10 Questions with ... David Salidor
November 21, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started dis in 1984; after working with several record labels (Atlantic, RFC, Warner's) and several PR-firms including the Howard Bloom Organization (where I worked on an amazing 21 accounts!). He also started the "New Music Seminar" in 1984 with Tom Silverman, Danny Heaps, Marc Josephson and the late-Joel Webber; one of my proudest accomplishments.
1) What led you to a career in the music business?
My Dad had worked at Decca Records and my mother worked at a record store. So I was slowly indoctrinated into the business. I formally began by doing free-lance articles for Good Times" Magazine, Billboard; and, Rock & Soul magazine. I loved it!
2) What do you see as the role of the Publicity Agent in today's music business?
The goal of a publicity campaign is to create visibility. My favorite thing to do is to start with a new artist, like we did with Debbie Gibson and Run DMC, using the available media to devise and execute a campaign.
3) What's been the most significant change in the radio and music business since you've been in it?
Without question, it would be the arrival of the digital age. Now almost everything is done that way from recording and mixing records, to creating an online EPK. In the early part of my career a sizable amount of the day was spent coordinating messenger deliveries. Now when I get up at 6am, an hour later all that's been done! While it may seem that all the heavy lifting is done early ... it's a continuing process to properly follow up and replenish the well.
4) With so many publications going online now, what percentage of your press coverage appears in traditional paper trades and magazines versus the Internet?
It's probably about 60/40, with the 60 being online media. The speed with which you can get something online still amazes me. But it has become an all-important tool. But, you still cannot discount a placement in the New York Times, L.A. Times, The New York Post, or The New Yorker. But an online identity and an online awareness is essential.
5) What criteria (sales, chart success, etc.) does an artist need to develop to get an appearance on one of the late night talk shows?
Both are important for sure, but with some shows they'll want that all important on-air ad, so you've got to have a reliable and credible company behind you. If you have an act that possesses that magic ... that still makes all the difference ... as it should! The TV shows are looking for a sizable amount of visibility, radio play, and general interest. So you've got to develop that before you even pitch.
I booked The Monkees, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany on The View this past summer; which really has the biggest viewer ship of all. The response was phenomenal. The TV-shows are listening as well ... they have too. They've got to keep current too! Plus, having a 21-year old daughter (who by the way turned me onto Florence & The Machine) helps too. Keeping current, keeping alert, and being open are still the biggest tools. As I've gotten older, it's been a bit harder to accomplish on a regular basis ... but, that's still as important as ever.
6) What current artist do you see having the ability and skills to stick around for several years in today's instant gratification oriented society?
Cee Lo Green and Maroon 5 are two prime examples of artists that not only create their own material; but, perform it stunningly well. "Moves Like Jagger" is just an amazing record. Also, Katy Perry is just astonishing. Her current sixth single from her second album is maybe her best yet. New music remains the lifeblood of this industry. Forget the changing faces of the record labels, great new music will prosper and survive!
7) Are you finding that today's "baby" bands are getting a fair shot in the press? Are they being given the press they need to break through to the masses and be recognized?
I believe they are. Look at the new bands that have appeared on Letterman. The rules have changed ... and, whether it's The Killers, Owl City, or Cobra Starship ... the opportunities are there for you if you plan correctly and thoroughly.
8) The music field is very competitive. It seems as if every artist needs a gimmick just to get noticed. How can artists position themselves to get the shot they need?
Working with competent and experienced people is the key. They can take what may seem like a crazy idea and turn it into something that will be positively received. It all starts with the song, and the music. If you have that it's like lightning in a bottle. Build it and they will come.
9) How can today's artist best use social media to reach a bigger audience?
As a jumping off point, that platform is essential. To begin to build the momentum, you must use those avenues. Just like in the old days when we encouraged all our friends to call the radio station when they played your record. Now you go to Facebook and YouTube. To ignore it spells certain doom. The new media revolution has begun and if you don't step up it'll pass you right by!
10) What do you feel is the most important issue facing record labels and artists in the current business environment?
To paraphrase, "The Cream Always Rises To The Top." You have to build a campaign that will be taken seriously and received well. It's not always easy. I know that first hand. But it can still be done most effectively. With the labels, they will survive and continue to prosper; but there's new faces at all of them who in many cases bring a more current awareness level. If you're smart you'll use that to your advantage.
1) What is the best way for an artist to handle a bad review?
Learn from the bad ones. In many cases, the bad often prove more constructive than the good ones. I encourage our clients to read them all.
2) What's the worst excuse you ever heard from a writer?
"It doesn't fit our demographic." Actually, I have never really had any major problems with writers and the media. I like to think that I've been around long enough to know not to waste their time and they appreciate that. Although, now that I think about it, when they say they just wrote about this artist and can't write again so soon. That I hate. It's laziness in some cases!
3) What's been your most rewarding project to work?
Run DMC, Madonna, Debbie Gibson, Micky Dolenz, and creating the New Music Seminar. I've been very fortunate. It has been a lot of hard work, but I'm very fortunate.
4) What are some of the artists we might find on your MP3 player?
Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel, Florence & The Machine, The Killers, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Maroon 5, and Paul Simon.
5) What can record labels be doing to drive more traffic to their web sites?
Keep the information flowing and up-to-date. There's nothing I hate more than seeing sites outdated and no kept up-to-date.
6) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
"Go with your gut," and "honesty is the best policy." And stay as current and plugged in as possible.