Tag Archive: BRIT Awards


Justin Timberlake Manager Johnny Wright on Secret Plans Around ‘20/20 Experience,’ Touring, Myspace,  More

Justin Timberlake has a rare ability to seem to be everywhere without actually being in that many places. In a way, the marketing around his new album, The 20/20 Experience – out on RCA today – has taken a note from the way he managed to keep his solo musical career in the spotlight by not releasing any music of his own for six years: It might seem like he’s ubiquitous, but he’s not. He’s just chosen what he’s doing to promote the album very strategically for maximum impact: Some strategic online marketing; a couple of high-profile branding and radio campaigns; appearances on the Grammy and Brit Awards, “Saturday Night Live” and a week on “Jimmy Fallon”; a few buzz-building concerts; announcing a summer stadium tour with Jay-Z — sure, it’s all big, and it all came within two months. But compared with a lot of other album-release campaigns, it’s much more quality over quantity — and very, very few artists could be so selective and still go so big.

As RCA Records president/COO Tom Corson told Billboard.biz, “While it feels like he is everywhere, he has been going with less-is-more. The looks he has been getting have either been large events or strategic. He hasn’t been doing every TV or print opportunity.”

But perhaps most impressively of all, Timberlake, his management and label kept the entire project — and the marketing campaign around it, exhaustively detailed in this timeline — secret from the public for months. A couple of gossip sites reported that an album was underway, but the reports were denied and word didn’t get out. The fact that David Bowie – who had been largely off the radar for nearly a decade –announced that he’d completed a secret new album a couple of weeks before Timberlake announced his only adds to the skill of the stealth campaign around The 20/20 Experience.

Here, in a phone conversation last week from the set of the Fallon show, Timberlake’s longtime manager Johnny Wright talks at length about how the album came together, how they and RCA planned an international marketing campaign so quietly, the partnerships around the album, Justin’s role with Myspace, touring plans and much more.

Billboard.Biz: When did the planning for The 20/20 Experience really begin?
Johnny Wright: I guess the conversation really started off three years ago, when I thought maybe Justin would be interested in going back into music. We had a general discussion about how, [because] a lot of the physical record sellers were gone, by the time we’ve got music again we need to think about different ways to deliver it. So we started a general conversation about maybe putting an app together, and maybe doing a situation where we [released a song] every month. There were multiple things we actually talked about, but there wasn’t any movement for him to go back into music [at the time].

[Last year], probably around the late part of May/first week in June, he asked me to dinner and he said, “Guess where I’ve been the past couple of nights?” I said I don’t know, where? He said, “I’ve been in the studio with Timbaland.” I said what are you guys working on? And he said, “I’m working on my stuff.” I was kind of shocked because, you know, I wasn’t prepared for that!

Immediately that started the conversation of, “Okay, how are we gonna put it out?” I like to do this thing where we do a countdown clock and then deliver music from it — so what are we gonna deliver? At one point we even talked about having the countdown clock go into streaming the whole album, but then obviously we had to have conversations with the label and partners who wanted to be involved with the release of his music. So we ended up compromising and putting a single out and shortening the window to the album [release], because [usually artists] put the single out then wait three or four months for the album. But we said we really want to do this in a shorter period of time, so let’s put the single out and [release the album] seven or eight weeks after that — make it a short window, and because we have such a short window, we have to make a big impact.


