UrbanElite Promotions have worked with many international artists and labels over the years.
Below are a few examples with keypoint summaries. In addition over the past few years we’ve worked with artists such as TQ, Peter Jackson, Tha Vill & Kele Le Roc, Vast Aire, Chima Anya, Idris Elba, Bumpy Knuckles, Ultramagnetic MCs, Skyzoo, Cyclonious, Ras Ceylon, EtheMadAssassin, La Bruja, Verbal Threat & many more. You can read a list of those artists and the nature of the campaign HERE
( Click HOME to be returned to the main page and view press coverage, videos and singles of current campaigns )
Detroit MC Kid Vishis released his debut album “Timing is Everything” on 22nd July 2014. A highly skilled lyricist….as you’d expect from the younger brother of Royce da 5’9″….while this may have been his first studio album, he brought nearly 10 years of experience to the table from his own “Sick ‘Em” mixtape series, touring internationally and learning from some of the best in the game in the process, and appearing on many of his brother’s releases through the years.
The album was a statement of his arrival, with no other featured artists appearing with the exception of his brother on the final track.
There had been limited media coverage in the past, mainly again due to the fact that previous releases had consisted of either mixtapes or stand alone audio & video releases. While known to some members of the press, particularly in the States, the name was relatively new to most international media.
We began the press campaign mid May allowing us the optimum 2 – 2.5 months lead up time to release, and it continued to run into September for residual coverage equating to the standard 4 month total period expected for album campaigns.
While we had provided a tester service late 2013 for the singles Heaven & Look At All My $hit, the 11 track album length limited the availability of further new singles and videos to service to international onlines & DJs until the emergence of the official video for Talk Behind My Back. New lyric & concept videos were made for the two previously released singles however, and they were shared throughout the internet during the initial stages.
Aside from the widespread blog and dj support garnered for the individual audio & video releases, we secured specific “album focused” coverage in over 60 worldwide publications. This took the form of reviews, interviews, news pieces and special features, appearing in titles from the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Holland, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. Interviews were arranged either in person or by other means with provision made in many cases to facilitate requests from writers and journalists to speak with the artist directly.
Snapshot examples would include publications such as HipHop DX, Kevin Nottingham, Hot New Hip Hop, Straight Fresh, Hip Hop Vibe, Hip Hop Durso, Nikkisiix, Face 2 Face, Embassy 730 and 7th Boro in the States, Wordplay, British Hip Hop, I Am Hip Hop, Hip Hop Kings, Guestlist, Flavour, God is in the TV, Hit The Floor, Kix Magazine and Sabotage Times in the UK, Germany’s Backspin, Spain’s Hip Hop Life, France’s SURL, New Zealand’s When Did You Fall in Love with Hip Hop, the global online The Word is Bond and many more.
Special features were also set up, including an interview / freestyle video (edited by ourselves) premiere piece with France’s Hip Hop 4 Life, a video interview conceived & delivered by ourselves for The Rap Up and a further video interview with The Underground Vault. We also arranged for Kid Vishis to meet with The Beeshine while in NYC for the Total Slaughter event and their interview was also filmed in the city.
Having serviced the album to publications worldwide, reviews appeared in international publications including the UK’s Blues & Soul, SBTV, Data Transmission, Blacksheep, Clash, Sampleface & Bearded, Italy’s Hip Hop Rec, France’s Sagittarius HH, Switzerland’s BMint and the USA’s Premiere Hip Hop, Vann Digital and Rap Essence.
Further introductory activity took place with highline international online & physical publications who have noted their interest in the artist as an ongoing concern. We also assisted the artist and label with some future release logistical planning, the results of which will be seen over the next 12 months.
It was an exceptional international response to a debut album by an independent hip hop artist, though simply reflects the extent of Kid Vishis’ talent while re-emphasizing the increasing level of interest and support we have found for superior hip hop lyricism and production by media worldwide.
London Emcee & producer Apex Zero is at an early stage of his career although had for the past few years built a reputation on the local live circuit as a member of the group Pantheonz on Zenn-La and also as part of the city’s hip hop duo First and Last.
Releases comprised mainly of mixtapes or features, and the new album “Reality Provoking Liberation” was not only his debut solo studio album release, but debut studio album of any description
2 years in the making & largely self produced, this was a new experience for the artist, both in terms of releasing an official album and working with a professional media PR company. We were assisted by the fact that, just as with his general approach to his music he was keen to take on board any advice given, has a very proactive attitude and excellent work ethic.
We spent some time developing various logistical aspects ahead of the campaign commencing to ensure all assets required were in place and that the album was ready for market. We also provided customary guidance in terms of media and general public relations & profile presentation.
The primary aim was to introduce the name & release to hip hop specialist publications given his style would would likely be well received by these titles. As the artist had limited previous media coverage, we would liaise with this specific media sector as a sounding board for early feedback and source of support for the release.
