Observer Music Monthly promises to cater for diverse tastes with features on everything from the ancient music-making of the Aka Pygmies to Mercury award-winning rapper Dizzee Rascal.
The monthly supplement goes out for the first time this Sunday and follows the introduction of Sport Monthly and Food Monthly. The Observer has yet to reveal whether a new supplement is in the pipeline to fill the fourth monthly spot.
Music Monthly is being launched with a free CD from the band Blur, featuring five tracks, and is being backed up by TV, radio and print advertising. The Observer declined to reveal how much it has invested in the new magazine.
The monthly title has a full-time staff of two, editor Caspar Llewellyn Smith, formerly assistant editor of the Saturday Telegraph magazine, and Luke Bainbridge, who was editorial director of City Life magazine in Manchester.
Freelance contributors include Paul Morley, Gary Mulholland and Tom Cox.
Llewellyn Smith said: “A lot of music writers have been keen to get involved because it gives them the opportunity to do things they can’t do in other places. “For a number of different reasons we get great access to very big stars.
Everything in the first issue of Observer Music Monthly is stuff I’d be really keen to read myself. You can be as interested in pop music as you can be in a 4,000-word piece about the Aka Pygmies from the Central Africa Republic, who make some of the oldest known music on earth. “People these days can be as interested in that as they are in who Britney Spears is snogging at the moment, which is also something we look at. “That breadth is something you don’t get in other music titles, but it is something you have to do as a broadsheet newspaper appealing to a wider audience.”
The launch issue of Observer Music Monthly also features an interview with Blur, a competition to have Turin Brakes play in a reader’s living room and comedian Ricky Gervais on David Bowie.
By Dominic Ponsford