OurStage (http://www.ourstage.com/), a pioneering website enabling music fans to help discover and evaluate emerging musical talent, has spawned it’s first “Artist to Watch” label signing: Plushgun, an OurStage favorite who, based in part on their site ranking, has just been signed to Tommy Boy Entertainment.
“At OurStage, our mission is to help talented artists achieve critical exposure by solving the greatest challenge on the Internet today: sorting quality content from the sea of mediocrity online,” Ben Campbell, CEO of OurStage, said. “OurStage does this by providing a game-free platform allowing fans to experience music and drive the best to the top.”
The site, which is free for artists and fans, awards top-performing artists with significant career-building exposure and support via partnerships with a broad assortment of music industry leaders, including AOL Music, Bonnaroo, Virgin Festival, Bumbershoot, CMJ, PLUG Awards, Paste Magazine, Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, Noise Pop, Gen Art, Relix, and many others. Now OurStage is helping artists achieve that coveted golden ring: a record deal.
The first is Plushgun, a band that has consistently ranked in the Top 10 on OurStage for most of the past year. Unapologetically poppy, the band, which has been compared to the Postal Service (among others), ranked in the OurStage Top 10 for five months in 2007 before hitting #1 on OurStage’s Alternative Rock channel in January 2008. With the release of their self-titled EP in October 2007, the band garnered particular attention for their song “Just Impolite” — a dance-y, accessible track about dying romances — which was featured on artist-friendly outlets like MySpace. The band also recently garnered an AOL video feature about their trip to SXSW, courtesy of OurStage.
“With so much bogus manipulation going on regarding social networking sites today, we look for signs of sincere growth in many areas,” explains Mike Worthington of Tommy Boy Entertainment, who first discovered Plushgun and then reached out to the band through social networking sites, inviting himself to their shows. “I was following the band online, and their chart ranking over an extended period on OurStage convinced us that the support and demand for this band was real and tangible.”
Because of their high-ranking on the site, OurStage provided Plushgun with an array of promotional and “artist development” support, including features in URB and Relix, a spot on Relix CD sampler, mentor sessions with manager Scott Booker and publicist Ken Weinstein as part of OurStage’s “Artist Access” program and showcase spots at CMJ (2007) and SXSW (2008).
“When OurStage sent Plushgun to SXSW, they gave me the opportunity to see the band live, which sealed the deal on our end,” adds Rosie Lopez, Vice President of Tommy Boy Entertainment, alluding to the promotional support OurStage offers bands beyond their web offering. Now that Tommy Boy has signed Plushgun, OurStage and Tommy Boy will continue to work together to promote the band. “In order to build a real success story you have to be willing to invest in the development of an artist’s career and we’re thrilled that there’s finally someone out there that shares our passion and commitment and can step up as a partner when the talent is there,” adds Lopez.
“Tommy Boy is a legendary record label that has always taken chances when it comes to new artists, ranging from Afrika Bambaata and De La Soul to RuPaul and Fannypack,” said Campbell. “With the internet permanently changing the way music is discovered and distributed, we are excited not only to support talented emerging artists, but to work with creative partners like Tommy Boy that can help us deliver this music to the fans.”
A&R execs at Tommy Boy Entertainment aren’t the only one using the OurStage platform to “crowd-source” part of their talent scouting process. This year OurStage is partnered with several of the nation’s top music festivals, including Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, JVC Jazz Festival Newport, Bumbershoot and Noise Pop, who are using OurStage to help fill out their line-ups by tapping into the site’s fan-driven music filters to identify the best emerging talent within the styles of music these festivals represent. And AOL Music, the web’s top ranked music site in both total page views and unique visitors, has chosen OurStage to be its exclusive source for providing independently released music content, including artist interviews, downloads, and audio and video streams for distribution on AOL Music.
Get two free Plushgun downloads here: http://www.ourstage.com/go/plushguntommyboy
OurStage is a pioneering web platform dedicated to new music and new artist discovery. On OurStage, artists, fans, & industry professionals all come together – to discover, judge, & enjoy the best new music and the best new artists online – as ranked by the fans – in the company’s proprietary, game-proof judging engine. Visitors are able to discover top ranked, already sorted, music without having to hunt through hundreds of songs to find the quality. Top-ranked artists receive significant career-building promotion and support from established artists, industry professionals, and a broad assortment of partners, including AOL Music, Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot, PLUG Awards, Newport Folk Festival, JVC Jazz Festival Newport, Paste Magazine, CMJ, Noise Pop, and many others. Founded in 2007, OurStage delivers music and related content to over 1.5 million fans in 140 countries each month – and has attracted over 45,000 artist-members and hundreds of thousands of registered Fans in its short history.
About Tommy Boy Entertainment
Originally conceived and started by Tom Silverman in his cramped New York City apartment in early 1981, Tommy Boy Entertainment is widely recognized for its significant contribution to the development of hip hop music, dance music, and electronica. Starting with Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock”, and including De La Soul, Digital Underground, Naughty By Nature, Prince Paul, Queen Latifah, House Of Pain, Everlast, Information Society, RuPaul, Fannypack, Bob Sinclar and Danny Tenaglia, Tommy Boy has always stayed one step ahead of its imitators. With a diverse history and a proud tradition of innovations and of being “first”, Tommy Boy remains committed to finding and supporting groundbreaking new music and culture.