Evaluating Management

Too many layers, not enough bass, but The Voice struggles to dominate and finally rings out clearly!

The problem is, The Voice shouldn’t have to struggle to dominate, which is what it should be doing in every song, no?

🙂 That’s my final evaluation of “Something ‘Bout Love.”

And, if I’m being honest, I could make the same assessment of David’s current management.

Just to separate things out: Jive the label is the one behind the music quality and air time (including radio, online streams, music videos, and sales).  Management handles David’s appearances and publicity.

“Too many layers, not enough bass…”

We saw this in the handling of the Chords of Strength book tour.  Staying at the level of “many layers” of where David’s imagined fanbase supposedly resides – mostly in the suburbs – prevented them from exploring the “bass” level – the subculture markets located in urban sites.  Sure, COS did fabulous by debuting at #15 on the New York Times bestseller list for nonfiction.  If promotion was handled more strategically, with an understanding that they needed to reach BOTH the mainstream and the marginal markets, it might have reached #10.

“The Voice struggles to dominate and rings out clearly…”

I think we’re all clear that, had David been invited to sing on the “We Are the World” remake, he would have said yes, considering that he eagerly and proudly took part in the Spanish version, “Somos el Mundo.”  I think it’s also clear that no one wanted The Voice anywhere near the fetus since the song clearly helped to launch Bieber fever by giving him the opening lines.  Having said that, there is no suppressing the Voice, and when it finally rings out clearly (as it most certainly did on Somos el Mundo), people stop to listen.

Quietly, David went about doing his charity work and showed up for sports events and singing before the President.  Now, the nation has a chance to hear The Voice in all its glory come July 4th at a huge event like the Capitol 4th celebration!

The great setup of  the “new single” buzz online the week before a publicly televised event like Capitol 4th positions The Voice to ring out clearly in its early struggles for domination.

I’m excited about these new directions for David since they should really launch him back into the spotlight in a major way.

However, I’m still feeling the “too many layers, not enough bass” effect here.  It’s clear by these choices that Management imagines David’s “fanbase” as a wholly conservative youth community with equally conservative moms.  And while that tends to be true, it’s missing some core subculture markets that are totally in David’s corner: including “urban,” soul, Latinidad (although the appearance at the Telejano Music Awards shows some semblance of acknowledging this), and gay audiences, which include numerous Archies. (But you’d never know that from marketing choices.)

Justin Bieber may be a “tween sensation,” but we cannot overlook the effect of having R&B (Usher) and hip-hop (Ludicrous and Sean Kingston) behind him.  The tweens and teens may be crazy over his moppet, but the urban audience is providing the “bass” sales to the “layers” of suburban tween and teen markets.

So, when I say, David’s management may be following Jive’s musical lead in foregoing “bass” for “layers,” we may see respectable numbers and spots on the pop charts, but landing at #1 or going platinum will take longer than expected.

Acknowledging and including “the bass” simply provides the foundation for broad appeal and a deeper, far-reaching musical career.

Not to mention “Soul David” still has the universal appeal and effect.

Here’s the full version of “Something ‘Bout Love”:

Evaluate management yourself:


Posted on July 1, 2010, in music, public image. Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. HG, who is David’s management/agent/publicist now? I voted “to
    soon to tell”-couple of recent gigs have been nice but I want to see
    a plan unfolding.

  2. I am still wondering WHO is his management? Arzoff? I would like to see marketing that reflects broader fanbase segments as well. Hopefully this new song will broaden his fanbase even more.

  3. hi hg – houstonrufus had a great comment about the song over on mj’s last night that touches on the marketing/management thing… hope he doesn’t mind if i bring it over.

    06/30/2010 at 11:26 pm

    Even as a devoted fan, I recognize that David has been somewhat hard to categorize.

    He has a mature sounding voice, and he excels at songs that showcase that. But, then, he’s 19 and young and he loves pop music, is a student of pop music, even if he does have diverse musical taste.

    There has always been a debate regarding pushing him towards a mature sound that some think fits his vocal abilities v. letting him mine his age and the opportunity that brings for youthful pop success and thereby letting that success enable longevity. I’m in the latter camp. I love to hear him sing anything.

    But practically speaking, he’s more marketable as a 19 year old pop singer of pop songs than a 19 year old singer trying to break into the HAC or AC market (granted I’ll take chart success regardless of format, ha!).

    • YES, LOVE “Something ‘Bout Love”.

    • hell0g0rge0us

      Thanks for bringing this over, GG.

      My own response is: why can’t the music reflect BOTH a mature sound and youthful pop appeal? It HAS been done before, hasn’t it?

