, Music Gateway He adds: “Traditionally, supervisors are being pitched music to answer a brief for a TV show or film – and, just like A&R people, they’re bombarded. “It’s quite a long-winded, time-consuming process. Our Portal helps put power back in their hands.” The concept has already attracted the support of large-scale independent artist distributor CD Baby, which represents more than 2m pre-cleared songs opted-in for sync licensing. Jon Bahr, CD Baby’s VP of Music Publishing and Rights Management, said: “We are always looking for avenues to get our client’s music in front of music supervisors around the globe. “We are thrilled to be part of Music Gateway’s new Sync Portal where we can showcase our top songs to the leading agencies and supervisors.” Music Gateway is offering a more generous split to artists and rights-owners than the likes of Music Dealers – the online music licensing hub which fell into liquidation last year. Those who sign up to the Portal on a non-exclusive basis (ie. maintaining the right to pitch their music outside of Music Gateway), will keep 75% of any sync fees accrued through the system. However, those artists/publishers/labels who offer Music Gateway exclusivity will get a bigger slice of the pie, with 80% of any eventual fee. Rights-holders/creatives can push up to 20 masters into the Portal for free, and can add many more tracks and whole catalogues when subscribed to a Music Gateway Premium Pro / Business accounts (£12/$15 per month upwards). The Sync Portal is off to a flying start, with more than 400 rights holders joining within its first week of launch. “We don’t really see ourselves as competition to the large publishers who are pitching for syncs out there.” Jon Skinner, Music Gateway “While we’ve got a large community of unsigned artists, we also represent a lot of independent labels and publishers,” says Skinner. “There’s been a movement from both a label and publisher perspective to secure additional rights in recent years, which means many independent tracks can be cleared as a ‘one-stop’ by a single company. If you’re a label with 500 tracks, for example, but only 150 are ‘one-stop’, you can just upload those into the Portal.” Additionally, the Portal allows publishers, should they use sub-publishers abroad, to declare the territories in which they own (and don’t own) relevant rights – in addition to writer and PRO information. According to Skinner, Music Gateway will consider the ingestion of tracks where rights are split across different companies in the future. “We don’t really see ourselves as competition to the large publishers who are pitching for syncs out there,” he says. “There’s a huge opportunity here for us to harness relationships in the sync community we’ve invested a lot of time and effort into – and, at the same time, to help the indie music sector both with revenue generation and the challenge of breaking artists.”Music Business Worldwide

