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Big Noise makes waves:
Al Gomes and A. Michelle team up with platinum pop princess Christina Aguilera

by Vaughn Watson
Providence Journal Music Writer

Al Gomes tells this story to illustrate how good news has followed Big Noise, Gomes and partner A. Michelle's artist development and music promotion firm.

In February 1998, Gomes says, Christina Aguilera was sitting in the den of his East Side house, drinking tea and playing a couple of songs from her demo tape on his stereo. "We were blown away by her," Gomes says.

By coincidence, the Grammy Awards were playing on TV that night. Gomes recalls, "She looked right at me and said, 'One day I'm gonna have one of those.'" Aguilera was right. And in addition to winning the Best New Artist Grammy, her self-titled RCA debut album has sold 12 million copies.

Aguilera, then 17, took the trip up from Manhattan to Providence, RI with a music scout from her first management firm that had signed her just two days before. The scout was in town to sign the Comic Book Super Heroes, the Providence, RI band that played a break-out set during a Big Noise showcase that year.

And there's two other Aguilera connections to Big Noise.

Gomes and A. Michelle's association with Christina led to their jobs as executives at Three Wishes Productions, Inc., Aguilera's production company. Gomes and A. Michelle oversee the teen-pop star's Official Website - which clocks an astounding 5 million hits a month - as well as acting as publicists, biographers, and archivists for Aguilera, and serving on her promotion and marketing team. Big Noise's work for Aguilera has earned the firm gold and platinum awards from the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as other industry awards including Entertainment Weekly naming Aguilera's Official Website one of the 'Best Sites of the 21st Century.'

Big Noise's work with Aguilera is incredibly extensive. In addition to creating and maintaining her entire Official Website, Big Noise is responsible for daily updates of the website including breaking news items, new photos and graphics, and other relevant timely information and content. Al Gomes and A. Michelle also research, write and edit content for publicity, marketing, and promotion (ABC News, Billboard, VH1, Rolling Stone, People, Entertainment Weekly, and other top publications quote the site regularly and use Christina Aguilera's Official Website as their prime news source for Christina news). Big Noise generates interviews, promotional appearances and award show nods for Aguilera (including five Grammy nominations and two Grammy Award wins in 2001). In addition to producing media content including video interviews and recordings, Al Gomes and A. Michelle produced the highly successful 'Holiday With Christina' and 'What A Valentine Wants' singles.

Lastly, Big Noise helps coordinate national and international promotional campaigns for Aguilera with major sponsors, her record company, and merchandising firms. They also have created and maintain a physical archive cataloging Aguilera's career including official recordings, media appearances, awards, and merchandise.

UK marketing scholar Nathan Robinson praised Big Noise for creating an on-line community between Christina and her fans, and includes the study of the site as part of his curriculum with his economics and marketing students: Read more

The third and final Aguilera / Big Noise connection is D.U.I., a techno duo from Chicago that played a Big Noise showcase in May 1999. They impressed Gomes, who called them, "One of the most talented acts to ever appear at the one of our shows."

When D.U.I. achieved chart success in Europe by appearing on several BMG techno compilations, Gomes then suggested to the band that they try their hand at remixing Aguilera's 'What A Girl Wants' for RCA Records (a BMG label). It proved to be a suggestion that changed D.U.I.'s lives. Their remix became a #1 record on Radio 4U's 'Top 30 Dance Chart', one of Europe's most important and influential charts. D.U.I.'s version proved so popular that RCA Records added the D.U.I. version of 'What A Girl Wants' to future pressings of Christina's debut CD in Europe.

With the success of 'What A Girl Wants', Gomes once again suggested the duo return to the studio and remix Christina's next single 'I Turn to You.' Lightning struck again and D.U.I. found themselves with another single on Radio 4U's 'Top 30 Dance Chart'.

With D.U.I.'s amazing chart success from the BMG compilations and the Christina Aguilera remixes, BMG signed D.U.I. to a deal and their first full-length BMG CD, 'Freeway,' was released in 2000, receiving unanimous critical acclaim and expanding their already-rabid fan base.

"I think we create amazing opportunities," Gomes says. "If an artist and Big Noise work well together and we create a great creative partnership, we will make things happen for that artist."

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