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Yamin’s album was set up primarily outside of a major label structure, and it could serve as the blueprint of how future emerging acts are worked in the evolving major label world.
WHEELS & DEALS:
YAMIN SMOKIN’ WITH HICKORY
Teamwork the Key to Idol Runner-up’s Impressive Nontraditional Setup
By Rodel Delfin

We’re not talking about the latest toy available at the Pleasure Chest (yes, we know you like to shop there). We’re referring to just some of the companies involved with the recent success of American Idol runner-up Elliott Yamin, who could very well be following in the footsteps of fellow Idol mate Chris Daughtry. Yamin’s self-titled debut clocked over 90k this week—an impressive number indeed. Yes, there is the Idol factor, but what’s significant is that this album was set up primarily outside of a major label structure, and it could serve as the blueprint of how future emerging acts are worked in the evolving major label world. Since we received numerous questions about how this all transpired, the following is a breakdown of the project. First, kudos go to the management combo of Jeff Rabhan at Three Ring Projects and the Pulse Recording & Management team/partnership of Josh Abraham and Jason Bernard for their nontraditional approach. Pulse picked up Yamin immediately after American Idol ’06, and a co-management partnership was struck with Rabhan soon afterwards. Elliott first signed a publishing deal with Danny Strick at Sony/ATV, which led to a record deal with Sony/ATV’s newly formed Hickory Records, thus releasing the album through RED. No surprise to the pub and label arrangement with Sony Music considering Rabhan’s longtime relationship with Strick—he signed Rabhan’s client Michelle Branch while at Maverick. Once inked, Jeff and Danny began the process of assembling the marketing, sales and radio components for the album. And it didn't hurt that Rabhan once worked with first-season Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Meanwhile, Abraham and Bernard brought in Pulse writer/producers DJ Lethal, Tony Reyes, Oliver Goldstein and Ely Weisfeld to contribute to Elliott’s album. Abraham, with numerous multi-platinum rock albums in his discography, produced half of the tracks on the LP, adding pop/R&B credentials to his resume. In addition to Three Ring, Pulse and Hickory, three other companies came into play that were integral to the setup: Fred Croshal’s Croshal Entertainment Group handled marketing/online/label duties, Kevin Day’s Rocket Science handled sales and Danny Buch and company at RED worked radio. It was all about five to six people making prompt decisions and keeping schedules on time (i.e. no holding meetings to talk about setting up meetings, etc...). This was pure execution on everyone's part—from TV appearances to marketing plans to in-store performances—all parties involved set this up timely and smoothly, evidenced by the first-week numbers and the album’s momentum. With the biz contracting daily, we can expect the roles of consultants to increase even more, from sales, marketing, promotion and even A&R. It’s the Wild West right now, and anything goes… ON TO SOME WEASEL NEWS: As expected, lots of activity going on in the publishing world lately. Tongues are flapping about who’s making the play to buy Windswept Publishing… Meanwhile, is investment firm JDS Capital selling its Dimensional Music Publishing unit?  Word on the street is that a buyer is already in place. You may recall that Dimensional purchased the DreamWorks Publishing catalog a few years ago, whichcontained works by the Byrds, John Denver, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Rickie Lee Jones, to name a few. As we pointed out previously, the hunger to own publishing catalog by boutique pub firms as well as private equity companies make it a ripe time to make a short-term sale… Famous Music, which is reportedly on the sale block as well, has been aggressively signing acts. Geffen act Sound the Alarm signs with Carol Spencer at the pubco. The Steve Sessa-repped/Patrick McDowell-managed act just completed their debut album with producer Howard Benson, prompting several pubcos to be in pursuit… Activity around 23-year old Warner/Chappell singer/songwriter Audra Mae picks up some steam, as film and TV music types and label noses keep sniffing around her works in progress. See Buzz/Gigs for her next show… Official news from across the pond is that punk outfit and SXSW buzz act The Gallows has signed with Warner Bros. U.K., with Epitaph serving as the Brit band’s stateside label… BUZZIN’: Ben Goldman, Winterman & Goldstein, Charles Koppelman and Robert Shields (he’s an artist)… Hit me up: [email protected]

BUZZ/GIGS:
AUDRA MAE
Sat., April 7, 8:30 p.m., Genghis Cohen, L.A.
FOREIGN ISLANDS
Mon., April 9, 8:00 p.m., Gramercy Theatre, N.Y.
VINCE ESQUIRE
Tue., April 10, 10:45 p.m., Cutting Room, N.Y.

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