12/4/2016
Rise Of The Robot Music Industry

Rise of the robot music industry # FT 02.12.2016 Robotic is not an adjective that many musicians would want applied to their songs but the industry has been fast to embrace data analytics and artificial intelligence to help tailor its services to the increasingly fickle listener. Algorithms are seeping into the music business to help with talent spotting, promotion and even composition in an industry that has been historically resistant to change and was one of the first to feel the effects of “disruption” through piracy and music sharing. Streaming services have already ushered in an era of “hyper personalisation” for music lovers. Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist, launched in July 2015, had racked up 40m listeners around the world and 5bn track streams by May this year, according to a report from the BPI prepared by Music Ally. These playlists monitor what a person is listening to, and cross-references that data with other users with similar tastes to recommend new songs and artists. Apple Music has opted to use human curators such as Zane Lowe, the radio DJ, for its playlists, but Spotify has doubled down on its robotic recommenders with new services such as Release Radar and the Daily Mix to tempt its subscribers down different paths. Yet discovery is only the equivalent of a debut album for streaming services, and can be a blunt tool. Users of Spotify Discover complain that it is hit and miss — often suggesting the same artists and songs repeatedly, and failing to adapt to the often random whims of the listener. The industry is now hoping that the use of artificial intelligence will bring better analytics, and even predictive technology. A listener’s location, mood and even the weather conditions are now being built into some recommendation engines. Google Play is, for example, working on such adaptive functions. “A bot will be able to recognise guilty pleasures . . . see that I’ve been to the pub and serve me a Little Mix record when I’m on the way home,” says Luke Ferrar, head of digital at Polydor, pointing to the use of algorithms to understand how people listen to music. When combined with the sort of intelligence provided by a smartphone — location, time, activity and movement — it means that music services can find the right track for the right moment. In effect, AI can determine whether a person is bored in an airport, studying in a library or sunning themselves on a beach, to tailor a playlist. AI has already started to be used to improve streaming services. Quantone, a London-based music AI start-up, is using the IBM Watson engine to further improve recommendations by crunching music reviews, blogs and Twitter comments into how music is analysed. Evan Stein, chief executive of Quantone, said AI allows for a more precise data set than “you like Iron Maiden, you’ll probably like Metallica” to one where someone who appears to like a certain bass player can be pointed to other records featuring the same musician. The rise of smart assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa in the home also points to a future where AI acts as a “musical concierge” in the living room or car according to Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI. AI’s role in the music industry is also expanding into the business. Record labels have started to use “chat bots” — computer programs that interact with consumers — to promote new albums and tours. The pop singers Robbie Williams and Olly Murs have launched bots to answer questions from fans and push them to buy more from online stores. Bastille, the British band, created a bot that masqueraded as an evil company called WW Comms that sent fans Gifs and video clips. There is a lot of hyperbole about robots taking over but its more about getting a better hammer to hit more nails Evan Stein, chief executive of Quantone There is also the opportunity to use AI to find new artists. Instrumental, a British label, scrapes YouTube for people uploading their songs and then sifts through data on thousands of unknown artists to define which have started to attract attention. The label, which is backed by Warner Music, has signed three of the most promising to development deals. Some remain unconvinced that old-fashioned talent spotting is set to be replaced, however. Simon Wheeler, head of digital at independent label Beggars Group, told the Midem conference in June: “We have a role of finding things that people don’t know they’re going to like . . . and data are not very good at doing that stuff.” The biggest question is whether the robots will start making the music too. Google’s Deepmind has been used to create a piece of classical piano music, while the technology company’s Magenta research project is using machine learning to create “compelling art and music”. That leads to the question of whether sophisticated machines will end up creating music for their own enjoyment, according to the BPI. In other words, will androids dream of electric guitars? British start-up Jukedeck, which operates out of TechHub, has already used AI to created half a million pieces of original music aimed at companies and video creators looking to create fresh pieces rather than paying royalties. This is hitting the stock audio industry and has the potential to reduce royalties if retailers, for example, use Jukedeck to create muzak rather than playing hits in store. Mr Taylor said: “Some may fear this will mean the sheet music is on the wall for human composers and that we will all be consigned to a dystopian future surrounded by soulless muzak.” But Ed Rex, co-founder of Jukedeck, does not think AI will kill off the human composer, but instead expects more musicians to use algorithms to improve their own work. Mr Stein also remains unconvinced. “There is a lot of hyperbole about robots taking over but its more about getting a better hammer to hit more nails. A terrible composer will still make terrible music, just at a faster speed.”

11/30/2016
Alligator Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- November 29, 2016 CONTACT: Marc Lipkin / Alligator Records 773-973-7736 x235, publicity@allig.comwww.alligator.com TORONZO CANNON & LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS MAKE MOJO'S TOP TEN BLUES ALBUMS OF 2016Cannon's The Chicago Way Is #1 Blues Album Of 2016 The Big Sound Of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials Is #7 New releases from world-renowned Chicago blues stars Toronzo Cannon and Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials both made MOJOmagazine's influential list of Top Ten Blues Albums Of 2016. Cannon's The Chicago Way landed at the #1 spot. Williams, who recently guested on TBS-TV's CONAN, hit #7 with The Big Sound Of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials.ABOUT TORONZO CANNON: MOJO says, "Toronzo Cannon rises to the front rank of Chicago bluesmen. Old School he may be in some ways, but there is nothing conventional about his songwriting. Cannon and co-producer Bruce Iglauer have created wide-screen modern arrangements for these wry, thoughtful songs, molding an ensemble sound that’s both tempestuous and scrupulously controlled." Cannon’s songs – from searing blues anthems to swinging shuffles to soulful ballads to roof-raising rockers – tell timeless stories of common experiences in uncommon ways. The Chicago Way earned the 2016 Living Blues Producer Of The Year Award for Cannon and Iglauer. The Chicago Way features all self-penned songs, inspired by Cannon's deep, homegrown Chicago roots and powered by his blistering guitar playing and soul-baring vocals. Through the sheer force of his music, his songs and his live charisma, Cannon is among the city's most popular and recognizable blues artists. He’s battled his way to the top of the ultra-competitive Windy City blues scene, has already played multiple tours of Europe and continues to drive his bus by day and deliver roof-raising performances around the world by weekend night.ABOUT LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS: Blues & Rhythm writes, "What’s not to like about the raucous sound of Chicago slide guitar maestro Lil' Ed Williams and his long serving trio? Great music that often seems spontaneous will have you bopping like crazy. Superlative guitar and piercing slow-burn slide will surely gain your immediate attention. Enthusiastic and passionate." Currently celebrating 27 history-making years together, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials ply their musical talents with skills that have been honed to a razor's edge. They have won many awards over the years, including the Living Blues Critics' and Readers' Awards for Best Live Performer and the coveted Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.” The Big Sound Of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials mixes smoking slide guitar boogies and raw-boned shuffles with the deepest slow-burners. Lil' Ed Williams and his Blues Imperials -- bassist (and Ed's half-brother) James "Pookie" Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton -- deliver gloriously riotous, rollicking and intensely emotional blues. The Chicago Tribune calls Lil' Ed "a guitarist extraordinaire" who plays "electrifying, raucous, pure Chicago blues." ### www.ALLIGATOR.com This email was sent to AlanWhaley@btconnect.com by Alligator Records<publicity@allig.com>Click for Instant Removal

