Marco Bosco announced his arrival in July in bold fashion-with one 80-foot-high Hollywood billboard on Vine Street at Selma Avenue, a second one on Vine Street off Sunset Boulevard and a third atop the nearby W Hotel. Bosco is depicted like a futuristic musical gladiator-shirtless, armed with a guitar in front of a crumbling rendition of the famed Capitol Records tower.
For Bosco-singer/songwriter/producer, Eruption Music Group CEO and art director of the campaign-the billboards are artworks, a way to brand himself as an artist and drive home "the depth and consistency" of EMG as a force in the music business (s ee story HERE). "Instead of just pushing a song, we're really pushing a campaign, so we're really going above and beyond just sticking it on the radio. We're getting in people's faces," he says.
Bosco says the billboard campaign has made an impact. "When people ask me, 'Will it work for sales? Will people go to iTunes?,' I say, 'If it works for Banana Republic and clothing, why can't it work for music?'" A second campaign, running Oct. 31-Jan. 2, through the outdoor ad firm Van Wagner, depicts Bosco with angel's wings. "It looks like I'm ready to fly," he says.
The attention-grabbing campaign heralds Bosco's new single, "Senseless," recorded with rapper Shawn Mims. The track, which combines Mims' potent rhymes with Bosco's majestic pop, has hit iTunes and other digital retailers. The track was mixed by Phil Tan and mastered by Brian Gardner. "We've purchased the best boards in Hollywood, so you won't be able to walk around without seeing 'Senseless.' It's more like pushing a movie," Bosco says. It's fitting that Bosco's single is a collaboration with Mims, since it was their pairing on "Chasing Sunshine," featured on Mims' 2009 album Guilt, which reached No. 12 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, that first introduced Bosco to American audiences.
WATCHING THE BEST
Born in Venice, Italy, Bosco fell into show business at age 9, after his mother sent his picture to a TV show. "My life changed in 20 days," he says. He was recruited to be a member of 5 Stars, a New Kids on the Block-style boy band that was featured regularly on an Italian variety show, hosted by Raffaella Carra, featuring such guests as James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder. Bosco took it all in, honing his skill as a live performer and working in the recording studio with 5 Stars for the Italian label Fonit-Cetra.
Following the demise of 5 Stars, Bosco then studied law for a few years and relocated to England, where he signed a publishing deal and re-emerged as a guitar player in the band Kevin. It was in that group that he saw firsthand the power of branding, as the group's five-song CD was given away as a bonus to Wind Communications cellphone customers and its song "Time" was featured in the company's commercials. Kevin also landed support spots for Nelly Furtado and Bush.
DOWN WITH MIMS
Moving to the United States in 2007, Bosco decided to go the solo route, first relocating to Miami and then moving to Atlanta. It was there he met his future business partner Aaron J. Braunstein and cut the song "If I Don't Have You," featuring members of the Atlanta Symphony. The song caught the ear of hip-hop artist Mims, then signed to Capitol. The rapper liked the song so much, he invited Bosco to produce the track "Chasing Sunshine," featuring a sample of "If I Don't Have You." Bosco also turned up on Mims' episode of MTV's "Cribs" performing "If I Don't Have You" on acoustic guitar.
ERUPTING INTO THE FUTURE
While in Atlanta, Bosco signed with a Universal/Fontana-distributed indie label, but after that deal fell apart he and Braunstein formed EMG. Through EMG Bosco has released a trio of singles, "Another Night" in July 2010, and "I Wonder" and "Another Night (Hybrid)" in January 2011. "Another Night" has received more than 200,000 plays on Myspace and garnered nationwide airplay.
While that's only a start, Braunstein has faith in Bosco as an artist and businessman, and is confident that he'll soon be a contender on the pop charts.
"Marco as a solo artist, musician, writer, producer and arranger can totally and completely fulfill his vision," he says, "because he can do so many things himself, whether it is producing his own music, or for another artist, with equally amazing results."