10 Questions with ... Geo Bivins
January 18, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Masters Degree, Carnegie-Mellon University
- Mix Show Promotion, MCA Records
- West Cost Regional, Jive Records,
- SE Promotion Manager, SVP/Promotion for Loud Records,
- SVP/Promotion for Capital Records
1) What was your first job ... early influences?
I did mix show, street team and record pool promotions for MCA Records. Influences include AD Washington, Brute Bailey and Alan Carroll.
2) What led you to a career in music? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
Talking about music all day and living the same life at night in the clubs and studios. The defining moment came when I heard a record play on a radio station shortly after I had dropped it off, When the announcer said, "New music by" ... the artist I was working at the time, it gave me chills. From that moment, I wanted to promote music.
3) What was the first record/CD you purchased?
I don't remember the first because it was a 45. The first album I remember buying was Parliament Funkadelic's "Mothership Connection."
4) Where do you see the industry and yourself five years from now?
I see myself head of Urban Music for a label or label group.
5) What is your favorite type of radio station or format and why?
R&B Mainstream because I love the mixtures of music.
6) What format does not exist that should?
A hot Urban AC format. Not gold-based, but new music based, playing some older hip-hop.
7) What's your take on current music?
Music seems to be getting better. With more R&B records on the charts this year, music is really more musical and creative right now. Songs that have lyrics that mean something seem to be working again.
8) What's the most frustrating part of your present position and why?
The most frustrating part of my present position is the disconnect between the Yrban audience and large record companies. In many cases, record companies don't understand who their audience is. Cater to your core musically and through marketing that reaches them and you will sell records.
9) Tell us what music we would find on your car or home CD player.
Mostly music that I'm working because I'm always listening over and over.
10) How do you feel about Urban radio still wanting to wait for the results of callout research before they would be willing to add a record they already hear and like?
I think PDs and MDs should take chances on records they think are hits, especially those that get confirmation from other PDs and MDs in their chains. Research is a tool, but many use it like a crutch.
Please describe the best or worst promotion you've ever been part of:
The worst was "The Chicken Head Promotion." Girls had to exhibit "chicken head" symbols or characteristics to win prizes. One lady won a thousand dollars for getting "chicken head" tattooed on her back.
Is there such a thing as a "disposable artist?"
I hope not. Anyone who values their career is important to me.
How do you account for the fact that the Urban department of J/RCA has been so successful of late?
Great music and great timing.
Is there a clear line between Urban and Rhythmic? Does Rhythmic lead to Top 40 in the crossover mode at radio?
There is a clear line between formats. Urban serves a community and crossover serves the people. Crossover is not for the Urban artists initially. You still have to have a solid hit at Urban radio to have a successful record at pop radio.