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."
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
"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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