Almost 1 year ago I went to Madison Square Garden for a New Years Eve show: Mariah Carey with Trey Songz! I didn’t really know anyone in Treys ‘new’ camp (he recently parted ways with his manager), but I wanted to see how this kid would handle ‘The Garden’ on New Years Eve with a pop audience of mostly 30k plus white people and upwardly mobile blacks and Hispanics.
As I watched the show I thought ‘damn this kid is good.’ He handled itwith the grace, class and swag of an A-List R&B Star. Trey was there as a supporting act but be clear, he was a headliner to pockets of screaming girls scattered throughout the audience. I didn’t get to speak to Trey that night, in fact he didnt event know I was there. My mentor and boss, Kevin Liles had been consulting Trey and was close to bringing him on as a client. Since I was a fan I immediately took the opportunity to see the ‘young boy’ in action. I was nothing short of impressed. I watched and said to myself ‘Dat Boy Good!’ and I immediately started thinking about what it would be like to have this guy in our new company, KWL Enterprises.
Not even 1 year later as I’m sitting here writing this, we have done a TV Series, 2 major tours, 2 global endorsement deals and now have the #1 R&B Hip Hop Album with 240K units sold. The success of Passion Pain and Pleasure speaks to everything I have ever stood for in this industry… Honesty, Consistency, Discipline, Courage and of course ‘Flava.’ With so many artists ‘chasing’ a Pop audience and manufacturing ‘crossover’ appeal, Trey Songz wanted none of it. If it meant him compromising who he is as an artist…he’d rather pass! In fact with ‘commercial’ appeal at his doorstep, he chose to go even MORE R&B!!! EVEN MORE BLACK, EVEN MORE HONEST.
This is his ‘Confessions’ moment producers would say as they pitched me the 2010 – ‘Say Aaah’ or some other ‘Club Banger’ that they knew for sure Trey just ‘had to have.’ One by one Trey, Troy Taylor, Mike Caren and myself would shoot down some hopeful producers dreams by telling them ‘That aint it’ ‘Trey isn’t there’ or ‘We already have a club banger’…needless to say we have a few salty writers and producers out there! More importantly we made the album that was supposed to be made given where Trey is on his journey.
So here we are, 240k sold and the #2 album. We missed #1 by 1k…to Linkin Park yes, ‘THE’ LINKIN PARK!!! Who would have thought a kid from Petersburg, VA would be, on his 4th album one of the hottest artist in the music business. Who said that artist development is dead??
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