Recently I heard about two hot Japanese rocks bands called RIZE & fade. Just a few months ago they performed a successul debut during the East Meest West Show at Webster Hall (NYC). RIZE &fade both have loyal followings in the States that were waiting for new music.
In Japan these guys reaching Beibs status!. I had a chance to find out more first hand from their marketing rep ,Dorian Smith, CEO of Big Apple Style Marketing about what goes into working with international artists,and bridging the gap between East and West cultures through music. Big Apple Style Marketing produced the show which netted donations to benefit Tohoku, Japan . Dorian is a fashionable girl about town ,who happens to be making major moves overseas.
Dorian Smith ,CEO of Big Apple Style Marketing
Tell us about talented groups you work with and more on the concept behind East Meet West?
DS: East Meets West was a charity benefit concert that was created with the intent of highlighting how music can bring together different cultures, genres and people. Many people may not be aware, but the two rock bands that performed, RIZE & fade are actually clients of my firm, Big Apple Style Marketing. Big Apple Style Marketing is a digital entertainment marketing firm with an additional focus on bringing Asian content (music, film, television) into the North American market.
So, one of the long term goals for my clients was to bring them into the US to perform. But we didn’t want to just market to one select segment: i.e. rock fans/JRock fans/Visual Kei fans. We wanted to really show that music can encourage diversity. So, in addition to RIZE and fade, I worked with a good friend when planning the event who suggested HipHopGamer and JR Junior.
HipHopGamer is an amazing rapper slash video game correspondent. He attends video game release events and interviews a variety of gamers, celebrities and sports personalities. Most importantly though, he has this amazing energy and can really get the crowd into a performance.
And JR Junior was more of the R&B element that we wanted to add to the event. He has an impressive background and brought great energy as well.
Will this be a series or was this a one time show?
This is most definitely going to be an ongoing concept – especially since it’s for charity. The line up of performers may change from time to time, and the event may not always be in NYC. This kick off event was specifically for the Tohoku Rebuilding Effort. For those who are unaware, Tohoku was the one region of Japan most effected by the 3.11.11 earthquake and tsunami. It’s wear the Fukushima nuclear power plant is located and (as can be imagined) it’s the region that is still struggling to return to its pre-disaster status.
Moving forward, the “cause” or charity might change, but it will always be a blend of artists and genres coming together for the greater good of the world.
What was the crowd reaction to the bands ? Were you motivated to bring more talent to NYC?
DS: The crowd was very supportive and enthusiastic for this concert! For the most part, the majority of the crowd initially came for fade. fade is the 5 member Japanese rock band that has a huge cult following worldwide. Literally we had fans who flew in from other states and countries just to see fade perform. But what I loved about this crowd is that they were not only receptive to the other artists but really got into it. For example, Hip Hop Gamer was the first act to perform and within 30 seconds of starting his first track, the crowd was actively participating. Then when RIZE came on, the crowd went crazy when their lead singer, Jesse, jumped off the stage and started performing in the crowd.
I’m definitely motivated to bring more talent to NYC and beyond! NYC is a great space because there are so many different influences in music, that almost any genre has the chance to perform in front of a welcoming crowd. But as we all know, it’s not the only musical hot spot in this country. And more importantly, with my company’s focus being on bringing Asian content, I know from experience that there are plenty of fans across the nation that are avid supporters of JRock, KPop & other genres from Asia.
.What’s next for Dorian Smith?
Well, in the immediate future, the goal is to continue to do events like East Meets West to bring attention to the top talent that surrounds us in the entertainment industry. A long term goal of my company has always been to create a bridge for content between the East and West with a focus on Asia and North America. I strongly believe that entertainment is something that isn’t limited by language, country, culture or any other divider. With the importance of the Internet, people are finding entertainment content from all over the world, and they’re no longer limited by things like language barriers. So, I want to continue to assist artists and content producers with promoting their content on a more international level.