Category Archives: Artists

How a Public Relations Agency Can Help You: Artists, Designers, Musicians

Kanye West at the Vanity Fair kickoff part for...

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Are you still scratching your head, wondering whether or not you would benefit from the guidance of a public relations expert?

Many creative brands—artists, designers, musicians and more—question whether or not they can afford to retain a public relations agency.

To be honest, the real question should is: How can you afford to not hire a public relations agency?

Designers: Would you trust your landscaper to forecast next season’s designs?

Musicians: Would you let the pharmacy clerk write your next song?

Artists: Would you let your garbage man handle your legal matters?

Nope, so why take your public relations matters into your own hands?

For starters, enlisting the help of an agency will surely generate awareness for your brand. Our client, Lovie’s Letter Paper Co., has gone from just a handful of visits each day, to more than 600 visits at any given time.

One of the most obvious ways you can benefit from the help of a public relations professional is because of their relationships with members of the media. Publicists specialize in media outreach, which results in high profile media placements for you.

A public relations agency can also help you manage a crisis. Think about Kanye West post-Taylor Swift. Without the help of a seasoned public relations professional, it would have been nearly impossible for the rapper to have bounced back.

Other ways your brand can benefit from a PR agency, include strengthening community relations and supporting your existing public relations programs.

Last but not least, hiring a PR agency can leave you with more time to do what you do best: focus on your craft.


Rappers and Singers Need Blogs Too


Image by kuribo via Flickr

In the past, I’ve written blogs on how brands, in general, need blogs, but a lot of music artists—rappers, singers, producers and more—don’t realize that this rule applies to them as well.

Starting a blog may seem intimidating for some creatives, but it’s not as difficult as it seems. Using a platform like WordPress or Blogger, a blog can be set up in five minutes or less. And even better, establishing a blog costs little to no money at all.

“But what if I can’t right write?” A lot of people have this question, but the truth is, when it comes to blogging, professional writing skills are far from a must. Blogs are typically written in informal, conversation-style format. As an artist, conversation-style is key because it entices your fans by giving them a glimpse of your personal life. Let them know what life is like on the road, tell them about your latest single or live stream your latest studio session. Fans appreciate this type of thing.

Finally, blogs are a great way to spread the word about your music–what better place than your own blog for your fans to learn about your latest releases? A lot of times, new artists struggle with getting media coverage. There are tons of artists out right now and it’s difficult to stand out. Developing a blog that generates traffic is a great way to also generate buzz, which ultimately results in media coverage and then sales.

If starting a blog seems impossible, it’s not. Go to WordPress or Blogger to get started today. Need help with figuring out what to write about? Give us a call and we can help you come up with topics (773.980.6404).

News Advisory: Bryan “BJ the Chicago Kid” Sledge Talks 19-City Tour with Diddy-Dirty Money, Opening for Prince

CHICAGO- April 8 – Beginning next Wednesday, April 13, Chicago’s own Bryan “BJ the Chicago Kid” will launch a 19-city tour as a supporting vocalist for the Diddy-Dirty Money “Coming Home Tour.” The tour starts in Minneapolis, Minn., with stops in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orlando and, of course, BJ’s hometown: Chicago, which takes place on Thursday, April 14, at the House of Blues.
Bryan Sledge, a.k.a. BJ the Chicago KidThis year has been a monumental one for his career, with a number of pivotal points, including the opportunity to open for the legendary Artist Formerly Known as Prince just two weeks ago.
“I’m thankful for everything that comes my way and just want to keep representing Chicago in the best way I can,” says BJ the Chicago Kid. And represent he does–not very many can add performing with Diddy, Mary J. Blige and other legends to their credits.
Who knows what’s next for BJ the Chicago Kid, but at this rate, the sky is the limit for this Chicago-born artist.
For more information on BJ the Chicago Kid, visit his website at For a complete tour schedule, visit the official Diddy-Dirty Money tour page.  
For interview opportunities with BJ the Chicago Kid, contact Miko Franklin at 773.980.6404 or

Inside the Industry…with DJ Geno

The Chicago music business is a complex industry, in which very few can actually claim success. DJ Geno,  protégé and former manager of one of the city’s best rappers, GLC, is one of the few to actually have penetrated this tough market. His credentials include being an internationally known DJ and the owner of a music consulting company. During a recent sit down with him, DJ Geno explained how he made it and what other Chicago musicians can do to boost their careers.