Audio and video releases would be serviced to a wider international range of online platforms and djs as is standard within our capacity. We arranged for his audio release A Meeting of the Continents to be premiered on The Rap Up.
Within the initial stages of the campaign in early August 2013, we also ensured that there would be an album launch party in London to act as focal point event assisting the album’s release on 28th October. We had a local live promoter work with the artist to have this arranged and this was confirmed within 6 weeks.
An early series of video and audio releases, combined with early press feedback indicated a consistent appreciation of the artist’s approach and subject matter which would give rise to a wider potential level of media coverage. Over time, and as familiarity grew among the media and public with concentrated early phase activity, we received an increasing number of confirmed cases who would be covering the release.
Where publications’ content was more concentric around features, face to face and conference call interviews were arranged, whichever form most suited the magazine’s representative. Radio interviews were planned and took place in the lead up to the album being released.
As with similar campaigns, the early preparation work and phased planning again proved beneficial over a lead up time of 2.5 months from beginning to release.
We saw a wide range of titles covering the release with review and feature coverage, culminating in a 4 star review in the December edition of the renowned national physical publication MOJO. The spread of magazine coverage again provides evidence of a healthy market and interest in “traditional” hip hop and appreciation for skilled, intelligent lyricism. The variety of titles demonstrates this : from traditional specialists such as UKHH, British Hip Hop, Underground HH, Hip Hop In English, Wordplay, Word is Bond, Sampleface, Hip Hop Kings to cross genre magazines such as Subba Cultcha, Clash, DataTransmission, Flavour, AAA Music, The Skinny, Whatculture, London Word, In-Spirels, Blacksheep, PopCulturez, Guestlist, UCL, Musiceyz and many more.
In the month following release in the build up to the launch event we arranged further residual coverage, some of which is set to go live in the early part of 2014.
The overall return exceeded initial expectations given the artist’s limited media history and public profile at outset combined with what would be commonly considered as a niche market release. However as the story developed over time, this generated increased levels of interest & coverage, and we were delighted at the deserved level of recognition the artist received
The full international media campaign for London’s Melanin 9 and his debut album “Magna Carta” released on 3rd December 2012, with the main focus of coverage in the UK.
Over 50 separate publications covered the release with reviews or special features. Written press, online and physical publications, these included MOJO, Q Magazine, Clash Magazine, Hype Magazine (South Africa), International Hip Hop (France), The Find Magazine (global), Rap Reviews, Audio Cred & Surviving The Golden Age (all USA), K Mag, Wordplay Magazine, Guestlist Network, Flavour Magazine, Echoes Magazine, British Hip Hop, Hip Hop Kings, The Hip Hop Chronicle, Blatantly Blunt, The Skinny, Music OMH, Bonafide, Data Transmission, What Culture, MTV Wrap Up, Huck Magazine,Sabotage Times, In Spirels, Live Magazine, Hit The Floor and many more. At the time of writing, there are still more magazines confirmed as covering into the early part of 2013
Special radio and online tv features also arranged, including Choice FM, Funhouse TV, Rawroots, Blatantly Blunt, SBTV (featured by The Source USA)
International radio & online servicing of the singles and videos for Organised Democracy, Landslide & Pistola. Facilitated the premiere of the video “White Russian” featuring Roc Marciano with Stateside online Nah Right, a video also featured by 2 Dope Boys, Complex, The Source, Hip Hop DX and many more trans Atlantic platforms. Additional logistical assistance was also provided by us per release, including promotional cover design and provision of radio edits
Online promotions of the album launch event which took place at The Vibe Bar London on Friday 23rd November, an event also featured by online God Is In The TV, and arranged media presence on the night
The broad spectrum of coverage over a concentrated period of time grew from a strong foundation via key hip hop tastemakers through to more general “urban music” publications and developed on with some of the biggest general music magazines in the country.
Combined with the role played by radio & special features by online tv platforms, added to by unprecedented levels of Stateside coverage for a UK release, the campaign produced a far higher level of overall exposure than would ordinarily be expected. In turn, this has provided the artist with a far higher return on the current album than experienced by contemporary counterparts, and has also positioned a greater level of profile for the longer term.
The campaign ran with the minimum 2.5 month lead up time to release date, required for UK media to ensure all editorial deadlines could be met, continuing for another 1.5 months post release to pick up on residual feature coverage. Early traction gained by a combination of our setting out a set release schedule, arrangement of special features and street level coverage which produced the momentum & overall profile. This built further interest resulting in the groundswell of coverage, peaking at release and continuing for the immediate period following on.
Total activity period mid September to late January, to also account for the fall off period during Xmas and New Year.
