My first hit song blew up on the radio first. “I’m Awesome” got picked up by the local alt-rock station in my town, the radio station I’d grown up on. It quickly became the most requested song there and then jumped to the local pop station. Keep in mind I’d only self-released two albums at this point. I was very new to the game, and suddenly the two biggest local radio stations were playing the shit out of my stuff, which was unprecedented. No local artist had ever broken through at pop radio in my area (Portland, Maine, is not exactly known for its burgeoning rap game).
PhilipC, via Wikimedia
We lost a lot of guys during our East Coast/West Coast beef with Portland, Oregon.
The way the world works now, if you’re blowing up on the radio, you’re killing on iTunes, too. I think there’s an intern at Universal who goes through the regional iTunes charts every week, from Des Moines to Albuquerque, and looks for outliers.
“We know all the other guys on here. Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Ke$ha … who the hell is Spose?”
So this intern looked at the Portland sales and saw that I had the #1 song. I doubt I cracked the top 200 nationwide, but that was enough to get their attention. At this point, I was 24 years old and totally broke, delivering pizzas and raising a newborn. The day Universal sent me a $35,000 check for signing on with their label, my bank account was at -$800. I couldn’t even buy gas for my car without overdrafting my account again — one generally doesn’t hear Jay-Z rapping about bank fees and bus passes. CONTINUE READING
Buzz Track: Lick My Wounds
Ron Pope is buzzing with his recent release of his album which performed well on iTunes and is currently #26 on Billboard’s Heatseeker chart. Check out the video for the track for Lick My Wounds here. Ron is currently on tour in the UK, Europe, and N. America, making a stop at SXSW in March. His album release show at The Bowery Ballroom in NYC sold out way in advance, view all dates here. Highlights include two songs placed on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance and a feature in the season three premiere of The Vampire Diaries on The CW.
Buzz Track: When We Melodise
Yorkshire based Volcanoes has become a Kings favorite. They are a mix between Simon and Garfunkel, Midlake, The Shins and Echo And The Bunnymen. The band has self released 8 EPs through their website & iTunes. The band has performed with Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Artic Monkeys among others. Being new on the scene and having songs featured in MTV ‘The Hills’ and ‘Jersey Shore’, this is a band to watch.
Soon after Bruno Mars and special guests the Red Hot Chili Peppers rocked last weekend’s Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show with a impressive medley of songs, images began circulating the internet highlighting the fact that RHCP bassist Flea and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer were performing with their guitars not plugged in to a darn thing.
Photos and GIFs highlighting the Peppers guitarists’ lack of plugs generated a firestorm of criticism directed at the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Many fans felt betrayed by the band for not performing live at the high-profile event, which generated America’s largest TV audience of all-time with 11.5 million tuning in for the game between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
Given the enormity of the event, and the logistical nightmare of doing live sound in the center of an open-air stadium for a 15-minute performance, utilizing some backing tracks is a common occurrence, although many artists would make an attempt to appear live with dummy cords for their instruments. There is also the issue of the detrimental effects the cold weather can have on guitar and bass strings, particularly in regards to tuning.
It’s been suggested that Flea so openly flaunting an empty plug was his way of revealing the prerecorded aspect of the halftime performance, a sentiment supported by Flea himself, according to a recent tweet:
No trickery. No choice, but no trickery
— Flea (@flea333) February 4, 2014
Buzz Track: Graffiti
Maggie Chapman has become a Kings favorite. Check out the track Graffiti which comes off her debut EP which was produced by Luke Laird (Kacey Musgraves). Her influences include singer/songwriters such as Carole King, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks. The EP will be released in February with show dates to follow.
After a season of buildup and two weeks of feverish hype, Super Bowl XLVIII was never really a game. From the first snap, the Broncos seemed disoriented and over-matched. By halftime the game was over, and the only thing to look forward to was the halftime show. Along with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruno Mars delivered a half-time show for the ages that is dominating Monday water-cooler conversations across the country. In addition to bringing a bit of excitement to the otherwise lame Super Bowl, the performance may go down as one of the savviest marketing campaigns in the history of music.
Not at all coincidentally, Bruno Mars tickets to his upcoming tour went on sale this morning with Super Bowl buzz still ringing in over 100 million ears across the country. As a result, the market for Bruno Mars tickets is on fire. Since this morning, the average price for his Moonshine Jungle Tour is up $150 to an average price of $500. While there are some tickets left on the primary market for select shows, many are already sold out. Ticketmaster also seem to be struggling to keep with demand, and had to switch from their interactive seating maps for most events, including Bruno Mars Madison Square Garden tickets.
2014 saw some impressive uses of big events for self-promotion. Miley Cyrus in particular stood out for her provocative performance at MTVs Video Music Awards. With an audience of 10 million tuning in, it served her purpose to perfection and was a shotgun graduation ceremony from Hanna Montana to Miley Cyrus. In part becuase of the VMAs, Miley Cyrus tickets for her upcoming tour are a hot item. Despite the hype engine that Miley has built, however, she’s still not sold out for many of the dates on her Bangerz tour. CONTINUE READING
The baby-faced 28-year-old’s performance, watched by millions, should be termed as ‘concert of the year’. The Super Bowl XVIII halftime show featuring Bruno Mars was quite a doubt-raiser from the start.
Back in September, when NFL announced that the singer-songwriter Bruno would provide the tunes during the intermission of Super Bowl XLVIII, the news was met with utter disbelief. And there was much relief among fans, when it was announced that Red Hot Chili Peppers will be performing along Bruno, who was born two years after RHCP came into existence.
Now that the big game is over, it would not be wrong to say that it was really Bruno, who technically won the 2014 Super Bowl. The relatively young artist, without much fame or recognition, had the Super Bowl viewers, who have seen bigger stars such as Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and the Who, tapping to his tunes. CONTINUE READING
Buzz Track: We Were Just Kids
Kings favorite Radical Something just released the debut single and music video off their upcoming Album. The song has already cracked top #100 on iTunes Alternative Songs chart and is featured on Twitter Music as the #1 Emerging Song. The video was directed by Alexi Papalexopoulos, the rising L.A.-based filmmaker who recently shot videos for Big Boi, Theophilus London, T.I. and more. Since releasing their EP No Sweat in February 2012, reaching #6 on the iTunes Overall Albums charts and #33 on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart, Radical Something has headlined over 60 shows throughout the U.S., while using their time off the road in L.A. to write and record new material.