Posts Tagged ‘Columbia Records’

Why Willow Is Winning

October 20, 2010

Willow Smith has been in the game for a minute. She’s appeared in a couple films and is now taking the music world by storm.

Willow has captured the imagination of music listeners of all ages with her certified smash hit “Whip My Hair”. The video debuts this week on BET during 106 & Park.

Check it out here:

No shots Rih Rih, but a nine year-old has managed to steal your thunder without baring so much as a midriff. As tweeted by poet Bassey Ikpi (my edits on the f -bomb):

@BasseyworldLive: Somewhere Rhianna is poking the f*** out of a 9 year old size voo doo doll.

I’m not pitting these female acts against one another, that’s not my steez. Y’all know this. But I can’t help but notice that Willow’s record is getting crazy media buzz, lots of airplay, and has the Internets all aflutter, without any sexualization whatsoever, while it’s *crickets* over there for the ironically titled upcoming release for Rihanna, Loud.

Now, she’s the nine year-old daughter of Hollywood Power Couple Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, who have both been in the business since they were teens. Of course they would make sure their baby’s clothes were on at all times.

But we can’t say that of all Hollywood parents, so we shouldn’t take it for granted. Just ask the Ramseys. Or for that matter, mad parents from the ‘hood to the trailer park who let their little girls pop their coochies at family gatherings.

Willow wins because the quality is there. The song is hot. It’s age-appropriate–and still manages to be fun for listerners her age and above. She wins because the Ray-Kay lensed video is beautifully produced with kids of all colors having a blast, acting and dancing their respective ages and showing less skin than I’ve seen in a video in quite some time. Sad that it’s so rare, it’s become refreshing. She is also advocating for full self-expression. It doesn’t mean bad behavior. It means feeling free while letting others see. And if there’s no other time in life one can do this, it’s at her age. I say “go for it”.

Willow also wins because she is surrounded by a top-knotch team of experienced professionals, both related and unreleated to her–who have her best interests at heart, and are not trying to sell her out for a quick buck or 15 minutes of their own fame, like some of these celebrity parents and managers out here. This is something I warn against in my book. Overbook, Roc Nation, and Columbia Records know what they have and I am sure will be keeping themselves (and one another) accountable for the span of her career, as all entities who hold the careers of others in their hands should.

Finally, Willow wins because she is sending multiple positive messages from an industry that spews negative ones ad nauseam.

She tells girls who look like her that their hair is perfect the way it is and to whip it. She tells everyone to rise above negativity and continue to live their lives, having fun while they’re at it. And she tells young Black Girls that they rock! Just in time for Black Girls Rock! Founder Beverly Bond’s upcoming Awards show on BET of the same name, airing November 7th at 8pm EST. It is an amazing, must-watch, must-DVR situation. And I predict that she’ll be getting the Who Got Next award very soon.

I am praying that Willow sells so many records, labels rush to snap up more wholesome young people to make music for their own demographic and the parents who raise them–especially young artists of color. The urban youth market exists, label guys and gals. Don’t box them into listening to music that’s too grown for them. You see how they buy gadgets and shoes, give them some good fund music to throw in the bag!

Thank you Willow, for handling your entertainment business! Continued fulfillment and success to you!

Bonus track: Fraggle Roc Nation Remix of Sesame Street’s ‘I Love My Hair’

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4AVd8El-QY]

SISTER SWANS: YVETTE GAYLE

June 3, 2009

YVETTE D. GAYLE
VP Publicity for Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records

Yvette D. Gayle

Yvette D. Gayle

SISTER SWAN

1. What are you working on right now?
50 Cent, Keri Hilson, and a stable of new up and coming R&B, Hip Hop, and Pop/Rock artists

2. What book(s) are you reading?
Put Your Dreams First: HYEB. It’s inspiring ☺.

I have a 3 year old and am addicted to buying him books. So this week we are reading The Lazy Lion, Hungry Hyena and Laughing Giraffe by Mwenye Hadithi & Adrienne Kennaway.

My favorite books are: Celestine Prophecy, Tuesdays With Morrie and A Pilot’s Wife.

3. Share something you do for work that’s harder than it looks.
The RED CARPET – folks think it is such a glamorous thing and you just show up and saunter down the press line and your celebrity gets covered. What about the tough times you show up with a client that no one wants to talk to. You run around like a maniac pulling all the “favors” you can. It can be quite embarrassing for you and for the artist especially if no one is interested. Artists often want to walk the red carpet before they actually should be walking the carpet. You have to be newsworthy to be deemed important to talk to but everyone wants to be in the mix. Publicists often have to juggle several clients at once. We try to give them particular times to show up but most of the time they run late and more than one shows up at once. That’s horrific. It’s impossible to clone myself and make everyone feel like they are the most important artist. But that’s a big part of my job.

4. Describe a moment of sweet vindication.
When folks think my artist is down and out and they actually come out swinging and shut all the haters up.

5. What’s the most dangerous aspect of the waters you navigate?
When the beef between artists turns to the streets it can get a little heavy. Traveling on the road with 14 men in bullet proof vests always seemed to raise the “Are You Crazy” eyebrows from friends and family but oddly enough I felt more comfortable on the road doing what I do best.

6. Name two places you call home.
A Business Class Flight (it’s the only place folks can’t track you down). My actual home as I try to create a separate space where work doesn’t infiltrate.

7. Who are your influences?
I’d have to say that Yvette Noel-Schure and Miguel Baguer have been the biggest influences in my career. They gave me my first job at Columbia 15 years ago. Yikes. I wanted to be just like them and tried to be a great publicist just like them.

8. What is your favorite creative food?
My husband and I took a Thai cooking class in Chang Mai, Thailand a few years
ago. I’d say the Red Curry Duck is the most creative thing I can make. It’s
delicious!

9. What is your guilty pleasure?
Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Thembisa S. Mshaka Speaks on Beyonce’ in The Village Voice

February 3, 2009
Read as the Put Your Dreams First author speaks on the icon’s work ethic and relationship to the media in Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond’s examination of the megastar and her alter-ego, Sasha Fierce:

http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-12-17/music/on-the-method-behind-beyonc-eacute-s-multiple-personality-madness/.

Put Your Dreams First: Handle Your [entertainment] Business features three key the architects of Beyonce’s brand: Columbia Records Media SVP Yvette Noel-Schure; VP of Marketing Quincy Jackson; and Beyonce’s hair stylist, Kimberly Kimble.

Year of Loving Dangerously: The Grammy Nomination ad Mshaka crafted for Dangerously In Love in 2004.
In no other book do these equally fierce executives share their experiences in the business. Want to know how Beyonce’ achieved and maintains her stardom? Find out from the industry veteran-turned author who helped her do it.

“Her ability to balance creativity with commerce has contributed greatly to the success of Beyonce’, Kelly, and Michelle individually and collectively as Destiny’s Child.”
—Mathew Knowles, CEO, Music World Entertainment and manager, Beyonce’

Individual checkerboard style breakouts in outdoor advertising began with Mshaka’s treatment of Destiny’s Child for the Survivor campaign, and set each member up for their solo careers.
Pre-order your copy of Put Your Dreams First on Amazon.com today:
http://www.amazon.com/Put-Your-Dreams-First-entertainment/dp/0446409464
Media contact: Tanisha Christie, Hachette 212.364.1260 * Tanisha.Christie@hbgusa.com
Author Thembisa S. Mshaka delivers mentorship in a bottle for anyone who dreams of sucess in entertainment, especially women.
Street Date: April 23 from Hachette Book Group USA