Justin Timberlake and manager Johnny Wright (second from right)


We were lucky that there were some [big] platforms coming up in that window of eight weeks: One of them was the Grammys, so let’s go have a conversation to see if we can perform a song there. Another one was the Brit Awards in the UK, then “Wetten, dass..?” a huge television show in Germany, and then Justin’s relationship with “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” As the plan between us started to come together, it was like, instead of doing the single on every one of these performances, why don’t we perform a different song? We figured at some point the album would in some way get out, but we kind of wanted to deliver it to them first in visual way. So when we performed on the Grammys, that was the first live television performance of “Suit & Tie” with Jay-Z, and then we segued into a new record from the album called “Pusher Love Girl.” For the Brit Awards [and Wetten, dass…?”] we performed “Mirrors,” another song off the album. And then when we came back to do “SNL,” we decided to do “Suit & Tie” and because visually no one in America had seen “Mirrors,” so we did that. And knowing that we had five nights on “Fallon,” it was like, let’s deliver a bunch of new records. The theory was that by the time we got to the release of the album, at least half of it would have been performed on major TV platforms.

And then we have relationship with iTunes where we agreed to allow them to stream the album a week before it was released, because again we weren’t afraid of letting people hear the music. We want people to be engaged; this whole album is an experience. And then from a radio perspective we had Clear Channel Radio, CBS, and all of our radio friends that embraced us — Clear Channel is doing what we call a “road block” [within] 24 hours, playing the new single every hour. And now on Monday night, we’re gonna take over 175 radio stations and have a live performance from El Rey in L.A., where Justin is gonna perform a half hour and Ryan Seacrest is gonna do an interview with him.

We have Target and Budweiser, who became a big partner with us, and we created two big TV commercials promoting the album. That gave us a great visibility and they’re the underwriters of the event that we are going to do in L.A. So in a short period of time we were able to have a great relationship with radio, we were able to stream the album, we were able to have a great relationship with iTunes, we were able to have able to have a relationship with a lot of great TV partners being a part of Justin’s career. Everybody basically came to the table and presented an opportunity for us to get a lot done in a short period of time. And it’s been a fun experience. We were very lucky that we had all these opportunities and these partners that wanted to give us these platforms. Read more the interview here: Justin Timberlakes Promotional Run-Up to The 20/20 Experience: A Timeline | Billboard.

 

 

Muse + Orchestra perform “Supremacy” at the BRITs

Muse didn’t won any award during the BRIT Awards 2013, but they certainly had the best performance of the night.

Together with an orchestra of 75 people, Muse performed their song “Supremacy” to open the ceremony. Take a look at the clip below.

source: indscene.co.uk

David Joseph, chairman of Brit Awards 2013, says singer’s speech should never have been cut and hints of planned surprise during his last ceremony at helm

Adele at Brit awards 2012

Adele gave the finger to organisers at the 2012 Brit awards ceremony when her album-of-the-year acceptance speech was cut short. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

When Adele gave her spine-tingling performance of her ballad Someone Like You at the Brits in 2011 a small miracle happened – the boisterous music industry for once fell silent, and listened. Last year, the singer again provided the most talked about moment of the evening by giving a frustrated one-fingered gesture to presenter James Corden after he cut off her acceptance speech for best album to make way for the final performers, Blur.

But at the Brits on Wednesday, the singer, who has dominated the UK and US charts since 2011 despite releasing only the single Skyfall last year, may finally get her moment to thank her fans.

Joseph, who is standing down as chairman after this year’s Brits, promised to go out with a bang. The show, broadcast live on ITV, will feature performances from stadium rockers Muse, Mumford & Sons, who have been nominated for three awards, Justin Timberlake, and Emeli Sandé, who leads the nominations and is up for four awards.

One Direction – who had two of the bestselling albums in the US last year – are nominated for best British group, and will perform One Way Or Another on the night. Robbie Williams, Ben Howard and Taylor Swift will also feature. “I would like to bow out saying we have made a bit of a difference,” said Joseph. “I want it to be great for the artists this year.”

During his three-year tenure, Joseph has overseen some of the biggest changes in Brits’ history: the venue changed to the O2, artists were included in the voting academy, a greater emphasis was given to album of the year, and the Brits statue was designed by well-known artists, this year featuring Damien Hirst‘s trademark spots.

“It think we’ve achieved everything we set out to do, we started off saying it was a bit chaotic and we wanted to make it more about music than about a TV show,” he said. “I think we did manage to make it more like the Grammys, with more gravitas.”