6/21/2016
Alligator 50 years

Alligator Records founder and president Bruce Iglauer

6/14/2016
FOUR ALLIGATOR ARTISTS NOMINATED FOR SIX LIVING BLUES AWARDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- June 13, 2016CONTACT: Marc Lipkin / 773-973-7736 x235EMAIL: publicity@allig.comwww.alligator.com FOUR ALLIGATOR ARTISTS NOMINATED FOR SIX LIVING BLUES AWARDS Living Blues magazine has announced the nominees for the 2016 Living Blues Readers' Awards. Four Alligator Records artists received a total of six nominations. Shemekia Copeland received three, including Blues Artist Of The Year (Female), Best Blues Album Of 2015 (New Recordings) for Outskirts Of Love and Best Live Performer. Marcia Ball, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials and Tommy Castro each received one nomination. The public -- subscribers and non-subscribers alike -- can vote at www.livingblues.com or by mailing in the ballot in the current issue of the magazine (#243), by July 15, 2016.Winners will be announced in August.SHEMEKIA COPELAND: Blues Artist Of The Year (Female)Best Blues Album Of 2015 -- Outskirts Of LoveBest Live Performer TOMMY CASTRO: Blues Artist Of The Year (Male) LIL' ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS: Best Live Performer MARCIA BALL: Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard) ### www.ALLIGATOR.com This email was sent to AlanWhaley@btconnect.com by Alligator Records<publicity@allig.com>Click for Instant Removal

