Taken a listen now:
Decca Records UK today announced details of an innovative interactive outdoor advertising campaign: two unique outdoor billboards, each with a large free blank space where members of the public are invited to write messages and answer an important question posed by world renowned vocalist and songwriter Melody Gardot: “What is our worth? And how do we define it”?
The billboards (located in Kensington and Loughborough Junction, London) have attracted hundreds of members of the public who have written messages and created illustrations, sharing their personal thoughts on the philosophical question, which inspired Melody’s new album, Currency of Man.
Interestingly and perhaps surprisingly, entries have been predominantly sincere with one person writing: “Picking up those who fall” and stating humanities worth should be defined by “How We Care For Others”. The campaign also includes a microsite, designed to be an online space for people to answer the question “What is our worth”. It also features a selection of comments made on the physical billboard, making it a fully integrated multimedia campaign.
The wider marketing campaign also features innovative fly posters, which are currently being distributed, featuring comments and contributions made by the public to the two billboards. Media advertising will feature full-page music magazine adverts, which differ significantly from traditional music industry advertising and instead focus on statements written by Melody Gardot highlighting the thought provoking message behind her new release. The campaign also includes the creation of a Melody Gardot bank note, with plans in place for an exciting media moment using the new currency, to take place at a later point in the campaign. Plans are also in place for an international roll out of the marketing campaign across various key European and US territories, with content created by Melody and responses from the public already being translated into several languages.
Decca Digital Marketing Manager Emilly Waller stated: “The campaign is designed to reflect Melody’s ‘reflective-collective’ thinking around the album and seek community through music. We wanted to create something that echoed this desire to provoke conversation and we are really pleased it has been so successful. By giving people the opportunity to think about their and our collective worth, we hope to attract awareness and encourage thought, not only about the album but about our current society and the different views within it.”
Melody Gardot stated: “To me, the songs are questioning and also defining what it means to be alive. What is our worth, and how do we define it? Is it down to money? Is it down to legacy? Is it down to our own personal achievements on a daily basis? For this I mark the disc currency of man. This album is about our worth in this world, and how everyone no matter their status, or origins or color of their skin holds a purpose.”
The label have also created a video to highlight the campaign’s key features:
Visit the website to post your comment now: http://currencyofman.com/
Tip #3 – Online Music PR 101 – Be careful what you take on
Some PRs try and keep the books balanced by taking on as many projects as possible. When I started D Digital I promised myself I wouldn’t take on anything that didn’t have musical merit, I didn’t like personally or if my workload was too high. It might seem like everything will be OK but it won’t. You won’t achieve any results as you won’t have any time to work the projects, or you won’t achieve any results as the artist is not in the position to gain coverage, or you aren’t the right person for the job.
My view is: if your not excited about a project, don’t take it on. If you are too busy, don’t take it on. Your boss/bank manager might be pressuring you to bring in more cash, but it shouldn’t be at the cost to your career.
Transparency – a client told me recently that one of the reasons she liked working with me is that D Digital is transparent. It was a lovely compliment, but it is quite telling about how some online music PR’s operate. We are always honest. PR’s can have a reputation for bending the truth, but I think when it comes to your clients, you’ve got to tell it straight. If an artist is under performing, you need to communicate this, your on the pay roll to achieve results, but really a client is employing you for your experience and your contacts… I would council any online music PR professional, to keep your client in the loop… even if it’s not good news, if you communicate clearly in a timely fashion, and come up with solutions to problems, then they will trust and value the work you do.
Keep reports detailed and on time. Don’t give them in late or with fuzzy detail
Keep your client in the loop – don’t be afraid to call / email… some PRs don’t want to bother their clients too much, but they are paying you to bother them. Chase them, they want results and they don’t mind if you keep on them if you need answers in order to achieve results.
