Haley Reinhart Forum

Full Version: Lauren Alaina Update 2017
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.







Quote:Six Singles in, Mercury Records Nashville Finally Scores a Hit for Lauren Alaina

For a record-label promotion executive, every chart-topper is a victory. But imagine working with an artist for six years, and through six singles, before finally achieving that elusive hit.

It’s a scenario Mercury Records Nashville vp national promotion Damon Moberly and his team are all too familiar with. So when Lauren Alaina finally hit the summit of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with the appropriately titled “Road Less Traveled” in April, Moberly says the win was “really sweet.”

At a time when new artists typically only get a turn or two at bat without connecting, Mercury parent Universal Music Group Nashville stuck it out with Alaina, now 22. Moberly says that’s partly because of her bubbly, likeable personality, and partly because they saw potential in her newfound maturity and her growing depth and skill as a songwriter. Mostly, however, it was Alaina’s work ethic that kept everyone committed. “She’s hardly ever said no to us when we’ve asked her to go do something for radio,” says Moberly.

Another factor is that Mercury has been partnered with 19/Interscope on Alaina ever since she took second place on American Idol in 2011, so the labels share both profits and expenses, helping mitigate the risks associated with the latter.

Still, early on in her career, Alaina almost became a casualty. “There was a moment on the first record when we had merged [with EMI], and Mike [Dungan] had taken over as the chairman/CEO of the label,” recalls Moberly. “We had worked a couple of singles and they had not succeeded. We had a meeting and talked about maybe moving on. I can remember several of us from promotion raising our hands and saying, ‘We really want to work “Eighteen Inches.” ’ We thought that could be a hit.”

“Eighteen Inches” wasn’t a big radio hit: It peaked at No. 34 in 2012. “But at that point, I knew we had some investment from everybody in the building,” says Moberly. “We just all had this unbelievable belief that something was going to happen and now, luckily, we’re seeing that come to fruition.”

The label swung and missed one more time with “Next Boyfriend,” the first single from Alaina’s sophomore album, which debuted at No. 3 on Top Country Albums in February. Although follow-up “Road Less Traveled” ascended relatively quickly once it charted — hitting No. 1 in its 34th week on the list — it took a while to get started on the front end. The label went for adds on July 11, 2016, but the single didn’t chart for another six weeks when spins from iHeart Media’s “On the Verge” program kicked it.

From there, it was pretty smooth sailing until the record reached the teens, where it hovered for several weeks as Moberly and his team waited for radio research to kick in. Once it began testing well, he says, “We got in gear and got up into the top 15. We had so many stations that weren’t yet in heavy [rotation] after we had already made the top 15. We thought, ‘If we can just continue to convert a decent percentage of these each week, we may have an opportunity,’ and obviously it worked out.” (Next single, “Doin’ Fine,” goes for adds in the third week of May.)

In February, Alaina got radio’s attention at the label’s Country Radio Seminar showcase at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium when she was given the opportunity to perform just one song. Instead of “Road Less Traveled,” she made the riskier choice of debuting “Three,” a poignant ballad about her struggles to achieve airplay success. (The title refers to the three-minute length of most radio hits.) It paid off, with Alaina receiving a standing ovation from an audience packed with key decision makers.

“Radio programmers could really appreciate what it was because she was really speaking to them, thanking them for her three minutes on the radio, and it really touched the nerve with lots of people in the room,” says Moberly, who thinks the performance gave “Road” added momentum.

...As the single approached the summit, Moberly was reminded of a gift Alaina had given him. Last year, just before the staff began working “Next Boyfriend,” the singer had popped into his office and delivered a bottle of champagne with a note instructing him to save it until they could celebrate her first No. 1. In her note, she told Moberly, “I know we’ll get there.”

Alaina likely thought “Next Boyfriend” would be that No. 1. But, Moberly says, “we didn’t even crack the top 20 with that single. So I had to make the fifth of five really tough telephone calls to Lauren and her manager saying, ‘We’ve kind of reached the end of the road, and we need to come off this thing before we do damage by pressing it down.’

More: http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/ne...um=twitter

"So I had to make the fifth of five really tough telephone calls to Lauren and her manager saying... 'we need to come off this thing before we do damage by pressing it down.'"

Thought this was an interesting comment. Would like to know more about what he meant. Harming their credibility with programming directors by promoting a song that wasn't going anywhere? Wasting promo opportunities? Getting exposure that didn't leave a favorable impression?
Reference URL's