 WGeno, GLCith more than 12 years of industry experience under his belt, what better source than DJ Geno to gain invaluable industry insight?

 DJ Geno credits Nappy Boy recording artist Shawnna for giving him his first break in the industry years ago. After interning at Def Jam and Interscope, not only did he serve as her road DJ, but her manager as well. As a result of this experience, DJ Geno notes that branding is key for musicians hoping to establish a long-term career in the industry: “By branding myself as a go-getter, ready to do what it took to get the job done, Shawnna and others were ready to give me the opportunities to advance my career. All you have is your image and with so many people trying to ‘get on,’ it’s important that you stand out—in a good way,” he noted.

 He also says that networking is another critical piece to breaking into the industry. According to DJ Geno, “it’s all about who you know” applies to the arts and entertainment industries just like any other.  

 When asked why Chicago remains a second class city, compared to the likes of New York and Los Angeles, ever-faithful to his city, DJ Geno says “Chicago is a first class city, but our mentality has to portray that.  Meaning, we have to do first class business with each other. … We need to embrace each other and our resources.”

 DJ Geno gives Hollywood Holt his props for being ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing and branding in the industry. “He is smart because he keeps himself relevant even if he just DJing a party. So when you think of party you think of him.” Using the web is a great way to develop a full-fledged campaign for a fraction of the price of traditional campaigns, but with similar results. DJ Geno recommends that artists to take advantage.

 It’s hard to break into the industry, but not impossible. With role models like DJ Geno paving the way for up-and-coming musicians and industry professionals in Chicago, it’s now easier than ever.

Beyonce’s Blackface Backfire

Photos of Beyonce Knowles have surfaced on blogs around the world regarding her recent “blackface” photo shoot. Blackface is a controversial form of “art” (for those who consider it art), that was originally used in minstrel and vaudeville shows to depict African American characters. It is more often than not considered degrading and offensive.

So what made this pop superstar choose to go blackface in her photo spread for L’Officiel Paris?

According to many reports, Knowles considered the blackface costume to be a tribute to Nigerian musician Fela Kuti.

Although Beyonce has been heralded as black America’s sweetheart, this blackface fiasco may relinquish that role.

Already, Twitter has been abuzz with criticisms about her choice of makeup:

  •  CandiReigns Candace Thomas: What’s up with Beyonce in blackface? #whack
  • lovelysarah1 sarah surigao: Beyonce, Blackface, and Fashion Don’t Mix
  • TTBoy28 A. H-Tecoy: Beyonce went “Blackface” with blonde hair. She says it was to pay homage to Fela Kuti. Couldn’t she have done it with “Black” hair?

And this isn’t the first time she’s come under fire for “color” issues. Just a few years ago, she was accused of lightening her images to appear white for a L’oreal Feria photo shoot.

I don’t know what the long-term effects of Beyonce’s decision to go “blackface” will be on her image, but one thing’s for sure, the short-term isn’t looking so good.

Industry News: Universal Music Group Promotes Jeffrey Harleston

Mary J. Blige posing for the photographer Mark...

Image via Wikipedia

In breaking music industry news, Jeffrey Harleston has been promoted to general counsel and executive vice president of Business & Legal Affairs for North America. The promotion is effective immediately.

Prior to joining UMG’s corporate legal team, Harleston was the executive vice president and general manager of Geffen Records, home of Mary J. Blige, Common, Snoop Dogg and other award-winning artists.


In the news: UnRated Urban Magazine article feature

Did you catch Bryan Sledge, also known as “BJ the Chicago Kid” in UnRated Urban Magazine’s digital mag?

BJ the Chicago Kid

Excerpt here:

A young, soulful voice with an appreciation for and the gift to write “good” music Chicago native Bryan Sledge, aka B.J. The Chicago Kid, has worked with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Mary Mary, Jamie Foxx and Musiq Soulchild to name a few.
Now on the verge of becoming a household name himself, Sledge took time to talk to UnRated Urban Magazine about his humble beginnings, aspirations and future plans.

To review the article in its entirety, click here.

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