Give them the bad news – bad news is hard to deliver sometimes, but if you have a plan and a solution in mind, then it shouldn’t be a problem for long
Watch the Preacherman video now on the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation website: http://www.emmetttilllegacyfoundation.com
Melody stated: “The profound nature of our existence is that we are able at any moment to connect to anyone, anywhere. History is there to remind us of how far we’ve come, and every day our journey is to continue with that progress of becoming more wise, more compassionate and more considerate human beings. Remembering Emmett Till through song is a way to remind people that there is no need to continue with senseless crimes. Race and racism do no go hand in hand. We are only one race: human.”
Considered a flash point in the chain of events that sparked the civil rights movement, Emmett Till’s murder showed many the full brutality of racial prejudice in the United States, particularly due to the heroic approach of his mother, who made the extremely brave decision to have an open coffin at Emmett’s funeral, so as not to mask the full brutality of the crime.
The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation stated, “Melody Gardot’s tribute to the legacy of Emmett Till via the video, Preacher Man and song, helps to take each of us on an important emotional journey back in history. Preacher Man, sadly also raises our consciousness, as we witness the haunting tragedy of 14-year-old Emmett Till’s death on August 28, 1955. At the same time, Melody’s lyrics remind us of the many sons and daughters who, in more recent years have met a similar fate as Emmett…We must forgive to move forward, but we must never forget our history. The past is not past. We thank Melody for Preacher Man and for remembering Emmett Till with such a timely and emotionally touching tribute!”*
The choir vocals we hear on the track are uniquely sourced from Melody’s fans via Facebook, after Melody put out a personal request for fans to submit their vocal recordings for the choir section of the song. Melody then worked with a sound engineer to include hundreds of fan vocal takes on the final recording.
Watch the Preacherman video now on the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation website: http://www.emmetttilllegacyfoundation.com
Preacherman is out now, available to download here http://po.st/PreachermaniTuPrem
For further information on the Preacherman video and Melody Gardot’s new album Currency Of Man, released: 1 June 2015 on Decca Records, visit: http://melodygardot.co.uk
Notes to editors:
The Preacherman video will be available to view on the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation website on Thursday 23 April. http://www.emmetttilllegacyfoundation.com
*Full statement from the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation
Melody Gardot’s tribute to the legacy of Emmett Till via the video, Preacher Man and song, helps to take each of us on an important emotional journey back in history. Preacher Man, sadly also raises our consciousness, as we witness the haunting tragedy of 14 year old Emmett Till’s death on August 28, 1955. At the same time, Melody’s lyrics remind us of the many sons and daughters who, in more recent years have met a similar fate as Emmett. All have gone tragically and much too soon, but should never be forgotten. The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation is especially honored as we enter a special time of remembrance, commemorating the 60 year anniversary of Emmett Till’s death and the courage of Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley. Emmett Till’s kidnapping, murder, open casket funeral along with the acquittal and later confession of the murderers shook the core of America and the world and is recognized as the impetus for the powerful civil rights movement.
The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation (lead by Co-Founder and Till family member/cousin, Deborah Watts) is continuing to build a bridge from the past to the present and future. Hoping to globally elevate our sense of humanity beyond the death of our innocence, our hope and the legacy of violence in the world today. We are seeing the “hands on the clock” move backwards. Today and into the future, as we are #RememberingEmmettTill and in the #SpiritofMamieTillMobley, we ask you to join us and unite with others to move those “hands on the clock” forward. Too many sacrifices and achievements have been made to keep silent and allow our very existence to remain as it stands today. We must forgive to move forward, but we must never forget our history. The past is not past. We thank Melody for Preacher Man and for remembering Emmett Till with such a timely and emotionally touching tribute!
Watch and share this powerful video now….
The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation (ETLF), is a 501c3 non-profit organization established in 2005, to preserve the memory and legacy of 14 year old Emmett Louis Till (born July 25, 1941 and brutally murdered August 28, 1955 in Money, Mississippi, for whistling at a white women, Carolyn Bryant) and in honor of his mother Mamie Till Mobley. Through E-TILL, the Emmett Till Institute for Learning and Leadership, we are “Creating a Legacy of Hope” and “Building Bridges from the Past to the Present and Future”; by offering scholarships for higher education, creating and delivering programming, curriculum and film screenings that educates and raises awareness of Emmett’s place in history and relevance today. We have a platform that allows for important intergenerational dialogue, the development of workable solutions to minimize the effects of racism and to effectively address issues facing youth today. ETLF also enhances and expands its work by collaborating with others on initiatives that inspire, expose, empower and equip youth, women and their families to achieve justice, know and exercise their rights, live long and healthier lives, achieve their fullest potential, for a better tomorrow.
