A Band That Knows Where the Money Comes From
Chester French isn’t your typical rock band. Singer D.A. Wallach and multi-instrumentalist Max Drummey met as freshmen at Harvard, where lanky, longhaired Drummey majored in social anthropology and twee, preppy Wallach graduated as the top student in the school’s African-American Studies program. In the video for their best-known song, “She Loves Everybody,” a pretty girl punches the stuffing out of the two helpless weaklings, leaving them bloody-nosed among their broken guitars and drums. Wallach and Drummey, who eschew leather and spandex for bowties and croquet mallets, were signed to Interscope Records just as they graduated two years ago. An album released in April, “Love The Future”, has made the duo upcoming stars, albeit not superstars. But besides the fans drawn to their music, Chester French have amassed a following by spending hours a day networking online. Should you encounter the band on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Digg, Twitter or any of the other social sites where they’ve set up shop, you’ll be encouraged to sign up at chesterfrench.com as a V.I.P. for the band’s concierge service. What you might not realize is you’re adding yourself to a database at Salesforce.com.
Wallach told me in a phone call from the band’s current tour that he and Drummey aren’t kidding that they see their fans, not themselves, as the V.I.P.’s. “Traditional record labels looked at music listeners as fans who were supposed to get in line to get an autograph,” he said. That worked, in Wallach’s view, when radio and TV were dominated by a few supersize broadcasters. “When the Beatles played ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ seven million people saw it,” he said. “But today, there’s no channel available that will deliver that size an audience. In this day and age, it’s about having a relationship with the people who listen to us. The relationship with someone who likes our music is much more of a conversation than it would have been, even in the ’90s.” Instead of giving interviews to reporters or dropping by radio stations, Wallach spends most of his time online, going through an average 100 to 200 e-mail messages a day. “We respond to every single e-mail we get,” he said. “I do an hour in the morning and an hour at night.
Former NERD, Man Of Style & Substance
From his humble beginnings as a scribe on Wreckx-N-Effect’s 1992 hit “Rump Shaker,” Pharrell moved up in the world to become a household name with NERD and a coveted music producer (who may or may not be dating Rihanna, apparently). He represents an entire generation of entrepreneurial, stylish men who are enjoying great success (he the most so) in the music/fashion arenas, as well as exemplary cross-over successes who continue to reinvent themselves on an almost daily basis.
The inaugural trailblazers list recognizes men from a wide range of professions–they are linked only by their ability to live the life of a made man. This year’s honorees include: hip-hop legend Pharrell Williams, Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz, pork-belly impresario David Chang, Avatar leading man Sam Worthington, and Charlie Villanueva, the first NBA player to talk to fans on Twitter during a game. MadeMan.com and Break Media Recognized 2009’s Best and Brightest on July 29th Bash in New York. In a world full of quasi-celebrities, short-lived Internet sensations, and one-hit wonders, some men still stand out as true leaders in their fields, and they deserve to be honored. Break Media and MadeMan.com, the ultimate online men’s lifestyle destination, have selected a list of 50 men who exemplify the image of a made man, and are fit to be called trailblazers. The motto of MadeMan.com, “Wit, Wisdom, and Women,” will be on full display in New York on July 29th when MadeMan hosts an exclusive invitation-only party honoring this year’s trailblazers. The full list of names and more information on the party can be found at mademan.com.
Klue.com: Do you think your friends Nigo and Pharrell have sold out to big brands like Louis Vuitton?
Verbal: Street doesn’t have to connotate a low price range. When I first saw Pharrell, he was wearing a trucker hat when it wasn’t even in. He had on a Billabong T-shirt. I don’t think a lot of hip-hop artists at that time really wore Billabong. Maybe it’s cool in Virginia, where he’s from, but it transcends cultural borders. Nigo just started out pressing T-shirts at home. I don’t think he thought it’d blow up. About the Louis Vuitton thing, I think they’re just trying to take it to the next level because these big brands are interested in what they’ve been neglecting for many years. Pharrell, Nigo and Kanye are trying to go there and change high fashion. I wouldn’t say it’s selling out. They’re trying to change it from the bottom up.
Teyana Taylor broke down and cried after reading positive comments written about her in the blogosphere. The 18-year-old Harlem native became increasingly emotional while scrolling through various posts from her fans. “I’m not sad ya’ll,” she said wiping the tears from her face. “It’s tears of joy.” While reading remarks ranging from “I love you Teyana,” to “You are such an inspiration,” Taylor got so emotional that she could barely speak. “The reason why this is so special to me is because I go on blogs and I read the comments and the mean things that people [write] about me every single day. This might seem little to everybody else but this is really big to me. I never seen comments like this before. I’ve never really seen a whole bunch of people come together and support me.”
Teyana Taylor – From A Planet Called Harlem (2009)
Producers & Guests: Hit Boy, The Neptunes, Jazze Pha, Bangladesh, Mad Scientist, Kelis, Frost, Shondre, Six Sense…
– Color Me Pink
– Young Girl feat. Eve
– Traffic Stop (Hit Boy)
– Google Me (Jazze Pha)
– Complicated (Hit Boy)
– Switch It Up (Neptunes)
– Good Enough
– Naah Mean
– Rock Star (Jazze Pha)
– I Feel Alive (Spinnin’) feat. Pharrell (Neptunes)
– Kisser (Neptunes)
Okay, i know we’re all sick of all those Clipse interviews where they talk the same stuff again and again but this one is a good one, well they talk again about everything we already know but it’s a funny interview, check it out. Thanks To Skitzo.
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