Jaguar Jonze has turned one of Denis Handlin’s keynote speeches into art.
The polymath musician and visual artist (real name Deena Lynch) today releases ‘Who Died and Made You King?’, a self-empowerment electro-pop number which samples a speech made by Handlin, the former Sony Music chief and ARIA chairman.
In a snippet, which Jonze shared on Instagram, the indie-pop artist is seen standing on the grand staircase of Brisbane City Hall, surrounded by a relaxed cast of Asian-Australian women and GNC extras.
Over a pumping electronic soundbed, Handlin can be heard to say, “I believe we must have zero tolerance on those who think they are bigger than the artist. and get carried away with egos and politics. sometimes we need to work in silence and let success make the noise.”
The sample is taken from a speech delivered at the All That Matters conference in Singapore back in 2016, when Handlin had regional duties as President, Asia of Sony Music.
Reflecting on the track and its origins, Jonze explains, “Within a year, we have taken down many notable ‘kings’ or heads at the top of the music industry. This song is to both celebrate that, as well as act as warning that more downfalls and clean ups are yet to come.”
Handlin and his long reign at Sony Music will come under the microscope next Monday when Four Corners airs the documentary, ‘Facing the music: The Sony Music scandal,’ in which Jonze and others discuss the company’s workplace culture.
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Handlin was removed at Sony Music in June, after 51 years with the company, 37 of those leading the Australasian affiliate.
The ABC promises its feature will be a hard-hitter. A teaser published Thursday read, “Former Sony Music employees are breaking their silence to expose what they endured for so many years.”
In August, she won her first AIR Award for Outstanding Achievement in “calling out unacceptable behaviour and raising awareness for the industry to have a code of conduct to ensure that all practitioners operate in safe and respectful environments.”
Following the ceremony, Jonze addressed that recognition from the indie community.
“It took me a while to put up this post because – I cried when I found out and had to take some time in reflecting over the year of advocacy,” she wrote on social media.
“I am so humbled to bring home this award but I bring it home for the many voices who fought alongside me, loudly and in silence, to be able to make huge changes across the music industry in a short time together. I am so proud of our fight and strength.”
‘Who Died And Made You King?’ (via Nettwerk Records) follows previous EP releases, Diamonds & Liquid Gold (2020) and ANTIHERO (2021).