A tax deductible donation to support our efforts can be made at www.emmetttilllegacyfoundation.com
Follow us www.twitter.com/EmmettTill @emmetill
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emmett-Till-Legacy-Foundation/138927669624
Make the Never Again Pledge at the “Never Again” Movement and Pledge Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Never-Again-Movement-and-Pledge/136014269806914
For more information on Emmett’s story please visit:
100% of all income received by Decca from Vevo views of the “Preacherman” video will be paid through to the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation for the first year following initial UK release.
A successful launch for new client Fezzee, with pieces across key publications: T3, Hype Bot, Event Magazine and Music Ally!
First British country band to hit the UK Official Albums Chart Top 10
In a ground-breaking chart first, The Shires – Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle (from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire) – have become the first British country band to reach the Top 10 in the Official UK Album Chart with their debut ‘Brave’, released this week.
The duo, who recently became the first UK signing to the re-launched Decca Nashville label, have today reached No.10 in the charts. Having overtaken Hozier, and just behind Paloma Faith, The Shires now sit comfortably alongside mainstream pop acts such as Kelly Clarkson, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.
Official Charts Company Chief Executive Martin Talbot, confirmed this unprecedented achievement, “This is a fantastic feat by this young British country duo. No country act has ever made this kind of impact on the chart before – it is truly remarkable.”
The Shires’ record-breaking chart position is further evidence of the current cultural shift of country music moving eastwards from Nashville. From Dolly Parton’s Pyramid Stage set at Glastonbury last summer, to the increasingly successful annual Country to Country Festival at The O2 (at which The Shires are performing four times this weekend), and the popularity of recent hit musical TV show ‘Nashville’, never before has the country music genre had such a following in this country. Young British artists are now identifying with country singers such as Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves, who have re-defined the genre by eradicating old stereotypes and appealing to a much younger audience.
BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris comments on the phenomenon:
“I’ve been doing the country show for 15 years now, and in the whole of that time I’ve never known things to be quite as exciting as they are today … Country is now appealing to a completely new, young generation”
After forming in 2013, The Shires very quickly attracted industry fans and mainstream radio support, sparking much interest from the press in the rapidly growing popularity of country music in the UK.
“It’s a chance for country, one of music’s most maligned genres, to have its day in the sun”
– Q magazine
While other pop or folk acts have hit the upper reaches of the Official Singles Chart with individual country songs (for instance, Lena Martell or Jimmy Nail), no act has made such an impact at the upper levels of the Official Albums Chart with a genuine country album – as verified by the UK branch of the Country Music Association.
Director of BBC Music and CMA board member, Bob Shennan, comments: “From the very first play, The Shires have proved to be a class act. They also prove that a British artist can create authentic country music – and the fact that BBC Music has supported them via BBC Introducing and now Radio 2 is testament to their obvious talent and songwriting ability. We hope they can take Nashville by storm!”
As country music continues to penetrate British culture, today it is The Shires who are firmly at the forefront.
As the Sunday Times declared, “Country is being reborn – in Bedford”.
Single ‘FRIDAY NIGHT’ & debut album ‘BRAVE’ are out now, on DECCA NASHVILLE
The Shires Headline UK Tour
8th April: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
9th April: Gateshead, Sage 2
10th April: Glasgow, Oran Mor Auditorium
12th April: Manchester, Academy 3
13th April: Milton Keynes, The Stables
14th April :London, Union Chapel
15th April: Bristol, Bierkeller
17th April: Birmingham, Institute
18th April: Oxford, O2 Academy 2
19th April: Brighton, Concorde 2
21st April: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
22nd April: Pocklington, Arts Centre