We discussed in lectures in the first week of term how PR had played its part in enabling bands such as Empire of the Sun to get consistently touted in those ‘Bands to look out for in 2009’ columns throughout the media at New Year, and reflected on relevant theories, such as Diffusion of Innovation, and speculated on concepts such as relevant opinion leaders that have helped them get to that position.
I’m going to attempt to stick my neck out and predict a real time case study we can hopefully watch roll-out.
One EskimO are a four piece outfit with a simply divine track (Kandi) due for release on the 23rd February. They do not have a huge media profile, and ‘keep themselves to themselves’, but I’ve listened to the reaction the track has sparked when it was picked up and championed in the wee small hours by one of my favourite radio presenters, BBC Radio 2’s Janice Long.
Janice (along with BBC Radio 2’s head of music, Jeff Smith) spoke to the PRfutures group at the university in November last year about the role PR can play in getting your music played on national radio. She introduced us to some of the music she has been showcasing most recently, including the band, who are the idea of Kristian Leontiou, and produced by Rollo of Faithless. Their videos are enchanting, produced by the same people that made the landmark imagery for Gorillaz, and have already won an award for the One EskimO.
I’m intrigued to hear what you think about the how One EskimO are shaping up, and whether you think they might have what it takes? One of the reasons I think they may be particularly successful is that they are so understated, so anonymous, and their success such a long time coming. The release of Kandi has been such a tease, with clips of the video coming in short drips – all of which combines to create such a sense of anticipation amongst the assembled ranks of growing fans. The track has the kind of appeal that spans the generations, because of its use of sampling (in my humble opinion), and a refrain that never leaves your head (“he called me baby, all night long”).
Just a quick glance on-line reveals a number of companies, like Outside, and Sandbag have flirted with One EskimO which, for me, only serves to underline that there is some kind of credibility there – it’s just a question of when a tipping point in terms of interest is reached. Rocksellout.com carry an interesting interview with Kristian which also reveals a nod towards one of my favourite concepts, that of storytelling. I do hope they make it big, both for themselves, but also for Janice Long, who has ploughed what has seemed like a lone furrow in championing the band during the last year.
If it is to happen, the hard work is now only just about to begin for One EskimO – but I hope you will lend Kandi your ear. This post contains a couple of early clips from the track, ahead of its full release.