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“We go for stuff that doesn’t sound like anything else, but at the end of the day, could be mass appeal."
AHEAD OF THE S-CURVE
Label Founder Steve Greenberg Returns to His Indie Roots with an Eclectic Roster of Acts
After 21 years at majors like Atlantic, Mercury and Columbia, S-Curve CEO/founder Steve Greenberg, known for discovering such hit acts as Hanson, Baha Men, Joss Stone and the Jonas Brothers, feels now is a great time to be an indie label.

“Back then, S-Curve could only sign acts the majors didn’t want,” he explains. “Now, we are at the top of people’s lists. We’re not outbidding people; we’re just convincing them we can do a better job. The playing field has been leveled.”

The EMI-distributed label marked a return to its independent roots with last year’s release of Bradenton, FL-based emo rockers We the Kings. Signed by veteran S-Curve A&R exec and label President Steve Yegelwel, the band’s self-titled debut has already sold 150k albums behind the first single, “Check Yes Juliet,” generating more than a million downloads, and just went to radio with the second track, “Secret Valentine.”

The band has attracted a widespread audience, “from the Warped tour to mtvU and Radio Disney,” through its viral webisode, The King’s Carriage, with its dedicated player embedded on more than 100k MySpace pages and viewed more than 150 million times in the past year. That exposure was generated by Nabbr, a company that creates and distributes viral video players to social networking sites, in which S-Curve holds an equity interest, with Greenberg serving as Chairman.

The first album from S-Curve-managed Little Jackie, a collaboration between former Columbia artist Imani Coppola and programmer/DJ Adam Palin, The Stoop, has been generating plenty of buzz, with the single, “The World Should Revolve Around Me,” grabbing Top 40 spins, as well as rotation on BET J, mtvU and the U.K.’s Radio One.

“We go for stuff that doesn’t sound like anything else, but at the end of the day, could be mass-appeal,” Greenberg enthuses.

For legendary rock-soul vocalist Tom Jones’ new album, 24 Hours, Greenberg went back to the performer’s strengths as a '60s R&B belter.

“I thought it was important to showcase him that way and not just have him jump on some contemporary bandwagon,” says Greenberg. “It’s great because there’s nothing else like it on the radio. It’s a production you couldn’t have had in the '60s, yet tips its hat to that classic sound. It captures his essence.”

The album, slated for release Nov. 25, will be supported with appearances on Good Morning America (11/24), Regis and Kelly (11/25), The Today Show (11/26), Rachael Ray (12/2), The Tonight Show (12/3) and Jimmy Kimmel (12/4). Jones will also do an AOL Sessions (10/28), CBS Sunday Morning (10/29), Tavis Smiley and a live KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic performance day of release.  

Up next, S-Curve has signed the Danny Goldberg-managed Care Bears on Fire, a Brooklyn punk-rock group with three 13-year-old girls, and Diane Birch, a singer/ songwriter/keyboardist Greenberg describes as “Carly Simon and Carole King in 1973, with a little Karen Carpenter thrown in,” which he produced with Mike Mangini and Betty Wright. The company, which includes veteran label exec Marty Maidenberg as COO, also publishes the music of We the Kings, Little Jackie and Care Bears.

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