      • that’s the 64k dollar question hg… i think we just have to always remember that david is somewhat of an anomaly in pop. he’s one of the very few young artists that appeals to the teen set and the older set. many people have a disconnect with him vis a vis his age, youthful appearance and his ability to sing those cool groove soul/rnb songs we know he has in him, and the ones craving that kind of music have a disconnect at times with the more youthful, top 40 songs he favors, and the label is targeting to that audience.

        i have to constantly remind myself that he is just 19 years old. he’s young, albeit with a very ‘mature’ voice… i say let him be young, and play in that sandbox for a bit if that’s what it takes to get him the leverage down the road to produce and release material that is more in keeping with the desires of the segment of the base who would like those more ‘mature’ songs… if this song is the key that helps unlock the door on radio to giving his songs the play and exposure needed to get him to the next level, then so be it.

        if he didn’t have the chops to venture out of the pop sandbox because he was limited vocally like 99.9 percent of the pack currently stinking up the top 40 airwaves, or relied totally on studio wizardy to put him over, and couldn’t sing live to save his life, i’d be concerned… the success of this single is an important cog in the wheel of what i envision long term for him… just digging my heels in, getting my download finger ready, and looking forward to a wild summer 😀

      • raelovingangels

        I remember Joymus astute comment that David has a complicate talent. ( I think that was her term)

        Adults and kids resppond to him. But there is a perception I believe by a large majority of the teens- 30s male fan base that they are too cool. He is the best thing out there- but he is not a rapper, a rocker, or talking trash. The media paints the street smart type as role models. The tide will turn however on that demographic. David will persistently go about making good music, and gradually all those cynical and immature radio people and the guys too cool to admit they like him will come around. He does need a huge hit to keep making those inroads….in my opinion.

      • raelovingangels

        meant to say that teen through 30 something male thinks they are too cool for him. ( IMO). A big hit will get him more attention for the next more experimental song that will broaden the fan base a bit- and so on and so on…. ( until he is king of the music world some day and he calls the shots) 🙂

  4. David Archuleta Talks About the Capitol Fourth Event and His New Album


    (Includes a video. And they mention “his New York Times best selling book.”)

    • YJfanofdavid

      He seems to have become the main promoter for Capitol 4th. The majority of these stations are Fox-affiliated. Could this indicate he’s being managed by 19-M?

      • Bright Light

        I was thinking the same thing – that David is the spokesperson for the Capitol 4th! He certainly promotes all of the artists and mentions the time for each time zone. Who could have predicted that David would become a promoter!? LOL

        The release date of his first single is timed nicely to this event. In one of David’s interviews he mentioned that he was asked ‘just a little time ago’ to participate in the Capitol 4th. I’m wondering if that is why the song has been released earlier than initially planned. This is such great publicity for him!

    • I tend to think that the long silence in terms of publicity was intentional. They were already focusing on the first single from the second album. This way, new music from David attracts more attention.

      • Actually I think the long silence may be due to management transition. Sam (of Sam and Sluggo) confirmed they were writing SBL around April 15 — only a couple of months ago. I believe the recent flurry of promo and attention is due to new management (I am guess 19 M too). Just my two cents. 🙂

  5. Listened to the full song a few times. It’s not normally the type of music I listen to, but it sure is addicting and I am very hopeful for a good radio hit of the summer! Can’t wait until official radio adds.

  6. Bright Light

    Interesting ‘six degrees of separation’: I was reading the bios for the participants in The Capitol Fourth (there is now a hyperlink from David’s name to his bio – yay). I wanted to see what John Schneider was up to these days. One thing I learned about him was that he co-founded the Children’s Miracle Network in 1982 – with the Osmonds. (I’ve known that Gladys Knight is LDS.)

    In addition, Jimmy Smits probably was at the ALMAs the night David performed there.

    David is developing a nice body of work, a nice network, and his charity work is not going unnoticed. In what ever manner David came to be invited to perform at the Capitol Fourth event – I can’t think of anyone more qualified.

  7. Nice interview here 🙂

    David says this new single SBL isn’t necessarily the best to reflect what the rest of the album is gonna be like


    • Bright Light


      Thanks for posting that link. Not THAT was a great interview from David. He was awake and he was charming, engaging, articulate . . . plus he included all of the key marketing info. I loved his response when asked about how hard the SSB is to sing – when he spoke about the range. He has come such a long way in his interview skills. Well done!

      He’s right, singing the national anthem . . . on the 4ht of July . . . in the Nation’s Capitol – WOW!

  8. Yes, great to hear how David is building a network, and not just among LDS musicians. I’ve heard that if someone is professional and a nice person (and talented!) that word does really get around in the music industry.

  9. raelovingangels

    Oh- HG- I agree with you 110%. David should have signed books in LA or Atlanta. Maybe it will come yet.

  10. hell0g0rge0us

    Jambajim’s tweet is too funny:

    FINALLY got a chance to listen to @DavidArchie’s new single. Electronic bleep-bloops! Breakdowns! Key changes! Our boy’s all grown up. 😉

    So much word to this!

