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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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How Kreayshawn's Label Set Her Up For Failure
Wednesday, October 03, 2012

On September 14th, more than a year after Kreayshawn burst onto the scene with “Gucci Gucci,” her debut album, Somethin Bout Kreay, was finally released. There was only one problem, nobody bought it. With historically bad first week sales numbers (sub 4,000 copies sold), the blogosphere, and a multitude of music websites, made Kreayshawn the butt of every joke they could think of. The only joke, however, is how poorly her label, Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment, worked the release.

As most of you know, I’m a huge proponent of the physical product. Kreayshawn’s album essentially had no physical product. The CD was only available at Hot Topic, a store that has zero connection with Kreayshawn. Someone at the label probably figured the age group was right, but had they ever gone into a Hot Topic they would have realized it’s a rock audience, and the displays for Kreayshawn were probably met with a roll of the eyes and shoves to the side.

What makes the lack of real physical product for Kreayshawn an especially egregious move by the label is that it prevented them from utilizing one of Kreayshawn’s biggest assets - her visual creativity. Kreay was doing graphic design, and shooting and editing music videos, before fame hit. Her fashion sense is incredibly unique, and all of the videos for her songs are wildly colorful. By not properly releasing an album, and utilizing what Kreay does best, Columbia completely missed the boat with a myriad of sales possibilities.

Columbia could have packaged the album with a second disc that featured a video for every song, a la Weird Al’s Alpocalypse. I have no doubt Kreay could have easily put together something cool for each song, and the exclusivity of only being able to see some of those videos on the DVD could have driven sales.

The album also could have had cover art created by Kreay. In fact, it could have had multiple covers so fans could have chosen their favorite and it would have stood out in in-store displays. Speaking of in-store displays, without the CD that visual element is completely lost!

A time honored tradition for CDs, at least CDs aimed at a younger audience, has been the fold out poster in the liner notes. This is another easy “must” for a Kreayshawn release. Her audience of predominantly teen girls have lockers and bedroom walls that need decorating.

Essentially, Columbia took an artist who is more known for the visual aspects of her work, and stripped her of the ability to use her visual creativity to truly put her stamp on her album.

The real kicker to all this is that the album is actually good. It’s fun, party music that deserved much better treatment than this. The rumor has been that Columbia shelled out a million dollars for Kreayshawn, but from every angle I look at it, it seems like they nickel and dimed everything about Somethin Bout Kreay.

Note - An email to Columbia records regarding the lack of physical product in the US was not replied to.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:30 AM  
  • At 2:12 PM, Blogger Admin said…

    What'd you expect?

  • At 4:23 PM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    For the amount they supposedly spent, I expected them to at least attempt to do the job right. It seems, for all intents and purposes, they signed her simply to say they signed her and get their name in the news. They never had a real plan for her, and in the course of a year never bothered to figure one out.

    Really sad, and quite the cautionary tale.

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