In an era of digital accessibility, storytelling mediums through art have increased emphatically, giving creators more than one tool to promote their work. As time progresses, the growth will continue to be exponential.
Two leaders in the space are Michael Epstein and Brendan Laezza from Cinematic Music Group.
The label boasts a roster of artists that includes Skaiwater, Prentiss, Big Yavo, Yungeen Ace, Lul Bob, That Mexican OT, Kenneth Cash & more. The label previously housed “Leave Me Alone” rapper, Flipp Dinero as well.
Before helping to amplify the digital voice of Cinematic Music Group’s roster, Brendan Laezza and Michael Epstein were two hungry digital minds looking to make impactful strides.
While Mike worked in real estate and scoured Twitter for opportunities, Brendan began working with EOne Music Group. The Jonny Shipes founded label would bring them together years later.
While at EOne, Brendan recalls working with DJ Drama for the release of his Quality Street Music 2 album. At the time he says he encouraged Drama to promote the album on his Facebook, where most of his following was.
Before album live-streams were a phenomenon, Laezza live-streamed the album’s release on Facebook Live with his cell phone. Fans who tuned in to the live stream caught Snoop Dogg, a young Lil Uzi Vert, Drama himself and more.
“I literally connected to the internet and walked around the studio with my phone,” says Laezza.
He would later bring his talents to Cinematic, where he felt right at home.
“As soon as I came to Cinematic, they had Flipp (Dinero) and all of these young artists that were incubators for new talent.” It was very enticing to bring my forward-thinking ideas to these young artists.”
Since then he has been able to create more digital experiences including NFTs, content and more storytelling opportunities to increase artist’s engagement.
For Epstein, he took a leap of faith that would later pay off by reaching out to Cinematic’s Founder Jonny Shipes on Twitter.
Sidebar: If you follow Epstein (@michaelaepstein) on Twitter, you will most likely catch the gem-dropper offering tools and services to enhance the digital presence for all artists and creators looking to do so. Word of advice, hit that follow button.
Shipes, who is credited with discovering Nipsey Hussle, Joey Bada$$, Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA, Sean Kingston & Mick Jenkins to to name a few, would take a chance on Epstein, who had a keen grasp of the digital landscape, but only needed an opportunity.
Epstein and Laezza agree that the”general understanding” of the digital landscape puts one in position to best serve an artist as a digital marketer or strategists.
“There isn’t just one thing that’s going to make an artist pop,'” Epstein says. “Many people think ‘if this Instagram account posts me, it’ll change my life’ and that’s not the case.”
Given the number of interactive platforms, fans want and expect more from their favorite artists in order to build the personable connection. Both Laezza and Epstein agree that growing an artist’s digital engagement is a priority.
“Create a system for not only the best art, but also a system that allows you to scale that art,” says Epstein.
Laezza encourages artists and creators to form a community of like-minded individuals, which will ultimately lead to creating traction to build an artist’s core audience.
Fans can expect to see more from Cinematic Music Group’s eclectic roster of artists including new projects from Skaiwater & Big Yavo in coming weeks as well as new music from a handful of recent signees.