    BTW, with each new listen of SBL does wonders for the soul. It really does improve with each new spin! 🙂 I’m a sucker for the opening especially! The vocal echo at the intro gives me little chills here and there…

    • “The vocal echo at the intro gives me little chills here and there…”

      Tingles in a silly place? Yeah, me too.

      Also LOVE the “Let them shine tonight” part ❤ ❤

  11. raelovingangels

    Info about S*A*M and Sluggo
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    S*A*M and Sluggo is an American record production and songwriting team, composed of Sam Hollander and Dave “Sluggo” Katz.

    Formed in 2005, the duo first collaborated on the theme song “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)” by Cobra Starship, from the 2006 film Snakes on a Plane.[1] Based in Manhattan, the duo has played an important role in the history of emo, helping to transform the musical genre from its underground roots to a polished, mainstream sound in the mid-2000s.[2] They have become known for their emo-pop work, producing Metro Station’s double-platinum hit “Shake It”, and working with The Academy Is…, We the Kings, Hey Monday and Coheed and Cambria. They have also worked in pop music with Katy Perry and American Idol’s Blake Lewis, and in hip hop with the band Gym Class Heroes

  12. Enjoyed your post, HG. Very insightful. But, I’m kind of liking the fact that David’s management has a governor on his speed. He’s only 19 and what is good enough for Bieber is not gonna cut if when working with an organically evolving musical genius. Do I think they realize this and that’s why they don’t promote him harder? Probably not. But I believe that as good as David is now, it is nothing compared to what he will be. In a couple of years a more mature, experienced David with a greater conviction of where he wants to take his music will bring the broader markets up the path he chooses to take them. In that sense, I don’t think he’s ready yet but the day is coming, when that path will be well trodden.

  13. Uhhh…I think I may have seen the album title?! I just clicked on “listen now” on the website……

    • Carnival Ride? What about Flat on the Floor? Another song maybe?

      • Actually…I now think this may be evidence he is being managed by 19, rather than album/song titles. Those are both Carrie Underwood songs, maybe his sound player was built from the template or something? Also, check out her official site….the design is very similar isn’t it? Except hers says 19 at the bottom! What do you think???


      • Oh, really? I don’t know anything about Carrie, but those are the titles you see when you click on ‘Listen Now’.

  14. Okay… Get ready for some serious SVBing!!!!!!!!!!


    • I’m ready……haha

      I am streaming SBL right now from z100…..!!

      I see where it is all over the country at all the z100 stations…yeah….

  15. I’m so glad I have my autographed Chords of Strength to comfort me. Brazil said goodbye to the World Cup minutes ago in a match that started so easy it was unbelievable. Fate, I guess. 😦

    I’ll be reading when I get home from work.

  16. SandyBeaches

    Whoever David’s management is, there is one thing that we know and that is that David is now the head person of his management’s final decisions. He speaks for himself as we see in his interviews.

    I worry no longer about who is placing David where and what the plans are. He has proven that he is on a path carefully chosen and keeping within his own boundaries.

    I have come to completely trust David in what he sings and how he sings it not looking for everything that I may want but appreciating what he is giving us. I would only look for perfection in all things David when I know that he is looking for that as well.

    At this moment, we see David preparing for the July 4th celebrations at the White House. Whether or not this one or that one is LDS, the President is placing before millions, some of the people he respects and wants to honor with the invitation to perform. There is no other honor any greater in any industry.

    This performance alone for David is priceless and David has been given this honor because of his tremendous talents, morals and desire to help others. Let us enjoy this time with David and applaud his talents and personal achievements.

    • Bright Light

      Nevertheless, the world tends to operate on the principle of ‘who you know’ not only ‘what you know’. David is getting to know some very influential people. It’s all good.

  17. A tweet from the National Archives:

    “Jimmy Smits and David Archuleta (@DavidArchie) came to see the Charters of Freedom this morning.”

    • Bright Light

      Two of the most beautiful men on the planet – oh to be in DC today!

      (I had a friend who happened to be in the same elevator as Jimmy Smits one day. She said he was breathtakingly gorgeous in person. Sounds familiar.)

      I wonder if Jimmy’s kids are with them.

  18. Great post HG! Management and business info as it relates to David is my fav topic. 🙂

    My guess is that D’s management is still in transition and that Jive is doing what it’s supposed to do to promote his music.

    If anyone’s interested, below is a link to an article that explains how Island Def Jam (Bieber, Ludicrus, etc.) does its marketing. Notice that they negotiate and establish relationships w/syndicates such as Open House Party prior to records being released. Hence, I don’t think phoning in requests matters that much – the label needs to convince radio to play it. http://www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=1718494

    • Yes, it seems that airplay is based on deals rather than requests. And it’s funny that radio stations won’t admit they have deals with labels even though it’s obvious.

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