Within PR or marketing, authenticity rules. No matter how much money or out-of-the box thinking you throw at something, without a real and believable narrative to tell, you don’t have much to go on. This is as true for music and culture as anywhere else. After all, we’re not selling boxes of cereal, but something which goes far deeper than numbers on the board. One of the most authentic stories for any artist is one beyond creative conjuring; that of the hometown hero; the artist who has risen from humble beginnings, pinning down the sound of the postcode, inspiring the rest of the world to take note.
Most likely location for there being ‘something in the water’ this year, has been South London’s Croydon. Whilst Stormzy’s on-fire 2017 has seen him rise to international fame and a Mercury nomination, his unfaltering connection to Croydon has endeared him to both fans who count CR0 as their home, and those who don’t. Earlier this year, on the release day of his ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’, Red Bull Studios presented a series of pop-up shows with the Croydon star. The three gigs in one day, ending up in Stormzy’s manor, defined what a homecoming should be; two-way adoration between the artist himself and the Londoners who make up the neighbourhood he so faithfully represents.
One of our in-house projects, the New York Music Map, saw us collaborate with writer/Creative Director Frank Broughton and illustrator Adam Hayes, to chart and visually represent the Big Apple’s big acts, in hand-drawn typographical form. From Lady Gaga to the Notorious B.I.G, their formative years have all instructed their campaign story at some point. Whilst they may not always be in New York, New York will always be in them.
Check out the New York Music Map. Look out for new edition coming out just in time for Christmas.