He denied suggestions the awards were too safe. “If people are looking for explosive controversy, we still don’t know what’s going to happen on the night. I’m not encouraging stage invasions, but they are magical moments that happen; no one has control over that.

“The lineup goes from pop to discovery to indie. It’s not dull; it’s a brilliant showcase for music.” The Brits remain important as a showcase for a certain moment in music, he said. “Shop windows and curation are massively needed when there is so much media fragmentation. Plus fans, viewers and, most importantly, artists love awards.”

This year’s Brits will also celebrate a year that saw four of the five best-selling albums in the US come from British artists, and will feature an international success award for the first time. “It’s amazing what is happening with British music overseas. We are thrilled about it, four of the top five is exceptional. It shows good taste,” he said. “When as an industry you realise you have four of the five top-selling acts in America, the only thing you want to do next is have five of the five.”

The UK recorded music industry, one of the first to be hit by the digital revolution and piracy, was turning a corner, but still had some way to go, said Joseph. The record trade association, BPI, revealed that last year digital album sales rose 14.8% to 30.5m, although CD album sales declined 19.5% year on year to 69.4m. Combined sales fell by 11.2% to 100.5m in 2012. “A few years ago we knew were going to go through a rough patch, mainly to do with piracy and the way people were discovering music,” said Joseph. “We have taken massive leaps in the last few years, going from nearly zero to 1 million people paying for subscription music services in the past three years.” Read more about Brit Awards 2013 here: Read more here: http://bit.ly/WQ0dUD

 

Matt Bellamy (Photo: AFP)

Matt Bellamy (Photo: AFP)

After spending the past few weeks in Los Angeles in order to take part in variousGRAMMY Awards activities, Muse will return to London to headline the 2013 Brit Awards in support of War Child’s 20th anniversary. The benefit concert will take place at the historic theater, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

With the concert having sold out in less than three minutes, this is the only way to watch Muse’s performance. The webcast can be seen live via War Child’s YouTube channel, Monday, February 18 at 4 pm EST / 1 pm PST.

War Child is a group of 27 individuals working in an old false teeth factory in north London with the single goal of aiding children of war-torn areas. The non-profit organization provides medical care and safe havens, rebuilds schools and helps children get their voices heard.

Bands that have previously played the War Child concert include ColdplayThe KillersBlur and Kasabian.

Read more here: Muse To Stream War Child Concert Live From London « The World Famous KROQ – Alt Rock Music News, Photos, Videos, Concerts.

Watch the band make the concert announcement as they knock a ball back and forth on their personally branded ping pong table.

– Jay Tilles, CBS Local

 

 

Muse have revealed their new video for ‘Supremacy’ exclusively via NME.com – watch it above.

The video, which sees a group of goths heading to the beach and riding bikes while holding flaming swords, accompanies the fourth single to be released from Muse’s 2012 album ‘The 2nd Law’.

Muse are set to play this year’s perform at the BRIT Awards. They will also play a special charity show at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire for War Child in March.

AFP/Getty Images

UK modern rock power trio Muse has revealed big plans for their performance during the upcoming BRIT Awards, where the band is nominated for Best British Group and Best Live Act.

“We’re going to perform there hopefully with a full orchestra and choir to do a full rendition of ‘Supremacy,’ which is the first song on the album,” singer Matt Bellamy said during an exclusive interview with Radio.com in regards to the latest single from the band’s most recent full-length, The 2nd Law. “It’ll be nice to perform that with an orchestra.

Read more interview with Bellamy here: http://bit.ly/124MYUD

The 2013 BRIT Awards are scheduled for February 20 at London’s O2 Arena, ten days after the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on February 10 at 8 p.m., where Muse is up for Best Rock Album (The 2nd Law) and Best Rock Song (“Madness”).

-Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local

 

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