6/13/2016
Midem Interview by Synchtank

During Midem we chatted to music publisher, entrepreneur, mentor, and Midem pioneer Roland Kluger. Hi Roland, can you tell us how you got into the business in the first place? It’s very simple, my father was a publisher. Unfortunately he passed when he was very young, so my brother and I took over, and that’s how we got into the music business. That was in the early 60s - a long time ago! We were very young. How did you progress from there? Well, we were then representing a lot of American publishers in France and in Benelux. The company was started in Brussels, and we had an office in Amsterdam. Later we moved also to cover France, but in the beginning we were really Benelux. During those years we represented peermusic, Screen Gems, MCA, 20th Century Fox - those were the years. We had acts such as Paul Simon, we had The Beatles for a while, Bob Dylan - you know, in those years you could. And then the business started to change. We formed a European group where there were some interesting people - we had Stig Anderson from Scandinavia, who was the manager for ABBA, and then we had the Meisels in Germany (founders of Hansa Records) out of which came Boney M and all that, and Pascal Nègre in France. It was an interesting gang. We got together to take sub-publishing rights, so we could fight or work against the majors. Publishing wasn't really seen as a big deal back then... No. As they say it’s a penny business. The publishers moved into becoming record producers, as I mentioned with Stig Anderson and Abba. And in Germany they had Boney M and all the Frank Farian productions. I had some hits in the States with a group called The Chakachas - the single 'Jungle Fever' was a top three hit, and then we had success with 'Ca Plane Pour Moi' by Plastic Bertrand. So that was what a publisher had to do to survive, we became a record producer. So it all goes in circies. Now with digital it’s a completely different scene - you’re back to content and owning rights. What was the industry like in those days? Well, it was easier, you know. The market wasn’t mature so you could do a lot of things. There was pressure, but it was not like today. In fact today we are back to the 50s because in those days mechanical income was not important. So today there's very little mechanical income and you’re back to performances, concerts and all other ancillary revenues. Who were your favourite acts to work with back then? I enjoyed working with ABBA, that was fun because we saw them from Waterloo onwards. I enjoyed working with Paul Simon, who we worked with for many, many years. ABBA with Stig Andersson in 1978. You’ve worked with people all around the world. How do other countries differ in their approach to business? It has a lot to do with the culture and the language – you don’t do business in France like you would in Germany or Scandinavia and so on. Though things are changing with new generations – it’s both generational and cultural. Some of the basics are always the same - people are people. What are your thoughts on the current industry? How have things changed for you? I’ve still kept my publishing interests, but I was active in another field for 20 years or so. When the change came with the CD, I think it became very difficult for independent producers and sub-publishers, and I could see that the industry was not prepared for the changes. I think a lot of what happens in the digital world is due to the top management of record companies, and the same applies for collecting entities - they didn’t understand what was going on. Now I think it’s a new situation where the record industry is similar to the film industry - you have a couple of major monsters in distribution, and the problem is attracting them. To do that you need a lot of things first - for an act to be successful. Then in publishing everybody realises that it's all about sync rights, film rights, all that. The music industry, which is a penny business, is back to the beginning. It's going to be saved by the digital world and by the management of data. I think the Synchtank approach is excellent - I've been looking for something like it for a couple of years. Thank you! What would be your advice for young companies now? You have to find your own feet - you have to hustle and meet new people and new generations and talk. You start from scratch. Synchtank is like the first thing you put in place, and from there you go and build your strategy. How can we move forward as an industry? What is pretty slow to me is the collecting entities process. 30 years ago they were already passé, and now it's getting even worse. But the problem is that it’s not that simple, because you need copyright protection, and to keep that, you need lobbying, you need a lot of power with politicians and politics. For that you do need the collecting entities to be strong. So on one hand you feel that yes, they should disappear because they don’t serve a purpose, but on the other hand you do need them to do that job. I think it’s going to be a slow process, where they’re going to move into a different business themselves. But the problem is that you cannot take away politics and lobbying from the collecting entities. We need the right processes to support the creativity that we're all here for. That’s right, we’re supposed to here for creativity. But in fact the creativity is taken for granted. And the problem with creativity is the tools and the management. Creativity also needs borders, it needs rules. Creative people do need rules, although they think they don’t, they do. Yeah, and creatives also need to be business minded. Yes, and that as well. I think a good benchmark to me is the luxury industry. When you see a fashion house like Yves Saint Laurent, you know that they are able to find creative people for each individual line. And now they get to a point where the brand is more important than the creator itself. So I think the music industry could learn a lot by watching how they do it. There are a lot of industries we can learn from. On your website you say that you're "focusing on the concept of the entrepreneur mentor" in 2016. Can you tell us about that? I've been doing some mentoring in the last few years, even in fields that have nothing to do with music - it's a good exercise. But now I'm focusing more on music and I see that there's a lot of start-ups in the music industry. In France there’s a lot happening, there’s a lot of young entrepreneurs that are coming up with some very good ideas and expanding. What do you think needs to change in the industry? I think that the thing to change most probably is some of the rules. You have to make sure that you can make deals - for example Europe is very different to America, because the control of rights is not the same. So you have to get writers that are in the same position as American writers so that you can make deals. Part of what we try to do, with Synchtank and all that, is worldwide deals. I think a lot of the people who will pay for music, only pay because they don’t want to have a problem - they want to have the full coverage all over the world, and that is not easy to give when we’re dealing with all the socities. So I think one thing will be to lobby to make sure that European writers have the possibility to allow someone to clear for the world. I think that is very important and can help publishers. What do you think about the French tech scene? I think the French have never been more successful, for example with Daft Punk and David Guetta. They were also successful during the disco period because Village People came from France, Cerrone came from France - there was a period of European disco throughout Germany, France, Spain. But now the tech scene is very successful. We saw your name on the boardwalk at Midem - how did that happen? There were 28 people I think who are the Midem pioneers who were there at the first meeting 50 years ago. They gave away medals to those 28 people – I received one but on the back of the medal there is no name... Well we’ll have to tell Midem to send you a new one with your name on it! I would really appreciate that – that would be nice! What did you think was the biggest surprise at Midem? During one of the talks it was revealed that Google was very interested in buying Michael Jackson’s stake in Sony/ATV. It’s not a surprise but it’s kind of confirmation that the industry is moving into another industry, and I think that’s very interesting. It shows that it’s the end of an era. What excites you about the industry? I think what is still exciting is hit records and big artists. I think that’s the exciting part - when you get something big. The rest is okay, it’s day-to-day business - it's not unpleasant, but the real excitement comes from big things. The rest is just…