Big Noise lives up to its name
by Martin Baker
Newport This Week Music Writer
When you talk to Al Gomes and
A. Michelle, you can't help but share their excitement
about the music business. Their enthusiasm for their work
is always apparent, and their positive vision for the future
punctuates every sentence.
Few people have been so closely allied
with independent recording artists, as well as superstar
artists. Gomes and Michelle may be the musician's best business
partners we can hope for in the recording industry.
Ever since they began Big Noise
in 1990 - their Independent A&R, Artist Development, and
Music Promotion Firm - they've been making some serious
waves. Big Noise has been providing guidance and a chance
for exposure that artists might otherwise have had to go
Big Noise is committed to exposing
great recording artists, and all of their artists have always
impressed me with their marketability. Radio-ready music
all the way around and the musicianship and songwriting
is always exceptional.
Big Noise has assisted with the release
of 300+ recordings of diverse musical genres. They have
managed many of the projects from concept to completion
including helping artists set their recording budget, choice
of the artist's material, hands-on A&R direction in the
studio, art direction of recording package, manufacturing
of finished CD, and distribution of product. Big Noise helps
write promotional copy for each release including press
releases, artist bios, print ads, and radio scripts. Their
company website - www.bignoisenow.com - features full information
about Big Noise, its roster of artists, Big Noise's projects,
company history and their achievements.
Many independent recording artists
have benefited from working with Big Noise: Chicago's D.U.I.
signed a record deal with RCA / BMG in Europe (and through
Big Noise produced a #1 dance remix
single for Christina Aguilera), Sweden's Skinner
inked a publishing deal with Sony Music in Europe, Providence's
Comic Book Super Heroes signed a management deal
with Marquee Management in New York City (the firm that
discovered Christina Aguilera), Boston's Fortune
scored a recording deal with Alfa/Brunette/EMI in Japan
(by way of one of Big Noise's award-winning compilations),
North Carolina's Ethoriah inked a European deal with
Massacre Records of Germany, and Providence's Young
Neal & the Vipers were picked up by a strong blues
outfit, Florida's Kingsnake Records.
Other record deals that Big Noise assisted
with include: Shawnn Monteiro (Monad Records/New
York City), Exxplorer (Massacre Records/Germany and
Alfa/Brunette/EMI/Japan), The Gift (Monolith Records/Seattle),
and Painful Pleasure (Azra/Los Angeles).
Big Noise's impressive roster of artists
includes pop megastar Christina
Aguilera, for which Al Gomes and A. Michelle served
as Directors of Online Entertainment and Marketing from
1998 to 2003 for Aguilera's Three Wishes Productions, Inc.,
working as her webmasters, publicists, biographers and archivists.
Al Gomes and A. Michelle's work for Aguilera earned Big
Noise gold and multi-platinum awards from the Recording
Industry Association of America, and lead Entertainment
Weekly to name Christina's
Official Website (under Big Noise's tenure) as one
of the 'Best
Sites of the 21st Century.'
Other superstar artists include the
40 million-selling legendary R&B vocal group Little
Anthony & The Imperials. Al Gomes and A. Michelle
served as Directors of Projects & Special Events for the
group from 2003 to 2006 which included designing and overseeing
the group's popular Official
Website. Big Noise secured a permanent spot on the
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Annual Ballot which led to
The Imperials being inducted in April 2009.
Big Noise has
also worked with Red
Hot Chili Peppers, Katharine
McPhee, The Beach Boys,
Freddy Cole, Bela
Fleck, Melba Moore,
Bill Harley, Nils
Lofgren, Jay Geils,
Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze),
box office star Andrew
McCarthy (Big Noise produced the CD soundtrack for
his directorial debut film, 'News for the Church' - official
Academy Award contender for Best Live Action Short Film),
producer Shelly Yakus,
and many others.
Into the Future
With the success of their work for
their indie and superstar artists, Big Noise continues to
send artists directly to major and indie labels, managers
and publishers. Big Noise is also now a full voting and
nominating member of the National Academy of Recording
Arts & Sciences, Inc., and has gotten dozens
of their artists on the official ballot for The Grammy
Awards, leading to eight Grammy nominations.
Gomes and Michelle continue to accept
musicians' material from around the world and expand their
base to get the artists even more exposure. "We get calls
from all over the globe," Gomes said.
From the hundreds of emails, calls,
and demo submissions, Gomes and Michelle will narrow the
field, picking the best and most promising of the artists.
Once Big Noise completes the process
of deciding which artists to work with, Gomes and Michelle
spend at least 6 months getting everything perfectly in
place for each artist starting with providing consultation
on a finished recording or serving as executive producers
and project managers for a whole new CD recording. That
involves doing everything from selecting a studio and producer
to conducting marketing research for the song selection
to designing the finished package.
Big Noise then makes sure the artist's
web presence reflects their professionalism. Gomes and Michelle
try to raise the artist's profile by scoring industry accolades
and promoting them to on-line media (including getting their
artists onto the Grammy Awards ballot), and to music fans,
trying to create that all-important buzz for the artist.
Once all this is done, they begin the
process of showing their artists to their colleagues at
record labels, management, and publishing companies in hopes
of enticing a deal.
Big Noise believes that song selection
and a great recording is a key factor in creating excitement
for the artist. "The best compliment we receive is when
people tell us how great the tracks we choose for each individual
artist works as a finished package," says Gomes.
"The artists start thinking of themselves
in a whole new light as soon as we get started," Michelle
said. "Just by doing everything we do, we carve out the
direction they're looking for." Indeed, their goal is always
to make their artists "look and sound like they're ready
to be signed to a label or management firm."
And now, a new campaign to take
new artists to the next step is in full swing. Criteria
for submission? According to Michelle, "Originality, great
musicianship, great performances, an artist that's easy
to work with." "And most importantly," adds Gomes, "songs,
Congrats to all! For more info on
Big Noise, call 401-274-4770 or email Al Gomes and
A. Michelle about
submitting a demo.
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