2011 – 2012, still ongoing, the new album by Ohio’s Copywrite, “God Save The King (Proper English Version)”. Without doubt the most involved we’ve ever been from the album’s conception in early 2011 & facilitating its completion, overseeing affiliated video shoots and arranging editing and post production. Assistance in the manufacturing of promotional materials from physical album stock, clean edits and affiliated audio/video slides & physical video Beta tapes. This album has been unique in the quality of production, matched by Copywrite’s own delivery and the range of quality artists featuring from both sides of the Atlantic. Our main page has many examples of press already gone live, and at the time of writing there are still many more to go live to coincide with the final release date of 7th August 2012. This will also include key physical publications Q Magazine, Wordplay, Echoes and DJ Magazine. The series of single releases and videos has seen us service onlines internationally and received Trans Atlantic support from The Hip Hop Chronicle, Soulculture, The Jump Off, Hip Hop Kings, SBTV, 2 Dope Boyz, 57th Avenue, UGHH and many more, with further international dj support. Copy press is from Beatnik Magazine
The final phase of this campaign will involve European and UK tour dates, and work is already underway via our central booking affiliates for these to take place from January 2013.
Twice we handled Uk tour press for Detroit’s D12. First in the spring of 2009 when they were joined for dates in Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin & London by Royce da 5 9 and Classified. The first visit saw them interviewed on BBC Radio 1 and Kiss FM, a wide selection of online tv stations and written press.
The second visit in the summer of 2010 was in conjubction with the work we did on Bizarre’s solo album “Friday Night at St Andrews” and their appearances at the festivals Wireless in London and T in the Park in Scotland where they were performing with Eminem. The second visit saw radio interviews with Kiss, Galaxy, BBC 1Xtra with Tim Westwood (see video above), The Hip Hop Chronicle, SBTV, Flava TV, MTV & many other online and physical publications
SOULS OF MISCHIEF
2009 / 2010 – Souls of Mischief with their first album in almost 10 years, Montezuma’s Revenge. The album release date was March 2010, but their brief visit in November 2009 allowed us to set up a crucial press day ensuring early key support to launch the overall promotional activity. Included a mix of press, radio & online tv. An official tour was arranged for March 2010 and so a mix of single review and album review coverage was set up in the interim in conjunction with the features. Radio support came via a series of releases from the album. On their return in Spring 2010, a further media day was set up which this time included interviews with Choice FM and BBC 1xtra. An F64 with SBTV had been filmed during the initial visit late 2009. The conclusion of the 5 month campaign saw sell out dates throughout the UK and Europe. Copy press is a review of the single “Proper Aim” in London’s Metro Newspaper
KRATE KRUSADERS & GENESIS ELIJAH
2010 – promoted the collaboration album with UK producers Krate Krusaders and Brixton MC Genesis Elijah, “Before I Was Famous”. First full album release from the much respected MC for several years. Over 3 months secured across the board press support, assisted by 2 special media days in London to coincide with the album launch. These interviews included key online tv, physical & online press and radio. Singles and video also enjoyed a extensive of support from within the UK hip hop community. Gen subsequently built on this level of exposure with his own solo material and can be heard regularly on Kiss FM, BBC 1Xtra, BBC Radio 1 with massive online support for his series of EP, mixtape and single releases. The press copy is from their interview with Musicology Magazine
2011, Canada’s Fefe Dobson. Contacted by Chris Smith Management early March with 2 weeks’ notice that the artist would be in London for a small showcase. Although extremely well known in her home territory, Fefe was a relatively new name for the UK. 2 weeks later interviews had been secured with Grime Daily, Blues & Soul, Streets on Demand, Flavour, MTV Wrap Up SBTV & many more, including reviews of the showcase itself. Coverage also included a front page feature in Kix Magazine
2009 worked with San Diego’s DEEPROOTED on their self titled album out through Tajai Massey’s Clear Label Records imprint. A series of singles were well supported by key specialist stations, in particular Choice FM, with tv support also for their video “Crazy”. A huge amount of associated press followed on the album itself, including NME above, their mix of soul & hip hop, not dissimilar to The Roots and The Fugees, proving very popular. Radio interviews were also facilitated with a number of underground UK stations
2010, worked with Sony Canada / Half Life on the new album “Self Explanatory” by Classified. Radio support for “Quit While Youre Ahead” included Choice, Kiss and BBC 1Xtra, facilitated an F64 for SBTV, and secured specialist press support & reviews for the album. Also helped arrange affiliated dates in May 2010 in Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast & London
2007, promoted Chicago’s independent hip hop artist Verbal Kent with his album “Move With the Walls”. Secured specialist press reviews & support from key stations such as BBC and Kiss for the single “Dead Serious” which featured Ill Bill. Helped arrange a mini tour of the UK including Manchester, Bristol and London and set up affiliated interviews. Copy press is DJ Magazine’s “Moneyshot” rating of the single
Ex MTV Bass & BBC Radio 1 Xtra presenter. Various online tv & press interviews in support of her tour with Aloe Blacc in the UK late 2011. Copy of press is from Hip Hop Stories
T : @urbanelitepr