Rated Reads this week takes a look at a new celebrity trend on TikTok, Charli XCX's new documentary and smaller artists' struggle to leave Spotify.

Charli XCX’s Alone Together documentary is an immersive peek into creative life during COVID-19

Many of us did not accomplish a great deal creatively during COVID lockdown (do we count sourdough starters as creative? That’s hypothetical – I didn’t make any), but many of us are not Charli XCX. The pop star put together a whole new album during lockdown, and a brand new documentary, largely shot by XCX herself, peels back behind the curtain on its process. The Fader has a look at the immersive new film.

‘That’s Not My Name’: TikTok’s Most Corporate Celebrity Meme, Explained

The celebs are at it again – but don’t worry, it’s good this time. The stars of Gen X have been hitting TikTok to neatly summarise some of their biggest roles in a way even the kids can understand. It was kickstarted by Alicia Silverstone, but loads have gotten in on the action, from Drew Barrymore to Christina Aguilera. Sure, it’s a corporate meme, but have you considered that Kyle MacLachlan, aka the real Agent Cooper, got in on it? That Drew Barrymore shouted out her role in Santa Clarita Diet, and also her iconic opening scene in Scream? Live a little.



Begun, the Spotify wars have. The streaming service has dominated headlines this week as numerous famous musicians, most notably Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, have pulled their music catalogues in response to Spotify’s hosting of the Joe Rogan podcast. Young and Mitchell have departed for pastures new, but for artists without their decades of fame, it’s a little murkier, and the Guardian has taken a peek into the harsh realities of relying on Spotify as a smaller, rising artist.

Why BBC Three is returning to TV, by the people behind its comeback

For six years, there’s been a hole in the BBC’s fleet of channels. Counting up, you’d go one, two – four? BBC Three was once a haven of top British shows like Gavin & Stacey, In the Flesh and Being Human, but the channel migrated to online-only in 2016. Yet it’s been doing pretty well in its iPlayer home, notching up hits like Fleabag and Normal People, and the BBC have parlayed that success into moving Three back to its rightful place. The I chats to channel controller Fiona Campbell on now why was the right time for Three’s return. For sceptics: there’s a new Sally Rooney adaptation on it this year. Come on now.

I Trained With BTS. Here’s What It’s Like To Be So Close to Making It.

It would be the greatest understatement in the multiverse to call BTS a “big deal”. Every social media post barraged with millions of likes, every arena show sold out in seconds – you know the deal. But what about the people involved who didn’t quite make it? Vice sits down with Kim ji-hun, a former trainee who almost made it to inclusion within the group, about what it’s like to have nearly made it.

How capitalism is destroying your friendships

Capitalism has destroyed quite a few things. The environment, electoral politics, several world nations… etc. Now it’s turning on one of the last pure things, our friendships. At I-D, Daisy Schofield examines how post-pandemic individualism and that grindset mindset has cut into the human connection we need – and how the same connection can help to rescue us from a life under the Bezos Dome. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but some of that is best spent grabbing a coffee with your friend. Sorry, Molly Mae.

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